Our Best of 2018 series continues! This time we’re looking at actual, good old-fashioned comics that were released during 2018 on a chapter-by-chapter basis. Whether it’s a floppy or exclusively digitized. And now, without further adieu, let’s check out the winners…
Okay, so I fucked up and forgot to include this in the “Collections” feature from yesterday. Then again, we are talking about single-issues here, so I guess it works out. Anyways…
I was so very tempted to give this to Saga #54’s cover, because Fiona Staples is a god. But, at the end of the day, Jen Bartel’s covers for Blackbird are undeniably stunning. While the cover to Issue #1 is certainly eye-catching, it’s the cover to Issue #2 that truly mesmerizes the reader. You can take a look at the whole cover here.
The Seeds (Dark Horse)
What happens when you combine one of the industry’s hottest artists with a writer that has – at the surface – seen better days? Apparently, you get the best miniseries of the year. Yes, only half of the four issues were released, but from what writer Ann Nocenti and artist David Aja have delivered thus far, there really was no competition. From the first jaw-dropping page to the last of a spectacular debut issue, The Seeds grabbed readers hard and refused to let go. Full of social and political commentary, The Seeds is a challenging read which demands revisiting multiple times, but it fully worth it for those willing to dive into the material.
Best New Superhero Series
Amazing Spider-Man (Marvel)
The 10-year run on Amazing Spider-Man saw writer Dan Slott take the character in… let’s just say interesting directions. For many, the problems were rooted not in the the situations Spidey was put in, but the characterization of a late-20s Peter Parker as someone with the maturity of a 16-year-0ld. August’s relaunch of Amazing Spider-Man was very quick to fix this problem, with subsequent issues showing Peter as an individual willing to take responsibility for his actions. In addition, writer Nick Spencer seems to be chipping away at the much derided status quo brought about by 2008’s One More Day. With great art from Ryan Ottley (Invincible) and a reinvigorated Humberto Ramos, each passing issue of the wall-crawler’s new book fills the reader with pure, childlike joy.
Best New Series
Gideon Falls (Image)
Jeff Lemire and Andrea Sorrentino have become one of the true powerhouse tandems in modern comics. Their Green Arrow run saved that series from being among the absolute worst of DC’s New 52. Then, they took a concept from a standalone story and fleshed it out into something pretty great in Old Man Logan. Now, given the opportunity to tell their own story with their own creations, Lemire and Sorrentino have delivered their best collaboration to date. In a tale that blends supernatural horror and mental illness, Lemire’s script is page-after-page of unnerving storytelling. Meanwhile, Sorrentino does what he does best by producing jaw-dropping, gorgeous artwork.
I maintain that Stjepan Sejic’s Sunstone is the best love story told in any medium. Television, movies, books, comics, or even music, nothing beats this erotic series by the Croatian artist. Though he had a breakout year in 2017 thanks to a run on DC’s Aquaman. However, it was the continued release of his webseries that was a true treat throughout the shitstain of a year that was 2018. Beautifully drawn and immensely humorous, the current arc of the series (entitled Mercy) may focus on a new couple but maintains all of the hallmarks that elevated it beyond surface-level titillation. With a physical release due in early 2019, trade-waiters will finally be able to check out a continuation of what was without a doubt the best series of 2018.
Exit Stage Left: The Snagglepuss Chronicles
This may be a cheat (okay, it’s definitely a cheat) as this was technically a miniseries, but I just couldn’t help myself. Yes, there are other great comics that are just as deserving of this spot. But for my money, nothing was better than Mark Russell’s reinvention of Snagglepuss. The writer of Prez and The Flintstones took yet another goofy property and spun an incredible story filled with social and political commentary while being hilarious at the same time. Exit Stage Left: The Snagglepuss Chronicles may not have received as much attention as other works, but with it Russell maintained the same high standards we have seen from him in the past.