Hey, everyone. As we have just watched another year pass us by, and prepare to enter a brand spanking new one with youthful optimism of what 2010 could possibly bring in terms of the comic book realm, I felt that it was only fitting that I pay homage to my top three books of 2009.
These are the books that I personally felt represented some of the best efforts in writing and artistic composition. Now, hold up here before you boys and gals get all riled up. I just want to say, this is an opinion piece, and thus we will all have different choices as to what our favourite books were for 2009. Comics, after all, are a very personal thing, I venture to say that what we read in some way is a reflection of the kind of person we are. In the same way that the music we listen to represents apart of who we are so do our literary choices, whether they are novels or graphic novels.
All of us find a kinship with either a character or team of characters for what ever reason, but what makes us fall in love with these super clad bad asses is the creative driving force behind them. In most cases this is what makes or breaks a character for us fanboys and girls. I am sure all of us have experienced the tremendous disappointment of picking up a comic based on one of our favourite characters only to find out the writer has totally fucked it up. Or the writing is simply meh, and the art is what’s actually fucked up. Whatever the combination it only spells bad news bears for us comic book fans that have dished out our hard earned money to watch our beloved character ruined in print. We suffer through bad runs and pray that the comic book gods will come and save us from the injustice of bad storytelling. Unfortunately, we are at the mercy of such titans as Marvel and DC; we put our collective faith forward that the right creative team will save the day, as it were. Our patience is tested time after time, but there is usually always a light at the end of the tunnel and eventually the right people take pen to paper and we feel certain jubilation again.
I am not sure if you will find my picks for 2009 to be predictable or surprising at all. So, here they are none the less and not any particular order short and sweet.
The Invincible Iron Man
Written by: Matt Fraction
Art by: Salvador Larroca
Published by: Marvel
I must preface this by saying that I was never a huge Iron Man fan. I have always enjoyed the character, but I truly found affection for the cocky Mr. Stark once Matt Fraction and company took to the helm. The way in which Fraction writes not only Stark’s character but all the supporting characters as well is what got me hooked. There is cohesiveness to the story line that never seemed to be there before, for me, in an Iron Man comic. Fraction gave us, the readers, Tony Stark at his most vulnerable; he gave us strength in characters such as Pepper Potts that we have not seen before. He made us care about Maria Hill, and all this was accomplished by intricate character development on his part and bottom line good story telling. Matt Fraction has turned me into an Iron Man fan, and this is a run that I would recommend to anyone. If you have not been keeping up with the singles, then honestly get the trades when they come out you won’t regret it. Fraction has hit it out of the park on this one.
Written by: Robert Kirkman
Pencils by: Corey Walker/Ryan Ottley
Inker: Cliff Rathburn
Colors: FCO Plascenia
Published by: Image
What can I say about Invincible except, thank you Jose for introducing it to me one of the best comics ever!!! Yes you read that right…EVER! This comic came as a recommendation from Jose to me one night, and I took his advice and went out and bought the first trade. After reading it, I promptly went out and bought every other trade that I could until it brought me up to current. Robert Kirkman set out to tell the story of a superhero and he did it in spades. Robert Kirkman is a craftsman of relationships; he knows how to write them, he knows how to create them in his work. I have a fangirl crush on Mark Grayson; sooo would love to have him as my boyfriend. This is how fantastically the comic is written, you actually begin to feel emotional about what happens to them. Kirkman gets you invested in the Invincible universe as it were. Corey Walker was the original artist and co-creator of Invincible but soon gave up the reigns to a young artist named Ryan Ottley. Ryan Ottley can be compared to a highly ranked rookie in the sports world who is given a chance to prove himself and turns out to be a phenomenon of sorts. Not only do you have the pleasure of reading the obvious talent of Kirkman’s words but Ottley’s art is just as breath taking and pivotal to the story telling experience. If you have not been reading Invincible then you really should, once again, pick it up in trades.
If you want to start 2010 off with something that is hot, try Invincible, Kirkman and Ottley, how can you go wrong? I think the only way you could go wrong is if Hollywood got involved and tried to make a movie out of it. I hope they never do because that way my Invincible will forever remain pure.
Detective Comics: Batwoman
Written by: Greg Rucka
Art by: J.H Williams III
Colors: Dave Stewart
Published by: DC
My final fav for 2009 is Detective Comics: Batwoman. I know this book has some of the “heterosexual” fanboys all in a tizzy these days but I fucking love it! Again, I was never a big Detective Comics reader, but when I herd that Greg Rucka and J.H Williams III were going to be working on this title with Batwoman as the head liner, it was a no brainier that I would be buying it. We often hear that male comic book writers are unable to fully grasp the female voice. But Mr. Rucka must be in touch with his feminine side because he speaks for us females beautifully. I love the fact that Batwoman is openly lesbian and it is not portrayed in a raunchy perverted fashion. Batwoman’s sexual preference is simply apart of Kate Kane the character and is integrated maturely into the storyline. Rucka did such an amazing job with Wonder Woman that I am not surprised about the work he is accomplishing in Detective Comics currently. As for the art, well if you are at all familiar with J.H Williams, then I don’t think I can articulate how wonderful it is. If you are not familiar with his work I can only suggest that the next time you’re in your local comic shop pick up a copy of Detective Comics: Batwoman and you’ll see for yourself. This comic is breath taking and superbly written, there is really not much more I can say except it receives high praise all around.
The thing about comics that I love, and have always loved, is the fantasy and the idea of good vs. evil. The inner battle we all fight, the injustices we are exposed to in the real world. These are all themes that play out in the pages of a comic book. As I prepare to move forward in 2010, I do so firmly with comics in hand. I wish all the fanboys and girls out there a very happy new year, keep reading, keep watching CCW, and keep an open mind. It’s the only way to grow.