TCAF & DWA 2016

Steven Twigg at TCAF

Steven Twigg at TCAF

So I went to TCAF a week ago. I did my usual audio recording of panels and took some pictures of creators. Normally I try and get pics of all of the creators there, but I was unable to this time due to recovering from a cold and dealing with back pain.

This year’s TCAF was a little different in that the ground floor wasn’t so crammed with creators and publishers. One of the back rooms was being renovated so they weren’t able to use it. Other areas where they would normally have tables on both sides of the isle only had tables on the 1 side. This made walking around and browsing much more pleasurable. I also noticed a lot of new faces this year as well. I think having a bunch of different creators with new (thus more popular books) is good for the overall vibe of the convention. Seeing so many new/good things to buy I think gets people spending money and enjoying the event more. I imagine it leads a more positive conversations among creators after the event if they all sold a lot of books.

They were able to more effectively use the 2nd and 3rd floors in terms of putting creators up there. I doubt they got as much foot traffic as the usual places creators were but when I was there people were there browsing and shopping so I hope they did okay. They also put most of their big mainstream creators in a new spot (the Masonic Temple) which was about a block away from the Library. I never got to visit there but I’m told it was really nice. My understanding is the place was mainly used for signings and wasn’t a place where creators sat all day selling their stuff.

One panel I attended for myself was about dealing with back pain. It was aimed at creators who are at their drawing tables (or computers) all day. I did not record it because 1. I came in late after the panel started and 2. It was a very visual panel with lots of slides showing drawing of bodies and things you can do prevent and manage back pain. Personally it was a very useful panel and I’ll be seeking out Kriota Willberg for more information.

One of the oddest things I saw while in Toronto was a homeless person sitting on the sidewalk selling back issue sets of comics. I only got to do a bit of shopping myself and I did the majority of it in the last 10 minutes of the show. I bought Mary Wept at the Feet of Jesus by Chester Brown and Bernie by Ted Rall. I’m about half way through the Bernie book now and I’m enjoying it. The book is like comic version of a Bernie Sanders speech, but with historical and economic information to back up the points he makes. So far it’s covered income inequality and the move of the US Democratic Party to the Center/Right in the 1970s and how it doesn’t represent progressive Liberal voters.

I did something else I very rarely do at panels and that is ask questions. I did this at the Chester Brown panel that quickly went from being about the book to being about sex workers and how/why the Catholic church has worked to criminalize their profession. I don’t disagree with anything that was said but I think room started getting tense as not everybody was comfortable with the criticism of the Catholic church. I tried to steer the panel back to talking about the book. That said, Chester might want to consider making a book about the history of prostitution and how/why it’s illegal. I think much of what was said at the panel would make for some interesting reading.

The Doug Wright Awards were a bit different this year. For starters Brad Mackay wasn’t there due to a family emergency. Dustin Harbin stepped in to host the awards. Usually they get some celebrity involvement in the awards but there was none of that this year, which was fine as it wasn’t needed. The awards ran a bit quicker than usual which was good as they got off to a late start.

I feel I should note that I’m not that happy with my camera. Last year I bought a Panasonic Lumix DMC-ZS40 that had multiple review sites saying it was the best point and shoot camera out there. Those sites are wrong. The biggest problem with the camera is the Auto Intelligent Scene picker setting. The camera examines the shot you want to take and then picks the scene mode best for that shot. Sounds great doesn’t it? Problem is, nearly half of all the scene modes say it should be used with the camera on a tripod. So when you’re taking pictures by hand you get blurry or bad pictures and you normally have no way of knowing what you’re going to get.

I took the majority of the pictures at the show at either Portrait or “Food” setting, but still wasn’t happy with the results. Some of it is because the camera takes the shot right when the flash is shooting, which leads to wicked shadows behind the people and flash light washed out faces.  I plan on buying a new camera before San Diego Comic Con and I think I’m going to sell this one on Ebay. My previous camera took much better pictures but I stopped using it because of increasing delays between pressing the shutter button and getting the shot and also inconsistent flash settings. Also, it took 4 AA batteries, which increased the cameras weight and my backpack weight due to me having spares.

Cheesy Comic Book Pick Up Lines

I came up with some of these a little over a year ago for a Facebook comment thread. I’ve added a few new ones. I have never tried these (and never will), but I’m pretty sure these will not work.

“Hey baby, let me be your guest star and you’ll have tales to astonish.”

“Hey baby, let’s team up and have an amazing adult fantasy.”

“Hey baby, let’s go back to my room and I’ll show you my giant sized man thing.”

“Hey baby, if my first appearance happens in your issue, you’ll go up in value *forever*”

“Hey baby, you’re better than fine, you’re a 10.0. Let me bag and board you and you’ll stay that way forever.”

Bad comic book dealer version: “When I get you alone, I’m going to change you from Poor to Mint with my magic marker.”

“My friend and I can give you a 2 in 1 adventure.”

“Baby, you make my ant man turn into giant man.”

“If my friend and I can spend tonight with you and your friend, we can be the all winners squad.”

“Hey baby, if you can be the brave, I’ll be the bold.”

“Together baby, we will be the worlds finest.”

And if they don’t work “Hey baby, let’s reboot this relationship. We’ll both start over being #1.”

King Con 2016

KingCon2016

I went to King Con and a related event from March 11 to 13th. King Con is a local comic/gaming convention. Originally King Con was just a gaming convention, I never attended it but my understanding is it was on hiatus for a while before our local public library took it over last year. Now it’s half gaming convention and half TCAF like convention, but on a very small scale.

On the 11th, I went to the Screening Room (local mainly indy movie theatre) for a showing of Seth’s Dominion, which is a documentary about the cartoonist Seth. They gave out tickets for a door price of the latest Palookaville book. Seth gave a small introduction explaining that they were going to start with two short animated cartoons done using Seth’s work. One was called the Great Machine, the other Kao-Kuk. Seth wanted it known that these stories were not typical of his work.

The documentary was a mix of Seth talking about his life, his work – both personal and commercial, it showed a number of his friends talking about him, Seth’s parents were discussed too. I was surprised to learn about some of the things Seth does for himself, this includes developing puppets and doing a show with them and his building a large model city. In between all this are animated short Seth stories.

After the show there was a question and answer with Seth himself. I counted 35 people in the theatre. Among the things Seth revealed is his puppet work is going to become it’s own movie. Seth talked about his relationship with Joe Matt and Chester Brown and said they’ve grown apart because they don’t see each other very often. He said when they all lived in Toronto they were constantly talking comics and sharing their work with each other for feedback, but now that they’ve grown more experienced in their cartooning they don’t need that feedback anymore.

Seth talked about the importance of establishing rules in comics and working within them, then breaking those rules. Seth said he really liked the animation of his work in the documentary and he had nothing to do with it. Seth gave all the credit to the person behind the documentary director and animator Luc Chamberland. He liked it so much he’s now thinking about doing some work in Animation.

Seth revealed that the next Clyde Fans is almost done. He needs to revisit what he’s done and he believes he’ll be making some changes to it. Seth also talked about his relationship with computers. He said he went from hating them to tolerating and using them, but he still keeps his computer on the 3rd floor of his house while he works in the basement so it’s not a distraction.

Seth’s Dominion can be rented or purchased here at the National Film Board of Canada’s website. A DVD will be coming out soon is my understanding.

On Saturday and Sunday I went to the King Con convention itself. There were 2 panels featuring comic creators on Saturday and I’ve audio recorded them. One was on Dan Parent and the other on Seth. I also took some pictures, which are a mix of cosplayers and creators.

On Sunday I came back to chit chat with some of the creators, which was nice. I also came across a pirate musical group called Capt’n Tor & The Naer Do Well Cads. They were going around and singing songs, drawing people to tables that weren’t getting much traffic on the first floor. Here are 2 of their songs. Personally I like the 2nd one better, but both are fun to watch.

 

I only got a couple of books for myself at the convention, one was Lucifer’s Sword by Phil Cross and Ronn Sutton and Epochs #1 by Cody Yeo, Greg Moser and Christian Wolf.

 

R.I.P. Paul Ryan (1949 – 2016)

Paul Ryan, 2004 Paradise Comics Toronto Comic Con

Paul Ryan, 2004 Paradise Comics Toronto Comic Con

Artist Paul Ryan has passed away at the age of 66. You hear about comic creators dying and while they are all sad, this one hit me harder than most. I met Paul at least once or twice at conventions and was always happy to see and talk with him.

Paul drew the 2nd comic I ever bought, which was D.P. 7 #2. I would eventually go on to collect the entire series. It is one of my favourite comics of my youth. Paul drew all 32 issues of the comic but Lee Weeks drew the D.P. 7 Annual. The entire New Universe line of books were panned back in the day, but many noted that D.P. 7 was easily the best of the bunch and is fondly remembered by fans like myself.

Paul and D.P. 7 writer Mark Gruenwald worked together on the first 6 issues of Quasar. While I didn’t collect it I did buy the odd issue, particularly the issue that had Quasar go to the New Universe and visit the D.P. 7 cast of characters. I’ve never had any desire to buy original art but I had a serious look at Paul’s D.P. 7 pages. If I saw something I really liked for a decent price I likely would have bought it. Sadly most of the good pages I would have been interested in had been bought already.

Amazing Spider-Man Annual 21

Amazing Spider-Man Annual 21

Paul’s most famous 80’s comic was The Amazing Spider-Man Annual #21, which featured the marriage of Peter Parker and Mary Jane Watson. I also enjoyed Paul’s run on Fantastic Four with Tom DeFalco in the 90s. I know those comics get a bad rap but they were fun, fast paced, popcorn reading. At the time comic industry sales were crashing and if I remember Dan Ravi’s Comic Wars correctly the editors were put under immense pressure to increase sales every quarter in spite of this. DeFalco (who was then the Editor in Chief) and Ryan did their best to do entertaining stories while keeping the upstairs people happy. Their run was filled with with gimmick covers, shocking revelations (Alicia is really a Skrull named Lyja the Lazerfist!), costume changes and more. Paul would go on to draw many more comics for Marvel, DC and other publishers.

Paul had been drawing the Phantom newspaper strip since 2005 and I always happy that he found solid, steady work as he fell out of flavour in comic books. Sadly, many artists do not and are heavily reliant on the convention circuit and fan commissions to support themselves. Many more just don’t get any more work in comics and have to go into some other field. Paul’s consistency and clarity in telling a story were among the qualities that lead to him having a long and successful career in comics.

Comic History Secrets Revealed!

I’ve been going to comic book conventions since 2003 and have been audio recording panels and awards since 2005. Along the way creators have spoken about some behind the scenes happenings that don’t always become public knowledge.

DC Bloodlines Logo

Marvel Superstar!

 

On the Comics Can Be Good column at CBR, Brian Cronin writes about the 1993 DC Bloodlines Annuals. In these annuals a new superhero character was created, which was a selling point to get fans to buy these books. The vast majority of these characters were not very popular and went into comic book limbo almost immediately after their appearance. The same thing happened with the 1993 Marvel Annuals that had new characters in them too.

 

 

 

 

 

Creator Mike Grell wrote the Green Arrow Annual #6 and came up with a character called The Hook. Grell was at the 2008 Toronto Hobbystar ComiCON and was on a panel along with Bob Layton and David Michelinie. It was called The Men of Iron / Sketch Off Panel where Layton and Grell did sketches and all 3 talked about their careers, focusing mainly on their time on Iron Man. The panel was moderated by Blake Bell.

The conversation drifted towards working with editors and around the 37:30 mark, David Michelinie spoke about declining to work on the Marvel annual (he was writing Amazing Spider-Man at the time). Mike Grell spoke about working on the Green Arrow Annual #6.

Michelinie: I remember one year in the annuals. (…) One year they had everybody create a new character which Marvel would then own. So I declined to do the annual that year. You always have a choice. You can always say no.

 

Grell: DC had that policy. There was a line of books that they did. They mandated that everybody had to create a new character and by the way, it was work for hire and DC owned the character. Being a professional prostitute [laughter from the panel] I did, but I accidentally created a good one. I had already sent in the outline for the story as soon as it went in I went “OH CRAP! THAT’S A GOOD CHARACTER!” [Laughter] I got on the phone with the editor and I unsold it. [Lots of Laughter] The character that I created, I convinced them it wasn’t very good. The character I created, the one that showed up in print was this war veteran who had a prosthetic hand or a prosthesis and when he would active his power, his hook would become this giant hook/claw thing that could cut through anything. By the time I’m done the editor was going “Yeah that’s great! That’s great!” *Whew!* that was close.

GreenArrowAnn-06-47

The Hook from Green Arrow Annual #6 – created by Mike Grell and Mike Collins.  © DC Comics

 

Marvel and DC likely did this because of Image Comics. They began publishing in 1992 and very quickly became the #3 publisher in the industry. Image was creating lots of new characters that had fans excited. Marvel and DC likely wanted to counter with their own “exciting” new characters but didn’t want to pay creators for them. So they got what they got. I should say that not all characters to come from this were a bust. Garth Ennis and John McCrea created Hitman, who had a well loved solo series.

I can’t speak for all creators, but I think with a lot of creators would really hate to have created a character and have it earn all sorts of money and none (or very little) of it going to them. It bothers them a lot and it can bother them for the rest of their lives. Much like if somebody broke into your house and stole your prized possession and then flaunted it in front of you at every chance they got for the rest of your life and you can’t do anything about it. The pain is such they’d rather not have created the character at all.

Plus there is always the possibility that they might use the character in a situation where it’s much more agreeable to them. It could be with another publisher or even the same publisher with different editorial policy down the line. Some creators work in other mediums like prose books, cartoons, video games, etc.. and those other fields may provide better deals. There is simply no reason for creators to provide good characters to non paying publishers if they think they’re going to regret the decision.

Deadpool and X-Men Origins: Wolverine revisited

Deadpool Movie

 

I have yet to see the new Deadpool movie, but by all accounts it’s very popular and people are loving it.

The new movie reminds me of the previous Deadpool appearance in the film X-Men Origins: Wolverine. In that movie we first see Ryan Reynolds play Deadpool and people were happy in the early part of the movie because he got the snappy patter part down. The sucky part was at the end, where they made Deadpool the main villain for Wolverine and changed him.

wolverine-deadpool-origins-thumb

Don’t get sick.

 

As more than one person mentioned, they took the ‘Merc with the Mouth’ and removed the mouth.

What the new Deadpool movie popularity shows is why they did this. Imagine if they had Deadpool, as he is in the recent movie, battle Wolverine at the end? Would everybody want to see the hero of the movie Wolverine win? As popular as Hugh Jackman and Wolverine is I think an extended fight scene against classic non stop black humor joking Deadpool would not have worked out so well for him in his own movie. So they decided to change Deadpool into a character that you wouldn’t like and did so by taking away his mouth and his costume. Now it’s clear, cheer for Wolverine and boo the bad Deadpool.

You may think they shouldn’t have had Wolverine fight Deadpool in the first place and I agree. Superhero movies always seem to want the villains to have some sort of connection to the characters origin. Examples being the Joker being the one that killed Bruce Wayne’s parents in the first Michael Keaton Batman movie or the hamfisted Sandman connection to Uncle Ben’s death in the 3rd Tobey MaGuire Spider-Man film. The Wolverine movie was supposed to be about Wolverine’s origin and they already used Sabretooth in the first X-Men film. While Sabretooth plays a major role in this film, he was last seen by movie goers as a fairly minor player in the first X-men film who gets killed. This makes Sabretooth an unsatisfying final villain for this film. Another major villain with origin ties was Lady Deathstrike, but she was used and killed in the 2nd X-men film. None of the other characters on the “Team X” would work as the main villain either.

I also think felt they had to tie into the Weapon X story line since it’s so featured so much in the 2nd X-men film. There was backstory there and this movie was to fill it. Ideally, they would have done a better job with Sabretooth in the first X-men film (have him kick Wolverine around some then disappear) and used him in the 2nd in a similar way to set him up as the big bad Wolverine specific villain you wanted to see him go up against. Hindsight is 20/20 though, I imagine when they were making the first X-men film they were just hoping the movie wouldn’t bomb and were not planning for a solo Wolverine movie 9 years later. So with all other options gone, they decided the main villain had to be Deadpool, but a version of Deadpool that wouldn’t be liked and that’s what we got.

 

wolverine-vs-wendigo
Personally, I’d have liked to see Wendigo be the big villain for the first Wolverine movie. He ties into Wolverine’s first appearance in Hulk #180 & 181 but there obviously wouldn’t have had the Hulk in a FOX movie. They could have brought in Shaman from Alpha Flight to explain/deal with the ‘human soul trapped with the Wendigo curse’ bit. If they go a little further than the comics did at the time and add in the cannibalism part of the origin it would have been a horror movie element to the film, making it stand out. I know when they do movie rights specific characters are put into groupings and I don’t know that Wendigo would have been in the X-men grouping or the Hulk’s grouping since the character has appeared in both characters stories over the years, not to mention many other Marvel characters. The same goes with Shaman, I have no idea of Alpha Flight are their own grouping or if they are part of the X-men.

The Combined Best Graphic Novels of 2015!

Excel

Over the last few months there have been many, many websites with “Best of 2015” 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 94 different “Best Of” Lists regarding comic books and graphic novels and combined them into a spreadsheet. There are 1,822 different listings of books from these websites. I should note that I 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 or more recommendations, starting with a tie for the top spot with 25 recommendations:

 

Book Title Count Writer Artist Publisher
Step Aside, Pops: A Hark! A Vagrant Collection 25 Kate Beaton Kate Beaton Drawn & Quarterly
Ms. Marvel 25 G. Willow Wilson Adrian Alphona Marvel Comics
SuperMutant Magic Academy 24 Jillian Tamaki Jillian Tamaki Drawn & Quarterly
Nimona 24 Noelle Stevenson Noelle Stevenson Harper Collins
The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl 23 Ryan North Erica Henderson Marvel Comics
March: Book Two 21 John Robert Lewis, Andrew Aydin Nate Powell Top Shelf
Killing and Dying 21 Adrian Tomine Adrian Tomine Drawn & Quarterly
Bitch Planet 20 Kelly Sue DeConnick Valentine De Landro Image Comics
The Wicked + The Divine 20 Kieron Gillen Jamie McKelvie Image Comics
Paper Girls 20 Brian K. Vaughan Cliff Chiang Image Comics
Saga 20 Brian K. Vaughan Fiona Staples Image Comics
Southern Bastards 19 Jason Aaron Jason Latour Image Comics
Lumberjanes 16 Grace Ellis, Noelle Stevenson Brooke Allen Boom!
The Sculptor 15 Scott McCloud Scott McCloud First Second
Descender 15 Jeff Lemire Dustin Nguyen Image Comics
The Story of My Tits 15 Jennifer Hayden Jennifer Hayden Top Shelf
The Sandman: Overture 14 Neil Gaiman J.H. Williams III DC Comics/Vertigo
Two Brothers 14 Fábio Moon and Gabriel Bá Fábio Moon and Gabriel Bá Dark Horse Comics
Archie 13 Mark Waid Fiona Staples, Annie Wu Archie Comics
Secret Wars 13 Jonathan Hickman Esad Ribic Marvel Comics
The Fade Out 12 Ed Brubaker Sean Phillips Image Comics
The Divine 12 Boaz Lavie Asaf Hanuka and Tomer Hanuka First Second
The Multiversity 12 Grant Morrison Frank Quitely, Ivan Reis and Jim Lee DC Comics/Vertigo
Black River 11 Josh Simmons Josh Simmons Fantagraphics Books
Batgirl 11 Brenden Fletcher and Cameron Stewart Babs Tarr DC Comics/Vertigo
The Omega Men 11 Tom King Barnaby Bagenda and Toby Cypress DC Comics/Vertigo
Invisible Ink: My Mother’s Love Affair With A Famous Cartoonist 11 Bill Griffith Bill Griffith Fantagraphics Books
Wytches 11 Scott Snyder Jock Image Comics
Sacred Heart 10 Liz Suburbia Liz Suburbia Fantagraphics Books
The Arab of the Future: A Childhood in the Middle East, 1978-1984: A Graphic Memoir 10 Riad Sattouf Riad Sattouf Metropolitan Books
Airboy 10 James Robinson Greg Hinkle Image Comics
Midnighter 10 Steve Orlando ACO, Alec Morgan, Stephen Mooney DC Comics/Vertigo
Fante Bukowski 10 Noah Van Sciver Noah Van Sciver Fantagraphics Books
Jem and The Holograms 9 Kelly Thompson Sophie Campbell IDW Publishing
Harrow County 9 Cullen Bunn Tyler Crook Dark Horse Comics
Drawn & Quarterly: Twenty-five Years of Contemporary Cartooning, Comics and Graphic Novels 9 Various Various Drawn & Quarterly
Russian Olive To Red King 8 Kathryn Immonen Stuart Immonen Adhouse Books
Giant Days 8 John Allison Lissa Treiman Boom!
Frontier 8 Various Various Youth in Decline
Hawkeye 8 Matt Fraction David Aja, Francesco Francavilla Marvel Comics
Ruins 8 Peter Kuper Peter Kuper Abrams
Nanjing: The Burning City 8 Ethan Young Ethan Young Random House
Hellboy in Hell 8 Mike Mignola Mike Mignola Dark Horse Comics
Star Wars 7 Jason Aaron John Cassaday and Stuart Immonen Marvel Comics
One-Punch Man 7 ONE Yusuke Murata Viz Media
Sexcastle 7 Kyle Starks Kyle Starks Image Comics
Lazarus 7 Greg Rucka Michael Lark Image Comics
Providence 7 Alan Moore Jacen Burrows Avatar Press
Mowgli’s Mirror 7 Olivier Schrauwen Olivier Schrauwen Retrofit Comics
The Autumnlands 7 Kurt Busiek Benjamin Dewey Image Comics
Silver Surfer 7 Dan Slott Mike Allred Marvel Comics
Monstress 7 Marjorie Liu Sana Takeda Image Comics
Terror Assaulter (O.M.W.O.T.) 7 Benjamin Marra Benjamin Marra Fantagraphics Books
Displacement: A Travelogue 7 Lucy Knisley Lucy Knisley Fantagraphics Books
COPRA 7 Michel Fiffe Michel Fiffe Self-Published
Rat Queens 6 Kurtis J. Wiebe Roc Upchurch and Stjepan Šejić Image Comics
MIND MGMT 6 Matt Kindt Matt Kindt Dark Horse Comics
Trashed 6 Derf Backderf Derf Backderf Abrams
Star Wars: Darth Vader 6 Kieron Gillen Salvador Larroca and Edgar Delgado Marvel Comics
Unflattening 6 Nick Sousanis Nick Sousanis Harvard University Press
The Oven 6 Sophie Goldstein Sophie Goldstein AdHouse Books
Sex Criminals 6 Matt Fraction Chip Zdarsky Image Comics
Wuvable Oaf 6 Ed Luce Ed Luce Fantagraphics Books
Roller Girl 6 Victoria Jamieson Victoria Jamieson Dial Books
Grayson 6 Tim Seeley and Tom King Mikel Janin, Stephen Mooney DC Comics/Vertigo
The Eternaut 6 Héctor Germán Oesterheld Francisco Solano López Fantagraphics Books
Borb 6 Jason Little Jason Little Uncivilized Books
Alex + Ada 5 Jonathan Luna and Sarah Vaughn Jonathan Luna Image Comics
Sky In Stereo 5 Mardou Mardou Revival House/Alternative Comics
I Hate Fairyland 5 Skottie Young Skottie Young Image Comics
Pablo 5 Julie Birmant & Clément Oubrerie Clément Oubrerie SelfMadeHero
Exquisite Corpse 5 Penelope Bagieu Penelope Bagieu First Second
The Age of Selfishness 5 Darryl Cunningham Darryl Cunningham Abrams
Not Funny Ha-Ha 5 Leah Hayes Leah Hayes Fantagraphics Books
Private Eye: Deluxe Edition 5 Brian K. Vaughan Marcos Martin Image Comics
Generous Bosom 5 Conor Stechschulte Conor Stechschulte Breakdown Press
Bright-Eyed at Midnight 5 Leslie Stein Leslie Stein Fantagraphics Books
The Humans 5 Keenan Marshall Keller Tom Neely Image Comics
Fütchi Perf 5 Kevin Czap Kevin Czap Czap Books
Gotham Academy 5 Brenden Fletcher and Becky Cloonan Karl Kerschl DC Comics/Vertigo
Island 5 Various Various Image Comics
Lady Killer 5 Joëlle Jones and Jamie S. Rich Joëlle Jones Dark Horse Comics
Prez 5 Mark Russell Ben Caldwell DC Comics/Vertigo
East of West 5 Jonathan Hickman Nick Dragotta Image Comics
Daredevil 5 Mark Waid Chris Samnee Marvel Comics
We Can Never Go Home 5 Matthew Rosenberg and Patrick Kindlon Josh Hood Black Mask Studios
Space Dumplins 5 Craig Thompson Craig Thompson Scholastic
Bacchus Omnibus Edition, Vol. 1 5 Eddie Campbell Eddie Campbell Top Shelf
Stray Bullets: Sunshine & Roses 5 David Lapham David Lapham Image Comics
The Last Man 5 Bastien Vivès, Michaël Sanlaville, Balak Bastien Vivès, Michaël Sanlaville, Balak First Second
Kaijumax 5 Zander Cannon Zander Cannon Oni Press
Fantasy Sports 5 Sam Bosma Sam Bosma Nobrow Press
Huck 5 Mark Millar Rafael Albuquerque Image Comics
Melody: Story Of A Nude Dancer 5 Sylvie Rancourt Sylvie Rancourt Drawn & Quarterly

Also of note, a handful of reviewers included a webcomic within it’s best books lists. There was a clear winner with Lighten Up by Ronald Wimberly getting picked by 4 websites. Every other webcomic was only picked once.

 
 

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

 

 

Regarding Publishers:

Image was the most popular with 87 different titles.

Marvel and DC tied for 2nd with 50 titles each.

Fantagraphics and Dark Horse tied for 3rd with 33 titles.

Viz Media was 4th with 20 titles.

Drawn and Quarterly was 5th with 17 titles.

45 Self-Published books made the lists too.

 

Caveats:

Where websites broke up their lists into parts, I’ve counted that as 1 list.

Where a website does more than 1 list (say best Comic Books and best Graphic Novels) I’ve counted that as two separate lists.

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

I did not use nominations for upcoming awards.

There were also a couple of “Best Books for 2016” lists that I did not include.

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. Apologies to the reviewers of those books.

Some writers included books that were technically published in 2014 and at least 1 just listed best books they read that year, but the vast majority of those lists were 2015 books. The number of non 2015 books in the spreadsheet is very tiny and insignificant to the overall list.

Most of the lists were general ‘best/favourite books’ of 2015, 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.

Here are the websites I used, including the ones with lists broken up into multiple pages.

Robert Boyd – http://www.thegreatgodpanisdead.com/2015/12/my-favorite-comics-of-2015.html
Slate – http://www.slate.com/articles/arts/books/2015/12/adrian_tomine_kate_beaton_jillian_tamaki_best_comics_and_graphic_novels.html
Good Reads – https://www.goodreads.com/choiceawards/best-graphic-novels-comics-2015
Tech Times – http://www.techtimes.com/articles/107899/20151203/best-comics-of-2015.htm
Kirkus – https://www.kirkusreviews.com/lists/best-middle-grade-graphic-novels-of-2015/ also on http://www.huffingtonpost.com/kirkus/best-middlegrade-graphic-_b_8690024.html
A.V. Club – http://www.avclub.com/article/our-favorite-graphic-novels-one-shots-and-archives-229423
Rob Kirby Comics – http://robkirbycomics.com/Rob_Kirby_Comics/Blog/Entries/2015/12/15_Robs_Top_30_Comics_and_Comics-related_Things_of_2015_%28see_2014_list_here%29.html
Vulture – http://www.vulture.com/2015/12/10-best-comic-books-of-2015.html
Vulture – http://www.vulture.com/2015/11/10-best-graphic-novels-2015.html
Paste Magazine – http://www.pastemagazine.com/articles/2015/12/10-small-press-and-self-published-comics-you-shoul.html
Amazon.com – http://www.amazon.com/b/ref=s9_acss_bw_cg_boty15_3a1?_encoding=UTF8&node=13127711011&pf_rd_m=ATVPDKIKX0DER&pf_rd_s=merchandised-search-6&pf_rd_r=100NMR6DKYNC4X3J66V2&pf_rd_t=101&pf_rd_p=2325173882&pf_rd_i=13108091011
The Comic Reporter 5 For Friday – http://www.comicsreporter.com/index.php/fff_results_post_441_the_year_in_comics/
Forbes – http://www.forbes.com/sites/robsalkowitz/2015/12/21/ten-best-graphic-novels-of-2015/
The Beat – http://www.comicsbeat.com/the-best-comics-of-2015/
CBR – http://www.comicbookresources.com/article/cbrs-top-100-comics-of-2015-100-76
CBR – http://www.comicbookresources.com/article/cbrs-top-100-comics-of-2015-75-51
CBR – http://www.comicbookresources.com/article/cbrs-top-100-comics-of-2015-50-26
CBR – http://www.comicbookresources.com/article/cbrs-top-100-comics-of-2015-25-11
CBR – http://www.comicbookresources.com/article/cbrs-top-100-comics-of-2015-10-1
Bleeding Cool – http://www.bleedingcool.com/2015/12/30/bleeding-cools-11-best-graphic-novels-of-2015/
Mental Floss – http://mentalfloss.com/article/72457/25-best-comics-and-graphic-novels-2015
i09 – http://io9.gizmodo.com/the-20-best-comics-and-graphic-novels-of-2015-1748709046
Comicosity – http://www.comicosity.com/best-of-2015-graphic-novel/
Comicosity – http://www.comicosity.com/best-of-2015-indie-comics/
Entropy Mag – http://entropymag.org/best-of-2015-comics-graphic-novels/
Barnes & Noble – http://www.barnesandnoble.com/blog/sci-fi-fantasy/the-best-new-manga-series-of-2015/
Comics and Cola – http://www.comicsandcola.com/2015/12/2015-in-comics-reading-guide.html
Comics Alternative – http://comicsalternative.com/episode-168-our-favorite-comics-of-2015/
CBC – http://www.cbc.ca/books/bestbooks2015/
Savage Critic – http://www.savagecritic.com/uncategorized/abhay-2015-another-year-that-i-mindlessly-consumed-entertainment-almost/
Comics for Grownups – http://comicsforgrownups.tumblr.com/post/136118333648/episode-54-best-of-2015
Journeys in Darkness and Light – https://journeysindarknessandlight.wordpress.com/2015/12/16/best-comics-of-2015-my-top-10/
Publishers Weekly – http://best-books.publishersweekly.com/pw/best-books/2015/comics
Nerdist – http://nerdist.com/the-10-best-comics-of-2015/
Polygon – http://www.polygon.com/comics/2015/12/23/10636552/best-comics-2015
Vox – http://www.vox.com/2015/12/11/9890256/12-best-comic-books-2015
CBR – http://www.comicbookresources.com/article/in-your-face-jam-top-10-series-of-2015
Bleeding Cool – http://www.bleedingcool.com/2015/12/31/bleeding-cools-11-best-comics-of-2015/
ComicBook.com – http://comicbook.com/2015/12/15/the-best-comics-of-2015-part-one/
ComicBook.com – http://comicbook.com/2015/12/15/the-best-comics-of-2015-part-two-/
Paul Gravett – http://www.paulgravett.com/articles/article/my_top_ten_comics_of_2015
The Factual Opinion – http://www.factualopinion.com/the_factual_opinion/2015/12/the-best-comics-of-2015-sure-why-not.html
popOptiq – http://www.popoptiq.com/best-comics-of-2015-part-one/
popOptiq – http://www.popoptiq.com/best-comics-of-2015-part-two/
Paste Magazine – http://www.pastemagazine.com/articles/2015/12/the-best-comic-books-of-2015.html?a=1
Guide Live – http://www.guidelive.com/comic-books/2015/12/30/top-10-comics-2015-year-newcomers-indies-took-reins
Mutha Magazine – http://muthamagazine.com/2015/12/ask-a-mutha-whats-the-good-stuff-a-readingwatching-picks-list-for-2015/
Just Indie Comics – http://justindiecomics.com/2016/01/09/best-comics-of-2015-part-one/
Just Indy Comics – http://justindiecomics.com/2016/01/12/best-comics-of-2015-part-two/
Vice – http://www.vice.com/read/vices-top-ten-comics-of-2015
CBR – Comics Can Be Good – http://goodcomics.comicbookresources.com/2016/01/12/my-top-ten-comics-of-2015/
ABS-CBN – http://news.abs-cbn.com/lifestyle/12/30/15/the-top-comic-books-of-2015
Anime News Network – http://www.animenewsnetwork.com/feature/2015-12-11/the-best-and-most-memorable-manga-of-2015/.96203
App.com – http://www.app.com/story/entertainment/books/2015/12/25/exciting-new-comics/77875946/
A.V. Club – http://www.avclub.com/article/our-favorite-ongoing-and-serial-comics-2015-229119
Comic Bastards – http://comicbastards.com/comics/best-of-2015-best-comic-of-the-year/
American Library Association – http://www.ala.org/news/member-news/2016/01/yalsa-names-2016-great-graphic-novels-teens
CBR Comics Should Be Good – http://goodcomics.comicbookresources.com/2016/01/16/dont-worry-about-those-other-best-comics-of-the-year-lists-because-this-is-the-one-youve-been-waiting-for/
Comics Anonymous – https://comicsanonymous2015.wordpress.com/tag/best-of-2015/
Your Chicken Enemy – http://danielrelkin.blogspot.ca/2015/12/top-10-comics-i-reviewed-of-2015.html
Entertainment Weekly – http://www.ew.com/article/2015/12/22/best-comics-2015
GQ – http://www.gq.com/story/the-10-best-graphic-novels-of-2015
The Hollywood Reporter – http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/heat-vision/top-10-comics-2015-851021
ICV2.com – http://icv2.com/articles/columns/view/33360/2015-comics-favorites-delights-guilty-pleasures
The Independent – http://www.independent.co.uk/arts-entertainment/books/features/the-best-graphic-novels-of-2015-a6750376.html
Longbox Coffin – http://arecomicsevengood.tumblr.com/post/136186593959/top-comics-of-2015
Multiversity Comics – http://www.multiversitycomics.com/columns/2015-best-new-series/
Existential Ennui – http://www.existentialennui.com/2015/12/the-ten-best-graphic-novels-and-comics.html
NPR – http://apps.npr.org/best-books-2015/#/tag/comics-and-graphic-novels
Panel Platter – http://www.panelpatter.com/2016/01/james-2015-favorites.html
Panel Platter – http://www.panelpatter.com/2016/01/scotts-year-of-comics-or-his-favorite.html
Panel Platter – http://www.panelpatter.com/2016/01/guy-thomass-top-ten-favorite-comics-of.html
Publishers Weekly – http://www.publishersweekly.com/pw/by-topic/industry-news/comics/article/69024-the-sculptor-tops-pw-s-10th-annual-graphic-novel-critics-poll.html
Sequential – http://www.sequential.cc/2015/12/top-ten-graphic-novels-of-2015.html
sktchd – http://sktchd.com/column/creators-share-their-favorite-comics-of-2015/
sktchd – http://sktchd.com/column/the-sktchies-favorite-comics-of-2015/
School Library Journal – http://www.slj.com/2015/11/feature-articles/top-10-graphic-novels-2015/
School Library Journal – http://blogs.slj.com/goodcomicsforkids/2015/12/15/the-good-comics-for-kids-2015-gift-guide/
Forward.com – http://forward.com/culture/books/328162/from-ira-glass-to-ultra-orthodox-ya-heroines-the-best-jewish-graphic-novels/?attribution=home-hero-item-img-4
Smoo Comics – http://www.smoo-comics.com/2015/12/five-great-comics-i-read-this-year/
The Gaurdian – http://www.theguardian.com/books/2015/dec/07/best-graphic-books-2015-adrian-tomine-rachael-ball-jillian-tamaki-andy-hixon?CMP=twt_gu
The Village Voice – http://www.villagevoice.com/arts/the-outstanding-comics-of-2015-bring-it-all-back-home-7957185
Washington Post – https://www.washingtonpost.com/entertainment/books/best-graphic-novels-of-2015/2015/11/18/89086376-7902-11e5-b9c1-f03c48c96ac2_story.html
Creative Bloq – http://www.creativebloq.com/comics/best-graphic-novels-2015-121518520
Comic Alliance – http://comicsalliance.com/comics-alliance-best-of-2015-winners/
The Kansas City Star – http://www.kansascity.com/entertainment/books/article49301710.html
The Alligators Mouth – http://www.thealligatorsmouth.co.uk/#!Books-of-the-Year-2015-Comics-Graphic-Novels/co3i/56571c7f0cf22d6285177161
Library Journal – http://reviews.libraryjournal.com/2015/11/best-of/best-books-2015-graphic-novels/
Panels – http://panels.net/bestof2015/
Richland Library – http://www.richlandlibrary.com/recommend/best-comics-2015-biased-selection
Under the Radar – http://www.undertheradarmag.com/lists/under_the_radars_top_25_comic_books_and_graphic_novels_of_2015/
Clear Eyes Full Shelves – http://cleareyesfullshelves.com/blog/2015-list-of-awesome-comics-graphic-novels
News OK – http://newsok.com/article/5469978
ConTV – http://blog.contv.com/best-new-comic-series-and-graphic-novels-of-2015/
Harris County Public Library – http://www.hcpl.net/content/2015-staff-favorites-graphic-novels-part-one
Harris County Public Library – http://www.hcpl.net/content/2015-staff-favorites-graphic-novels-part-two
The Globe & Mail – http://www.theglobeandmail.com/arts/books-and-media/the-globe-100-the-best-books-of-2015/article27607992/#collection/comicsfive/
The Mary Sue – http://www.themarysue.com/the-best-of-pull-wisely-2015/
Heroic Girls – http://www.heroicgirls.com/the-best-all-ages-comics-for-girls-in-2015/
Vertigology – http://vertigology.net/2015/12/23/the-top-30-comics-of-2015/
Outlandish Lit – http://outlandishlit.blogspot.ca/2016/01/best-comics-of-2015.html
Book Minx Reads – https://bookminxreads.wordpress.com/2015/12/23/top-ten-week-best-comicsgraphic-novels-read-in-2015/

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