[DISCLAIMER: The following is a list of media I thoroughly enjoyed in 2009. Not the "best" anything.]
PLANETARY #27 for its pull the curtain over my eyes awesomeness, its ability to close out a remarkable new millennium series on a decisive high note, and its stellar artwork.
WALKING DEAD #66 for its use of the reader’s imagination, its willingness to paint all of its characters in a very neutral gray tone (figuratively and literally), its implied violence as oppose to portrayed violence, and its heart.
SWEET TOOTH for its surreal vision of the post-apocalypse, and its multi-talented creator Jeff Lemire.
SUPERGOD for its grab at concluding one fucked up trilogy of books (first Black Summer, then No Hero), and its bomb made of scientists and officers hurtling into the surface of Jupiter.
CHEW for its amazingly original concept.
Whatever Happened To The Caped Crusader, in DETECTIVE COMICS and BATMAN, for its complete dismantling of the Dark Knight’s cultural relevance for over 60 years, and its legendary creators each on top of their game.
The Gnawing, in SCALPED, for its layer by layer reveal type story telling, its anything can happen atmosphere, and its uncompromising portrayal of crime on a Reservation.
Dallas, in UMBRELLA ACADEMY, for its striking minimalistic (almost) art, and its re-imagining of one of the most studied and infamous historic American events of modern times.
ASTERIOS POLYP for its utterly insane density, and probably the best use of the medium this year.
STITCHES: A MEMOIR for its connection between writer, character, and reader, and its harrowing visual account of growing up under specific circumstances.
THE LEAGUE OF EXTRAORDINARY GENTLEMEN, CENTURY: 1910 for bringing the infamous series into the 20th century, its pop cultural references, and its ability to be both modern and ancient.
INCOGNITO for its wonderful take on the notion of super-powers and mad scientists.
THE WONDERFUL WIZARD OF OZ for its inspiring art, its ability to stay true to source material while expanding upon it also, and its wistful, dream-like ambiance.
NO HERO for showing the reader that yes, sociopathic madmen do rule the world, but without them we’d gain freedom of choice in exchange for order and possibly our lives, and its ambiguity and deconstructionist nature.
BATMAN & ROBIN for its experimentation of genres within an established series (mixing 50s psychedelic with gritty 80s and 70s sequences), and introduction of new villains (some good, some bad, at least it tried).
INVINCIBLE IRON MAN for taking a microscope to the inner-workings of Tony Stark, exposing his thought process down to the very core through plot devices, and running all over the world.
SECRET SIX for stepping into the examine-a-team-of-crazies role after Ellis left Thunderbolts, its perfect characterization of typically one dimensional characters, and its sheer brutality.
THE UNWRITTEN for its meta-contextual-ism, its pop cultural references, and its historic references.
BAD DOG because it’s just a whole lot of fun.
PUNISHERMAX for somehow staying true to a previous writer’s vision, and its take on a classic character.
DO ANDROIDS DREAM OF ELECTRIC SHEEP? for its printing of the entire original Philip K. Dick prose.
FREAKANGELS for putting something exciting in my mailbox every Friday, and its change in story direction by going back to the beginning.
TEAM MUMMY because its creator is a madman genius with a serious amount of talent.
GOBLINS for its completely reliable artwork, seemingly constant output, and staying true to itself.
ED BRUBAKER for coming back to Criminal, finishing both Daredevil and Incognito on high notes, bringing back Steve Rodgers and still experimenting with other projects.
WARREN ELLIS for getting a whole boat load of attention from the film industry, and juggling a million projects.
JASON AARON for capturing grit in anything he does.
FRANK QUIETLY for steady and simplistic boom-boom action sequences, and his conciseness.
JH WILLIAMS, III for his amazing stretch of the medium, and splash pages to gawk at for days at a time.
SKOTTIE YOUNG for making sure dreams can still come true, and drawing with character.
VAL STAPLES for accentuating the brilliance of Sean Phillips, and giving surrealism in small doses.
R. CRUMB for still inking his work, and tackling the Bible with balls.
DAVE STEWART for his ability to switch tone and time with the flick of a switch.
Am I missing anything? OOHHH… COVERS.