2006: The Year in Review (more or less).

§ January 2nd, 2007 § Filed under Uncategorized Comments Off on 2006: The Year in Review (more or less).

Okay, I’ve been stalling on the 2006 review because 1) I’m terrible at remembering what’s gone on over the last year, and 2) pal Dorian already hit some of the points I wanted to make. But, I’ll give it a go anyway:

Favorite comics: Gumby by Bob Burden and Rick Geary (bizarre but innocent fun), Dork #11 (Evan Dorkin hits you with gag after gag after gag after gag….), All Star Superman (only a few issues out this year, but beautifully written and drawn), Elephantmen (for a sci-fi comic about genetically engineered humanoid animals, it’s oddly touching), Schizo #4 (Ivan Brunetti’s long awaited strip collection), 52 (sometimes uneven, but mostly successful in sustaining its narrative on a weekly basis), Nextwave (treats Marvel superhero clichés with the respect they deserve), All Star Batman and Robin (only one issue this year, but it’s a year’s worth of entertainment!), Solo #11 (the all-Sergio Aragones ish), and I’m sure I’m forgetting something….

Favorite trade paperback/graphic novel: I think at the top of the list is Rick Veitch’s Abraxas and the Earthman, compiling the serialized story from Marvel’s Epic Illustrated magazine. I’d been waiting for this collection for years, and now that it’s here, it doesn’t disappoint…just as colorful and weird as I remember.

I also enjoyed Fables: 1001 Nights of Snowfall, Gilbert Hernandez’s New Tales of Old Palomar, Acme Novelty Library #17, and the latest Kim Deitch collection Shadowland.

Favorite reprints: I’m going to have to go with Dark Horse’s Little Lulu volumes again. Each one is an absolute gem. The color special released this year was especially nice.

Favorite comic strip collection: While Fantagraphics’ Peanuts collections are still just dandy, I’m giving the nod to their Popeye hardcover, if only because now I don’t need to search on the eBay for the original Popeye albums.

Biggest surprise: Stealth Swamp Thing appearances in the DC Universe (his hand in Infinite Crisis, an old ST villain in All-New Atom), and maybe something in the new issue of Justice League of America, I’m assuming, since it was hinted at by that commenter, but I won’t know until I actually receive that issue at the shop.

Another fine surprise was the creator of Gantar the Last Nabu finding this old post of mine, leaving a comment with additional information about the comic. I’m fascinated by the black and white boom and always appreciate getting background info on the books from the people who were there.

Yet another welcome surprise was a regular reader of this site being kind enough to send to me third volume of the Critic’s Choice: Swamp Thing series (the first two discussed here), which I didn’t even know existed. Wow.

And then there’s this thing, where someone used my comments section to unload some Civil War spoilers, before the first issue had even shipped.

Biggest disappointment: Cancellation of the long awaited Swampmen book from Twomorrows. NOOOOOOOOOO!!!

Online trends that need to stop: Blogging. I mean, c’mon, don’t we all have better things to be doing with our time? Okay, that and jokes about “Earth-Prime Superboy punching continuity.” That one’s getting a little threadbare.

Best comic book related toy: There is nothing better than the Watcher figure. The MODOK figure comes close, but loses points by being pieced out in a half-dozen or so other action figure packages. I don’t want to buy a bunch of toys I don’t want just so I can have a bad-ass MODOK figure. I mean, honestly.

Best comics related thingie in another medium: The Visions of Frank DVD, with many varying interpretations of Jim Woodring’s silent cat character. Weird and beautiful.

Appalling discovery of the year: Not only are there extensive debates about who’s more powerful, Superman or the Dragonball cartoon character Goku, but that people are honest-to-God serious about it. I ran into one of these people in person…and no, they’re not joking. (Superman is more powerful, by the way.)

Second biggest disappointment: Yahoo “upgrading” their pinging service, which has broken the Comics Weblog Update-A-Tron 3000. Well, poop.

Screw-up of the year: Hard to decide: leaving off the text intro to Alan Moore’s Superman story in the trade reprint was pretty bad, and the utter incompetence evident in the Ultimate Avengers DVD pop-up commentary is just embarrassing.

But I think it needs to go to the lateness issues surrounding Civil War and its impact on the rest of Marvel’s publishing line. Pal Dorian covered it pretty succinctly, but if you want to see me make the same points in a more longwinded fashion, here’s something I wrote for Comic Book Galaxy.

Narrowly-averted crisis of the year: THE RETURN OF POGS. At least, they didn’t catch on ’round here. If they’re popular in your neighborhood…don’t tell me. Let me live on in blissful ignorance.

Favorite “meme:” Look no further than this thing Dorian unleashed upon us all.

Favorite online discussion: The whole “Superman versus Jedis” thing that ended with one of the all-time great creations – the Kryptonite Lightsabre.

Favorite weblog: MINE. That’s it, just me. Forget you guys.

…Oh, you know I’m just joking. As always, I waffle on picking just one, since I love you all. Well, “like” you all. Okay, “tolerate.” But I’m giving special attention to Dirk Deppey and Journalista, which made its welcome return this year. Along with the always essential Comics Reporter, that’s just about all the comic news you can use. Or stand.

And I’m still a big fan of Chris Karath’s site. He has a new URL now, you know.

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