Welcome back! As 2016 begins to wrap up, the stack of great titles continues to grow. This week I’ve cut down my recommendations to just three to make a little bit of room to talk about some writers who have made 2016 a solid year for comic book readers. Before we get to that, some recommendations!
Tales from the Suicide Forest (Amigo)
This book is meant to compliment the as yet to be released graphic novel, The Suicide Forest with two ghost stories. There are a lot of cool things that can be done with this subject so here’s to hoping it’s nothing like The Forest movie we reviewed at the Overlook earlier this year.
Shadows on the Grave #1 (Dark Horse)
Shadows on the Grave is a new book from Richard Corben who provides the story as well as the art. I praised Corben earlier this year for his work on Bigfoot by Steve Niles. Dark Horse has had a pretty good year so I’m excited to see what both Corben and Dark Horse will provide us with this month.
Britannia #4 (Valiant)
Cover B by Adam Gorham
The finale to this mini-series arrives on shelves today. It has been a good read so far and I’m excited to see the fate of Antonius Axia. It would be great to see Valiant make this a permanent title. There is so much potential for a great ongoing series within these pages. This book contains some of my favorite comic art this year with the pencils and inks of Juan Jose Ryp taken to new heights by Jordie Bellaire’s superb colors.
I was introduced to comics at an early age during one of those boring visits to a relative’s house; the ones where you can’t run around outside and play in the dirt. I always enjoyed reading but found something special in the pages of Archie and Heathcliff books. Obviously my taste has changed significantly and that’s thanks to some amazing stories throughout my lifetime by some equally amazing writers. This is where I would love to nerd out and tell you all about the best writers I found as a kid but I’ll spare you and tell you about some of the best writers of 2016 instead. Before I get to the top writer of 2016, I wanted to tell you about a few writers who made 2016 a solid year.
It’s hard to deny Robert Kirkman's success. On top of 2014's Outcast continuing a great run this year, both Invincible and The Walking Dead have enjoyed solid runs; both titles are continuing their 13th year of publication. It’s unlikely 2017 will be any less successful for Kirkman so let's all thank the man for bringing us quality books to bury our faces in.
Tom King is a name that came to my attention with the 2015-2016 DC series, Omega Men. Though Omega Men received mixed reviews and was ultimately cancelled, King continued 2016 with great success. With the release of The Vision, King took a character that we were unsure could hold a solo book, and released two volumes this year to much praise. Most recently, King has taken the main Batman title on another great run for DC.
Though Brubaker hasn’t been as active as every other writer on this list, what he has released this year has been phenomenal. Technically, The Fade Out was a 2015 book but we did see the final issue released in January along with vol. 3 and the complete collection hardcover in 2016. This year Brubaker teamed with regular collaborators, Sean Phillips and Elizabeth Breitweiser, to create an all new title with the release of Kill or Be Killed. Brubaker is one of the greats, so make sure to check him out.
Rick Remender has a catalog of excellent books written for Marvel with runs on X-Men, Uncanny X-Force, Punisher and Captain America among others. While Remender has seen much success with Marvel, some of his best work has come through Image with some amazing creator owned titles. This year we saw Remender wrap up the second volume of Tokyo Ghost and continue very strong runs of Deadly Class, Low and Black Science. If you haven’t read anything by Remender, he has written something for just about every kind of comic book fan.
There were so many great stories told this year by talented writers and I could go into a very long list of them but these have been the standouts. As amazing as these writers have been this year, one stands out. This next writer has had an amazing year with several great titles spread out across the biggest publishers.
Lemire is quickly cementing himself in history as one of the best writers. The bulk of Lemire's career has been through DC as well as its Vertigo imprint. His run with DC ended last year and 2016 has seen Lemire release nine titles across four different publishers. Nine ongoing books in a year is a pretty incredible feat and each of them has been great. Lemire is also providing artwork for the new book A.D. After Death which is written by Scott Snyder.
Here's a list of titles by Lemire in 2016:
Black Hammer (Dark Horse)
A.D. After Death (Image)
All New Hawkeye Vol. 2(Marvel)
Extraordinary X-Men (Marvel)
Old Man Logan (Marvel)
Moon Knight (Marvel)
Thanos #1 (Marvel)
Bloodshot Reborn (Valiant)
That wraps it up for this week. Be sure to pick something up from any of these writers. Next week I’ll be back with some of the top books of 2016 so be sure to check back in.
-Creature of the ComiCombs