Friday, December 29, 2006


That's right folks. NO ONE has asked me to do a top ten/year's best list at all this year, but I'm doing one anyway. I might even do two! I'm not making any promises, but what the heck, maybe we can even squeeze a third list out these old steam-powered branez before the sun comes up.

Okay, let's start with something easy. Let's start with my favourite 10 comics of the year.

10. Green Lantern Corps (DC) - While I'm pretty much at the breaking point as far as the main Green Lantern series goes, the spin-off has been loads of fun. Lots of aliens, lots of crazy ideas, great art from Patrick Gleason and Dave Gibbons and even new (fill-in?) writer Keith Champagne (best known as the former inker for JSA, and writer of one of the dullest JSA stories ever, and that's saying something!) has managed to keep this series worth reading. Also of note in the DC sci-fi team books category is the new Omega Men series, where Flint Henry is doings some boffo Bisley/Sienkiewicz-esque art.
9. Marvel Tales Spider-Man (Marvel) - Despite the awesomeness Adam Beechen (2007's Dan Slott???) and covers by Ty Templeton, DC's line of superhero comics for kids are too dependent on being Saturday morning tie-ins, and thus being a little too overtly FOR KIDS. Marvel's Marvel Tales line of books don't tie in to anything. They're just fun comics. Kids (hopefully) know when they're being pandered to. (I know, this entry is more of a dis on something else than accolades for MASM, but just go get the Fing Fang Foom issue, okay!)
8. 52 (DC) - It's not actually 52 itself that endears DC's weekly comic to me. It's the weekly format, which has more or less been my only reason to visit the comic shop most weeks, and Douglas Wolk's fantastic companion blog 52-Pickup that makes 52 fun.
7. Superman Archives (DC) - I'm not even sure if this came out in 2006, but I'm including it anyway. This full-color reprint of the first year or so of Superman and Action Comics was nothing less than a revelation to me. The raw energy of the early Man of Steel is exhilerating and almost foreign to someone who grew up with the tail-end of the Curt Swan Era Superman.
6. Tales Designed to Thrizzle #3 (Fantagraphics) - Michael Kupperman's humor mag flops as often as it soars, but that's part of the fun of comedy. He's willing to flop, he's trying out ideas. It's never boring and it's usually savagely hilarious.
5. Absolute DC: The New Frontier (DC) - I spoiled myself with this de luxe edition of Darwyn Cooke's masterpiece. I couldn't help myself. It's oversized and has annotations and sketchs and NEW PAGES OF STORY!
4. "Up, Up and Away" in Superman and Action Comics (DC) - As you've already seen and as you're about to further witness, I got WAY into Superman this year. I daresay that with this storyline, and Kurt Busiek's subsequent stuff in the Superman mag, this is the best the mainline Superman comics have been in my lifetime.
3. Showcase Presents Superman Family (DC) - All of the wackiness unearthed in 2005's Showcase Presents Superman pales (okay, not quite) when Jimmy Olsen takes centre stage in these reprints. After reading this 500+ page tome, I finally understood why Lex Luthor sees Superman as nothing more than an extraterrestrial interloper hindering humanity's maturation from cosmic adolescents and keeping them (us) from being captains of their (our) own destiny.
2. All Star Superman (DC) - OH YEAH! I LOVES ME SOME SUPERMAN! Grant Morrison and Frank Quitely infrequently present some of the most glorious ideas about Superman. Issue #5, where Clark Kent visits Lex Luthor in prison and goes to SUPER lengths to conceal his dual identity just might be the most beautiful Superman comic ever.
1. Action Philosophers! (Evil Twin) - THE GREATEST THING SINCE SLICED BREAD. Sassy & irreverent, but also concise and informative. It's like Mad Magazine meets Classics Illustrated. Fred Van Lente and Ryan Dunleavy are awesome. GET YR COPY NOW!

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