Best Comics of 2017

Now that I have talked about my favorite books of the year, I’m going to turn to my favorite comic books of the year. It’s a silly distinction between the two but there were too many books on both lists for one post. So enjoy my favorite books of the year including superheroes (!) and YA comics.

  1. Dr. Strange – The Way of the Weird by Jason Aaron, illustrated by Chris Bachalo
    1. I liked the movie from last year. I love the Cumberbatch and the movie was my kind of surreal. (Granted it has some whitewashing, which is a problem). I had never known much about Dr. Strange before and was keen to find out more. I talked to my friendly comic book employee and they recommended I try this standalone trade. It was as delightful as I was hoping. I like the weird and strangely unemotional characters.
  2. Vision  by Tom King and illustrated by Gabriel Hernandez Walta
    1. Holy cow. This packs a punch. The Vision creates his own family and they try to have a “normal” life. That adherence to “normal” and society’s inability to let it go clash epically. It’s really scary how relevant these texts are right now. I should note that I read this without having read any other works that include the Vision as a character. I think it stands out. It’s practically Shakespearean in tone. What does it mean to be human? What is normal? (Two trades)
  3. Squirrel Girl  by Ryan North and illustrated by Erica Hernandez
    1. Of course, Squirrel Girl was going to make this list. I’ve written about Squirrel Girl here and strongly urge anyone who likes good things to check her out. She’s delightful, sweet, and exceedingly clever. I don’t think anything quite puts a smile on my face as Squirrel Girl. (6 trades)
  4. I Hate Fairyland by Skottie Young
    1. I have a particular sense of humor and tolerance for gore in the right context. I Heart Fairyland is simply my jam. A 6 year young girl wishes to go to Fairyland and bam! She ends up there, broken bones and all. The only way to leave is to go on a quest. Thirty years later, Gert is no closer to getting home than she was at the age of 6. Now she’s an angry, violent drunk who is the scourge of the land. Will she find her way home or will the denizens of Fairyland find a way to get rid of her once and for all? (3 Trades)
  5. Animosity by Marguerite Bennett and illustrated byRafael de Latorre
    1. I don’t normally go for post-apolaypic stories but this one has got me hooked. One day, all of the animals become self-conscious. Many decide to take revenge against humanity for their crimes against them. Others, like housedog Sandor, decide they must protect their humans at all costs possible. This tale is the story of Sandor and his charge, 11 year old girl Jesse, trying to get across the country to her brother. Not for the weak of stomach.   (2 trades)
  6. Space Battle Lunchtime by Natalie Riess
    1. This delightful YA series is about Peony, a young queer human woman, who ends up a contestant on the Space Battle Lunchtime. She has to content with alien ingredients and very hostile competitors. For those of us who grew up with Iron Chef, this is a great food competition tale. So far only two trades but I hope there will be more.
  7. Courtney Crumrin by Ted Naifeh
    1. Courtney Crumrin is not your typical girl. (Quite a contrast to Peony from 6 above). She’s grumpy, vindictive, and an outcast. Her family moves in with her great uncle and learns that her great-uncle Aloysius is a warlock. The world she now inhabits is a much more dazzling, menacing place. She tries to figure out her way through this new world, learning the limits of magic. Moral questions, poor choices, it has it all.
  8. Harrow County by Cullen Bunn and illustrated by Terry Cook
    1. Emmy lives in harmony in a farming community. However, on her 18th birthday, she realizes there is a dark secret in her community that she is at the center of. Flayed skins, demons, and other monsters inhabit her world. I’ve only read two of the trades but I can’t wait to read more. (6 trades)
  9. Grayson by Tom King and Tim Seeley. Illustrated by Mikel Janin
    1. This was an unexpected one for me. Grayson is Batman’s Robin all grown up. He decides to join Spyral to keep an eye on it. It’s supposed to be modeled on actual procedure that spy agencies use. It’s got the gravitas of Vision at times, which is probably why it was recommended to me.  (5 trades?)
  10. Gwenpool by Christopher Hastings and illustrated by Gurihiru Gurihiru
    1. Funny story, I didn’t mean to read this. A friend had recommended SpiderGwen and I picked this up by mistake. Boy, I’m glad I did. Gwen Poole is a comic book reader who falls into another universe where all of her favorite superheroes are fighting for a better world. She doesn’t have any powers aside from her knowledge of all the superheroes and their foes’ weaknesses. However, she doesn’t think it is real so she feels that she can do whatever she wants. Kinda like a female version of Deadpool. I liked this series more than SpiderGwen. (5 trades)
  11. Razzle Dazzle Unicorn by Dana Simpson
    1. I’ve written about this series before. I love love love this webcomic. I just prefer reading it in book form. People compare it to Calvin and Hobbes and I think it deserves it. Phoebe and her unicorn are the right mix of sweet and snarky. (7 books?).
  12. Saga Volume 7 (Edited. Thanks to Casey) by Brian K. Vaughn, art by Fiona Staples
    1. I had read it as floppies this year and not as a collected volume so it got left off by mistake. My bad. I love love love Saga and it should just hold a spot on this list forever.  Rob Bricken sums it up better than I can “It’s just like Star Wars…It’s nothing like Star Wars” for io9 in 2013. Go read it.
  13. Edit: I realized that I also left Bitch Planet: Triple Feature since I also read it as floppies. For those of you who haven’t read Bitch Planet, go and read it now. Highly relevant to our current era. Triple Feature issues have three short stories apiece that widen the world. Heart-breaking and beautiful.

That’s all for now!

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