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Monday, December 29, 2008

Behold the Geek's Best of 2008! (Part 1)

Okay, so I went ahead and mixed things up a bit, since it seems the extended holidays, um, extended to the delivery of comics to the Philippines. But what the hey, I roll with the punches...so in lieu of a review (I rhymed! Yay me!) let's tackle something I bet you, my dear readers (all 9 of you), want to know what I think about!


It's My Best of 2008, baybee! My first foray into the comic book blogosphere will not go without one of these things! So if you want to know my picks for Best Writer, Best Artist, Best Event Tie-In and Best Single Issue, keep on reading!



Best Writer: Fred Van Lente

I don't think there was any comic book this 2008 that provided equal doses of action, suspense, drama and a little dash of crazy that wasn't written by Fred Van Lente. From Marvel Zombies 3 to his most awesome work to date, Incredible Hercules...let's face it, Mr. van Lente knows how to consistently write a kick-ass comic book yarn, and whatever he's gonna be putting out in 2009, I'll be there to pick it up.

Honorable Mentions: Grant Morrison for his mind-blowingly amazing Final Crisis work...the ones that are starting to make sense, that is...and Matt Fraction, who's action hero rendition of Iron Man continues to be exciting month in and month out.



Best Artist: Leinil Francis Yu

Leinil is a bit of a polarizing figure in comic book fandom...people either love his stuff or hate it with relish. But no one can deny the talent that he poured into Marvel's Secret Invasion main event. And despite not having the experience handling a big event book, Marvel trusted him to see Secret Invasion through, and boy did he deliver! Awesome Super-Skrull designs, big-ass splash pages that stretch for miles...Leinil did the hell out of his work, and despite some artistic oversights here and there, who here can say he didn't give it everything he's got?

Honorable Mentions: If not for the awful delays, JG Jones' amazing work on Final Crisis would have gotten the top spot. Gunihiru isn't making as much waves as I would like to. And I hope to see more of Stefano Casseli and Oliver Coipiel in 2009.


Most Improved Artist: Clayton Henry

I know, I just have to say it. I don't know what Mr. and Mrs. Henry has been feeding Clayton here, but they best keep him on it, because his work on Incredible Hercules this year has been the most staggeringly improved work of any single comic book artist I've seen! Compare this to the stiff work he had on Exiles or Alpha Flight (with the former looking honestly like I drew it...which is not a compliment at all.) and you've got kick-ass artwork befitting a god of Herc's station.

Honorable Mentions: Wellington Alves springs to mind...his work on Nova just keeps getting better each issue. I had my doubts...doubts immediately squashed!



Best Event Tie-In: Captain Britain and the MI: 13 # 1-4 (Secret Invasion tie-in)

Secret Invasion showed just how bad the Skrull invasion was. Captain Britain and the MI:13 showed just how bad the Skrulls were fucked to begin with. Paul Cornell and Leonard Kirk gave us an awesome one-two punch of a comic, introducing us to this badass team of unapologetically British heroes and, with it's shocking, out-of-left-field solution to the invasion, single-handedly upstaging the main event book...which, if I remember correctly, is not supposed to happen ever.



Best Single Issue: JSA Kingdom Come Special: Superman

Alex Ross sure knows how to make compelling comics. If I had to choose a single issue that stood out from all those floppies I got this year, it's Ross' JSA Kingdom Come Special focusing on KC Superman. It's memorable because of a few things...one, it's the first comic book Ross wrote and drew and inked on his own. Two, it's his official sort of 'sequel' to Kingdom Come. And three...well, when you see KC Superman so shook up from the death of his wife that he can't even look this Earth's Lois Lane in the face, you get a sobering reminder of the 'man' behind the Superman, and it's that sort of drama that gets me every time. Just a great issue that I won't forget.

Honorable Mentions: Final Crisis #4...Darkseid reborn! That's all that needs to be said, but unfortunately too confusing to stand on its own.


These are just one part of my picks for the Best of 2008...the incredible stories, art and moments that made my year! Check back tomorrow to see more categories, including Best Hero, Best Fight, and Best Moment! I know I'm excited! I'm setting a record for most exclamation points in a sentence!

And if you have anything you want to add, subtract, or otherwise say about my choices, then the comment box is your best friend this year, and any other year!

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