Christof's Five favorite comics from 2015

Well it’s that time of year again. With 2015 in its death throes I thought I would look back on some of my favorite comics from the year that was. As you will notice from my selections this year I decided to save my money and stay away from the the world breaking Convergence and Secret Wars events thrown by the big two, and instead focus on some of the great creator-owned series that launched.

This is by no means a definitive list, but rather a selection of comics that stood out to me for their quality, depth or simply because they brought some new ideas to the table.  

Sex Criminals Volume Two
Writer: Matt Fraction
Artist: Chip Zdarsky

Volume Two of the wonderfully weird Sex Criminals not only upped the ante in terms of dirty jokes, smutty puns and hilarious background gags (and who could forget that amazing dildo fight) it also continued it’s candidly honest exploration of sex and relationships. Where Volume One portrayed what it’s like to find someone who you connect with emotionally and sexually, Volume Two looked at what happens once the honeymoon phase is over. As always, Fraction refuses to pull his punches, leading to some of the most touching and genuinely moving graphic storytelling I have read all year.

Material Volume One
Writer: Ales Kot
Artist: Will Tempest
Letterer: Clayton Cowles

So it’s no secret I love Ales Kot. In an industry somewhat averse to change and moving forward with the times, he continues to push the envelope and is never afraid to tackle issues of gender, sexuality and race in an industry currently dominated by straight, white males. Material is everything that is great about Kot’s writing in its most pure form. It’s topical, cryptic and most of all highly engaged with the world around it. To say anything more would spoil the confounding and delightfully challenging experience that is reading it for yourself.

We Can Never Go Home
Writers: Matthew Rosenberg and Patrick Kindlow
Artists: Josh Hood and Brian Level
Colourists: Amanda Scurti and Tyler Boss
Letterers: Jim Campbell and David C. Hopkins

This thrill-a-minute story about two teenage runaways, one of whom has super powers, is everything you loved about the X-Men before all that grubby continuity got in the way. What started off as an impulse buy quickly became one of my favorite reads of the year. You can check out my full review here.

Death Vigil Volume One
Writer/ Artist: Stiepan Sejic

Who would have thought a story about a group of immortal heroes defending the world of the living against Cthulhu-like horrors would turn out to be one of the funnest and funniest reads of the year?  Seijic manages to turn a convoluted premise into a highly heartwarming and engaging romp through his great character work and strong sense of comedic timing. His gorgeous digitally-painted art and sharp quippy dialogue make every page a delight to read and the series makes for a much needed boon to Top Cow’s often dated brand of urban fantasy.

Fables 150 (Volume 22)
Writer: Bill Willingham
Artists: Mark Buckingham (pencils), Steve Leialoha (inks), Andrew Popey (inks), Dan green (inks) and Jose marzan jr. (inks)
Colourist: Lee Loughridge
Letterer: Todd Klein

In early 2014 I made the financial misstep of buying the first trade of Fables and have been fiendishly collecting and devouring the series ever since, much to the disdain of my wallet. What started as a refreshing noir twist on childhood fairy tales quickly evolved into a sprawling and epic fantasy series that managed to hold my attention for all 150 issues, even if it did wane a little during the great Fables crossover. But just as all good things must, in 2015 Fables came to an end. Instead of giving us a conventional 20 page issue to see the series off, Willingham instead treated us to a full graphic novel that not only tied up the main conflict between Rose Red and Snow White but also allowed us to say goodbye to some of the comic's more obscure characters. Fables 150 really was a happily ever after ending for a highly successful and iconic creator-owned series.



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