Halfway through January and finally we are releasing our final best of list for 2014. With so many great titles that the industry has been pumping out, it was a bit challenging to finalize this particular list. What I believe we have captured here are some of the best written, best illustrated graphic novels, not just of last year, but the years preceding as well. Here it is…finally, our choices for the Best Ongoing Comics of 2014. So say we all!
10. Black Science (Image Comics) – Stephen Poferl writes, “Too many (Image) books to choose from here. This was a real banner year for Image Comics, but ultimately Rick Remender really cut his teeth on future science fiction with his tale of fear and adventure.”
9. Rachel Rising (Abstract Studio) – The little comic that could, Rachel Rising is probably the best comic out there that you’re not reading. Admittedly, like many others I jumped on this series late, but have been impressed with the complex characters and the world that Terry Moore (creator/writer/illustrator) has created about this fascinating and tragic tale of a girl trying to solve her own murder.
8. Deadly Class (Image Comics) – Stephen Poferl writes, “This was such a close call, but I had to go with my gut. I asked myself “What universe would I want to live in the most?” A school for assassins was just too good to pass up. Congrats Image, you have all my money.”
7. Alex + Ada (Image Comics) – One of our best reviewed comics of 2014 was the Jonathan Luna & Sarah Vaughn series, Alex + Ada, the groundbreaking new comic about android romance and so much more. Stephen Poferl says, “this is a story of retribution, and justice. This is a story of the human condition and a telling of the heart in all its intricacies.” Thanks Stephen for turning me on to one of the most rewarding comics I read last year.
6. Hexed (BOOM! Studios) – Between the gorgeous art from Dan Mora, the amazing covers from Emma Rios, and the deeply imaginative writing from Michael Alan Nelson, Hexed from BOOM! Studios gets a well-deserved spot on our top ongoing list. Stephen Poferl calls Hexed “the next great thing in comics! Inter-dimensional art-hopping magic-based thievery…with dragons. This book is…well, it’s basically the most original take on magic/occult themes I’ve read since…anything.”
5. Sex Criminals (Image Comics) – Last year this series was named Time Magazine’s Top Comic of 2013. This year it comes in at #5 on the Geek Sushi best ongoing list. Matt and Chip just need to work harder.
4. The Sixth Gun – (Oni Press) – One of the best overall/ongoing comics for nearly five years now, the creative team of Cullen Bunn, Brian Hurtt, and Bill Crabtree continue to deliver one of the most amazing multigenre stories I have ever had the fortune of reading. Part western, part horror, part fantasy adventure, The Sixth Gun is entering its final arc in what has been one of the most remarkable runs in recent memory.
3. Rat Queens (Image Comics) – Kara Ligon writes, “Where the Hell does one start with Rat Queens! Roc Upchurch’s amazing and intriguing character design with Kurtis Wiebe’s witty writing made this series an instant hit. With hilarious and relatable characters that make you want to give the world the middle finger while guzzling down a six-pack and eating all the candy, this is definitely one of the best ongoing comics out there.
2. Saga (Image Comics) – Well with arguably the best writer and best artist over the last few years, Brian K. Vaughan and Fiona Staples epic series SAGA continues to build a legacy with comic book fans, while winning over many new fans outside of the comic book spectrum. A critical and sales success, this series which is often described as a space opera, is simply one of the finest works of science fiction we have ever seen in any medium.
1. Afterlife With Archie (Archie Comics) – This is it. This is the comic that changed everything. This is the comic that changed everything you thought you knew about Archie Comics. Easily the best horror comic I read last year, what separates this series from the others is the familiarity readers have with the cast of characters, thanks to the creative team. With his smart and edgy writing, Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa is reshaping the Archie universe in this series, in a manner that many did not believe could be or would be done. Francesco Francavilla has stamped the Riverdale gang with his unique pulpy touch, with illustrations that are both dark and glorious. Best comic book of 2014, period!