Honorable Mentions: The Fix, Boundless, Doom Patrol, 4 Kids Walk Into a Bank, Black Hammer, Outcast, Gotham Academy Second Semester, Descender, Seven to Eternity, Archie, Thanos, Royal City, Rebels, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Aliens Dead Orbit
After a brief and unforeseen hiatus, the gang is back talking comics. Issues & series include Batman Annual #2, Saga #48, East of West #35, Batman: White Knight, Mister Miracle, Paradiso #1, Sleepless #1, Hawkeye #12 & more.
by Kelly Thompson, Michael Walsh & Jordie Bellaire
I don’t think anyone who read Hawkeye #12 would be surprised I hereby dub thee best comic of the week. I won’t lie, it was a great week of comics. East of West returned as a somewhat hilarious father and son journey to self discovery. Generation Gone and Kill The Minotaur concluded in artistically astonishing fashion. Batman Who Laughs legitimately horrified me. Joelle Jones was brilliant, as usual, on Batman and Bug, well, I don’t have to tell you how great Bug always is. But, in the midst of all these final chapters, one shots and climactic issues is Hawkeye #12, which breaks from the regular action to tell a fun team up story between Kate, Laura (Wolverine), Gabby (Mini Wolverine) and an actual wolverine.
Comics in their essence are a serialized art form. We might discuss arcs and runs, trading waiting and so on, yet , most comics are still centered on the experience of reading individual chapters parceled out over a (typically) monthly basis. With this in mind, I offer my third annual list of the year’s most memorable single issues.
I start with my choices for the two very best:
Sandman Overture #6 by Neil Gaiman & J.H. Williams III: Dream’s cosmic journey across a universe (or two) came to a stunning conclusion in this issue. The issue contained several callbacks to Gaiman’s classic work, yet not none of them felt like self-serving fan service. Instead they enriched even further the fascinating personalities of the Dream Lord and his siblings. At the same time, Gaiman offered a story where the stakes were huge. Williams more than ably met the challenge of Gaiman’s script handing in page after page of stunning art. His detailed, imaginative work defied any traditional sense of page layouts, spilling the action in all directions. Rarely have words and pictures blended so well to create a truly emotional experience on an epic scale. For more, read Cosmo’s staff review.
Continue reading This Year’s Finest 2015: The Best Single Issues
This past weekend, I had an opportunity to speak briefly with artist Annie Wu, during which we discussed her collaboration with writer Matt Fraction on Hawkeye. Previously, I had written about connections between the L.A. Woman story-line and the film The Long Goodbye. Wu confirmed my theory that Fraction based the mentor P.I. character on Eliot Gould’s performance in the movie. She even admitted trying to recreate the same cat food brand which Gould is searching for in the film’s opening seqeunce. She added that Gould was not the only cultural figure to slip into the narrative. The features for the gay couple were based on Issac Hayes and Lou Gossett Jr’s characters on The Rockford Files, a TV detective series from the same period. Meanwhile, Fraction mixed some horror into the mix by evoking obscure Marvel character Harold H. Harold. Oh, and yes, that reclusive musician was based in part on The Beach Boys’ Brian Wilson. L.A. Woman turned out to be a project which required a fair amount of research.
Yet, we both agreed that was one of the things which made Fraction’s writing so rich. He possesses a wide scope of cultural knowledge so that he can pull in ideas from all sorts of places. In fact, while Wu and I discussed her comics work, we spent an equal amount of time chatting about the musical Hedwig and the Angry Inch, which was the subject of the commission she was drawing for me. This sentiment was echoed the next day at an Image panel. When asked what comic artists influenced him, Wes Craig said that the most important thing for developing artists was to “get their heads out of comics.” Look outside the medium at other art forms. Draw from all over in order to find your own voice. Your work will be richer for it.