Tag Archives: drawn & quarterly

Brett’s Favorite Comics of 2022 and a Reflection on the Past Year

Ducks: Two Years in the Oil Sands

Much like 2021 and 2022, It feels weird writing a “best of” list for the past year since it’s been so difficult and so strange for so many. Comics, and entertainment as a whole, continued to be an escape from the rough reality of the previous year that was. Things struggled to get back to normal, whether you think it was too soon or not. There was some return to normality as comic conventions returned and movie blockbusters begin to populate screens. For me, I mostly stayed at home again venturing out very little, attending no conventions, and my one trip resulted in the exact result I expected… COVID. Maybe I explore things a bit more in 2023 but the reality is, things won’t ever be back to normal and enjoyment like conventions and movie theaters come with a risk. But, there’s still the escape of comics.

Comics have been exactly that for me as I myself remained mostly holed up at home, forgoing movie theaters and generally the public as a whole. 2022 saw me writing over 613 reviews and I read far more comics (probably closer to 700).

To pick one that stood out above all the rest doesn’t quite feel right as there was so much that was fun and entertaining.

The comic industry continued to shift in massive ways as creators continued to figured out new ways to become independent or were lured by the promise of big paydays by flashy new technology like NFTs. The end of the year looked so much different as numerous publishers revealed their financial struggles and the grift that is NFTs collapsed. Publishers got bought out and some struggled to stay open. Stores opened. Stores closed. Distribution continues to shift. The government even stepped in at one point in what would have had seismic repercussions for the comic and boo industry. The industry continues to be disrupted in many ways. Some ways for the better. Some for the worse. 2023 will likely continue to see this as more creators look to go directly to consumers.

Things shifted for everyone.

Publishers canceled projects, shifted schedules, and continued to look to go directly to the consumer themselves. Publishers faced distribution issues as ports backed up and then cleared up. The cost of doing business increased across the board. Creators looked for new ways to earn money and also go directly to the consumer.

Consumers and readers had more choices than ever before that made it easier to escape the world that at times felt like it was burning around them and find enjoyment in make-believe worlds where justice prevails in the end. It felt like there were more choices in comics to read and more choices in the types of comics to read.

In the end, 2022 looked like a mix of bleak and hope. There’s many challenges for the industry but also many more options for it to succeed. It feels so close to cracking a new model.

It feels weird doing this “best of” but at the same time I feel like I want to “honor” and spotlight the comics that got me through the year and had me excited to read the next issues. This is what I’ve read so if you don’t see something mentioned it’s not that I didn’t enjoy it, I just might not have read it. Sorry, I can’t read everything (there was a massive glut in webcomics but more manga for me).

All of these are listed in no particular order (hell it’ll probably just be in alphabetical). Enough with the rambling… lets get on with some comics!

The comics that had me excited in 2022 and have me excited for 2023. There’s so many more I could probably add to the list that I enjoyed but this is what really stood out as the ones that stuck with me through the year and beyond.

  • 007 (Dynamite Entertainment) – James Bond returned with a brand new series that felt like a solid return of the character. A straight forward story that leaves readers not knowing who to trust, it’s a Bond story fans will appreciate it and enjoy.
  • Accidental Czar: The Life and Lies of Vladimir Putin (First Second) – The graphic novel is a fantastic exploration of Putin’s rise to power. But, it’s the admission of failures of those who engaged him that makes it feel like an honest recounting of history.
  • Blue, Barry & Pancakes (First Second) – We got multiple volumes of this graphic novel series for kids and each was a lot of fun. It’s hard to not read these and walk away with a smile if you’re kid or an adult.
  • The Boxer (Yen Press) – The first volume was an interesting one that left us questioning who the real center of the story was as it bounced around three kids and their boxing ability.
  • Bunnicula: The Graphic Novel (Atheneum Books for Young Readers) – A graphic novel adaptation of the classic book. It took us right back to our childhood. We hope we get more in the series. Nostalgia for adults and fun for kids.
  • A Calculated Man (AfterShock) – A man brilliant at math as turned witness against the mob and uses his ability in math to take out the mobsters who are after him. There’s a Rube Goldberg aspect to the series that keeps it entertaining.
  • DC vs. Vampires (DC Comics) – Each issue and its spin-offs kept us on our toes guessing who was next to get turned, who was going to die, and how the heroes might win. By the end, we want more in this world.
  • Devil’s Reign (Marvel) – One of Marvel’s best events in some time. The story kept things focused and tight as the heroes had to deal with Wilson Fisk’s reelection attempt and his tightening grip on New York City. This was an example of less is more.
  • Do a Powerbomb (Image Comics) – Wrestling in comics is back in vogue but this series stands out for it’s amazing art as well as the fantastic family drama.
  • Ducks: Two Years in the Oil Sands (Drawn & Quarterly) – Kate Beaton shines a light on her difficult time working in the Alberta tar sands. At times a tough read, it’s educational in so many ways.
  • Eight Billion Genies (Image Comics) – The series has succeeded by keeping things focused. With a concept where everyone on the planet gets a wish, the series has generally kept it tight on a small group of survivors and how they deal with the insanity that spins out of it all.
  • Fist of the North Star (VIZ Media) – The classic series continued its reprints in a beautiful hardcover. If you’ve never read this “kung-fu Mad Max”, this is a perfect edition to pick up.
  • GCPD: The Blue Wall (DC Comics) – John Ridley delivers an interesting take on the Gotham police department with a focus on three rookies as Commissioner Montoya. There’s been highs and lows as Ridley continues to show how muddied reality is.
  • Ginseng Roots (Uncivilized Books) – The release schedule was erratic but Craig Thompson’s autobiography about his growing up around ginseng and the world of its farming has been eye opening and education. Add in beautiful art and Thompson continued to show off his talents.
  • Hakim’s Odyssey (Dead Reckoning) – What does it mean to be a refugee? This series wrapped up its final two volumes in 2022 chronicling Hakim’s journey from Syria to safety. It’s hard to read this series and not come away with wanting to see how we treat refugees and immigration changed.
  • I’m a Terminal Cancer Patient But I’m Fine (Seven Seas Entertainment) – Hilnama’s autobiography about her struggle with colon cancer. The graphic novel is not as sad and ominous as the title would seem, instead it’s full of humor and tips. Sadly, Hilnama passed away not long after the manga’s release.
  • Justice Warriors (AHOY Comics) – Fantastic satire that skewers policing, politicians, celebrity, consumerism, and society as a whole.
  • Let’s Go Karaoke (Yen Press) – A mobster needs a kid’s help to get good at karaoke. It’s such a bizarre concept but a lot of fun.
  • Maniac of New York: The Bronx is Burning (AfterShock) – I’m not the biggest horror fan but love this series. In between all of the kills, there’s some smart commentary within, just like horror should.
  • Metal Society (Image Comics) – In this future, robots rule. Humans are grown to do menial tasks for them but eventually the want of choice and freedom rises leading to a mixed martial arts battle between two warriors. The action packed comic had solid themes underneath and interesting discussions within.
  • Neverlanders (Razorbill) – A new take on the story of Peter Pan, the graphic novel took us the Neverland and by the end I wanted to see what other adventures awaited. Great art, solid action, colors that popped, and fantastic characters and twists. I want more adventures in the magical world.
  • Pinball: A Graphic History of the Silver Ball (First Second) – I’m a big fan of pinball and this graphic novel not only goes through the history of the game but also some of the nuances about the game itself showing it’s far more than just pushing buttons to hit a ball.
  • Plush (Image Comics) – Two issues were released in 2022 and they were bonkers. Cannibal furries. Nuff said.
  • Radical: My Year With a Socialist Senator (IDW Publishing/Top Shelf) – The graphic novel followed an election and first year of a “radical” elected official in New York State. It’s an eye-opening look at the reality of politics.
  • Rooster Fighter (VIZ Media) – The concept might seem silly, a rooster fighting kaiju/demons, but it works so well. The series is a solid ronin/western type story with hero of little words attempting to defeat villains and save the locals. By playing it straight and serious, the series nails it.
  • Smahtguy: The Life and Times of Barney Frank (Metropolitan Books) – The biography of Barney Frank is touching and at times heartbreaking as it focuses on the firebrand politician who had no problem taking on the establishment while he struggled with his sexuality.
  • So What’s Wrong With Getting Reborn as a Goblin? Vol. 1 (Yen Press) – The debut volume was a nice take on the “reincarnation in a different world genre”. What stood out was it’s spin that focused on using intelligence to build society instead of the usual leveling up through battle we see.
  • Solo Leveling (Yen Press) – The series keeps getting better with some fantastic action, nice ominous teasing, and amazing art with colors that pop. It’s such a fun spin on the dungeon crawler genre and the series feels like it has spun out it’s own imitators.
  • A Vicious Circle (BOOM! Studios) – While we only got the debut issue, the time travel story kept things entertaining but it was the art that made our jaw drop. We immediately wanted more and can’t wait to see what 2023 has in store.
  • Wonder Woman Historia: The Amazons (DC Comics) – The first issue debuted at the end of 2021 and made the list and we got the final two issues in 2022. While it was a four month, then eight month gap, it was well worth it as each featured an engaging story and career defining artwork.

Review: Ducks: Two Years in the Oil Sands

Kate Beaton delivers a raw and honest take about her experiences working in the Alberta tar sands.

Story: Kate Beaton
Art: Kate Beaton

Get your copy now! To find a comic shop near you, visit http://www.comicshoplocator.com or call 1-888-comicbook or digitally and online with the links below.

Bookshop
TFAW
Amazon
comiXology/Kindle


This post contains affiliate links, which means that if you click on one of the product links and make a purchase, we’ll receive a percentage of the sale. Graphic Policy does purchase items from this site. Making purchases through these links helps support the site

Weekly Preview! A packed week of Graphic Novels and Comics!

There are a lot of comics coming out this week to be covered. Check out some of what we’ll be reviewing and this is only the beginning!

This week’s reviews include:

  • Nico Bravo & the Trial of Vulcan (First Second)
  • Phenomena: The Golden City of Eyes (Abrams Comicarts)
  • Ride On (First Second)
  • Sailor Twain 10th Anniversary Edition (First Second)

Not shown:

  • The 06 Protocol #1 (AfterShock)
  • Ducks (Drawn & Quarterly)
  • Samurai Doggy #2 (AfterShock)
  • There’s Something Wrong with Patrick Todd #3 (AfterShock)

Already reviewed:


AfterShock, First Second, Fiewel & Friends, Abrams Comicarts, and Henry Holt provided Graphic Policy with FREE copies for review

Graphic Policy’s Top Comic Picks this Week!

Ducks

Wednesdays (and Tuesdays) are new comic book day! Each week hundreds of comics are released, and that can be pretty daunting to go over and choose what to buy. That’s where we come in

Each week our contributors choose what they can’t wait to read this week or just sounds interesting. In other words, this is what we’re looking forward to and think you should be taking a look at!

Find out what folks think below, and what comics you should be looking out for this week.

06 Protocol #1 (AfterShock) – A family must go on the run to survive after they find out the patriarch is part of a secret government program.

A.X.E.: Judgement Day #4 (Marvel) – The event has been solid so far mixing in mystery, action, and some deeper layers. One of the best Marvel events in some time.

Batman vs. Robin #1 (DC Comics) – It’s Robin vs. Batman in what’s described as the “next epic saga” and “earth-shattering”.

Daredevil #3 (Marvel) – The next arc for Daredevil has been interesting so far. Is this a heel turn? What’s going on as he and Elektra look like they’re clashing with the Hand again!

Dark Spaces: Wildfire #3 (IDW Publishing) – This tale of firefighters turned heist has been a solid story and amazing art.

Do a Powerbomb #4 (Image Comics) – The series’ family drama is even more high flying than the wrestling moves depicted on the page.

Ducks (Drawn & Quarterly) – Kate Beaton tells the story of her time during the Alberta oil rush.

Least We Can Do #1 (Image Comics) – A story of discovering what is right and what love means in a military-occupied and socially oppressed United Kingdom. Read our early review!

Midnight Suns #1 (Marvel) – A tie-in to the anticipated video game.

Samurai Doggy #2 (AfterShock) – An interesting spin on the western genre set in a future apocalypse and a humanoid dog seeking revenge.

Star Trek: Lower Decks #1 (IDW Publishing) – The animated series spins out into a comic series!

There’s Something Wrong with Patrick Todd #3 (AfterShock) – A kid with psychic powers is being pursued by a mysterious murderer who might be his father? Plus the police.

Review: World Record Holders

World Record Holders is a nice collection of short comics from Guy Delisle from over the years.

Story: Guy Delisle
Art: Guy Delisle
Translation: Helge Dascher, Rob Aspinall

Get your copy now! To find a comic shop near you, visit http://www.comicshoplocator.com or call 1-888-comicbook or digitally and online with the links below.

TFAW
Bookshop
Amazon
Kindle/comiXology
Zeus Comics


This post contains affiliate links, which means that if you click on one of the product links and make a purchase, we’ll receive a percentage of the sale. Graphic Policy does purchase items from this site. Making purchases through these links helps support the site

Weekly Preview! A trio from AfterShock, new Terry Moore, and Graphic Novels for Kids!

There are a lot of comics coming out this week to be covered. Check out some of what we’ll be reviewing and this is only the beginning!

This week’s reviews include:

  • Astronaut Down #3 (AfterShock)
  • Haylee and Comet: Over the Moon (Roaring Brook Press)
  • Nico Bravo and the Trial of Vulcan (First Second)
  • Parker Girls #1 (Abstract Studios)
  • Samurai Doggy #1 (AfterShock)
  • Surviving the Wild: Sunny the Shark (Henry Holt and Company)
  • There’s Something Wrong with Patrick Todd #2 (AfterShock)

Not shown:

  • World Record Holders (Drawn & Quarterly)

AfterShock, First Second, Roaring Brook Press, and Henry Holt and Company provided Graphic Policy with FREE copies for review

Review: Putin’s Russia: The Rise of a Dictator

Learn about the rise, and crimes, of Vladimir Putin.

Story: Darryl Cunningham
Art: Darryl Cunningham

Get your copy in comic shops! To find a comic shop near you, visit http://www.comicshoplocator.com or call 1-888-comicbook or digitally and online with the links below.

Amazon
comiXology/Kindle
Bookshop


This post contains affiliate links, which means that if you click on one of the product links and make a purchase, we’ll receive a percentage of the sale. Graphic Policy does purchase items from this site. Making purchases through these links helps support the site

Graphic Policy’s Top Comic Picks this Week!

Until My Knuckles Bleed #1

Wednesdays (and Tuesdays) are new comic book day! Each week hundreds of comics are released, and that can be pretty daunting to go over and choose what to buy. That’s where we come in

Each week our contributors choose what they can’t wait to read this week or just sounds interesting. In other words, this is what we’re looking forward to and think you should be taking a look at!

Find out what folks think below, and what comics you should be looking out for this week.

Baloney & Friends: Dream Big! (First Second) – The series is goofy fun that kids will love and parents can enjoy.

Batman: Knight #2 (DC Comics) – The first issue was interesting but not exciting. This though has us interested in seeing what’s next. Bruce has moved on from Gotham hanging out in Paris where he meets a burglar who shows him a thing or two.

Chronophage (Humanoids) – A single mother’s past is being rewritten and the mysterious man she met isn’t who he says he is.

Fictionauts #1 (Red 5 Comics) – A team must preserve the balance between reality and imagination which feels like that’s just open to a lot of potential fun.

G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero Saturday Morning Adventures #1 (IDW Publishing) – We have fond memories of watching G.I. Joe growing up and we’ll admit nostalgia has us excited to check out this series that picks up on the original cartoon.

Iron Fist #1 (Marvel) – New Iron Fist? We’re listening…

Lion & Eagle #1 (AfterShock) – Garth Ennis and P.J. Holden doing a war comic. Nuff said.

Maniac of New York: The Bronx is Burning #3 (AfterShock) – The series has been an amazing take on the slasher film genre grounding it in what it’d be like if it happened in our reality.

Mother Russia Winter Special (Comics Experience) – We remember this series from WAY back when and we’re always excited to see something new that takes war comics and delivers a zombie mix. Add in this is a silent issue and we’re excited to check it out.

The Princess Who Saved Her Friends (BOOM! Studios) – This graphic novel for kids is fantastic. As backers of the Kickstarter, we’ve had it for a while and that means a lot of repeat reads.

Putin’s Russia: The Rise of a Dictator (Drawn & Quarterly) – This one should be interesting to read to see how even handed it is and considering current news.

Quad #1 (Behemoth) – A solar storm has destroyed all technology and four generations later a mechnaic takes a job that’s a bit odd. It’s never really simple.

Shadowman #6 (Valiant) – The series has been consistently solid and the “Deadside War” feels like it’s going to be a major storyline for the Valiant Universe.

Until My Knuckles Bleed #1 (Behemoth) – We’re fans of Victor Santos and a series about a retired hero now a bouncer is an intriguing debut.

DC, VIZ, Seven Seas, and more are available now!

Batman: Knight #2

It’s one of two new comic book days and comiXology has your digital comic needs covered! Check out what you can get below by the publisher or start shopping now!

Clarion Books

comiXology Originals

DC Comics

Drawn & Quarterly

Fantagraphics

Firebourne Comics

Generally Verbose

Kitsune

Kodansha

la Boîte à Bulles

One Peace Books

Random House Books for Young Readers

Seven Seas

Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers

Tokyopop

Vertical Comics

VIZ Media


This site contains affiliate links, which means that if you click on one of the product links and make a purchase, we’ll receive a percentage of the sale. Graphic Policy does purchase items from these sites. Making purchases through these links helps support the site.

Weekly Preview! Lion & Eagles, Maniacs, Lollipop Kids, Princesses, Investigators, and more!

There are a lot of comics coming out this week to be covered. Check out some of what we’ll be reviewing and this is only the beginning!

This week’s reviews include:

  • Investigators Vol. 5 Brave and Boulder (First Second)
  • Lion & the Eagle #1 (AfterShock)
  • Lollipop Kids (AterShock/Seismic)
  • Maniac of New York: The Bronx is Burning #3 (AfterShock)
  • The Princess Who Saved Her Friends (BOOM! Studios)
  • Putin’s Russia: The Rise of a Dictator (Drawn & Quarterly)
  • The Walking Dead Deluxe #33 (Image Comics/Skybound)

Already reviewed:


AfterShock, First Second, and Little, Brown and Company provided Graphic Policy with FREE copies for review

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