As a blogger, one of the best things I love about the year’s end is that I can write a definitive “Best of [insert year here]” list. So, in the next couple of days, I’ll be writing and posting my 2011 definitive list in different categories. But, today, its comics and graphic novels.
I didn’t really read a lot of comics this year, if compared to last couple of years. Because, finally, I’ve managed to trim down my pull list to 10 comics. Which meant I missed a lot of things including the deaths of Hellboy, Ultimate Spider-Man and Human Torch. Also, besides Batman, I’ve no clue of what’s happening in the DC universe.
Nevertheless, I think I’ve read enough comics and graphic novels in 2011. Enough, at least, to make a best list with 5 items in it. Here are my picks:
After I saw the martial arts flick Ip Man earlier this year, I’ve frantically searched for more kung fu films. Eventually, my search lead me to Kagan McLeod’s Infinite Kung Fu instead. This graphic novel is just awesome. It combines kung fu action with other genres such as horror and fantasy, even elements from blaxploitation. It’s a very well-drawn and well-written graphic novel. “Infinite” has everything we love about martial arts flick –violent fights. Plus, it also has zombies!
American Vampire is still a pretty damn good ongoing series. But what I love even more than “Vampire” is its off-shoot mini-series, Survival of the Fittest. I mean, it has vampire Nazis. What more could you ask for? Other than having blood-sucking SS troopers in its pages, however, Survival of the Fittest also allowed Scott Snyder to expand the world and mythos of American Vampire, as well as flesh out one of my favorite characters –Felicia Book– in the series.
When I read American Vampire #1 a few years ago, I knew Scott Snyder was the one to watch. While I expected him to become huge, I didn’t expect he’d do it overnight. Now, his name is everywhere. I especially love his run on Batman books, from the newly relaunched Batman, the mini-series Batman: Gates of Gotham, and Detective Comics. His stories, which explored the history of Gotham and gave way to some new villains, really put some new life into the Dark Knight.
Uncanny X-Force has always been good since its beginning. But The Dark Angel Saga arc is just a smorgasbord of all kinds of awesome. There’s just too many good things that happened in this arc. Too many to mention. But my favorites would be: (1) the complete transformation of Warren Worthington III (aka Angel) into a scary, sick villain; (2) the dialogue between Fantomex and Deadpool; and (3) the psychedelic artwork that adds to the scary, weird atmosphere of the book. Hands down, this is the best superhero title this year.
I thought Craig Thompson wouldn’t be able outdo his work on Blankets, which is one of my favorite graphic novels. But his Habibi is epic, ridiculously epic. The illustrations are insanely gorgeous. It’s a visual feast to read this book. Its story, which is a love story set in a fictional Middle East, covers a lot of grounds –ranging from religion, environmental problems, classism and other “isms”. Every page in this book is a gift. But not because of its beautiful art, but because you can gleam wisdom from it. This graphic novel is simply a masterpiece. Read it!
So, these items are the five best comics that I’ve read in 2011. I hope you guys liked my list. Tomorrow, I’ll post my “Best Games of 2011”