My first Best Comics of 2015 list begins with the best Limited or Mini-Series books of the year. There were some that came out this year that were great; however I felt it more appropriate to leave them off because based on the amount of issues put out this year. The following titles all ended in 2015, and stood out from the rest!
5. Airboy (Image Comics)– Vulgar, graphic, offensive, hilarious, honest. This comic about a comic was in your face and not without controversy. Probably one of my most eagerly anticipated comics of 2015, Airboy did not disappoint. A cross between Kaufman’s Adaptation and Seinfeld, James Robinson writes both himself and Greg Hinkle into the script and explores the not so glamorous side of the creative process.
4. Curb Stomp (BOOM! Studios) – This four issue series about an all-female gang was about so much more than that. It contained personal stories about family, home, and how your socioeconomic status can present real obstacles in your life. The art from Devaki Neogi was remarkable and made quite an impression with her character depictions. Ryan Ferrier (D4VE) is an exceptional talent and brings us one of the best-told gang dramas in quite some time.
3. Hacktivist Vol. 2 (Archaia) – The script in this series contains some of the most intelligently placed tech references, also accompanied by well-timed socially relevant topics, kudos to Jackson Lanzing and Collin Kelly for expanding on that with great drama and action. Marcus To delivers beautiful illustrations, which is backed up by the strong coloring team of Ian Herring and Beck Kenzie. As splendid of a collaborative team that is assembled here, Hacktivist would not be possible without the imagination of Alyssa Milano, who deserves some serious comic street cred for both volumes now!
2. We Stand On Guard (Image Comics) – Readers can rest assured that any comic that Brian K. Vaughan puts out will contain compelling and brilliant story-telling. As usual he delivers once again with this war story about the U.S. invasion of Canada set over a hundred years from current time. Vaughan draws us in with a believable synopsis (allegedly the U.S. is after their northern neighbors water resources), and surrounds this with powerful emotion, intense action, and relevant political issues. The writing alone makes this one of the year’s best, the art team just strengthens the overall collaborative effort. Already one of the best colorist in the business, Matt Hollingsworth is joined by Steve Skroce who absolutely brings this story to life! His detailed illustrations are truly majestic and he definitely has put himself on the map with this series (if he hadn’t already before).
1. Brides of Helheim (Oni Press) – Easily the best fantasy comic of 2015, Brides of Helheim from Cullen Bunn and Joelle Jones is my pick for Best Mini-Series of 2015! Why this comic doesn’t receive the recognition I believe it deserves is beyond me. BOH was actually on my 2014 list but was only halfway through the series. The way Bunn and Jones closed out the series truly blew my mind. Jones and her amazing work is the reason I turned my attention to this Helheim franchise, and her ability to capture both rare beauty and horrific violence in her illustrations to me is the definitive way a fantasy comic should be drawn. Nick Filardi is the ultimate compliment to Jones, delivering an impressive coloring scheme in all six issues. I knew I was going to enjoy this series because of Bunn, but this script not only exceeded my expectations, it elevated them to new levels after every issue. Bunn has a smart and uncanny approach to story-telling with a tremendous aptitude for horror and fantasy, and deserves the recognition of one of the best writers of comics out there right now.