40. FABLES vol. 20
Willingham & Buckingham’s seemingly-endless saga wends towards its conclusion, out of the darkness of its previous volume and back towards its heroic roots.
39. REMAINDER by Farel Dalrymple
The tour-de-force cartooning in this WRENCHIES side story would make Moebius proud.
38. KILL MY MOTHER
Jules Feiffer is one of the true architects of the comics medium — here, in his smoke-wreathed noir debut graphic novel, he shows that he’s still on top of his game.
37. This D&D Audiobook
Let Ice-T and Dan Harmon (sadly, not doing his impression of Ice-T) and friends read Dungeons and Dragons to you. It’s…something special.
Simon Hanselmann’s weirdly sociopathic stoner gag strip MEGG, MOGG & OWL, collected here by Fantagraphics, is a stealth delivery system for some terrifyingly dark character studies.
35. MULTIVERSITY #1
Bucking the shitty MOR trends of DC, shamanic comics mastermind Grant Morrison delivers a brain-blasting metacomic, with gorgeously detailed universes drawn by Ivan Reis. Surprising that the suits are letting the iconoclastic Morrison have this much fun with their precious continuity.
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.
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.
silver surfer #1 : yee haw, a surfer book by mike allred! a match made in celestial heaven here, as allred and writer dan slott start off on the new adventures of the sentinel of the spaceways. matching cosmic goodness with homey, human elements, allred is smack dab in his wheelhouse here, and i couldn’t be happier to go along for the ride.
star slammers #1 : walter simonson’s bad to the bone space opera gets rolled out for the 21st century. the art & storytelling are prime simonson. ’nuff said.
metabarons genesis: castaka : more metabarons mythos in a handsome slip-cased hardcover.
the adventures of nilson groundthumper and hermy : a delightful forerunner to stan sakai’s beloved USAGI YOJIMBO. great cartooning.
the glorkian warrior delivers a pizza : james kochalka slings pies.
sandman overture #2 : better late than never? oh yes. lush, gorgeous stuff.
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?
black science #1 : rick remender seems re-energized in this killer 1st issue. and the art, from matteo scalera and color wizard dean white, is gorgeous and nuanced. this book goes straight to the top of the list of books i’ll look forward to each month.
saga #16 : things are ratcheting up in this consistently entertaining, surprising series.
hip hop family tree vol. #1 : ed piskor throws down an encyclopedic account of the early days of an american art form. the telling of the tale is as fresh as the old-school treasury format, which ed recreates in loving, meticulous detail. good stuff.
pretty deadly #2 : emma rios is hitting a whole new level in her art, and kelly sue deconnick’s poetic, dreamy script works with her to build a book that’s carved out its own unique place in just two issues.
the sandman overture #1 special edition : the criterion collection version of the new sandman series is a vehicle for celebrating jh williams’ remarkable art in mostly black and white, going so far as to render the lettering translucent to unveil as much of jh3’s virtuosic work. along with process talk from todd klein and script annotations by williams, this is a fine way to experience the return of the dream king.
afterlife with archie #2 : in 30+years of reading comics, i’d never read an archie comic cover to cover. and i am not into the zombie genre at all. and y’know what? i loved the first two issues of this new series. it’s just flat-out good comics from francesco francavilla and roberto aguirre-sacasa. looking forward to more.
mister x eviction & other stories : one of the best worlds ever built in comics.
the maxx maxximized #1 : a remastered rolling out of the seminal sam kieth series. YES.
40. DOGS OF WAR
Nathan Fox and Sheila Keenan’s heart-wrenching, half-century-spanning tale of soldiers and soldiers’ best friends is old-fashioned in its storytelling and forward-looking in its gorgeously sleek illustration.
39. Will Laren
It is… unsettling how funny we find these inexplicable and off-kilter comic strips.
38. Z2 Comics
We can’t wait to see Paul Pope’s ESCAPO and Dean Haspiel’s BILLY DOGMA collection from Josh Frankel’s ambitious new imprint.
37. TURMOIL IN THE TOYBOX
7 and 1/2 minutes of the gospel truth. The toys, comics, cartoons, and games of the ’80s turned our entire generation into satanists. Watch this as you perform your daily sacrifice.
One of the finest stories Marvel Comics has ever told is back in print. Jae Lee and Paul Jenkins explored the artful outskirts of what is possible in a superhero comic.
Chuck Forsman’s dark, opaquely frightening story of two broken young people on the run plays like a Gus Van Sant version of BADLANDS. It gets under your skin.