2015 List of Awesome: Comics & Graphic Novels
You know we've been doing our annual "List of Awesome" every year and it's always been books, but since I'm tinkering with the focus of CEFS moving forward (more on that later), I thought I'd highlight some of the things I really enjoyed this year that aren't books in these lists.
Also, I really like lists. If you've missed previous years' installments, they're all archived here.
For the next 2015 List of Awesome, I wanted to spotlight some of the the best comics and graphic novels of the year. Interestingly, this year I spent more money in the local comic book store than in bookstores--which I think is interesting for a number of reasons. I will probably write about that soon(ish).
I've provided links to Amazon so you can snag copies for yourself, but if you're lucky enough to have a local comic book shop that's friendly to ladies, be sure to support them if you can. (And if your local comic book shop isn't lady-friendly, that really sucks and is far too common.)
Alex + Ada, Vol. 3 (Image)
Apparently I've been reading Alex + Ada since it's debut issue in 2013, which means that it's the first comic book that I've read from beginning to end as it was released. Even without that weirdly sentimental element, the third and final volume of Alex + Ada, which features a romance between a goofy dude and a human-like android, would be on my favorites list. There's something endearingly human about it that made me weepy when I turned the concluding issues final page.
Bitch Planet (Image)
Bitch Planet is great for so many reasons, but I already covered that when I recommended it in my Recommendation Tuesday series. If you like subversive, feminist storytelling, you'll like this. (Interestingly, I actually am not full committed to the series, despite that I think it's top quality--the inconsistent release schedule and odd rhythm of the narrative are making it hard to follow in single issues, FWIW.)
Find Volume 1 @ Amazon
Giant Days (Boom! Box)
One of the guys who works at my awesome local comic book shop (seriously, it's great--it's in my neighborhood even) said that Giant Days just blindsided them when it blew up and that totally makes sense. It's just a little slice of life comic about a group of friends and their first year in college. There's nothing big or epic about it, it's just... life. And yet, there's something compulsively readable and sweetly relatable about this story--it's a comic I plan on re-reading for sure.
Long Distance by Thomas Zahler (IDW)
Like Giant Days, Long Distance is a slice of life comic, this one about a couple who meets thanks to happenstance and experiences the ups and downs of a long distance relationship. It's remarkable to me that a comic (each of the four issues is about 46 pages) can be so emotionally true to life, but wow, this one was a rollercoaster.
Lumberjanes, Vol. 1 (Boom! Box)
If you know tween girls, this is the comic to get them--it's so fun and the art is awesome and then friendship themes are great. Girls will see themselves in this comic, which makes it even better. Treat yo' self to the deluxe hardcover To the Max Edition if you know what's good for you.
Ms. Marvel, Vol. 2: Generation Why (Marvel)
I read this arc in single issues and it's not only one of the best comics of 2015, it's truly one of the best comics arcs I've read--it's just that good. It's smart, compelling storytelling all wrapped up with a great commentary on what it means to be a young person today.
It actually feels incredibly banal putting Saga on this list because it's just consistently the best thing. Great storytelling, amazing art and just so much awesome. There were a couple of emotional gut-punches in the 2015 arcs and I just love the torture the author and artist put me through each issue. If you know what's good for you, you'll acquire the beautiful deluxe combined edition (I got one for Christmas).
Sex Criminals Vol. 2: Two Worlds, One Cop
Sex Criminals is the filthiest awesome thing ever. It is basically not safe for, like life. I love it. My husband thinks it's, "Way too weird." That's legit criticism, honestly.
Other 2015 comics worth checking out that didn't make the cut for this list: Southern Cross (Image), Silk (Marvel), Gotham Academy (DC), Paper Girls (Image), Hawkeye Omnibus (Marvel - the Matt Fraction-penned book).