2017, you were a… year. In and amongst some arduous times, to say the least, were some amazing comic book experiences. The team at Comicosity are talking about the best of the best in the year that was, including:
- Best Colourist
- Best Editor
- Best Letterer
- Best Artist
- Best Writer
- Best Graphic Novel
- Best Single Issue
- Best Series
We continue with the Best Artist of 2017 right here:
Alison Sampson is easily my first choice for best artist of 2017. Winnebago Graveyard was a masterpiece, but without her artistic edge and involvement in the story, it would be a sparse, empty world devoid of the magic and horror her art embodies.
Her architectural background shines through on every page, with heavy shadows, intricate linework, and cinematic angles. The most intriguing aspect of her art on this book is her innovative panel arrangement. The grid goes out the window, and every page is a geometric journey through a new facet of the story. I hope to see much more of Her work throughout the next few years.
Most importantly, she chose to use this comic to hi-light the work of other artists. Each issue includes pin ups and extra art from a diverse array of artists, and she doesn’t miss a chance to compliment her creative team.
Runners-Up: Tess Fowler, Danny Luckert
I almost have no words. Jones’ art is truly stunning and I love how characters are rendered under her style. What more is there to say besides I want her to draw my life?
Runners-Up: Jonas Goonface, Katy Farina
If Tom King was my pick for Best Writer (he was) there’s no way that i was going to leave off his partner in crime Mitch Gerards. King and Gerads are as close to a creative match made in Heaven as possible in comic books. Their collaboration started a few years back with The Sheriff Of Babylon and continued into this year with the best 2017 of any creative team. Whether it was Gerads’ work on the best comic currently being published in Mister Miracle, or his amazing few issues of Batman that started the year, Gerads showed the larger comic community what some of us have known for awhile; that he is one of the best artists working today. Whether it’s a comic full of action or a quiet issue with talking heads, he is able to capture and convey emotion better than just about anybody. Just compare the beauty of the Rooftops arc in Batman #14 and #15 to the emotionally intense Mister Miracle #4. The issues couldn’t be more different in tone, but they both make the readers feel and feel hard. To me that ability to make readers feel through the art no matter the subject is what separates the best artists from good ones. Mitch Gerads is a great artist.
Runner-Up: Russell Dauterman
Caitlin is able to very easily capture the best artist award this year. Her work on Coyotes is beautiful and keeps me going back to look at it again and again. She has naturally captured the gestures of the human body in each panel which is so pleasing to the eye. When you combine that with stunning cover work there is just no topping her talent. Her costume and character design in some of the best I’ve seen this year as well. Her work breathes life into the world of the story she is illustrating. It’s exciting to think of what she will create next.
Runners-Up: Jöelle Jones, Sana Takeda, Tyler Jenkins
Nick Derington not only knocks it out of the park in every issue of Doom Patrol, he has also shifted to be the primary cover artist for that series. Additionally, he is the cover artist for Mister Miracle, giving Mister Miracle series artist Mitch Gerads a run for his money. Derington edged out all challengers in this category for me, however, with his warm-ups, cool-downs, commissions, and doodles that he shares on Twitter. He has a real love for all things Jack Kirby and more things Batman, and it shows through in his tweets. Here’s hoping we get a solid year of Doom Patrol in 2018 and that Derington continues to fill his feed with things that don’t quite fit under the Doom Patrol logo.
Runners-Up: Bilquis Evely, Mike Del Mundo, Greg Smallwood, Mitch Gerads
The current Mighty Thor series is a continuation of the Thor series in which Jane Foster became the Goddess of Thunder. The series has been wonderful to read throughout, not least due to the stunning artwork by Russell Dauterman. A series like Thor requires artwork of multiple realms and various characters of mythological species. Dauterman’s art is always impressive, both for the characters and the settings. From the close conversations between characters to the epic battle scenes, the characters feelings and the context of the situation come across on the page very effectively. Opening an issue of this series is a treat from page one.
Underwinter is a fantastic work in which Fawkes continues to advance his storytelling skills through painted art. I usually reserve my ‘best of’ slots for creators who turn in a variety of work over the year, but Fawkes’ narrow body of work just stood out too much to ignore. His work continues to be a must-read for me, and I’ve starting putting a couple of bucks to his Patreon to keep the coffee flowing and the paintbrush moving.
Runners-Up: Phil Noto, Jeff Lemire
Last year, Sharp narrowly lost out on my Best of 2016 to comrade-in-inks Nicola Scott for her 6-issue run on Wonder Woman Year One. 12 issues of outstandingly intricate and moving depictions of Princess Diana and her environments later, and Liam Sharp stands tall as the finest artist in comics in 2017. From his heartbreaking take on the Barbara Ann, the Cheetah, to the classic beauty and strength he endows in the exiled Amazon Princess, Sharp’s craft is utterly magnificent and that he returns from whence he came in early 2018 with a Batman/Wonder Woman project only means we will get to see the master hone his skill even further.
In a year filled with fabulous art from fabulous artists, Mitch Gerads work made me feel. His work in Mister Miracle has made me feel stress, uneasiness, rage, happiness, and every emotion between, and that’s without even thinking about his brilliant work on Batman #23, featuring the best Swamp Thing I’ve seen in a very long time. His page designs and techniques are so unique and evocative that any comic featuring his name has become an “instant read” for me.
Runners-Up: Russell Dauterman, Christian Ward, Jöelle Jones