It’s been a wild year, hasn’t it? Whether referring to the global community or personally its been interesting, to say the least. I’m here to talk about the good though because there is quite enough negative, toxic talk going on this past year and currently.
Yes, it’s another best of the year piece, this is as always my personal opinion feel free to disagree (respectfully) chances are I have forgotten things or just didn’t have a chance to read or watch!
Once again there was no shortage of excellent limited and ongoing comic series. This year I found myself reading a little more DC than Marvel which is a bit of a change for me. It’s rare I find both companies grabbing a significant amount of my attention at the same time which is fine with me.
What I have been reading more than the big 2 are Image and indie/self-published comics. Image gets stronger every year with some of the biggest names in comics putting out their best work to date as well as lesser know creators breaking into the scene.
Kickstarter has been massive in helping creators fund their comics and getting them to readers directly. It’s insane how many were launched this year, I got a lot of cold messages from creators and a lot of acquaintances and friends of mine. I don’t see this slowing down in 2018.
So in no particular order here are the comics/trade paperbacks I enjoyed in 2017.
Spencer & Locke (Action Lab)
Very rare does a synopsis ring 100% true to the story you actually read. Sure you usually see parts, elements or inspiration from this and that property mentioned in the pitch but not like “that’s it!”
All you need to know about this series is that is “What if Calvin and Hobbes lived in Frank Miller’s Sin City.” Trust me that’s all you need to know. Buy it. The second volume was announced recently, and the indie property was optioned earlier this year by Prime Universe Films
Wretches #2 (self-published)
While I enjoyed issue 1, I thought issue 2 was a big improvement. The writing, art, and colours were such a step up. Both issues have been funded by Kickstarter and are available digitally on comixology with physical copies available at James E. Roche ‘s website.
Batman Deluxe Edition Book 1 (DC)
Writer Tom King has had one of the best years a writer in any medium could have. This book is fantastic and written by a diehard comic book fan. If you missed the launch of Batman rebirth or just got behind somewhere along the way pick this up, it’s worth every penny.
Batman Elmer Fudd #1
This comic had no business being as good as it is. Probably my favorite single issue of the year and indeed the most pleasantly surprising issue. If you cant, find the issue (which odds are low you still can) it is now collected in a trade along with all the other DC/Loony Toon crossovers.
I was able to meet writer Tom King at fanexpo in Toronto this past summer he signed the comic and drew the face (pictured above)
Doomsday Clock #1 (DC)
This is by far the most controversial issue of 2017. Not for its content but the fact that it simply exists. A sequel to Alan Moore’s and Dave Gibbons Watchmen has been feared ever since DC announced the prequel Before Watchmen over a half-decade ago. Last year writer Geoff Johns teased a Dr. Manhanton comic, and shortly after 2017 started it was officially announced Johns would be joined by frequent collaborator Gary Frank for the “forbidden” sequel Watchmen: Doomsday Clock.
The first issue did not blow me away, but it didn’t have to. It was a decent start, and I was reminded by a friend the original watchmen took about 3 issues to really get going and interesting. The art is magnificent, and the 9-panel grid storytelling is back. It hit enough of the notes to keep me going. Doomsday Clock like the original will be 12 issues, so it has time to build and hook me and others.
It wasn’t horrible, and it could have been a disaster, although ive never read or heard of a Johns and Frank project being horrible. I get why people will or do hate it. I just admire that these two are attempting the impossible and it’s exciting to see how it will all play out.
Seven to Eternity Vol 2 (image)
I recommend all of Rick Remender’s work but especially his creator-owned properties. I have not yet read a bad Remender story. He is working with the best artists in the industry today such as Sean Murphy, Tony Moore, Wes Craig, Greg Tocchini, Matteo Scalera, and Seven to Eternity artist Jerome Opeña. Jerome continues to amaze me with his talent and having your colourists be Matt Hollingsworth really helps.
Morgans Organs #2 (self-published)
One of the best indie comics written this year. It’s witty, funny and entertaining. It was a pleasant surprise when I read issue 1 and issue 2 is just as good. Go support them here.
Batman: White Knight (DC)
Sean Gordon Murphy draws and writes this 8 issue series. He has outdone himself as an artist and has impressed me with his writing. The Joker becomes the new Harvey Dent essentially, losing the makeup and trademark suit and Batman becomes the villain of Gotham. It’s a fresh, smart take and I have enjoyed seeing more Murphy art.
Except for the X-men, I am not really a fan of team books. I do every now and then give them a chance depending on the creative team. When I found out Jim Zub was writing Thunderbolts, I added it to my pull list, and I was happy I did. The 12 issue series ended back in April and tied into the summer event Secret Empire. Jon Malin’s art is fantastic, and Jim’s writing is some of his best with the right balance of character progression, humor and tieing into 2 separate marvel events. Pick up the trade.
Dark Knights: Metal (DC)
The Dynamic duo has returned. After a brief 6 month, separation superstar writer Scott Snyder and superstar artist Greg Capullo have returned to a character that they spent 5 years adding to his mythos. Batman is just not Batman without Snyder and Capullo at the helm. The team reunited for a story that had been in development since the beginning of there New 52 run. Batman discovers a dark multiverse and the dark version of himself who is trying to invade earth. The first few issues have been great particularly issue 2 If you have been keeping up with the main Batman title.
Reborn Vol 1(Image)
My dream collaboration came true. Mark Millar and Greg Capullo finally did a comic together, and it was pretty much what I wanted from two of my favorite creators. I don’t need to share more than that right? If a Mark Millar and Greg Capullo project doesn’t at least make you go “you know I’ll give it a try”… I respect your personal tastes but encourage you to take a chance!
I will be even briefer with the films. John Wick 2, Logan, Guardians of the Galaxy vol. 2 Lego Batman, Wonder Woman and Star Wars: The Last Jedi. Yes, I really enjoyed The Last Jedi with its faults and all.
2017 was an odd year for me not horrible but not great. Lots of plans for 2018, writing being on the top of the list. I hope to have some projects finalized and greenlit and published in 2018. It’s going to be another interesting year lets all make the best of it!
Oh here is an awesome sketch cover I got done this summer by Ty Tempelton when he was doing an appearance at my local comic shop Dr.Comics