Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and The Bookish.
I’m excited for the end of the year. I’m eager to move on to 2015, but this time of year I always get really psyched to make best-of/worst-of lists, reflections on the year, posts of things I want to work on… you know, it’s just so tantalizing, that feeling of a clean slate and being refreshed. Anyhoo, the TTT topic this week is Top Ten Books I Read In 2014. I always save that list for December 31st, because who knows if I happen to read an amazing book in the next couple weeks? So instead, I’m going to make this post all about the best COMICS I read in 2014.
1. Chew by John Layman and Rob Guillory – This is the series that really started it all. I had read graphic novels and a couple odd comics here and there, but getting sucked into the Chew series is what made me start buying the trade paperbacks of comics, and made me want to start seeking out others. It’s about Tony Chu, who gets physic impressions from the organic matter that he eats, including humans, and him putting that to good use. I read all 8 volumes this year, and am eagerly awaiting a 9th volume – I decided not to buy the weekly issues, since I was already so deep in with all of the trades. The wait is slowly but surely killing me.
2. Locke & Key by Joe Hill and Gabriel Rodriguez – I FLEW through the first five volumes that my library had, and I JUST read the sixth and final volume (which I ordered myself, because the library didn’t have it and I need my own copies anyways). You guys… it’s so amazing. I never actually got around to reviewing these, because I couldn’t put all of my feels into words. The art is FABULOUS. The storyline is GENIUS. Seriously a must-read, even if you think you don’t like comics – it’s Joe Hill. This is as good as his novels, if not better.
3. Rat Queens by Kurtis J. Wiebe and Roc Upchurch – Rat Queens is one of the first single issue comics I ever bought (the other that day was Ms. Marvel). After reading it it IMMEDIATELY went on my pull list and it’s one of my absolute favorites. It’s full of awesome women who enjoy fighting, cursing, food, and sex and it’s so fabulously perfect for fantasy and gaming fans. It’s been announced that Stjepan Šejic is going to be the new artist (previous artist Upchurch was kicked off due to a domestic abuse incident), and I have high hopes that the series will continue to be kick-ass and stunning.
4. Ms. Marvel by G. Willow Wilson and Adrian Alphona – Alright, so I’m a comic and superhero newbie – but Ms. Marvel STILL feels like a breath of fresh air. Ms. Marvel is Kamala Kahn, a 16-year old Pakistani Muslim girl growing up in New Jersey who gets superpowers. She’s a complete geek, and trying to figure out how to balance things in her life, and she feels so real. In one issue she takes a selfie with Wolverine. I mean, come on, that’s so perfect.
5. Saga by Brian K. Vaughn and Fiona Staples – Another comic series that the internet is always squealing with excitement over is Saga. It’s weird and inventive and addictive. I cannot help but to root for the main characters – a forbidden love story is my JAM. And this is in space, with aliens, and people with tv’s for heads having sex, and a cat that can tell when you’re lying. I love Lying Cat.
6. The Manhattan Projects by Jonathan Hickman and Nick Pitarra – This series pushes SO many of my nerdy buttons. What is the Manhattan Project wasn’t really about building the first atomic bomb? What if it was really a cover for some much weirder shit? The characters are the scientists, like Albert Einstein, Robert Oppenheimer, and Richard Feynman – but different. Alfred Einstein is on some evil level, and Robert Oppenheimer is kinda sorta schizophrenic. This series is an absolute blast, especially if science is your jam.
7. Borderlands by Mikey Neumann and Agustin Padilla – I love Borderlands 2, despite the fact that I haven’t been able to play it much in the last couple months. And when I heard that there were Borderlands comics out there, I was SO excited. My comic book shop guys hooked me up and got the older mini-series trade paperback (Borderlands: Origins), and put me on the list for the new mini-series, Borderlands: Fall of Fyrestone. Both were fantastic – the characters were done perfectly, probably because the game creator wrote them. And the art is absolutely on-point – brilliant and bold, and just like the game. I hope there’s a third mini-series.
8. Deadpool Classic – volume 1 – I’m pretty okay with just jumping into long-standing character storylines anywhere, but when asking my comic shop to help me decide where to start with Deadpool, they recommended his early stuff. I’m super glad I listened. It includes some of his early appearances, and then the start of his own series, and I really enjoyed it all – the art, the humor, and at times, the feels. I knew I’d love Deadpool. I have volume 2 waiting for me now, and I can’t wait to dive in.
9. Bitch Planet by Kelly Sue DeConnick and Valentine De Landro – Alright, so there’s only one issue out of this. It came out last week, and on Wednesday my Twitter feed absolutely exploded with people raving about this new series. It’s a FANTASTIC first issue. In this world, “non-compliant” women are taking to a prison on another planet. Just imagine all of the awesome in store for this. Seriously you guys, go buy the first issue, or download is for $4 on comiXology – you won’t regret it. I am SO excited.
10. East of West by Jonathan Hickman and Nick Dragotta – I’ve read the first three volumes of this, and I might actually cave and start buying the single issues to stay up-to-date on it. There are a lot of characters and it can get a little head-spinny at times, but seeing Death, one of the Four Horsemen, on a rampage because he lost the woman he loves is something that I am SO into.
Other notable mentions: Astonishing X-Men by Joss Whedon and John Cassaday, the Inhumans series, and the Nailbiter series. It was really hard to narrow down the top ten. And, because I just started reading comics this year and don’t want it to seem like I listed everything I read – I didn’t particularly enjoy Sex Criminals, or God Hates Astronauts. I’m indifferent towards Y: The Last Man – I’m basically reading it now just to read it along with the honeyman, because he’s liking it. And I’m liking Legenderry, Storm, and Thor, and enjoyed what I read of Damsels in Excess, but haven’t read much of them yet.
Have you read any of these, or are they on your to-read list? Tell me!