SW Best Comic Book Reads of 2016!

file-dec-29-12-23-46-am

2016, another great year for the comic book and graphic novel industry.

Also, a new era for big changes and shakeups. The big Marvel and DC publishers went back to revamping their flagship superhero titles, again. Image strengthened the creator-owned market with a plethora of well-received new and continuing titles. IDW, Dark Horse and Boom! held strong with their licensed properties, but also brought some creative driven original content to the shelves. Aftershock proved itself as an underrated new dog, with a number of good books that deserve more appreciation. And, there were surprises from other companies, old and new.

Here below, are the best of what I enjoyed in 2016, according to what I had time for and caught my interest across the comic stores, digital fronts, and my local library. For each title, consider just the work done in 2016. The list was very last-minute, so very sorry I could not display detailed reasoning for each. Just see for yourself, should you come across any of these wonderful titles!

BEST NEW SERIES of 2016

Black Hammer (Dark Horse) by Jeff Lemire, Dean Ormston, Dave Stewart

The Flintstones (DC) by Mark Russell, Steve Pugh

Animosity (Aftershock), by Marguerite Bennett, Rafeal De Latorre

BEST LIMITED SERIES of 2016

Vision (Marvel) by Tom King, Gabriel Hernandez Walta

Superman: American Alien (DC) by Max Landis,, various artists

Divinity II (Valiant) by Matt Kindt, Trevor Hairsine

BEST ONGOING STORY EPICs of 2016

Saga (Image) by Brian K. Vaughan, Fiona Staples

I Hate Fairyland (Image) by Skottie Young, Jean-Francois Beaulieu

Paper Girls (Image) by Brian K. Vaughan, Cliff Chiang

BEST CREATIVE USE OF SEQUENTIAL LAYOUTS in 2016

ODY – C (Image) by Matt fraction, Christian Ward

Lady Mechanika: La Dama De Las Muerte (Benitez Productions) By Joe Benitez, M.M Chen

Shipwreck (Aftershock) by Eric Gapstur, Mark Englert, Marshall Dillon

BEST USE OF COLOR in 2016

Paper Girls (Image) by Brian K. Vaughan, Cliff Chiang

Night’s Dominion (Oni Press), by Ted Naifeh

Bandette (Monkeybrain) by Paul Tobin, Collen Coover

BEST UNSETTLING HORROR SERIES of 2016

InseXts (Aftershock) by Marguerite Bennett, Ariela Kristantina

Demonic (Image) by Christopher Sebela, Niko Walter, Dan Brown

Glitterbomb (Image) by Jim Zub, Djibril Morisette-Phan, Michael Russel

BEST DRAMATIC STORYTELLING of 2016

Animosity (Aftershock), by Marguerite Bennett, Rafeal De Latorre

Vision (Marvel) by Tom King, Gabriel Hernandez Walta

Tales from the Darkside (IDW) by Joe Hill, Gabriel Rodriguez

BEST PARTLY HISTORICAL-BASED FICTION in 2016

Lake of Fire (Image) by Nathan Fairebairn, Matt Smith

Britannia (Valiant) By Peter Milligan, Juan Jose Ryp

Rough Riders (Aftershock) byAdam Glass, Patrick Olliffe

BEST FANTASY SERIES in 2016

Monstress (Image) by Marjorie Liu, Sana Takeda

Hillbilly (Albatross) by Eric Powell

Seven to Eternity (Image) by Rick Remender & Jerome Opena

BEST STRANGE NEW WORLDS and IDEAS in 2016

Ether (Dark Horse) by Matt Kindt, David Rubin

The Electric Sublime (IDW) by W. Maxwell Prince, Martin Morazzo

Saga (Image) by Brian K. Vaughan, Fiona Staple

BEST USE OF SCIENCE FICTION ELEMENTS in 2016

Hadrian’s Wall (Image) by Kyle Higgens, Alec Siegel, Rod Reis

Faster than Light (Image), by Brian Haberlin

Ancestor (Image) by Matt Sheean, Malachi Ward

BEST SINGLE ISSUE COVER ART in 2016

Saga (Image) by Brian K. Vaughan, Fiona Staples (Covers by Fiona Staples)

Scarlet Witch (Marvel) by James Robinson,  Marguerite Sauvage (Covers by David Aja)

Black Hammer (Dark Horse) by Jeff Lemire, Dean Ormston, Dave Stewart (covers by Dean Ormston)

BEST CREATIVE USE OF POP-CULTURE ICONS in 2016

Scooby Apocalypse (DC) by Keith Giffen, J.M. DeMatteis, Howard Porter

Klaus (Boom! Studios), by Grant Morrison, Dan Mora

The Flintstones (DC) by Mark Russell, Steve Pugh

BEST FULL-LENGTH GRAPHIC NOVEL STORIES of 2016

Dark Knight: a True Batman Story (DC) by Paul Dini, Eduardo Risso

Mooncop (Drawn and Quarterly) by Tom Gauld

Ghosts (Scholastic), by Raina Telgemeier

BEST REPRINTING OF COMICS HISTORY in 2016

The Don Rosa Library Collection (Fantagraphics) – Volume 4-6

Moebius Libary: The World of Edena (Dark Horse)

Turn Loose Our Death Rays and Kill Them All! The Complete Works of Fletcher Hanks (Fantagraphics)

That’s all for now. Thanks for checking out my list. I would love to read your thoughts on my pics or suggest some of your own, in the comments below.

Orion T

 

San Diego Comic Con in Pictures and Notes – Part 2

IMG_5546

(continued from Part 1)

Take a closer look at the great San Diego Comic Con, and you will see more of its heart and soul within the booth displays. Within the Exhibit Hall, are the people and subjects that make such the event long worth going to, before the glam of celebs and pricy exclusives.

Below are my notes on why, and what has changed for this year. Let’s go for a walk…

..

The Marvel Comics Booth, constantly crowded with heavy push for the Marvel Cinematic Universe  movies. Aside from freebies, I didnt notice much of the monthly comics being promoted. I think there is another reboot of sorts called Marvel Now, which I have withheld my excitement for. The strength of Marvel Comics at retail racks has been with well-written books including Marvel Girl, Moon Girl, Vision, Totally Awesome Hulk. I wish it was more that, and not the movies.

IMG_5606

The Nickelodeon always puts much thought in their booth designs. This year showed expression, with throwbacks to the their golden 90’s era.

IMG_5605

So much nostalgia, so much love…Legends of the Hidden Temple, Ren and Stmpy, Rocko, Rugrats never die!

IMG_5601

In the corner, vinyl and designer figures still make their impression on collectors. I see their stands rising in size, and exclusives for attendees to hunt down. Funko still being the most massive and ridiculous.. Here, I know not of the company, but love the giant Kobe and Astro Boy.

IMG_5598

The Lego booth never disappoints with their display craft. I wonder how many blocks it took for Captain America to make his stand here.

IMG_5558

And Wonder Woman!

IMG_5547

Meanwhile late night talk show host Conan O’Brien was quite the strange self promoting icon. I feel conflicted about this odd presence here at the con. I think from watching, he could be one of us..but not so much as it’s just he’s becoming a pop-culture icon as well, complete with exclusive con collectibles also at the show.

IMG_5545

Booth signings are a bigger deal with year, with studios giving the fans a chance to meet entire casts, with the luck of a raffle hours before. Here, the cast of Supergirl greets a long and very eager line.

IMG_5543

One booth shows off some rare and cool Japanese import figures.

IMG_5544

The Symbiote Studios stand I think is a newcomer to the designer figure corner of the Exhibit Hall, or at least new to me.

IMG_5542

Another booth, I did not get info on. But they sell cosplay clothes for pets, I think..

IMG_5539

The typical awesomeness of the Artist Alley section, where the small booths are just as grand as the huge companies ones. Here you need no lottery ticket to meet the extraordinary people who also make a substantial impact on the fandom.

IMG_5532

Of the Artist Alley and Small Press areas, some creatives have much fun and leave a memorable impression. Here is artist Joe Phillips (I think on the left) promoting his new comic, a Midsummer’s Knight..a fantastical take on the Shakespeare classic.

IMG_5534

The Hasbro booth barely changes every year, but always nice to see the latest in new Transformers toys that appeal to my nostalgic soul, like the new Fortress Maximus on display.

20160720_184525

The Ugly Dolls booth cheers me again with its huggable plush monsters..

image

The Dark Horse booth stands proud and tall once again, with much on the new reads and the better array of guest artists and writer signings..

image

An overhead shot of the comics area, which with little emphasis on exclusives or swag, has a less claustrophobic crowd. That is until, Sunday where less panels happen and last-minute shopping kicks in..

image

The Sideshow Collectibles booth, a constant at the SDCC for many years, where high-end figurines are showcased and presented for attendees to at least appreciate.

image

Back at the Dark Horse booth, an awesome mural behind the booth showcasing its 30 year history. Cheers to “Building Characters!”

image

The DC Comics booth, which I love for still reminding all of its other awesome licenses, including Spy vs. Spy..

image

This year at he Star Wars booth, costumes from the upcoming Rogue One movie are on display..a definite treat for the fans attending.

image

A favorite booth on recent years at the show, DKE toys; an awesome array of artist designed figures and packages.  Many are on sale, at extremely limited quantities.

image

Back at the DC Comics booth, original costumes on display; featuring the new and upcoming Wonder Woman movie, Suicide Squad, and the classic Wonder Woman TV series (with a costume work by Lynda Carter herself!)

image

My current favorite comics publisher, Image Comics has the usual awesome booth.

image

The Cartoon Network booth, featuring the return of the Power Puff Girls..

image

The Super 7 booth, featuring a reissue classics large Alien movie figure.

20160720_190855

The Square Enix booth, though not as visually impressive from afar, got a much larger crowd coming in for a chance to play the upcoming Final Fantasy XV game, and get a very exclusive T-Shirt!

20160720_184728

More artist alley impressions!

IMG_5529

Many booths also showed upcoming products, like the DC Bombshells figurine line at the Diamond comics booth. More, on featured  products in an upcoming post..

IMG_5517

Sometimes, one good draw is all one needs to make a great impression. The Hermes publishing booth brought in Garfield creator, Jim Davis!

IMG_5578

That’s all for part 2, with my personal highlights of the Exhibit Room displays and presentations, with much thanks to the many involved. Come back to strangerworlds.com for part 3, with a zoomed look at the exciting people of Comic Con, with a focus on its creative talent.

– Orion T

A look at the new Eisner Comic Industry Awards 2016 nominees..

Last week we got online, the official nominee list (below the article) for the 2016 Will Eisner Comic Industry Awards, a most prestigious pickings on the best picked sequential work in 2015. Winners are due announced at the 2016 San Diego Comic Con International.

For the most parts, I see this list as better covered than last year with a mix of diversity on mainstream and creative independant work. There are some favorites of late I enjoyed, most notably Paper Girls, Bandette, Invincible, The Spire. I love David Aja’s cover art, especially on the new Scarlet Witch mini series, so pleased to see that recognition. Silver Surfer #11 of the new series is some especially mind-blowing work deserving of notoriety. Some nominees I think I will have to give a fresh reading chance as I felt a bit resistant in checking out for whatever reasons, Southern Bastards, Unbeatable Squirrel Girl, Bitch Planet, Giant Days.

There are some surprises on the list. Most in particular, I noticed Matthew Inman’s “It’s Going to be Okay” from the popular Oatmeal comic. Much about this is interesting for multiple reasons. The first being that it’s a web-comic entry, and such (and Cyanide and Happiness for best humor publication)  is a sign that this medium is getting more respectful notice in other categories besides “best web-comic.” Another being the reason that Mathew Inman reinvented the concept of single-panel scrolling to tell the story, through his online work. The effectiveness makes me wish for more web-comics and digital comics to try this method. Lastly, it’s an interesting story that concluded with a message as being more important than the subject, being of its own importance.

There are some disappointments to the lack of comic work, which I wish had nominee love. Sadly overlooked is a new favorite; The Vision by Tom King is a magnificent new series that started in late 2015, and released at the same time as the nominated Monstress. Tom King’s work also in Omega Men and Grayson also I think earns him more credit somewhere as a best writer of 2015. I feel the He-man and the Masters of the Universe mini-comic collection was an incredible feat with incredible extras, but also overlooked. Missing this year is Saga by Brian K. Vaughan and Fiona Staples, perhaps for being consistent with award-winning work and having enough recognition from prior years.

And now, cheers to all the nominees below..

Best Short Story
• “Black Death in America,” by Tom King and John Paul Leon, in Vertigo Quarterly: Black (Vertigo/DC)
• “Hand Me Down,” by Kristyna Baczynski, in 24 x 7 (Fanfare Presents)
• “It’s Going to Be Okay,” by Matthew Inman, in The Oatmeal, theoatmeal.com/comics/plane
• “Killing and Dying,” by Adrian Tomine, in Optic Nerve #14 (Drawn & Quarterly)
• “Lion and Mouse,” by R. Sikoryak, in Fable Comics (First Second)

Best Single Issue/One-Shot
• A Blanket of Butterflies, by Richard Van Camp and Scott B. Henderson (HighWater Press)
• I Love This Part, by Tillie Walden (Avery Hill)
• Mowgli’s Mirror, by Olivier Schrauwen (Retrofit/Big Planet)
• Pope Hats #4, by Ethan Rilly (AdHouse)
• Silver Surfer #11: “Never After,” by Dan Slott and Michael Allred (Marvel)

Best Continuing Series
• Bandette, by Paul Tobin and Colleen Coover (Monkeybrain)
• Giant Days, by John Allison, Lissa Treiman, and Max Sarin (BOOM! Studios/BOOM! Box)
• Invincible, by Robert Kirkman, Ryan Ottley, and Cliff Rathburn (Image/Skybound)
• Silver Surfer, by Dan Slott and Michael Allred (Marvel)
• Southern Bastards, by Jason Aaron and Jason Latour (Image)

Best Limited Series
• Chrononauts, by Mark Millar and Sean Murphy (Image)
• The Fade Out, by Ed Brubaker and Sean Phillips (Image)
• Lady Killer, by Joëlle Jones and Jamie S. Rich (Dark Horse)
• Minimum Wage: So Many Bad Decisions, by Bob Fingerman (Image)
• The Spire, by Simon Spurrier and Jeff Stokely (BOOM! Studios)

Best New Series
• Bitch Planet, by Kelly Sue DeConnick and Valentine De Landro (Image)
• Harrow County, by Cullen Bunn and Tyler Crook (Dark Horse)
• Kaijumax, by Zander Cannon (Oni)
• Monstress, by Marjorie Liu and Sana Takeda (Image)
• Paper Girls, by Brian K. Vaughan and Cliff Chiang (Image)
• The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl, by Ryan North and Erica Henderson (Marvel)

Best Publication for Early Readers (up to age 8)
• Anna Banana and the Chocolate Explosion, by Dominque Roques and Alexis Dormal (First Second)
• Little Robot, by Ben Hatke (First Second)
• The Only Child, by Guojing (Schwartz & Wade)
• SheHeWe, by Lee Nordling and Meritxell Bosch (Lerner Graphic Universe)
• Written and Drawn by Henrietta, by Liniers (TOON Books)

Best Publication for Kids (ages 9-12)
• Baba Yaga’s Assistant, by Marika McCoola and Emily Carroll (Candlewick)
• Child Soldier: When Boys and Girls Are Used in War, by Jessica Dee Humphreys, Michel Chikwanine, and Claudia Devila (Kids Can Press)
• Nathan Hale’s Hazardous Tales: The Underground Abductor, by Nathan Hale (Abrams Amulet)
• Over the Garden Wall, by Pat McHale, Amalia Levari, and Jim Campbell (BOOM! Studios/KaBOOM!)
• Roller Girl, by Victoria Jamieson (Dial Books)
• Sunny Side Up, by Jennifer Holm and Matthew Holm (Scholastic Graphix)

Best Publication for Teens (ages 13-17)
• Awkward, by Svetlana Chmakova (Yen Press)
• Drowned City: Hurricane Katrina and New Orleans, by Don Brown (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt)
• March: Book Two, by John Lewis, Andrew Aydin, and Nate Powell (Top Shelf/IDW)
• Moose, by Max de Radiguès (Conundrum)
• Oyster War, by Ben Towle (Oni)
• SuperMutant Magic Academy, by Jillian Tamaki (Drawn & Quarterly)

Best Humor Publication
• Cyanide & Happiness: Stab Factory, by Kris Wilson, Rob DenBleyker, and Dave McElfatrick (BOOM! Studios/BOOM! Box)
• Deep Dark Fears, by Fran Krause (Ten Speed Press)
• Sexcastle, by Kyle Starks (Image)
• Step Aside, Pops: A Hark! A Vagrant Collection, by Kate Beaton (Drawn & Quarterly)
• UR, by Eric Haven (AdHouse)

Best Digital/Webcomic
• Bandette, by Paul Tobin and Colleen Coover (Monkeybrain/comiXology)
• Fresh Romance, edited by Janelle Asselin (Rosy Press/comiXology)
• The Legend of Wonder Woman, by Renae De Liz (DC Digital)
• Lighten Up, by Ronald Wimberly (The Nib), thenib.com/lighten-up-4f7f96ca8a7e#.u45ffr3l1
• These Memories Won’t Last, by Stu Campbell, memories.sutueatsflies.com/

Best Anthology
• Drawn & Quarterly, Twenty-Five Years of Contemporary, Cartooning, Comics, and Graphic Novels, edited by Tom Devlin (Drawn & Quarterly)
• Eat More Comics: The Best of the Nib, edited by Matt Bors (The Nib)
• 24 x 7, edited by Dan Berry (Fanfare Presents)
• Mouse Guard: Legends of the Guard, vol. 3, edited by David Petersen (BOOM! Studios/Archaia)
• Peanuts: A Tribute to Charles M. Schulz, edited by Shannon Watters (BOOM! Studios/KaBOOM!)

Best Reality-Based Work
• The Arab of the Future: A Childhood in the Middle East, 1978–1984, by Riad Sattouf (Metropolitan Books)
• Displacement: A Travelogue, by Lucy Knisley (Fantagraphics)
• Hip Hop Family Tree, Book 3: 1983–1984, by Ed Piskor (Fantagraphics)
• Invisible Ink: My Mother’s Secret Love Affair with a Famous Cartoonist, by Bill Griffith (Fantagraphics)
• March: Book Two, by John Lewis, Andrew Aydin, and Nate Powell (Top Shelf/IDW)
• The Story of My Tits, by Jennifer Hayden (Top Shelf/IDW)

Best Graphic Album—New
• Long Walk to Valhalla, by Adam Smith and Matthew Fox (BOOM! Studios/Archaia)
• Nanjing: The Burning City, by Ethan Young (Dark Horse)
• Ruins, by Peter Kuper (SelfMadeHero)
• Sam Zabel and the Magic Pen, by Dylan Horrocks (Fantagraphics)
• The Thrilling Adventures of Lovelace and Babbage, by Sydney Padua (Pantheon)

Best Graphic Album—Reprint
• Angry Youth Comics, by Johnny Ryan (Fantagraphics)
• Roses in December: A Story of Love and Alzheimer’s, by Tom Batiuk and Chuck Ayers (Kent State University Press)
• The Less Than Epic Adventures of TJ and Amal Omnibus, by E. K. Weaver (Iron Circus Comics)
• Nimona, by Noelle Stevenson (Harper Teen)
• Soldier’s Heart: The Campaign to Understand My WWII Veteran Father, by Carol Tyler (Fantagraphics)

Best Adaptation from Another Medium
• Captive of Friendly Cove: Based on the Secret Journals of John Jewitt, by Rebecca Goldfield, Mike Short, and Matt Dembicki (Fulcrum)
• City of Clowns, by Daniel Alarcón and Sheila Alvarado (Riverhead Books)
• Ghetto Clown, by John Leguizamo, Christa Cassano, and Shamus Beyale (Abrams ComicArts)
• Lafcadio Hearn’s “The Faceless Ghost” and Other Macabre Tales from Japan, adapted by Sean Michael Wilson and Michiru Morikawa (Shambhala)
• Two Brothers, by Fábio Moon and Gabriel Bá (Dark Horse)

Best U.S. Edition of International Material
• Alpha . . . Directions, by Jens Harder (Knockabout/Fanfare)
• The Eternaut, by Héctor Germán Oesterheld and Francisco Solano Lòpez (Fantagraphics)
• A Glance Backward by Pierre Paquet and Tony Sandoval (Magnetic Press)
• The March of the Crabs, by Arthur de Pins (BOOM! Studios/Archaia)
• The Realist, by Asaf Hanuka (BOOM! Studios/Archaia)

Best U.S. Edition of International Material—Asia
• Assassination Classroom, vols. 2–7, by Yusei Matsui (VIZ)
• A Bride’s Story, vol. 7, by Kaoru Mori (Yen Press)
• Master Keaton, vols. 2–4, by Naoki Urasawa, Hokusei Katsushika, and Takashi Nagasaki (VIZ)
• Showa, 1953–1989: A History of Japan, by Shigeru Mizuki (Drawn & Quarterly)
• A Silent Voice, by Yoshitoki Oima (Kodansha)
• Sunny, vol. 5, by Taiyo Matsumoto (VIZ)

Best Archival Collection/Project—Strips
• Beyond Mars, by Jack Williamson and Lee Elias, edited by Dean Mullaney (IDW/LOAC)
• Cartoons for Victory, by Warren Bernard (Fantagraphics)
• The Complete Funky Winkerbean, vol. 4, by Tom Batiuk, edited by Mary Young (Black Squirrel Books)
• The Eternaut, by Héctor Germán Oesterheld and Francisco Solano Lòpez, edited by Gary Groth and Kristy Valenti (Fantagraphics)
• Kremos: The Lost Art of Niso Ramponi, vols. 1 and 2, edited by Joseph V. Procopio (Picture This Press/Lost Art Books)
• White Boy in Skull Valley, by Garrett Price, edited by Peter Maresca (Sunday Press)

Best Archival Collection/Project—Comic Books
• Frank Miller’s Ronin Gallery Edition, edited by Bob Chapman (Graphitti Designs/DC)
• P. Craig Russell’s Murder Mystery and Other Stories Gallery Edition, edited by Daniel Chabon (Dark Horse)
• The Puma Blues: The Complete Saga, by Stephen Murphy, Alan Moore, Michael Zulli, Stephen R. Bissette, and Dave Sim, edited by Drew Ford (Dover)
• Walt Disney’s Uncle Scrooge and Donald Duck: The Don Rosa Library, vols. 3–4, edited by David Gerstein (Fantagraphics)
• Walt Kelly’s Fairy Tales, edited by Craig Yoe (IDW)

Best Writer
• Jason Aaron, Southern Bastards (Image), Men of Wrath (Marvel Icon), Doctor Strange, Star Wars, Thor (Marvel)
• John Allison, Giant Days (BOOM Studios!/BOOM! Box)
• Ed Brubaker, The Fade Out, Velvet, Criminal Special Edition (Image)
• Marjorie Liu, Monstress (Image)
• G. Willow Wilson, Ms. Marvel (Marvel)

Best Writer/Artist
• Bill Griffith, Invisible Ink: My Mother’s Secret Love Affair with a Famous Cartoonist (Fantagraphics)
• Nathan Hale, Nathan Hale’s Hazardous Tales: The Underground Abductor (Abrams)
• Sydney Padua, The Thrilling Adventures of Lovelace and Babbage (Pantheon)
• Ed Piskor, Hip-Hop Family Tree, vol. 3 (Fantagraphics)
• Noah Van Sciver, Fante Bukowski, Saint Cole (Fantagraphics)

Best Penciller/Inker or Penciller/Inker Team
• Michael Allred, Silver Surfer (Marvel); Art Ops (Vertigo/DC)
• Cliff Chiang, Paper Girls (Image)
• Erica Henderson, Jughead (Archie), Unbeatable Squirrel Girl (Marvel)
• Joëlle Jones, Lady Killer (Dark Horse), Brides of Helheim (Oni)
• Nate Powell, March, Book Two (Top Shelf/IDW)

Best Painter/Multimedia Artist
• Federico Bertolucci, Love: The Tiger and Love: The Fox (Magnetic Press)
• Colleen Coover, Bandette (Monkeybrain)
• Carita Lupattelli, Izuna (Humanoids)
• Dustin Nguyen, Descender (Image)
• Tony Sandoval, A Glance Backward (Magnetic Press)

Best Cover Artist
• David Aja, Hawkeye, Karnak, Scarlet Witch (Marvel)
• Rafael Albuquerque, Ei8ht (Dark Horse), Huck (Image)
• Amanda Conner, Harley Quinn (DC)
• Joëlle Jones, Lady Killer (Dark Horse), Brides of Helheim (Oni)
• Ed Piskor, Hip-Hop Family Tree (Fantagraphics)

Best Coloring
• Laura Allred, Lady Killer (Dark Horse); Silver Surfer (Marvel); Art OPS (Vertigo/DC)
• Jordie Bellaire, The Autumnlands, Injection, Plutona, Pretty Deadly, The Surface, They’re Not Like Us, Zero (Image); The X-Files (IDW); The Massive (Dark Horse); Magneto, Vision (Marvel)
• Elizabeth Breitwiser, The Fade Out, Criminal Magazine, Outcast, Velvet (Image)
• John Rauch, The Beauty (Image); Batman: Arkham Knight, Earth 2: Society (DC); Runaways (Marvel)
• Dave Stewart, Abe Sapien, BPRD Hell on Earth, Fight Club 2, Frankenstein Underground, Hellboy in Hell, Hellboy and the BPRD, (Dark Horse); Sandman: Overture, Twilight Children (Vertigo/DC), Captain America: White (Marvel), Space Dumplins (Scholastic Graphix)

Best Lettering
• Derf Backderf, Trashed (Abrams)
• Steve Dutro, Blood-C, Midnight Society, Plants vs Zombies (Dark Horse)
• Lucy Knisley, Displacement (Fantagraphics)
• Troy Little, Hunter S. Thompson’s Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas (Top Shelf/IDW)
• Kevin McCloskey, We Dig Worms! (TOON Books)

Best Comics-Related Periodical/Journalism
• Alter Ego, edited by Roy Thomas (TwoMorrows)
• Back Issue, edited by Michael Eury (TwoMorrows)
• Comic Riffs blog by Michael Cavna, washingtonpost.com/news/comic-riffs/
• Hogan’s Alley, edited by Tom Heintjes (Hogan’s Alley)
• Jack Kirby Collector, edited by John Morrow (TwoMorrows)

Best Comics-Related Book
• Harvey Kurtzman: The Man Who Created Mad and Revolutionized Humor in America, by Bill Schelly (Fantagraphics)
• King of the Comics: One Hundred Years of King Features Syndicate, edited by Dean Mullaney (IDW/LOAC)
• Only What’s Necessary: Charles M. Schulz and the Art of Peanuts, by Chip Kidd and Geoff Spear (Abrams ComicArts)
• Out of Line: The Art of Jules Feiffer, by Martha Fay (Abrams ComicArts)
• Will Eisner: Champion of the Graphic Novel, by Paul Levitz (Abrams ComicArts)

Best Academic/Scholarly Work
• The Blacker the Ink: Constructions of Black Identity in Comics and Sequential Art, edited by Frances Gateward and John Jennings (Rutgers)
• Boys Love Manga and Beyond: History, Culture, and Community in Japan, edited by Mark McLelland et al. (University Press of Mississippi)
• Graphic Medicine Manifesto, by M. K. Czerwiec et al. (Penn State University Press)
• Superheroes on World Screens, edited by Rayna Denison and Rachel Mizsei-Ward (University Press of Mississippi)
• Unflattening, by Nick Sousanis (Harvard University Press)

Best Publication Design
• Beyond the Surface, designed by Nicolas André, Sam Arthur, Alex Spiro, and Camille Pichon (Nobrow)
• The Eternaut, designed by Tony Ong (Fantagraphics)
• Eventually Everything Connects, designed by Loris Lora, Sam Arthur, Alex Spiro, and Camille Pichon (Nobrow)
• King of the Comics: One Hundred Years of King Features Syndicate, designed by Dean Mullaney (IDW/LOAC)
• Only What’s Necessary: Charles M. Schulz and the Art of Peanuts, designed by Chip Kidd (Abrams ComicArts)
• Sandman Gallery Edition, designed by Josh Beatman/Brainchild Studios (Graphitti Designs/DC)

Orion T – captain of the Stranger Worlds exploratory vessel and comic book/storytelling enthusiast.

Fun Times at the 2016 Emerald City Comic Con..

IMG_4616

Last weekend, the Emerald City Comic Con happened in much awesome splendor and good times.

Still in the Seattle city, the ECCC took it’s 14th annual turn under the new management of ReedPOP (best known for their New York Comic Con). This was my 4th year in attendance, being happy for much of it. I enjoyed the Exhibit Floor for the most part, with a great choice of local and indie creative talent. But, I wish there was more of a presence by the big comics publishers for show exclusives and signings. Venders were in good supply for those who like comics and toys. Games were very much distant and in a different area, easily missed unless engaged in such activity.

Overall, good fun for those who enjoy the art of browsing and shop. I took some pictures and notes, with favorite highlights featured below..

Invader Zim fans, or Grr and company showing off clever human disguises? ..hmm

IMG_4620

Always a cheer to see a row of artists engaged with fans.

IMG_4622

Star Wars cosplay was big as usual, but now with more Reys and Kylos.

IMG_4600

Comics artist legend Neal Adams, signs an original work of his, Superman Vs. Muhammad Ali

IMG_4624

A favorite thing for this con was the abundance of dirt cheap comics, with much at 10, 25, 50 cents, and 3 for a dollar. Many cheapskates rejoiced in this epic treasure hunt!

IMG_4629

One of the best panels of the show, a live sketch by the artists of popular web-comic Cyanide and Happiness. Most of it was very adult, with heavy bathroom humor, as directed by the audience giving them ideas on what to draw.

IMG_4611

We also got some local Seattle vibes here, with local team spirit on display.  NFL  cornerback Richard Sherman was among the con guests for this year.

IMG_4675

Podcasters are showing more presence at these convention gatherings. Here, I met and discussed Marvel’s Mutants with the hosts of the Jay and Miles X-Plain the X-Men podcast.

IMG_4643

Though a bit in decline, there are still some booths with some awesome Japanese import figurines.

IMG_4654

The Chibi Essense booth, full of fandom and cute craft.

IMG_4653

Author David J. West represented the Illuminati in the much fun “Choose your own Apocalypse” live role-play at the Space Balrogs panel. I have his book now, of which I will enjoy reading soon.

IMG_4663

Old school Spider-Man artist Randy Emebrlin, doing what he does best

IMG_4647

A sampling of the awesome prints, one could buy at this and similar comic cons.

IMG_4625

Fluffy colorful furriness on the Exhibit floor

IMG_4632

Sci-fi author Eric Laster, hiding behind his awesomeness.

IMG_4617

Echoing within the Emerald City, from the Spooky Forest..

IMG_4645

At these comic cons, zombies will never die..

IMG_4628

Famed author Patrick Rothfuss entertains the large crowd for a while..

IMG_4642

Walking Dead (Shane) and Daredevil (Punisher) star Jon Bernthal, mellows out with fans

IMG_4650

I think League of Legends, though not quite sure.

IMG_4614

That’s enough commentary for now. Stay tuned here on SW for another entry on this year’s ECCC show, the cosplay!

– Orion T

(photo credits – taken March 2016 by Orion T for strangerworlds.com..please ask permission and credit the site if sharing elsewhere)

 

Cosplay fun outside the 2016 Sakura Con, Seattle

IMG_4464

Last weekend in Seattle, was a fantastic time for local fans of anime, manga, comics, gaming; to get together and mingle in their colorful attire and fandoms.

That time being of the 2016 SakuraCon, the Pacific Northwest convention for the mostly import Japanese geek culture. Not everyone (including myself) held tickets to join the fun inside. Yet outside and behind the convention floors, plenty of public space under the for attendees and whoever else share interest. The cherry blossom trees still had much bloom left after the recent harsh weather, to give that extra special atmosphere.

I did mingle for much of the day, seeing friends new and old. While here, I took pictures of some highlights I noticed, with notes from observations..

..

Saturday was best for the most part giving daylight and light to the cheerful gathering..

IMG_4464

A yearly tradition continues here, involving a large hug circle game.

IMG_4467

The Naruto fandom still remains strong, and  very colorful.

IMG_4456

From Final Fantasy X,  Yuna and Tidus share an awkward laugh

IMG_4451

The cast of the popular Five Nights at Freddys horror game. I’m a bit surprised at its popularity.

IMG_4448

A Malboro creature from the Final Fantasy games. Watch out for it’s poison gas attacks!

IMG_4458

Not sure what this is from, but thought it was cool.

IMG_4445

Ganandorf (not sure, haven’t really played those games) selfies with many Links!

IMG_4443

Links on guard!

IMG_4429

Steven Universe, I was told..

IMG_4441

Megamind in real life!

IMG_4442

Morphing time against Predating time!

IMG_4462

Fantastic Rage of Bahamut presence

IMG_4428

Time for some J-Pop style dancing!

IMG_4431

Homestuck fans gathered up.

IMG_4466

Nintendo Power!

IMG_4427

The closing of a hug circle.

IMG_4439

Mercy from Overwatch.

IMG_4459

Porco Russo takes a break

IMG_4460

Alphonse Elric shows us the real person inside

IMG_4461

Vi from League of Legends is ready to bring the pain

IMG_4454

Some Pokémon, reminding you need to catch them all!

IMG_4446

From Naruto, much later in the series I am told..

IMG_4463

Not sure who this is, but I love the colorful colorness

IMG_4447

No-Face chills..

IMG_4465

That’s all for this year!

Orion T

All pictures taken by me (Orion Tippens), please ask permission and give source credit to strangerworlds.com before sharing elsewhere