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 !!!