40. THE WICKED + THE DIVINE
The new Image series from McKelvie & Gillen, a sort of bottomless bonus track to their dark-magic rock opera PHONOGRAM, is one of the most promising series to debut in 2014.
39. This NSFW Spider-Man Statue
This baffling statue, atop a South Korean shopping mall, gives new meaning to the phrase “web fluid.”
38. CHARLES SCHULZ’S PEANUTS: ARTIST’S EDITION
This beautifully designed collection of unaltered original Peanuts artwork brings us Charles Schulz’s earliest strips just as he made them — raw, unfiltered, and a little bit mean.
The world-weary horror of Robert Kirkman’s story is brought to life by the atmospheric, choking tension of Paul Azaceta’s moody, worrisome artwork. A promising debut for what looks to be a truly frightening series.
36. This Animated Lobster Sculpture
Very lifelike. Keep it far away from butter sauce.
35. THE LEFTOVERS
This off-beat, darkly funny, sprawlingly intimate HBO series, based on Tom Perotta’s novel of the same title, follows life in a small town in the years following the Rapture.
saga #21 : things are getting slipperier for the families on both sides here. on another note, i want FRIENDO.
ragnarok #1 : YES. walt simonson back in the saddle, with john workman bringing the BRAKKATHOOMs.
avengers 100th anniversary #1 : james stokoe. need i say more?
transformers vs gi joe #1 : tom scioli pulls off a perfect evocation of all that made generations of kids spend countless hours on kitchen floors playing out action figure battles & plots.
batman ’66 #13 : the most enjoyable bat book of its day sees dean haspiel ride in and deliver pitch perfect storytelling chops and just the right amount of wink-wink this book thrives on.
tuki: save the humans #1 : where jeff smith goes, we follow.
mike mignola’s hellboy artist’s edition : seeing the master’s hand unadorned packs a punch.
Seconds : Bryan Lee O’Malley (with great help from Nathan Fairbairn) does it again with his new, beautiful, magical realist fable.
Street Angel HC : AdHouse Books has brought Jim Rugg’s modern classic, bar-raising series back in perfect form. Street Angel changed the way I looked at comics 10 years ago, and this new, handsomely produced edition (which includes a few bits and pieces old fans might not have seen) is the one it’s always deserved. Everyone who missed it the first time around owes it to themselves to read it now.*
*Diamond didn’t actually ship us our order of Street Angel HCs this week, but we’ll be getting them in soon. Regardless, this roundup wouldn’t have been right without her.
40. SECRET AVENGERS
Hawkeye, She-Hulk, Doop be damned — this may be the most fun book that Marvel is putting out. Come for the comedy, stay for the wild sci-fi ideas and propulsively energetic storytelling.
39. Alan Moore Interview on Robert Anton Wilson
Robert Anton Wilson has had an outsized impact on comics sci-fi as one of the prime influences of two of its major writers: Alan Moore and Grant Morrison. Now, as bonus content for the COSMIC TRIGGER theatrical Kickstarter, you can hear comics favorite curmudgeon spend an hour kvelling about the importance of Wilson’s particular brand of visionary oddball sci-fi.
Charles Soule & Javier Pulido continue making us smile with their latest issue of She-Hulk, taking the jolly green she-giant over to San Francisco to see Daredevil — making for an obviously perfect crossover. The two super-lawyers wonder why they never went up against each other back in NYC, and so do we…
37. THE AMATEURS
Conor Stechschulte’s graphic novel debut is a strange little incantation, a quietly funny nightmare in black & white — the sort of book that lingers in the back corners of your mind.
36. KIRBY NEW GODS ARTIST’S EDITION
The unadulterated tiger-force, delivered straight from the tiger-source.
This art & sequential bits & bobs book from Farel Dalrymple & AdHouse made our Top 40 back when it was announced. Now that we’ve finally gotten our copies to pore over, we want to put it on ALL the Top 40s.
39. The Fantagraphics Kickstarter
Because we all need our continued supply of Uncle Scrooge.
38. BOARDWALK EMPIRE
The hopeless glory of season 4 ended with no winners, only losers. Pretty appropriate for a show set in Atlantic City.
37. DISAPPEARANCE DIARY
Hideo Azuma’s autobiographical chronicle of a cartoonist dropping off the map and going on the lam from relationships, responsibilities, and sobriety is a fascinating and oddly adorable illustration of the kind of personality with which some of us can identify a little too much.
36. Calvin & Hobbes Dancing
We’d usually say that Bill Watterson’s opus is hallowed ground upon which fan art must not tread, but this animation of Calvin & Hobbes dancing is delightful, touching, and utterly true to its origins.
35. This Mountain Man
I hope to one day also stand in court and declare, “I AM THE NATURAL MAN.”
34. THE ART OF RUBE GOLDBERG
This book about Rube Goldberg is also an ACTUAL FUNCTIONING PAPERCRAFT RUBE GOLDBERG MACHINE! How cool is that?
40. SATELLITE SAM
Raymond Chandler meets Paddy Chayefsky, in Howard Chaykin’s sketchy, viciously sharp ink lines.
39. Moebius Nemo
Come back, Jean Girard. How are we supposed to make a proper Nemo tribute without you?
38. Tokidoki Donutella
37. Our Anniversary Party
The Paper Anniversary has to be a lucky one for a comic book store.
One question: if you get this on your hands, how do you wash it off?
35. BEST OF EC ARTIST’S EDITION
IDW just won’t stop with these incredible collections of photographed artwork. Pre-code EC comics like you’ve never seen ’em before.
the true lives of the fabulous killjoys #2 : the first issue killed it. looking forward to getting deeper into this world.
hawkeye volume #2 : the second collection of this rock solid series has the much-talked about ‘pizza dog’ issue, which came out two short weeks ago, included. that’s gotta be some kind of record.
the comedian hardcover : the BEFORE WATCHMEN books have taken a lot of heat, rightfully so i believe, but this book is a fine look into the life of the character i think is the most interesting new character of the last 25 years.
the invincible haggard west #101 : this little chunk of paul pope’s upcoming BATTLING BOY is pure comics gold. pope kills every aspect of making a good comic, and i cannot wait to read the whole shebang.
the best of ec comics artist edition : a true treasure trove of amazing, inspiring comic book art.
mister x: eviction #1 : dean motter’s sci-fi noir lives in the heels of your shoes.
3 new stories : dash shaw has one of the most unique voices in comics. anything new from him is cause for delight.
indestructible hulk #7 : hulk & thor smash giants, and walter simonson draws it.
hawkeye #10 : we give this book a lot of love. it loves you back.
sonic the hedgehog #248 : sonic meets mega man in one of the more lively, lighthearted books you’ll find.
the jack kirby omnibus volume #2 : even when he was trying to sell us toys, jack kirby couldn’t help but give us one more burst of raw power when he took on the SUPER POWERS mini series which, sadly, was one of the only jobs the KING ever saw royalties from. proceeds from this $40 book, along with a stipend from the check of every creator working at marvel today, should go to finally building the JACK KIRBY MUSEUM.
jack davis ec stories artist’s edition : big & bad enough to swallow small children. thank you, scott dunbier.