12.19.2005

Top 10 of 2005 - Part 1

Disclaimer: These lists are not ranked in order. These lists are not scientific. They never are. The criteria are not defined, so don’t ask. It’s just my favorites, but there are some loose guidelines. Like some semblance of a regular publishing schedule for the ongoing titles. Or that I have to have liked the GN enough to own it. Or that I have to have read a significant portion of the canon of an ongoing to recommend it. The Graphic Novel section can include mini-series, TPBs, anthologies, or any other formats not otherwise a single serialized issue. But don’t get hung up on methodology. Just enjoy yet another “Top 10” list that is so fashionable this time of year and go check out some cool comics that you may have inadvertently missed along the way.

Top 10 Ongoing Series

Shaolin Cowboy (Burlyman Entertainment): Pure fun. Brilliant pencils from Geoff Darrow and a real study in craftsmanship. If you like comics at all, you should be buying this.

Ex Machina (DC/Wildstorm): Brian K. Vaughan’s most engaging, soulful creation amid a library of top shelf ideas. Pair that with Tony Harris pencils (of Starman fame) and you’re good to go.

Solo (DC): The best idea DC has had in a long while that’s been masterfully executed. Create a space to highlight modern masters of the craft and let them do whatever the hell they want for a single issue.

Godland (Image): Deliciously mischievous and thoroughly entertaining. If this one gets cancelled (Wildcats 3.0, Automatic Kafka, The Intimates, etc.), I’ll buy Joe Casey a beer. Am I the only one buying and loving his work?

Iron Man (Marvel): A rich industrialist in a big robot suit. Whodathunk it would be the most realistic superhero comic around? Haven’t given up on Ellis and Granov finishing this story. Yet. Not the paragon of punctuality, but certainly worth the wait.

BPRD (Dark Horse): All of the Hellboy and Bureau for Paranormal Research & Defense arcs this year were fabulous. Enough minis offered that I put it in the ongoing category. Plenty in the pocket and plenty on the horizon. An impressive library of stories all with a wild, inventive ride.

Supreme Power (Marvel/MAX): Intelligent analysis of the superhero paradigm in modern society coupled with phenomenal emotionally charged art. ‘Nuff said.

Conan (Dark Horse): You would have thought by now, I’d be all burnt out on “guys with swords” books and movies in my pop culture diet, but this always continues to surprise me just when I think it’s settling into status quo. Cary Nord’s art and guest artists like Greg Ruth and Michael Wm. Kaluta are a treat.

Ultimate Fantastic Four (Marvel): I believe strongly in UFF as the prototype for a successful modern comic.

Queen & Country (Oni Press): Ok, so on this one the rankings do mean something. I put this low on the list to denote how close it came to being an honorable mention for a ridiculous publishing schedule with no information provided to the fans. Seriously, what is the problem? How about the Oni Press editorial staff stop writing reviews of The Smiths and start publishing some shit. I fear I’ll never see another issue of this amazing book…

Honorable Mention

Planetary (DC/Wildstorm): Hey Warren! Hey Jon! I love what you guys have created with Planetary, this is a very special project you put out into the medium, but seriously… finish the fucking book already. 23 issues in almost 6 years? You’re killing me.

Kabuki (Marvel/Icon): Love David Mack’s work, but didn’t make the cut due to a lackluster publishing schedule.

The Keep (IDW): Finally what IDW needs! A writer with more talent than the flashy artist! Do your thang, F. Paul Wilson! Strong debut, but needs a longer track record to make it into the Top 10. We’ll keep our eye on you for next year!

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