Which is a roundabout way of saying “Here’s my Top 25 Comics Released in 2003 That I Read.”
1. Epileptic Volume 1, by David B.
2. Shrimpy & Paul and Friends, by Marc Bell
3. Ultimate Spider-Man, by Brian Bendis & Mark Bagley
4. Alias, by Brian Bendis & Michael Gaydos
5. Ultimate Six, by Brian Bendis & Trevor Hairsine
6. Daredevil, by Brian Bendis & Alex Maleev
7. Powers, by Brian Bendis & Michael Oeming
8. Rubber Necker, by Nick Bertozzi
9. Teratoid Heights, by Mat Brinkman
10. Unlikely, by Jeffrey Brown
11. Black Hole, by Charles Burns
12. Ripple, by Dave Cooper
13. Squadron Supreme, by Mark Gruenwald & various artists
14. Kramers Ergot #4, by Sammy Harkham et al.
15. Palomar, by Gilbert Hernandez
16. The Ultimates, by Mark Millar & Brian Hitch
17. The Dark Knight Strikes Again, by Frank Miller & Lynn Varley
18. New X-Men, by Grant Morrison & various artists
19. The Filth, by Grant Morrison & Chris Weston
20. 100%, by Paul Pope
21. Supreme Power, by J. Michael Straczynski & Gary Frank
22. Blankets, by Craig Thompson
23. The Acme Novelty Date Book, by Chris Ware
24. Quimby the Mouse, by Chris Ware
25. The Frank Book, by Jim Woodring
For whatever reason, these were the books that got me really excited about comics this year. They were the pamphlets I could hardly wait to read, the graphic novels that floored me with the depth of their invention and enthusiasm, the hidden treasures from years past or countries abroad or scenes undiscovered. As you can see, if a meteor were to strike Fantagraphics headquarters tomorrow while Brian Michael Bendis was visiting for some reason (maybe to use the bathroom?), I’d have a lot fewer comics to read.
Again, this is just a list of great comics I actually read this year, which may explain the absence of several fan favorites (Louis Riel, The Fixer, Sleeper, Catwoman, Wanted). I decided to arbitrarily stop at Number 25, so my apologies to Ultimate X-Men, Arrowsmith, The Iron Wagon, Forlorn Funnies, Chrome Fetus, AEIOU, Maybe We Could Just Lie Here Holding Each Other Naked And Not Have Sex, Incredible Hulk, and so forth, some of which didn’t make the cut, others of which I just forgot until I’d already written out the list and don’t feel much like tinkering with it.
Other fine, more in-depth Best-Ofs are being brought to you by Johnny Bacardi, Jim Henley, Andrew Arnold, Chris Allen, Alan David Doane, Alan David Doane, and (you guessed it) Alan David Doane. Ninth Art has a bunch of year-end goodies, including Paul O’Brien’s Year In Review, a sort of group anti-hug in the form of part one of the 2003 Brickbat Awards, and (not a year-end thing per se, but as this is the year I joined the comics blogosphere in earnest, it’s useful to have a lexicon on hand) Andrew Wheeler’s comics dictionary.
Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah, Happy New Year, Happy Festivus, and happy reading!