December 2013 and it’s been a pretty weird year. So, just three things. One: Superman can, does and has killed (Man of Steel). Two: It was a real thrill to see a nude of my wife in an artbook and Three: It was an even bigger thrill to see her artwork for Total Recoil on the Sony Japanese PS Vita site.

Guardians of the Galaxy © Marvel Comics

Guardians of the Galaxy © Marvel Comics

All the selected are graphic novels, whether collected or standalone. There is no point in giving an award to a single issue comic, that’s like going for a three-course meal and eating only the starter.

Best 10 of the Year 2013 (in no order of preference)

Parker: Slayground  Richard Stark/Darwyn Cooke (IDW Publishing)

Parker: Slayground
Richard Stark/Darwyn Cooke (IDW Publishing). Want to know how you can turn a theme park into a weapon? It’s all here.

Woman Rebel: The Margaret Sanger Story by Peter Bagge

Woman Rebel: The Margaret Sanger Story
Peter Bagge (Drawn & Quarterly). We need more historical stories in the world of comics and this provides it in spades.

Empowered Vol 8

Empowered Vol 8
Adam Warren (Dark Horse). Darker than previous volumes but still powered to the max (see what I did there).

Girl Genius Vol 12

Girl Genius Vol 12: Siege of Mechanicsberg
Phil & Kaja Foglio (Studio Foglio). Steampunk and mad science clash. High adventure and fun.

Bakuman Vol 20

Bakuman Vol 20
Tsugumi Oba/Takeshi Obata (Viz Comics). Finished too soon.

Omaha the Cat Dancer Vol 8

Omaha the Cat Dancer Vol 8
Reed Waller/Kate Worley/James Vance (NBM). A fond farewell to one of the more mature and adult titles published.

Savage Wolverine: Kill Island

Savage Wolverine: Kill Island
Frank Cho (Marvel Comics). Wolverine! Sheena! Giant monkeys! What more do you need?!

The Amazing, Enlightening and Absolutely True Adventures of Katherine Whaley by Kim Deitch

The Amazing, Enlightening and Absolutely True Adventures of Katherine Whaley
Kim Deitch (Fantagraphics). If there is one writer/artist who keeps the spirit of Americana going, it’s Kim Deitch.

Lil' Gotham  Dustin Nguyen (DC Comics)

Lil’ Gotham
Dustin Nguyen (DC Comics). Two words: “Back seats!”

The Great War Joe Sacco (Jonathan Cape)

The Great War
Joe Sacco (Jonathan Cape). The Bayeux Tapestry of WWI.

Best Reprint

Complete Rasl

Rasl
Jeff Smith (Cartoon Books). Tesla, parallel universes and art theft.

Castle Waiting Vol 2

Castle Waiting Vol 2
Linda Medley (Fantagraphics). Need a book for a young, smart and sassy daughter? Here you go.

Everybody Is Stupid

Everybody Is Stupid Except For Me
Peter Bagge (Fantagraphics). You know how – in a forum argument – there’s always one post that should stop that dead because it makes the point spot on? That is what this book feels like.

Muse

Muse
Terry Dodson/D.P. Filippi (Humanoids). The story’s slight, but oh my God. TERRY DODSON!

Maximum Minimum Wage

Maximum Minimum Wage – Bob Fingerman (Image Comics). I can relate. That is all.

The Gumps: The Saga of Mary Gold

The Gumps: The Saga of Mary Gold
Sidney Smith (IDW Publishing). Think good story-telling only comes from The Sopranos, The Wire and Breaking Bad? Think again

Best Art Books

Muses a Gogo

Muses a Gogo
Guillem March (Self Published). It has a nude of the wife within. Of course it’s going to be here.

Playboy Boxset

Playboy Box
Hugh Hefner (Taschen). Playboy has (strangely) come in for some stick of late. This boxset reiterates how influential it also was with civil/human rights and that sex – for all genders – should and can be fun.

Soho Dives, Soho Divas - Rian Hughes (Image Comics)

Soho Dives, Soho Divas – Rian Hughes (Image Comics). Oozes style

Most Disappointing

Endless Wartime - Warrren Ellis/Mike McKone (Marvel Comics). Bit like Matt Smith's final Doctor Who story. All the pieces are there, but so underwhelming and by the numbers.

Endless Wartime – Warren Ellis/Mike McKone (Marvel Comics). Bit like Matt Smith’s final Doctor Who story. All the pieces are there, but so underwhelming and by the numbers.

DC One Million Omnibus - Grant Morrison/Various (DC Comics). Wow, I'd forgotten how bad this was (except for Morrison's JLA sections; which are always good).

DC One Million Omnibus – Grant Morrison/Various (DC Comics). Wow, I’d forgotten how bad this was (except for Morrison’s JLA sections; which are always good).

Age of Ultron - Brian Bendis/Various (Marvel Comics). Started off so well. But the variable art and mucking up of Marvel's continuity makes me more and more believe that one day Marvel will have to do a Crisis on Infinite Earth's tale.

Age of Ultron – Brian Bendis/Various (Marvel Comics). Started off so well. But the variable art and mucking up of Marvel’s continuity makes me more and more believe that one day Marvel will have to do a Crisis on Infinite Earth’s tale.

Saga Vol 2: Brian K. Vaughan/Fiona Staples (Image Comics). Saga gets lauded a lot, but really it's just the equivalent of sixth-form poetry for sad Goths and Warhammer players. "Please shoot it in my twat" - I mean; seriously? Do you know anyone who talks like this? Even the baby is obnoxious.

Saga Vol 2: Brian K. Vaughan/Fiona Staples (Image Comics). Saga gets lauded a lot, but really it’s just the equivalent of sixth-form poetry for sad Goths and Warhammer players. “Please shoot it in my twat” – I mean; seriously? Do you know anyone who talks like this? Even the baby is obnoxious.

SEX Vol 1 - Joe Casey/Piotr Kowalski (Image Comics). "Here's an idea. Let's get Batman to retire and be surrounded by sex, because we all know how uptight and repressed he is. Right?".

SEX Vol 1 – Joe Casey/Piotr Kowalski (Image Comics). “Here’s an idea. Let’s get Batman to retire and be surrounded by sex, because we all know how uptight and repressed he is. Right?”.

Best Writer

Brian Bendis for Guardians of the Galaxy (Marvel)

Best Artist

Joe Sacco for The Great War (Jonathan Cape)

The “Well, That’s A Surprise” award

Nemo: Heart of Ice - Alan Moore/Kevin O'Neill (Top Shelf Productions). Who would have thought. An Alan Moore story with no rape scene as a plot device; and in a League of Extraordinary Gentlemen tale too.

Nemo: Heart of Ice – Alan Moore/Kevin O’Neill (Top Shelf Productions). Who would have thought. An Alan Moore story with no rape scene as a plot device; and in a League of Extraordinary Gentlemen tale too.

Bibliophile, gamer, print and ePub designer, moving in a mysterious way. The other half of NinjaBeaver

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