For the second of our articles where our contributors run down what they consider to be the “best” comic publishers, creators and books of the last twelve months, it’s the turn of relative newcomer to the group – Kieran Fisher – to have his say.
Let us know what you think of Kieran’s picks, and what your own picks are, in the comments section below.
Best Publisher – Image Comics
The quality of Image’s releases this year has been ridiculous. Not only do I think it’s the best publisher, but for me they’re ahead of the competition by a large margin. As a comic book fan, I can honestly say Image is the best thing that’s ever happened to me.
Best Writer – Mike Mignola
Although none of his titles have made my top 5 this year, they’ve still been pretty damn perfect. He’s a workaholic writer who very rarely releases anything that isn’t excellent. In fact, a bad day at the office for Mignola still produces a very good work. He’s my all-time favourite, and this year has been another great one. In Mignola I trust.
Best Artist – Eric Powell
There’s an image in Big Man’s Plans where the dwarfish anti-hero stands over his downed adversary with his dong hanging out, advancing on him with a wrench. It’s stuck with me ever since and I don’t think anything will be as funny or disturbing for a while. However, Powell in general is an incredible artist (and even better writer) with his own distinct style I just love.
Top 5 Series of 2015 (in no particular order)
Big Man Plans (Image Comics) – It’s one of the most brutal comics I’ve ever read; not only is it gratuitously violent, mean spirited and heart breaking, but it’s also hysterical. This series pulled me into a seedy underbelly, showed me a good time, beat me over the head with a wrench, then left me weeping in the foetal position. I mean that as a compliment.
Harrow County (Dark Horse Comics) – If you’ve read my reviews on Big Comic Page then you’ve probably noticed I have a particular fondness for horror. Actually, my list here reflects that. Anyway, Harrow County is one of the best horrors I’ve ever had the pleasure of reading. It’s a masterpiece and I’m on board with all of the critical acclaim it’s been receiving. Sure it’s horrific and scary and all those things, but it’s also really beautiful and sweet. Cullen Bunn is a gosh darn genius if you ask me.
Manifest Destiny (Image Comics) – I’m a lifelong monster enthusiast and I love the old American Frontier as a setting. This series is just pure entertainment, and the thought of the Lewis and Clark expedition being a monster hunter adventure way back in 1804 appeals to the kid in me who still likes to daydream that monsters existed once upon a time. It also has some of my all-time favourite art work, courtesy of Matthew Roberts.
Sons of the Devil (Image Comics) – Cults, Satanism and human drama. It’s a great mix. I’ve always been fascinated with cults, and Satanic horror is my favourite sub-genre. This incorporates both, but in a very grounded way that makes it quite unsettling reading. It reminded me of my favourite movie – Kill List. In Kill List, it feels like the characters are in the middle of a giant invisible bear trap, and it’s only a matter of time before it closes in on them. They’re in a situation where they’re surrounded by horror they aren’t even aware of, yet as the movie progresses you see them head deeper into the rabbit hole, knowing that they’re pawns in something much bigger and totally sinister. The protagonist in Sons of the Devil is in his own bear trap, and it only looks set to get worse for him. I love that about it.
Undertaker: The Gold Eater – This is a French comic I stumbled across by accident. You can find the English version online if you want to read it. Anyway, it’s about an undertaker who gets hired to bury an eccentric millionaire who kills himself by eating his own gold, just so he doesn’t have to share it with the townsfolk. He instructs his assistant the he’s to be buried in a certain place in three days, and if they don’t make it by then, an unknown man will be murdered as a consequence. He was a cruel, selfish old bastard. However, with the town living in poverty, getting his gold-filled corpse out without a fight is going to be tricky. Plus, the undertaker isn’t just some simple undertaker either. It’s a damn fine western.
The writer of this piece was: Kieran Fisher
Kieran Tweets from @HairEverywhere_.