Steve Seigh’s Favorite Comics Of 2014!
All year round, listeners of the Talking Comics podcast get to hear my ramblings about the books I love throughout the year. Now the time has come to choose but a few of them, and celebrate their greatness in the list that I have prepared below. But first, I’d like to take this moment to express my personal thanks to all of the artists, writers, editors, and staff who helped to place these books in my hands. The fact of the matter is that comics have brought me so much more than just entertainment in 2014. I’ve made new friends, have engaged in insightful conversations, and have contributed to a growing community of some of the finest folk I’ve ever known because of these stories. It’s all pretty incredible, really. Okay, enough of the mushy stuff. You’re not here to listen to me go on and on, right?
Without further or due, in alphabetical order:
Alex + Ada
It’s like an extended, surreal, and beautiful Twilight Zone episode. Watching Alex and Ada grow together as a comic book couple has been an emotional and unforgettable experience for me this year. It’s been a beautiful, intimate journey – and I’ve already reserved a tiny piece inside of my heart, that’s ready and willing to be broken when it all comes to an end.
Afterlife With Archie #6
Without a doubt, this is one of the single greatest comic book issues that I’ve ever read. The book is haunting, drowning in atmosphere, and paints a Lovecraft-inspired world for Sabrina unlike I’ve ever seen before.
Scott Snyder and Greg Capullo have continued to propel their Batman series to new heights this year with both the ‘Zero Year’ and ‘End Game’ story arcs – and I think that’s mighty fine, indeed. Bringing Bats into the daylight, and presenting readers with a more vivid and visceral look at Gotham was a stroke of genius on the part of Capullo – thanks in no small part to the writing, direction, and mind of Scott Snyder. I honestly can’t recall a time in my reading career when I’ve been more excited to pick up the latest issue of this ridiculously epic Bat-book.
A sinister, depressing, and telling look inside of the human soul – Beautiful Darkness is one book from 2014 that will stay with you long after you’ve put it down.
Black Canary and Zatanna: Bloodspell
Two words: Good times! I’m a big fan of comic book characters having fun, and baby, Bloodspell is ready to party! Dini and Quinones are a creative team made from only the best of comic book magic, as we follow Black Canary and Zatanna into an off-kilter world filled with darkness, fishnets, and danger. UOY DLUOHS YLLAER DAER SIHT KOOB.
Buy the ticket, take the ride. Rick Remender and Wesley Craig’s Deadly Class isn’t for the faint of heart. Whether you’re looking for inter-personal assassin drama, a mind-altering jaunt into Hunter S. Thompson’s Las Vegas nightmares, or a cast of insane, deranged, and self-sacraficing characters – Deadly Class is in session. Buckle up.
It’s DC Comics meets YA with a splash of Harry Potter and Nancy Drew, so what’s not to love about this incredibly gorgeous and powerful new series? In a time when several corners of the Bat-verse are under-going change, and are taking careful steps to introduce readers to something new, Gotham Academy stands out to me as the best of the best of what this bright turn-over has to offer.
We’ve been introduced to a lot of new and great comic book characters this year, but none of them have left the impression on me that Kamala Khan has. G. Willow Wilson has crafted a character that matters, that stands for something, and may well go on to be one of the most important in all of comic book history. She’s an inspiration to comic book readers the world over and her adventures throughout this year have been nothing short of charming, insightful, and inspiring.
Joshua Williamson’s Nailbiter has been gnawing tenaciously on my horror-inspired sweet spot since the very first issue of this addictive, frightening, and ultimately twisted comic about a town that breeds serial killers, and has fun doing it. Buckaroo might not be a place I’d like to visit, but I’ll sure as hell read all about it.
Saga is one of those rare and phenomenal comic book series that manages to remain engaging, over-the-top, and endlessly beautiful with each and every issue. That said, Vol. 4 of this series, in my opinion, is the best arc since the first. The world of Saga and its characters is so out of control at this point that I no longer have a grasp on who is safe, and certainly whether or not we’ll get a happy ending. With relationships, alliances, and civilizations crumbling all around us, Saga has retained its beauty despite some very serious and ugly circumstances.
Seconds is a truly heart-warming tale about how a very unlikable young woman can take advantage of magics beyond her comprehension. It begs you to stop and take a look around at your life, and appreciate what you’ve got. Unhappy? Perhaps the answer to putting a smile on your face is all around you, and all you really need is a good friend to help remove the blinders from your eyes.
“One time I queefed so hard I saw the sheet move. Flarblewarblewarblewub.” – Reason #694711 I love this series.
Good God, this book is exciting! Every time a new issue of Sheltered hits the stands, I make sure to place it at the very top of my To-Read pile. A comic book series that is built for a season or two on either HBO, Showtime, or Starz, Sheltered keeps your pulse pounding, your trust issues rampant, and your finger on the proverbial trigger at all times.
Alright yeah, so I’ve got a bit of a thing for She-Hulk, but can you blame me? For me, this series shined in so many ways this year. Whether I was marveling at the gorgeous art of Javier Pulido, or learning about a mysterious time in Steve Roger’s past, She-Hulk has remained an insightful and smart read from opening statement to its closing remarks.
Sing No Evil
Sacred geometry, mind-blowing art, band drama, ancient magics, Tool references, and more – JP Ahonen and KP Alare’s Sing No Evil is a book so tailored to what I love about both music and comics that I’m still wrapping my brain around the fact that it exists. This book is without a doubt one of my favorites of the year, maybe even of all-time. The book speaks to me on a personal level just as much as stories like: I Kill Giants, Essex County, among others. I share the book’s intense ideology about music: the power it wields, the way it inspires, the way it moves us. It creates an atmosphere for me in which I feel cradled, at home, and forever spiraling. I highly recommend it.
Is it possible to taste a comic book world? Because I’ve tasted every mound of dirt, every baked bean, and all the blood of Jason Aaron and Jason Latour’s Southern Bastards. A hard-hitting look at the South, this series takes you deep into the belly of blue-collar Americana, and leaves you fetal and on the floor of some dive bar – gasping for one more choke of southern-fried air.
The Superior Foes of Spider-Man
It’s Guy Ritchie’s Snatch starring some of the most selfish C and D List villains the Spider-verse has ever seen and it’s absolutely hilarious. Superior Foes is without a doubt one of the biggest un-sung heroes of comics in 2014.
Thor: God of Thunder/ Thor
Whether it’s Jason Aaron’s Thor: God of Thunder or the new female Thor series, the Nine Realms have given us nothing short of epic comic book goodness all throughout 2014. Honestly, if you’re not reading this series, I don’t know what in the Seven Hels you’re waiting for.
Through The Woods
Ah, and here we are, my favorite comic book-related release of 2014. Creeping in right along side JP Ahonen and KP Alare’s ‘Sing No Evil’, Emily Carroll’s Through the Woods frightened me to my very core. Suddenly, I was in middle school all over again, thumbing through what felt like true successor to Alvin Schwartz’ Scary Stories To Tell In The Dark series. To say that I respect Carroll’s talent would be a terrible understatement; I wallow in it, I let it crawl under my skin and settle within my bones. Through the Woods is a masterpiece of story-telling and art, and stands to rest as one of the greatest books I’ve ever read.
The Wicked + The Divine
Gods. Magic. Music. Mayhem. Was there even a chance that I wasn’t going to fall in love with this series? I think not.
Favorite Comic Book Covers of the Year
Teen Titans #5
Mike Del Mundo
Harley Quinn #2
Ms. Marvel #3
Sandman Overture #3
J. H. Williams III
Album of the Year
Thought Forms/Esben and the Witch Split LP
Frenzied, quiet, atmospheric, chaotic, fuzzy, beautiful, and completely metal – this collaborative album took me to places and heights like no other during this incredibly barren year in great and memorable music.
See you in 2015!