Mike’s End O’Year Review…

§ December 31st, 2004 § Filed under Uncategorized Comments Off on Mike’s End O’Year Review…

…well, sorta. There are plenty of good year-in-reviews all over the comicsweblogosphere (I enjoyed pal Tom‘s various lists), and I wasn’t sure if I’d really have the time nor the inclination to add to the year-end fray. I did come up with a couple smart-alecky awards (the Tempest in a Teapot award to Identity Crisis, the Don’t Get Your Hopes Up award to the Sin City movie trailer), but that was about it. (Be sure to catch pal Dorian’s awards as well.)

(Speaking of awards…the newest issue of Wizard includes the ballot for their fan awards, and, as I do every year, I fill it out with write-in nominees since, oddly enough, I generally don’t care for any of their predetermined choices. I think one year I voted for Chris Ware as “Best Letterer.” Don’t look at me like that – he is a good letterer! I wonder if whoever is presumably counting the votes even bothers with my ballot, or just tosses it out.)

Anyway, lemme see what I can do here with my own year-end review:

Favorite comics: Well, I’m going to take the unpopular position (nothing new) and include Identity Crisis in this list, if only because of the discussion it’s engendered. Granted, a good portion of the discussion was along the lines of “how dare DC publish such perversion,” but there was some rational discussion out there as well.

Other favorites include Phil Foglio’s beautiful Girl Genius, Grant Morrison and Cameron Stewart’s nuttily wonderful Seaguy, Brian Wood and Becky Cloonan’s Demo, Jim Rugg and Brian Maruca’s Street Angel, the Hernandez Brothers’ Love and Rockets, Stuff of Dreams #2 by Kim Deitch, Plastic Man by Kyle Baker (and occasionally Scott Morse), Ex Machina by Brian K. Vaughan and Tony Harris, Scurvy Dogs by Andrew Boyd and Ryan Yount, Promethea by Alan Moore and J.H. Williams III, and others I’m sure I’m forgetting.

Oh, and Swamp Thing, of course. You can probably just include Swamp Thing as a given in any appropriate category.

Most surprising comic: I’ll probably have to go with Adam Strange. I’ve always liked the character, so I was looking forward to the series…and I had no idea it was going to be such a wonderfully-illustrated comic. Artist Pascal Ferry really made this a comic to treasure…and the movie-serial style writing by Andy Diggle ain’t all that bad, either.

Biggest disappointment: Not getting Crossgen’s American Power for Free Comic Book Day. I really wanted to see this, and for all the wrong reasons. You just knew this was going to be fantastic.

Favorite graphic novel: I’m gonna go with Mister O by Lewis Trondheim. I just reread it a couple days ago, and it still cracks me up. It’s just page after page of a little guy trying to get across a chasm, told in tiny panels, and it’s really very funny.

Best reprint: Thank you, Dark Horse Comics, for bringing us Little Lulu in convenient trade paperback format. And thank you, Fantagraphics, for The Complete Peanuts.

Favorite manga: The absolutely terrifying Gyo. I mean, honestly, what’s wrong with this guy? (And yeah, I probably shouldn’t seperate “manga” out from “comics,” but I’m old and set in my ways.)

Best comics-related thingie in another medium: I wanted to say American Splendor, but even though I didn’t see it until this year, it is from 2003, so I guess it’s out of the running. I did enjoy Spider-Man 2, but mostly for the fact that 1) they actually gave us a live action Doctor Octopus that worked* (thanks to actor Alfred Molina) and 2) they gave the people what they wanted – more J. Jonah Jameson. It certainly wasn’t for the least charismatic superhero/girlfriend couple of all time. And no, I haven’t seen The Incredibles yet…until I find a way to destroy cell phones that ring during the film with the sheer force of my mind, I have no real desire to return to a movie theatre.

So, I think I’ll go with Cartoon Network’s Justice League Unlimited. It’s fun, it’s generally well-written, it’s giving us superheroes that I’m sure none of us ever expected to see in a cartoon (Nemesis? Aztek???), and it’s probably the only way most of today’s kids are going to know any of these characters.

The gift that keeps on giving: Hey, I have a way to mention the American Splendor movie anyway, thanks to something pal Dorian said the other day. Of all the comic-related movies that have come out over the last few years, the one that is still driving sales of books to this day is American Splendor. Even the Ghost World TPB finally has petered out to normal sales levels. But boy, we still get plenty of people who want the comic that the movie was based on. Thankfully there are a couple trades still in print.

Favorite comics weblog: I don’t want to leave anyone out, so I’m just going to say that I appreciate all your weblogs and the work that you put into them. (Well, okay, there’s that one guy, but I like all the rest of you.) I haven’t brought them up much lately, but some of you who’ve been reading this site for a while know that I love old fanzines…and the comicsweblogosphere is like having a bunch of brand new fanzines every single day! I think it’s swell.

* Aside from that scene where he falls to the ground and shouts “NOOOOOOOOO!” My cliche-sense is tingling!

Comments are closed.