Friday, 31 December 2010

Rob's Top 10 Graphic Novels of 2010

Well, it’s that time of year when people on the internet start putting together ordered lists of the things they liked during the year that was, and as I am now a person on the internet, I thought I should probably do the same. This list is limited by the fact that I only read a dozen or so books in 2010 that were actually published in 2010, so stuff that I liked but didn’t necessarily love has made the list and stuff that I have bought, am sure I will love but haven’t actually read yet hasn’t made the list (apart from one book which I have sort of read). Whatever. Here’s the list anyway:

10. Ex Machina Vol.9: Ring Out the Old TPB

This penultimate volume in the Ex Machina series is something that probably wouldn’t have troubled my top ten if I had read more new graphic novels this year but I do like this series and am looking forward to seeing what happens in the final volume.

9. Wilson HC

Daniel Clowes’ first original graphic novel (i.e. his first graphic novel that had not previously been serialised elsewhere) didn’t exactly blow me away but it was still good stuff.

8. Planetary Vol.4: Spacetime Archaeology HC

This final volume in the Planetary series probably would have placed higher if I had actually read it (I only got it last week) but I did read the comics contained in this volume as they came out (over a very long period of time) and am sure that I will enjoy reading them again in one volume. Planetary is the best thing I have ever read by Warren Ellis, John Cassaday’s art is fantastic, and it’s one of my favourite series of recent years.

7. West: Justice HC

I like comics and I like westerns, so I liked this self-published collection of well-written western comics by Andrew Cheverton and Tim Keable a lot.

6. The Amazing Screw-On Head and Other Curious Objects HC

An enjoyable non-Hellboy book by Mike Mignola.

5. The Sword Vol.4 TPB

Another series by the talented Luna brothers comes to a (surprisingly downbeat) close. The fantasy-based story wasn’t exactly brilliant but this series was full of over-the-top action and was a lot of fun while it lasted. I’m looking forward to reading the whole thing in one go now that it’s done, and seeing what the Luna brothers come up with next.

4. Locke & Key Vol.3: Crown of Shadows HC

This third Locke & Key collection was my least favourite of the three volumes released so far, but it was still good stuff and I’m glad I finally got into this series this year.

3. The Wild Kingdom HC

This mini-comic-expanded-to-graphic-novel isn’t cartoonist Kevin Huizenga’s best work by a long way but it’s very clever and worth reading if you are already familiar with his better works. Huizenga is one of the best cartoonists around at the moment, if not the very best.

2. Beasts of Burden: Animal Rites HC

Great concept, great writing, great art. Beasts of Burden could be the next Hellboy, and Evan Dorkin and Jill Thompson should be showered with money so that they can produce more great comics like this one. This series actually has an even bigger potential audience than Hellboy, what with the ‘beasts’ being a bunch of dogs and a cat who investigate the paranormal. I mean, who doesn’t love dogs? Cats I can take or leave.

1. Love and Rockets: New Stories #3

A clear winner, thanks mainly to Jaime’s touching story ‘Browntown’, which was the best comic story I read all year, but the rest of the book was pretty good, too.
Next time: My top comic-related bargains of 2010. Probably.

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