Bad sportsmanship?
Why not!
Nothing can
possibly go wrong.

Comic Now
In Print!

First Second
Prudence Shen
Faith Erin Hicks

Prudence Shen & Faith Erin Hicks

Page 167

Posted by Prudence Shen & Faith Erin Hicks | January 16, 2013

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?


Echoing your deep love for SAGA. I picked it up because I’d heard of this writer you speak of, who’s got a great career ahead, but was and always remain totally blown away by the art. And if you’re picking up the floppies, CAN YOU BELIEVE THE ENDING OF THAT LAST ISSUE?! I let out an inelegant squee in my living room that was the butt of jokes for a week. I worship at that art altar every month. Sacrificing tears.

Anyway I haven’t read any other titles, I’m just now branching out of the “big two” and their offerings. But I am looking forward to finding new stuff in the new year! And of course picking up this lovely gem :)

You mean other than Friends with Boys? ;)

Saga is great. I also read through and enjoyed the webcomic Digger. I feel like people don’t give enough credit to Sweet Tooth, which I think is awesome. I liked Sailor Twain’s different art style.

Managed to read the Saga TPB over the break and ohmygosh, it’s quite lovely! Fiona does amazing expressions.

Other books I picked up last year but have been out for some time, Castle Waiting by Linda Medley w/c blew me away for having such adorable characters. Ooku by Fumi Yoshinaga continues to make my jaw drop every volume. Just finished Vol. 2 and it’s so good. I’m also catching up to the Avatar: TLA graphic novels and can’t wait to see where on earth Azula and Zuko end up finding their mom. XD

Thanks for the recommendations. Will be looking out for these at my library!

Also: Mangaman and Gone to Amerikay, art by Colleen Doran (Barry Lyga and Derek McCulloch writers). Hard to believe same artist drew both, they’re so totally different yet so perfectly executed for each book.

Saga kinda caught me off guard. It’s very different from regular comics. It’s almost as if there’s a new comic genre that’s starting to become more defined. Like how adventure games are coming back and more comics these days feature less about superheros and more about regular people. I really haven’t been reading very many recent American comics either. Only older comics or japanese manga I’m current with (onepiece). I’ve only just started now to try and read more current comics. I remember reading bone in disney adventures as a kid.

Echoing the SAGA love – and if you haven’t seen it in electronic format, it’s a revelation. It uses pans, zooms, and other reveals to excellent effect – quite outstanding.

Also loving your stuff – I adored Friends with Boys and lent it to a dear friend who is much more savvy about good comics art than I am just KNOWING he would love it (he did. So did his wife).