Monday, December 26, 2011

The Year in Review: PGHHEAD PICKS for 2011

 

DISCLAIMER:  This is not an attempt to categorize the “best” of 2011.  I’m not qualified to make that judgment since I have only read a very small percentage of what was published in 2011. Rather, these are personal recommendations - - those books of 2011 that are my absolute favorites and ones that I highly recommend to anyone interested in good comics reading/viewing.

As in my PGHHEAD PICKS for 2010, I used the same guideline / rules:

1) It has to be something that I wrote about on BC REFUGEES blog site.  That narrows the field, as I read more titles than I wrote about.  But, at least if I took the time to write about a book then something merited the extra attention. 

2) It has to be a book that I would personally recommend to a friend - - an exceptional work that I would gladly read a second, third, or fourth time.

3) Rather than select books to fit into pre-determined categories, this is only a list of books worthy of attention.  I am using categories, but mainly to help identify them further and add a little organization to this list.  I’ve also added the month (in captions)  in which I wrote the original review in case anyone wants to go back into the BC REFUGEES ARCHIVES and read more about each title.

THE PGHHEAD PICKS OF 2011

FAVORITE ADAPTATION – SCIENCE FICTION:    PHOENIX WITHOUT ASHES  (IDW, hardcover graphic novel in 2011)   Harlan Ellison, writer.  Alan Robinson, art.   (January)

FAVORITE ADAPTATION OF A LICENSED PROPERTY:  PLANET OF THE APES  (Boom!)  Daryl Gregory, writer.  Carlos Magno, art.  (August)

FAVORITE ANTHOLOGY SERIES:  DARK HORSE PRESENTS  (Dark Horse) various writers and artists.  (May)

FAVORITE ARTIST:   LEONARDO MANCO  on DRIVER FOR THE DEAD min-series (Radical)  September

FAVORITE MATURE ADULT / CRIME SERIES:  BLUE ESTATE  (Image)  Viktor Kalvachev and Andrew Osborne.  Viktor Kalvachev, artist.  (September) 

FAVORITE DC NEW 52 TITLE:   ANIMAL MAN  (DC)  Jeff Lemire, writer.  Travel Foreman, artist.  (November) 

FAVORITE GRAPHIC NOVEL REPRINT:  NIGHT ANIMALS  (Top Shelf)  Writer/artist Brecht Evens (January) 

FAVORITE ORIGINAL GRAPHIC NOVEL:  DISCORD  (AAM/Markosia)  Paul J. Salamoff, writer.  Giuseppe D’Elia, artist.  (June) 

FAVORITE HORROR SERIES:    FLESH AND BLOOD  (Monsterverse)  Robert Tinnell, writer.  Neil Vokes, artist. (November)

FAVORITE NEW CHARACTER – HORROR:   ALABASTER GRAVES in DRIVER FOR THE DEAD  (Radical)  John Heffernan, writer.  Leonardo Manco, artist.  (September) 

FAVORITE COMICS-RELATED NON-FICTION BOOK:  SUPERGODS  by Grant Morrison  (October) 

FAVORITE ORIGINAL MINI-SERIES:  SAMURAI’S BLOOD #1-6    (Image/Benaroya)  Owen Wiseman, writer. Nam Kim, Matthew Dalton, Jessica Kholinne – artists.  (June) 

FAVORITE SPIN-OFF MINI-SERIES:  WARRIORS THREE #1-4  (Marvel)  Bill Willingham, writer.  Neil Edwards, artist.  (May)

FAVORITE PROLOGUE THAT WAS BETTER THAN THE MIN-SERIES IT WAS SETTING UP:  FEAR ITSELF – THE BOOK OF THE SKULL  (Marvel)  Ed Brubaker, writer.  Scot Easton, art.  (April)

FAVORITE PUBLISHER COLLABORATION:   INVADERS NOW  (Marvel / Dynamite)  Christos Gage and Alex Ross, story.  Caio Reis, artist.  (February)

FAVORITE REVIVAL/RE-BOOT OF A SUPER-HERO TITLE: T.H.U.N.D.E.R. AGENTS  #1-12  Nick Spencer, writer.  Cafu, artist.  (May)

FAVORITE SINGLE ISSUE STORY:   SAMURAI’S BLOOD  #3  (Image/Benaroya)  Owen Wiseman, writer.  Nam Kim, Matthew Dalton, Jessica Kholinne – art.  (July)

FAVORITE SINGLE ISSUE SUPER-HERO BOOK:  INVINCIBLE IRON MAN #500.1  (Marvel)  Matt Fraction, writer.  Salvadore Larocca, artist.  (March)

FAVORITE SUPER-HERO TITLE: SUPERBOY (DC) Writer Jeff Lemire. Artist Pico Gallo. (January)

FAVORITE YOUNG ADULT SERIES:   SNARKED (Boom!)   Writer/artist Roger Langridge. (November)

I’d definitely be interested in learning what the favorite 2011 works of some of the BC REFUGEES writers and readers are - - so don’t be hesitant to post those here and comment.  Here’s to more fantastic reading in 2012 !!!

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