Wow, I read a ton of amazing comics this year. These twelve books stand out the most in my memory. I have written about some but not yet all of them. They were all great in different ways and are all very worth reading. The list isn’t ranked and some of the material is reprinted from earlier than 2012, but I bought and read them all this year, and hey, it’s my list.
King City Reading this book inspired me to start writing about comics. There is such joy and just a straight up love for comics in Brandon Graham’s work, I think he is essential reading. And then dude went and did Prophet.
Scalped One of my favourite ongoing comics dropped its final volume and joined the likes of Preacher and DMZ as the great completed Vertigo runs on my shelves. Damn, this was a hell of an end to a long running series. Jason Aaron and R. M. Guera didn’t pull any punches.
Fear Agent The year finished with this blockbuster of a tome, a total door stopper that contains a whole heap of pulpy, sci-fi action. In a perfect world Rick Remender would be writing Fear Agent stories for Tony Moore and Jerome Opeña forever.
Secret Avengers: Run the Mission, Don’t get Seen, Save the World. As one of his last acts as a comic writer (at least for the moment) Warren Ellis goes out on top with these smart, fun super-spy heroics and the best artists in the game deliver the goods to match.
Locke & Key Joe Hill and Gabriel Rodriguez are coming to the end of this masterpiece and I am stuck chewing my nails waiting for the trades to come out. My words can’t do the series justice, it is a thing of dark beauty.
Heart Damn this one nearly slipped through, it hasn’t received anywhere near enough credit. I love MMA and so does Blair Butler, this is the book that explains what we love about it to a world that often cannot see past the violence to the strength, skill, discipline and beauty within.
Tales of Sand This whimsical beauty of a book was recommended by my local comic shop as something my girlfriend might like. She did, so did I, and All Star Comics Melbourne prove yet again why they the best comics retailers in town. Based on an unfilmed Jim Henson & Jim Ruhl screenplay this is a twisting, lyrical fever dream of a book. Ramon K Perez adapted it and if there is any justice his magnificent art will shoot him into superstardom next year.
Fatale The long running collaboration between Brubaker and Phillips produced another classic crime comic, this time with a dark sultry twist. If the tentacle headed chap with a Tommy gun below interests you then you best be reading this.
Elephantmen The last trade of this to come out was Volume 00, collecting the mini series set before the main tale, a one-off Yvette story and you regular dose of giant animals wielding massive weapons. I love it.
The Underwater Welder An understated tale of life, despair, hope and fatherhood. A book to be savoured on a quiet afternoon when you have the time to digest it all and appreciate its quiet majesty. If Jeff Lemire can balance work like this with writing Animal Man and others for DC, he will just about have the perfect career in comics.
And that’s it, one massive year for great comics. I look forward to writing about many more in 2013. Many thanks for reading.