Usually this time of year I do a long and complicated retrospective of the comics I read over the last year, giving my readers a list of my favorites from the past year. Now... I'm not sure that anyone gives a flying fish about what I think anyway... and add in that I'm tired and not in the mood to write about good comics, and I begin to wonder if the end-of-the-year wrap up is worth doing. Still, tradition is tradition. I just won't make it as complicated as in the past. I'm going to flip through a list of comic books that came out in 2006 and come up with some that I remember well enough and enjoyed. I don't think I actually did this last year, so there may be a bit of crossing back into 2005, but I'll try to keep it mostly 2006.
- The "Most Ambitious Project" award I'm giving to 52, which somehow managed to stay on time for 34 weeks, and managed to be fairly entertaining as well.
- The "Best Book I Almost Missed" award goes to DMZ. I bought the first issue, but somehow missed future issues... until Brian Wood sent me the first collection and several of the single issues after it. I read the books, enjoyed them, and it's now on my pull list.
- "Favorite Manga" award goes to Hikaru No Go. This storyline is the only reason I subscribed to Shonen Jump, and I'm also buying the collections as they come out. There is nothing at all like this story in American comics, and there really ought to be!
- "Best Collection" hands down goes to the Castle Waiting Hardcover, which was beautiful, comprehensive, and upgradable. Anyone who hasn't tried this series should pick up this hardcover for a reasonably priced introduction to a book with great art and a lovely meandering story.
- Honorable Mention: Adventures In Oz. If I was as big an Oz fan as I am a Castle Waiting fan, this might have gone the other way around.
- "Best Superhero Team" goes to the Justice Society... but only because they brought back Ma Hunkel. And the book rocks as long as she's there. Period.
- The "I Wish I Was Still On Their Comp List" goes to Boom Studios! who probably took me off the list due to my slowness in posting reviews. However, all their zombie books were surprisingly good, as was Hero Squared, Planetary Brigrade, and, yes, even Jeremiah Harm. If you haven't checked out their books, give 'em a shot. I'm partial to the superhero books, but the whole line I sampled was excellent.
- The "Delays Just About Killed Me" award goes to Aquaman: Sword of Atlantis, which was an excellent revamp that had me incredibly excited... but then the delays started and my heart just about broke with each new delay announcement. To finish the job was the announcement that Kurt was leaving the book after only a scant handful of issues. Although he's leaving the book in Tad Williams' capable hands, it still made for a bittersweet year of Aquaman.
- "Best New Character" introduced in a superhero book this year would be Soranik Natu, the unwilling Green Lantern from Korugar. Ok, so she technically first appeared last year, but I didn't do any awards last year and she hadn't developed into such a cool character yet.
- The "I Really Wish It Came Out More Often" is a tie between Dorothy and Age of Bronze. Both are excellent books put out by people who care deeply about the subject matter. Both books show the love, sheer joy, and heart the creators put into them. And both are worth reading just for that. And both books I wish could come out more often, but I do understand why they don't.
- "Strongest Rebirth" award goes to Abadazad, which returned in a partly prose form that works really well for the series. I can honestly say I'm very much looking forward to future volumes.
- The "Still Going Strong" award goes to AiT/Planet Lar, who put out a number of great books this year, including Shatter, Continuity, Rock Bottom, and my personal favorite of the bunch, Seven Sons.
- The "It Will Be Missed" award is owned by Solo, which was a great idea that I thought was well executed and definitely well received... but apparently the sales couldn't justify it and it was canceled.
Next up, later tonight: The year's best book. I'll post it after I've had dinner but before the New Year hits Seattle.