Awww, Charlie. He’s had a very bad night, stop bugging him, Nate, geeze.
Hey, have you noticed it’s 2013? I know, whaaat! Well, even though I’m a few weeks late, I wanted to write up some things I really enjoyed in 2012, because that’s what you do when it’s a new year. So here we go! Behind the cut, because it’s long!
Comics-wise, I’m sad to say 2012 didn’t live up to 2011, but that’s only because I read all of Fullmetal Alchemist in 2011, and nothing will ever top that manga. (For my incredibly long and rambling appreciation of Fullmetal Alchemist, read this blog post. You can also read my picks for other top 2011 comics here.) But 2012 was still full of wonderful stuff, and here’s what I enjoyed (all the titles link to info about the books, so you can purchase them!):
SAGA by Brian K Vaughn and Fiona Staples. Hey guys, did you know there was this new comic series called Saga out in 2012? I think you may have heard of it, maybe? It was written by this dude, Brian K Vaughn, who I think maybe wrote some comics before or maybe some TV shows or whatever and MOST IMPORTANTLY it was drawn by this Canadian lady, Fiona Staples who I think is maybe some kind of ART GODDESS WHO WE ALL MUST FALL ON THE GROUND BEFORE AND WEEP for unto us is given the most gorgeous looking comic ever to grace our empty lives. ;_; (PS. I am kind of selling her art short. Also she draws the hottest dudes omg The Will call meeeee.)
Seriously, I have one thing to say about this comic: I am buying it in floppy format because I cannot wait for the collected editions. ME. HATER OF FLOPPY COMICS. The last time I bought a floppy comic I was 15 years old and buying X-Men. Sob! Anyway, Saga is awesome, but you probably already know that. So happy there are great sci-fi comics for adults out there, y’all!
THE NAO OF BROWN by Glyn Dillon. So this comic is a bit of an oddity: I picked it up because I saw this page on a preview website, and not knowing a thing about it, and only knowing “hey, that art is pretty.” And it was kind of amazing. It’s by Glyn Dillon, a UK creator who I hadn’t heard of before, but wow, can the guy draw. The story’s sweet and sad and really sensitive, an unusual, beautiful book that really thrilled me. It’s not very often you see comics of this level of craft published in beautiful, affordable hardcover editions, and I felt very fortunate to have it in my hot little hands.
RASL by Jeff Smith. Again with the “comics that treat me like an adult reader” thing, but I really do appreciate it. RASL is … well, it’s hard to keep up with. It’s released in multiple formats (I buy it in the oversized black & white trade format because I like Jeff Smith’s art in black & white) and it always seems to sneak out when I’m not looking … volume 3 came out this year (I believe) and I didn’t notice until it showed up at my local library. And now volume 4 is somehow out already and I didn’t even know! Gotta pick that up ASAP. It’s fantastic comic, weirdly unappreciated, which I think it’s quite sad. It’s bizarre, twisty, noir science fiction, and I really, really like it. I feel like it’ll probably find a more responsive audience if it’s released in in a collected complete edition, so here’s hoping that happens in the future.
Other things I really enjoyed:
Glory by Ross Campbell and Joe Keatinge. Angry, violent anti-heroine comics drawn by one of the most unusual cartoonists in the comics industry. Fantastic stuff.
Cross Game by Mitsuru Adachi. Adachi’s stunning and sweet baseball saga comes to a conclusion. Jarringly out of place fanservice prevents this comic from becoming a perfect all-ages classic, but don’t let that prevent you from picking it up for teen+ readers. It’s amazing.
20th Century Boys: Naoki Urasawa’s insane masterwork is nearing its conclusion! Buy it before it goes out of print, hurry!
… I feel like there’s so much more I missed. It was a great year for comics! We truly live in a golden age of diversity of creative voices, but greedily, I hope for even better in the future.
What did you enjoy in 2012?