Sunday, December 20, 2009

You've Been Warned Vol II Issue XXXXV: The Best Comics of 2009

Comic reviews by a fan, for the fans!

THE BEST IN COMICS 2009
as dictated by your humble reviewer

BEST WRITER - GEOFF JOHNS
Blackest Night, Flash: Reborn
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In one year this writer legitimately resuscitated a long dead hero, and helmed one of the most creative and engrossing events in comic book history, Blackest Night, which is a gold mine for both his readers and his publisher. If that don't warrant a best writer nod, fuck if I know what does.

BEST ARTIST - DAVID SMALL
STITCHES
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David Small's memoir of his traumatic childhood wouldn't have been half as potent without his haunting, delicate depictions. Reminiscent of greats such as Will Eisner, but with a fluid tenderness all his own, this artist's work this year was unforgettable.

BEST PUBLISHER - VERTIGO COMICS (via DC)
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Pound for pound, no other imprint can hold a candle to the level of quality this publisher delivers every single month. As always, Vertigo redefined the cutting edge in what can only be construed as an unending attempt to outdo itself. Without its constant journeying to raise the bar, I can't imagine where our beloved industry would be.

BEST GRAPHIC NOVEL - KASPAR
by Diane Obomsawin
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This book was released in January 2009, and stuck with me for the entire year. It might not be much to look at, but the meticulous retelling of one of history's greatest mysteries drags the reader in and doesn't let go. Like the struggle of the story's protagonist, this truly is a timeless piece.

BEST ONGOING SERIES - BATMAN AND ROBIN
by Grant Morrison & Frank Quitely
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Revamping a character has never gone so smoothly. Grant Morrison and Frank Quietly injected much needed new life into one of DC's flagship characters here, delivering familiar old patterns with exciting new twists. These artists staked their claims as pioneers in one of comic’s oldest and most prestigious cornerstones without breaking a sweat. Dare I say I'll be sad to see Bruce Wayne return?

BEST MINI-SERIES - BEASTS OF BURDEN
by Evan Dorkin & Jill Thompson
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This title is an IED of depression. I can't recall any other book that's been distressing enough to cause me to hesitate reading it. No comic comes close to the emotional potency this comic contains. Beautiful in both story and art, the lack of recognition this title's received is astounding.

BEST NEW SERIES - CHEW
by John Layman & Rob Guillory
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A title that makes reading comics fun again. Loveable characters, brilliantly unique concepts, and vibrant visuals make for a read that's destined for greatness.

BEST SINGLE ISSUE - NORTHLANDERS #17
by Brian Wood & Vasilis Lolos
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On a lonely beach two champions fight to the death for the honor of their masters. What takes place in between this brief, violent encounter is an epic clash of cultures. No other comic left me with a such a burning sense of wonder and humility like this one.

MOMENT OF THE YEAR - DAREDEVIL TAKES CONTROL OF THE HAND
Daredevil #500
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The world's most dysfunctional hero assumes control of one of his most bitter rivals. The events that transpired here will take one of Marvel's most consistently enjoyable heroes down into dark crevices we can barely imagine. I was shocked as all fuck. How the hell weren't you?

SUPER-HERO OF THE YEAR - BARACK OBAMA
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Love him or hate him, the first Black president of the USA transcended not only the publishers, but the medium in general, to the point of overexposure. The man was all over the place sequentially, from non-fiction to guest appearances to satirical baboonery. As much as I hate to do it, gotta give credit where it's due.

SUPER-VILLAIN OF THE YEAR - PYG
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That's some fucked up shit right there. 'Nuff said.

BREAKTHROUGH OF THE YEAR - JONATHAN HICKMAN
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From respected but relatively unknown to herald of a major publisher's flagship title in nearly the blink of the eye, and he didn't skip a beat. This was the year Jonathan Hickman made it big. Here's to hoping next year's even bigger.

HONORABLE MENTION - CAT ASSHOLE
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First and only anus I've been able to find in an all ages book. Way to go, Amanda Conner!

Tune in next week when Mister V trashes ... THE WORST COMICS OF 2009.

You've been warned.


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