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Dec 18

The Homies 2012

Posted on Tuesday, December 18, 2012 by Al in Podcast

As we’re about to hit the end of the year, we’re thinking about our next episode, which will be our end-of-year wrap-up. As part of this, we’re going to be inaugurating House to Astonish’s own awards – the Homies – where we’re going to hand out gongs in eight categories. The best part is, we want YOU to help – Paul and I are each going to select our winners in the following categories, but we’re also going to read out what our listeners think on the next episode. So check out the categories below, and let us know who or what you’d award each glittering prize to if you were us!

BEST NEW SERIES

This one’s pretty self-explanatory – any comic whose first issue was published between 1 January 2012 and the date of broadcast (likely to be the 29th or 30th of December) is eligible. What new series got your attention the most this year?

BEST ACTUALLY NEW SERIES

This one’s a little less self-explanatory – what series, again first published between 1 January and date of broadcast, did you think was best, with the proviso that it has to be something where the property wasn’t in existence prior to the start of 2012. We’re counting re-use of titles as well as concepts, so Prophet, X-Men Legacy or Dial H wouldn’t be eligible, but (for example) Saga would.

MOST WANTED

This is for the comic, series or graphic novel that saw print this year which you’d want to see more of, whether that be a book that was cancelled before its time, a one-shot or mini that just begs for a follow-up, or an OGN that you’d love to see a sequel to.

MOST PLEASANT SURPRISE

It may have seemed unappealing when you read about it online, and those preview pages may have looked unremarkable, but when you finally got the winner of this category in your hands you were ready to eat your words. What comic, series or graphic novel did you find yourself enjoying much more than you thought you would?

STIFF DRINK AWARD

This award will go to the comic or graphic novel that most made us gasp with surprise – an unexpected plot twist, a daring cliffhanger or a shocking denouement will stand a book in good stead here.

THE JOE CHILL AWARD FOR SERVICES TO REFRIGERATORS

Here we’re looking for the most egregious example of bad gender relations in the comics world, whether that’s a disservice done to female characters or to a female creator(s) or participant(s) in comics fandom.

THE NEW COKE AWARD FOR MOST ILL-JUDGED MARKETING

What move did a comics company or creator make this calendar year that had the effect of most making you want not to read a particular book or buy a particular company’s comics? We’re looking for abrasive interviews, ridiculous variants and counterproductive advertising here.

OUTSTANDING ACHIEVEMENT

This is exactly what it says – which creator, creative team or publisher really knocked it out of the park this year?

Let us have your picks in the comments thread below, along with your thinking on each one – we’ll read out a range of the responses on our big end-of-year show. Happy nominating!

Bring on the comments

  1. ferris says:

    @Paul F: Hadn’t seen that, great news, cheers!

  2. Paul C says:

    BEST NEW SERIES: Hawkeye
    I initially shrugged my shoulders at it but the preview pages sold me. Then when I read through a full issue, I was just in amazement at how good it was. So good that Fraction is in danger of all his future titles being considered disappointing because he has set the bar so high for himself. Plus the art is just beautiful, the minimalist style means that for this book less really is more. Also in an era of decompression and writing-for-the-trade it is so refreshing to see one and two part stories that are full of depth.

    BEST ACTUALLY NEW SERIES: Fatale
    Brubaker & Phillips. That’s really all you need to say to me and it is an automatic purchase. They could work on a takeaway menu or the phone book and I would buy it. I just love how they craft the ‘world’ that the book takes place in. The only thing wrong with the title is that it is preventing them from doing more Criminal or Incognito.

    MOST WANTED: Avengers Academy
    That a book whose main characters were all completely new could run for 40 issues and about 3 years is a testament to Christos Gage.

    MOST PLEASANT SURPRISE: Hawkeye

    STIFF DRINK AWARD: Any of the Loki/Leah stuff from Journey Into Mystery, and the final issue of that run. I would say though in particular the “handmaiden” scene, which felt like a proper punch to the gut.

    THE JOE CHILL AWARD FOR SERVICES TO REFRIGERATORS: Tony Harris

    THE NEW COKE AWARD FOR MOST ILL-JUDGED MARKETING: Marvel
    -Double shipping 20-page $3.99 comics
    -Continuing with their ridiculous 0.1 books (Amazing Spider-Man 699.1, seriously what’s the point?)
    -Relaunching the cosmic books with a major promotional push (“Yesss!”)…written by Bendis & Loeb (“Noooo!”)
    -Failure to make any real effort to get in new readers and instead are content to fleece their existing customers

    OUTSTANDING ACHIEVEMENT: Tie between Daredevil and Kieron Gillen’s run on JIM.
    -Waid has crafted a book that is quite light & breezy but at the same time having the depth to be quite dark. Some of the parts of this recent Coyote storyline have been quite disturbing. The book has had a couple of artists but they have all maintained the same tonal style which makes it a gorgeous comic. It can’t be emphasised enough what a consistently high-quality book this is.
    -Gillen’s over-arching story was the sort of thing that just shouldn’t have worked. He had to juggle crossovers and events along with a relatively new character, but his work developing Kid Loki was just great. You know from history deep down that Loki is a bit of a bastard, but he was written with such a mischievous charm that made him so likeable. It is a run that will probably get better on repeat readings as you fully can appreciate how all of Loki’s deals and general shenanigans came full-circle. Plus it gave us the wonderfully absurd Fear Gods board game.

  3. ASV says:

    Rather than just renominate Hawkeye and Saga, I’ll start with a couple that I think are pretty strongly underrated.

    BEST NEW SERIES

    Conan the Barbarian – I haven’t had much past exposure to Conan, but what I have seen doesn’t hold a candle to Brian Wood’s grounded, character- and relationship-driven series. It’s quickly become something I look forward to and don’t wait to read. I actually think it’s better than The Massive, though I do like that quite a bit, too.

    BEST ACTUALLY NEW SERIES

    Saucer Country – Like most such instances, I can’t stand how campaign strategy and communication is portrayed, but the book is fun and compelling in a way that harkens back to old Vertigo.

    MOST WANTED

    Defenders – Fraction’s big-ticket Marvel stuff has mostly been terrible, whereas his weird Marvel stuff has mostly been excellent. I’m hoping FF picks up the energy that Defenders had, though I fear the 70s-era mock blurbs at the bottom of the page won’t make the jump.

    MOST PLEASANT SURPRISE

    AvX Consequences was much better than it had any right to be, and made a nice swan song to Gillen’s Uncanny run.

    STIFF DRINK AWARD

    The swerve in the middle of Avengers vs. X-Men was quite well done. Of course, by the end of the next issue or so it turned out the stiff drink was vinegar.

    THE JOE CHILL AWARD FOR SERVICES TO REFRIGERATORS

    No idea. This is one of the reasons I mostly avoid comics culture and marketing.

    THE NEW COKE AWARD FOR MOST ILL-JUDGED MARKETING

    See above. I’ll nominate the entirety of Marvel Now! (promotion-wise) for this.

    OUTSTANDING ACHIEVEMENT

    I’ve been really impressed by the Valiant relaunch. The fact that they’re about to dive back into crossovers is a little distressing, as each book has its own little thing going quite well, but that’s comics.

  4. BringTheNoise says:

    -Double shipping 20-page $3.99 comics

    Absolutely excellent point. I read and quite enjoyed the first three issues of All New X-Men but when I saw #4 on the shelves already this week, I just passed it over. It’s too much money, too often to justify. I might get the trades, but that depends a lot on reviews.

  5. Adam says:

    BEST NEW SERIES: Locke & Key: Omega, the last miniseries in the story line.

    BEST ACTUALLY NEW SERIES: Saga

    MOST WANTED: More Battlefields from Garth Ennis and his partners. I’m always worried this’ll be the last.

    MOST PLEASANT SURPRISE: Eh, pass. I do my best not to buy anything I don’t think I’m going to enjoy, so my comics are either as good as I hoped or disappointments.

    STIFF DRINK AWARD: The demonic possession of Dodge and the traumatizing/murder of most of his friends in LOCKE & KEY: CLOCKWORKS #4-6.

    THE JOE CHILL AWARD FOR SERVICES TO REFRIGERATORS: There were several impressive displays, but I’m not sure any strike me as being the absolutely most egregious.

    THE NEW COKE AWARD FOR MOST ILL-JUDGED MARKETING: This easily goes to Jennifer De Guzman for her press release about second orders.

    OUTSTANDING ACHIEVEMENT: Joe Hill and his partner for LOCKE & KEY. A great story is an emotional experience, not just technically well-executed, etc., and that’s LOCKE & KEY this year.

  6. Suzene says:

    BEST NEW SERIES

    Saga. Utterly and completely floored me with how quickly it got me to care about each and every one of the primary cast.

    BEST ACTUALLY NEW SERIES

    See above.

    MOST WANTED

    Avengers Academy. Not only do I miss the book for itself, but the follow-up just seems so unfair.

    MOST PLEASANT SURPRISE

    Storm Dogs. I was expecting to enjoy this, but Hine’s world-building and the art really sank their hooks in.

    STIFF DRINK AWARD

    Toni Chew’s death in Chew #30. In a thousand years of reading, I’d have never thought Layman would go there. I never in a million years would have guessed he could go there without making it read as a fridging, but he pulled it off — it was never Toni’s helplessness on display, but her cunning and defiance, up to the last moment (which may not even be a last as far as these things go). Stunning in every sense of the word.

    THE JOE CHILL AWARD FOR SERVICES TO REFRIGERATORS

    And, as usual, I’ve got a laundry list of these. Tony Harris’ crap rant about fake fangirls for IRL bullcrap; the treatment of Aurora and Heather Hudson in the Van Lente/Pak Alpha Flight series for crap that happened on the page.

    THE NEW COKE AWARD FOR MOST ILL-JUDGED MARKETING

    Every move that DC has made in the last 12 months, really. The most recent debacle with Gail Simone stands out most, but at least it seems to be working out for her.

    OUTSTANDING ACHIEVEMENT

    That Robert Kirkman and Charlie Adlard got a black and white zombie comic to the number one spot on the charts, bulldozing over anything Marvel and DC had to offer, was an astonishing and, IMO, extremely hopeful event. There’s an audience for comics out there, all the audience needs is a proper gateway.

  7. Lonnrot says:

    You know, if you’re going to post spoilers, you could at least include some sort of warning.

  8. Si says:

    “Also in an era of decompression and writing-for-the-trade it is so refreshing to see one and two part stories that are full of depth.”

    That’s something that’s not mentioned often about Hawkeye. The comic takes a really long time to read. Not only is there often a lot of (tiny) panels to go through, but you just have to sit back and absorb it, then reread bits because they’re so cool. You really get your money’s worth. Mr Aja is something special.

    “Saucer Country – Like most such instances, I can’t stand how campaign strategy and communication is portrayed, but the book is fun and compelling in a way that harkens back to old Vertigo.”

    Yeah it’s a good story. I’m intrigued as to what the aliens are. I’m going with some kind of Jungian group conscience that is basically us manipulating us. I fear the story will go a very long time with no answer though.

    “You know, if you’re going to post spoilers, you could at least include some sort of warning.”

    Good point. I twisted my nomination for “biggest surprise” like a superheroine on a splash page to avoid giving anything away. But then again, knowing people are going to talk about big reveals in stories should be all the spoiler alert you need.

  9. Master Mahan says:

    BEST ACTUALLY NEW SERIES:

    Honestly, there’s not a lot of competition for Saga here.

    THE JOE CHILL AWARD FOR SERVICES TO REFRIGERATORS:

    I have two nominations, one for a fictional character, and one for a female creator.

    First, there’s DC’s bizarre ban on Stephanie Brown.

    I nominate the repeated ill-treatment of the Lady of Refrigerators herself, Gail Simone.

    OUTSTANDING ACHIEVEMENT:

    I wanted to mention the truly impressive sales numbers coming in from My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic. There’s been talk for years and years about attracting new readers, but this seems to be the first to really attract fresh blood in recent memory. It will be interesting to see whether

  10. Re: My Little Pony

    There’s been talk for years and years about attracting new readers, but this seems to be the first to really attract fresh blood in recent memory

    I’d be interested to see if it’s really bringing in anyone new. MLP seems to have a big secondary market with existing comic fans – it was getting a lot of coverage on Comics Alliance before the comic was even announced, for example.

  11. Adam says:

    “That Robert Kirkman and Charlie Adlard got a black and white zombie comic to the number one spot on the charts, bulldozing over anything Marvel and DC had to offer, was an astonishing and, IMO, extremely hopeful event. There’s an audience for comics out there, all the audience needs is a proper gateway.”

    The man’s got a point. Publishing-wise, it’s a pretty incredible feat.

    And hrm, at first I was thinking, “Really? Worrying about spoilers on this thread?” but I can kinda see it, I guess. Sorry for mine.

  12. Mike P says:

    BEST NEW SERIES

    Hawkeye. Pretty easy for me. Have always loved the character and Matt Fraction’s take on him has been perfect. Also enjoy the book does simple stories that get wrapped up in 1-2 issues. And, of course, David Aja’a art is excellent.

    BEST ACTUALLY NEW SERIES

    Saga. Haven’t read too many original series this year. But Saga stood out for me with it’s great setting and storytelling.

    MOST WANTED

    Justice League International. The first story from this book was a good start to this relaunch. The second story arc was a bit of a let down, but I did like where the character storylines were going. Would have liked to see this continue on instead of the terrible take of the Justice League that the main title is.

    MOST PLEASANT SURPRISE

    Masters of the Universe. Only picked this up since I was a fan of the 2000s cartoon. Was surprised to see a good story in it that made me wish it was more than a 6 issue mini.

    STIFF DRINK AWARD

    I’ll go with Mettle’s death in the 1st issue of Avengers Arena and hope that I can put air quotes around death in a few issues.

    THE JOE CHILL AWARD FOR SERVICES TO REFRIGERATORS

    DC Comics, in general. The majority of their female characters are still being hyper-sensualized. And ditching Gail Simone, who is one of their best writers, doesn’t help make it seem less of an old boy’s network over there.

    THE NEW COKE AWARD FOR MOST ILL-JUDGED MARKETING

    DC Comics, again. They can win this category with a lot of their moves. If you’re going to make me pick just one, I’ll choose their continued promotion of their dreadful Earth One OGNs.

    OUTSTANDING ACHIEVEMENT

    Jason Aaron. Have enjoyed every zany idea that he thought of putting in his comics, since they’ve all worked.

  13. Lonnrot says:

    Well, I may be on the minority. Hell, I may be in the wrong. For what it’s worth, here’s my reasoning:

    -Not everybody who may be interested in the Homies has necessarily read every comic that came out this year. In fact I don’t think it’s at all realistic to expect that of anyone at all.

    -It’s perfectly possible to nominate a comic for best surprise/twist/cliffhanger just by giving title and issue number, without actually revealing anything. (For the record, I don’t think yours counts as a spoiler, Adam, though I guess someone might disagree.)

    -If a comic deserves such nomination, it probably deserves to have that secret “protected”, so to speak. Spoiling is not just a disservice to potential readers, but to the comic you liked as well.

    -Floppies are not the be-all and end-all. Some people will read that story in a TPB which in some cases is still months from coming.

    Well, that’s the gist of it. I had more to say but it’s not coming out very well and I’m running late, so thanks everyone for your time, and sorry for any inconvenience.

  14. BringTheNoise says:

    In bizarre DC News: They’ve rehired Gail Simone… to write… BATGIRL.

    http://www.comicsalliance.com/2012/12/21/dc-comics-re-hires-gail-simone-as-batgirl-writer/

    Did they take a management course from George Osborne or something?

  15. The original Matt says:

    As a regular reader of the site, I honestly say I wish I could contribute, but I can’t. I only buy Avengers and X-men titles for modern day stuff, and even then I’m not up to schism yet…

    Is it too late in the day to just nominate Lone Wolf and Cub or Age of Apocalypse (original x-over) for everything?

  16. Suzene says:

    Lonnrot,

    I’m sorry if my description upset you, but considering that we’re asked to give our reasoning behind each category, I think specifying the event and why it’s worthy of a nod is fair game.

  17. Frodo-X says:

    BEST NEW SERIES

    A tough call, since almost all the new books I’m reading are only in their first handful of issues. But based on what I’ve read of any of them, I’m inclined to give this to Indestructible Hulk.

    BEST ACTUALLY NEW SERIES

    Fatale – Even if it weren’t the only book I read that qualifies, I’d probably still have this as my choice.

    MOST WANTED

    Avengers Academy – I know it had a good run, but throughout it’s run there was only one short time that I didn’t love it. My missing it is compounded by the fact that it’s being replaced by Avengers Arena, the first issue of which confirmed my fears of it being utterly terrible.

    MOST PLEASANT SURPRISE

    All-New X-men – I thought the concept sounded absolutely ridiculous, so I didn’t pre-order it with my regular pull list. When I happened to be in a physical shop and needed something to buy which wasn’t already coming to me, I gave it a shot. Now I’ve read the first four issues and I’m absolutely astonished to say I’ve quite enjoyed them.

    STIFF DRINK AWARD

    Journey Into Mystery was riddled with these, but if I have to pick just one of them I’ll go with the return of Leah.

    OUTSTANDING ACHIEVEMENT

    I give this one to Mark Waid for doing the same thing twice. He had a strong start to Daredevil last year, but this year turned it into one of my favorite titles. This is impressive because I’d previously had little use for the character. And now, even though it’s early as I said before, he’s doing the same thing with Hulk, a character I’ve not only had little use for but actively disliked in the past.

    An honorable mention to Kieron Gillen for his fantastic JiM run, but that’s only one book and I didn’t like his Uncanny X-men.

  18. kingderella says:

    best new series & best actual new series: SAGA.

    most wanted: KIERON GILLEN on UNCANNY X-MEN. hes been doing excellent work on that series and i wanted him to stay.

    most pleasant surprise: probably ALL-NEW X-MEN. this has a lot to do with low expectations, though.

    stiff drink award: HAWKEYE #2. this may not be a cliffhanger or twist, but i jumped for joy when kate bishop showed up. i didnt read any previews or interviews, so this came as a real surprise to me.

    outstanding achievement: IMAGE. between saga, glory, and prophet, they really did well this year.

    other stuff i really enjoyed:
    CONAN THE BARBARIAN
    WOLVERINE & THE X-MEN #17 (the doop issue)
    THOR, GOD OF THUNDER

  19. Zach Adams says:

    New Series: Transformers–More Than Meets the Eye. I hadn’t read a TF comic since just after IDW got the license and put out their Megatron Origin series, and your review convinced me to pick it up. (Also, my total disinterest in Hawkeye means I haven’t read it)

    Actual New Series: If Saga doesn’t win this, I’ll eat my pants.

    Most Wanted: More Avengers Academy, or failing that a Hank Pym book by Gage and/or Seeley.

    Pleasant Surprise: Gonna have to go with IDW actually doing something new and vibrant with the G1 Transformers books

    Stiff Drink Award: Invincible #98. Kirkman wasn’t just fucking around when he titled this arc “The Death of Everyone”

    Fridge Award: There have been several candidates, but I haven’t read any of them. Invincible #97 had what would’ve been a solid candidate, if not for the other deaths in the same scene which kind of blunt the fridgeyness

    New Coke Award: Avengers Arena, period.

    Outstanding Achievement: Gonna have to jump on the Image bandwagon here.

  20. MrSandman says:

    Best New Series & Pleasant Surprise : Hawkeye. This is a character I have never enjoyed. Now it is the comic I look forward to most each month.

    Honestly, this book is the reason for my Most Wanted nomination: More $2.99 books with well written, done in one stories and are not continuity heavy. I had forgotten how much I missed books like this. They are the ones you share with new readers to get them excited about comics.

  21. D. says:

    Can someone explain the “refrigerator” reference please?

  22. D. says:

    FWIW, I think spoilers are fair game. The whole premise of the blog is reviewing comics that have already been published. If you don’t want a spoiler, don’t read the review before the comic. Even more with a Year In Review column.

    That said, can’t hurt to put a warning first.

  23. BringTheNoise says:

    Can someone explain the “refrigerator” reference please?

    http://lby3.com/wir/

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Women_in_Refrigerators

  24. Taibak says:

    D: Gail Simone created the phrase ‘Women in Refrigerators’ back in 1999 in reference to a scene in Green Lantern 54 when Kyle Raynor found his girlfriend killed and stuffed in his fridge. She created it to protest the fact that writers frequently killed and/or maimed supporting characters, who were usually women, in their stories. She and her friends maintained a website with a list of similar events to protest the inherent sexism (implicit and otherwise) in these stories.

  25. D. says:

    @Talibak: Thanks!

    Also, thanks all for your poll responses. Due to overwhelming acclaim on this blog, I am now reading and enjoying Hawkeye and Saga.

  26. kelvingreen says:

    BEST NEW SERIES: Prophet.

    I’m so out of touch, I can’t answer the rest.

    I’m also going to have to give Saga another try. I couldn’t see what the fuss was about and dropped it, but everyone keeps banging on about it.

  27. Daibhid Ceannaideach says:

    BEST NEW SERIES:
    Dial H

    BEST ACTUALLY NEW SERIES:
    Don’t think I’ve read any…

    MOST PLEASANT SURPRISE:
    At some point this year I suddenly realised I’d stopped waiting for Batwing to become a trainwreck. It’s not great, but it’s a decent enough Batman book that just happens to be set in the Congo, which is about a million times better than I expected.

    STIFF DRINK AWARD:
    The Doctor convinces Picard they need to team up with the Borg to fight the Cybermen, in Doctor Who/Star Trek.

    THE JOE CHILL AWARD:
    Many possibilities, but I remember wincing when I realised that Kyle Rayner’s entire origin got a half-assed rewrite, but the original Woman-In-A-Refrigerator remains there.

  28. Brad Curran says:

    Best New Series:
    Hawkeye

    Best Actually New Series:
    In the interest in giving it some love (and since Saga’s well represented here), I’ll say Revival. Image has provided

    Most Wanted: More Beasts of Burden. The Dark Horse Presents stories were nice, but it would be great to get another mini-series or OGN.

    Most Pleasant Surprise:
    Wonder Woman, in that I became invested in it beyond Cliff Chiang’s art. Azzarello’s hit and miss for me, but this has definitely been a hit for me so far.

    Stiff Drink Award:
    The big plot twist in Amazing Spider-Man 698. I had some inkling of where it was going, but I thought Slott pulled it off really well.

    New Coke:
    Before Watchmen, in that it is basically the New Coke of comics.

    Joe Chill:
    Tony Harris shooting his mouth off

    Outstanding Achievement:
    Mark Waid, for his Marvel work, the Rocketeer mini, and launching Thrillbent

  29. Daniel says:

    BEST NEW SERIES:
    Hawkeye.

    MOST WANTED:
    More Bulletproof Coffin.

    STIFF DRINK/OUTSTANDING ACHIEVEMENT:
    2000AD: Trifecta.

  30. Tom Shapira says:

    The following Post contains SPOILERS for Chew, so those people who have not read Issue 30 or Volume 6 should probably skip it.

    Gone? Good.
    So I’ve finally set down with Chew vol. 6 today – excited to have another chunk of my favorite serialized work but that excitement being bit bogged down by knowing the “twist” as it were – heaving read the first line of Suzene’s post I was quite annoyed that shock of Tony’s would-be-death would be denied me. Except Tony doesn’t die.
    I was so rushed to turn away from the screen that I didn’t bother to notice that she was talking About Tony’s similarly-named-sister and so I read through the volume sure that the focus on Toni throughout the story arc is a way to prepare the reader for a new series protagonist (after all she’s also a Chu) – that Tony would either not wake up or buy it at the wedding. So when the moment came It was even more shocking to me – a twist is one thing, but a twist the goes against what you KNEW would happen is quite another. That just made year (comics wise at least) :) .
    So I’m adding my vote for Chew to Stiff Drink award, and for Suzene also.
    Also – Bryan Talbot, can this man do any wrong?

  31. BEST NEW SERIES

    Multiple Warheads – When you think about it, it shouldn’t work. Very little happens… And it’s yet completely wonderful and more compelling than any other comic because the world feels so inviting and intriguing.

    BEST ACTUALLY NEW SERIES

    Saga – I’m not sure there’s anything I can add to this that the internet has not already stated somewhere. This series is a joy to relentless joy to read.

    MOST WANTED

    Orc Stain – There are never enough issues of Orc Stain. One day, there might be more. One day.

    MOST PLEASANT SURPRISE

    Hawkguy – It was a series reeking of a need to cash in on a movie, and even though I loved The Immortal Iron Fist Fraction & Aja did previously, my interest was nil… And then the word of mouth spread, and then I tried it, and then turned out to be one of the best series Marvel has put out in years.

    STIFF DRINK AWARD

    The closing page of every issue of Saga. Each one left you on tenterhooks for the next issue – nothing necessarily world changing, bnut that perfect ellipsis to draw you into the next issue. Issue 5 most especially.

    THE JOE CHILL AWARD FOR SERVICES TO REFRIGERATORS

    I really want to think of something as big as firing the highest profile (only>) female creator from a book by email or the Tony Harris meltdown… Screw it, I’m just going to say the majority of female character redesigns. The trend killed my wife’s interest in comics. Except for Saga. She loves Saga, so that or the Brokeback Hawkeye initiative should get the mirror universe version of this award for being awesome.

    THE NEW COKE AWARD FOR MOST ILL-JUDGED MARKETING

    The Joe Kubert/Before Watchmen farrago. Most marketing is crap, that was just tasteless.

    OUTSTANDING ACHIEVEMENT

    Kieron Gillen et al landing the perfect ending for Journey Into Mystery. This just managed to nudge out the ending of Scalped (which was also spectacularly awesome) because Kid Loki was simultaneously shafted by the close and yet had the perfect send-off. A genuinely moving work, and just one more reason for me to buy everything that Kieron Gillen does. Now I just also have more artists to follow as well.

  32. Chris Hill says:

    Whoops, meant to do this and forgot. Hope I’m not too late…

    BEST NEW SERIES

    Hawkguy is just a brilliant example of the medium at its finest.

    BEST ACTUALLY NEW SERIES

    Saga. Saga, Saga, Saga.

    MOST WANTED

    I’m readng it in trade so I’ve still got a fair bit of it to go, but the fact that Kieron Gillen’s Journey Into Mystery ends saddens me greatly. As much as I love defined endings, I have the selfish desire to have that comic go on forever.

    MOST PLEASANT SURPRISE

    Y’know, I can’t actually think of one. Which probably means I’ve been far too safe with my comics buying this year.

    STIFF DRINK AWARD

    The twist in Amazing Spider-Man #698 was absolutely fantastic, and one of those rare instances where knowing what’s coming up (ie. that the book is being relaunched and someone else will be Spider-Man) actually works in a book’s favour by adding extra weight to events.

    THE JOE CHILL AWARD FOR SERVICES TO REFRIGERATORS

    The whole ‘fake geek girl’ ugliness in general wins here, in particular Tony Harris. Geekdom should be about inviting people in, not shutting them out.

    THE NEW COKE AWARD FOR MOST ILL-JUDGED MARKETING

    It almost feels like a cheat to say Before Watchmen, since nothing they could have done would have made me want to read any of it. But man alive, their promotion of this has been rubbish at every level. From Dan Didio spectacutlarly missing the point of comics (‘they’re about stories that continue on forever!’) to creators (JMS, I’m looking at you) subtly suggesting that they’re better than Alan Moore to using the company reaction to Joe Kubert’s death to shill the Nite-Owl mini, everything about this has left me with a bad taste in my mouth.

    OUTSTANDING ACHIEVEMENT

    Image have really stepped up their game this year in a big, big way.

  33. Steve Morris says:

    BEST NEW SERIES

    I like X-Treme X-Men. I know it’s not critically innovative or new or anything, but I like seeing Dazzler be fun and I like that there are good jokes, and I like that there are unicorns.

    BEST ACTUALLY NEW SERIES

    Has to be Saga. Pure fun.

    MOST WANTED

    Brian Wood’s X-Men. PIXIE!! Brian Wood took a team of underused female characters and gave them a spine and community. Storm finally seemed to regain some of her dignity as a character, while Domino and Pixie both flourished and grew in strength. Coupled with art from the likes of David Lopez, this was a great run for a series which was – let’s not forget – THE WORST THING MARVEL WAS PUBLISHING beforehand.

    MOST PLEASANT SURPRISE

    Hawkeye. A terrible, boorish, one-note character beforehand, somehow Matt Fraction has turned that into an interesting character point and expanded Clint Barton into someone interesting and… worthwhile? David Aja IS DAVID AJA. I had no faith in this book, but… it’s brilliant. I don’t believe it.

    STIFF DRINK AWARD

    I was surprised by the death of The Stalk in Saga. For some reason that caught me out.

    THE JOE CHILL AWARD FOR SERVICES TO REFRIGERATORS

    The continual dismissal and threats made towards female writers and creators.

    THE NEW COKE AWARD FOR MOST ILL-JUDGED MARKETING

    Taking the X-Men’s long-running storyline about Hope Summers and slamming it crudely into an Avengers storyline which managed to drown Wolverine’s character and made no sense.

    OUTSTANDING ACHIEVEMENT

    Monkeybrain. Anybody can leave DC and complain about corporate comics, but for Chris Roberston and Allison Baker to do so and then follow through by creating a brilliant, innovative new publisher, set up online and featuring new comics from the likes of Paul Tobin, Joshua Williamson and Grace Allison? That’s an incredible, noteworthy achievement

  34. Jonny K says:

    BEST NEW SERIES

    MIND MGMT

    BEST ACTUALLY NEW SERIES

    Mind MGMT.

    MOST WANTED

    Kid Loki!/ JiM

    MOST PLEASANT SURPRISE

    I really need to be surprised more. Possibly Mind MGMT? Possibly Saga, for not being bad. I didn’t pick up that much new stuff…

    STIFF DRINK AWARD

    JiM #645. Mainly for Al’s Jimmy Saville reference in the letters.

    THE JOE CHILL AWARD FOR SERVICES TO REFRIGERATORS

    Tony Harris, alas.

    THE NEW COKE AWARD FOR MOST ILL-JUDGED MARKETING

    Before Watchmen. (Publishing a series called Before Watchmen.)

    OUTSTANDING ACHIEVEMENT

    Kieron Gillen. For getting Uncanny X-Men cancelled twice! Amateurs.

  35. newrulesnewlife says:

    Best new series – Hawkeye
    Best actually new series – Think Tank from Top Cow
    Most wanted – more of Hickman’s Ultimates as he wanted it ti be, with Esad Ribic instead of the ugly nonsense that was Divided We Fall and President America.
    Pleasant surprise – after an underwhelming first issue, Dexter Soy really came into his own on Captain Marvel.
    Stiff drink award – it was a “minor” issue, but the revelationthat the Nazi/Dr Doom Reed Richards was a character that we had seen before was masterful

  36. Stu West says:

    BEST NEW SERIES & BEST ACTUALLY NEW SERIES

    Saga. Saga Saga Saga. Nothing else really comes close for me.

    MOST WANTED

    Cheating a little, but the collected and revised Comic Book History of Comics came out this year and I could easily read another five volumes like this.

    MOST PLEASANT SURPRISE

    All New X-Men. Brian Bendis writing a team book? And bringing the Lee/Kirby X-lineup to the present day so he actually has double the characters to not give any dialogue? Not sounding like a winner so far.

    ANX has so far been my favourite of the Marvel Now! books by quite some way. What wasn’t obvious when I heard the premise originally is that this is a neat little twist on the Days of Future Past premise, bringing the original X-Men forward in time to the grim dark future of the post-AvX Marvel Universe. The idea is clever, appropriate and surprisingly emotionally resonant, and the execution hasn’t let it down yet.

    STIFF DRINK AWARD

    Nothing really comes to mind here. I will say that my favourite bit of Avengers vs. X-Men is that page where Wolverine is wearing a polar bear.

    THE JOE CHILL AWARD FOR SERVICES TO REFRIGERATORS

    Yeah, this has to be Tony Harris.

    THE NEW COKE AWARD FOR MOST ILL-JUDGED MARKETING

    Before Watchmen. Having said that, they were marketing an uninspired and uninspiring series of comics created under fairly distasteful circumstances, so it could be that the marketing campaign was actually kind of neutral.

    OUTSTANDING ACHIEVEMENT

    I enjoyed everything I read by Mark Waid this year.

  37. graham says:

    BEST NEW SERIES
    Hawkeye

    BEST ACTUALLY NEW SERIES
    Saga

    MOST WANTED
    Ron Marz Magdalena

    MOST PLEASANT SURPRISE
    John Layman’s. Detective Comics

    STIFF DRINK
    Walking Dead 100

    JOE CHILL AWARD
    DC Comics

    NEW COKE AWARD
    DC Comics using Kuberts death press release for promotion

    OUTSTANDING ACHIEVEMENT
    Image Comics

  38. Steve says:

    Best New Series
    Hawkeye – this was almost Hickman’s Avengers, but then they went and published Hawkeye #6 at the tail-end of December. Best series, by a country mile.

    Best Actual New Series
    Saga – nothing else has come close.

    Most pleasant surprise
    Again Hawkeye. Couldn’t give a fig for the character before and I was one of the few who was pleased to see him ‘die’ in Disassembled.
    That and Minutemen, which is far better than it has any right to be. It’s a shame that it will be forever tainted with the Before Watchmen brand.

    New Coke Award
    Avengers Arena – because nothing says Marvel Now! more than dead teenagers, right?

    Outstanding Achievement
    Publisher – Image Comics
    Creative team – Fraction and Aja on Hawkeye

  39. Lisa M. says:

    BEST NEW SERIES
    Both my new series noms are new-new. I’ll put Hypernaturals here. A Legion-esque Abnett-and-Lanning book, with good art, hits a sweet spot.

    BEST ACTUALLY NEW SERIES
    Saga. It brings us the character of Lying Cat.

    MOST WANTED
    Yeah… this has to be Avengers Academy.

    MOST PLEASANT SURPRISE
    I’ve never liked Clint Barton, but Fraction’s and Aja’s Hawkeye is a joy.

    STIFF DRINK AWARD
    Chew vol. 6, mang.

    THE JOE CHILL AWARD FOR SERVICES TO REFRIGERATORS
    The Amazons of Themyscira, for being reverted to a horrible stereotype.

    THE NEW COKE AWARD FOR MOST ILL-JUDGED MARKETING
    Avengers Arena

    OUTSTANDING ACHIEVEMENT
    For his entire run of JiM, Keiron Gillen made me want to read — and give a damn about — Loki as a child. Never in a million years would I have believed that.

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