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.
With an intriguing premise from Steve Orlando and moody, expressive artwork from Artyom Trakhanov, we can’t wait to see where this new Image title takes us.
39. SUPERIOR FOES OF SPIDER-MAN
Following Hawkeye’s mix of humor, character-driven realism, and gleeful formal experimentation, SUPERIOR FOES OF SPIDER-MAN has quietly become one of Marvel’s very best books. Don’t let the secret out, but it almost seems like somebody over at the House of Ideas got it in their head that superhero comics are supposed to be fun…
38. This Shirt
Yeah, what if??
37. THE BUS
We detect some of the spirit of Winsor McCay in Paul Kirchner’s quietly masterful surrealist comic strip.
36. B + F
We were pleased to play host to Greg Benton and his huge, beautiful nightmare of a graphic novel. Greg is one of our favorite cartoonists and one of comics’ most righteous dudes, and we can’t wait to see what he does next.
35. INSECT BATH
True to its title, this new alt-zine style anthology series feels like a submersion in the creepy, underfoot world.
34. SPRING TRAINING
Baseball beckons, and with it a world made new.
deadly class #2 : a strong issue that cements my hopes for this series. we get into the whole school aspect of things, and it’s a lot of fun meeting the various cliques. wes craig kills every aspect of the art–design, character, layout.
hawkeye #15 : it feels like things are coming to a head for clint and his building. any time david aja drops in to draw an issue it elevates an already good book. this run is going to be an evergreen.
batman/superman #9 : JAE LEE.
elephantmen #54 : a killer cliffhanger for one of the very best serial reads there is.
black science #4 : after a couple of issues that, while still excellent, felt like they were racing to keep up with the explosive debut issue, this feels like it’s leading us out of the fire and into the frying pan.
sock monkey treasury : a gorgeous new collection of one of the more idiosyncratic cartoonist’s most accessible work.
wolverine and the x-men #42 : jason aaron, nick bradshaw, chris bachalo and company wrap up their run on what has been one of the most fun books of the last few years. and they do it in style, with a touching, chuckling read that feels just right.
miracleman #3 : you can argue with the way marvel has rolled this out, but you can’t argue with the material. this issue leads us into the truly masterful work alan moore does the rest of the way.
saga #18 : lying cat. oh yes.
furious #1 : lots of twists & turns in this new take on superhero celebrity from bryan glass and victor santos of MICE TEMPLAR fame. looking forward to talking this up with bryan this friday night at the shop!
east of west #9 : SAGA and this book in the same week? yee haw.
miracleman #2 : you can argue about the format marvel’s chosen to roll this out, but there’s no argument about the alan moore material. seminal, game-changing comics that read as good today as they did 30 years ago.
black science #3 : we get into some back story and blood shed here. this book is going places.
marvel masterworks x-men vol #6 : neal adams delivers some powerhouse, dynamic work here.
unwritten vol #8 : the latest volume in this spellbinding series.
adventure time with fiona and cake : monster-fighting, queen-defeating wackiness.
the midas flesh #2 : i missed the first issue of this charming little sci-fi series from the creators of the ADVENTURE TIME comic. with a solid gold concept, breezy dialogue, and pleasing, clean art, this book was a nice surprise and one i’ll be looking out for from now on.
pretty deadly #4 : another magnetic issue from a sure-fire series of the year candidate–and we’re less than a month in. this issue sets things up for a walloping climax to the opening storyline.
there’s also a killer brandon graham pin-up…
judge dredd mega city two #1 : the venerable judge steps into a wacky west coast version of mega city that’s modern day L.A./hollywood to the max. but what really matters here is ulises farinas’ crazy-in-the-best-way artwork. i haven’t had so much fun poring over background details since zander cannon and gene ha delivered the goods in alan moore’s TOP 10. mixing insane detail with hyper-clean lines, ulises brings his A game and firmly announces himself on the scene.
deadly class #1 : rick remender and wes craig kick up some dust in this elegantly designed & drawn entry into the teenage assassin club genre, with the twist being this feels kind of like an inverted real-ish world original x-men. let’s see where it goes.
yearling masked detective #1 : rich tommaso’s super avenger crime series kinda reminds me of a straight-edge, non-team version of COPRA that’s more interested in dan clowes than jack kirby and frank miller. with a 1st issue that’s all set-up i’m curious to see where he takes it.
unwritten apocalypse #1 : as one of the best modern day vertigo series looks into the light at the end of the tunnel, it’s a good time to celebrate what mike carey, peter gross, and yuko shimizu have accomplished. get into it, whether you start here or with volume one.
ff #16 : sad to see this book come to an end, but it’s a glorious end, with 15 extra pages of art from mike & laura allred and all the character moments and then some that you’ve come to expect from this first rate series. one of the more endearing marvel books of the last decade.
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.