Tips for covering Comic Conventions

As some of you know I go to comic book conventions and cover them, usually as a member of the press. My first convention was in the summer of 2002 which means I’m coming up on 15 years now. So I’ve been thinking about all of the stuff I’ve learned over the years covering conventions and decided I would share them for anybody who is either just starting to cover comic conventions or thinking about doing so.

 

If you are there to cover the con and have fun, remember that covering the con comes before having fun. This means if there are things you want to do as a fan conflict with things you should do as a member of the press, then do the press thing. Especially if you are working for another website and not for yourself. If the convention has given you a free ticket to get in, you should do the job that you’re there to do and not just have fun for “free.” There have been several conventions where pro-wrestlers I really liked were there and doing a panel, people whom I’ve always wanted to meet and ask questions. Sadly, doing so conflicted with covering comic related stuff so I wasn’t able to do it.

 

Just because the convention gave you a press pass doesn’t mean owe the convention a positive review. Some conventions are run badly or at least did not work out as well as they hoped. You can and should be the voice of the people who paid money to be at the con, both vendors and fans. When I was writing convention reports I’d talk to the exhibitors that were at the con. Sometimes exhibitors will tell you something completely different than they say to the convention organizers or what they say out loud when convention staff are nearby. They might do this in fear of petty retribution by the convention organization, be it getting kicked out other shows the organization is doing, getting a poor spot on the convention floor next show or something like that. Some people just don’t want to say negative things about somebody’s work to their face. Go with what they tell you, as they know you are press and they want the word to get out.

 

Some people very loudly complain about the convention and are not shy at all. It might be the same complaint every convention, every year. The market is evolving and they refuse to evolve with it and they get mad at the convention for it. For example, it was (and still is with some dealers) common practice to mix up the dollar bin books so that fans would need to look through all of them to find the books they want. In the old days die-hard fans would go through all the books and find some they want and maybe pick up something they didn’t originally plan on buying, which is why the dealers did it. It was also much less labour intensive to have them mixed up then putting them all in order. These days more and more fans just won’t spend the time to do that anymore. If the books aren’t sorted so they can quickly find if what they’re looking for is there, then they move on. Either another dealer will have them sorted (and they’ll pay $2 or $3 for the same book if it’s easy to find) or they’ll buy it on online. Vendors who don’t adapt see their sales falling and they blame it on the convention. It’s always best to get a variety of views and not let just one or two colour your view of the whole convention.

 

I get a number of people asking me the details about who I work for and the purpose of my coverage. Have business cards to give them. Some people will really appreciate them and it looks more professional. Sometimes you’ll get a business card back that will have a way to contact them that’s not public and can be useful down the line.

 

Look at how other professionals are dressed. Are they wearing Wolverine and Walking Dead t-shirts? With rare exceptions they’re not. Dress in normal clothes and not like a fan. Feel free to buy and wear those clothes when you’re at home, but while you’re at a convention, don’t pay money to be a walking billboard for a company’s product. It’s a subtle thing, but if you don’t want professionals to treat you like a fan, then don’t dress like a fan. The rare exceptions I’ve seen a professional dressed in fandom clothes are usually older creators wearing a t-shirt of a character they created. If you’re Len Wein and you co-created Wolverine and Swamp Thing you’re totally permitted to wear a  t-shirt with them on it.

 

With many conventions you really need to pick and choose what you’re going to cover as conventions are multifaceted and have a mix of comics, gaming, celebrities and other stuff going on. When I first started covering conventions I tried to cover it all, but that quickly got frustrating. Especially when some parts of the conventions weren’t very receptive to the press. In my case it was covering the celebrities. They wanted everybody to pay for photos and often there were mechanisms to block anybody from taking a photo without paying for it, including the press. In one case a celebrity did a panel, but had the convention block access to anybody with a press pass from attending said panel. At that point I stopped covering celebrities and decided I was there for the comics so I would focus on the comic aspect of the convention.

 

Plan ahead and have backup plans. Have a schedule of what you’re going to do and when it’s happening. This means if there is panel you wish to cover, get there a head of time. If the convention doesn’t clear out the rooms, you might want to attend the panel prior to it while its ongoing so you’re in the room when the next panel starts. If you have to miss said panel (this always happens to me at least once per convention), think about what else is going on that you can cover and rearrange your schedule to compensate. Sometimes this is a bonus as you get something nobody else is covering, effectively giving you an exclusive and learn something new that’s really interesting or cool. Best part will be passing this along to your readers.

 

Not every creator is going to agree to what you want or even follow through on their promises. I’ve had creators skip out on doing scheduled interviews, then refuse to make alternative plans to do the interview at a different date (or even some other method after the convention). Some have agree to having their panel recorded at one convention, then refuse the same request at another.  I have even helped a lost creator find their room they’re doing a panel in and then said creator refused to have the panel recorded. It’s best to not take this stuff personally. For starters you’re not entitled the the professional’s time. It also  doesn’t do you any good to hold on to the anger. Let it go and just know that you can’t rely on that creator in the future. There are lots of people who want coverage and many that aren’t getting the coverage they ought to.

 

Assuming you use electronics, have spare charged batteries and/or chargers with you at all times. This is especially true for cameras and tablets/laptops. Sometimes things get left on or a battery that you thought was charged suddenly isn’t. It really sucks not having the tools you need to cover something. Also, bring a notepad and pen(s). It’s often just easier to pull it out of your back pocket and write stuff down. Especially if you are taking pictures of pro’s you’ve never seen before. I always make sure I write down their names in the order that I took the pictures, even if I know who the pro is. I also write down something about them to identify the picture. Something like green T-shirt and glasses, standing with book, etc.. This will really help when putting names to faces. The photos of people you know mixed in with these photo’s will help assure you that your putting the correct names to faces.

 

After the convention is over for the day, if you have any writing to do you should spend at least part of your evening writing. I know with most conventions there are parties at night and it’ll be tempting to go to said parties but again, if you’re there to do a job, then do that job. Otherwise, you’re going to need to make up the time somewhere else to meet your deadline which may involve missing sleep – which is never a good thing to do on purpose. Often I have a tablet (with keyboard) with me and when I’m getting dinner at a restaurant I’ll pull out the tablet and start writing while I’m waiting for food and my bill. Squeeze in your writing where you can. If you miss something you wanted to cover and there is nothing else between now and and the next thing you want to do, find the press room and use it to get some writing done. The less work there is to do after the convention is over the better it is for you.

 

If you ARE at a party with lots of professionals, know that your presence might be a downer at the party. Because you are press, people might be more guarded about what they talk about in fear of what they say getting spread online, even if you reassure them that’s not going to happen. Also if you are conversing with a pro at a party, don’t ask them the same fanboy questions they’ve probably been asked 2 dozen times that day.

 

Another thing you will notice is different press organizations get different levels of access. If it’s a TV show with a camera crew, they are probably going to be able to get the interviews with people you can’t just because of how large their audience is. Same goes for the more popular websites that cover comics. Don’t fret over what other people are doing as covering a convention isn’t a competition. If you have stuff you wanted to do, go and do that and be happy with it. Not everything at a convention gets coverage and often people/events that aren’t big names are very appreciative for the coverage you bring.

 

If you do this long enough, some creators who you’re used to seeing and chatting with are going to become very popular. Then you’re not going to be able to just walk up to their table and chat with them like you used to anymore. Chip Zdarsky and Agnes Garbowska are two examples for me right now. For years I would walk up to their tables, make small talk with them and ask them for a picture. Now their tables are usually surrounded with people and sometimes they just do signings at specific times. Be happy for their success. You may still see them at a panel or elsewhere outside the convention itself.

 

Beyond that, do try to enjoy your time at the convention. While you still need to work and focus your energies to that end, the work you are doing should still be enjoyable. Otherwise, why do it?

 

San Diego Comic Con 2016

Joker Trump

I went to San Diego Comic Con again and this year things went a little differently for me.

First, I got a direct non-stop flight from Toronto to San Diego, which was nice because normally I have at least 1 layover ever when I fly there. On the flight back I saw quite a few comic peeps I recognized. The flight was also significantly cheaper than what I normally pay.

I landed in San Diego on Tuesday and got around to do some things in San Diego before the con, like go to the Coronado Beach. The sand looked like gold and I saw small crabs in the barnacles. I also saw the hotel that was in the Marilyn Monroe movie Some Like it Hot. I’m told it’s been used in a lot of TV shows and movies.

Normally I land in San Diego on Wednesday afternoon, go straight to my hotel, check and get lunch, unpack, relax for a bit, then head down to the convention to get my badge. All of this makes for a really long day, so coming in Tuesday made it much easier on me. The only problem is needing to find a Hotel for Tuesday only and having to pack up and leave on Wednesday to your comic con hotel. As I’ve learned a couple of years ago, even if you get the same hotel the staff will have a different room for you for the convention days and you’ll have to move to that room.

For the con itself what was different was that I didn’t spend that much time on the exhibit floor. There were days where I didn’t hit the exhibit floor at all. I didn’t go there on Thursday or Saturday. I was only on there for a bit on Friday and Sunday towards the very end. Normally I make it a point to walk every isle and see everything. This year I felt fine skipping about a 3rd of the exhibit floor.

In previous years in the non comic area’s you’d sometimes find booths with a couple long boxes of comics or trades. Often it would be a mix of odd stuff that they’re just trying to get rid of and you’d get a decent deal. The last couple of years I haven’t seen any comics at all in that area, so I skipped it. The publishers (big and small) and back issue dealers are primarily in Hall B & C then you find artists alley, some artists collective booths and original art dealers in Hall’s F.

I discovered some booths I normally shop at either had smaller spaces or reduced/changed what they had brought. Bud Plants booth was half of what it normally is. There were a couple of underground dealers that didn’t have much in the way of old underground collections like they normally did. I also noticed Mile High didn’t bring any GNs and was only selling back issues, which was a switch. As a result I bought less than I normally do there.

I don’t know how the publishers are doing when it comes to selling their books but I haven’t heard any complaints. When I typically walk by their booths I see lots of people in them. I did find it a little odd that the Image Comics booth didn’t have any Savage Dragon trades there. Considering Erik Larsen was an Image founder you’d think they’d bring something. It’s pretty sad when the publisher you help create decides to abandon you at the biggest show of the year.

The moment the con announced the show was closing in a half hour all the dealers started taking down their “wall” comics and packing up. I didn’t talk to many dealers about how the show went, but when dealers start packing up early (or at least as early as they’re allowed), that’s almost always a sign it was a bad show and they just want to cut their losses and get out of there ASAP.

I know dealers are increasingly unhappy with the con because they feel back issue buyers can’t get into the con because tickets sell out so quickly. I have no doubt that’s true, but I think there’s more to it. I think there are less people buying back issues than before. Those that do want a good deal (EG: below guide) and normally dealers that exhibit at San Diego can’t give them that deal due to the high costs of being there. Discounts don’t always pay for themselves with volume sadly.

I also suspect a lot back issue buyers are older and they don’t like the difficulty of getting tickets, a hotel room and the large crowds. Plus all that is really expensive. It’s much cheaper and more convenient for them to buy online and/or go to a closer, quieter convention. I’m wondering what a traditional comic convention might look like without any back issue dealers and I might actually see that within my lifetime.

The slower sales may also have something to do with the smaller crowds this year. It’s been said that San Diego’s switch to using badges with RFID chips made it harder for people to pass (or counterfeit) badges and get in. The less crowded exhibit floor was nicer for the attendee’s that were there. I suspect another reason the floor was less crowded was due to people playing Pokemon Go around the con. Even on Wednesday night I saw numerous people walking around in circles looking at their phones. One professional I talked during the day to told me his daughter was out playing Pokemon Go at that moment.

During my TCAF post I mentioned I was unhappy with my camera and was getting a new one. I got a Canon Powershot SX710 HS and am quite happy with it. There camera does not get the best rating on the various review websites, but it worked well for my purposes. I’m learning to not just blindly follow reviews & ratings and instead focus on what the pro’s and cons of the camera and applying that to what I’m using it for. I don’t think those reviewers have taking pictures at comic conventions and darkly lit award ceremonies in mind when doing their reviews.

I am especially happy with how using the sport scene worked on the Eisner Award pictures. I took a whole bunch of pictures in that mode (over 2,000 of them) but that allowed me to get better pics than usual. I’m typically in the pro seats behind the tables, which is quite a ways away from the stage. My camera ‘s 30X zoom was used to the fullest to get pics of people on stage and less than that was used on the big screens showing what’s happening on the stage.

Surprisingly I did not see any celebrities outside of the Eisner Awards. Normally San Diego is crawling with so many celebrities I end up seeing somebody somewhere even though I only focus on comics programming. For example, one year during a Ted Naifeh panel the back door opens up and Ron Perlman (Hellboy, Sons of Anarchy, etc..) walks out. He apparently just wanted to go outside for a smoke. He came back in after the panel was done and was giving an interview to a camera crew as the audience was leaving the room. Of course it’s entirely possible I did see one, but didn’t know it was a celebrity.

I was quite happy to be able to audio record some panels with creators whom I’ve never met in real life before like Christopher J Priest, Howard Chaykin and Mike Baron. I was only turned down by one creator but I knew in advance that was a strong possibility. I’m not bothered by it as I was able to record him at at another convention recently. The only disappointing situation I had was a creator who wouldn’t let you take a picture of him unless you bought a $15 print/sketch.

The panels I recorded can be found on the audio page of my other website. Also at that link is the Will Eisner Awards recording and pictures to both the convention and Eisner Awards. I should warn you that there is a bit of swearing of almost every panel. Off the top of my head the YA? Why Not? panel does not have swearing, but the rest I can’t vouch for. The saddest panel was the Darywn Cooke tribute, while you won’t hear this on audio I can tell you from being there that several panelists were in tears at the end. What’s also sad was that there was no tribute panel for Paul Ryan, who worked in the comics industry since the 1980s. I’m hoping a convention that’s local to where he used to live puts something on for him.

As always with San Diego there usually multiple panels I wanted to be at and record happening at the same time. I shockingly did not record a single panel that Mark Evanier was on.  The same goes for Paul Levitz except for a surprise appearance at the Fan vs Pro Comic Trivia challenge. I sometimes question the choices that I’ve made when it comes to which panels to cover, but in the end I’m very happy with all the panels I got. I just wish I had a 2nd person who could go to the panels I can’t be at and record them, despite the extra work that would bring.

The only panel I did not like that much was one about goal setting for creative people. I only came in part way through but it was clear to me that this was a rewording of a standard SMART goals course/lecture that almost everybody in business has to take at least once. The main difference was the presenter telling people to draw their goals instead of writing them down and an artist was demonstrating how to do so with large paper flip chart and markers.

There are official video recording of panels going on now. It’s something called Comic Con HQ but they are understandably only recording the panels with the widest commercial appeal thus far. Outside of the Will Eisner Awards which was live streamed online there is no overlapping between us that I know of. If they do decide to record everything I’ll have to decide if I want to keep recording or even if I can. Chances are they’ll want exclusive rights to the panels.

I also got to see and hang out with some friends which is always great, but there were many people whom I usually see that I missed this year or only saw very briefly / in passing. While that happens every year, it seemed more pronounced this year. I think I’ll have to make a more concerted effort to find and say Hi to people next year.

Of those that I did talk to Donald Trump’s name came up a lot when the conversion drifted outside of comics. Everybody was speaking about him in an “OMG how can anybody vote for this freaking lunatic?!?” type way. He was also the butt of many jokes when people were in front of a microphone.

I am very much looking forward to going back next year, where it’s the 100 year anniversary of Jack Kirby and Will Eisner. I learned that there are supposed to be extra panels on the two creators next year and that sounds great.

Review: Mary Wept Over the Feet of Jesus

mary_wept_over_feet_jesus_chester_brown_drawn_quarterly_cover-580x1024

Mary Wept Over the Feet of Jesus by Chester Brown. Published by Drawn and Quarterly.

Mary Wept Over the Feet of Jesus

By Chester Brown

Published by Drawn and Quarterly

Format: Hardcover

Price: 21.95 USD, 24.95 CAD

 

This is Chester Brown’s new book that was published earlier this year. The book contains a number of biblical stories that reinterpret the stories of women in the bible and specifically the women mentioned in Matthew’s genealogy. Chester’s last book, Paying For It was about his experience being a John and using the services of prostitutes. Chester believes prostitution should be legalized and uses these biblical stories to further that goal. This might seem odd because laws and moral disapproval of prostitution comes from Abrahamic religions, but Chester backs up the reinterpretations with research. Within a lengthy notes section Chester goes into detail to which biblical scholars, their books and earlier versions of biblical scripture he used to come to his conclusions.

 

I suspect this book will be more interesting to those who are into Christianity and biblical studies. Fundamental Christians who view the Bible that absolute truth and the word of god will likely be upset, but reading the notes section (if they get that far) may awaken them to the reality that the bible as we know today is heavily edited. There are earlier scriptures that tell different versions of the stories, issues with how certain words were mistranslated among other things (google Bart D. Ehrman if you want to know more). People who have no interest in religion or prostitution may not find this book all that interesting.

 

While I did enjoy this book and do have an interest in this stuff, I suspect people who are expecting another Louis Riel or Paying For It might be disappointed in this book.  This collection of short stories doesn’t provide the satisfying feeling of Chester’s longer stories.

You can learn more about the book and read an except at the Drawn and Quarterly website.

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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