Comix 666 [September 2009]
Welcome to Comix 666, where smart people share their revelations about important comics-related matters. This time out, I asked participants to name their top six graphic novels and collections of 2009, their top six comics of 2009, and a wildcard list of six whatevers of their own choice, because that's just the kind of devilish trickster I am. Ah, the hell with it, let's see what they had to say!
Greetings, my friend. We are all interested in the future, for that is where you and I are going to waste the rest of our lives. And remember my friend, future events such as these will probably not affect you in the future. And now, Miloswell Predicts for the year 2010 in comics:
1. As a last hurrah before the last of the paperwork on their respective corporate reshufflings is filed, Marvel and DC will have one last round of sad, immediately regretted make-up sex: As a fifth-week stunt, they jointly publish an issue of NEW JUSTICE AVENGERS OMFG LEAGUE, starring Wildcat, Aquaman, Wolverine, MODOK, Rom: Spaceknight, Dr. Stephen Strange and Swamp Thing, all written "with the proper respect these venerable characters and their histories deserve" [take that however you want. See if I care.] and a "Zombie Obama" variant cover. Ironically, this reassembled Avengers actually does break the Internet in half; all the nerds going apeshit on their Blogger accounts at the same time crash those servers and drag the parent Google ones down with them.
2. Someone will send Michael Kupperman a copy of that Carl Barks interview collection for Xmas this year; late in the year Mike will release THE FURTHER ADVENTURES OF CARL BARKS, using the hard-driving, hard-hearted antihero those interviews often suggest is trying to claw his way out of a shallow grave somewhere in the "Unka Carl" persona Barks created or accepted. Kind of like those short pieces the Friedmans used to do about Tor Johnson or some semi-obscure NYC TV celebrity shaking down whores and drug dealers for his cut of their money.
3. THE COMPLETE LITTLE KING Volumes 1-3 will be released directly onto bookstores' remaindered tables and into our hearts. Really, with so many publishers slapping ISBN numbers on anything they can to shovel as much product into the bookstore market as possible while the getting's still good, how much time could there truly be left before they run out of stuff? [See also: Dark Horse will release THE COMPLETE KONA, MONARCH OF MONSTER ISLE. Steve Bissette and Gary Panter will roshambo for dibs on writing the introduction at the next MOCCA and the museum will, of course, charge everyone admission -- including Steve and Gary -- on top of their exhibitor/attendee fees to watch the contest. Because, my friends, even in the future MOCCA's primary mission will remain raising money for MOCCA. Oh, and one of the smaller, swifter moving arthouses will package a collection of Mark Tonra's TOP OF THE WORLD! like it's an old, semi-forgotten classic comedy/adventure strip and rake in HUNDREDS of dollars in profit.]
4. The last American staff editorial cartoonist in captivity will draw some self-aggrandizing piece of crap about how vital and important political cartooning is to our national dialogue [unless something notable happens on AMERICAN IDOL that week], send it to the Opinion page editor and be escorted offsite by security. America either doesn't notice or doesn't care; on some collective lizard-brain level, we all know that democracy needs journalism to survive, not newspapers.
5. My ideas for the Green Hornet movie will probably not be used.
6. Tom Spurgeon will totally sue Alan David Doane into prison for lifting his Five For Friday ploy for getting overzealous nerds to provide content for him. PRISON, Doane, PRISON. Insert a dropped-soap joke here, or wherever you think it will keep you the safest from Spurge's legal team.
TOP SIX GRAPHIC NOVELS & COLLECTIONS OF 2009 (SO FAR)
1. Scott Pilgrim Vol. 5: Scott Pilgrim vs. The Universe
2. Parker The Hunter
3. Johnny Hiro Vol. 1
4. Losers By Jack Kirby
5. Frankenstein's Womb
6. Jans Atomic Heart
TOP SIX COMICS SERIES OF 2009 (SO FAR)
1. Batman & Robin
2. Incredible Hercules
3. The Killer
5. Final Crisis: Superman Beyond
6. Star Trek: Countdown
TOP SIX REVELATIONS IN THE BEATLES REMASTERS
1. John's F-bomb during "Hey Jude"
2. Piano Man George Martin
3. Paul's kickin' bass lines
4. John's kind of a sap, and Paul's kind of edgy
5. A variety of hoots, howls, and hollers
Six Best Comics of 2009
1. Scalped (Jason Aaron, R.M. Guera)
2. Starstruck (Elaine Lee, Mike Kaluta, Lee Moyer)
3. Captain Britain and MI-13 (Paul Cornell
4. The Winter Men Winter Special (Brett Lewis, J.P. Leon)
5. Hellboy: The Wild Hunt (Mike Mignola, Duncan Fregredo)
6. Phonogram 2: The Singles Club (Kieron Gillen, Jamie McKelvie)
Six Best Graphic Novels of 2009
1. Empowered (Adam Warren)
2. Scott Pilgrim vs. the Universe (Vol. 5; Bryan Lee O'Malley)
3. Crogan's Vengeance (Chris Schweizer)
4. Courtney Crumrin's Monstrous Holiday (Ted Naifeh)
5. Potter's Field: Stone Cold (Mark Waid, Paul Azaceta)
6. Asterios Polyp (David Mazzuchelli)
Six Big Events of 2009
1. Disney buying Marvel Comics
2. Restructuring at DC, Paul Levitz stepping down
3. The release of the Watchmen film
4. The revival of Lee and Kaluta's Starstruck in the comic format
5. The end of 100 Bullets
6. The release of Asterios Polyp
Six Best Comics of 2009
1) The Muppet Show - and not just as a licensed adaption, but as a way of an actually successful FULL TRANSLATION of a genre to the comic book - and easily the funniest book of 2009.
2) Billy Batson and the Magic of Shazam - because Kunkel's work deserves wider recognition
3) Zorro - a tip of the hat to Matt Wagner for the best action romp comic of the year, bar none. Remember when heroes swashbuckled? Matt does.
4) Atomic Robo and the Shadow Beyond Time - if superhero comics were 1/100th this inventive, more people would read them. Top to bottom and front to back one of the wittiest, funniest, and most exciting comics on the market.
5) Hellboy: The Wild Hunt - Mike Mignola is working on what is probably the biggest thing to hit Hellboy since "The Corpse", and the passion here shows right through.
6) Supergirl - Cosmic Adventures in the 8th Grade - People who think that young supercomics are hard to read need to be shown this. Repeatedly.
Six Best Graphic Novels of 2009
Unfortunately, budget constraints have prevented me from getting a lot of OGNs this year. Maybe next year.
1) The impending final death of Diamond - with their minimum orders up, and corporate restructuring to take Corp super comics out of the comic medium, this will continue to be the biggest story of the decade - we haven't even begun to see the full ramifications.
2) Aaron Williams - he of PS238 and Full Frontal Nerdity and all that is good and fun.
3) Prediction for 2010: Jim Lee and Wildstorm return to Image after the years of abuse suffered under DC mismanagement
4) Prediction for 2010: Internet based comics develop a fully successful business model that sees them take off as a viable commercial enterprise.
5) Prediction for 2010: Marvel and DC restructuring results in loss of no less than 20% of their current output, particularly any extraneous "Avenger", "X-Men", "Batman", or "Justice League" titles.
6) Prediction for 2010: No less than 5 marquee corporate comic 'creators' leave the comic medium altogether to focus on film/TV projects.
Six Great Graphic Novels of 2009
1. The Hunter (Richard Stark's Parker) by Darwyn Cooke
2. A Drifting Life by Yoshihiro Tatsumi
3. George Sprott: (1894-1975) by Seth
4. Asterios Polyp by David Mazzucchelli
5. Low Moon by Jason
6. Red Riding Hood Redux by Nora Krug
Six Great Comics of 2009:
1. Uptight #3
2. Delphine #4
3. Strange Tales # 1
4. B.P.R.D.: 1947 #2
5. Citizen Rex # 1
6. Jonah Hex # 43
Six Great Graphic Novels of 2009
1. The Book of Genesis Illustrated by R. Crumb
2. The TOON Treasury of Classic Children's Comics by Art Spiegelman, FranCoise Mouly, and Jon Scieszka
3. Complete Chester Gould's Dick Tracy Volume 8 (v. 8) by Chester Gould (Mrs Pruneface!!!!)
4. Supermen!: The First Wave Of Comic Book Heroes 1936-1941 by Greg Sadowski and Jonathan Lethem
5. Pogo: The Complete Daily & Sunday Comic Strips, Vol. 1: Through the Wild Blue Wonder (v. 1) by Walt Kelly
6. Fire and Water: Bill Everett, The Sub-Mariner, and the Birth of Marvel Comics by Blake Bell
Six comics I happened to read in 2009 that I liked very much:
Tales Designed to Thrizzle #5: Michael Kupperman
Love & Rockets New Stories #2: Los Bros. Hernandez
Wednesday Comics: various
Grotesque #3: Sergio Ponchione
Uptight #3: Jordan Crane
Delphine #4: Richard Sala
6 Graphic Novels I read in 2009 that I liked a good deal:
George Sprott: Seth
Prince Valiant Vol.1 1937-1938
Terry & The Pirates Vol. 4
Locas II: Jaimie Hernandez
Luba: Gilbert Hernandez
Parker: The Hunter by Darwyn Cooke
Okay -- technically, five of the books on my list are re-packages of older material. Nevertheless, I think that material reads just as well( or better) in book form as many graphic novels conceived as such, so I'm allowing myself to blur the lines here.
Oh -- and Terry Vol. 4 came out in '08, but I read it this summer. And -- if they haven't already -- people should read The Marquis by Guy Davis in its new edition from Dark Horse (it comes out next month). Which -- if I actually had it in hand -- I would make my seventh choice, but then we're not allowed seven choices are we? But just for my own list -- I'll put it on there because it's really quite good.
Also -- if I had it in hand -- I know I would put The Complete Jack Survives by Jerry Moriarty on there but that would be eight,
eight items on a list that is supposed to be six. But I don't have it in hand, so then I won't put it on the list -- and therefore since The Marquis is only on my personal list I still have only six and therefore my list conforms to code. there. I feel better now.
Six important comics whatever:
Top news issue: Diamond raises minimums for independents -- maybe this happened in '08, but no matter, the fallout is hitting now. and on and on...I can't think of five other stories that will have the impact of this one.
So I'll round off the wildcard with:
5 of my favorite creators who I will spend money on without reservation in 2010 (in no particular order):
Seth ...and Jack Kirby.
Crap. That makes seven -- "seven important comics whatevers." Well, just pretend I left out the "top news issue" and then that makes six creators for "6 important comics whatevers." Great. Glad we got that settled.