Best Series
The Fade Out (Image Comics) by Ed Brubaker and Sean Phillips
Brubaker and Phillips continue to churn out a classic noir-­influenced tale, in the vein of their previous work on ‘Criminal.’ Throughout the year we have slowly seen the tale of a couple of drunken screenwriters trying to solve a murder mystery unfold in issues so tense and intelligent that makes it difficult to overlook and choose a better series.

Best Original Graphic Novel
The Sculptor (:01 First Second) by Scott McCloud
Nothing else released this year made me feel heartache, hope, love, and sorrow in such an amplified way. McCloud easily delivers the strongest story I have read in 2015 by constantly pushing the book past the potential of the graphic novel format while never losing sight of pacing and character development. You will regret not writing and drawing this book once you have finished reading it.

Best Cover
Thor Annual #1 Rob Guillory Variant Cover (Marvel) by Jason Aaron, CM Punk, Noelle Stevenson, Rob Guillory, Marguerite Sauvage, and Timothy Truman
Maybe I am biased since I am a huge fan of professional wrestling, but no other cover got me nearly half as excited to open an issue as this. Rob Guillory (known for the hilarious comic Chew) draws an energetic and vibrant cover; we witness Loki overseeing Thor and Hulk (who dawns a luchador mask) facing off in the squared­circle as fans (and even CM Punk himself) cheer on in the crowd. The cover
fits the tone of the story that Guillory illustrates in an annual well­worth the cover price.

Best Issue
Airboy #1 (Image Comics) by James Robinson and Greg Hinkle
James Robinson takes on the task of writing a story about Airboy, a public domain character rooted in worldwide heroism and beating up nazis during World War II, and turns it into a humorous and often heartbreaking semi­meta­autobiography. We embark on the crude journey alongside Robinson and artist Greg Hinkle, a journey that details what turned out to be the basis of the story as well as the self-destruction of Robinson himself. I don’t believe I have ever read a more honest comic book and this is as close to literally bleeding on the page as it gets.

Best One­Shot
Hank Johnson: Agent of Hydra (Marvel) by David Mandel and Michael Walsh
This is the first of two ‘Secret Wars’ palette cleansers on the Best Of list. David Mandel (Seinfeld, Curb Your Enthusiasm, SNL) and Michael Walsh deliver a tale of a day in the life of Hank Johnson, a run­ofthe­mill Hydra Agent, and this is easily the funniest. book. of. the. year. Mandel flawlessly translates the Larry David­esque humor to the comic page, which is beautifully assisted by the incredible Michael
Walsh, whose art is always a treat to look at.

Best Limited Series
Old Man Logan (Marvel) by Brian Michael Bendis and Andrea Sorrentino
By now we know that ‘Secret Wars,’ an event that started off so promising, has turned into…a bit of a convoluted mess? I think that is the nicest way of putting it. There were few bright spots within the event, and one of which came in the form ‘Old Man Logan.’ Calling back to the theme of the original storyline, Bendis and Sorrentino don’t shy away from seamlessly branching the OML universe to the current Marvel U without losing any of the grit and despair felt within the original series.

Publisher
Image Comics
Simply stated, no other publisher has been able to touch Image these past few years, and 2015 was no different. Setting the trend for independent publishing, Image leads by example as they continually publish the comics people truly yearn to read, forcing the other publishers to keep up and turn out quality series of their own.

Best Television Adaptation
Marvel’s Jessica Jones
Out of all of the comic­related properties that have made it to television or continued on (most being solid, few being unwatchable), Jessica Jones was by far the standout this year. Who could imagine that a flawed, self­doubting, troubled female lead who makes what seems like the wrong decision every step of the way could turn out to be the icon for feminine empowerment and individual motivation.

Best Movie Adaptation
Marvel’s Ant­Man
This movie seemed doomed from the start; we heard more about the drama behind the scenes (Edgar Wright vs. Marvel, Wright discussing how this has been years in the making before leaving the project) than we did about plot or direction. Ant­Man was a film that nobody seemed overly excited for, and once it was released it turned viewers’ expectations upside­down, not unlike Guardians of the Galaxy. Though set up in a similar format as the first Iron Man movie, Ant­Man takes on a life of its own, standing out as the only comedic­heist movie in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, and was even successful enough to fast­track a sequel when none was in the works.

 

Article by Rob Pettinato


    

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