This year was a massive year for comic books. We saw a huge surge in creator owned original content and a massive draw to companies like Image and Boom for their original ideas. The big companies saw changes in their demographics and began to change how they view superheroes like Kamala Khan as Ms Marvel, Batgirl and Captain Marvel.
The rise of the superhero hollywood blockbusters bought new people of all ages into comic book stores, eager to learn and join in the fun. Guardians of the Galaxy proved that people want new superheroes to look up to and that taking a chance on the lesser known can pay off.
There have been so many fantastic new series starting up which saw my wallet take a beating, but it was all worth it when you see just how many fantastic comics we read this year.
2014 Best Comics Of The Year: Runners Up
Our Super Adventure- Sarah Graley
I still remember the day Liam ran into the lounge room and announced he had found a comic I would love. He dragged me over to the laptop and introduced me to the world of Sarah Graley. I fell head over heals for her honest and funny life observations and purchased every piece of work I could get my hands on, My fave thing she released this year was book 3 of Our Secret Adventure. An autobiographical comic about Sarah, her boyfriend, cats and her love of butts. It was so adorable and I have read it so much that my copy is now quite worn out. Sarah is currently writing an epic fantasy tale called Rent Quest which is totally different than Our Super Adventure and just as adorable.
A totally independent comic- If you'd like to read it for yourself head to Sarahgraley.com
Deadly Class- Rick Remender and Wes Craig
It's easy to get a little disoriented when the name Rick Remender is brought up. Every second marvel book on the shelf is written by the man and with new creator owned books from image hitting the shelf every month, it can all be a little too much to handle.
It was to my surprise when I picked up Deadly Class, that his writing was never thin, this book is a superbly crafted schizophrenic trip through 80's America which seems to blossom that much more with each entry. Centering around Marcus, a homeless youth who's enrolled in a mysterious school for murderous teenage assassins, you'd be quick to write this off as goofy fun. What Deadly Class delivers is a book of alienation, depression and just what it means to be a misfit and forgotten by fellow human beings. Full of raw emotion and sporadic bursts of extreme violence, Deadly Class is a book which surprises as much as it entertains.
Ms Marvel- G Willow Wilson and Adrian Alphona
This was a groundbreaking comic for so many reasons. The first Muslim American to headline a comic book, Ms Marvel tells the story of Kamala Khan. Just your average teenage girl trying to deal with friends, school, family and religion then BAM! She is hit with inhuman powers of stretching and strength. At first Kamala feels she needs to dress up as the blond Ms Marvel to be who she needs to be, but slowly learns that Kamala is rad the way she is. Adrian Alphona's art stood out from the bland superhero cliches that fill comic book shelves giving her more detail and a very unique look. I loved every moment of Ms Marvel and feel that is not only a great comic but one that will change comics for the better.
Fade Out- Ed Brubaker and Sean Phillips
The Fade Out. Hot off their success with the critically acclaimed Fatale, Ed Brubaker & Sean Phillips surprised us with yet another perfectly crafted noir gem. This time set in 40's Hollywood, the story traverses the ins and outs of an industry where drugs, violence and sex were everyday norms and studio politics were sometimes the difference between life and death on camera. These players were seen as gods walking among mere mortals and Brubaker is quick to rip it to shreds with the beautifully rich art by Philips which complements each curl of the lip or raise of an eyebrow. If a brilliant story and stunning art wasn't enough for you, in true Brubaker style, he's rounded up some industry professionals who round out each issue with an essay from a rage of topics like the fall of Fatty Arbuckle which resonated a certain melancholy which mirrored the story so perfectly.
These two are at the top of their game and if you fancy a bit of melodrama, shaken in a cocktail of 40's hollywood, sex, drugs and mystery, there's no going past this book.
And now without further delay here are our picks for top 3 comics of the year as well as best cover art and biggest disappointment.
2014 has been such a massive year for comics. What was your favourite comic for the year? I am so excited for the surge of retro comics like Jem, Bill and Ted and Miami Vice set to hit shelves in 2015. What are you excited for?