This is what it looks like when Walt Disney and Salvador Dali sort of collaborate. Sure makes you wonder what could have come of a deeper partnership.
Another delicious fruit of the Kickstarter era. Never before would a work as personal and idiosyncratic as Alec Longstreth’s BASEWOOD have seen publication in such a beautifully produced oversized edition, a handsomely made book containing a flawlessly cartooned story of loss, survival and connection.
38. GRAND BUDAPEST HOTEL
OK, so none of us have actually gotten around to seeing it yet. But we’re so happy to have more Wes Anderson in the world that we’re listing it anyway.
37. MONSTERS & TITANS – the BATTLING BOY art book
Finally, we can see BATTLING BOY artwork the way it deserves to be seen: BIG.
36. This Terrifying Short Film
Watch if you’re sick of sleeping, and would prefer never to do it again.
35. New Wu Tang Album
They are pressing one single copy of their new double album, which will be sold to the highest bidder. Something tells me we won’t end up finding this one for $3 in the bargain bin of the Princeton Record Exchange, like we did with 36 Chambers in 1997.
Paolo Rivera is one of today’s comics greats, and perhaps the one place where he stands highest above the pack is in his dead-perfect ink-slinging. What a (daunting) treat to see the magic in the making.
33. DEADLY CLASS
This book is what would have happened if John Hughes ever got the taste for blood. Wes Craig joins Emma Rios, Nick Dragotta, Matteo Scalera and others on the list of highly skilled pro creators who waited for an Image series to unleash their fully developed, wholly original voice.
32. David Lee Roth A Capella
This is a perfect audio depiction of how our upcoming LITTLE NEMO: DREAM ANOTHER DREAM project makes us feel.
31. Seth Kushner’s SCHMUCK Kickstarter
Seth Kushner’s heartfelt, self-deprecating singlehood saga has been a long time in the making, and features stories and illustrations from a slew of gifted cartoonists. Help this schmuck find its way out into the world.
30. Dell Comics’ POGO Collection
One of the most revered comic strips ever actually kicked off as a series of shorts in Dell’s ANIMAL COMICS. The beginning of a legend, almost fully formed. Viva Walt Kelly.
Just try to resist this daily doc chronicling of Double Fine’s annual two-week “vacation” from their regular game development, when they split up and follow untested leaders to create 4 game prototypes from scratch. It’s creatively inspiring, it’s hilarious – especially when you factor in this year’s guest project lead, ADVENTURE TIME creator Pendleton Ward – and it’s downright heart-pumping. And you even get to play the results yourself.
28. David Petersen’s Rocket Raccoon & Groot Commissions
A match made in heaven, we thank the lucky fan who commissioned David to do this portrait of the lovable duo.
THE DARK KNIGHT RETURNS, Frank Miller’s seminal masterpiece, ushered in a brief quasi-golden age of high-minded, 48 pg prestige format books that looked to reinvent the superhero in the late 80’s/early 90’s. This is the lost masterpiece of them all. Tim Truman, marrying the best of Joe Kubert with baseline sci-fi and the grit and grime of the time, created the greatest Hawkman story ever, and one of the finest stories told by the big two — finally back in print.
The late father of manga and creator of ASTRO BOY was not shy about getting unwholesome with his comics (see a personal favorite of ours, ODE TO KIRIHITO, as a prime as example), so his daughter finding a secret stash of slightly porny sketches wasn’t exactly shocking or scandalous news. The drawings themselves, though, were wonderfully hilarious. We can’t get enough of that sexy snake.
25. RICK AND MORTY: RIXTY MINUTES
Harmon & Roiland’s most ambitious, and funniest, episode yet. Most of its time is spent near-plotlessly, simply channel-flipping through improvised, nonsense TV shows from “infinite realities.” But in the midst of this perfectly executed frivolity are the first real indicators that the characters we’ve been following are actually changing, for better and worse, as a result of the insanity they encounter week in and week out.
Best known for his award-winning, genre defying KABUKI, David Mack is collecting a year’s worth of life drawings in this elegant art book that showcases his lithe brushwork and eye for beauty.
23. BEASTS OF BURDEN
We need this Hellboy-esque talking animal book to be monthly, but until then we’ll savor every installment of Evan Dorkin and Jill Thompson’s delightful and scary mystery romps.
22. Hellboy Month
And speaking of Hellboy, it was the big guy’s 20th anniversary this past month. 20 years of Mike Mignola’s singular vision in red. You’re aging well, champ.
21. WINDS OF WINTER
New Game of Thrones from George R.R. Martin. With season four launching next week on HBO, the premier fantasist of his time has to get busy and deliver the goods, and here’s the first salvo in what we hope is a brief but intense battle over the next few years.
20. SATELLITE SAM
Raymond Chandler meets Paddy Chayefski in this grimy vintage mystery series, with Matt Fraction’s thoroughly developed dawn-of-television setting brought to seamy, smokey life by the vicious, scratched-out micron linework of Howard Chaykin.
Ummm, a giant sized model of Gulliver strewn across the landscape right next to Japan’s suicide forest? A fun park in the Ukraine that opened and closed the day of the Chernobyl nuclear disaster? An abandoned Oz in the middle of North Carolina? We are definitely not in Kansas anymore.
18. SECRET AVENGERS
Taking a cue from Matt Fraction’s inimitable HAWKEYE series, Ales Kot and Michael Walsh relaunch Secret Avengers as an off-kilter sci-fi shaggy dog story. Yet another palpably joyful book from Marvel — what is the world coming to?
Simply because we’ve never listed it before: James Harvey is doing something ridiculously special and especially ridiculous, recreating every page of Otomo’s AKIRA with characters from THE SIMPSONS, drawn by a veritable who’s who of indie comics.
16. THE WAKE
Sean Murphy & Scott Snyder’s chilling sci-fi epic takes a quantum leap forward, away from the claustrophobic horror of its first half and into an impressively ambitious far-future nightmare. Remarkable world-building in text and image both.
15. THE EARFARMER
We’re close to wrapping the first installment of this mellow, big-hearted sci-fi road trip, to be serialized in DARK HORSE PRESENTS. We should all be so lucky as to take a meandering drive through a future dreamed & drawn by Chris Stevens and Farel Dalrymple.
The starchildren in West Philly’s finest sci-fi collective are waging war with the establishment, reclaiming the weird future for one and all.
Creators from across the comics world have rallied to support Stan Sakai and his wife, who have had a very tough year dealing with various health issues. There have been a ton of great pieces donated to the cause, none better than this one.
Enjoy a peak into the darky & dusty existence and artistically brilliant mind of one of our favorite, and simply best, artists in comics.
11. NEMO: THE ROSES OF BERLIN
Do you like new Alan Moore comics? This is the only place you’ll get them for now, as the story of Captain Nemo’s daughter carries on in the inestimable Moore/O’Neill tradition.
10. Warren Bernard’s Mysterious Vault of Impossible Glory
We were honored to be given a private tour of the home and collection of SPX impresario Warren Bernard. From NY Herald Sunday pages to Dr. Seuss advertising pamphlets to 19th century Alphonse Mucha prints, we found it hard to maintain our composure. We’re just proud that we resisted the urge to lick the Nemos.
9. PERFECT NONSENSE
The childish whimsy of George Carlson’s work belies a subtle sophistication and deep graphic intelligence. This new collection from Fantagraphics Books is the best possible way to delve into the fascinating work of this designer, artist and visionary.
Goran Parlov channels Moebius and McCay in Mark Millar’s Gran Torino-meets-Flash Gordon story, setting the stage for a space opera with heart & hope.
7. Opening Day
Baseball season is upon us, and the world is once again made new.
6. FREAK SCENE
Freak Scene heads east as Keenan Keller, Pat Aulisio, Jim Rugg and many more get their weird on.
5. SAGA vol. 3
The desperation with which people await new installments of this genre-defying magnum opus is awe-inspiring, and only seems to grow. By volume four we fully expect to see crowds of people camped outside the shop, Apple-store-style. Fiona Staples and Brian K. Vaughan are building a cult, and we are madly chugging Kool-Aid.
4. SILVER SURFER #1
What could be more groovy than Mike Allred doing an ongoing Silver Surfer series? You tell us. Good on you, Marvel.
Master cartoonist Wally Wood produced a G.I. journal comic strip from 1970 to 1973. Impeccably good — on the surface it seems downright chauvinistic and sexist until you realize the only characters who are as tough and smart as Cannon himself are the women. And every single panel is composed and executed at the highest level. These are all little strip-style box panels and every shot is perfectly chosen, every nut and bolt on every gun and every stitch and hem on a woman’s dress is drawn in exacting, perfect detail. Just a thrill ride of comics excellence.
2. STRAY BULLETS: UBER ALLES EDIITION
Finally, after nine long, sad, STRAY BULLETS-less years, David Lapham finishes the story arc that left us hanging and delivers a big fat blunt weapon of a collected edition. As if that weren’t enough, he also delivers…
1. STRAY BULLETS: KILLERS
A brand new chapter in his brilliantly singular oddball crime epic. As with so many of his best stories, the tale is told with heart and humor as we watch terror unfold through the eyes of children. Welcome home, David.