12.28.2009

My 13 Favorite Things of 2009: Honorable Mentions (Part 14 of 17)

Driven by Lemons (AdHouse Books): If only it were a bit more accessible, like its great forerunner Skyscrapers of the Midwest.

3 Story: The Secret History of the Giant Man (Dark Horse): Recently selected as a Graphic Novel of the Month, this continues the sweep of Matt Kindt’s outstanding body of work. Bottom line, pretty frickin’ good, but not quite the intricate achievements that I felt 2 Sisters or especially the superb Super Spy were.

I Am Legion (DDP/Humanoids): After an abortive attempt by DC/Humanoids, DDP/Humanoids cranks out the full story of Nazi Germany’s fetish fascination with the occult, specifically concerning the Romanian “Strigoi,” or vampire. The narrative itself was a bit of a slow burner that required concentration to digest and was heavy on the talky bits. It bounced around to different characters, sets, and genre influences, but John Cassaday’s art was strong enough to pull the audience through to the bouts of action and intrigue, focusing in on the overarching investigation and conspiracy. It won’t be remembered as one of Cassaday’s most popular books, but it is certainly one of his best.

The Lone Ranger (Dynamite Entertainment): From day one, The Lone Ranger has quietly and confidently told its story of the reimaging of the man who loses it all and his subsequent quest for justice. It reads so fast and so light, that it’s lost some buzz, you can easily gloss over it. It requires re-reading, in collected fashion, to truly appreciate how well it’s executed. It’s one of the best examples of a book whose narrative momentum and ultimate greatness is hampered by the floppy serialized format and would function better as a series of OGN’s.

Luna Park (DC/Vertigo): Kevin Baker’s debut work in the comic book industry remains a flawed, but deeply engaging read. It was one weird plot choice away from making it into the upper echelon, but is still recommended, particularly for fans of Danijel Zezelj and his unique style.

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