Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Top Ten Comics/Graphic Novels of 2013 Pt. 2

As I said for Part One (see HERE): I read a lot of comics this year, stuff from all over the history of the form. As a result, I certainly didn't read any significant fraction of the year's new material. Here, comics differ from music, my usual beat; no music critic has covered a significant percentage of 2013's releases but some comic critics probably have. So, this list is by no means a definitive run-down of all the essential sequential art but just a heavily biased look at some good work that arrived this calendar year. My biases are; I'm writer-centric but am drawn to artists with a strong individual style, I'm a Marvel-ite but think Image is on fire of late, I think less of DC but some of the best older stuff I red this year was from DC and Vertigo. Oh, and I like a series with a sense of humour but dark undertones. My final caveat is that I read more trade paperbacks than individual issues, so a few things here may have been published in single-issue form in 2012 but it's TPB came out this year. For more cultural awesomeness (music, comics, film, politics etc.)

11) Afterlife with Archie by Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa and Francesco Francavilla (Archie Comics)

A shocking idea executed with just the right amount of creepiness due to the perfect teaming of Aguirre-Sacasa and Francavilla.

10) Something Terrible by Dean Trippe (Web-comic)
A poignant-as-hell comic about child abuse that Trippe needed to write but we also needed to read.

9) Hyperbole and a Half by Allie Brosh (Simon and Schuster)
Brosh's web-comic has made the jump to the Big Leagues without losing any of its charm, humour or sadness.

8) Saga by Brian K. Vaughan and Fiona Staples (Image Comics)
Not only is this brilliant and beautiful domestic sci-fi story on everyone's Best of the Year list but I'm wary of anybody who'd leave it off theirs!

7) Tales Designed to Thrizzle V. 2 by Michael Kupperman (Fantagraphics Books)
Back in the eighties we called this strangley smart, randomly obscure and non-sequitur-ious style of cartooning at which Kupperman ex-cels, "college humour" now that that's the name of a run-of-the-mill frat-video site we'll just call it "Thrizzly Humour".

6)  Captain America by Rick Remender, John Romita, Carlos Pacheco (Marvel Comics
It sucks following up a defining run like Ed Brubaker's, a version of the character so definitive that the second Captain America film is already adapting it. So Rick Remender decided, with little fanfare, to banish Cap to an extremely hostile dimension and then gave him a kid to take care of. Instead of getting sappy or unbelievable, it turned the title into the comic book version of Cormac McCarthy's The Road.

5) It Came! by Dan Boultwood (Titan Comics)
It's Tim Burton's Ed Wood film, Alan Moore's 1963 comic, every MST3K commentary and that Monty Python sketch where the pilots talk in outrageous WWII slang all mashed together! If you missed this, as many did, do us all a favour and BUY IT NOW!!!

4) Goddamn This War by Tardi and Jean-Pierre Varney (Fantagraphics Books)
A sequel every bit as brutal and every bit as necessary as "It Was a War of the Trenches".

3) Todd the Ugliest Kid on Earth by Ken Kristensen and M.K. Perker (Image Comics)
Heinous and hilarious, satirical and snide, this twisted comic that didn't really hit its demented stride till it became an ongoing series.

2) Hawkeye by Matt Fraction, David Aja, Francesco Francavilla (Marvel Comics)
This is a superhero comic, one part of a massively successful big-budget franchise, done in a lo-fi indie style. It's a futzing great concept and it's executed perfectly, bro.

1) March by Congressman John Lewis, Andrew Aydin, and Nate Powell (Top Shelf Productions)
March threatened to be dry, history but instead it resurrects an era - the end of Jim Crow - in all its beauty and all its ugliness.

Honorable mentions
FF by Matt Fraction, Lee and Mike Allred  (Marvel Comics), Manhattan Projects by Jonathon Hickman (Image Comics), Daredevil* by Mark Waid and Javiar Rodriguez + Daredevil Dark Knights 1-3 (Marvel Comics), Sheltered by Johnnie Christmas and Ed Brisson (Image Comics), Velvet (Ed Brubaker and Steve Epting (Image Comics). Also thanks to Peanuts (Boom Studios) and Bongo Comics in general for always giving my kids something to read (even Sergio Aragones!)

* I'm not even into the 2013 part of the series yet but I now it stays good.






  1. I predominantly read webcomics; the last printed comic I bought was probably something by Jamie Smart. Anyway, last year Romantically Apocalyptic, Tower of God, Cucumber Quest, and The Breaker: New Waves were my favorites.

  2. haven't checked out any of the ones on this particular list but am definitely intrigued by the Brian Vaughn as well as Todd. last year i got really into Chew, Lil Depressed Boy and got a fantastic finale to Sweet Tooth.


  3. Love the Tardis picture at the end. What's the source?

  4. I must admit I never was a comic kid, there are a few I found though over the last decade or so I find amazing! Out of the batch in this second post the one that jumped out at me were "They Came From" reminds me of my favourite show "Sci-Fi Theatre" lots of Japanese monster flix but others too, my all time movies were the many great Hammer Studio films from the UK. Actually I'm sketching the outline to a graphic novel right now. So the art for is a pleasant rediscovery in my later years. Lil' Depressed Boy is one I got into a few years ago, due to the title & the blatant obvious similarities. Glad to see you still up and running Jeffen. Cheers from south of the border ��


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