In the last few weeks I have read a large amount of great comics. Is this as good as comic books have ever been? It sure feels that way. Inspired by so much awesomeness I felt a mid year best of list was due.
I’m going to restrict myself to books that came out in 2012 and as always, I only read trades. There are some great books that started this year that haven’t dropped a trade yet.
KING CITY by Brandon Graham. Boom. The book that inspired me to start this blog but that I am still building up the courage to write about. Catmasters, puns, alien girls. Maps, games and connect the dots. Pure comics radness.
Flex Mentallo: Man of Muscle Mystery by Grant Morrison and Frank Quitely. A cult classic from the 90’s, featuring a hero inspired by the weightlifting ads in old comics and breathtaking artwork. Morrison going deep and Frank Quitely ruining you for other artists.
Parker: The Score. Darwyn Cooke adapting his third Richard Stark novel and soaring over the impossibly high bar he set with the previous volumes. Parker is the ultimate noir anti hero, he doesn’t say a word for the first twelve pages and with Cooke’s art he doesn’t need to. If you like comics or crime novels you must read these books.
Locke & Key: Keys to the Kingdom This book has stormed to the top of the ‘comics to force people to read pile.’ I’ve written about my love for the first volume, and it’s only getting better. Filled with a magnificent darkness yet balanced with humour and hope. Amazing.
Honourable mentions: Casanova Avaritia was excellent but the previous books need a re-read to get my head around the series. Scalped and the Sixth Gun continue to be favourites and the new Daredevil by Waid, Martin and Rivera was a reminder that superheroes can still be fun.
New discoveries: I have found several outstanding books this year, none of which were first published in 2012 but to me they feel as if they were. The excellent Finder by Carla Speed McNeil, Wasteland by Johnston & Mitten and Essex County by Jeff Lemire. All of them stunning and all of them black and white. Go comics.