Tag Archives: tomboy

Around the Tubes

It’s new comic book day tomorrow. What are folks excited for? What do you plan on getting? Sound off in the comments below! While you think about that, here’s some comic news and reviews from around the web in our morning roundup.

Around the Tubes

CBLDF – Saudi Government Approves Girls Revolution Comics – Interesting.

Newsarama – ABC Moves Up Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.’s Return – Well that’s interesting. Wondering if the negative Inhumans reaction had anything to do with this?

The Beat – A Day of Finding Women Creators: #VisibleWomen – There’s so many amazing ones.

 

Around the Tubes Reviews

Talking Comics – Tomboy #12

Preview: Tomboy #12

TOMBOY #12

Writer(s): M. Goodwin
Artist Name(s): Michelle Wong
Cover Artist(s): Michelle Wong (Cover A), M.Goodwin (Cover B)
32 pgs./ T+ / FC
$3.99

After losing everything she wanted to protect, Addison decides the fate of both her own future and that of the city, as Iris steps up to stop her. The shocking series conclusion.

Graphic Policy’s Top Comic Picks this Week!

Wednesdays 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!

We’re bringing back something we haven’t done for a while, what the team thinks. Our contributors are choosing up to five books each week and why they’re choosing the books.

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

Joe

Top Pick: Kill or Be Killed Vol. 2 TP (Image) – The fantastic crime thriller with a demon (yeah that’s right) keeps getting better. This is the second collected volume of the second arc that follows Dylan’s path into darkness.

Action Comics #984 (DC Comics) – You get a Superman! And you get a Supergirl! And you get a Super… Lex? This arc has been a blast. Take all of Supes’ big bad and put them against his super friends. It’s going down!

Black Hammer #11 (Dark Horse) – Lemire has been a writing machine as of late, and the quality hasn’t dipped. This is probably his best work, but that’s tough to say since he’s doing great work on a few series now.

Saga #45 (Image) – The best in the business keeps it interesting. Whether you read this book in single issue or trade, you’re always left on the edge of your seat. This is a truly special piece of art we are getting, and it’s going to go down as a classic.

Infamous Iron Man #10 (Marvel) – I was skeptical with this book for awhile, and have gone back and forth, but either way, I’ve still enjoyed almost every issue and loved Maleev’s beautiful art as well as the mystery Bendis is building with momma Doom.

 

Alex

Top Pick: X-O Manowar #5 (Valiant) – Without question the best looking comic right now, these issues never feel long enough – which for me is a good sign. If you’re even remotely curious as to Valiant’s comics, then this is a great place to start. Especially if you’re into what is essentially Conan mixed with Old Man Logan set in Star Wars.

Faith and the Future Force #1 (Valiant) – This is a bit of a cheat because I’ve already read this awesome issue. Time travel, a hero that loves comics and a brilliant blend of philosophically aware humour add up to a must (re)read for me on Wednesday.

Adam Wreck #2, Amazing Age #2, Croak #2, Lillith Dark #2 (Alterna) – So four entries in one? Because all four are a part of Alterna’s newsprint line and cost $1.50, and they’re all well worth every penny. Depending on what you’re looking for, there will be something for you among these issues – whether you pick one or all of them up, for the price the’re going for? You honestly can’t go wrong.

 

Brett

Top Pick: Tomboy #12 (Action Lab: Danger Zone) – The mix of horror, manga, and teenage angst wraps up and if you haven’t read an issue you need to go back to the beginning. One of the best comics that’s under the radar.

All-Star Batman #12 (DC Comics) – This series has been knocking it out of the park and this latest arc which dives deeper into Alfred’s history has been an interesting one showing how you can layer on something new even with a series that has that much history.

Captain Canuck 2017 #1 (Chapterhouse Comics) – A reboot of the recently launched character. How it’ll differ? No idea, but I’m intrigued to see.

Heavenly Blues #1 (Scout Comics) – A really interesting concept involving the afterlife that had me entertained with the first issue and looking forward to the second. Basically, it’s a heist comic involving angels and demons.

Star Wars: Doctor Aphra #10 (Marvel) – This series has been knocking it out of the park with each issue and the fact that it revolves around a brand new character is even better. A prime example of how to expand the Star Wars universe and deliver something new.

Preview: Tomboy #11

TOMBOY #11

Writer(s): M. Goodwin
Artist Name(s): Michelle Wong
Cover Artist(s): M.Goodwin, Danny Araya
32 pgs./ T+ / FC
$3.99 (reg.), $4.99 (var.)

Warren lures Irene to the courthouse, determined to find out what happened to his daughter, Jessica. Irene isn’t impressed with the trap he’s set for her, however, as Fate pulls all the major players together for one last showdown.

Graphic Policy’s Top Comic Picks this Week!

Wednesdays 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!

We’re bringing back something we haven’t done for a while, what the team thinks. Our contributors are choosing up to five books each week and why they’re choosing the books.

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

Alex

Top Pick: Rai: The History Of The Valiant Universe#1 (Valiant) – I’ve been waiting for a return to Rai for a long time, an these four standalone stories may scratch that itch.

Kill The Minotaur #1 (Image) – The cover looks awesome, and I’m on an Ancient Greece kick.

Mother Russia #1 (Alterna) – With Alterna’s move to bring back newsprint, their price points have dropped significantly. I don’t even know what this comic is about, but I’m getting because it’s $1.50.

Trespasser #1 (Alterna) – The second of this week’s newsprint comics from Alterna that also rings in at $1.50. I don’t know what this is about either, but it’s at a very attractive price, and Alterna haven’t done me wrong yet.

 

Brett

Top Pick: Dark Days: The Forge #1 (DC Comics) – DC has been teasing this for so long and this is our first look as to what we can expect in this summer’s event. I’m beyond excited to see how this fits into Rebith and where it goes.

Legion of Super Heroes/Bugs Bunny #1 (DC Comics) – This just looks too fun.

Martian Manhunter/Marvin the Martian #1 (DC Comics) – See above, too fun.

Tomboy #11 (Action Lab: Danger Zone) – This series continously surprises me mixing horror, manga, superheroes, and teenage drama. An awesome indie series that deserves more eyes on it.

Catalyst Prime Accell #1 (Lion Forge Comics) – Lion Forge has been killing it with their Catalyst line of comics and I look forward to each series to see what it entails.

 

Shay

Suicide Squad #19 (DC Comics) – Zod has broken free, a Kryptonian army of invaders is about to take over earth and, the Suicide Squad is our only hope. Grab some popcorn kiddos, this is about to get epic!

The Defenders #1 (Marvel) – The gangs all here and the first story arc , hopefully tying in with the upcoming Netflix series, is about to kick off. Fingers crossed for a fantastic story and a good time.

Motor Crush TP Vol. 1 (Image) – The first collection of the amazing lady powered bad assery that is Motor Crush. Catch up and get blown away by the kick ass Domino, her killer wheels and a high octane story line that’ll knock your knickers off.

Kingpin #5 (Marvel) – Sarah is in too deep , Fisk has got his image makeover, for better or worse, and now we get to see his end game. Is he going to keep showing us his human Fisk side? Or is the Kingpin gonna stay out and play? Or, are they both gonna run the town? I shiver with anticipation and you should too.

 

Paul

Top Pick: X-Men Blue #5 (Marvel) – I’ve really been enjoying this new title, setting the time displaced X-Men out on their own and doing the superhero thing. And the dynamic with Magneto has been interesting, and I’m really curious to see his end game given what was revealed to us in an earlier issue. Not totally on board with the arrival of another Wolverine character, but it could make an already interesting cast that much more interesting and throw some new curves in.

The Defenders #1 (Marvel) – Well we had to see this coming (thanks Netflix :P) but I am curious to see these 4 take to the page together. I’m hoping this is an action packed, fun ride.

Hulk #7 (Marvel) – Well the Hulk has come out, and it is very different from the She-Hulk we all know and love. This has been a fantastic book and I’m looking forward to see things progress now that Jen has released her Hulk.

Uncanny Avengers #24 (Marvel) – Given how things ended between this team and Steve Rogers, I am more then excited to see Rogue go up against him and his Hydra. I hope the gloves come off (literally) and she gets a little payback.

Graphic Policy Celebrates Women’s History Month: Our Favorite Women in Comics

patsy walker aka hellcat 1 featuredLogan: Kate Leth, Brittney Williams, Megan Wilson, and Rachelle Rosenberg’s Hellcat has been a joyful celebration of superheroes, young people, and queerness. I will miss its humor, chibi style art, and especially my bi bae Ian Soo when it ends in a couple months.

faith-8-feat

Alex: Faith (Valiant) I really can’t understate just how enjoyable this series is. There have definitely been some issues stronger than others, but each and every one in the ongoing series (and preceding miniseries) has been nothing short of a pleasure to read.

Jody Houser, Marguerite Sauvage and the revolving cast of artists have taken Faith to stunning heights in an effortlessly charming and warm series that will make you fall in love with comics all over again.

black-panther-world-of-wakanda-4-featured

Shay: Gail Simone brings me LIFE! As does Roxane Gay! And I’m really loving Amanda Conner and her hubby’s direction for Harley Quinn! Also, loving Marguerite Bennett for the realistic portrayal of lesbians in Batwoman!

animosity3

Joe: One of the best titles in the last year is Animosity from Aftershock. This fantastic story is written by Marguerite Bennett who has taken the comic book world by storm lately, and drawn by Rafael de Latorre. Basically, society has collapsed when animals can talk and decide to take over the world from humanity. Instead of a boy and his dog adventure like we’ve seen so many times, we get a girl and her dog. Jesse and her hound, Sandor are not only an awesome pair, but the story is about Jesse’s growth into womanhood without a mother figure. Sandor knows he cannot help like her mother could, but he learns to rely on the other female animals to guide her. It’s brilliant, and everyone should be reading it.

nocenti-daredevil

Patrick: Ann Nocenti’s run on Daredevil blew my mind when it was coming out. It was so different from what I’d been used to seeing from Denny O’Neil and Frank Miller – a strange urban poetry that was as close to magic realism as I’d ever seen in mainstream comics. With an off-kilter humor – the Human Torch showing up in a tight t-shirt reading “Bad!” – twisted romance, and psychodrama. Her writing was like nothing else on the stands.

A huge thanks to the editors and publishers behind the scenes who made a ton of great comics happen: Jenette Kahn, cat yronwode, Diana Schutz, Louise Jones/Simonson, Ann Nocenti, Shelly Bond, Alisa Kwitney, and most especially the inestimable Karen Berger.

Troy: It was a bit short lived, but I think there was a Defender’s title by Cullen Bunn about Valkyrie being tasked with assembling Midgard’s Valkyrie. Fear Itself the Fearless was kind of the prelude series to that. I really would have loved to see this series fleshed out.

monstress #5 featured

Madison: It’s no secret that I’m obsessed with Monstress and Bitch Planet. They’re not for everyone, but they’re two of my go-to recommendations for people who love science fiction or fantasy. Elizabeth Breitweiser, Rachelle Rosenberg, and Jordie Bellaire consistently blow me away with their incredible colors.

Brett: I’m slightly obsessed with M. Goodwin’s Tomboy which is published by Action Lab: Danger Zone. The series follows a teenage girl whose best friend is murdered in a corrupt cop/conspiracy and she gets posessed by an avenging ghost in a way. Think Kick-Ass but a teenage girl in the lead and a manga influence to it all. An amazing mix of horror, action, and manga the hero Addison is a teenager that can kick ass and get some vengeance.

Wednesday Comic Rally: Action Lab’s Tomboy

Tomboy_issue1_cover_regular_solicitIt feels like all too often we’re lamenting how our favorite comic series got canceled due to lack of sales and interest. That’s where Wednesday Comic Rally comes in. The point is to spotlight comics that we as a community should be rallying around and most importantly purchasing to make sure they’re here for quite some time.


The death of a childhood friend sparks a series of events that lead Addison from teenage field hockey player to a murderer of criminals. There’s no lack of targets for her in a city built on corruption, but payback doesn’t come for free. Addison’s reality begins to blur in the pursuit of vengeance and justice is used as justification to become a monster.

Tomboy is an under the radar comic series from M. Goodwin and published under Action Lab’s mature line of comics Action Lab: Danger Zone. A combination of superhero, horror, manga, and supernatural, Tomboy is a comic that has delivered with every single issue released, Tomboy #10 hitting shelves today.

tomboy-10Goodwin’s writing and art melds so many different genres and styles the series is hard to pin down how to describe it, but it’s clear influences are there creating an experience unlike anything else on the comic shelf.

The fact Addison is a teenage girl, and the violence is so grizzly, with cute manga influences, the series breaks walls in so many ways. Basically, we have a vigilante serial killer that’s a teenage girl. That’s something we don’t see often, and I can think of only a few other examples.

The art is absolutely amazing with a crisp style that’s stunning to look at for so many reasons (oye the violence!). The art with the storytelling is a combination that can’t be beat.

Tomboy is a series unlike any other on the shelf and has been a fantastic read with each and every issue. It’s definitely for mature readers and if the concept sounds intriguing, it’s a definite get, you won’t be disappointed.


This is where you come in. You can buy the first two volumes of Tomboy! It’s available at local comic shops and you can find yours. For those without a local shop you can buy it digitally through comiXology, Kindle, or physical copy at Amazon or Things From Another World.

Have a comic you think we should be rallying around? Send us a message and maybe it’ll be featured in an upcoming post.

 

 

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Around the Tubes

bullseye__1It’s new comic book day! What’s everyone excited for? What do you plan on getting? Sound off in the comments below! While you wait for shops to open up, here’s comic news and reviews from around the web in our morning roundup.

Around the Tubes

The Beat – A year of free comics: as the new lunar year begins, THE MIGHTY ZODIAC springs into action! – Free comics!!!

CBR – The 15 Best Hip-Hop Comics – Agree? Disagree?

ICv2 – Hasbro Game Sales Grow in 2016 – Sounds like the game industry had a solid 2016.

Newsarama – Disney Aims for Diversity In New ‘Marvel Heroes Come In All Sizes’ Campaign – Interesting.

Nothing But Comics – Ask Diamond CEO Steve Geppi About Monopolies, Income Inequality, The Muslim Ban & More Via The ComicWow Facebook Page – Damn! Some good questions.

 

Around the Tubes Reviews

Talking Comics – Bullseye #1

Newsarama – Steven Universe #1

Talking Comics – Tomboy #10

Around the Tubes

CONSTANTINE-First-Official-Image1It’s a new week! If you haven’t noticed, we’ve updated our navigation at the top of the site. Hopefully, it’s a bit easier to find what you’d like and if not, let us know in the comments!

Here’s some comic news and reviews from around the web in our morning roundup.

Around the Tubes

The Guardian – The 20 comics to watch out for in 2017 – What are you looking forward to?

The Beat – A year of free comics: Batman Black & White by Gaiman, Bolland, Timm, etc. – Keep posting them, we’ll promote them.

The Beat – A year of free comics: Anna Archie Bongiovanni’s Grease Bats – And another.

The Beat – A year of free comics: Polly Guo’s Gawain’s Girlfriend and the Green Knight will cut your heart from your bosom – And another.

The Beat – Comics author and historian Gerard Jones arrested on charges of child pornography – We’re utterly disgusted if true.

The Hollywood Reporter – Rob Liefeld on the Extreme Universe Movie Deal: “The ’90s Have Been Largely Underserved” – Well they are coming back in style!

CBR – The CW Renews Arrow, Flash, Supergirl and Legends of Tomorrow – This isn’t too surprising.

CBR – Matt Ryan Returns As Constantine in New Animated Series – Can’t wait for this!

CBR – Batman V Superman Tops Razzies Shortlist – This isn’t too shocking really.

 

Around the Tubes Reviews

Talking Comics – Green Lanterns #14

Talking Comics – Justice League of America: The Atom

Comic Attack – Kabuki Library Edition Volume 4

Talking Comics – Locke & Key: Small World

Talking Comics – Red Dog #2

Talking Comics – Tomboy #9

Talking Comics – The Unstoppable Wasp #1

Talking Comics – The Unworthy Thor #3

The Best Comics of 2016 – Brett’s List

It’s the first day of a new year and so that means I’m posting my “best of” listing of the top comic books for 2016. Generally these are comic books that came out in 2016, though some are from earlier times and I got around to reading them, or limited series that continued. Keep in mind, this is what I have read (and does not reflect what other contributors to this site might think, they’ll hopefully have their own lists). If it’s not on here, I just might not have read it.

This was a particularly tough year of choices with some categories easily having their own top ten or twenty-five and some I struggled to even come up with one. 2016 was a year that ongoing, maxi-series, and limited floppies seemed to blend more and more and for me as a reader I found myself shifting away from one publisher to another and as a whole enjoying graphic novels and indie comics a hell of a lot more than I have in the past.

What stood out to me? Check out below what made the cut!

Best Super Hero Comic – The Paybacks

the-paybacks-3A new publisher, but still absolutely amazing. The Paybacks by Donny Cates, Eliot Rahal, Geoff Shaw moved from Dark Horse to Heavy Metal for its second volume, but it didn’t lose any steam in doing so continuing to deliver hilarity and upping the action.

The concept of the comic is that there’s a repo crew who have to deal with all the superheroes who can’t pay back the loans they take for all of their fancy gadgets. To pay off their debts those heroes then join the ragtag team.

A send-up of so many familiar characters and lets face it creators too, the comic has more jokes in each panel than some series have their entire run. It’s funny, action packed, and in this volume actually is somewhat timely with news with a focus on a data breach.

My biggest wish in comics for 2017 is someone is smart enough to invest in this series because I know it’ll pay off in the log run. Everyone who I’ve turned on to it falls in love and whole there were some issues with the second volume, it still is the one “superhero” comic I devoured as soon as possible.

Runners Up:

  • COPRA – There’s some arguments to be made that Michel Fiffe‘s indie series about a group of raftag characters should be the top pick, and there was long thought about if it should, it’s that good. Out of all of the series I read this year, this is one that delivered with every single issue. This is a comic that shows that superheroes aren’t the domain of just two companies anymore, especially due to how many issues have been released. I said this exact same thing in 2015 and it applies here.
  • The Legend of Wonder Woman – An absolutely brilliant max-series that went from digital to print. Renae De Liz and Ray Dillon delivered a Wonder Woman story that stands out in a year of solid Wonder Woman output. Fun to read. Beautiful to look at. Unfortunately, it looks like we’ll just get this one volume.
  • The Omega Men – Writer Tom King took this ragtag group of characters and has given us a maxiseries that explores revolution/terrorism in so many ways. This is one to read once collected and the ruminate on. It began in 2015 but wrapped up in 2016.
  • Tomboy – This series published by Action Lab: Danger Zone and by M. Goodwin is a comic that’s not on enough people’s radar. A mix of manga, Japanese horror, western vigilante stories, it’s a strange, creepy, haunting series featuring a teenage girl out for revenge against the people who killed her friend.

 

Best Non-Super Hero Comic – The Sheriff of Babylon

the-sheriff-of-babylon-12-coverI said above that 2016 was the year of Tom King, and guess who wrote this one! Tom King! The Sheriff of Babylon is another max-series that wrapped up, but we’ll get a second volume some time in 2017.

The comic is based on King’s experiences working for the CIA in Iraq taking place in the Green Zone after the recent Iraq war. The comic is brutally honest showing a world where there’s so little right and so much wrong and it all comes together in a muddied brown and gray.

That dirtiness of it all is helped by Mitch Gerads‘ art and the smart use of colors. The detail, every body movement, the framing of the panels, Gerads’ art adds so much to every issue. That’s saying something considering how amazing King’s scripts are!

This is a comic series that shows comics are political and can question the world we currently live.

Runners Ups:

  • Descender- Jeff Lemire has had a hell of year in general in comics and is one of my favorite writers of the year. This series features the stunning art of Dustin Nguyen. The sci-fi series is so hard to describe revolving around an android that looks like a little boy. Every issue is a treat to read, and Nguyen’s art helps with beautiful visuals. Seriously the art alone is a reason to pick up the series. We didn’t get an issue every month, but what we did get was fantastic.
  • The Fix – Two fuck up cops who are corrupt and get mixed up in a drug smuggling scam. The comic is absolutely hilarious. Written by Nick Spencer with art by Steve Lieber the comic is one of the funniest books on the market.
  • The Flintstones – Written by Mark Russell this series is some of the smartest and subtle political and social commentary in any writing going on today. The comic covers everything from religion to consumerism to the 2016 election. And like his writing in Prez no one is safe, the right and the left are equal fodder. Entertaining, smart, and elevating the classic characters to a whole new level.
  • Invisible Republic – A reporter investigates the truth of an uprising on a planet discovering fact from fiction in a series that bounces back and forth between the past and present. Each issue reminds us about the power of journalism and the need for good reporting. Myth can easily be twisted into fact and lies can replace reality. The comic series seems prescient in so many ways.

 

Best Limited Series or One Shot – 4 Kids Walk Into a Bank

4 KIDS WALK INTO A BANK #1 CoverWe got three issues of this series in 2016 and holy crap do I wish we got more. In those three issues we did get some of the best storytelling in any comics. I’m assuming this is a limited series since it is a “crime caper in five parts” but hopefully we get more after this volume wraps up.

The series involves a bunch of kids that find out one of their dads is possibly a criminal and has some buddies who plan to rob a bank. Their idea is to rob the bank before them.

But, it’s not the heist that’s the drawn it’s the kids themselves. Each one feels so real with so many quirks their personalities jump off the page. Everyone is relatable and each feels like real people we knew growing up. It’s absolutely amazing.

The art by Tyler Boss is top notch and the writing is why Matthew Rosenberg is one of the hottest writers in comics right now.

More please!

Runners Up:

  • Black – This series was a Kickstarter phenomenon and the concept is what if only Black people had superpowers? Political. Daring. In your face. The comic is layered and will leave you debating what it’s trying to say.
  • Love is Love – A charity comic to benefit the victims of the Pulse nightclub attack, this comic is a prime example of what the comic industry can do when profits aren’t at the forefront. Bringing together publishers and hundreds of creators it’s a touching tribute.
  • Refugees Book One – A hell of a find at Small Press Expo, the comic is haunting taking us into the world of refugees as they attempt to find a better life. There’s definite issues with the comic as far as some of the writing, but the message is clear and brutally honest.
  • Superman: American Alien – Featuring a bunch of different artists, this maxi-series by writer Max Landis explored a different time in Superman’s life with a different take on the character. It’s a fun and fantastic read and somehow actually gives us something that feels fresh for a character that’s been around for over 75 years.

 

Best Graphic Novel/Trade Paperback – March Book Three

MarchBookThree-CoverThe best thing to be released in 2016 for comics. This is an absolutely amazing finish to the award winning trilogy. The winner of the National Book Award among other things the graphic novel focuses on Congressman John Lewis’ experiences during the Civil Rights movement.

Written by Lewis, Andrew Aydin, with art by Nate Powell this is the crown jewel of comics showing that they’re more than tights and has been adopted by schools to teach about this time in American history.

As I read the graphic novel from cover to cover, I found myself filled with emotions, as Lewis’ life was there in print for those to see and read. The story is a complicated one, but it’s presented in a way that feels honest and open, both good and bad. This is an inside look at one of the most important, and turbulent times in American history from not just someone that was there, but a leader of the movement. And that’s a fascinating part of this third book, is its focus on Lewis’ role as a leader.

This third volume somehow leapfrogs the other two. Whether it’s due to learning or the material within, something about it created an emotional reaction I haven’t felt by any media in quite some time. And most importantly it got me to think about where we as a people and nation have been, where we are, and where we’re going.

Runners Up:

  • The Attack – A man’s wife winds up being a suicide bomber. This story is about his attempt to find out why and discovering he knew so little about the woman he called his wife. A spiral into despair and madness the end will leave you speechless and heartbroken.
  • Rolling Blackouts: Dispatches From Turkey, Syria, and Iraq – By Sarah Glidden this graphic novel is her experiences as she researches potential stories on the effects of the Iraq War on the Middle East, especially refugees. Beautiful to look at, the graphic novel is the second best thing I’ve read this year (behind March).
  • Soviet Daughter – Adapting her great grandmother’s journal Julia Alekseyeva provides an interesting look at someone who lived in Russia from 1910 to emigrating to the US in the 90s. The Revolution, WWII, the Holocaust, it’s all presented as Alekseyeva illustrates what is a diary. Between each chapter, Julia reflects on her own life and her closeness with her great grandmother. It’s an amazing piece examining women finding their place in the world. It’s also a reason you wait until the first of the year for your list, as this came out the last week of the year.
  • Tetris: The Games People PlayBox Brown takes what should be a boring story about the history of the video game Tetris and makes it really interesting! A fun graphic novel published by First Second that makes corporate maneuvering a bad business deals engaging.

 

Best Genre of the Year – Indie Comics/Small Publishers

Is it a “genre”? We can argue about that, but lets face it, 2016 was a year we saw major creators continue to shrug off the big two, instead launching creator-owned series at other publishers, digitally or through Kickstarter. We saw more comics, in more varieties, on more subjects and more ways to consume them, than any time before. It really wasn’t the year of the Big Two, this was a year that we as consumers could continue to find something that would fit our varied tastes.

With more channels for distribution and more ways to produce comics, we’re in a golden age where the old ways of publishing no longer hold back the creativity that abounds.

I named Indie Comics “it” in 2013, 2014, and 2015 and nothing changed in 2016. There’s a massive opening for someone to step in and be a mainstream breakout, maybe 2017 will be the year we see it.

 

Best Surprise of the Year – DC Comics

DC_Logo_RGB_0318162016 was a year that had everyone shaking their head when they heard DC was shaking things up again and “rebooting.” Except, their reboot was anything but.

In “Rebirth” the publisher blended the old with the new bringing back legacy characters and also pushing forward some of the newer ones too. They even moved away from grimm and gritty and gave us a bit of hope and fun in it all!

While Batman has always been strong for the company, Superman, Wonder Woman, and more all all returned to greatness with a new positive energy about them that could be felt.

But even better, sales increased and while they’ve leveled off and dropped quite a bit from the initial launch, the publisher is stronger and in a better position than it has been in a long time.

The company continued to expand upon its digital first program, and has begun to look towards expanding its market with its DC Super Hero Girls line.

They also did this as their movie output was mixed and television output strong. Now to get everything to line-up and the DC brand as a whole could be unstoppable.

The dots are all there, now we’ll see if the company has the vision to connect them all.

 

Biggest Disappointment of the Year – Kickstarter

KickstarterLast year’s disappointment continued to be so, as projects were delayed, vapor ware, or not as advertised. Also add in issues on the creator end of folks pledging high amounts and then disputing the charges, at times getting the goods. Add in the platform’s unwillingness to step in to deal with either situation and you get a tech company showing off it’s greed. What was once the toast of the town has shown its cracks which will only get worse.

The crowdfunding platform became a way for creators to raise funds for projects, only to get picked up by publishers, at times delaying projects and leaving bad tastes in the mouths of fans. If all creators were held to the standards of some of the best users of the system, there’d be no issue, but over 90% of the projects I’ve pledged to have been delayed or non-existent only creating angry backers and fans.

These issues have lead this site to rethink what we promote and how we do so, no longer choosing comics to promote, as we feel some responsibility for things gone wrong and your dollars being held hostage.

Kickstarter continues to be tone-deaf, and it’s only a matter of time before someone stands up and challenges the platform with a system that’s fair to creators, and protects those who pledge.

Oh how the mighty continue to fall.

 

Publisher of the Year – None of the Above

This one I’ve thought about the most out of all of the categories on the list. I keep going back and forth between Image, BOOM! Studios, Valiant, Action Lab, IDW, First Second, and so many more. For each strength one brings to the table, they also have major weaknesses. Whether it’s a focus on a genre, pigeonholing themselves with adults, failure in digital, a mix of quality of comics, none of them are at least good everywhere. But, the comic industry has really grown in 2016 with no one breaking out as THE publisher to rival the big two. Partially that’s because so many have stood out with some of what they’ve done, but none have stood out for their whole.

Of the big two Marvel has stumbled… a lot. Entire articles can be written in that department, but the company is not the juggernaut its been in quite some time and I’d expect their to be some big shake-ups in 2017.

DC on the other hand came really close to being named for this. They’ve done some amazing stuff in the year with Rebirth being a smash hit. There’s still something slightly off, but out of every publisher, they’ve gotten most improved.

Image has become of the home of amazing indie comics by big name creators, but they generally lack a kids line that gets the next generation of readers and the sales just aren’t their in floppies. BOOM! has had a great mix of comics, but they’re missing that ongoing series that goes on for 30 to 50 issues. Valiant is quality all around and have tried some interesting market tactics, but you have to like superhero comics, Action Lab is a solid up and comer with good consistent releases. IDW has shown its possible to do great licensed comics, while First Second has fantastic graphic novels of all sorts. Aftershock has quality and so has Black Mak Studios.

Out of all of that, where’s the standout above everyone else? They’re all good in their own ways, but each have some flaws, with some of those flaws being pretty big. After a lot of deliberation, I couldn’t decide on one, so I chose none.

Each publisher is close to going huge, it’s just taking someone to connect those dots. Or maybe no one will, and it’ll be up to the individual creators to fill up the gap.

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