The Best Comic Books (and Related Stuff) Dave Read In
This page collects all of the books I gave a rating of "Strongly Recommended"
or better to come out during 2012. Books which I
Strongly Recommended to limited groups are generally not included, but those
with mature readers caveats are. You may notice some "Books of Note" aren't
mentioned here, because they were notable for reasons other than necessarily
being really good (i.e. an intriguing idea with iffy execution). Boldfaced
books got a rating higher than Strongly Recommended.
Given my radically changed reading and reviewing habits this year, I decided
to change the format of this end of year wrap-up. After all, it doesn't make
much sense to organize by month when I posted one review per month (July
aside)...just look at the year's page for that format.
Instead, I'm going to collect by category, and lump together all issues of a
given series that got the nod.
The best stuff I read, watched or played with that's tied to comics in some
way, but wasn't actually a comic book.
- Avengers (movie) - Marvel makes some pretty good movies lately.
- The Enormous Egg (young adult novel) - Written by Oliver Butterworth in
1956, so it's one of the oldest things I've ever reviewed, it's
comics-related because the 2009 edition I discovered this year has new
illustration by Mark Crilley.
- The Amazing Spider-Man (movie) - Not as good as Avengers, but still a
very good superhero movie.
- The Dark Knight Rises (movie) - Hey, DC can make good movies too.
- Prepare To Die! (novel) - Paul Tobin sets up his own superhero universe
with an interesting twist on the titular threat.
- Seraphina (novel) - Rachel Hartmann starts a new series set in a version
of the Amy Unbounded world.
Some of these are dedicated digital-only content, but most of them are simply
a result of my losing access to a "real" comic shop and not being able to get
hardcopies without paying postage and waiting for shipping.
- Atomic Robo: the Ghost of Station X #4-5 (of 5): Clevinger and Wegener
wrap up another really good miniseries.
- Atomic Robo: FCBD 2012: Also Clevinger and Wegener.
- Atomic Robo: Real Science Adventures #3-4 (of 6): Clevinger and various
artists peaked in the middle of the series. Later issues had a lot of
repeated backup stories and weaker ideas.
- Atomic Robo: Flying She-Devils of the Pacific #2 (of 5): Clevinger and
Speroni's solid action tale had what I thought was its strong point pretty
- Love and Capes: What To Expect #1, #4, #5 (of 6): Thom Zahler's
latest miniseries (#6 will be in 2013) was consistently very good. Even the
ones that didn't get Strongly Recommended were pretty good.
- Sanctuary #4: While the level dropped off again in #5 and #6 (not sure if
I was mistaken in thinking it was a 6 issue miniseries or if Steve Coughlin
changed his mind and made it longer), they were still good issues.
Trades and Graphic Novels
Anything too big to staple, but bought as a physical
object, basically. Not all of these are available in brick and mortar
- The Dream Quest of Unknown Kadath & Other Stories: Jason Bradley Thompson
collected his old miniseries and added new stories as part of a Kickstarter
- Empowered v7: Adam Warren's turned a bondage-gag strip into a serious
character drama with wacky superheroes.
- Amelia Rules! Her Permanent Record: Jimmy Gownley finishes up his Amelia
Rules! stories in a really good set of intertwined stories about growing up
and what you leave behind (willingly or un-).
Traditional stapled comics. Yes, I still get some of those, mostly
mail-ordered Antarctic Press books and stuff from the kiddie comic spinner at
the local bookstore. Mostly things that I can't get digitally, or that I can
easily get in person. Why aren't there more entries below? Because the sort
of things a major chain bookstore stocks tend to top out at "good but not great".
- Gold Digger Holidays Special #1: Less uneven than most anthologies, with
some really good stories.
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