This was the year of Image. Almost every single thing that they published this year, or that I read this year, was fantastic. Here they are:
*Titles in blue have reviews.
*These are the things I read this year, they were not necessarily released in 2016.
Saga, Chew, and East of West where all series I’ve previously started, and they have returned with greatness. In Saga, a family is semi-reunited, the astounding art and character development continues to improve, and aside from one favourite character acting ridiculously, and having more parts with those semi-aquatic reporters, everything seemed back to normal. In Chew we continue the hilarity that is this series, with a couple more new abilities no one could’ve thought of but them. East of West, finally, sort of, Death meets his son for the first time, and some of my favourite characters are given more pages to shine.
But not all of the phenomenal came from the old series. In Lazarus, land is owned by families, who possess people, and rule over others not considered their subjects (referred to as Waste); the families fight for the land they have, and strive to take over others. Each family has a protector, a Lazarus, not all are raised the same, and our main character, Forever, knows this more than most. It is a fantastic series filled with intrigue, compelling characters, and interesting power struggles and family dynamics. Nailbiter is basically a bit of Hannibal Lecter with a bit of Dexter, and a bit of cult intrigue and science experiments. Our main characters consist of a serial killer, a detective, a sheriff, a town where 19 serial killers have emerged from, a girl fearing her future, and much more. Deadly Class also follows a similar path, and by that I mean there is a lot of murder, it is literally kids that go to a school to become assassins, but then it turns out a bit Hunger-Gamey in the end and I cannot wait to see how that goes. Revival is a story of zombies, nothing like The Walking Dead, but a more human type of zombie. Postal is set in a town of criminals, whose origins are a bit muddy right now, and we must go on a quest to figure out what is happening with the help of the mailman. Lastly, Paper Girls did a comeback. I wasn’t a big fan of the first volume, it seemed to convoluted in what it wanted to do, however, the second one is much more concise and interesting, the characters are better than how they started, so the character arc seems to be working great.
Sex Criminals and Bitch Planet have been a delight. Here are two books I swore I would never read, as I could not bring myself to care for the plot. A story about two people that freeze time when they orgasm and rob banks? Women being sent to a prison planet for being “outside the mold”? Why was I not attracted to that you ask? Because apparently I am an idiot. Luckily, so many people kept praising them, that I could do nothing but read them, and subsequently, love them. Both books are perfect for intersectional feminist studies, covering everything from simple sex questions and the attitude of shaming people for asking or even knowing, to rape and depression, to what it is like to be criticized for your skin shade and natural hair, and even sexuality and gender. GLORIOUS!!!
Descender, Monstress, ODY-C all gave me chills over how incredible they turned out to be. I did not have much hope that ODY-C was going to be good, since it is not the highest rated on Goodreads, but Matt Fraction was writing, and he has done some of my favoruite comics, so I needed to give it a try. I am so glad I did, since this is a marvellous re-telling of different important myths, in an intersectional way. Women are fighting in a world where men are no longer “existing” due to Zeus’ wrath, a thousand murders have occurred to men and women, until someone might finally end the bloodshed like Shahrazard once did, and hopefully many more, will one day intertwined to form one of the best things to ever happen in comics. Descender was the perfect mix between science fiction and water colours. It is sort of a version of Battlestar Galactica and the whole “creations rebelled” and “humans destroyed”. Masterful! Monstress is a complete opposite of those two. Instead we follow a more historical world, where humans live in fear of magical creatures. The fear might just be too unfounded, as it keeps witches in power by feeding off of the creatures. The art is striking, and is accompanied by intrigue and a past we all year to learn more of.
The Wicked + The Divine 1831 and Plutona surprised me. Wicked+ Divine has not been a favourite series, it started alright and then had a fantastic run, which went downhill again, and is now sort of building itself up. This single issue is the best thing to come out of the entire run. It is set in the past, follows a couple of the characters we sort of know, but has a completely different art style, luckily, it does sort of reveal, very minimally, some of the mystery we have been waiting four volumes for. Plutona is another great work by Jeff Lemire, so I have no idea why I was surprised it was good. It follows some kids who discover the body of a superhero in the forest, and all goes downhill from there. It did however not end as strong as it could’ve, but it left enough open space for it to be able to have a continuation rather than being a simple miniseries.
As a bonus, here are other incredible comics from smaller publishers that are fantastic as well:
Mighty Morphin Power Rangers: The best PR has ever been, even better than the original series.
The Nameless City: an exploration of colonialism in an interesting way.
Lost Dogs: A short story that will leave you crying.
The Underwater Welder: the story of a man remembering his past while tryong to overcome the present.
Giant Days: A hilarious tale of college students in Britain.
Top 10: Alan Moore, so I say no Moore.
Rachel Rising The story of murdered women, witchcraft, the devil, a serial killer child, and much more.