Tuesday, January 9, 2018

Best comics of 2017

Best graphic novel

I felt that “The Customer is Always Wrong” was the strongest piece of work published in 2017 that I read all year. The memorable and well cartooned coming of age story remained fast paced throughout and brought the narrative Mimi Pond started in “Over easy” to a sombre yet very definite end.

Best webcomic

Until recently I was not aware of Derf hosting a new webcomic. Yet, after reading "Punk Rock & Trailer Parks" and finding it hilarious and page turning, the author's social media feed mentioned a website update. Thus, I was informed of the existence of "The Baron of Prospect avenue", a follow-up to Derf's earlier project. Sporting the same manic but kind-hearted protagonist, as of right now the webcomic's episodic structure manages to more than  make up for the lack the narrative cohesion of the original. 

Best manga

“My Lesbian Experience with Loneliness” was a suprise hit in many ways. The intimate story by a newcomer endeared many fans to her personal confession. Functioning almost like an illustrated essay, Kabi Nagata's story is both witty and heartfelt, making for a great read that exploits the mediums' potential to full extent.

Best mini-series

The long-awaited second volume of Mark Millar and Frank Quitely's "Jupiter’s Legacy" was expected to be the final word on the ambitious project started by a pair of the superhero industry's top talents. The long gap in the publishing lead to a pair of spin-off series and further delays which saw the final issue come more than 4 years since the project was first announced.

And while the story's compressed conclusion ultimately left some fans unfulfilled, with the promise of some kind of a third volume it may be that Millar and Quitely have yet to have a final word on their grand superhero epic.

Best ongoing series

With both Marvel and DC's output increasingly failing to capture the fan's interest, and Image seemingly unable to pick up on the promise of it's supersteady 2012 and 2013, it was hard for me to really declare any of their monthly comic efforts as a favorite.

Eventually I settled on "Kill or be killed", as the series' twists and turns genuinely feel well crafted and unpredictable. Another high quality Ed Brubaker and Sean Phillips collaboration, the ongoing seems poised not to outstay its welcome while maximizing the impact it makes along the way.

Best writer/artist

With "Who'll stop the Reign", the latest Shaolin Cowboy story, Geoff Darrow seems to have really come into his own as a creator. His exquisite highly detailed art has finally been matched with a story so satirical that it has forced out the writer in him to try and bring out the most of the over the top social commentary running through these four issues. While still sporting it's fair share of bizarrely mismatched fights, Shaolin Cowboy seems more biting and relevant then ever, and will hopefully continue to be so for a long time to come.

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