Sam Says… The Best of 2014

3497584-blackout-1-51027It’s time for another of our contributors to wade in on the “best of” discussion. Up next is Sam, who manages to overcome the ridiculously high standard of the comics released over the last twelve months to nail down his favourite publisher, writer, artist and comics.  Let us know what you think of his picks in the comments section as always, folks.

Publisher of the Year – For me, and there’s no doubting it is a toughie, it’s IDW Publishing. 2 reasons, primarily: Squidder is simply an extraordinary piece of Mythos fuelled, post apocalyptic genius, and Transformers: Robots In Disguise (latterly just Transformers) and Transformers: Primacy redefined tie-ins, in the face of some stiff competition all round. Great dialogue and dynamic art make the studio to beat, in my book.

Writer of the Year – Difficult, so I’m going for an odd choice: John Layman, because Chew is guaranteed to always make me laugh, and still brings the odd tear to my eye. Haven’t missed an issue yet.

Artist of the Year – Likewise fearsomely difficult, but I’m going for a safe one in Ben Templesmith. From the brain-melting visions of Squidder, to the depths of Gotham by Midnight, to the gloriously agonising Lust with old chum Steve Niles, he remains in a league all of his very own. Btw, an honourable mention to Sarah Stone, who’s done a raft of tremendous one-shot covers this year and needs more exposure, frankly.

Top 5 comics (in no particular order)

This is hard. Damn hard. What an extraordinary year for the medium. I’m going to cheat, though, as I’ve already mentioned 2 from IDW. Sue me.

Low (Image Comics) – breathtaking in scope, beautiful in execution. Humanity in the depths of the oceans to escape its inevitable demise from an expanding sun; a Sci-fi that’s truly epic, and has pipped Saga to the post this time around.

Captain Marvel (Marve Comicsl) – Kelly Sue DeConinck shows us absolutely everything right about the broader Marvel universe, whilst providing us with a funny, feminine, feminist Captain for the MCU generation. As a non-Marvel fanboy, nothing else has grabbed me like this from the big two.

ProjectBlackSky.Net (Dark Horse) – So again, I’m cheating, because this covers a multitude of tales from the Dark Horse universe. But this core set of 5, published online and from the fine pen of Fred Van Lente, is a bold and hugely successful attempt to do something new with some true classics. A masterpiece.

Sundowners (Dark Horse) – Oh, I am such a sucker for a well crafted, psychological, audience manipulating horror comic. Sundowners is Tim Seeley at his best – Revival’s lost my interest, frankly, but this tale of are they heroes? Are they fantasists? Are they both? Captivating, harrowing, extraordinary.

Lazarus (Image) – As ongoing series’ go, this is pretty hard to beat. Undying assassins in a dystopia have never felt so human, and it’s a credit to Greg Rucka that he’s not slid into too many of the tropes and contrivances of the genre.

SAMDAVThe Writer of this piece was: Sam Graven
You can follow Sam on Twitter

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