nenena: (Default)
Yes yes yes, I know that everyone and their dog is posting a million "best of 2012" lists this week (including me), but I want to take a moment to highlight one best-of list in particular:

Robot 6's Favorite Comics of 2012

Six different comic reviewers with very, very different tastes list their favorites from last year. What's noteworthy about this "best-of" article is that each of the six reviewers list completely different titles... with the notable exception of Hawkeye and Bandette, which are BOTH listed on THREE of the six reviewer's lists, and along with Courtney Crumnin are the ONLY titles to appear on more than one reviewer's list (and Courtney Crumnin is only included on two of the six lists, not three).

I really don't think that I can come up with a better endorsement for those two series. Hawkeye and Bandette are really great. Y'all should definitely check them out.

Also the Robot 6 article reminded me that I was seriously remiss in not including Battlepug on my own "best-of" post from two days ago. Whoops.

ETA: The Onion's A.V. Club also listed Hawkeye, Bandette, and Courtney Crumnin as being among the best comics of the year. What I take away from this is that I REALLY need to get around to reading Courtney Crumnin.
nenena: (W.I.T.C.H. - Irma rocks)
A few of my favorite things amongst this year's offerings from the comic book industry:

Marceline and the Scream Queens
It's everything I ever wanted an Adventure Time comic to be: Marceline and Princess Bubblegum have ridiculous adventures together and actually grow as characters because of their influence on each other, the artwork by Meredith Gran and a roster of talented guest artists is fantastic, and the jokes fly fast and furiously while still being every bit as sophisticated and layered as you'd expect Adventure Time humor to be.  Absolutely one of the best comics I've read this year. Cannot be recommended enough.

Bandette
My favorite among Monkeybrain's launch titles. The dialogue and characters are delightfully over-the-top, and Colleen Coover's slick, stylized, yet cartoonish artwork fits the tone of the book perfectly. Dueling master thieves! A grumpy detective in over his head! A villainous matadorista! Terrorist organizations that need to be thwarted, hostages in a bank robbery that need to be rescued, cute dogs, rare books, and stolen Rembrandts - and that's all just in the first three issues. I can't wait to read more of this.

My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic
Oh look, it's the comic book that spawned over twenty variant covers and that sold over 100,000 issues in pre-orders alone. And that's just for the very first issue.  But hey, this is one of those cases where the success of the comic is richly deserved. Andy Price's artwork looks nothing like the style of the cartoon series, but it fits the comic book medium perfectly. Katie Cook's storyline centers around a fan-favorite villain, yet never really kowtows to the Brony fan base the way that many of us feared that it would; the story, the characters, and the humor in the comic remain true to everything that makes the cartoon great. So in short, this comic book is basically perfect.

Krishna
Abhishek Singh is still one of the most criminally under-appreciated comic artists working today. I probably can't write anything here that will convince you to buy his new (utterly gorgeous) graphic novel that will be more persuasive than simply showing you a selection of some artwork from the book and letting that speak for itself, so here you go: http://abhiart.blogspot.com/2012/09/krishna-journey-within.html

Hawkeye
Everything that you've heard about this series is true: It really IS that good.  And I'm saying this as somebody who normally doesn't care for Clint Barton as a character. I don't dislike him or anything, but in most comics that I read I just don't find Clint that interesting of a character. To be honest, I started reading this series because I'd heard that it co-stars Kate Bishop being completely awesome (which it does and she is), but by the end of the series (ETA: first six issues, as this actually an ongoing and not a miniseries like I mistakenly assumed!) I was definitely reading it for Clint. I love this comic. I love the interplay between Clint and Kate, I love the artwork, and I love the way that Matt Fraction writes Clint's narrative voice. It's a fantastic series.  I'll recommend it even if (like me) you're usually not that much of a Clint fan.

Astonishing X-Men
Still hands-down the best X-Men title every month. I loved the conclusion to the epic Mauraders/Karma/Susan/gay wedding/Madripoor story arc.  I love Karma getting to take a starring role in any story arc, period.  I loved the wedding. I love Iceman, Gambit, and Northstar being bros. I loved Danger and Emma co-starring in one of my favorite standalone issues I've read this year. I just love the way that this series is so consistently good, and it's hard not to acknowledge that this is largely because Marvel keeps Astonishing mostly separate from whatever crossover event bullshit they're mucking up the other X-titles with.*  It was exactly that same tiresome crossover event bullshit (*cough*Avengers vs. X-Men*cough*) that turned X-Men Legacy from a series that I was enjoying immensely into a series that bored me to tears. Anywhoo, Astonishing is for that very reason still the only X-title on my pull list as I head into 2013, although to be honest I kind of hope that changes soon. I miss Rogue being awesome.

*Okay, I admit that I did really enjoy Schism. But Schism is basically the ONLY one of Marvel's big narrative "events" I've enjoyed in a long while, and it wasn't even a big crossover event at that.   Avengers vs. X-Men wasn't just bad, it was actively painful and boring.  Thank God that  Astonishing had nothing to do with that crap.
nenena: (Default)
Thing the first: If you aren't watching The Disney Channel's Gravity Falls, you should be watching it. It's gorgeously animated, genuinely funny, surprisingly self-aware, and it has an amazing musical soundtrack. It's definitely a show with that particular sense of humor that makes it feel like it belongs on Cartoon Network much moreso than it belongs on The Disney Channel. I mean, just look at this opening sequence:



Thing the second: Here are some more comics that are good!

The Legend of Bold Riley: Princess Rilavashana SanParite is one of the best adventurer-princess characters I've encountered in a long time, the artwork by Vanessa Gillings and Kelly McClellan is incredible, and this book overall is just so. damn. good. By the way, here's a free 55-page preview.

Ntombinde, the Girl Who Loved Danger: This comic is one of the rarest of the rare, a page-length weekly newspaper comic printed in independent weeklies across the United States. Fortunately, even if you don't have access any of the newspapers that print Ntombinde, you can still read the (uncolored) version of her weekly adventures at Sterling Clark's website, or you can buy her collected adventures in graphic novel format. I'm having a hard time finding where to buy the Ntombinde graphic novel online, but I bought my copy directly from Sterling Clark when I met him at DCCC, so if he or Studio S is appearing at any comic conventions in your area you should definitely check out his books.

Battlepug: This comic is exactly what it says on the tin, and it is glorious. It's clever, irreverent, a helluva a lot of fun, and beautifully illustrated by Mike Norton (whom you may remember as one of the best artists on Marvel's Runaways). Plus I think that this page just kind of speaks for itself. ETA: And Battlepug just won the 2012 Eisner Award for Best Digital Comic!! AWESOME!!

Monekybrain Comics is a new imprint that just launched with five amazing-looking titles, three of which have female protagonists, all of which you can check out extensive previews of here.

The Whole Story is a new comics website that lets you name your price to download beautiful DRM-free, high-quality PDF comics. You can find new comics by Ryan North (Adventure Time, Dinosaur Comics), Meredith Gran (Marceline and the Scream Queens), Katie Cook (Star Wars), Shaenon Garrity (Smithson), Ryan Estrada (Aki Alliance, Flight), David Hellman (Braid), Andrew Hussie (YES REALLY), and Nam Dong Yoon. In addition to about a dozen other talented artists and writers. So trust me when I say that this site is really, really worth checking out.

Speaking of indie comics! Love and Rockets is celebrating its thirtieth anniversary at Comic-Con this weekend. And if you've never read anything by the Hernandez brothers before, you are seriously missing out.

And now, our concluding link for this post, for all of you writers out there: Five Ways that My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic Can Make You a Better Writer.