For our final “best of” list of 2014, it’s the turn of BCP co-founder Chris to share his thoughts on what comics, publishers and comic creators impressed him most over the last twelve months. As always, please let us know what you think of his picks, and feel free to share what your own personal picks of 2014 were.
Best Publisher – Image Comics
Just for sheer amount of content I enjoyed this year, it has to be Image Comics. From Rat Queens to the ever awesome Chew, all bases were covered with every genre of book imaginable being released, and I was blown away by the quality of storytelling they released this year. Personal highlights being Wicked and Divine and the aforementioned Rat Queens, both showing you don’t need to have a male lead for them to be strong and interesting. Oh, and East of West. That’s been a thing.
Honerable Mention to BOOM! Studios though, who have had an awesome year this year with some truly astounding books!
Best Artist – Ben Templesmith.
Easy. His style is unlike any other on the market and it showed massively when he left Ten Grand and it went down the proverbial shitter. With his grotesque figures being the stuff of nightmares, his overactive imagination ran wild this year, from the demons in Ten Grand to all of his incredible work on The Squidder. He was a clear choice for me and deserves all of the luck in the world – which is think he may have cashed some of in, what with him now being the artis on a Bat-book, surely a career high!
Honorable mention goes to Juan Ferreyra. Paper Airplanes.
Best Writer – Kieron Gillen
Man, did he have a good year this year. From Young Avengers wrapping up in January, Gillen continued writing for the house of ideas with his Iron Man series. For the first time in a long time i found myself actually caring about the character again and not just seeing Robert Downey Jr. on the page. Enough talk about that though, we all know why he’s my favourite writer this year and that’s because of the frankly astounding The Wicked + The Divine. Steeped in backstory, clearly a lot of work went into making the series work and it shows on the page. With a story that is relatable instantly to anyone that follows modern media and the “fame game” and characters you love to hate, this is clearly the natural progression to his “other” incredible music-driven piece of work PHONOGRAM, although there’s something much more fine-tuned and grown up about the series. Only the first arc has been released to date, but damn.
Honorable mention: Matt Fraction. The year might have been light on Hawkeye, but Sex Criminals has been a very strange, oddly satisfying ride
Top 5 Titles (in no particular order):
The Wicked + The Divine (Image Comics) – I think I’ve said enough about this already, right?
Squidder (IDW Publishing) – Yep, see above. Though I do also want to say that it was incredibly well-written and thought out. Now I just want a prequel to sedate my squiddy needs
Amazing/Superior Spider-Man (Marvel Comics) – Dan Slott has done incredible and terrible things this year in the pages of Superior Spider-Man and by the end of it, I actually found myself rooting for a character I promised I was going to hate. Amazing has been an interesting ride so far, with Spider-verse managing to seem both original and interesting, something that’s sorely lacking from big two comics this year
Rat Queens (Image Comics) – It’s just FUN! Stemming from a very D&D background but with much more foul language, sex, drug use, drink and gratuitous violence. Y’know, the good stuff! Sadly tarnished later on in the year, I’m glad to see they have a new artist at the helm, and can’t wait to see the series back on its feet in the new year
East of West (Image Comics) – Such a close contender for book of the year. There’s a level of depth to the story here that has genuinely kept me awake at night. There’s still an intertwining web going on with the story lines that I don’t quite understand, but after the cliffhanger of the last issue, I need my fix, man… I NEED MY FIX!
Oh, and Soundtrack of the Year goes to Guardians of the Galaxy, because I mean, who else was I going to give it to?!