In our version of an Annual issue, we deconstruct end-of-year lists by just talking about comic-related topics, happenings, and trends that we're thankful for in 2014. No rankings or slideshows: just fun and variety you can only spoil by reading ahead.
Pictured above (top to bottom): The Private Eye, The Bunker, Black Science, Minimum Wage
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- IDW's Little Nemo - Return to Slumberland is an all-ages title that looks great, reads well, and that deeply respects the original classic work of Winsor McCay.
- Doug Hazlewood inked Superboy in the 90's, and worked on Grant Morrison's classic Animal Man run, but he was a big comics fan before that. Jack Kirby and stand-out cover design were his portals to comics discovery as a kid.
- The Return of Minimum Wage
- The Growth of Creator-Owned
- Rick Remender: Black Science (volume one, two releases 10 Feb 2015) and Low (volume one TPB in March 2015) are speculative fiction at their best
- Charles Soule: Letter 44 (volume one TPB) wonders "what if the just-elected President was left a letter by his predecessor that reveals not only is there something 'out there' in space, but that a manned mission is well on its way to go meet 'who/whatever it is'?"
- Brian K Vaughn: The Private Eye's story device of the "Cloudburst" is the most directly real-life relevant thing in comics it seems no one is talking about. Private Eye is available exclusively digitally, priced as "pay what you want".
- James Tynion: The Woods, Memetic
- Joshua Hale Fialkov: The Bunker debuted on ComiXology Submit and blew up like crazy. It'd make a hell of a TV show.
- David Lapham: John has known and met some of the "real-life palookas" featured in Stray Bullets ("Uber Alles" edition Omnibus) and Stray Bullets: Killers
- Sex Criminals (vol1, vol2, pre-order the "Big Hard" ultra-collection) is TIME's comic of the year, ODY-C just started
- Side note: Matt Fraction and Chip Zdarsky expanded on bad sex advice they give in the Sex Criminals letters column in Just the Tips
- Thrillbent: $3.99 a month gets you all-you-can eat, exclusive digital comics like Christy Blanch's "Breaking Bad-ish" The Damnation of Charlie Wormwood, Empire Volume 2, and a whole host of others, all designed for tablet reading. It's the craziest, best value in digital comics that more people should
- Comics Humble Bundles (all sadly expired, but there will be more of these)
- Dark Horse Star Wars, Valiant, BOOM!, and Image did them this year
- $500-1000 of comics for a minimum of $10 in general
- Marvel and DC haven't done them yet, but it'd be great if they did
- The closest is the very "Netflix of Comics" that Marvel Unlimited has become (the majority of Marvel back issues we talk about are all on Unlimited)
- New, Fresh Energy in the DC Universe
- Morrison/Shaner Shazam (Multiversity: Thunderworld) is a breath of fresh air John enjoys
- Infinity Man and the Forever People (vol1 TPB) sadly just got the axe
- Greg Pak's writing on Action Comics (first TPB of his run) is the great Superman book we have both wanted for years.
- The Batgirl revamp (at #35) is a good sign.
- Legion of Super-Heroes needs some love. Who will give it said love?
- John highly recommends the revamp of Catwoman that starts with #35, written by Genevieve Valentine
- Benedict Cumberbatch is Doctor Strange
- His casting means Robert Downey Jr-level attention on a long-under-loved character
- The Oath by Vaughn/Martin
- The Defenders by Fraction/Dodson/Lark/Breitweiser/Ibañez
- Big, Deluxe Editions
- Dark Horse's Usagi Yojimbo Saga volumes
- The Complete Groo by Sergio Aragonés is coming in 2015
- Strangers in Paradise Omnibus (on Amazon or the SiP store)
- The Sixth Gun Deluxe Editions (vol1, vol2 up for pre-order): western supernatural action-adventure story by Cullen Bunn and Brian Hurtt that is among the few series Stan Sakai reads. Yes, that Stan Sakai.
- Planetary Absolute Edition (book 1, book 2) by Warren Ellis
- Glory The Complete Saga
- Howard the Duck Omnibus