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 Writer of 2017 right here:
Jordie Bellaire has been all over the #1 Comics charts for years, as one of the most accomplished colorists in the industry. Did I list her in the wrong category? Nope! Jordie Bellaire is exercising her literary skills with a new self-published comic, Redlands. Redlands is full of witches, magic, mystery and murder. Bellaire doesn’t follow any known path to getting this story out. The twists and turns are unexpected and refreshingly innovative. Jump into this strange world she has created with the perfect team- including herself on colors, obviously (why wouldn’t you hire the best?).
Runners-Up: Cullen Bunn, Tini Howard, Chip Zdarsky
Gillman’s run on Steven Universe not only brings out the best of that world, but it expands it. Their ability to capitalize on the emotional relationships between characters and to draw out queer elements made this series one of the absolute best I’ve read this year or really ever.
Runners-Up: Gabby Rivera, David F. Walker, Steve Orlando
Tom King has had an amazing run to begin his comics career over the past few years, but 2017 is when he cemented his spot as the best writer in all of comics.
After a slow start to his run in 2016 King has taken comic’s most popular character to new heights over the course of his second year writing Batman. He made fans believe in the love of Bruce Wayne and Selina Kyle, and in doing so helped create one of the greatest Annual issues comics has ever seen. Somehow he turned an issue featuring Batman meeting Elmer Fudd into one of the best single issues of the year. He wrote two of the best Swamp Thing stories in recent memory. He has taken a cult favorite character in Mister Miracle and turned the escape artist’s solo series into the best comic being published right now. The prolific writer ended the year with a two issue story featuring arguably the best look at the Batman/Superman relationship. The man did it all in 2017.
He works with some of the best artists in the business today, and somehow makes them even better through his scripts. Nobody came close to Tom King this year when taking into consideration the combination of quantity and quality of his 2017 output. If next year is half as good as this year was for King there might not be any competition for this spot on 2018’s list.
Runners-Up: Al Ewing, Matt Rosenberg, Jason Aaron, Gerry Duggan
Fabian Rangel Jr.
Fabian didn’t just have issue or series that was amazing, fun, and interesting, he had multiple projects come out this year that met that criteria. His work was diverse, creative and each was as good as the other. There was is a simplicity in his writing that makes even the exotic feel as if it was just part of everyday life. This makes it easy for the reader to experience the story as if it were their own. Helena Crash, Space Riders, Nam Wolf, Blood Brothers all came from the same mind: amazing.
Runners-Up: Tini Howard, Tom King, Greg Rucka
Jason Aaron repeats in this spot for me in 2017. His output doesn’t seem quite as prolific as it has in recent years, but he really did crank out a lot of work, including the 1,000,000 BC Avengers in the Marvel Legacy one-shot. I’m itching to read more of that squad, and, honestly, would take a limited series of those characters written by Aaron over most of the ongoings spurred by that one-shot comic. Additionally, Aaron brought his work on Star Wars to a close, and also wrapped up his run on Doctor Strange, but he’s still going strong on Mighty Thor, and even reminded readers that Southern Bastards and The Goddamned are worth waiting for.
Runners-Up: Tom Taylor, Priest, Jeff Parker, Jeff Lemire
Last year, I wrote up how King’s Trilogy of Best Intentions (The Omega Men, Sheriff of Babylon, and The Vision) undermined people’s sense of normalcy and dove deep into the ideas of colonization and corruption. Long before that, I was opining on the disruption of the male gaze in his work with Tim Seeley on Grayson.
Today, I am marveling in King’s treatment of anger, suicide, and trauma in Mister Miracle and Batman. King’s deft handling of the psyche of both Scott Free and Bruce Wayne, combined with an absolutely stunning sense of pacing and mood, propelled the writer to the top of my read pile nearly every week in 2017.
The webcomic Check, Please has become a fan favorite among queer readers and the Year Two collection was released this year via a Kickstarter Campaign. This comics is the story of Eric “Bitty” Bittle’s four years at Samwell University. Bitty loves figure skating, baking and vlogging. Although he seems an unlikely fit for the hockey team at first, Bitty quickly makes friends and embarks on a romance with a teammate. The endearing characters and fun story make this a memorable book that I’m always eager to come back to with each installment.
Royal City is one of the best books on the stands right now, and Jeff Lemire continues to bring variety and creativity to his work. Lemire spent more time at the artist’s table this year between Royal City and his collaboration with Scott Snyder, A.D: After Death, and it has only increased his storytelling skill. Putting creator-owned works as different as Descender and Royal City on the shelves seals the deal.
Runners-Up: Dan Jurgens, Tom King
I’d be tempted to give this nod to Tom King just for Mister Miracle, I’ve loved it that much, but he’s even written other things, like this little ditty called Batman! And not only that, he’s changed the dynamic of a 75+ year old character in that little ditty in an organic, brilliant way that I have loved reading every page of! Oh, did I mention Mister Miracle?
I’ll stop being an ass now. Anything with Tom King’s name on it is an instant buy. I have devoured everything he’s worked on this year and he has absolutely nailed it with every bit of his creative output in 2017.
Runners-Up: Jason Aaron, Jody Houser