2013 is looking pretty good for comics, friends. Here are a few of my favorites, in completely arbitrary categories.
There are too many comics out there for there to be an authoritative list of the best, but these ones are really, really good, so check them out.
1. The Big Two
Look, I am a total sucker for Marvel, and since this is a biased list the House of Ideas goes first. Hawkeye by Matt Fraction and David Aja is a title everyone should be paying attention to. For one thing, it will make you actually care about Hawkeye, and that is astonishing. For another, there is a newspaper in one panel that reads “Everything Awful. Oh God Somebody Do Something.” It’s funny, it’s meta, and Hawkeye is kind of a dirtbag in an endearing way.
Special mention to X-Men by Brian Wood because it is looking excellent, and it features Storm’s giant Mohawk (for a song about said X-Woman, and the X-Women in general, look here for an awesome rap that Adam Warrock did about the ladies of X-Men), and extra special mention to Kelly Sue DeConnick’s Captain Marvel because they put pants on Ms. Marvel and gave her a proper title, a bunch of kickass old ladies as supporting cast, and a flying motorcycle.
What’s going on at DC, you ask? Uh … I hear there was a surprising death recently, and Batman’s probably sulking and/or bro-ing out with Superman somewhere. I’m going to call Green Arrow as a standout because Jeff Lemire took over writing it, and that man has his head on straight.
2. Continuing Titles
Saga is basically the best thing on the shelves these days. If this list was just blank except for Saga, that would still be pretty OK. Brian K. Vaughan and Fiona Staples, y’all. They’ll be back from their two month hiatus in July.
Runner-up goes to Empowered which remains one of the cleverer titles around. This book tells a story of genuine emotional depth with a great cast of characters, and is still packed with dirty jokes, partial nudity, neologisms, and shots at superhero tropes. Adam Warren’s putting out another volume (number 8!) this winter, and a one-shot in September. You shouldn’t miss them.
If you are not reading Strong Female Protagonist you are missing out. But if super fistfights and asking the right questions isn’t your thing, you can try Lackadaisy for some hysterical, beautifully drawn rum-running cats, or Romantically Apocalyptic for — you know, I’m not really sure what’s going on there, but I dig it.
Dresden Codak funded a physical book, and Greg Pak’s Code Monkey Saves World made a few hundred times its funding goal. All the cool kids of professional comics are launching Kickstarter campaigns to fund pet projects. Good thing amateur cartoonists weren’t using that site for anything … But there is a very cool looking lower profile anthology called The Sleep of Reason that’s mid-campaign right now, and I encourage you all to give generously.
5. What Else?
GET DOWN TO YOUR LOCAL COMIC SHOP AND FIND OUT! There are amazing comics coming out all the damn time, and there are amazing comics that have been out for a long time. Last time I went digging I found an autobiographical comic drawn by a Montreal stripper in the eighties. What will you find?