12.21.2005

Top 10 of 2005 - Part 3

The "Leftovers"

Books I wanted to comment on, but ran out of time or material to make Top 10 lists with!

Top Book I Wish Would Be Collected Before I Die

Automatic Kafka (DC/Wildstorm): Joe Casey’s most biting commentary on the industry with a hyper-stylized art bender courtesy of Ashley Wood. Deserves a cult following like Grant Morrison and Frank Quitely’s Flex Mentallo.

Top 4 Titles That I’m Not Reading Consistently And Wish I Was

Fables (DC/Vertigo): Enjoyed it early on, stopped reading, was checking in periodically, then the current Arabian Nights story arc grabbed my attention again. Maybe a New Year’s resolution(?) to start supporting this wonderful Bill Willingham helmed title with some of the best cover art in the biz.

The Walking Dead (Image): Read and enjoyed the first 2 trades, then just never got around to picking up more trades or the single issues. I don’t want to like it because I think the zombie thing is so passé, but this is written superbly and very realistic. Shame on me!

Lucifer (DC/Vertigo): Mike Carey announced a while back that this series would be winding down to #75 a la Sandman. Very curious to see how this plays out and what impact it will have on Sandman/Vertigo continuity as a whole.

Y: The Last Man (DC/Vertigo): Ditto my comments on The Walking Dead. Got the trades, generally liked ‘em, stopped reading it regularly.

Top 5 Impressive Debuts That I Hope Continue Strongly

Local (Oni Press): Impressive debut. Brian Wood’s scripting finally starting to grow on me. Loved Ryan Kelly’s art, which struck me as a delicious hybrid of Paul Pope and Farel Darlymple. More please.

All-Star Superman (DC): Let me preface by saying that I hate Superman. He bores me to tears. But Morrison and Quitely crafted up a unique, experimental take that I can get behind. Deliberately minimized origin story in just 1 page, 4 panels, and 8 words? Keep tinkering, Grant.

Nothing Better (Dementian Comics): The first two ishes of Tyler Page’s follow up to Stylish Vittles looks really good. A couple college roommates who are totally different, but each girl makes an effort to connect.

The Looking Glass Wars: Hatter M (IDW): I love the notion of someone taking a relatively innocuous classic such as Alice In Wonderland and putting a dark, troubling spin on it. First ish’s opening sequences were a bit unclear in terms of storytelling, but nonetheless a killer core premise. Looking forward to more.

X-Factor #1 (Marvel): PAD-helmed return of the mutant melodrama! Ryan Sook art! Yes!!!

Top 2 Books I Used To Like But Surprisingly Started To Bore Me So I Stopped Reading

100 Bullets (DC/Vertigo): Beautiful art from Azzarello. Cool premise. I hooked lots of friends on this title. But I don’t know, I just tuned out. Stopped feeling engaged around issue 40. Starting feeling all X-Files’d out with more plot threads and double crossing allegiances than I cared to sort out. I can’t even muster up the energy to buy a trade for a long plane flight from Diego to RTP.

Jack Staff (Image): I own the Everything Used To Be Black & White trade and totally dig that. But something happened when it switched to color with Image. It just doesn’t feel as weighty or important as it used to. I found myself buying it and wondering, why am I buying this?

Top Project I Wanted To Like But Never Did

Seven Soldiers Of Victory (DC): I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. Grant Morrison is hit and miss for me. Aztek, Flex Mentallo, All Star Superman? Yup, Yup, Yup! Seaguy, WE3, and Seven Soldiers? No, No, No! Aside from some mild high points like my fondness for all things Mister Miracle and personally knowing fantastic Zatanna artist Ryan Sook, this was kinda’ all gibberish. Not marketed very well. Not terribly intuitive… 7 mini-series that are 4 issues each with 2 bookend issues starting with #0 and ending with #1 which will total 30 issues, ship late, and be collected in no discernable or logical order… Huh? Why? And just how many artists have been on Mister Miracle? Really, it’s not a contest, more is not better. Unless the final issue has some hyper-explanatory, expository dialogue from hell to wrap it all together in a nice little package… whatever, dude.

Tops On My “To Buy” List

Lost Girls (Top Shelf): Anxiously awaiting Moore and Gebbe’s erotic analysis of 3 wayward literary heroines. Can porn be literature? Can literature be sexy? All 240 pages collected and due out next summer!

Birth Of A Nation (Crown Publishing): Haven’t paid a whole lot of attention to Kyle Baker’s more recent offerings, but this title’s inclusion in Graphic Novels: Stories To Change Your Life made me reconsider.

Hawaiian Dick (Image): Ever since I fell in love with Battle Hymn, I’m on a B. Clay Moore high and seeking out all his works. I tried a random issue of the first mini and it didn’t connect, but I’m committed to giving the trades a second chance.

Hardcover Editions of Joe Sacco’s Safe Area Gorazde, Palestine, and Notes From A Defeatist by Drawn & Quarterly: Please, please, please! Can this project happen? They would go oh-so-nicely on my shelf with the War’s End and The Fixer hardcovers.

Top 2 Worst Reviews I Gave All Year

Negative Burn Anthology (Desperado Publishing): I believe I wrote about a “plethora of mediocrity” with horribly inconsistent pieces punctuated only by Editor Joe Pruett’s egregious typos in the introduction page. Ugh. Way to break the negative comic book stereotypes, Joe.

Sea of Red #1 (Image): Incomprehensible script and art. So… tired… of pirates…

Top Piece I Wish There Was An Entire Series Or GN Based On

Afrodisiac (Jim Rugg & Brian Maruca): This masterpiece of art and wit has appeared so far in the 2005 SPX Anthology as well as Project: Superior and is a parody of 70’s style blaxploitation while also offering up some hilarious industry commentary. Laugh out loud funny!Amazingly well done!

Top Book I Was Proud Of For How It Handled Gay Superheroes And Challenged Conventional Stereotypes

Young Avengers (Marvel): Perfectly managed.

Top Book I Was Disturbed By For How It Portrayed The Only Black Character As A Junkie And Maintained Conventional Stereotypes

Young Avengers (Marvel): Seriously, this is a minor gripe regarding a great book from OC scribe Allan Heinberg. He’s already writing himself out of this one admirably and I’m curious to see this book play out.

Top Book I Didn’t Want To Like But Really Enjoyed The Second Arc Anyway

New Avengers (Marvel): Damn you Bendis and damn your cool damn Spider-Woman. One more damn book to buy…

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