The Combined Best Comics & Graphic Novels of 2019!

Over the last few months there have been many, many websites with “Best of 2019” lists concerning comic books, manga and graphic novels. If you’ve looked at a few, you may have noticed some of the same books on different lists and seen some unique to only that list.

I went through over 208 different URLs with “Best Of” Lists regarding comics and combined them into a spreadsheet. There are almost 3,200 different listings of books from these websites. I should note that I’ve included books that were given honorable mentions. In short, if somebody thought it was a good book that you should check out, it’s on here. Pivot tables have been created to show which books appeared on the number of lists. Here are the books with 5 mentions or more:

Book Title Count Writer Artist Publisher
House of X/Powers of X 61 Jonathan Hickman Pepe Larraz, R.B. Silva, Marte Gracia Marvel Comics
Laura Dean Keeps Breaking Up With Me 55 Mariko Tamaki Rosemary Valero-O’Connell First Second
The Immortal Hulk 42 Al Ewing Joe Bennet Marvel Comics
The Hard Tomorrow 34 Eleanor Davis Eleanor Davis Drawn & Quarterly
They Called Us Enemy 31 George Takei, Justin Eisinger and Steven Scott Harmony Becker Top Shelf Productions
Die 31 Kieron Gillen Stephanie Hans Image Comics
Rusty Brown 28 Chris Ware Chris Ware Pantheon
Guts 28 Raina Telgemeier Raina Telgemeier Graphix
These Savage Shores 26 Ram V Sumit Kumar Vault Comics
Little Bird 25 Darcy Van Poelgeest Ian Bertram Image Comics
New Kid 24 Jerry Craft Jerry Craft Quill Tree Books
DCeased 24 Tom Taylor Trevor Hairsine, Neil Edwards DC Comics
Are You Listening? 23 Tillie Walden Tillie Walden First Second
When I Arrived At The Castle 22 Emily Carroll Emily Carroll Koyama Press
The River at Night 22 Kevin Huizenga Kevin Huizenga Drawn & Quarterly
Once & Future 21 Kieron Gillen Dan Mora, Tamra Bonvillain BOOM! Studios
Superman’s Pal Jimmy Olsen 20 Matt Fraction Steve Lieber DC Comics
Clyde Fans 20 Seth Seth Drawn & Quarterly
Spider-Man: Life Story 19 Chip Zdarsky Mark Bagley Marvel Comics
Daredevil 19 Chip Zdarsky Marco Checchetto, Lalit Kumar Sharma, & Jorge Fornes Marvel Comics
Criminal 19 Ed Brubaker Sean Phillips Image Comics
Stargazing 19 Jen Wang Jen Wang First Second
Green Lantern 18 Grant Morrison Liam Sharp DC Comics
Hot Comb 18 Ebony Flowers Ebony Flowers Drawn & Quarterly
Bloom 18 Kevin Panetta Savanna Ganucheau First Second
Is This How You See Me? 17 Jaime Hernandez Jaime Hernandez Fantagraphics
Gender Queer 17 Maia Kobabe Maia Kobabe Lion Forge
BTTM FDRS 17 Ezra Claytan Daniels Ben Passmore Fantagraphics
Silver Surfer: Black 16 Donny Cates Tradd Moore & Dave Stewart Marvel Comics
Middlewest 16 Skottie Young Jorge Corona Image Comics
Gideon Falls 16 Jeff Lemire Andrea Sorrentino Image Comics
Kid Gloves 16 Lucy Knisley Lucy Knisley Fantagraphics
This Was Our Pact 16 Ryan Andrews Ryan Andrews First Second
Good Talk: A Memoir in Conversations 15 Mira Jacob Mira Jacob One World
Harley Quinn: Breaking Glass 15 Mariko Tamaki Steve Pugh DC Comics
Naomi 14 Brian Michael Bendis, David F. Walker Jamal Campbell DC Comics
Pumpkinheads 14 Rainbow Rowell Faith Erin Hicks First Second
Queen of the Sea 14 Dylan Meconis Dylan Meconis Walker Books
Bitter Root 14 David F. Walker, Chuck Brown Sanford Greene Image Comics
Crowded 14 Christopher Sebela Ro Stein, Ted Brandt Image Comics
Mister Miracle 13 Tom King Mitch Gerads DC Comics
Making Comics 12 Lynda Barry Lynda Barry Drawn & Quarterly
Batman: Last Knight On Earth 12 Scott Snyder Greg Capullo DC Comics
The Wicked + The Divine 12 Kieron Gillen Jamie Mckelvie, Matt Wilson Image Comics
Invisible Kingdom 11 G. Willow Wilson Christian Ward, Christian Ward Dark Horse Comics
Pittsburgh 11 Frank Santoro Frank Santoro New York Review Books
Paper Girls 11 Brian K. Vaughan Cliff Chiang, Matthew Wilson Image Comics
Best Friends 11 Shannon Hale LeUyen Pham First Second
Witch Hat Atelier 11 Kamome Shirahama Kamome Shirahama Kodansha Comics
Giant Days 11 John Allison Max Sarin BOOM! Studios
Friendly Neighborhood Spider-Man 10 Tom Taylor Juan Cabal Marvel Comics
Lois Lane 10 Greg Rucka Mike Perkin DC Comics
Something Is Killing the Children 10 James Tynion IV Werther Dell’edera, Miquel Muerto BOOM! Studios
Assassin Nation 10 Kyle Starks Erica Henderson Image Comics
Superman Smashes The Klan 10 Gene Luen Yang Gurihiru DC Comics
Murder Falcon 10 Daniel Warren Johnson Daniel Warren Johnson Image Comics
X-Men 9 Jonathan Hickman Leinil Francis Yu Marvel Comics
Batman: Curse of the White Knight 9 Sean Murphy Sean Murphy DC Comics
Second Coming 9 Mark Russell Cayetano Valenzuela, Richard Pace Ahoy Comics
This Woman’s Work 9 Julie Delporte Julie Delporte Drawn & Quarterly
White Bird 9 R.J. Palacio R.J. Palacio Knopf Books for Young Readers
Peter Cannon: Thunderbolt 9 Kieron Gillen Caspar Wijngaard Dynamite
Our Dreams at Dusk: Shimanami Tasogare 9 Yuhki Kamatani Yuhki Kamatani Seven Seas Entertainment
Blackbird 9 Sam Humphries Jen Bartel Image Comics
The Plot 9 Tim Daniel, Michael Moreci Joshua Hixson Vault Comics
The White Trees 9 Chip Zdarsky Kris Anka Image Comics
Kiss Number 8 9 Colleen AF Venable Ellen T. Crenshaw First Second
Doomsday Clock 9 Geoff Johns Gary Frank, Brad Anderson DC Comics
I Was Their American Dream 9 Malaka Gharib Malaka Gharib Clarkson Potter
Coda 9 Simon Spurrier Matias Bergara BOOM! Studios
Nancy: A Comic Collection 8 Olivia James Olivia James Andrews McMeel Publishing
Absolute Carnage 8 Donny Cates Ryan Stegman Marvel Comics
Mooncakes 8 Suzanne Walker Wendy Xu Oni Press
Clue: Candlestick 8 Dash Shaw Dash Shaw IDW Publishing
Leaving Richard’s Valley 8 Michael DeForge Michael DeForge Drawn & Quarterly
Captain Marvel 8 Kelly Thompson Lee Garbett, Carmen Carnero, James Stokoe, Annapaola Martello Marvel Comics
Ascender 8 Jeff Lemire Dustin Nguyen Image Comics
Ice Cream Man 8 W. Maxwell Prince Martin Morazzo Image Comics
Batman 8 Tom King Various DC Comics
Blank Canvas: My So-Called Artist’s Journey 8 Akiko Higashimura Akiko Higashimura Seven Seas Entertainment
Cats Of The Louvre 8 Taiyo Matsumoto Taiyo Matsumoto VIZ Media
The Okay Witch 8 Emma Steinkellner Emma Steinkellner Aladdin Books
Grass 8 Keum Suk Gendry-Kim Keum Suk Gendry-Kim Drawn & Quarterly
Bad Gateway 8 Simon Hanselmann Simon Hanselmann Fantagraphics
Buffy the Vampire Slayer 7 Jordie Bellaire Dan Mora, Raul Angulo BOOM! Studios
Harleen 7 Stjepan Sejic Stjepan Sejic DC Comics
Marauders 7 Gerry Duggan Matteo Lolli Marvel Comics
Road of Bones 7 Rich Douek Alex Cormack IDW Publishing
Sentient 7 Jeff Lemire Gabriel Walta TKO Studios
Frogcatchers 7 Jeff Lemire Jeff Lemire Gallery 13
Runaways 7 Rainbow Rowell Various Marvel Comics
Conan the Barbarian 7 Jason Aaron Mahmud Asrar, Gerrardo Zaffino and Garry Brown Marvel Comics
A Fire Story 7 Brian Fies Brian Fies Harry N. Abrams
The Handmaid’s Tale 7 Margaret Atwood Renée Nault Nan A. Talese
Dial H for Hero 7 Sam Humphries Arist Devn, Joe Quinones DC Comics
Sobek 7 James Stokoe James Stokoe Shortbox
Venom 7 Donny Cates Ryan Stegman, Mark Bagley, Iban Coello Marvel Comics
Justice League 7 Scott Snyder, James Tynion IV Jorge Jimenez, Francis Manapul DC Comics
In Waves 7 A.J. Dungo A.J. Dungo Nobrow
Waves 7 Ingrid Chabbert Carole Maurel Archaia
Komi Can’t Communicate 6 Tomohito Oda Tomohito Oda VIZ Media
Ironheart 6 Eve Ewing Lucian Vecchio Marvel Comics
The Batman Who Laughs 6 Scott Snyder Jock, David Baron DC Comics
Money Shot 6 Tim Seeley, Sarah Beattie Rebekah Isaacs Vault Comics
King Thor 6 Jason Aaron Esad Ribić, Ive Svorcina Marvel Comics
Snow, Glass, Apples 6 Neil Gaiman Colleen Doran Dark Horse Comics
Sabrina the Teenage Witch 6 Kelly Thompson Veronica Fish Archie Comics
Cannabis: The Illegalization of Weed in America 6 Box Brown Box Brown First Second
Bradley of Him 6 Connor Willumsen Connor Willumsen Koyama Press
The War of the Realms 6 Jason Aaron Russell Dauterman Marvel Comics
Meg, Jo, Beth, and Amy: A Graphic Novel 6 Rey Terciero Bre Indigo Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
Fearscape 6 Ryan O’Sullivan Andrea Mutti Vault Comics
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 6 Kevin Eastman, Bobby Curnow, Tom Waltz Various IDW Publishing
East of West 6 Jonathan Hickman Nick Dragotta Image Comics
Thor 6 Jason Aaron Mike del Mundo Marvel Comics
The Walking Dead 6 Robert Kirkman Charlie Adlard, Cliff Rathburn Image Comics
Off Season 6 James Sturm James Sturm Drawn & Quarterly
Copra 6 Michel Fiffe Michel Fiffe Image Comics
Sara 6 Garth Ennis Steve Epting, Elizabeth Breitweiser TKO Studios
The Drifting Classroom HC 5 Kazuo Umezz Kazuo Umezz VIZ Media
Outer Darkness 5 John Layman Afu Chan Image Comics
Angel 5 Bryan Edward Hill Gleb Melnikov, Gabriel Cassata BOOM! Studios
Internet Crusader 5 George Wylesol George Wylesol Avery Hill Publishing
X-Force 5 Benjamin Percy Joshua Cassara Marvel Comics
Far Sector 5 N.K. Jemisin Jamal Campbell DC Comics
Commute: An Illustrated Memoir of Female Shame 5 Erin Williams Erin Williams Harry N. Abrams
For Real 5 James Romberger James Romberger Uncivilized Books
Bezimena 5 Nina Bunjevac Nina Bunjevac Fantagraphics
How I Tried To Be A Good Person 5 Ulli Lust Ulli Lust Fantagraphics
Batman/Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles III: Crisis in a Half Shell #6 5 James Tynion IV Freddie E. Williams I, Jeremy Colwell, Kevin Eastman IDW Publishing
Meet the Skrulls 5 Robbie Thompson Marcos Martin Marvel Comics
Kramer’s Ergot #10 5 Various Various Fantagraphics
Faithless 5 Brian Azzarello Maria Llovet BOOM! Studios
Bury the Lede 5 Gaby Dunn Claire Roe BOOM! Studios
Excellence 5 Brandon Thomas Khary Randolph, Emilio Lopez Image Comics
Drawing Power: Women’s Stories of Sexual Violence, Harassment, and Survival 5 Various Various Harry N. Abrams
The Unstoppable Wasp 5 Jeremy Whitley Gurihiru Marvel Comics
Cannonball 5 Kelsey Wroten Kelsey Wroten Uncivilized Books
Usagi Yojimbo 5 Stan Sakai Stan Sakai IDW Publishing
The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen Vol 4: The Tempest 5 Alan Moore Kevin O’Neill Top Shelf Productions
Amazing Spider-Man 5 Nick Spencer, Clay Chapman, Zeb Wells, Keaton Patti Various Marvel Comics
Reincarnation Stories 5 Kim Deitch Kim Deitch Fantagraphics
Penny Nichols 5 M.K. Reed, Greg Means Matt Wiegle Top Shelf Productions
Grip 5 Lale Westvind Lale Westvind Perfectly Acceptable Press
Wasted Space 5 Michael Moreci Hayden Sherman Vault Comics
I Know What I Am: The Life and Times of Artemisia Gentileschi 5 Gina Siciliano Gina Siciliano Fantagraphics
American Carnage 5 Bryan Hill Leandro Fernandez DC Comics
Beastars 5 Paru Itagaki Paru Itagaki VIZ Media
Alienation 5 Inés Estrada Inés Estrada Fantagraphics
Swimming In Darkness 5 Lucas Harari Lucas Harari Arsenal Pulp Press
Monstress 5 Marjorie Liu Sana Takeda Image Comics
Operatic 5 Kyo Maclear Byron Eggenschwiler Groundwood Books
Skip 5 Molly Mendoza Molly Mendoza Nobrow
Creation 5 Sylvia Nickerson Sylvia Nickerson Drawn & Quarterly
Pilu of the Woods 5 Mai K. Nguyen Mai K. Nguyen Oni Press
Black Hammer: Age of Doom 5 Jeff Lemire Dean Ormston, Dave Stewart Dark Horse Comics
King of King Court 5 Travis Dandro Travis Dandro Drawn & Quarterly
Cosmoknights 5 Hannah Templer Hannah Templer Top Shelf Productions
Marvel Comics #1000 5 Various Various Marvel Comics
Friendo 5 Alex Paknadel Martin Simmonds Vault Comics
The Wild Storm 5 Warren Ellis Jon Davis Hunt DC Comics
Canto 5 David M. Booher Drew Zucker IDW Publishing

The full spreadsheet with pivot tables for books, writers, artists, publishers and more is available here.

Regarding Publishers:

This year DC Comics was the most popular publisher with 97 different titles.

Marvel was 2nd place with 83 different titles.

Image dropped to 3rd with 78 different titles.

Dark Horse had 43 different titles.

Fantagraphics  had 41 different titles.

55 Self-Published books made the list too.

Caveats:

One thing I tried be more consistent with this year was using the imprint name with publishers. In the past I would put EG Raina Telgemeier’s books under the umbrella company name Scholastic instead of it’s imprint name Graphix, then I would put First Second books under imprint name First Second and not their umbrella company name of Macmillan. Now they are all under the imprint name and that applies to comic book publishers as well.

Where a reviewer/writer wrote ‘best of’ lists for multiple websites, I’ve cross referenced their lists and removed books that were named twice. I did not think it would be fair if those writers could tip the popularity scale by naming the same book(s) over and over again on multiple websites. Sadly, there was an increase of websites publishing lists with no credit to who (or whom) created the list. In those cases I marked them as Unknown but the practice of not crediting writers is a shameful one.

If a writer wrote for multiple sites, but one of those sites picks was a group effort, I did not remove books that are listed twice.

I generally did not include lists that were a mixed of prose books and graphic novels unless there were a significant number of graphic novels on the list.

I did not use lists where the website was not in English and the books appeared to be translated versions.

With inkers and colourists I often, but not always included them within the Artist section. Where there were multiple (usually more than 5) involved in a book, or in the title’s run over the course of the year, various was used instead of listing them all. In some cases I combined those involved even if they worked on the title for different issues.

For simplicity sake, if a list named a specific comic book issue or specific volume of a graphic novel, I removed those specifics and just listed the series title, with rare exceptions. The same goes with issue #s. The vast majority of reviewers listed House of X and Powers of X as one series. There were a few odd cases of a reviewer picking a single issue or only one of those series, I’ve listed them as the combined House of X/Powers of X. Also, 4 people chose Bad Weekend: Criminal – I changed it to just Criminal as that’s what most reviewers picked. My apologies to the reviewers of those books.

Some reviewers included books that were published in 2018 or earlier. Normally the amount of times these books were mentioned isn’t significant but this year one book is. Mister Miracle which was popular on last years list (when it was running as a comic book) is also popular on this years list when it was collected and published as a graphic novel.

Most of the lists were general ‘best/favourite books’ of 2019, but I also included lists dedicated to young readers, manga, LGBTQ+, etc… What type list is noted on column B in the spreadsheet.

A small number of lists also had rankings and those are included in Column C.

This list of websites this list is compiled from:

411 Mania https://411mania.com/movies/the-2019-411-comic-book-awards-house-of-x-batman-conan-more/
Adventures In Poor Taste https://www.adventuresinpoortaste.com/2020/01/07/aipts-favorite-comics-of-2019/
Advocate https://www.advocate.com/books/2019/12/23/best-lgbtq-graphic-novels-2019
Affino https://www.affino.com/blogs/my-blog–stefan/best-of-entertainment-for-2019—albums-songs-movies-tv-and-graphic-novels
Already has another list? https://radraptor.com/index.php/2020/01/03/rad-raptors-top-ten-comics-of-2019/
Amazon https://www.amazon.com/b/ref=amb_link_7?ie=UTF8&node=17296227011
Amazon.ca https://www.amazon.ca/s?i=stripbooks&bbn=17932503011&rh=n%3A916520%2Cn%3A2418666011%2Cn%3A2418668011%2Cn%3A3034670011%2Cn%3A17932503011%2Cn%3A13932641&dc&fst=as%3Aoff&qid=1575173553&rnid=927726&ref=sr_pg_1
Animo Apps https://aminoapps.com/c/comics/page/blog/kitemans-top-50-comics-of-2019-guidelines-and-honorable-mentions/Q8iX_ulXVbYbYn2klkjBn8dL6l3JMd
Animo Apps https://aminoapps.com/c/comics/page/blog/kitemans-top-50-comics-of-2019-50-41/zqix_uDpgp2mB2qxBoEQXQb2w2wMGg
Animo Apps https://aminoapps.com/c/comics/page/blog/kitemans-top-50-comics-of-2019-40-31/NxiM_u3eDBa4Dxl7LWkBYboq2VmL43
Animo Apps https://aminoapps.com/c/comics/page/blog/kitemans-top-50-comics-of-2019-30-21/EJiP_uvZ5dKDvM4n8QGPamd6Y2zNj
Animo Apps https://aminoapps.com/c/comics/page/blog/kitemans-top-50-comics-of-2019-20-11/k2iG_upYKGdmrrBwYvGE6LWKjWeGWx
Animo Apps https://aminoapps.com/c/comics/page/blog/kitemans-top-50-comics-of-2019-10-1/xxi2_u38ger2wGYJpPww7abw5W0DEo
Animo Apps https://aminoapps.com/c/comics/page/blog/comics-best-of-2019/Q8iX_ulo3PnoQPB3g1BRBdqXndLJ0l
Austin Texas Library https://library.austintexas.gov/recommended/whats-hot/721800
AutoStraddle https://www.autostraddle.com/55-of-the-best-queer-books-of-2019/
AV Club https://aux.avclub.com/the-20-best-comics-of-2019-1840464630
Berkeley Place https://berkeleyplaceblog.com/2019/12/11/my-favorite-comics-of-2019/
Big Comic Page https://bigcomicpage.com/2019/12/17/bcps-best-of-2019-mark-edition/
Big Comics Page https://bigcomicpage.com/2019/12/17/bcps-best-of-2019-ceej-edition/
Big Shiny Robot https://bigshinyrobot.com/editorial/the-wizeguy-best-of-2019/
Black Sci-Fi https://blacksci-fi.com/top-black-comics-of-2019/
Booklist https://www.booklistonline.com/Top-10-Graphic-Novels-2019-Sarah-Hunter/pid=9722377?AspxAutoDetectCookieSupport=1
Booklist https://www.booklistonline.com/Top-10-Graphic-Novels-for-Youth-2019-Sarah-Hunter/pid=9722320
Bookriot https://bookriot.com/2019/12/06/2019-graphic-memoirs/
Borg https://borg.com/2019/12/29/borgs-best-of-2019-the-best-in-comics/
Broken Frontier http://www.brokenfrontier.com/broken-frontier-awards-2019-announcing-winners/
Brooklyn Public Library https://www.bklynlibrary.org/
But Why Tho? https://butwhythopodcast.com/2019/12/25/top-comics-of-2019/
But Why Tho? https://butwhythopodcast.com/2019/12/27/year-in-review-top-comic-issues-of-2019/
CBC https://www.cbc.ca/books/the-best-canadian-comics-of-2019-1.5382861
Chicago Public Library https://chipublib.bibliocommons.com/list/share/200121216_chipublib_teens/1526338949_best_teen_graphic_novels_and_manga_of_2019
Comic Attack https://comicattack.net/canet-2019-fan-poll-results-pt-1/
Comic Attack https://comicattack.net/canet-2019-fan-poll-results-pt-2/
Comic Book Herald https://www.comicbookherald.com/the-best-comics-of-2019/
Comic Book Lounge https://comicbooklounge.com/2020/01/01/2019-books/
Comic Book Revolution https://www.comicbookrevolution.com/top-10-comic-books-of-2019/
Comic Front Line https://comicfrontline.com/2019/12/02/best-comic-books-of-2019-cover-artist-event-one-shot-cover/
Comic Frontline https://comicfrontline.com/2019/12/23/best-comic-books-of-2019-best-1-under-the-radar-series-mini-series-shocking-moment-new-series/
Comic Frontline https://comicfrontline.com/2019/12/30/best-comic-books-of-2019-best-writer-penciler-ongoing-series-publisher-single-issue/
Comic Frontline https://comicfrontline.com/2020/01/06/best-comic-books-of-2019-winners/
Comicbook https://comicbook.com/comics/2019/12/31/the-2019-golden-issue-nominees/#10
ComicBooked https://comicbooked.com/comic-bookeds-best-of-2019/
Comicon http://www.comicon.com/2019/12/31/comicons-most-progressive-comics-of-2019/
Comicon http://www.comicon.com/2019/12/27/comicons-7-best-comic-series-of-2019/
Comicon http://www.comicon.com/2019/12/27/comicons-7-best-ogns-of-2019/
Comicon http://www.comicon.com/2019/12/31/comicons-5-best-digital-webcomics-of-2019/
Comics and More https://comics-and-more.blogspot.com/2020/01/top-ten-comics-of-2019.html
Comics Bookcase https://www.comicsbookcase.com/updates/2019/12/24/best-comics-of-2019-contributor-picks
Comics Bookcase https://www.comicsbookcase.com/updates/2019/12/27/best-single-issues-of-2019-house-of-x-superman-and-the-walking-dead
Comics Bookcase https://www.comicsbookcase.com/updates/2019/12/27/best-new-comics-series-of-2019-vault-comics-undiscovered-country-dawn-of-x-and-more
Comics Bookcase https://www.comicsbookcase.com/updates/2019/12/28/best-comics-of-2019-16-25
Comics Bookcase https://www.comicsbookcase.com/updates/2019/12/28/best-comics-of-2019-6-15
Comics Bookcase https://www.comicsbookcase.com/updates/2019/12/29/best-comics-of-2019-1-5
Comics Bookcase https://www.comicsbookcase.com/updates/2020/1/6/best-graphic-novels-of-2019-bttm-fdrs-guts-the-replacer-rusty-brown-and-more
Comics Bulletin http://comicsbulletin.com/comics-bulletins-best-of-2019-part-1-the-series/
Comics Bulletin http://comicsbulletin.com/comics-bulletins-best-of-2019-part-2-the-stories/
Comics The Gathering https://www.comicsthegathering.com/blogs/stephengervais/13342/our-favorite-books-2019
ComicsBeat https://www.comicsbeat.com/the-best-comics-of-2019/
Cosmic Comics https://www.cosmiccomics.vegas/reviews/reviews-comics/top-comic-books-of-2019/
Cybils http://www.cybils.com/2020/01/2019-finalists-graphic-novels.html
Den of Geek https://www.denofgeek.com/us/books/284857/best-comics-of-2019
Denver Library https://kids.denverlibrary.org/booklist/best-brightest-graphic-novels-2019
Doom Rocket https://doomrocket.com/best-comics-2019/
Drawn & Quarterly Bookstore http://mtl.drawnandquarterly.com/posts/staff-picks-2019-flore
Entertainment Weekly https://ew.com/books/2019/12/20/the-best-comics-of-2019/
Entropy https://entropymag.org/best-of-2019-comics-graphic-novels/
Fantagraphics http://fantagraphics.com/flog/whats-in-store-best-comix-of-2019/
Folio https://www.foliomag.com/books-print-people/
Forbes https://www.forbes.com/sites/robsalkowitz/2019/12/13/the-best-graphic-novels-of-2019/#702938ab584d
Four Color Apocalypse https://fourcolorapocalypse.wordpress.com/2019/12/08/four-color-apocalypse-year-in-review-top-ten-original-graphic-novels/
Four Color Apocalypse https://fourcolorapocalypse.wordpress.com/2019/12/08/four-color-apocalypse-2019-year-in-review-top-ten-special-mentions/
Four Color Apocalypse https://fourcolorapocalypse.wordpress.com/2019/12/07/four-color-apocalypse-2019-year-in-review-top-ten-collected-editions-contemporary/
Four Color Apocalypse https://fourcolorapocalypse.wordpress.com/2019/12/06/four-color-apocalypse-2019-year-in-review-top-ten-collected-editions-vintage/
Four Color Apocalypse https://fourcolorapocalypse.wordpress.com/2019/12/04/four-color-apocalypse-2019-year-in-review-top-ten-ongoing-series/
Four Color Apocalypse https://fourcolorapocalypse.wordpress.com/2019/12/01/four-color-apocalypse-2019-year-in-review-top-ten-single-issues/
Fox Force Five News http://www.foxforcefivenews.com/top-10-comics-of-2019-featuring-invisible-kingdom-sentient-these-savage-shores/
Free Library of Philadelphia https://libwww.freelibrary.org/blog/post/3972
Fully Booked https://www.fullybookedonline.com/books/best-books-of-2019/graphic-novel-and-manga.html
Gamespot https://www.gamespot.com/gallery/the-best-comics-and-graphic-novels-of-2019/2900-3330/
Geek Cast Radio https://www.geekcastradio.com/comics/top-100-comics-of-2019/
Geek Hard Show https://geekhardshow.com/2020/01/andrews-picks-ten-best-comics-of-2019/?doing_wp_cron=1578192893.4391438961029052734375
Geekade https://geekade.com/staff-picks-best-book-or-comic
Gizmodo https://io9.gizmodo.com/our-favorite-comics-of-2019-1840377374
Glaad https://www.glaad.org/mediaawards/31/2020%20nominees
Good Reads https://www.goodreads.com/choiceawards/best-graphic-novels-comics-2019
Gosh! https://www.goshlondon.com/blog/2019/11/13/the-gosh-best-of-2019-kids
Gosh! https://www.goshlondon.com/blog/2019/11/13/the-gosh-best-of-2019-adult
Graphic Novel Resources https://graphicnovelresources.blogspot.com/2020/01/my-favorite-graphic-novels-of-2019.html
Graphic Policy https://graphicpolicy.com/2020/01/01/alexs-best-comics-of-2018-2/
Grovel http://www.grovel.org.uk/category/best-of/best-graphic-novels-of-2019/
Heroic Girls http://www.heroicgirls.com/the-20-best-graphic-novels-of-2019/
Hipinion https://forums.hipinion.com/viewtopic.php?t=132816&p=8225146
Hipinion https://forums.hipinion.com/viewtopic.php?p=8245968#p8245968
Hollywood Reporter https://www.hollywoodreporter.com/heat-vision/best-comics-2019-1265254
Horror DNA https://www.horrordna.com/features/james-top-10-horror-comics-of-2019
Horror News Network http://www.horrornewsnetwork.net/horror-news-networks-comic-awards-2019-best-anthology/
Horror News Network http://www.horrornewsnetwork.net/horror-news-networks-comic-awards-2019-best-one-shot/
Horror News Network http://www.horrornewsnetwork.net/horror-news-networks-comic-awards-2019-best-mini-series/
Horror News Network http://www.horrornewsnetwork.net/horror-news-networks-comic-awards-2019-series-of-the-year/
Huffington Post India https://www.huffingtonpost.in/entry/best-graphic-novels-of-2019_in_5ddf7e5ee4b0d50f329ca1f2
Hyperallergic https://hyperallergic.com/531363/best-of-2019-our-top-25-books/
IGN https://www.ign.com/articles/2019/12/05/best-comic-book-series-2019
IGN https://www.ign.com/articles/2019/12/05/best-limited-comic-book-mini-series-2019
IGN https://www.ign.com/articles/2019/12/05/best-original-graphic-novel-2019
Imagination Soup https://imaginationsoup.net/best-childrens-nonfiction-books-2019/
Imagination Soup https://imaginationsoup.net/2019-best-middle-grade-chapter-books-graphic-novels/
Inside Pulse https://insidepulse.com/2019/12/20/the-column-top-10-comics-of-2019/
Iowa City Public Library https://www.icpl.org/books-more/staff-picks/lists/icpls-favorite-books-2019-graphic-novels
Jenn Haines Picks https://www.facebook.com/jenn.haines.3/posts/10162725101695635
John Lees https://www.patreon.com/posts/my-top-ten-of-32576302
Kinder Comics https://www.kindercomics.org/blog/2019favorites
Kirkus https://www.kirkusreviews.com/lists/best-middle-grade-graphic-novels-of-2019/new-kid-craft/
Levelup Entertainment https://levelupentertainment.com/blog/2019/12/13/2019-didnt-completely-suck-awards-best-game-t62g5
Library Journal https://www.libraryjournal.com/?detailStory=best-graphic-novels-2019-best-books
Los Angeles Public Library https://lapl.org/collections-resources/lapl-reads/book-lists/best-2019-graphic-novels
Manga Worth Reading https://mangaworthreading.co/manga-worth-reading-2019/
Monkeys Fighting Robots https://monkeysfightingrobots.co/best-comic-book-single-issues-of-2019/
Multiversity Comics http://www.multiversitycomics.com/news-columns/2019-year-in-review-anthology/
Multiversity Comics http://www.multiversitycomics.com/news-columns/2019-in-review-translated/
Multiversity Comics http://www.multiversitycomics.com/news-columns/2019-in-review-reprint/
Multiversity Comics http://www.multiversitycomics.com/news-columns/2019-in-review-digital-first/
Multiversity Comics http://www.multiversitycomics.com/news-columns/2019-in-review-webcomic/
Multiversity Comics http://www.multiversitycomics.com/news-columns/2019-in-review-ongoing/
Multiversity Comics http://www.multiversitycomics.com/news-columns/2019-in-review-ogn/
Multiversity Comics http://www.multiversitycomics.com/news-columns/2019-in-review-limited-series/
Multiversity Comics http://www.multiversitycomics.com/news-columns/2019-in-review-one-shot/
Multiversity Comics http://www.multiversitycomics.com/news-columns/2019-in-review-best-single-issue/
Multiversity Comics http://www.multiversitycomics.com/news-columns/2019-in-review-new-series/
Multnomah County Library http://bestof.multcolib.org/2019/
Nerdy Book Club https://nerdybookclub.wordpress.com/2019/12/30/the-2019-nerdies-graphic-novels-announced-by-katherine-sokolowski/
New Retro Wave https://newretrowave.com/2019/12/15/top-ten-comics-of-2019/
New York Public Library https://www.nypl.org/bestbooksadults2019
New York Times https://www.nytimes.com/2019/12/02/books/review/best-childrens-books.html
New York Times https://www.nytimes.com/2019/12/17/books/review/best-comics-of-the-year-hillary-chute-ed-park.html
Newsarama https://www.newsarama.com/48427-best-shots-the-best-of-2019.html
Nijomu http://www.nijomu.com/reviews/comics-i-enjoyed-in-2019/
NPR https://apps.npr.org/best-books/#tags=comics+%26+graphic+novels&view=covers&year=2019
Omaha Public Library http://topshelf.omahalibrary.org/
Outright Geekery https://www.outrightgeekery.com/2019/12/27/family-comic-friday-best-2019/
Outright Geekery https://www.outrightgeekery.com/2019/12/26/best-new-comic-series-of-2019/
Panel Patter http://www.panelpatter.com/2019/12/seans-favorite-comics-of-2019.html
Panel Patter http://www.panelpatter.com/2019/12/james-favorite-comics-of-2019.html
Panel Patter http://www.panelpatter.com/2019/12/mikes-25-favorite-comics-of-2019.html
Panel Patter http://www.panelpatter.com/2019/12/neils-favourite-comics-of-2019.html
Panel Patter http://www.panelpatter.com/2020/01/robs-favorite-comics-of-2019-part-1.html
Panel Patter http://www.panelpatter.com/2020/01/robs-favorite-comics-of-2019-part-2.html
Paste https://www.pastemagazine.com/articles/2019/12/holiday-gift-guide-comic-book-readers-2019.html
Paul’s Picks https://paulspicks.blog/2019/12/23/paulspicks-best-graphic-novels-of-2019/
Pipe Dream Comics http://pipedreamcomics.co.uk/indie-comic-of-the-year-2019-50-41/
Pipeline Comics https://www.pipelinecomics.com/my-top-10-favorite-bd-albums-of-2019/
Polygon https://www.polygon.com/comics/2019/2/8/18215983/best-comics-2019-dc-marvel-image-collections
Pop Matters https://www.popmatters.com/best-books-2019-fiction-2641548365.html
Pop Matters https://www.popmatters.com/best-books-2019-non-fiction-2641136347.html
Powells https://www.powells.com/post/lists/best-science-fiction-fantasy-horror-and-graphic-novels-of-2019
Publisher’s Weekly https://best-books.publishersweekly.com/pw/best-books/2019/comics
Publisher’s Weekly https://www.publishersweekly.com/pw/by-topic/industry-news/comics/article/81991-they-called-us-enemy-tops-pw-s-graphic-novel-critics-poll.html
Publisher’s Weekly https://www.publishersweekly.com/pw/by-topic/childrens/childrens-book-news/article/82038-children-s-publishers-choose-their-favorite-reads-of-2019.html
Rad Raptor https://radraptor.com/index.php/2019/12/21/andrews-top-ten-comics-of-2019/
Rad Raptor http://radraptor.com/index.php/2020/01/01/jeff-conollys-top-10-comics-of-2019/
Rad Raptor https://radraptor.com/index.php/2020/01/03/rad-raptors-top-ten-comics-of-2019/
Rad Raptor https://radraptor.com/index.php/2020/01/06/tims-top-ten-comics-of-2019/
Ranker https://www.ranker.com/list/new-manga-2019/anna-lindwasser
Read Brightly https://www.readbrightly.com/middle-grade-books-2019/
Reading with a flight ring https://readingwithaflightring.weebly.com/my-best-books-of-the-week/my-best-books-for-2019
Readings https://www.readings.com.au/news/our-favourite-graphic-novels-and-comics-for-kids-in-2019
Ready Steady Cut https://readysteadycut.com/2020/01/01/the-best-comics-of-2019/
Salon https://www.salon.com/2020/01/04/5-must-read-graphic-novels-you-missed-last-year/
Sam Noir Picks https://www.facebook.com/sam.noir.90/posts/1344224295749268
School Library Journal https://www.slj.com/?detailStory=best-graphic-novels-2019-slj-best-books
School Library Journal http://blogs.slj.com/afuse8production/2019/12/19/31-days-31-lists-2019-comics-graphic-novels/
School Library Journal https://www.slj.com/?detailStory=top-10-manga
Screen Rant https://screenrant.com/best-indie-comics-miniseries-2019/
Screen Rant https://screenrant.com/best-marvel-comics-2019-miniseries/
Screen Rant https://screenrant.com/best-dc-miniseries-2019/
Shortlist https://www.shortlist.com/lists/best-books-roundup-401608
Skokie Library https://skokielibrary.info/lists/1531/2019-staff-picks-graphic-novels/
Sliver of Ice https://sliverofice.com/comics/the-best-and-the-worst-of-2019-comic-books?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+SheHulk-67AndGreen-AComicBlog+%286%277%22+and+Green+-+A+Comics+Blog%29
Soda and Telepaths https://sodaandtelepaths.com/staff-picks-top-comic-book-releases-of-2019/
SyFy https://www.syfy.com/syfywire/year-in-review-best-new-comic-books-2019
Syfy https://www.syfy.com/syfywire/syfy-fangrrls-favorite-comics-of-2019
Texas Library Association https://txla.org/tools-resources/reading-lists/maverick/current-list/
Texas Library Association https://txla.org/tools-resources/reading-lists/little-maverick/current-list/
The Comics Journal http://www.tcj.com/the-best-comics-of-2019/
The Globe and Mail https://www.theglobeandmail.com/arts/books/article-the-globe-100-books-that-shaped-2019/ (paywall)
The Good Men Project https://goodmenproject.com/all-things-geek/all-things-geek-best-books-of-2019-gift-guide-xela/
The Guardian https://www.theguardian.com/books/2019/nov/30/best-comics-and-graphic-novels-of-2019
The Guardian https://www.theguardian.com/books/2019/dec/08/best-graphic-novels-of-2019-seth-chris-ware
The Herald https://www.heraldscotland.com/arts_ents/18106162.graphic-content-choice-best-graphic-novels-year/
The Herald https://www.heraldscotland.com/arts_ents/18085772.graphic-content-cartoonists-choose-best-year/
The Irish Times https://www.irishtimes.com/culture/books/the-best-comics-of-2019-stunning-debuts-canon-revamps-and-more-1.4109568
The London Free Press https://lfpress.com/entertainment/books/brown-ruinworld-tops-my-list-of-the-best-graphic-novels-of-2019
The Oklamian https://oklahoman.com/article/5650625/word-balloons-top-10-comics-series-of-2019?custom_click=rss&utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+newsok%2Fhome+%28NewsOK.com+RSS+-+Home%29
The Oklamian https://oklahoman.com/article/5651313/word-balloons-top-10-graphic-novels-of-2019
The Quietus https://thequietus.com/articles/27603-behold-2019-comics-best-of-review
The Strand https://www.strandbooks.com/strand-blog?utm_content=buffer28c09#/entry/entry262-best-of-comics
The Turnaround Blog https://theturnaroundblog.com/2019/11/28/turnarounds-2019-staff-picks-graphic-novels/
Thrillist https://www.thrillist.com/entertainment/nation/best-graphic-novels-comic-books-2019
Villain Media https://villainmedia.com/jorge-solis-top-10-comic-books-of-2019/
Waking Brain Cells https://wakingbraincells.com/2020/01/09/best-graphic-novels-2019/
Washington Post https://www.washingtonpost.com/entertainment/books/the-best-graphic-novels-memoirs-and-story-collections-of-2019/2019/11/20/447e7f76-0722-11ea-8292-c46ee8cb3dce_story.html
What Culture http://whatculture.com/comics/10-best-comic-books-of-2019
Why So Blu? https://whysoblu.com/the-best-comics-of-2019/
Wired https://www.wired.com/story/best-comics-2019/
YA Book Nerd https://yabooknerd.blogspot.com/2020/01/top-ten-graphic-novels-of-2019.html?m=0
YALSA http://www.yalsa.ala.org/thehub/2020/01/02/2020-great-graphic-novels-for-teens-list-announced/
YALSA http://www.ala.org/yalsa/2020-great-graphic-novels-teens
Yuricon http://okazu.yuricon.com/2019/12/29/okazu-top-yuri-manga-of-2019/

 

2019 Guelph Comic Jam & 15th Annual Joe Shuster Awards

Brenden Fletcher @ 2019 Guelph Comics Jam

Brenden Fletcher @ 2019 Guelph Comics Jam

Last weekend I went to Guelph to go to the Guelph Comic Jam. It was sponsored by The Dragon, a 3 chain store owned and run by Jennifer Haines. The Dragon is an Eisner Award winning comic shop that is different from other shops as it is very family friendly store. There are two stores in Guelph and one in a nearby Milton, Ontario. I witnessed one comic creator beg Jennifer to open a 4th store near where he lived saying he would happily work there. I could write a lot more about the all the wonderful work that Jennifer does for the comics community but I think she’d rather I focus on the event she just put on.

The Comics Jam was held in the Old Quebec Street Shoppes @ 55 Wyndham St N, Guelph, ON where the Dragon’s flagship store is. It was free to attend and the Jam was in the isles of the mall. I had a good time chatting with a lot of creators, among them Sam Noir, Jay Stephens, Brenden Fletcher & Andy Stanleigh. I also enjoyed a few conversations with Robert Haines too. I took photos which you can see here.

On the night of the 14th, I also attended the 15th Annual Joe Shuster Awards. Kevin Boyd did the presenting of the ceremony, except for Jennifer Haines who presented the The Dragon Award (Comics for Kids). Robert Haines also presented a surprise T.M. Maple Award to his wife Jennifer. My audio recording and pictures of the ceremony are here. It was particularly nice to see Gerhard, who was the background artist on Cerebus get inducted to the Hall of Fame.

Gerhard gets inducted to the 2019 Joe Shuster Awards Hall of Fame

I left fairly early on Sunday as I had a long drive ahead of me and I wanted to visit The Dragon in Milton on my way home. The Guelph Art Museum did have a Exhibition on Seth’s work and I did stop by the museum late Sunday morning, but it was closed. For those that don’t know Seth is a popular cartoonist who created a number of critically acclaimed graphic novels.

Regarding The Dragon stores, they are all brightly coloured stores with a dedicated kids  area with a small table and chairs and nearby small bookshelves with age appropriate books. They focus on graphic novels but do have some comics and pop culture products there. A nice touch was a healthy diversity of stuffed animals for kids, which gave the stores a fun atmosphere. The graphic novels were broken down by genre with books going alphabetically by title. They also had a comic book section and place for gaming too. The staff were all very friendly as well.

I spent more money than I was expecting. Below is my haul from the show and the Dragon store shopping.

Guelph Comic Jam & Dragon Haul

Will Eisner Week

A bunch of my friends on facebook are calling this Will Eisner week to celebrate the man.

In going over some old notebooks I came across some notes I took the one time I met and saw Will Eisner talk on a panel. This was at the 2004 Paradise Comics Toronto Comic Con. I was not yet recording panels so I only have the notes I scribbled down. The notes are faded and will be illegible soon so I’m putting them here to preserve them.

The title of the panel was Graphic Novel Pioneers. On it was Will Eisner, Dave Sim and Chester Brown.

2004 Paradise Comics Toronto Comic Con - Graphic Novel Pioneers panel. Will Eisner, Dave Sim, Chester Brown

2004 Paradise Comics Toronto Comic Con – Graphic Novel Pioneers panel. Will Eisner, Dave Sim, Chester Brown

Will Eisner starts off telling Dave Sim “We have to be very careful about what we say, there is an audience.”

Eisner thinks a Graphic Novel is about the content, not page numbers.

He thought readers were older and wanted to read something other than 2 mutants smashing each other.

Eisner said the President of Ballantine Books was very impatient.

Chester now accepts the Graphic Novel name. He didn’t before.

Eisner calls some books graphic narrative.

Al Capp told Eisner in 1945 he’d never make it, said he was to normal.

Rube Goldberg told Eisner that comics wasn’t nothing but vaudeville and jokes.

Spirit got 5 million in circulation, that was considered nothing then.

Eisner talked about how comic strips had huge cultural impact among immigrants.

Eisner said Superman had the same costume as strong man in circus.

Eisner said the Spirit was supposed to be short stories. Eisner did Splash pages to get attention.

Dave did Cerebus because of the direct market, the retailers took all the risk. He did things in Cerebus that he knew couldn’t do in Marvel/DC. He had almost complete freedom and he pushed boundaries.

Dave said he and the people in Beguiling (Popular Indy focused Comic Book store) thought Louis Riel was career suicide.

Eisner thought undergrounds was literature because Denis Kitchen introduced him to them.

Eisner sold his company and went into doing Graphic Novels.

Dave said Cerebus + Star Reach was called Ground Level Comics.

Eisner credits the undergrounds for the Graphic Novel.

Eisner thinks the Editor should be the reader surrogate, tell him what doesn’t work and Eisner will fix it himself. He doesn’t want advice.

Chester uses Seth as his “editor” to give him advice. Sim did it all himself.

Eisner used Dave Shiner, a friend, as an editor, he died recently. He now uses his wife Ann who never read comics prior to this.

Eisner said doing comics is like sex. He doesn’t like talking about it while he’s doing it. After he’s finished, then he goes through it.

Eisner starts writing with the ending. He writes a timeline, not the story.

With Louis Riel, Chester did his work on panels with dialog at first, did stick figures if he didn’t think he would remember.

Will Eisner

Will Eisner

Dave Sim

Dave Sim

Chester Brown

Chester Brown

Will Eisner and Chester Brown

Will Eisner and Chester Brown

Will Eisner talks to media

Will Eisner talks to media

The Combined Best Comics & Graphic Novels of 2018!

Over the last few months there have been many, many websites with “Best of 2018” lists concerning comic books and graphic novels. If you’ve looked at a few, you may have noticed some of the same books on different lists and seen some unique to only that list.

I went through over 194 different “Best Of” Lists regarding comic books and graphic novels and combined them into a spreadsheet. There are over 3,000 different listings of books from these websites. I should note that I’ve included books that were given honorable mentions. In short, if somebody thought it was a good book that you should check out, it’s on here. Pivot tables have been created to show which books appeared on the number of lists. Here are the books with 5 mentions or more:

 

Book Title Count Writer Artist Publisher
The Prince and the Dressmaker 46 Jen Wang Jen Wang First Second
Sabrina 41 Nick Drnaso Nick Drnaso Drawn and Quarterly
On A Sunbeam 39 Tillie Walden Tillie Walden First Second
Mister Miracle 37 Tom King Mitch Gerads DC Comics
Berlin 34 Jason Lutes Jason Lutes Drawn and Quarterly
Immortal Hulk 32 Al Ewing Joe Bennett, Ruy José, Paul Mounts Marvel Comics
Saga 28 Brian K. Vaughan Fiona Staples Image Comics
Exit Stage Left: The Snagglepuss Chronicles 26 Mark Russell Mike Feehan, Sean Parsons, Paul Mounts DC Comics
Woman World 24 Aminder Dhaliwal Aminder Dhaliwal Drawn and Quarterly
Why Art? 24 Eleanor Davis Eleanor Davis Fantagraphics
Venom 24 Donny Cates Ryan Stegman Marvel Comics
Infidel 23 Pornsak Pichetshote Aaron Campbell, Jose Villarrubia Image Comics
Be Prepared 23 Vera Brosgol Vera Brosgol First Second
Young Frances 21 Hartley Lin Hartley Lin AdHouse Books
Gideon Falls 21 Jeff Lemire Andrea Sorrentino Image Comics
The Lie and How We Told It 20 Tommi Parrish Tommi Parrish Fantagraphics
My Boyfriend Is A Bear 20 Pamela Ribon Cat Farris Oni Press
Hey, Kiddo 20 Jarrett J. Krosoczka Jarrett J. Krosoczka Scholastic
Upgrade Soul 19 Ezra Claytan Daniels Ezra Claytan Daniels Lion Forge
All the Answers 19 Michael Kupperman Michael Kupperman Simon & Schuster
X-Men: Grand Design 18 Ed Piskor Ed Piskor Marvel Comics
Nancy 18 Olivia Jaimes Olivia Jaimes United Features Syndicate
Dirty Plotte: The Complete Julie Doucet 17 Julie Doucet Julie Doucet Drawn and Quarterly
Crowded 17 Christopher Sebela Ro Stein, Ted Brandt, Triona Farrell Image Comics
Bingo Love 17 Tee Franklin Jenn St-Onge, Joy San Image Comics
Black Hammer: Age of Doom 17 Jeff Lemire Dean Ormston, Rich Tommaso, Dave Stewart Dark Horse Comics
Monstress 16 Marjorie Liu Sana Takeda Image Comics
Prism Stalker 16 Sloane Leong Sloane Leong Image Comics
Abbott 16 Saladin Ahmed Sami Kivelä Boom!
My Heroes Have Always Been Junkies 15 Ed Brubaker Sean Phillips Image Comics
Frontier #17 15 Lauren Weinstein Lauren Weinstein Youth In Decline
X-Men Red 14 Tom Taylor Mahmud Asrar, Carmen Carnero, Roge Antonio Marvel Comics
Coyote Doggirl 14 Lisa Hanawalt Lisa Hanawalt Drawn and Quarterly
Check, Please!: #Hockey 14 Ngozi Ukazu Ngozi Ukazu First Second
Batman 14 Tom King Lee Weeks, Jorge Fornés, Mikel Janin, Mark Buckingham, Clay Mann, Joëlle Jones, Michael Lark DC Comics
Batman: White Knight 14 Sean Murphy Sean Murphy DC Comics
Yellow Negroes and Other Imaginary Creatures 13 Yvan Alagbé Yvan Alagbé New York Review Comics
The Mighty Thor 13 Jason Aaron Russell Dauterman, Matt Wilson Marvel Comics
Passing for Human 13 Liana Finck Liana Finck Random House
Runaways 13 Rainbow Rowell Kris Anka, Matthew Wilson Marvel Comics
Parallel Lives 13 Olivier Schrauwen Olivier Schrauwen Fantagraphics
Eternity Girl 13 Magdalene Visaggio Sonny Liew DC Comics
Brazen: Rebel Ladies Who Rocked the World 13 Pénélope Bagieu Pénélope Bagieu First Second
Poochytown 12 Jim Woodring Jim Woodring Fantagraphics
Coda 12 Simon Spurrier Matias Bergara Boom!
Skyward 11 Joe Henderson Lee Garbett Image Comics
Ice Cream Man 11 W. Maxwell Prince Martin Morazzo, Chris O’Halloran Image Comics
Girl Town 11 Carolyn Nowak Carolyn Nowak Top Shelf
The Adventure Zone: Here There Be Gerblins 10 Clint McElroy, Griffin McElroy, Justin McElroy, Travis McElroy, Carey Pietsch Carey Pietsch First Second
The Wild Storm 10 Warren Ellis Jon Davis-Hunt DC Comics
Speak: The Graphic Novel 10 Laurie Halse Anderson Emily Carroll Farrar, Straus and Giroux
One Dirty Tree 10 Noah Van Sciver Noah Van Sciver Fantagraphics
Love That Bunch 10 Aline Kominsky-Crumb Aline Kominsky-Crumb Drawn and Quarterly
Isola 10 Brenden Fletcher, Karl Kerschl Karl Kerschl, Msassyk Image Comics
Fearscape 10 Ryan O’Sullivan Andrea Mutti, Vladimir Popov Vault Comics
Doctor Star and the Kingdom of Lost Tomorrows 10 Jeff Lemire Max Fiumara, Dave Stewart Dark Horse Comics
Chlorine Gardens 10 Keiler Roberts Keiler Roberts Koyama Press
The Cardboard Kingdom 9 Chad Sell Chad Sell Knopf Books
Peter Parker: The Spectacular Spider-Man #310 9 Chip Zdarsky Chip Zdarsky Marvel Comics
Frankenstein: Junji Ito Story Collection 9 Junji Ito Junji Ito Viz
Justice League Dark 9 James Tynion IV Alvaro Martinez DC Comics
Grip 9 Lale Westvind Lale Westvind Perfectly Acceptable Press
Dark Nights Metal 9 Scott Snyder Greg Capullo DC Comics
All Summer Long 9 Hope Larson Hope Larson Farrar, Straus and Giroux
Dead Dead Demon’s Dededede Destruction 9 Inio Asano Inio Asano Viz
Black Panther 9 Ta-Nehisi Coates Daniel Acuña Marvel Comics
The Winner 8 Karl Stevens Karl Stevens Retrofit Comics
These Savage Shores 8 Ram V Sumit Kumar, Vitorio Astone Vault Comics
Thor 8 Jason Aaron Mike Del Mundo, Christian Ward Marvel Comics
The Weatherman 8 Jody Leheup Nathan Fox Image Comics
Soft X-Ray/Mindhunters 8 A. Degen A. Degen Koyama Press
Paper Girls 8 Brian K. Vaughan Cliff Chiang, Matt Wilson Image Comics
Home After Dark 8 David Small David Small Liveright
Kill or Be Killed 8 Ed Brubaker Sean Phillips Image Comics
Brat 8 Michael DeForge Michael DeForge Koyama Press
Black Hammer: The Quantum Age 8 Jeff Lemire Wilfredo Torres, Dave Stewart Dark Horse Comics
West Coast Avengers 7 Kelly Thompson Stefano Caselli Marvel Comics
Thanos Wins 7 Donny Cates Geoff Shaw Marvel Comics
Supergirl: Being Super 7 Mariko Tamaki Joëlle Jones DC Comics
The Wicked + The Divine 7 Kieron Gillen Jamie McKelvie, Matt Wilson Image Comics
Your Black Friend And Other Strangers 7 Ben Passmore Ben Passmore Silver Sprocket
The Seeds 7 Ann Nocenti David Aja Dark Horse Comics
Sleepless 7 Sarah Vaughn Leila del Duca Image Comics
Eternal 7 Ryan K. Lindsay Eric Zawadski, Dee Cunniffe Black Mask Studios
East of West 7 Jonathan Hickman Nick Dragotta Image Comics
Fake Blood 7 Whitney Gardner Whitney Gardner Simon & Schuster
Love And Rockets 7 Jaime and Gilbert Hernandez Jaime and Gilbert Hernandez Fantagraphics
Fence 7 C.S. Pacat Johanna the Mad, Joana Lafuente Boom!
Friendo 7 Alex Paknadel Martin Simmonds Vault Comics
Illegal 7 Eoin Colfer, Andrew Donkin Giovanni Rigano Sourcebooks
Green Lantern: Earth One 7 Gabriel Hardman Corinna Bechko DC Comics
Bitter Root 7 David F. Walker, Chuck Brown Sanford Greene, Rico Renzi Image Comics
All the Sad Songs 7 Summer Pierre Summer Pierre Retrofit Comics
Doomsday Clock 7 Geoff Johns Gary Frank DC Comics
Aquicorn Cove 7 Katie O’Neill Katie O’Neill Oni Press
Action Comics 7 Brian Michael Bendis Ryan Sook, Patrick Gleason, Yanick Paquette DC Comics
Belonging: A German Reckons With History And Home 7 Nora Krug Nora Krug Scribner
Blammo #10 7 Noah Van Sciver Noah Van Sciver Kilgore Books
Superman 6 Peter J. Tomasi, Patrick Gleason Barry Kitson, Scott Hanna, Gabriel Eltaeb DC Comics
The New World 6 Aleš Kot Tradd Moore Image Comics
The Dreaming 6 Simon Spurrier Bilquis Evely, Mat Lopes DC Comics
Shit is Real 6 Aisha Franz Aisha Franz Drawn and Quarterly
Shanghai Red 6 Christopher Sebela Joshua Hixson Image Comics
My Brother’s Husband 6 Gengoroh Tagame Gengoroh Tagame Pantheon
My Hero Academia 6 Kohei Horikoshi Kohei Horikoshi Viz
Rogue & Gambit 6 Kelly Thompson Pere Pérez Marvel Comics
Photographic: The Life Of Graciela Iturbide 6 Isabel Quintero Zeke Peña Harry N. Abrams
Justice League 6 Scott Snyder, James Tynion IV Jorge Jimenez, Jim Cheung, Francis Manapul, Mikel Janin, Doug Mahnke DC Comics
Is This Guy for Real?: The Unbelievable Andy Kaufman 6 Box Brown Box Brown First Second
From Lone Mountain 6 John Porcellino John Porcellino Drawn and Quarterly
Farmhand 6 Rob Guillory Rob Guillory, Taylor Wells Image Comics
Judas 6 Jeff Loveness Jakub Rebelka Boom!
Hawkeye: Kate Bishop 6 Kelly Thompson Leonardo Romero Marvel Comics
Giant Days 6 John Allison Max Sarin, Whitney Cogar Boom!
I Am Young 6 M. Dean M. Dean Fantagraphics
Art Comic 6 Matthew Thurber Matthew Thurber Drawn and Quarterly
Assassinistas 6 Tini Howard Gilbert Hernandez, Rob Davis IDW
A Perfect Failure: Fante Bukowski 3 6 Noah Van Sciver Noah Van Sciver Fantagraphics
Black Bolt 6 Saladin Ahmed Christian Ward Marvel Comics
Death Or Glory 6 Rick Remender Bengal Image Comics
Amazing Spider-Man 6 Nick Spencer Ryan Ottley Marvel Comics
Captain America 6 Ta-Nehisi Coates Leinil Francis Yu, Sunny Gho Marvel Comics
The Dead Hand 5 Kyle Higgins Stephen Mooney, Jordie Bellaire Image Comics
Von Spatz 5 Anna Haifisch Anna Haifisch Drawn and Quarterly
The Pervert 5 Michelle Perez Remy Boydell Image Comics
The Weaver Festival Phenomenon 5 Ron Regé Jr. Ron Regé Jr. Self-Published
Wasted Space 5 Michael Moreci Hayden Sherman, Jason Wordie Vault Comics
Wonder Woman: Earth One 5 Grant Morrison Yanick Paquette DC Comics
The Nameless City 5 Faith Erin Hicks Faith Erin Hicks First Second
The Vision 5 Tom King Gabriel Hernandez Walta Marvel Comics
The New World: Comics From Mauretania 5 Chris Reynolds Chris Reynolds New York Review Comics
The Bride Was a Boy 5 Chii Chii Seven Seas Entertainment
The Nib: Death 5 Various Various The Nib
The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl 5 Ryan North, Will Murray Erica Henderson, Zac Gorman, Derek Charm Marvel Comics
Multiple Man 5 Matthew Rosenberg Andy Macdonald Marvel Comics
Oblivion Song 5 Robert Kirkman Lorenzo De Felici Image Comics
Manfried The Man 5 Caitlin Major Kelly Bastow Quirk Books
Long Lost 5 Matthew Erman Lisa Sterle Scout Comics
Koshchei The Deathless 5 Mike Mignola Ben Stenbeck, Dave Stewart Dark Horse Comics
Flavor 5 Joseph Keatinge Wook Jin Clark, Tamra Bonvillain Image Comics
Euthanauts 5 Tini Howard Nick Robles IDW
Descender 5 Jeff Lemire Dustin Nguyen Image Comics
Dognurse 5 Margot Ferrick Margot Ferrick Perfectly Acceptable Press
Cosmic Ghost Rider 5 Donny Cates Dylan Burnett Marvel Comics
Angloid 5 Alex Graham Alex Graham Kilgore Books
Darth Vader: Lord Of The Sith 5 Charles Soule Giuseppe Camuncoli, Jim Cheung Marvel Comics
All-New Wolverine 5 Tom Taylor Juan Cabal, Marco Failla, Djibril Morissette-Phan, Ramon Rosanas, David Lopez Marvel Comics
Anne Frank’s Diary: The Graphic Adaptation 5 Ari Folman David Polonsky Pantheon
Beneath The Dead Oak Tree 5 Emily Carroll Emily Carroll Shortbox

 

Of interest Tillie Walden’s On a Sunbeam, which showed up as a web comic in 2016 and 2017 now shows up at #3 in print form on this years list. Olivia Jaimes take on Ernie Bushmiller’s Nancy is the top ranking web comic (unless you count On a Sunbeam) getting far more mentions than any webcomic previously. While I normally remove the issue number on mainstream titles to make the list more useful to readers, I made an exception with Chip Zdarsky’s Peter Parker: The Spectacular Spider-Man #310 because so many people made reference to it. Also, Captain America is on here with 6 mentions but 2 of those mentions were for the Mark Waid, Chris Samnee, Matthew Wilson run.

The full spreadsheet with pivot tables for books, writers, artists, publishers and more is available here


Regarding Publishers:

Image was the most popular with 90 different titles.

DC and Marvel are tied for 2nd with 73 different titles.

Fantagraphics is 3rd with 52 different titles.

Dark Horse has 42 titles.

Boom! did well with 33 titles.

104 Self-Published books made the list too.

Caveats:

Where a reviewer/writer wrote ‘best of’ lists for multiple websites, I’ve cross referenced their lists and removed books that were named twice. I did not think it would be fair if those writers could tip the popularity scale by naming the same book(s) over and over again on multiple websites. Sadly, there was an increase of websites publishing lists with no credit to who (of whom) created the list. In those cases I marked them as Unknown but the practice of not crediting writers is a shameful one.

If a writer wrote for multiple sites, but one of those sites picks was a group effort, I did not remove books that are listed twice.

I generally did not include lists that were a mixed of prose books and graphic novels unless there were a significant number of graphic novels on the list.

I did not use lists where the website was not in English and the books appeared to be translated versions.

With inkers and colourists I often, but not always included them within the Artist section. Where there were multiple (usually more than 5) involved in a book, or in the title’s run over the course of the year, Various was used of listing them all. In some cases I combined those involved even if they worked on the title for different issues.

For simplicity sake, if a list named a specific comic book issue or specific volume of a graphic novel, I removed those specifics and just listed the series title, with rare exceptions. Apologies to the reviewers of those books.

Some writers included books that were technically published in 2017 and at least 1 just listed best books they read that year, but the vast majority of those lists were 2018 books. The number of non 2018 books in the spreadsheet is very tiny and insignificant to the overall list.

Most of the lists were general ‘best/favourite books’ of 2018, but I also included lists dedicated to young readers, manga, etc… What type list is noted on column B in the spreadsheet.

A small number of lists also had rankings and those are included in Column C.

This list of website this list is compiled from:

101 Comics https://101comics.com/best-comic-series-of-2018/
Advenures In Poor Taste http://www.adventuresinpoortaste.com/2018/12/14/aipts-favorite-comics-of-2018-part-1-the-best-of-everything-else/
Advenures In Poor Taste http://www.adventuresinpoortaste.com/2018/12/17/aipts-favorite-comics-of-2018-part-2-the-best-series/
Advocate https://www.advocate.com/books/2018/12/20/best-lgbtq-graphic-novels-2018#media-gallery-media-0
Affino https://www.affino.com/blogs/blogs/best-of-entertainment-2018—film-tv-albums-songs-and-graphic-novels
Amazon https://www.amazon.com/b/ref=s9_acss_bw_cg_BOTY18_3c1_w?node=17388344011&pf_rd_m=ATVPDKIKX0DER&pf_rd_s=merchandised-search-4&pf_rd_r=RRZ5ZWV6QTNM30GW5G3J&pf_rd_t=101&pf_rd_p=09b4dfa3-c856-4416-85ee-67abbfa4b511&pf_rd_i=17388344011
Autostraddle https://www.autostraddle.com/50-of-the-best-lgbt-books-of-2018-441796/
AVClub https://aux.avclub.com/the-best-comics-of-2018-1830657952
Bam Smack Pow https://bamsmackpow.com/2018/12/31/time-year-top-ten-comic-books-2018/
Barnes And Noble https://www.barnesandnoble.com/blog/sci-fi-fantasy/our-favorite-comics-graphic-novels-of-2018/
Barnes And Noble https://www.barnesandnoble.com/blog/sci-fi-fantasy/best-manga-of-2018/
BATMAN’S BOOKCASE https://www.batmansbookcase.com/updates/2018/12/28/best-comics-of-2018-batmans-bookcase-contributor-picks
BATMAN’S BOOKCASE https://www.batmansbookcase.com/updates/2018/12/28/taylor-pechters-top-5-comics-of-2018
BATMAN’S BOOKCASE https://www.batmansbookcase.com/updates/2018/12/28/the-stewart-bros-top-10-comics-of-2018
BATMAN’S BOOKCASE https://www.batmansbookcase.com/updates/2018/12/31/top-comics-of-2018-16-25
BATMAN’S BOOKCASE https://www.batmansbookcase.com/updates/2018/12/31/top-comics-of-2018-6-15
BATMAN’S BOOKCASE https://www.batmansbookcase.com/updates/2019/1/1/top-comics-of-2018-1-5
BATMAN’S BOOKCASE https://www.batmansbookcase.com/updates/2019/1/1/best-single-comic-book-issues-of-2018
Berkley Place http://berkeleyplaceblog.com/2018/12/10/the-best-comic-books-of-2018/
Big Comic Page https://bigcomicpage.com/2018/12/21/bcp-best-of-2018-mark-editio/
Big Comic Page https://bigcomicpage.com/2018/12/23/bcp-best-of-2018-ceej-edition/
Big Comic Page https://bigcomicpage.com/2018/12/29/bcp-best-of-2018-indy-edition
Book Riot https://bookriot.com/2018/12/04/best-comics-of-2018/
Booklist Online https://www.booklistonline.com/Top-10-Graphic-Novels-2018-Sarah-Hunter/pid=9677963
Booklist Online https://www.booklistonline.com/Top-10-Graphic-Novels-for-Youth-2018-Sarah-Hunter/pid=9676799
Boston Globe http://apps.bostonglobe.com/arts/graphics/2018/12/year-end-books-2018/#graphic-novels
Broken Frontier http://www.brokenfrontier.com/celebrating-2018-ten-uk-small-press-comics-need-jayde-perkin-cat-sims-peony-gent/
Brooklyn Public Library https://www.bklynlibrary.org/
Bustle https://www.bustle.com/p/8-graphic-novels-comics-that-make-really-thoughtful-unique-gifts-13161953
CBC https://www.cbc.ca/books/the-best-canadian-comics-of-2018-1.4944651
CBR https://www.cbr.com/marvel-venom-best-comic-2018/
Chicago Public Library https://chipublib.bibliocommons.com/list/share/200121216/1304495217
Colby Sharp https://www.mrcolbysharp.com/2018/
Comic Book Herald https://www.comicbookherald.com/the-best-comics-of-2018/
Comic Obsessed https://comicobsessed.blogspot.com/2018/12/the-top-ten-best-dc-comics-of-2018.html?spref=tw
ComicBook.com https://comicbook.com/comics/2018/12/18/2018-golden-issue-award-winner-best-comic-series/
ComicBook.com https://comicbook.com/marvel/2018/12/18/2018-golden-issue-award-winner-best-limited-comic-series/
ComicBook.com https://comicbook.com/comics/2018/12/18/2018-golden-issue-award-winner-best-graphic-novel/
ComicBook.com https://comicbook.com/comics/2018/12/18/2018-golden-issue-award-winner-best-new-comic-series/
ComicBook.com https://comicbook.com/comics/2018/12/18/2018-golden-issue-award-winner-best-indie-comic/
Comicon http://www.comicon.com/2018/12/31/comicons-7-best-digital-webcomics-of-2018/
Comicon http://www.comicon.com/2018/12/31/comicons-most-progressive-comics-2018/
Comicon http://www.comicon.com/2018/12/27/comicons-7-best-comic-series-of-2018/
Comicon http://www.comicon.com/2018/12/26/comicons-7-best-original-graphic-novels-of-2018/
Comicon http://www.comicon.com/2018/12/26/comicons-7-best-single-comic-issues-of-2018/
Comicosity http://www.comicosity.com/2018-the-10-comic-books-that-turned-our-heads/
Comicosity http://www.comicosity.com/2018-the-world-of-graphic-novels/
Comics Alternative http://comicsalternative.com/episode-303-our-favorite-comics-of-2018/
Comics Beat http://www.comicsbeat.com/the-best-comics-of-2018/
Comics Beat http://www.comicsbeat.com/the-best-manga-of-2018/
Cranboyz http://cranboyz.blogspot.com/2018/12/popas-favorite-comics-of-2018-in-no.html
Daily Grindhouse http://dailygrindhouse.com/thewire/grindhouse-comics-column-top-ten-graphic-novels-2018/
Den of Geek https://www.denofgeek.com/us/books/278336/best-comics-of-2018
Denver Public Library https://kids.denverlibrary.org/booklist/best-brightest-graphic-novels-2018
Diverse Tech Geek https://www.diversetechgeek.com/2018/12/19/10-favorite-comics-2018/
Doom Rocket https://doomrocket.com/best-comics-2018/
Dustin Harbin http://www.dharbin.com/blog/post.php?s=the-year-in-media
EW https://ew.com/books/best-comics-2018/
Extra Inks http://extra-inks.comicssociety.org/2019/01/19/2018-faves/
Eye On Comics http://www.eyeoncomics.com/?p=4360
Fanfare https://fanfareland.com/andrews-top-10-comics-of-2018/
Five Books https://fivebooks.com/best-books/best-comics-2018/
Forbes https://www.forbes.com/sites/robsalkowitz/2018/12/07/the-best-graphic-novels-of-2018/#7d193f494aad
Forbidden Planet https://www.forbiddenplanetnyc.com/the-18-best-comics-of-2018/
Four Color Apocalypse https://fourcolorapocalypse.wordpress.com/2018/12/02/four-color-apocalypse-2018-year-in-review-top-10-ongoing-series/
Four Color Apocalypse https://fourcolorapocalypse.wordpress.com/2018/12/05/four-color-apocalypse-2018-year-in-review-top-ten-contemporary-collections/
Four Color Apocalypse https://fourcolorapocalypse.wordpress.com/2018/12/06/four-color-apocalypse-2018-year-in-review-top-ten-vintage-collections/
Four Color Apocalypse https://fourcolorapocalypse.wordpress.com/2018/12/08/four-color-apocalypse-2018-year-in-review-top-ten-special-mentions/
Four Color Apocalypse https://fourcolorapocalypse.wordpress.com/2018/12/01/four-color-apocalypse-2018-year-in-review-top-ten-single-issues/
Free Library https://libwww.freelibrary.org/blog/post/3583
Gamespot https://www.gamespot.com/gallery/the-best-superhero-comics-of-2018-batman-captain-m/2900-2433/
Geek Cast Radio https://www.geekcastradio.com/comics/m-articles-comics/top-100-comics-of-2018/
Geek Fair http://www.geekfair.co.uk/best-comics-of-2018-part-1/
Geek Fair http://www.geekfair.co.uk/best-comics-of-2018-part-2/
Geeks World Wide https://thegww.com/gwws-best-comics-of-2018/
Goodeads https://www.goodreads.com/choiceawards/best-graphic-novels-comics-2018
Gosh London https://www.goshlondon.com/blog/2018/11/6/the-gosh-best-of-2018-kids
Gosh London https://www.goshlondon.com/blog/2018/11/6/the-gosh-best-of-2018-adult
Graphic Novel Resources http://graphicnovelresources.blogspot.com/2019/01/my-favorite-graphic-novels-of-2018.html
Graphic Policy https://graphicpolicy.com/2019/01/01/logans-favorite-comics-of-2018/
Grovel http://www.grovel.org.uk/category/best-graphic-novels-2018/
Herad Scotland https://www.heraldscotland.com/arts_ents/17298714.graphic-content-our-choice-of-the-best-graphic-novels-of-the-year/
Heroic Girls http://www.heroicgirls.com/the-best-graphic-novels-of-2018-for-kids-and-teens/
Heroic Girls http://www.heroicgirls.com/the-best-graphic-novels-of-2018-for-adults/
Hollwood Reporter https://www.hollywoodreporter.com/heat-vision/best-comics-2018-1171840
Huffington Post https://www.huffingtonpost.in/2018/12/07/2018-was-a-great-year-for-graphic-novels-here-s-proof_a_23610578/
HyperAllergic https://hyperallergic.com/474333/best-graphic-novels-of-2018/
ICPL http://blog.icpl.org/2018/12/30/icpl-top-staff-picks-for-2018-graphic-novels/
IGN https://www.ign.com/articles/2018/12/10/best-comic-book-series-of-the-year-2018
IGN https://www.ign.com/articles/2018/12/10/best-original-graphic-novel-2018
IGN https://www.ign.com/articles/2018/12/10/best-limited-comic-book-or-mini-series-2018
IGN https://www.ign.com/articles/2018/12/10/best-new-comic-book-series-2018
Infinte Earths https://iearths.blogspot.com/2018/12/the-top-10-best-comics-of-2018.html
iO9 https://io9.gizmodo.com/the-best-comics-of-2018-1831216345
Jennifer Haines https://www.facebook.com/jenn.haines.3/posts/10161159899825635
Kirkus https://www.kirkusreviews.com/lists/best-middle-grade-graphic-novels-of-2018/
Kirkus https://www.kirkusreviews.com/lists/best-ya-books-of-2018-facing-trauma/
Kirkus https://www.kirkusreviews.com/lists/best-ya-nonfiction-of-2018/
Kirkus https://www.kirkusreviews.com/lists/best-ya-books-of-2018-that-explore-family-and-self/
Kirkus https://www.kirkusreviews.com/lists/best-ya-science-fiction-of-2018/last-pick/#feature
Lewton Bus http://lewtonbus.net/editorials/jonathan-hansens-favorite-comics-of-2018/
LF Press https://lfpress.com/entertainment/books/graphic-novel-on-vinyl-tops-my-list-of-the-years-best-graphic-novels
Library Journal https://www.libraryjournal.com/?page=best-books-2018
Mega City Comics https://megacitycomics.wordpress.com/2018/12/14/top-15-graphic-novels-of-2018/
Monkey Fighting Robots https://www.monkeysfightingrobots.co/best-of-2018-top-5-comic-book-single-issues/
Multiersity Comics http://www.multiversitycomics.com/news-columns/2018-new-series/
Multiersity Comics http://www.multiversitycomics.com/news-columns/2018-best-anthology/
Multiersity Comics http://www.multiversitycomics.com/news-columns/2018-best-translated-material/
Multiersity Comics http://www.multiversitycomics.com/news-columns/2018-original-graphic-novel/
Multiersity Comics http://www.multiversitycomics.com/news-columns/2018-limited-series/
Multiersity Comics http://www.multiversitycomics.com/news-columns/2018-best-reprint/
Multiersity Comics http://www.multiversitycomics.com/news-columns/2018-best-digital-first/
Multiersity Comics http://www.multiversitycomics.com/news-columns/2018-best-webcomic/
Multiersity Comics http://www.multiversitycomics.com/news-columns/2018-one-shot/
Multiersity Comics http://www.multiversitycomics.com/news-columns/2018-best-ongoing/
Mutcolib http://bestof.multcolib.org/2018/#/_
Nerdy Book Club https://nerdybookclub.wordpress.com/2018/12/30/the-2018-nerdies-graphic-novels-announced-by-katherine-sokolowski/
New York Public Library https://www.nypl.org/books-music-movies/recommendations/best-books/ya
New York Public Library https://www.nypl.org/bestbooksadults2018
Newsarama https://www.newsarama.com/43276-best-of-best-shots-2017-our-review-crew-picks-the-best-of-the-year.html
Newsweek https://www.newsweek.com/best-comic-books-1179816
Nijomu http://www.nijomu.com/reviews/comics-i-enjoyed-reading-in-2018/
North Tonawanda Public Library http://www.ntlibrary.org/best-graphic-novels-of-2018/
NPR https://apps.npr.org/best-books-2018/#/tag/comics-and-graphic-novels
Nylon https://nylon.com/best-illustrated-books-2018
NYTimes https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2018/11/19/books/review/100-notable-books.html
Omaha Library http://topshelf.omahalibrary.org/
Panel Platter http://www.panelpatter.com/2018/12/james-18-favorite-comics-of-2018.html
Panel Platter http://www.panelpatter.com/2018/12/seans-favorite-limited-comic-series-2018.html
Panel Platter http://www.panelpatter.com/2018/12/seans-favorite-first-issues-2018.html
Panel Platter http://www.panelpatter.com/2018/12/seans-favorite-ongoing-comics-2018.html
Panel Platter http://www.panelpatter.com/2018/12/neil-favourite-comic-reads-of-2018.html
Panel Platter http://www.panelpatter.com/2018/12/mikes-favorite-comics-of-2018.html
Panel Platter http://www.panelpatter.com/2019/01/robs-favorite-comics-of-2018-part-1.html
Panel Platter http://www.panelpatter.com/2019/01/rob-favorite-comics-of-2018-final-29.html
Paste Magazine https://www.pastemagazine.com/articles/2018/12/the-10-best-superhero-comics-of-2018.html
Paste Magazine https://www.pastemagazine.com/articles/2018/12/the-25-best-comic-books-of-2018.html
Paste Magazine https://www.pastemagazine.com/articles/2018/12/the-15-best-sci-fi-fantasy-comics-of-2018.html
Paste Magazine https://www.pastemagazine.com/articles/2018/12/the-15-best-horror-comics-of-2018.html
Paste Magazine https://www.pastemagazine.com/articles/2018/12/the-20-best-kids-comics-of-2018.html
Pastrami Nation http://pastramination.com/best-of-2018-comic-books/
Polygon https://www.polygon.com/comics/2018/10/19/17983626/best-comics-2018-marvel-dc-batman
Powells https://www.powells.com/post/lists/best-science-fiction-fantasy-horror-and-graphic-novels-of-2018
Print Magazine https://www.printmag.com/comics-and-animation/2018-best-biography-comics/
Print Magazine https://www.printmag.com/comics-and-animation/3-best-graphic-novels-for-kids-2018/
Print Magazine https://www.printmag.com/comics-and-animation/best-graphic-novels-for-teens/
Publishers Weekly https://best-books.publishersweekly.com/pw/best-books/2018/comics
Publishers Weekly https://best-books.publishersweekly.com/pw/best-books/2018/young-adult#book/book-9
Random Thoughts https://lars.ingebrigtsen.no/2018/12/31/the-best-comics-of-2018/
Readings https://www.readings.com.au/news/graphic-novels-and-comics-we-loved-in-2018
School Library Journal https://www.slj.com/?detailStory=top-10-graphic-novel
Scifi Pulse http://www.scifipulse.net/comic-books-2018-the-year-in-review/
Screen Rant https://screenrant.com/best-comic-books-2018/
Sequential State https://sequentialstate.com/blog/comics-that-challenged-me-in-2018-the-complete-list/
Smash Pages http://smashpages.net/2018/12/27/smash-pages-favorite-comics-of-2018/
Spy https://spy.com/2019/entertainment/books-music-movies/best-graphic-novels-2018-saga-marvel-149805/
Study Breaks https://studybreaks.com/culture/reads/the-8-most-important-graphic-novels-of-2018/
Super Skull http://www.superskullshow.com/episodes-all/2018/12/12/best-comics-of-2018
SyFy https://www.syfy.com/syfywire/syfy-fangrrls-favorite-comics-of-2018
TCJ http://www.tcj.com/the-best-comics-of-2018/
Tech Aeris https://techaeris.com/2018/12/31/top-6-best-comic-books-2018/
Texas Library Association https://txla.org/tools-resources/reading-lists/maverick/current-list/
The Bookshelf Corner https://thebookshelfcorner.wordpress.com/2018/12/20/reading-2018-best-of-manga/
The Comeback https://thecomeback.com/pop-culture/the-five-best-comic-books-of-2018-mister-miracle-west-coast-avengers-and-the-wicked-divine-lead-strong-year.html
The Daily Dot https://www.dailydot.com/parsec/best-new-comics-2018/
The Globe and Mail https://www.goodreads.com/list/show/130252.Globe_Mail_The_Globe_100_Best_Books_Of_2018/ (public)
https://www.theglobeandmail.com/arts/books/article-the-globe-100-our-favourite-books-of-2018/#comics (subscriber)
The Good Men Project https://goodmenproject.com/all-things-geek/gift-guide-2018-books-xela/
The Guardian https://www.theguardian.com/books/ng-interactive/2018/dec/01/guardian-review-best-books-of-2018
The Irish Times https://www.irishtimes.com/culture/books/the-best-graphic-novels-of-2018-1.3734219
THE OKLAHOMAN https://newsok.com/article/5619205/word-balloons-best-graphic-novels-of-2018
The Smart Set https://thesmartset.com/comic-countdown-2018/
The Verge https://www.theverge.com/2018/12/13/18136739/best-comics-2018-runaways-girl-town-emily-carroll
The Woolamaloo Gazette http://www.woolamaloo.org.uk/?p=6377
Thrillist https://www.thrillist.com/entertainment/nation/best-comics-graphic-novels-2018
Toledo Library http://www.toledolibrary.org/blog/best-comics-and-graphic-novels-of-2018
Tor https://www.tor.com/2018/12/12/pull-list-best-comics-of-2018/
Turnaround https://theturnaroundblog.com/2018/11/23/turnarounds-best-of-2018-graphic-novels/
Under The Radar http://www.undertheradarmag.com/news/under_the_radars_holiday_gift_guide_2018_part_10_graphic_novels_and_books/
Villain Media https://villainmedia.com/jorge-solis-top-10-best-comic-books-list-of-2018/
Vulture https://www.vulture.com/2018/12/best-comics-2018.html
Vulture https://www.vulture.com/2018/12/best-superhero-stories-2018.html
WAKING BRAIN CELLS https://wakingbraincells.com/2019/01/10/2018-best-graphic-novels/
Washngton Post https://www.washingtonpost.com/entertainment/books/the-10-best-graphic-novels-of-2018/2018/11/13/a192b760-e2d7-11e8-ab2c-b31dcd53ca6b_story.html
What Culture http://whatculture.com/comics/10-best-comic-books-of-2018
What Culture http://whatculture.com/comics/10-most-underrated-comic-books-of-2018
Why So Blu http://whysoblu.com/best-comics-of-2018/
Wired https://www.wired.com/story/best-comics-2018/
Women Write About Comics https://womenwriteaboutcomics.com/2019/01/wwac-favorite-big-press-comics-2018/
Women Write About Comics https://womenwriteaboutcomics.com/2019/01/wwacs-favorite-small-press-comics-of-2018/
Your Chicken Enemy http://www.yourchickenenemy.com/2018/12/books-we-liked-2018-rob-clough-kim.html
Your Chicken Enemy http://www.yourchickenenemy.com/2018/12/books-we-liked-2018-ryan-carey-philippe.html
Your Chicken Enemy http://www.yourchickenenemy.com/2018/12/books-we-liked-2018-nick-hanover-sara-l.html
Your Chicken Enemy http://www.yourchickenenemy.com/2018/12/books-we-liked-2018-francesca-lyn-david.html
Your Chicken Enemy http://www.yourchickenenemy.com/2018/12/books-we-liked-2018-matt-vadnais-justin.html

TCAF & Doug Wright Awards 2018

TCAF 2018 – Brigitte Findakly, Lewis Trondheim, Ananth Hirsh, Yuko Ota, Eddie Campbell and Audrey Niffenegger

I went to Toronto Comics Arts Festival and audio recorded 14 panels and the Doug Wright Awards.

TCAF had a different feel this year. One of the major Canadian publishers, Drawn & Quarterly was not there. They put less tables on the main floor which made the convention more bearable to walk around and browse. In the past few years TCAF had several  popular Image Comics creators, but not so much this year. I haven’t compared numbers but friends of mine believe there were more international creators than usual.

Also different was the spaces outside of the Library being used. The Masonic Temple that normally hosted the Image creators was not utilized and the empty upstairs area of a mall across the street was. Within that space was a Zine Fest which I did not visit, but I understand it was popular. I also couldn’t help but notice the Friday Night kick off event was also less popularly attended than usual. Even the Doug Wright awards were put into a smaller room and was done in an hour.  I’m not suggesting that any of these changes were bad, some of them were quite welcome, but it gave the show an ‘off’ feeling. It will be curious to see what happens with next years show to see if this is a trend or not.

 

The Combined Best Comics & Graphic Novels of 2017!

Over the last few months there have been many, many websites with “Best of 2017” lists concerning comic books and graphic novels. If you’ve looked at a few, you may have noticed some of the same books on different lists and seen some unique to only that list.

I went through over 136 different “Best Of” Lists regarding comic books and graphic novels and combined them into a spreadsheet. There are over 2,100 different listings of books from these websites. I should note that I’ve included books that were given honorable mentions. In short, if somebody thought it was a good book that you should check out, it’s on here. Pivot tables have been created to show which books appeared on the number of lists. Here are the books with 5 mentions or more:

 

Book Title Count Writer Artist Publisher
My Favorite Thing Is Monsters 64 Emil Ferris Emil Ferris Fantagraphics
Mister Miracle 45 Tom King Mitch Gerads DC Comics
The Best We Could Do 36 Thi Bui Thi Bui Harry N. Abrams
Boundless 32 Jillian Tamaki Jillian Tamaki Drawn & Quarterly
Batman 27 Tom King Mikel Janin DC Comics
You & A Bike & A Road 26 Eleanor Davis Eleanor Davis Koyama Press
Spinning 24 Tillie Walden Tillie Walden First Second
Black Hammer 21 Jeff Lemire Dean Ormston, David Rubin Dark Horse Comics
My Lesbian Experience With Loneliness 20 Nagata Kabi Nagata Kabi Seven Seas
Shade The Changing Girl 19 Cecil Castellucci Marley Zarcone DC Comics
Anti-Gone 19 Connor Willumsen Connor Willumsen Koyama Press
The Mighty Thor 17 Jason Aaron Russell Dauterman Marvel Comics
Songy Of Paradise 16 Gary Panter Gary Panter Fantagraphics
Hostage 15 Guy Delisle Guy Delisle Drawn & Quarterly
Everything Is Flammable 14 Gabrielle Bell Gabrielle Bell Uncivilized Books
The Flintstones 13 Mark Russell Steve Pugh, Rick Leonardi DC Comics
Paper Girls 13 Brian K. Vaughan Cliff Chiang Image Comics
Monograph 12 Chris Ware Chris Ware Rizzoli
Real Friends 12 Shannon Hale Leuyen Pham First Second
Giant Days 12 John Allison Max Sarin, Liz Fleming, Whitney Cogar BOOM! Studios
Crickets No. 6 12 Sammy Harkham Sammy Harkham American Comics
Mirror Mirror II 11 Various Various 2dcloud
One More Year 11 Simon Hanselmann Simon Hanselmann Fantagraphics
Saga 11 Brian K. Vaughan Fiona Staples Image Comics
Doom Patrol 11 Gerard Way Nick Derington DC Comics
Roughneck 11 Jeff Lemire Jeff Lemire Gallery 13
The Customer Is Always Wrong 10 Mimi Pond Mimi Pond Drawn & Quarterly
The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl 10 Ryan North Erica Henderson Marvel Comics
Batman / Elmer Fudd Special #1 10 Tom King Lee Weeks DC Comics
Sex Fantasy 10 Sophia Foster-Dimino Sophia Foster-Dimino Koyama Press
Rock Candy Mountain 9 Kyle Starks Kyle Starks Image Comics
Silver Surfer 9 Dan Slott Michael Allred And Laura Allred Marvel Comics
Pretending Is Lying 9 Dominique Goblet Dominique Goblet New York Review Comics
Redlands 9 Jordie Bellaire, Vanesa Del Rey Jordie Bellaire, Vanesa Del Rey Image Comics
Uncomfortably Happily 9 Yeon-Sik Hong Yeon-Sik Hong Drawn & Quarterly
My Brother’s Husband 9 Gengoroh Tagame Gengoroh Tagame Pantheon
God Country 9 Donny Cates Geoff Shaw Image Comics
4 Kids Walk Into A Bank 9 Matthew Rosenberg Tyler Boss Black Mask Studios
Sticks Angelica, Folk Hero 8 Michael Deforge Michael Deforge Drawn & Quarterly
Spill Zone 8 Scott Westerfeld Alex Puvilland First Second
Wonder Woman 8 Greg Rucka Nicola Scott, Liam Sharp, Romulo Fajardo Jr. DC Comics
Iceland 8 Yuichi Yokoyama Yuichi Yokoyama Retrofit/Big Planet
Aliens: Dead Orbit 8 James Stokoe James Stokoe Dark Horse Comics
Brave 8 Svetlana Chmakova Svetlana Chmakova Yen Press
Black Bolt 8 Saladin Ahmed Christian James Ward Marvel Comics
Dark Nights: Metal 8 Scott Snyder Greg Capullo DC Comics
Pope Hats #5 7 Ethan Rilly Ethan Rilly Adhouse Press
Now #1 7 Various Various Fantagraphics
All’S Faire In Middle School 7 Victoria Jamieson Victoria Jamieson Dial Books
The Complete Strange Growths, 1991-1997 7 Jenny Zervakis Jenny Zervakis Spit and a Half
Crawl Space 7 Jesse Jacobs Jesse Jacobs Koyama Press
Secret Weapons 7 Eric Heisserer Raul Allen, Patricia Martin Valiant
Motor Crush 7 Brenden Fletcher, Cameron Stewart Babs Tarr, Cameron Stewart Image Comics
Extremity 7 Daniel Warren Johnson Daniel Warren Johnson, Mike Spicer Image Comics
Mis(H)Adra 7 Iasmin Omar Ata Iasmin Omar Ata Gallery 13
The Girl From The Other Side: Siúil, A Rún 7 Nagabe Nagabe Seven Seas
Everyone’s A Aliebn When Ur A Aliebn Too: A Book 7 Jomny Sun Jomny Sun Harper Perennial
Deathstroke 7 Christopher Priest Diogenes Neves DC Comics
Hawkeye 7 Kelly Thompson Leonardo Romero, Michael Walsh, Jordie Bellaire Marvel Comics
The Wild Storm 6 Warren Ellis Jon Davis-Hunt DC Comics
How To Read Nancy: The Elements Of Comics In Three Easy Panels 6 Paul Karasik, Mark Newgarden Fantagraphics
Fante Bukowski Two 6 Noah Van Sciver Noah Van Sciver Fantagraphics
The Black Monday Murders 6 Jonathan Hickman Tomm Coker, Michael Garland, Rus Wooton Image Comics
Bitch Planet 6 Kelly Sue Deconnick Valentine De Landro, Taki Soma Image Comics
Language Barrier 6 Hannah K. Lee Hannah K. Lee Koyama Press
Providence 6 Alan Moore Jacen Burrows Avatar Press
Nightlights 6 Lorena Alvarez Lorena Alvarez Nobrow Press
Poppies Of Iraq 6 Brigitte Findakly And Lewis Trondheim Lewis Trondheim Drawn & Quarterly
Imagine Wanting Only This 6 Kristen Radtke Kristen Radtke Pantheon
The Wicked + The Divine 6 Kieron Gillen Jamie Mckelvie, Matt Wilson Image Comics
Pashmina 6 Nidhi Chanani Nidhi Chanani First Second
America 6 Gabby Rivera Joe Quinones, Ramon Villalobos Marvel Comics
House Of Women 6 Sophie Goldstein Sophie Goldstein Fantagraphics
Ms. Marvel 6 G. Willow Wilson Adrian Alphona, Takeshi Miyazawa Marvel Comics
The Stone Heart: The Nameless City 6 Faith Erin Hicks Faith Erin Hicks, Jordie Bellaire First Second
I’M Not Here 6 GG GG Koyama Press
Venice 5 Jiro Taniguchi Jiro Taniguchi Fanfare/Ponent Mon
Royal City 5 Jeff Lemire Jeff Lemire Image Comics
Batman Annual #2 5 Tom King Lee Weeks, Michael Lark, Elizabeth Breitweiser, June Chung, Deron Bennett DC Comics
Aquaman 5 Riccardo Federici, Dan Abnett Stjepan Sejic, Various DC Comics
Savage Town 5 Declan Shalvey Philip Barrett, Jordie Bellaire Image Comics
Mech Cadet Yu 5 Greg Pak Takeshi Miyazawa BOOM! Studios
Education 5 John Hankiewicz John Hankiewicz Fantagraphics
Sunburning 5 Keiler Roberts Keiler Roberts Koyama Press
To Laugh That We May Not Weep: The Life And Art Of Art Young 5 Art Young,‎ Art Spiegelman,‎ Frank Young Art Young Fantagraphics
Farmer Ned’S Comic Barn 5 Gerald Jablonski Gerald Jablonski Fantagraphics
As The Crow Flies 5 Melanie Gillman Melanie Gillman Iron Circus Comics
The Interview 5 Manuele Fior Manuele Fior Fantagraphics
Bolivar 5 Sean Rubin Sean Rubin Archaia
The Tea Dragon Society 5 Katie O’Neill Katie O’Neill Oni Press
The Wendy Project 5 Melissa Jane Osborne Veronica Fish Papercutz
Mighty Jack And The Goblin King 5 Ben Hatke Ben Hatke First Second
Black Panther 5 Ta-Nehisi Coates Various Marvel Comics
Black 5 Various Various Black Mask Studios
The Unworthy Thor 5 Jason Aaron Olivier Coipel Marvel Comics
Kill Or Be Killed 5 Ed Brubaker Sean Phillips Image Comics
Monstress 5 Marjorie Liu Sana Takeda Image Comics
Spy Seal 5 Rich Tomasso Rich Tomasso Image Comics
Where’s Halmoni? 5 Julie Kim Julie Kim Little Bigfoot
The Abominable Mr. Seabrook 5 Joe Ollmann Joe Ollmann Drawn & Quarterly
Shaolin Cowboy: Who’ll Stop The Reign? 5 Geof Darrow Geof Darrow Dark Horse Comics
Fire!! The Zola Hurston Neale Story 5 Peter Bagge Peter Bagge Drawn & Quarterly
Baking With Kafka 5 Tom Gauld Tom Gauld Drawn & Quarterly
Voices In The Dark 5 Marcel Beyer, Ulli Lust Ulli Lust New York Review Comics
5 Worlds, V.1: The Sand Warrior 5 Mark Siegel, Alexis Siegel Mark Siegel, Xanthe Bouma, Matt Rockefeller, Boya Sun Random House
Tenements, Towers & Trash 5 Julia Wertz Julia Wertz Black Dog & Leventhal

Also of note, a handful of reviewers included a webcomic within it’s best books lists. Tilly Walden’s On A Sunbeam got the most (4) mentions this year, which is remarkable as she tied for the most mentions last year. Like last year The Nib got 2nd place as a general site and Nib hosted specific comics Sarah Glidden’s The Art of War and Jess Parker’s Who Was The Somerton Man were also mentioned. Tied for 2nd with 3 mentions is Michael DeForge’s Leaving Richard’s Valley.  It should be said that several Self-Published and very small press comics were both web comics and printed books. I did not do a through check, but it’s possible that some of those books are available as web comics and vice versa.

The full spreadsheet with pivot tables for books, writers, artists, publishers and more is available here.

Regarding Publishers:

Image was the most popular with 74 different titles.

DC was 2nd with 54 different titles.

Fantagraphics and Marvel are tied for a close 3rd with 53 different titles.

Dark Horse has 30 titles.

First Second did well with 24 titles.

58 Self-Published books made the list too.

Caveats:

Where a reviewer/writer wrote ‘best of’ lists for multiple websites, I’ve cross referenced their lists and removed books that were named twice. I did not think it would be fair if those writers could tip the popularity scale by naming the same book(s) over and over again on multiple websites.

If a writer wrote for multiple sites, but one of those sites picks was a group effort, I did not remove books that are listed twice.

I generally did not include lists that were a mixed of prose books and graphic novels.

I did not use lists where the website was not in English and the books appeared to be translated versions.

I did not use nominations/winners for awards.

With inkers and colourists I often, but not always included them within the Artist section. Where there were multiple (usually more than 5) involved in a book, or in the title’s run over the course of the year, Various was used of listing them all. In some cases I combined those involved even if they worked on the title for different issues.

For simplicity sake, if a list named a specific comic book issue or specific volume of a graphic novel, I removed those specifics and just listed the series title, with rare exceptions. Apologies to the reviewers of those books.

Some writers included books that were technically published in 2016 and at least 1 just listed best books they read that year, but the vast majority of those lists were 2017 books. The number of non 2017 books in the spreadsheet is very tiny and insignificant to the overall list.

Most of the lists were general ‘best/favourite books’ of 2017, but I also included lists dedicated to young readers, manga, etc… What type list is noted on column B in the spreadsheet.

A small number of lists also had rankings and those are included in Column C

 

A Reading Life – https://areadinglife.com/2017/11/28/best-of-2017-books-for-adults/
A Reading Life – https://areadinglife.com/2017/11/29/best-of-2017-books-for-young-adults/
A Reading Life – https://areadinglife.com/2017/11/30/best-of-2017-books-for-children/
Adventures in Poor Taste – http://www.adventuresinpoortaste.com/2018/01/02/the-year-in-queer-the-top-10-lgbtq-comics-of-2017/
Advocate – https://www.advocate.com/arts-entertainment/2018/1/03/best-lgbt-graphic-novels-2017
All The Wonders – http://www.allthewonders.com/podcasts/some-of-the-top-middle-grade-graphic-novels-of-2017-books-between-episode-40/
Amazon – https://www.amazon.com/b?ie=UTF8&node=17388344011
Anime News Network – https://www.animenewsnetwork.com/feature/2017-12-29/best-manga-and-light-novels-of-2017/.125750
AV Club – https://www.avclub.com/the-best-comics-of-2017-1820879242
Bam! Smack! Pow! – https://bamsmackpow.com/2017/12/31/top-comic-books-2017/
Barnes and Nobel – https://www.barnesandnoble.com/blog/sci-fi-fantasy/best-comics-graphic-novels-2017/
Barnes and Nobel – https://www.barnesandnoble.com/blog/sci-fi-fantasy/best-new-manga-series-2017/
Ben Towle – http://www.benzilla.com/?p=6266
Booklist Online – https://www.booklistonline.com/Top-10-Graphic-Novels-2017-Sarah-Hunter/pid=8966988
BookList Online – https://www.booklistonline.com/Top-10-Graphic-Novels-for-Youth-2017-Sarah-Hunter/pid=8964161
Bounding Into Comics – http://boundingintocomics.com/2017/12/27/the-10-best-comic-books-of-2017/
CBC – http://www.cbc.ca/books/the-best-canadian-comics-and-graphica-of-2017-1.4453579
CBR – https://www.cbr.com/tag/bestcomics2017/
Chicago Public Library – https://chipublib.bibliocommons.com/list/share/200121216_chipublib_teens/1058615227_best_teen_graphic_novels_and_manga_of_2017
ComicBook.com – http://comicbook.com/comics/2018/01/01/the-10-best-indie-comics-of-2017/#1
Comicon.com – http://www.comicon.com/2017/12/26/comicons-8-best-comic-series-of-2017/
Comicon.com – http://www.comicon.com/2017/12/26/comicons-8-best-original-graphic-novels-of-2017/
Comicon.com – http://www.comicon.com/2017/12/26/comicons-8-best-single-comic-issues-of-2017/
Comicon.com – http://www.comicon.com/2017/12/28/comicons-8-best-webcomics-of-2017/
Comicon.com – http://www.comicon.com/2017/12/29/comicons-most-progressive-comics-2017/
Comicosity – http://www.comicosity.com/best-of-2017-graphic-novel/
Comicosity – http://www.comicosity.com/best-of-2017-series/
Comicosity – http://www.comicosity.com/best-of-2017-single-issue/
Comics Alternative – http://comicsalternative.com/young-readers-reviews-of-good-night-planet-the-dam-keeper-and-misfit-city-as-well-as-a-look-back-at-2017/
Critical Hit – https://www.criticalhit.net/comics-toys/20-best-comic-books-2017/
Cryptoscatology – http://cryptoscatology.blogspot.com/2017/12/the-cryptoscatology-top-ten-best-comic.html
Daniel Elkin – http://www.danielelkin.com/2017/12/top-13-small-press-comics-i-reviewed-of.html
Den of Geek – http://www.denofgeek.com/us/books-comics/best-comics-of-2017/269562/best-comics-2017-comicbooks
Denver Public Library – https://kids.denverlibrary.org/booklist/best-brightest-graphic-novels-2017
Entropy – https://entropymag.org/best-of-2017-comics-graphic-novels/
EPL (Edmonton Public Library) – https://epl.bibliocommons.com/list/share/664197898_comicsprof/1032066367_best_graphic_novels_2017
EW – http://ew.com/books/best-comics-2017/best-comics-of-2017/
Fantagraphics – http://fantagraphics.com/flog/whats-store-top-comix-2017/
Fantom Comics – http://fantomcomics.tumblr.com/post/169268628241/fantoms-favorite-comics-of-2017
Forbes – https://www.forbes.com/pictures/5a2aaf04a7ea432f2e756465/best-graphic-novels-of-20/#262f8e171d9b
Forbidden Planet – http://forbiddenplanet.blog/2017/best-year-2017-matts-picks/
Forbidden Planet – http://forbiddenplanet.blog/2017/best-year-2017-richmonds-picks/
Forbidden Planet – http://forbiddenplanet.blog/2018/best-of-the-year-2017-joes-picks/
Forbidden Planet – http://forbiddenplanet.blog/2018/best-year-2017-richard-begs-forgiveness-tardiness/
Free Library of Philadelphia – https://libwww.freelibrary.org/blog/post/3168
Fresh Toast – https://thefreshtoast.com/culture/best-comic-books-from-each-major-publisher-in-2017/
Gamespot – https://www.gamespot.com/gallery/the-10-best-comics-of-2017/2900-1711/
Geeks – https://geeks.media/best-comics-of-2017-for-fans-of-every-genre
Good OK Bad – http://goodokbad.com/index.php/about/2017comics
Good Reads – https://www.goodreads.com/choiceawards/best-graphic-novels-comics-2017
Gosh London – https://www.goshlondon.com/blog/2017/11/17/the-gosh-best-of-2017-kids
Gosh London – https://www.goshlondon.com/blog/2017/11/9/the-gosh-best-of-2017
Graphic Policy – https://graphicpolicy.com/2018/01/04/alexs-best-2017/
Guide Live – https://www.guidelive.com/comic-books/2017/12/14/perfectpanels-10-best-comic-books-2017
Hell Machine Jog (Joe McCulloch) – https://twitter.com/snubpollard/status/947651965797961728
Herald Scotland – http://www.heraldscotland.com/arts_ents/15784889.Graphic_Content__From_werewolves_to_cross_dressing__our_choice_of_books_of_the_year/
Herald Scottland – http://www.heraldscotland.com/arts_ents/15783879.Graphic_Content__Cartoonists_choose_their_comics_and_graphic_novels_of_the_year/
Heroic Girls – http://www.heroicgirls.com/best-graphic-novels-2017-kids-teens/
Hipinion – http://forums.hipinion.com/viewtopic.php?f=1&t=115077
Hollywood Reporter – https://www.hollywoodreporter.com/heat-vision/best-comics-2017-1070417
i09 – https://io9.gizmodo.com/the-15-best-comics-of-2017-1821292444
ICPL – http://blog.icpl.org/2017/12/30/icpl-top-staff-picks-for-2017-graphic-novels/
ICV2 – https://icv2.com/articles/columns/view/39263/the-10-best-graphic-novels-2017
ICV2 – https://icv2.com/articles/news/view/39211/top-10-kids-graphic-novels-2017
Infinite Earths – https://iearths.blogspot.ca/2017/12/the-top-10-best-comics-of-2017.html?m=1
Inverse – https://www.inverse.com/article/39420-best-comics-2017-writers-ninjak-batgirl-kaijumax-flintstones
IVC2 – https://icv2.com/articles/news/view/39236/top-10-manga-2017
Kevin Huizenga – https://kevinh.blogspot.com/2017/12/2017-time-capsule.html
Kirkus – https://www.kirkusreviews.com/lists/best-middle-grade-graphic-novels-2017/
Kitsap Regional Library – http://www.krl.org/blog/best-graphic-novels-teens-2017
Large Hearted Boy – http://www.largeheartedboy.com/blog/archive/2017/12/favorite_graphi_6.html
Lars Ingebrigtsen – https://lars.ingebrigtsen.no/2017/12/14/the-best-comics-of-2017/
Leo Weekly – https://www.leoweekly.com/2017/12/leo-looks-back-best-comic-books-2017/
Let’s Talk Picture Books – http://www.letstalkpicturebooks.com/2017/12/best-graphic-novels-of-2017.html
Library Journal – http://lj.libraryjournal.com/bestbooks2017/graphic_novels.php
Lisa Hanawalt – https://twitter.com/lisadraws/status/946879618551726080
Matt Seneca – http://mattseneca.tumblr.com/post/169372094107/2017-a-fuck-ass-year
Multiversity Comics – http://www.multiversitycomics.com/news-columns/2017-in-review-best-miniseries/
Multiversity Comics – http://www.multiversitycomics.com/news-columns/2017-in-review-best-new-series/
Multiversity Comics – http://www.multiversitycomics.com/news-columns/2017-in-review-best-ongoing-series/
Multiversity Comics – http://www.multiversitycomics.com/news-columns/2017-in-review-best-single-issue/
Multiversity Comics – http://www.multiversitycomics.com/news-columns/2017-in-review-graphic-novel/
Multiversity Comics – http://www.multiversitycomics.com/news-columns/2017-in-review-webcomic/
Multiversity Comics – http://www.multiversitycomics.com/reader-poll/2017-readers-choice/
Newsarama – https://www.newsarama.com/37961-best-of-best-shots-2017-our-review-crew-picks-the-best-of-the-year.html
NJ – http://www.nj.com/hudson/index.ssf/2018/01/what_was_the_best_comic_book_series_of_2017_comic.html
NPR – http://apps.npr.org/best-books-2017/#/tag/comics-and-graphic-novels
Observation Deck – https://observationdeck.kinja.com/comic-books-2017-1821374651
Panel Platter – http://www.panelpatter.com/2017/12/james-2017-favorites-in-17-ridiculous.html
Panel Platter – http://www.panelpatter.com/2018/01/rob-m-favorite-sci-fi-and-fantasy.html
Panel Platter – http://www.panelpatter.com/2018/01/rob-ms-favorite-anthologies-of-2017.html
Panel Platter – http://www.panelpatter.com/2018/01/rob-ms-favorite-horror-comics-of-2017.html
Panel Platter – http://www.panelpatter.com/2018/01/rob-ms-favorite-horror-comics-of-2017.html
Panel Platter – http://www.panelpatter.com/2018/01/rob-ms-favorite-indie-books-of-2017.html
Panel Platter – http://www.panelpatter.com/2018/01/rob-ms-favorite-superhero-style-comics.html
Paste – https://www.pastemagazine.com/articles/2017/12/the-10-best-kids-comics-of-2017.html
Paste – https://www.pastemagazine.com/articles/2017/12/the-25-best-comics-of-2017.html
Pierce County Library – http://www.piercecountylibrary.org/books-materials/pierce-county-favorites/Default.htm
Polygon – https://www.polygon.com/comics/2017/12/22/16807870/comics-2017-marvel-dc
Publisher Weekly – https://best-books.publishersweekly.com/pw/best-books/2017/comics
Publishers Weekly – https://www.publishersweekly.com/pw/by-topic/industry-news/comics/article/75675-my-favorite-thing-is-monsters-tops-annual-pw-graphic-novel-critics-poll.html
Readings – https://www.readings.com.au/news/graphic-novels-and-comics-we-loved-in-2017
Ryan C’s Four Colour Apocalypse – https://fourcolorapocalypse.wordpress.com/2017/12/07/2017-year-in-review-top-10-single-issues/
Ryan C’s Four Colour Apocalypse – https://fourcolorapocalypse.wordpress.com/2017/12/13/2017-year-in-review-top-10-collected-editions-contemporary/
School Library Journal – http://blogs.slj.com/afuse8production/2017/12/20/31-days-31-lists-day-twenty-2017-comics-for-kids/
School Library Journal – http://www.slj.com/2017/11/reviews/best-of/top-10-graphic-novels-2017/
Scifi Pulse – http://www.scifipulse.net/comic-books-2017-the-year-in-review/
Sequential State – https://sequentialstate.com/blog/comics-challenged-2017-complete-list/
Slackjaw Punks – http://slackjawpunks.com/top-5-comics-of-2017/
Spy – http://spy.com/2017/entertainment/books-music-movies/best-graphic-novels-2017-comics-72376/
Super Skull – http://www.superskullshow.com/episodes-all/2017/12/7/super-skulls-best-graphic-novels-of-2017
SyFy – http://www.syfy.com/syfywire/syfy-wires-best-ongoing-genre-comics-of-2017
The Beat – http://www.comicsbeat.com/the-beats-best-comics-of-2017/
The Comics Journal – http://www.tcj.com/the-best-comics-of-2017/
The Comics Reporter – http://www.comicsreporter.com/index.php/fff_results_postr_491_books_of_2017/
The Guardian – https://www.theguardian.com/books/2017/dec/03/rachel-cooke-best-graphic-novels-2017-joff-winterhart-driving-short-distances-grandville-talbot
The Hundreds – https://thehundreds.com/blogs/content/best-2017-graphic-novels
The Irish Times – https://www.irishtimes.com/culture/books/living-colour-favourite-comics-and-graphic-novels-of-2017-1.3324716
The Smart Set – https://thesmartset.com/comic-countdown/
The Verge – https://www.theverge.com/2017/12/22/16807260/best-comics-of-2017
Turnaround – https://theturnaroundblog.com/2017/12/21/top-comic-books-of-2017/
Under The Radar – http://www.undertheradarmag.com/blog/under_the_radars_holiday_gift_guide_2017_part_9_books_and_graphic_novels/
Unwinnable – https://unwinnable.com/2018/01/03/the-best-comics-of-2017/
Uproxx – http://uproxx.com/hitfix/best-comics-2017/
Vice – https://www.vice.com/en_us/article/paqaxk/the-ten-best-comics-of-2017
Villain Media – https://villainmedia.com/jorge-solis-top-10-comic-books-2017/
Vulture – http://www.vulture.com/2017/12/10-best-comics-2017.html
Washington Post – https://www.washingtonpost.com/entertainment/books/the-10-best-graphic-novels-of-2017/2017/11/10/ded1688c-af85-11e7-9e58-e6288544af98_story.html?utm_term=.74d0cde5c002
Waukegan Public Library – https://www.waukeganpl.org/2017-review-graphic-novels/
WhatCulture – http://whatculture.com/comics/10-best-comic-books-of-2017
WhatCulture – http://whatculture.com/comics/10-best-comic-books-of-2017-so-far
Why So Blu? – http://whysoblu.com/best-comic-books-2017/
Wired – https://www.wired.com/story/best-comics-2017/
Women Write About Comics – http://womenwriteaboutcomics.com/2018/01/03/small-press-bites-faves-of-2017-edition/
Women Write About Comics – http://womenwriteaboutcomics.com/2017/12/30/wwacs-favorite-big-press-comics-of-2017/
Zainab Akhtar – https://twitter.com/comicsandcola/status/941346392492167168

Jeremy Ross Interview

Originally published in December of 2003. I had contacted TokyoPop with a request to interview Stu Levy, but was subtly told I and CollectorTimes.com wasn’t big enough to warrant an interview with him. I was instead given access to Jeremy Ross though a PR person, which was a new experience for me. I had always interacted directly with an interviewee, this time all my questions went though a middle PR person. Still the interview came out okay and it happened at a interesting point in time. TokyoPop had recently started their cost saving, unflipped, “Authentic” Manga line. I had read some unverified comments online that they were selling well, but this interview revealed they were selling much more than well. Every North America Manga publisher would soon adopt the format and continue to use it today.

 

Interview with Jeremy Ross of TOKYOPOP

I’m sure everybody has noticed a whole lot of Manga in their comic books shops and at bookstores. The biggest US publisher of manga is TOKYOPOP Inc., but very little is known about the company and the people behind it. This month’s interview is with Jeremy Ross, TOKYOPOP’s Editorial Director – their rough equivalent to the Editor in Chief. We cover his background, TOKYOPOP’s growth in bookstores and their relationship to the direct market. I should let you know a few of the business questions were answered by Kristien Brada-Thompson, TOKYOPOP’s Marcom Manager.

 

Jamie: Give us some of your background. When were you born and where?

Jeremy Ross: I was born in Norwalk, Connecticut in 1953 but I spent my early years in London, England.

 

Jamie: What was the first comic book you read?

Jeremy Ross: Some realistic comics about WW II in England. When I moved back to the States in Second grade I started to get hold of comics like MAD Magazine, the Fantastic Four and Archie.

 

Jamie: What did you do prior to working at TOKYOPOP Inc.?

Jeremy Ross: I was Executive Producer at Kleiser-Walczak, the company that made the 3-D CGI Spider-Man ride film for Universal in Orlando, FL.

 

Jamie: How long have you been working at TOKYOPOP?

Jeremy Ross: Since January 2003.

 

Jamie: It’s been noticed that TOKYOPOP have been hiring a number people in key positions. Has there been turnover or is the company expanding?

Jeremy Ross: It’s almost all growth. We have doubled our office space and dramatically increased the number of titles we are releasing for 2004. We are also expanding our business in many areas.

 

Jamie: TOKYOPOP already does a lot more than just publish comics, what other areas will they be expanding too?

Jeremy Ross: Our revenue (and our business overall) has doubled every year since TOKYOPOP’s inception. In order to meet the demands of a steady growth like this, we need to supplement our staff. While manga is obviously our biggest area of growth, we are also greatly expanding our Cine-Manga line and delving more into television properties and licensing. TOKYOPOP will announce more exciting developments officially in the future.

 

Jamie: Since TOKYOPOP is dealing with reprinting material, I imagine your job is somewhat different than editors at original publishers. What is your workday like?

Jeremy Ross: In fact, TOKYOPOP produces both licensed, localized books and –increasingly–original books of many kinds. Each are their own challenges. All of the editors are working long hours to fill the demand for manga in America. The energy and enthusiasm as well as the pace are unusual for publishing…but then again, we’re an entrepreneurial entertainment company that happens to release a lot of books as well as animation, soundtracks and other products. In a way, it feels like working for a dot com with one significant difference: We’re making old-media products that people want and doing it profitably!

 

Jamie: Does TOKYOPOP have plans to hire American creators to do original work?

Jeremy Ross: We already do. See our web site for titles such as Shutterbox, @Large and World of Hartz. In the future, we plan to hire manga artists from all over the world to create many original works.

 

Jamie: Does TOKYOPOP plan to reprint comics from countries other than from Japan?

Jeremy Ross: We were the first company to successfully introduce Korean manga (they call it manwha) to America and now Korean books make up a significant portion of our lineup. Our Digimon manga comes from Hong Kong. And we are planning to publish manga by European creators.

 

Jamie: How has the switch to right to left format affected the sales of your books?

Jeremy Ross: The switch to the Authentic format coincided with a dramatic rise in sales. Readers prefer to see the art as it was originally designed, not flipped. There’s something particularly appealing to our audience about books that read in the opposite direction from Western publications.

 

Jamie: How big was the jump in sales between left to right and right to left?

Jeremy Ross: Without giving any numbers–since we do not release sales information as a rule–I can tell you that our business doubled . . . and has doubled every year since inception. Of course, you may have heard this before, so I’ll give you another tidbit that should provide better perspective: In the same month we launched our first line of 100% Authentic Manga, our largest distributor at the time–LPC Group–also happened to declare bankruptcy. This was a tremendous blow to our business financially, and we truly didn’t know what would happen. The Authentic Manga launch did so well, however, that we still ended the year with a profit! These books blew away everyone’s expectations. The line was a bonafide success story!

 

Jamie: How did you go about courting the bookstores and major chains into carrying TOKYOPOP books?

Jeremy Ross: We have a fantastic sales team, a proven track record, and a market climate that is ripe for our form of entertainment.

 

Jamie: Recently many traditional comic book companies have signed on with distributors to sell to the bookstore market, but large print runs and slow sell throughs have hurt them financially. How does TOKYOPOP manage to do it so well?

Jeremy Ross: Selling manga graphic novels in bookstores is a cornerstone of TOKYOPOP’s success. It has allowed us to attract a very different demographic than the traditional comic collector who buys at comic shops. Teen and tween girls and boys love our format and like finding their favorite series in bookstore chains. We have dedicated displays in stores such as Barnes and Noble. The buyers there love our series-based books because they attract dedicated customers who buy several series a month and come to the store regularly. Our manga is also found at Suncoast, Frye’s, Best Buy and other places where we can reach a mass audience.

 

Jamie: Within the “traditional” comic industry there was talk for a lot of years about reaching out to women and children readers, but nothing they did seemed to work. How did TOYKOPOP successfully market their books those demographics?

Jeremy Ross: Even the traditional comics industry used to appeal to a broader demographic. They became more focused on superhero stories over the years and were quite successful with them for a long time. Manga, on the other hand, exists for every conceivable age group including young kids and adults. Our success was largely the result of bringing compelling and unique content to an audience that was ready for it and making the books available in retail channels that attract the broadest possible demographic.

 

Jamie: Was there any specific advertising done that reached those readers or did you get sales because the TV anime shows were popular and spin off from that?

Jeremy Ross: Our success in reaching girls and children may be attributed to a number of marketing tactics, but a big part of it is supply and demand. Typical American superhero style comics do not have as much appeal to these audiences as manga does with its multiple genres. We are providing girls and children with an entertainment form that largely wasn’t there for them in the past. The tie-ins with related anime TV shows (for some properties) certainly help as well, but that’s only one part of a very large equation figuring into the growth of manga sales to girls and children.

 

Jamie: How important is the direct market to TOKYOPOP?

Jeremy Ross: The direct market is important to us because it allows us to reach more customers, but it represents only a portion of our sales.

 

Jamie: What is the percentage of TOKYOPOP sales between the Direct Market and Bookstores?

Jeremy Ross: We’re a private company and we do not release sales figures, but it’s fair to say that the majority of our sales are through bookstores.

 

Jamie: When TOKYOPOP releases books to the Direct Market, a lot of books are shipped on the same week. Why do it that way?

Jeremy Ross: Considering that we are releasing on average 40 books per month and that our business is way up, we ship once or twice a month, usually in the first two weeks of the month. Our distributors then determine when and how the books land in the direct market. With so many titles, this is simply the best way we’ve found to do it.

 

Jamie: Shonen Jump has been selling Manga through the newsstands, do you see TOKYOPOP doing something similar?

Jeremy Ross: Shonen Jump is an anthology magazine with serialized stories. TOKYOPOP has a history of selling manga anthology magazines on newsstands in the past (Mixxzine, Smile) but we have found the economics of the magazine business for manga to be challenging. We have had such runaway success with the industry-standard graphic novel size that we pioneered, sold through bookstores, that we have so far chosen not to re-enter the magazine business. We do sell manga anthologies (The Rising Stars of Manga) and give away samplers (TOKYOPOP sneaks) in our standard graphic novel size.

 

Jamie: Many traditional large comic book companies make the bulk of their money off licensing their characters. Yet TOKYOPOP is the one licensing characters for comics. How does this affect the company?

Jeremy Ross: We are a licensee of many Manga series, but also a sub-licensor of those same properties. For example, we licensed Radio Shack the Initial D property for their micro machine RC cars. At Comic-Con 2003 we announced that we have acquired the rights to the Korean series Priest to make a major motion picture. When we acquire or develop a property, we are more often obtaining the rights to multiple licensing categories. Rave Master is the most recent example of a property for which we have the master license, with the exception of Asia.

You can expect to see more announcements of TOPYOPOP as a licensor rather than a licensee in the future.

 

Jamie: Are your licensed books still your strongest sellers?

Jeremy Ross: For the time being, yes, especially when you figure in the Cine-Manga deals with Disney, Nickelodeon, Sony and other heavy-hitters. Those books do extremely well. However, since we’ve only really just started working on original material, we have no true basis of comparison. Ask us in another year, and you may be surprised.

Russ Anderson Interview

Originally published in November of 2003. Sequential Swap was a nifty idea that I very much liked when it first came out. It was a website where people would post the Graphic Novels they had that they were willing to trade for another book. People would only need to pay for shipping. I utilized it myself and was happy with the results so I wanted to promote it. Eventually I had read everybody’s trade list and didn’t see anything I wanted and I suspect the same was true for others too. The site required a steady stream of new people with new interesting books they were willing to trade and that didn’t happen. The site is now dead.

 

Interview with Russ Anderson

Ever buy a TPB and didn’t like it? Are there books you want but can’t afford them right now?

Then you may want to head over to http://www.sequentialswap.com/. It’s a new website that’s getting peoples attention. Among the members are writer Andy Diggle (Writer – The Losers from DC/Vertigo), Johanna Draper Carlson (ComicsWorthReading reviewer), Alan David Doane (former webzine owner), and many more. The website is set up and run by Russ Anderson. This month I pick his brain about his contribution to comic fandom and his opinions on the comic industry.

 

Jamie: So, tell us about yourself. Where were you born, where did you grow up?

Russ Anderson: Born in Davenport, Iowa . . . but please don’t hold that against me. I consider my hometown to be Phoenix, Arizona, where I went to high school, but I’m currently living in Baltimore, Maryland. I’m very well-rounded, geographically.

 

Jamie: What’s your day job?

Russ Anderson: I’m a technical writer for the government. This means, if you’ve ever read anything that was even remotely interesting, chances are it wasn’t me that wrote it.

 

Jamie: How did you get your start in reading comics?

Russ Anderson: Might as well ask me how I got my start blinking, because I sure don’t remember that far back. I’ve been reading comics since *before* I could read. Comics are the reason, in fact, that I was reading on a third grade level before I ever set foot in kindergarten.

 

Jamie: What convinced you to switch to trades?

Russ Anderson: Mostly practical considerations… namely, space. Like I said, I’ve been reading these things since I was a sparkle in daddy’s eyes, so my personal collection includes thousands and thousands of comics. They’ve pretty much taken over my basement.

Also, with the rise in popularity of decompressed storytelling, trades are just more practical for some titles. There are titles that I love — like DAREDEVIL or 100 BULLETS — that I simply can’t follow on a month-to-month basis, because so little happens in a given issue. Better to wait and get the stories in a chunk.

(Actually, now that I think about it, the problem with 100 BULLETS isn’t so much that it’s decompressed but that the story is so complex and there are so many characters running around. I literally didn’t understand large portions of that book until I went back and read it in trade. Same with Jason Lutes’ BERLIN.)

All of this isn’t to say, of course, that I’ve forsaken the monthlies altogether. I’ve bought AMAZING SPIDER-MAN every single month since 1984, and I’m not going to stop now. And there are some books that I either want to support or just don’t want to wait for. Still, I probably only buy 10 or 11 monthlies these days, and that includes mini-series.

 

Jamie: Do you have any particular favorite writers or artists?

Russ Anderson: Not one favorite, no. Currently I’m following Brian Azzarrello around wherever he may lead me, and I’ll at least check out anything Brian Michael Bendis or George Perez do. I’m really impressed with Steve Epting, Butch Guice, and Bart Sears’ work on their various and former books at Crossgen. As for indies, I adore Jason Lutes, Rob G and Rick Spears of TEENAGERS FROM MARS, Jay Hosler of THE SANDWALK ADVENTURES, and I wish to god Alex Robinson would hurry up and give us his follow-up to BOX OFFICE POISON.

There’s lots of good stuff out there. I like to think I’m too widely read to settle on just one guy or gal. Or maybe I just have a problem with commitment…

 

Jamie: How many unique vistors does the site get?

Russ Anderson: Somewhere between 60 and 90 a day, with individual page hits numbering in the 200’s to 300’s. Generally 3 to 5 of those visitors are first-timers.

 

Jamie: You very quickly got yourself a domain name. Why did you move so quickly on that?

Russ Anderson: Mostly because Adrian Watts — who saved us from the evil, evil clutches of Geocities and graciously gave us a home on his Particlesurge server — was having problems with his provider and I didn’t want the site to be dead for too long. I always intended to move the site to its own domain eventually, Adrian’s problems just accelerated things.

I’d like to take this opportunity to thank, Adrian, by the way. He really went out of his way to provide the site with a home back at the beginning. He gets a big thumbs-up in my book… even though he’s Australian. 🙂

 

Jamie: Your website really goes against the collector mentality of the comic fanbase. Are you surprised it’s taken off as well as it has?

Russ Anderson: Nah, not at all. I think things like the Small Press Expo and the takeoff of the trade and GN market in general are pretty strong indicators that there are plenty of people out there that are more interested in reading than in hermetically sealing the first appearance of the latest big Batman foe. If nothing else, comics — and by extension, trades and OGNs — are so expensive now, that most people simply can’t afford everything they’d like to read. Sequential Swap is a great opportunity for those people.

And understand . . . I’m not against the collector mentality. I consider myself a collector, and I have lots and lots of long boxes filled with bagged and boarded comics to back that up. I like to pull open a box and admire my copy of AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #32 or some old, worthless DEFENDERS comic that I’ve been hanging onto since I was 10 years old solely for its nostalgia value. In excess, that mindset can be damaging to the industry, as played out in the early 90’s, but the collector market was a strong part of the comic book business for many, many years before it got out of hand. As long as it’s not the only reason you’re here, we can all — readers, collectors, and everyone in-between — get along just fine, I think.

 

Jamie: You do all the updating by hand, how much time a week does it take to keep it running?

Russ Anderson: Five to seven hours, depending on how many new people sign up that week. Basic swapping traffic is easy to keep up with, and doesn’t take long at all, but adding a new name and a new collection to the site takes more time. Obviously I need to automate the system a little, but my web-fu isn’t currently up to par. Hopefully by the end of the year…

 

Jamie: Roughly how many of the swaps going on are between members versus members and vistors to the site?

Russ Anderson: With the exception of Andy Diggle (public service announcement: READ LOSERS!), who’s got a well-trafficked Delphi Forum to peddle his swaps on, probably 98% of the swaps are between members. I think people feel safer that way. We don’t have any way to punish someone who doesn’t live up to their side of the swap, but there is still some level of answerability, being part of a community like that. Fortunately we haven’t had any problems yet.

 

Jamie: Has there been any infighting about how books are being shipped or anything?

Russ Anderson: Nah, none at all that I know of. Everybody’s pretty laid back at Sequential Swap, and so far, entirely reliable. Some people like to ship media rate and some like to ship Priority, but if they can’t agree for some reason, they just wouldn’t swap.

 

Jamie: Do you plan on getting banner ads on Sequential Swap?

Russ Anderson: Eventually. Probably. But it’s nothing like a priority right now. First of all I need to stay on top of the day-to-day swaps. Second, I need to get the site automated. Once all that’s taken care of, THEN I can worry about advertising.

Ty Templeton Interview

Ty Templeton at 2014 Joe Shuster Awards

Ty Templeton at 2014 Joe Shuster Awards

Originally published in November of 2002. At this point I had dropped all monthly comics and was only reading Graphic Novels. When I made that switch I found I didn’t like reading superhero graphic novels all that much, with the exception of Kurt Busiek’s Astro City. Ty’s Bigg Time had recently came out and I enjoyed it and I thought it was neat that he was relatively local to me.

 

Ty Templeton Interview

Ty Templeton has done a mix of big name superhero, independent and licensed cartoon comics during his career. His latest work is something different: it’s an original, black and white graphic novel published by DC/Vertigo. The book is called Bigg Time and is about something Ty is very familiar with, show business and fame. Ty comes from a very famous family. His mother was a singer with a few hits and his father was heavily involved in show business and politics. In this interview, we talk about graphic novels in general, Bigg Time, politics, his future and more.

 

Jamie: How did you like doing an original graphic novel compared to a monthly comic book?

Ty Templeton: First and foremost, it’s wonderful to have the time to stretch out and really TELL a story, rather than racing through everything in twenty two pages. I get to indulge the characters more, and indulge the pace . . .

This particular graphic novel was originally conceived as a six issue mini-series however, so many of the monthly comic book joys and headaches were all packed into the experience anyway. I wrote it in eighteen page chunks, for instance so I could get a paycheck every couple of weeks. The chapters tend to run to the same breaks that were written into the script when it was intended to be a miniseries . . .

 

Jamie: Did you find yourself trying to put in a cliffhanger every 24 pages or so like a normal comic series?

Ty Templeton: WHOOPS! See answer above! Since it was conceived that way, yup, I did . . . But we knew it was a graphic novel before I’d gotten much farther than the first dozen or so pages anyway . . . so I wasn’t a slave to that format in the end. But there are elements of that, that remained in the finished thing, because they’re in the original plot structure.

 

Jamie: I noticed with Bigg Time, you did *everything* on the comic, some things your not known for like lettering, colouring and separations. Why did you take on all aspects of doing the book?

Ty Templeton: Well, I’m not known for them cause I haven’t done them in a while. But I used to letter everything I drew, and when I worked in the independent comics industry in the Eighties, I had no choice but to do everything, including boxing issues up to be shipped. I even drove comics home from a printer once . . . I also used to colour my own covers on Batman, so I’m used to working with a computer to colour things. I’m very big on the idea that comics should be created by as few hands as possible. That’s one of the joys of the medium . . . I can conceive, write, draw, colour and (should I suddenly wish to lose money) print and publish my own comic iffen I want to. Vive la Artiste Solo! You can’t do that in Movies or TV!

 

Jamie: Did you do lettering, colouring and separations by hand or by computer?

Ty Templeton: Most of the word balloon lettering is done on a computer. All my sound effects letters are done as line art on the boards. I always feel sound effects are part of the art, and ALWAYS do those myself when I pencil.

 

Jamie: Do you think graphic novels are the future of the comic industry?

Ty Templeton: Gosh, I hope so and I hope not. I’d like to see more of them, but only good ones, of which there haven’t been that many over the years. Road to Perdition is a wonderful graphic novel, as is Stuck Rubber Baby, and Maus, and everything Will Eisner ever did with the form . . . but some of the best of the “Graphic Novels”, such as Watchmen, or Sandman, were originally serialized stories anyway. They just happen to collect up nicely. GON, and Asterix, arguably my favorite graphic novel characters, are both in ongoing series, ALSO originally printed in a serialized form . . . But, I still get a kick out of reading Batman or Wolverine’s adventures every month. Guilty pleasure, the ongoing series, who’d like to see that go? And I don’t much agree with the graphic novels that are essentially just long, long superhero stories. There’s been a few Batman or Green Lantern stories that came out as hundred page hardcover books that would have worked far better as four issue mini-series, both in terms of pace, and price. From a marketing standpoint, I’m all for my publisher making money, but the stories that make it as graphic novels don’t always deserve the format. More stuff by Eisner and Kyle Baker and folks like that, hell yeah. Superheroes belong in the monthlies, though.

 

Jamie: I’m no longer a huge superhero lover myself but it’s surprising that you would “write off” a whole sub-genre as not being worthy of a different format. How would you react if someone were to say oh.. Westerns should be off limits to a different format like free digest sized weekly books?

Ty Templeton: I don’t think I “wrote off” a whole sub-genre with the phrase “the (superhero) stories that make it as graphic novels don’t always deserve the format”. That’s more of a judgment about what’s BEEN done with the format, rather than a rule of conduct for future projects. An awful lot of the stuff that gets turned directly into a graphic novel, (rather than a series that gets collected up, such as Dark Knight, etc . . . ) just hasn’t met my particular critical standards. In my experience, the Punisher, Spider-Man, JLA, Batman, Wonder Woman, Green Lantern, Avengers, X-Men “direct to graphic novel” format projects that I’ve read haven’t particularly deserved the high price or high page count. I could mention specific titles, but that’s just needlessly mean to the creators involved, most of whom are fine writers and artists, and often friends of mine. Can you name an original superhero graphic novel published in the last ten years that was particularly good?
Examples of Superhero graphic novels that WERE to my liking include The Death of Captain Marvel by Starlin, Batman: Birth of the Demon, by O’Neil and Breyfogle, Superman vs. Mohammad Ali by O’Neil and Adams. Those were all a while ago, I’ll admit . . . but I haven’t found many that blew me away of late. I haven’t read Catwoman’s Big Score, by Cooke, which I’m told is pretty good, so I may change my mind any day now.
But think through your favorite superhero stories or moments over the years . . . I’ll be surprised if many, or if ANY of those moments come in an original graphic novel format. My favorite moments sure don’t. But some of my favorite moments in comics DO come in graphic novels. Cowboy Wally, Maus, The Building . . . all manage sublime moments of wonder, without a cape in sight. I think pop songs, sit-coms, poetry, candy, liquor, comedy sketches, and superheroes all work best is short doses. I’m certainly willing to watch a four hour Fawlty Towers marathon, or read Dante’s epic poems, because no rule of art and creativity is written in stone. But I don’t think a four hour Just Shoot Me marathon would keep my attention, and consider all the SNL sketch characters who get expanded out to star in HORRIFIC two hour films. But I LOVE the idea of free digest sized Westerns. Who can we contact to get started on that?

 

Jamie: Do you want to do more original graphic novels?

Ty Templeton: I might enjoy writing one. I don’t think the art side attracts me quite so much, unless I get around to actually learning to draw. I have no natural talent for art . . . I’m self taught, and hardly taught at that . . . I’m too much the perfectionist, and I sweat out each line sometimes, continuously dissatisfied with what goes onto the paper. I’m getting less angry at my hands, but I still don’t much enjoy the constant fight that illustrating is to me. I’m much better in short bursts, like single issues, or covers. Writing makes me giggle and smile though.

 

Jamie: Are not artists supposed to be this way? Perfectionists, always unsatisfied with their work, etc . . . ?

Ty Templeton: Not for their own sanity, they’re not supposed to be. I’d rather not spend my days frustrated. I get more of a hoot out of laughing and tickling my children than fighting with my lack of ability to draw. I’m a good writer, and a good inker, and I never seem to sweat that stuff, but penciling is something I’m not basically very good at, and I find it frustrating. I’ve read that Jerry Ordway and Al Williamson are like that too, and they are two of my FAVORITE pencilers in the biz . . . so there!

 

Jamie: With a monthly series, you can get some feedback along the way to what readers do and don’t like about your work. Was it any easier or more difficult to do a whole story without audience feedback along the way?

Ty Templeton: I had feedback working on the book. My wife and a number of my friends read the chapters as I was doing them, and of course, both my editors, Joan Hilty and Heidi MacDonald were good to bounce off of. I may not have had much feedback directly from fans for the story, but the story was fairly personal anyway, and wouldn’t have benefited from too many hands on the tiller.

 

Jamie: I can’t but notice that the book takes place in a very similar Toronto town, even a few blocks from here (the Toronto Expo) is the Bay Street Station. “The Bums Rush” has a familiar looking background. Why did you base this Hollywood story so close to home?

Ty Templeton: As I said, it’s a more or less personal story. If you read the “About the Author” in the back of the book, you’ll find out I’ve been in and around show biz and the famousness business my whole life, which I happened to have spent in Toronto. I didn’t see a need to put it in L.A. or New York, since I haven’t really lived in either city. I actually don’t name the city any of this takes place in, but you’re right, it’s Toronto. Besides, more movies are made in Toronto, and more albums recorded up here, than in any city in North America BUT New York and LA. Why NOT put it up here? We’re Hollywood North, ain’t we?

 

Jamie: Yes, but American entertainment companies often like to Americanize things in order to make them more commercial. Did you choose to not name Toronto so the story would be more universal?

Ty Templeton: Well, I more or less did name Toronto, by not particularly hiding that it was Toronto. T.O. Subway stations, street signs, and the Canadian Prime Minister run about the novel unmolested . . . well, the PM gets molested a LITTLE bit. The name of the town simply never came up in the script, but it was a Canadian town, since I’m a Canadian writer.

 

Jamie: How did the idea of you doing Bigg Time come about? Did you have to aggressively pitch that to DC/Vertigo or did they come to you?

Ty Templeton: While at a convention in Chicago, I pitched Joan Hilty about a science fiction project I wanted to do (and still do, btw). She told me she wasn’t buying anything SF at the time, but did I have something with a magical angle to it . . . ? I mentioned an old screenplay idea that I’d started and never finished a year or so before, and she asked to hear about it . . . liked it, and we went from there. It mutated through a mini-series, to a graphic novel, back to a mini and back to a graphic novel along the way, and the plot underwent a couple of major and a few minor changes from the pitch, but that was about it. There wasn’t much aggressive pitching on my part. Right place at the right time. Plus, the pitch made her laugh . . .

 

Jamie: How Americans do you think will get the Canadian Prime Minister Jean Crouton joke?

Ty Templeton: Believe it or not, the name was actually Chrétien RIGHT up until about a week before the whole thing went to the printer. Literally on the last proofread through, the editor called me up and asked me if Chrétien was the P.M’s real name. “Yeah,” I said . . . “Oh we can’t have that,” said the editor . . . “For legal reasons, you can’t use the Prime Minister’s real name.” So we relettered the balloon so it read Crouton . . . but here’s the best part: No one caught the fact that it was the real PM’s name, because both the editor and the proofreader thought I made the name “Chrétien” up. They thought it was a French spoof on the word cretin.

 

Jamie: Of course you noticed he resigns as Prime Minister the day after your book hits the stands. So that’s obviously your fault.

Ty Templeton: All according to plan. Now if only the Bush people get the secret hypnotic message that’s intended for them, then my work here is done.

 

Jamie: And who would you replace Chrétien and Bush with?

Ty Templeton: I have nothing particularly against Chrétien. I’ve voted for him, and might have even done it again. I’m basically a Liberal or NDP kind of vote, pretty well every election. Paul Martin seems like a fine replacement for Jean . . . I’m fairly sure he’s who we’ll get anyway. As for replacing Bush? Pretty well any creature, vertebrate or invertebrate could do a better job than that smirking frat boy clown. Don’t even get me started on the ruinous car wreck that I find his Fraudulent and embarrassing administration to be. Imagine someone actually usurping the position of “Worst American President of my Lifetime” from Nixon . . .

 

Jamie: Was this book a nice change of pace from doing all those cartoon comics for the last few years?

Ty Templeton: My whole career is a change of pace. Cartoon comics (including Ren and Stimpy, Batman Adventures, Bugs Bunny, the Simpsons) have been a mainstay of my work for the last little while, by my own choice, and as a change of pace from the mainstream superhero comics I did for a while, (Superman, Avengers, Justice League) which were a change of pace from the funky independent stuff (Stig’s Inferno, National Lampoon, Mr. X, etc . . . much like this graphic novel, in fact) that I did for most of the Eighties and early Nineties.

 

Jamie: Are there any particular genre’s and/or formats you want to explore in the future?

Ty Templeton: I’m getting a tickle to work on some more Looney Toons stuff in the future. I may or may not get to . . . but I did a little bit for the 100th anniversary issue of Looney Toons from DC, and enjoyed it greatly, and wouldn’t mind doing more. I’ve got a nibble from a friend of mine to help art direct yet another TV pilot, (making it about a dozen I’ve worked on over the years) which I hope I get to do. Beyond that, I’m focusing on Batman, the Simpsons and the other projects I have actually ON my desk. I don’t get too far ahead of the present . . . I’m a live in the moment kind of guy.

 

Jamie: According to ICV2.com Bigg Time placed #18 in the top 50 Graphic Novels, selling approximately 6,400 pre orders through Diamond. Is that better or worse than you expected?

Ty Templeton: We had a re-order a couple of weeks later that took us up to about eight thousand, I believe. That’s about what my editor and I guessed it was going to do . . . about eight thou . . . It would be nice if it could sneak up to ten thousand over the next year . . . it would be nice, but I’m not holding my breath. So it did about what we expected.

 

Jamie: What are you doing in the future?

Ty Templeton: I’m writing a mini series for DC, that’s not yet scheduled, so it’s hush hush time. More or that later. I’m doing a little more Batman work again . . . I just inked an issue, and might be writing and/or drawing a few more. I always loved Batman to work on, so it’s nice to be home with him again. Gotham City is familiar and fun territory. I did a couple of Simpsons/Bongo comics stories . . . a Simpson’s Hallowe’en special that’s just come out, and a Radioactive Man story that’s due out in a few months, I think.
I did a page in the Looney Toons 100th issue special, and had so much fun on it, I promised myself to do more with the Warner Bros characters in the future. Joan Hilty is editing the Warner Bros. comics at DC, and since we worked together on the BIGG TIME novel . . . well, we’re happy to work together again . . . so maybe a Duck Dodgers giant, or something. Who knows?

Max Allen Collins Interview

Originally published in October of 2001. I bought Road to Perdition at a going out of business bookstore sale and really enjoyed the book. I was pleasantly surprised when I heard it was being made into a movie (and became really happy when it was a really good one). Shockingly, DC and parent company Warner Brothers did not realize what they had and let the movie rights slip away. I am really surprised that during this time of ‘republish anything that was good’ era of comics that Ms. Tree remains unpublished, especially with the demographics of today’s comic readers.

 

An Interview With Max Allen Collins

Max Allen Collins is probably the best writer you never heard of. His works stretch from comics to novels to screenplays. He has won a number of awards for his work outside of comics, but inside the industry he’s largely ignored. Among his better remembered works is Ms. Tree done through Eclipse and DC. He recently wrote a graphic novel called Road to Perdition that is extremely good and is going to be coming out in early 2001 as a movie. The movie will star Tom Hanks and be directed by American Beauty’s Sam Mendes and is expected to be a major hit at the box office. In this interview we ask about Road to Perdition, Ms. Tree and numerous other topics regarding his future.

 

Jamie: How long did it take you to research and write Road to Perdition?

Max Allen Collins: The research and writing was spread out over at least a four year period; this was because of the time it took the artist, Richard Piers Rayner, to turn out his precise, detailed artwork (often working from research materials I sent to him) (he’s in England).

 

Jamie: How much of Road to Perdition is true? Which parts did you have to fill in with your own assumptions?

Max Allen Collins: It’s mostly fiction. John and Connor Looney are real, and much of the material involving them has some basis in reality, including the Gabel shooting and Connor’s eventual death…and several lieutenants who felt betrayed by Looney. So the setting and historical underpinnings are fairly real — though Looney’s reign was more in the teens and ’20s — but the story of Michael O’Sullivan and his son is my invention.

 

Jamie: Did you at all contact Michael O’Sullivan while researching his father?

Max Allen Collins: He did not exist; I created him.

 

Jamie: Road to Perdition has a number of nifty lines like “God made Irishmen pale, but not as pale as those priests who came out after papa had unburdened his soul to them.” Where you thinking about a possible movie adaptation when writing?

Max Allen Collins: Thanks — a sort of quiet poetry emerged from the narrator’s distance from the story. As for thinking about the movies, no more than usual — but comics, as a visual medium, has ties to film. As Will Eisner has aptly pointed out, however, there are many differences between them.

 

Jamie: What is the current status of Road to Perdition? Does it have a publisher?

Max Allen Collins: ROAD TO PERDITION will be reprinted by DC in time for the movie’s release. The movie will probably have a limited late ’01 release to qualify for Oscars, then a wide one early in ’02.

 

Jamie: Did DC give you a reason when they didn’t resign the rights to the book back when they had the chance?

Max Allen Collins: They still have reprint rights. It’s just the other rights — movie, sequels, prequels, etc. — that I own. (Actually, Richard and I own the movie rights to ROAD.)

 

Jamie: What was your reaction when you learned that Sam Mendes and Tom Hanks wanted to do Road to Perdition as a movie?

Max Allen Collins: I said I would believe it when I saw it. Having been on the set, and met and talked to both Mendes and Hanks, I believe it now! And I’m thrilled.

 

Jamie: Were you at all involved in the making of the film?

Max Allen Collins: Not really. Visited the set, spoke frequently to Producer Dean Zanuck, and have written a novelization. The script is good — very faithful, though it compresses the material and it’s somewhat less action-driven.

 

Jamie: Does the success of the film concern you at all?

Max Allen Collins: I don’t quite know how to answer that. The bigger it is, the better my future — so, sure, it concerns me! If you mean, artistically, I am convinced this will be a quality picture.

 

Jamie: Do you lie awake at nights thinking about the possibilities of your future if the movie is a smash hit?

Max Allen Collins: Sleep?

 

Jamie: You’ve said in other interviews that you consider Road to Perdition your comic writing swan song. Has that changed?

Max Allen Collins: Possibly. DC has spoken to me about doing a major BATMAN project. I have been working solely on novels and screenplays, however; the moribund status of the industry — and my own disconnection from it, for several years — hasn’t sent me scurrying to comics publishers…or, frankly, vice versa. I thought I would get some calls from comics editors/publishers, after ROAD got this major movie deal…what could be bigger? The only editor who has called is Andy Helfer, who edited ROAD, God bless him.

 

Jamie: There has been a lot of talk lately about how the comic industry should move towards Graphic Novels and movie deals, although not exactly hand in hand. Road to Perdition is a success in both areas but it doesn’t get the praise it should within the comic industry. Does that disappoint you?

Max Allen Collins: That was largely why I walked away from comics. ROAD got almost no reviews, and did not receive an Eisner nomination. If I could do my best work, and get no notice whatsoever…well, it was a bitter pill. Many people followed the lead that Terry Beatty and I took with MS. TREE, and we’ve had zero recognition while lesser, trendier crap gets raves. My attitude was, “Screw them.” To some degree, frankly, it still is.

 

Jamie: Do you think Road to Perdition would have gotten more reviews/praise/nominations if DC promoted it better? I tend to wonder if the lack of response is directly related to the lack of marketing on DC’s part.

Max Allen Collins: DC did some limited promotion, but ROAD was the last of the Paradox Press slate of crime novels, and the others had not done well. So we were lucky to be published at all, and DC can’t be faulted much. Where they can be faulted is that some key high people at DC did not recognize the quality of the work; if they had, they would not only have promoted it, but would have matched the DreamWorks offer for movie rights (which they could have done).

What is truly annoying to me is how DC has ignored Richard and myself, and our work, when this is arguably the biggest comics movie ever…because they are apparently embarrassed to have let ROAD “get away.” If they promoted us, and bragged about a DC project being this big Hollywood deal, the people at Warner above them would ask embarrassing questions…like, why isn’t this a Warner Bros. movie?

 

Jamie: Do you think DC would have promoted it more if they had owned the work, lock, stock, and barrel like they do Batman?

Max Allen Collins: Undoubtedly. But I don’t think they knew what they had — at least one of the top people simply didn’t “get” it. (Let me say that Paul Levitz has been great to me and did in fact publish the book when others in his position might not have.)

 

Jamie: What’s the current situation with the rights to Ms. Tree. I know for a while it was published through DC. Do they still own the character?

Max Allen Collins: Terry Beatty and I own MS. TREE, and we would love to do something with her, after a several year lay-off (preferably a graphic novel). A TV option is about to run out. We’ll see.

 

Jamie: Any chance of putting out a TPB collecting your Ms. Tree work?

Max Allen Collins: Possible. We’re available if anybody’s interested. But I’m not sure where the negatives are. The early stuff we don’t have, and DC controls the rest. I would love to see the DC stuff gathered, as I feel it’s our best work.

 

Jamie: You work in a lot of different storytelling arenas, mainly prose novels, but also in film making and music. What can you do in comics that can’t be done in other forms of storytelling?

Max Allen Collins: That would require a book-length response that neither of us has time for. I would say, however, that one aspect is the manner in which comics fall between film and prose: film is an exterior medium — shows us the story from the outside — and prose is an interior medium — tells us the story from inside. Comics is the only form that can gracefully give us both the interior and exterior of a story (ROAD is a case in point). Words and music, in other words…or rather, music and words. As Eisner has pointed out, the manner in which images can be frozen, in effect…the emphasis and rhythm that is possible, a manipulation of image that is quite beyond film…makes comics a storytelling medium without peer. Unfortunately, for cultural reasons, Americans will never understand that.

We just lost Johnny Craig. Did any newspaper in America cover that?

 

Jamie: You’re best known for writing in the Crime genre, both novels and comics. Do you have any desire to work in other genres?

Max Allen Collins: I have always been attracted to suspense and crime — because of the inherent conflict. (All good stories have a conflict at their heart.) Most genres have these elements — I wrote the novelizations of WATERWORLD, a science-fiction story, and MAVERICK, a western, without even thinking much about the fact that they weren’t “mysteries.” I’ve written quite a bit of horror, for instance, because those same elements are there to attract me: suspense, conflict, crime. There are more mainstream subjects that interest me, too, but I would guess whatever tale I tell, suspenseful conflict…some kind of tension, fear, crime element…is going to be in there.

 

Jamie: Jim Steranko recently called right now the “Kervorkian Age of Comics” saying there is too much violence in comics, linking them to the recent terrorist attacks in NYC. He went as far as to call an upcoming comic called PRO a “Terrorist Comic.” As a writer who writes scenes of violence, what is your response to this?

Max Allen Collins: Well, it’s obviously hyperbole, and Steranko is if anything the master of the grand gesture. My view is a little different. What I don’t like about comics and much of popular culture in recent years is a sort of phony darkness — a juvenile, arch darkness. “Darkness” isn’t tattoos and piercings and discordant music — “darkness” is flying a fucking plane into a building…that’s true darkness, and it’s not terribly entertaining. I feel my work — ANGEL IN BLACK, the latest Heller for example — is more legitimately dark, or anyway noir, than most of this stuff. James Ellroy is the best example, of course…it’s so childishly dark; everybody’s a dog-raping child molester or something. Laughable.
What’s going to be interesting is seeing where popular culture goes. Hollywood is re-releasing fluff like LEGALLY BLONDE and shelving the new Arnold-kicks-terrorist-butt movie…but maybe Americans would like to see Arnold kick some terrorist butt. About now a Mike Hammer novel with a great over-the-top revenge ending might feel pretty good. But I’m relieved to be a historical novelist at the moment — the 20th Century seems like a much safer canvas right now.

 

Jamie: What are you working on now?

Max Allen Collins: I just finished the novelization of ROAD, but I’m having trouble with DreamWorks because the licensing person feels I’ve put in too much material not in the script. The fact that I created this story and these characters does not seem to sway this person. So that’s a small nightmare I’m wrestling with.

And I’m working on THE LUSITANIA MURDERS, another of my “disaster” novels. Then I do the movie tie-in for THE SCORPION KING. Before the end of the year you’ll see two other recent works: WINDTALKERS, a John Woo novelization, and the first CSI novel, DOUBLE DEALER.

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