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Friday, December 30, 2011

Behold the Geek! Best of 2011: The Comics

A few winks left and we're about to leave 2011 behind and welcome the brand-new 2012! 2011 was a good year for geeks, with fun TV shows coming out, a slew of comic book movies to watch, and a comic book industry that broke new ground in ways no one even dared to! So join me as we look back in the year that was and award the best, the worst and the different in Behold the Geek!'s Best of 2011!


Welcome back to our Behold the Geek! Best of 2011 special! We've taken a look at MOVIES, now let's shine the spotlight at 2011's best in COMICS! From Best Writer, Best Artist to Kitty Comic of the Year, I awareded them now so you won't have to!


News of the Year -- DC Relaunch/Reboot

The answer to "Who had the biggest balls in 2011?" was definitely DC Comics, who shook the comic industry to the core by up and completely rebooting their entire line of books, effectively starting over from scratch! They caught a lot of flak from hardcore fanboys and longtime fans for this drastic move, but the ensuing buzz lit the internet like an overachieving Christmas tree. On August 31, Justice League #1 shipped, and the rest of the new #1 books followed soon after. When all was said and done, Justice League #1 sold more than 200,000 copies, making it the best-selling book of 2011, along with a dozen more books reaching the 100,000+ copies mark, a number never before seen in that many books in years.


Kitty Comic of the Year -- Neko Ramen

Tokyopop may have folded, but it left us a with the best kitty comic this 2011: Neko Ramen. This little manga about a ramen shop owner who just happens to be a cat was a laugh-a-minute comedy romp of gastronomical proportions! This special award is for the one book that got me curled up in a ball, clutching at my stomach from so much laughter and manly tears. I hope some other publisher picks this up...2012 needs Taisho, dammit!


Best Writer -- Mark Waid

Choosing this year's best writer was hard, but I had to give this one to Mark Waid, if only for the fact that he had the guts to do something different. His Daredevil is colorful, adventurous and fun, but behind that smile still lingers the pain that has haunted him all these years. Building on what came before, Waid turned DD into a character we can all relate to, a guy who's had bad days and good days, but still going out and doing what he loves doing. If Waid keeps this up, 2012 might just be his year too.

Honorable mentions: Rick Remender on Uncanny X-Force, the bloodiest good time you can have in a Marvel book.


Best Artist -- Paolo Rivera

No other artist this year has come close to matching the fun creativeness of Paolo Rivera. His work on Daredevil is some of the best I've seen in a long time, made even more impressive with the fact that he's turned a comic about a blind superhero into a visual feast! Consistently great work from an artist to watch out for in the coming year.

Honorable mentions: Mahmud Asrar on Supergirl, Jerome Opena on Uncanny X-Force, Cameron Stewart and David Hahn on SuicideGirls


Best Story Arc -- The Dark Angel Saga from Uncanny X-Force

Rick Remender's The Dark Angel Saga blazed a trail of blood and murder in the pages of Uncanny X-Force, and it was an enjoyable ride every step of the way. Guys like Fantomex and Deadpool stole the show, Psylocke and Archangel's doomed love story broke my heart, and the entire affair was like watching a movie about X-Force with the budget of Lord of the Rings with Jerome Opena, Mark Brooks and Esad Ribic on art. An epic storyline however you slice it, this is an X-event 2011 won't soon forget.


Best New Series -- Wolverine and the X-Men

Funny how it took a schism to make the X-Men fun again. Our Best New Series has been firing on all cylinders since issue one, bringing us balls-to-the-wall action that only Wolverine and a motley crew of mutants in a school for mutants can deliver. I mean, they got Krakoa and the Hellfire Babies causing hell in their school...and that's just issue 1! Jason Aaron bringing on the crazy, Chris Bachalo tearing it up on art, and ideas as wild as the school it's happening in...a recipe for success and another book to watch come 2011!


Book of the Year -- Daredevil

Daredevil did in 7 issues what most comic books have been trying to do for years: entertain. Mark Waid returned the smile to Matt Murdock's face, along with his sense of fun and adventure, in Marvel's Daredevil relaunch, and it just got better from there. A far cry from the grim and gritty reality that surrounds it, Daredevil delivered old-school comic book fun month after month courtesy of Waid's scripts and the bright, fantastic art and colors of Paolo and Joe Rivera, Marcos Martin and Javier Rodriguez. Daredevil was heads and shoulders above the rest this 2011, and that's why it's Behold the Geek's Book of the Year!


And those were my picks for 2011's best in comics! 2011 went out guns blazing...a good sign that 2012 will be nothing short of awesome! So what were your picks for this year? Let me know in the comments! Thanks for reading and have a Happy New Year!

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