The year is winding to a close, which got us to thinking…what were the best comics of the year? The Comicosity staff has gathered and submitted their top picks of 2015, today being Best Colourist:
The Wicked + The Divine, Phonogram, Thor, Daredevil
Matt Wilson elevates the work of everyone he touches. McKelvie, Dauterman, Samnee — they all look better because of him. It’s not just his pop palettes. It’s his gift for working with an artist to add the right accent or affect to the layout. He’s doing the best work of his career on The Wicked + The Divine — the Woden Re-Mix issue, the introduction of Dionysus — but it doesn’t stop there. Wilson ably picked up Javier Rodriguez’s baton in 2014 and helped Mark Waid and Chris Samnee stick their West Coast landing, right through to the final issue. He and Russell Dauterman together deliver an Asgard and a Thor that feels solid while still fantastical — not just any person can render a good Bifrost. Before Comicosity’s editorial team added the Best Colourist category this year, I was going to select Matt Wilson for the Best Artist category. As I type, I’m still considering it. May 2016 bring more fantastic work from him.
Runner-Up: Jordie Bellaire (Injection, Pretty Deadly)
Thor, The Wicked + The Divine, Phonogram, Paper Girls
Matt Wilson has colored so many of the books I love, even if they didn’t quite make it to the Best Of lists. He’s one of the most consistent and adaptive colorists around. His work on Thor has been breathtaking. His colors with Jamie McKelvie art (in double doses!) on The Wicked + The Divine and Phonogram is out of this world. More recently, I’ve really enjoyed what he adds to Cliff Chiang in Paper Girls and his previous work with Chiang on Wonder Woman. Wilson really knows how to make scenes pop without overdoing it, and his gorgeous coloring is always a treat.
Runners-Up: Lee Loughridge, Jordie Bellaire, Tamra Bonvillain
A monster comic like no other, Enormous is the story of humans struggling for survival following a ecological apocalypse. Cheggour is artist and colourist on this addictive and beautiful series. His use of highlight colour in volume 2 brings the artwork to a whole different level.
Runner-Up: Phil Noto (Black Widow, Chewbacca, covers for various publishers)
Wytches, Suiciders, We Stand On Guard, Tokyo Ghost
Matt Hollingsworth has provided depth and dimension to some of my favorite comic artists on some of my favorite comic titles of this year. His work alone on Suiciders might have been enough to sway the vote for me, but then you look at his incredible ability to bring the style of each comic series. His color sensibility dramatically enhances his artists and showcase the variety of different aesthetics of whom collaborates with – from Bermejo, to Murphy, to Skroce — he boosts his notoriety as one of the best in my book.
Runner-Up: Rico Renzi (Spider-Gwen, Unbeatable Squirrel Girl, Howard the Duck, FBP)
Daredevil, Thor, The Wicked + The Divine, Paper Girls, A-Force
Not only was Matt Wilson the best color artist in 2015, but he may have very well been the best artist period. Wait? What!? A colorist as my pick for artist of the year? Yep. There came a point when I looked at all of these great looking comics, and realized that Matthew Wilson is the common denominator. Wilson has helped make the work of some of the best artists in comics today the best it can be. His work on WicDiv is some of the best color art in the history of the medium. The tone of Paper Girls is set by Wilson’s palette. Samnee’s classic take on Daredevil pops off the page because of Wilson. The only consistency in Wilson’s style is that it always looks great. The way he is able to adjust to every series, and give each their own needed touch is second to none. I thought long, and hard about this, and no art blew me away as consistently in 2015 quite like the color art of Matthew Wilson. I’m sure if you ask any of his collaborators, they’ll agree.
Black Canary, Catwoman, Doctor Fate
A lot of colourists in the business of comics today are all about volume and depth and creating a sense of texture. That’s not Loughridge. Fully focused on developing colour palettes that are going to make pencil and ink jump off the page, regardless of dimensionality, the colourist brings his distinctive branding to some of DC’s most interesting and off-beat books today. And every last one of them wouldn’t be what they are without his finishing touch.
Runners-Up: Serge Lapointe and Msassyk (Gotham Academy, Batgirl)
Oh, what a mood FCO Plascencia can set. Greg Capullo gets a lot of credit for the storytelling in the artwork of Batman, but FCO Plascencia is not a contributor to be overlooked. His exceptional colour work during Endgame and the new “Gordon” era took good art and make it exceptional art, giving Batman an excellent, moody feel at all the appropriate time. The Joker, in particular is coloured very well by Plascencia and this year showed how well he can flex his colour muscle.
Runners-Up: Jordie Bellaire (The Autumnlands), Matthew Wilson (Thor)
Don’t miss the rest of the best of 2015: