The HOFS 2013 Awards: Comics & Controversies

What have you hated most about comics?

This was the question I was probably most interested in, and rightly so given the responses gathered. I have placed them in a table as such to emphasis the numbers of people who feel for each problem, however this weighting does not affect the importance of some of the issues at hand.

1. The failure of DC Comics                                      25%

2. The overgrowth of crossovers and tie-ins          11%

3. Internet over-reaction                                            9%

= Misogyny and sexism                                             9%

5. Death of a particular hero 6. The price of comics 7. The dislike of AoU 8. Reboots 9. Hatred of a character

The top four answers are all very pertinent issues and were highlighted again and again. Firstly DC have really dropped the ball this year on a number of levels, whether it be overpricing, gimmick covers or unnecessary crossovers. However one complaint pervades all, their treatment of their writers and artists. We have seen this multiple times and if we dig deeper there are further problems to discover but ultimately there are limitations and regulations upon creator freedom. As we discuss later, one of the key principles to Image’s success is their ability to let their creators work and this contrast has never been as well demonstrated with this years comics. I hope someone out there can see the wood for the trees and can change the way they run the company, because not only DC but we, as readers, will reap the rewards.

I remember when crossovers were every summer and would be an event that got me so excited. Okay I was a child then, but event fatigue has hit the industry, to be honest it probably hit a few years back. As much as I loved Infinity, there were too many tie in books that did little to expand the story. They are often repetitive and offer no new perspective, even though they are from a different standpoint. Villains month and Forever Evil are also prime examples of this, which we will come to later this post. Tie-ins pose similar problems. The idea that a book it loosely tied to a popular one is a weak ploy to sell more comics. Unfortunately it can really put you off these books but you need to keep your ears to the ground because otherwise you would have missed Mighty Avengers and Superior Foes.

A common complaint was the immediate barrage of hostility to new books over the internet. The trolling system is ever so rife when it comes to abusing new comic books and their creators. The upset this can cause has left many a creator running from Twitter. Social media has become such a big part of our lives and I am so thankful it came into mine. Communicating with writers and artists is incredibly important to this industry and we should cherish it, not abuse it. Hence why I rarely review negatively and keep my comic criticism to a book to a limit. As for the reactionary responses I direct you to the great uncle of comics, Neal Adams in a lovely panel discussion I caught on camera last year at LSCC

Finally the sexism and misogyny of the industry revealed its ugly head to the world. I struggle to work out how far behind comics are in relation to other forms of media, but it certainly sits at the back of the class. There is no excuse or reason, it needs to change and we need to force it to. We may not be able to enact change to editorial mentality but we can certainly support the decent writers and abstain from misogynistic books. I am by no means an expert on how improve the status quo, but I know what is wrong and what is right and that is where I can start. I shall leave further discussion to the comments section, as there some excellently written thoughts.

There were many superb answers to this question and I have picked some of the best and most important. I was amazed at the level of hatred towards Spidey Ock, Captain Marvel, Wolverine (less so) but not at the amount of abuse Age of Ultron received.

“Nobody is every happy anymore. Creative changes, editorial changes, storyline changes…people lose their damn minds over everything these days. THIS IS A GOLDEN AGE OF COMICS. No matter your taste, there is brilliant work waiting for you. Like capes? Both of the Big Two are producing some stellar work. Hate capes? Image has some of the biggest names in comics flexing their muscles. Like My Little Pony? Hell, we’ve got great kids comics too.”

“A large segment of comic fans are highly sensitive and sometimes I wish people would just enjoy what they enjoy and stop reading what they don’t. If it’s not one thing it’s another and the publishers, creators, editors can never seem to win.”

“DC’s New 52 output has just been awful, so many good books got erased/cancelled to be replaced with books that seem to be going back to the old “shock for shock value” method of comic book writing.”

“Man just about everything about DC’s rule over their books with an iron fist and their complete lack of understanding of what makes their own characters great. They’ve become superhero apologists.”

“The now automatic way most people look at anything DC do and pour their hatred on it. Yes, they’ve made mistakes. Yes, they have some serious management issues. But they also produce some f****** brilliant comics, and people need to ignore the internet and read the books.”

“I find it infuriating when comics take themselves so seriously that their not willing to poke fun at themselves or abandon a storyline that is just not working (*cough*Superman*cough*).”

“Marvel’s renumbering of books with new numbers ones with new arcs (it’s not new, but it’s even more profound now. NOW – that’s a joke! See what I did there?”

“The only niggling thing for me is the increase of titles that are priced at $3.99, and more titles are being released bi-weekly. Or nothing has changed and I had just been picking up more titles…? Hmmm.”

“Marvel’s insistence on labeling everything an “Avengers” book when they clearly aren’t to appeal to the movie crowd, and the increasing cost of books coupled with the double ship schedules. Oh and goddammed time travel!!!”

“The apparent need for the “complex comic”, why some writers have decided that to craft a decent book they need to make story line so complex you need a dictionary and an encyclopaedia to follow them, baffles me. There have been recent mainstream titles that have complicated the story line beyond belief meaning I have lost interest in the title, and independent releases that are almost trying to market themselves on how non-understandable they are.”

“I was a little put off that things skewed so adult and dysfunctional. Sex, Walking Dead, Saga, Sex Criminals, Satellite Sam, East of West, Pretty Deadly, and so on… really turned up the heat to rated R levels. I like my comics at a PG. That may seem like a complaint from someone with puritan sensibility, but I honestly think adult doesn’t have to mean “adult.” 

“More rounded female characters (from The Big Two in particular) would be appreciated. Sooo glad they changed the last panel from Harley Quinn #1 too… sexualised-bathtub-suicide is a step too far, by anyone’s standards.” 

“It’s been a horrible year for comics news, honestly. From finding out that various men in the industry are sexist a*******, to the whole Dragon* Con business and the aggression hurled at Nancy Collins for being a decent human being… the usual harassment and abuse hurled at women creators, fans and critics… the general bile on discussion boards towards any increase in diversity on the page… and people who should be proud of comics using their newspaper inches to s*** all over the medium. Can we not just have some positivity and start welcoming in all comic fans regardless of gender, race, sexuality, or whether they can name more than 10 X-Men? It’s art, it’s literature, it’s entertainment – and above all, everyone involved is a person with feelings and emotions. So let’s start ensuring that everyone is treated with respect and decency.”


DC Comicsgoogleplus_dccomics_profile 2

1. Do you miss Damian? Explain yourself!

Yes      36 votes

No       18 votes

The majority of people do miss Damian for a whole host of reasons. There are those that love his character and how it had developed over time. This was certainly due to Tomasi and Gleason who took on this challenge from Grant Morrison in the book Batman and Robin. We saw him move from a petulant child who felt he could accomplish anything who had nothing to learn, to a loving son who took the heartache of disappointing his caring father and learning how to be a man. There were many comments regarding his dynamic with the Bat family, which made the relationships fresh and rejuvenating for all involved. This was a new perspective for a ward of Bruce and it changed a character long resolute and immovable. DC is suffering as a result of his loss, despite there being some fantastic mourning issues with the Batman and series. Here are some of the best comments:


“He changed the whole dynamic of the Bat Family. His constant struggle to live up to the mantle of Batman/The Wayne Family and to resist his Mother’s training was always interesting.”

 “Damien is one of the coolest concepts to come along to DC in a long long while. He completely reverses the traditional “Robin is there to keep Batman from becoming too dark” trope.”

 “His upbringing made him a danger to the world and Alfred, Dick and Bruce showed him he could be more than an evil genius badass, he can be heroic. His absence took some connection to humanity that Bruce needs.”

“Under Tomasi’s direction the little brat had become a star.”

“The dark and desperate Batman we got in the issues that followed his death were some of the best single issues this year.”

“I wasn’t happy with the fact he died, let alone the way it was done. It felt a little too violent and OTT for my tastes, I mean he may be an assassin, and the grandson of Ra’s Al Ghul but even I thought it was a little distasteful.”

“I actually do miss him. In my opinion, he was THE Robin. His age, demeanor, and attitude are just perfect for the role of the “sidekick”. And to be honest, he’s this little can of badassery that you can’t help but just love!”

“For the greater good of comics, I hope he remains dearly departed. Better for comics that way – but I enjoyed the take on the smart mouthed, lethal little bastard.”

“He was real, his emotions were real, his reactions were real, and his death was surreal, over the top, and uncalled for.” 

For the negative comments out there, they focus on a couple of important aspects about Damian. Firstly many people do not read Batman Incorporated and have not followed his adventures in Batman and Robin. This is the crux of his development, and as we addressed above, Tomasi and Gleason took his character and made him affable. For those only reading the main Batman title, you notice fewer devotees. Secondly there are a few people who do not believe he will remain dead and expect a return anytime soon. This is already hinted at and, as people pointed out, there is a book with him featuring at this current time. I have also noticed that there is some resentment at the multiple Robins and that Dick is the one “true” Robin, and Jason was the precursor Damian. Some people found his death gratuitous and an unnecessary plot device, which certainly has an element of truth. This has been addressed in a few blog posts at that time. Either way on the whole he is generally missed, and that is mostly attributed to the brilliant work of Tomasi and Gleason. I leave you with this lovely message.

“I actually cried talking about Damian to Pete Tomasi at Baltimore Comic Con in September. I hated Damian at first, like most people. By the time we got to the New 52 Batman & Robin title, though, I was super attached. I think it’s because I’m a big sister to an annoying little brother. Grant Morrison has said that he intentionally wrote early Damian as a little crapface, because he was supposed to mature over time. Watching Damian grow under Dick Grayson’s tutelage, and then watching him try to relate to his father – it was beautiful. I wasn’t expecting it to hit me as hard as it did, especially given we all knew a month in advance, but that issue of Batman, Inc. was covered in tearstains when I was done.”

2.   Is Forever Evil doing justice to the bad guy?

Yes      14 votes

No       27 votes

Villains month had very mixed reviews but there were some shining books out there. However Forever Evil seems to be dragging somewhat and obviously 34% of you disagree. With Nick Spencer and Dan Slott writing two phenomenal bad guy books over at Marvel, I feel Forever Evil pales in comparison. The characters are not well thought out and they have gone for a shotgun approach, involved all bad guys ever, in a bid to make the universe more interesting. This is not the way to approach a nemesis character, as they need their story to be told. Everybody knows the origin to superheroes because so much time has been devoted to it, this is not necessarily the case for their opponents. The general feeling is that the concept is interesting and the books are reasonably well written, but they are spread very thinly across many comics and the thirst for more just isn’t there. Here is what you had to say.

evilisrelative“I’ve enjoyed Forever Evil. In my opinion, the villains are running true to form – looking out for their own best interests, self-serving, etc. I think it’s been a fun ride thus far.”

“The slow burn, keeping the JL off the table for the length of time they have been, makes this event something to notice.”

“Geoff Johns has always loved writing bad guys and giving them some kind of redemption/soul – Sinestro, Black Adam, The Rogues – and I think that’s showing in the main Forever Evil story.”

“The villain story has been an ill-thought out attempt to shoehorn villains into the limelight simply for the reason that the bad guy has sold well elsewhere.”

“For my money, Forever Evil is a rotten, interminable indulgence of an Event. Dreadful, slack stuff. As such, it captures perfectly the house style of the Not-So-nU52. “

“If this was the Silver Age I would say its not crazy enough, and for the modern age it’s too contrived and difficult to follow that it’s not that interesting. I like the idea of these evil counter parts but their execution could have been done a lot better.”

“About half of the villain stories were very good and gave you a deeper understanding of the character. Given the gimmicky feel, it doesn’t necessarily mean, the origins were going to concrete and canon though.”

“I’m just waiting for the JL to return.
I feel like I’m being emotionally blackmailed into feeling sorry for the bad guys. Which works with some but is really forced with other characters.

“Forever Evil hasn`t been bad in all honesty, but it is isn`t great either. Unfortunately it has become the inevitable wait for the regulars to return and again is all too apparent it is just another example of DC milking the proverbial cash cow.”

“No. It is a failure, not necessarily due to the storyline but the absolute slowness that the plot is progressing.”

3.  Is Hal Jordan impressing as the new leader of the GLC?

Yes      3 votes

No       23 votes

This is a deliberately contrary question because, as many people correctly guessed, because the answer is meant to be no. There are a few people who are impressed but not many. Hal is the heroic stalwart of the corps, and for most of John’s run the go to guy. It is a role we have enjoyed reading and all credit goes to the new writers for taking the corps in a completely new direction. Some people like it and some people do not, but it does not matter as long as the story it good. Messrs Venditti, Van Jensen and Jordan are all on the same page and the Green Lantern Universe is seeing a new world order under the protection of Hal Jordan, and that may be a terrible thing.

glcv21“Nope. But that’s the idea, right? I was really interested in how Hal would adjust from a role where he was Captain Kirk going out on every away mission and getting in fist fights, to Captain Picard, being a little more thoughtful and cerebral. No, Hal is not doing a good job, but he’s surrounded by people who can help him, he’ll only listen.”

“No way. Hal needs to hand the torch off to someone else. One bad decision after another with this guy.”

“Not so much impressive as it is interesting to see a guy like Jordan, (rebellious, insubordinate), become leader of THE galactic space police. It’s been a fun ride watching him learn the ropes through trial and error.”

“He will be fired soon. Come on. It’s Hal Jordan.”

“NOOOOO!!!!!!! I am not down at all with the new creative team turning Hal into some Light Nazi Gestapo.”

“Hal Jordan is a hot mess of a leader for the Corps, just as he should be. Hal is the hero who either accidently or purposefully saves the day, not a leader.”

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1. Was Cyclops right?

Yes      32 votes

No       22 votes

It is impressive how divided these results are, but the majority decided that Cyclops was indeed correct. It is staggering how emphatic some responses were, despite being completely opposite. Upon reviewing these comments Scott Summers was called a douche, a plum, a tool, a jerk and a hardheaded punk. This was quite surprising to me and the level of vitriol in his direction was quite impressive. He is clearly a character that divides people and there are few readers that maintain ambivalence. The phrase Scott was right came about after AvX, where he predicted the resurrection of mutants through the return of the Phoenix force. Technically he was correct but the cost was heavy as he broke many bonds and killed his mentor. If we apply the phrase through times pre and post AvX, the answer is a little more blurred. He has been involved in some relatively immoral actions, especially the formation of X-Force, but in recent times he tries to maintain a moral superiority. The segregationist approach to mutants because of the persistent xenophobia towards them is nothing new. Many nations and people across the world have this view and protest for a homeland. What is intriguing is the movement of ideology from Xavier to Magneto with Cyclops. I would love to see this addressed but I expect there to be some less meaningful fighting in the meanwhile. Here are your completely contradicting thoughts (and a picture that indeed makes Scott look as described above):

2627454-long_live_the_mutants“No. Absolutely not.”

“Cyclops is always right. He’s like the Martin Luther King Jr. of the X-Men!”


“To run assassination squads, secret prisons, torture chambers etc, while making no obvious effort to deal lawfully, or even decently, with the problems the mutant population faced? Of course he wasn’t right.”

“Never, even if he was, he will never be right, because then the message would be that we, as a human race, should separate ourselves from one another and not try to work together.”

“Yeah… Angst. I feel sorry for him; they’re all too quick to turn up their noses at him now. Everyone made terrible decisions though… Messy.”

“Yes, and going after him like he’s a criminal while Wanda is free is pretty ridiculous. He killed Xavier while possessed, she wiped out a species.”

“Cyclops was right but he still needs to pay for his killing Prof. X”

“No, but only because Wolverine and the X-Men is a better comic than Uncanny X-Men.”

“No he was driven insane from the Phoenix force and really needs to stop doing that X thing with his arms as it annoys me.”

“Time after time he has tried to explain himself to his former allies only to have them hypocritically browbeat him and call him a murderer and a terrorist.”

“Yes, Gillens Uncanny X-Men completely justified everything he did and Bendis has certainly managed to continue that (which was a complete shocker). No one else stepped up to do what it took to save his race and he did. There was a price to be paid and he paid it.”

2.  How long should Peter Parker be kept out of action?

Forever                      10 votes

Long as possible      29 votes

No longer                   16 votes

I just love this question because as a personal Petey hater, I have quite enjoyed Octavius as Spider-Man. It is an impressive feat to remove a favourite character of many a fan, and I have an immense amount of respect for Slott for persisting with it. Of course there is a movie and an Amazing Spider-Man return this year, and so it makes sense for him to return at one of those junctures for new readers to pick up. Somehow I doubt Slott is lining his schedule up with the movie production but maybe for the comic, he clearly has his own story to tell. There is a resounding feeling that Peter is missed and a sense of guilt that they are enjoying life without him, mainly because the writing is that good. It reminds me of how Ed Brubaker kept Captain America going without Steve Rogers. The loyalists out there are desperate to see their guy back but people are clearly willing to give Slott time to develop his character. Here are some of the great comments:

3334606-4929541828-super“Don’t get me wrong, Spider-Man is my favourite super hero and the reason I started reading comics but in comparison to the Superior Spidey, Parker is kind of dull.”

“Not one minute longer. Get him back and get him back NOW. Superior is boring the crap out of me, it’s SO dull. For me, Spider-Man without Peter Parker is genuinely the worst thing that has ever happened in comics.”

“Compared to the odd and unimpressive version of Parker that’s been around for years now, Spr-Octopus is at least interesting and in keeping with the character’s back-story.”

“Hate to say it, but Otto’s story has been more compelling for me than Peter’s has been in awhile.  I do want Pete back, but give Otto a little more time.”

“He should have been back a while ago. 
We all know it’s going to happen and being reminded every issue that he is ‘Otto, the Superior Spider-Man is just tedious.”

“Not long…I’m gagging to see the damage to his life when Peter returns.”

“It seemed unthinkable when I first heard that Slott would kill off Peter Parker and that one of his greatest villains would take his place but I absolutely love Otto as Spider-Man. At this point, I hope Parker never comes back!”

“Does negative time count? About -24 issues if so. Otherwise as soon as possible. Hell, just release ASM 701 next week and explain nothing, I wouldn’t even care.”

“Wouldn’t it be fantastic if they kept him gone forever? A real shocker from Marvel!”

3.  Do the Avengers need to get bigger?

Yes     6 votes

No      54 votes

This was a phrase uttered, what now seems a millennia ago, by Captain America to Iron Man. It saw the beginning of Hickman’s Avengers and it subsequent expansion. Though it is commendable how Hickman built his team with new heroes but there has been little time to address them individually since Infinity began. This is a failing I have noted in many of his books and I would not mind a more personable set of heroes. They all seem to follow the mold of Steve Rogers, which is not a bad thing when it comes to war. Your voice has uttered a firm negative response to the question and I can appreciate why. Let us explain:

2832895-Avengers_18“Hickman obviously thinks so and Infinity definitely worked, but I do prefer to see a smaller, more focused Avengers team. I feel like I didn’t get to know any of the characters (especially the lesser known ones) in Infinity – which is my one major criticism of the event.”

“Mighty Avengers was a surprising read for me, it’s been a great, diverse group but unfortunately I’m very disappointed all the non-white characters sort of landed on one team.”

“The main Avengers title, while compelling during Infinity became frustrating with the amount of characters, old and new, you had to keep track of at the time. You shouldn’t need a flow chart to read your books.” 

“How much bigger can they get? they’ll turn into the legion of superheroes at this rate, if Marvel isn’t careful.

“Oh god no! Infinity was amazing. It was probably the best event in years, but many people have a really hard time keeping track of the more obscure characters they just seem to throw in the books!”  

“No.  We’re quickly reaching a point where all non-mutant & non-Inhuman heroes are Avengers.  This will ultimately remove the ‘luster’ from the status of being an Avenger.” 

 “I’m not a huge fan of teams with a bajillion different books. So confusing! I really appreciate the books that are completely stand alone.”

“Yes, they’re the Earth’s Mightiest Heroes not New York’s Mightiest Heroes.”

“No, because it will ultimately lead to their downfall. Every time they take their eye off the little things everything falls apart. They’re becoming a law unto themselves and have too much power and little accountability.”

“No. There are already LOTS of Avengers books, and members. I’m currently reading 3 Avengers books, and don’t feel the need for any more. Quality over quantity, I say.”

4.  Does Jonathan Hickman believe in God?

 “I think he wants to but how can he?”

Yes                       4 votes

No                        10 votes

Agnostic              4 votes

No comment       24 votes

The comment above beautifully summarised the argument. I honestly thought this was a very intriguing and interesting question but for the most, people declined an answer. Of the twenty-four comments, there were many joke answers about Hickman being God and many refusing to give answer altogether, decreeing it is his own business. I cannot work out if I had touched a nerve as I honestly wondered if I had crossed a line. I still don’t believe I did but I guess only Hickman can answer that, if per microscopic chance you are reading this then let me know!

There were many that answered no, which seems to be an answer with some evidence. Clearly someone’s beliefs play a part in his or her writing but to explore, in this amount of detail, the origin of the universe, implies a lack of belief in a creationist God. Further extrapolation allows us to see that he explores varying inceptions of creation and mythology, suggesting he does have a view on a higher power. Agnosticism is more likely than atheism. There were some great comments in this topic and I am genuinely disappointed I failed to engage the attention of more readers.

Jonathan-Hickman“He’s spent so long writing about higher powers that he’s probably agnostic but his writing must have pushed the idea of God out of his head.”

“Well, I don’t, but I think people should believe in what ever they want to, but it doesn’t interest me one bit really. I’m not that interested in religion at all, never have been. So if Hickman does or doesn’t, that’s fine by me.”

“Truthfully I don’t think so, he seems to be a man of science. Being an analytical person myself, I respect the hell out of that!”

“Hickman strikes me more as an agnostic. His writing seems to convey his own search for the answers. Between the apocalyptic East Of West, the creation aspects of Infinity and the battle between different gods/religions and science in God Is Dead, lead me to believe that Jonathan Hickman might have trouble answering this question himself. “

“Trick question – Jonathan Hickman is God. On a serious note, I think he has a very interesting view on the universe.”

I do like how he is toying with creationism and evolution by combining the two, usually opposed beliefs, and making them work together. 
The universe was seeded but also allowed to evolve, but only so far as deemed acceptable by our creators?

“He strikes me as an agnostic that wishes he was an atheist. He keeps writing books that hint at a larger being out there.”

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1.  What concerns you most about The Walking Dead: All out war?

Not interested as boring and dragged out         11 votes

No concerns, I have faith in Kirkman                  6 votes

A massive anti-climax                                           4 votes

Will aim for further shock value                           4 votes

No concerns, I have become numb                     3 votes

Given that I have never uttered the letters TWD on my blog posts, you can quickly work out that I wrote this question to address the popularity of this book but I have never read it. I was quite surprised at what I found. Firstly there are many that believe the book has run it’s course and should finish. Then there are those that just think it will fall flat in the finale, with some concerns about the new status quo. This being whether Rick or Negan will survive but to be honest, some people thought that the shock twist tactic has been played out. This seems to have left people empty inside meaning that they either read on masochistically or are numb to any further changes. There are many of you that have faith in Kirkman and I hope that it lives up to your hopes. I have no interest in reading All Out War but if one of you can convince me, then I shall. It appears that the book is being dragged out for popularity and financial reasons, but cynicism appears to run throughout the answers. Let us see what was said:

TWD115_2ndPtg“My biggest fear with All Out War is that Kirkman isn’t going to go big enough and possibly make Negan less compelling. However, so far, despite two issues a month, if feels like almost nothing has happened. Yes, there is a battle going on, however there has been no real loss. Instead of Rick being right, he has once again screwed up and underestimated things, and there just seems to be a murky mess with no tangible goals for either side in sight. In some ways it’s rather boring. I cannot see Negan relenting and I cannot see Rick losing. He’s the main character, without Rick the series is over. Everyone knows that Kirkman will never kill Rick or Carl. Once you reach that point of realization it leaves the whole series feeling hollow.”

“That it’s becoming even more of a cash cow for Kirkman. I can see him beginning to care less about the series but continuing it because it makes the money.”

“Nothing. One of the things I love about Kirkman is that he’s not afraid to do anything and anything he does do is done in the best interest of the comic and not for hype.”

“Pretty sure the combination of what happened to Michonne, Lori, Judith & Glenn has numbed me to anything else. What else can he do to shock people? How can he surprise them? I think there’s one answer left: Kill Rick Grimes. Rick has to lose this fight to keep the story interesting, and I’m not sure Kirkman has the will to do it. “

“Kirkman has long since proven he has no idea what he is doing. He is obviously writing from the seat of his pants with no end-game truly in mind. This series got away from him when it blew up, and now he is beholden to the mighty dollar. He will milk this and drag things out until the $$$ dries up. It’s a shame.”

“I wonder if he’s got the guts to kill Rick, if he wins his story is pretty much done with this arc and I wonder if Kirkman would kill off the “main” character.”

2.  Outside of Alana & Marko, who’s your favourite Saga character?

The Will                      18 votes

Lying Cat                    16 votes

Izabel                          7 votes

The Stalk                    6 votes

Barr                             2 votes

Prince Robot IV         2 votes

Journos                      1 vote

I purposely set this question because Saga is a book that has many a compelling character. The main characters have slowly become less of the central draw to the comic and the supporting cast have taken over. They all represent differing aspects of the struggle Alana and Marko are facing and are poignantly written. I cannot believe Lying Cat did not win this vote either, but congratulations to The Will. His character is essential to the book as, not only does his personality change through it, we see him face loss and grieve in a way he is clearly unfamiliar with. It is through his personal tragedy that really allows our emotions to flow. I am sorry but I had to feature Lying Cat somewhere in this section.

saga-the-will-and-his-lying-cat“My vote goes to The Will. Because he’s hot. And reasons. Many more less superficial reasons. But mainly because he’s hot.”

“The Will has an unexpected heart, hopefully he loves to keep putting it to use.”

“This question is cleverly designed so that anyone who doesn’t respond with Lying Cat is Lying.”

Princ… “Lying” uh… Osw… “Lying” hmmm S “Lying” Th “lying” LYING CAT!!

“The Will. Best. Ever. OMG. Now THAT is an example of a bad boy character I can get behind. Assassin with paternal instincts?! Yes please.“

“The Journalists are my favorite Saga characters. Perhaps it’s because I can relate to the desire to chase the hard story vs. the easy story. I’m not sure but they make me smile.”

“The Stalk.  Then again I’ve always been an arse guy.”

“I really think that Saga is The Will’s story, but that may be my predilection toward self-absorbed, damaged braggarts.”

3.  What has been the best new Image title this year?

1. East of West               19 votes

2. Sex Criminals            14 votes

3. Lazarus                      10 votes

4. Black Science 6 votes = Rat Queens 6. Velvet 4 votes 7. Nowhere Men 3 votes 8. Ten Grand 2 votes = Storm Dogs, Jupiter’s Legacy, Manifest Destiny.

The whole point of this question was to highlight the true strength of Image comics: New creativity. They have their sold titles that are selling exceptionally well but they have brought out some phenomenally good books. It must be noted that people are rapidly becoming attached to books that have barely finished their first arc, let alone brought out a second issue. Examples of this include Velvet, Manifest Destiny, Black Science and Rat Queens. This sort of output is the reason why they are the best publisher and why they will push the industry forward. Sex Criminals proved to be incredibly popular because of how it tackles the taboo subject of sex and shows that it does not always have to be serious or seedy. East of West is a sublime piece of anarchic apocalyptic storytelling by a writer who is dominating the mainstream industry. To achieve this amongst writing the Avengers is an incredible accomplishment.

east_of_west_poster_sm“Velvet & Lazarus. YOU CAN’T MAKE ME PICK, KULBIR”

“For me it’s a tie between Lazarus and Sex Criminals. Image really is spoiling the discerning comic book reader rotten. I’ve read over a dozen new books from them this year, and while some weren’t my cup of tea, not a one was a bad book. Image has become 90’s Vertigo. It is beautiful.” 

“East of West, but only because I’m not convinced Nowhere Men isn’t a figment of my imagination at this point.”

“Oh lord! It’s insanely hard to pick just one off of this list! I’m going to go with Sex Criminals merely because it’s one of the most fun things I’ve ever read and I don’t just mean in comics!”

“Image has been so on form this year it is difficult to pick one title. Rat Queens #1 was great but I missed out on #2, Manifest Destiny was solid as well and Satellite Sam impressed me but the outstanding new Image title of the year has to be Black Science. I haven`t been gripped by any other Image #1 this year as much as that.”

“Storm Dogs. I am a total David Hine fanboy, and the writing, the art, the story, the drama, everything in this book has been solid gold to me! It is cerebral, it’s a thinking mans comic and the sheer scope of what Hine and Braithwaite are creating is fantastic.”

“Nowhere Men, Hands down. I love the idea of “Rockstar Scientists”, and the twist and turns that story has taken have really impressed me.”

“Rat Queens! Without a shadow of a doubt. I want to be half as sassy as Betty. All those girls would be great drinking buddies.”

“East of West is definitely the most amazing story from Image this year with alternative historical fiction, science fiction and pre-apocalyptic political wrangling’s happening all at the same time in a western style atmosphere. However there are many close seconds for me.”

“Out of all of them the most surprising has been Manifest Destiny. It’s only had a chance to have two issues come out. After the first issue I was interested, by the end of the second issue I was creeped out! I love being made uneasy like that while reading a book.”

Final Comments

Once again I would like to thank everyone for participating and letting me share their intimate loves and hates of a art form we all adore. It has been so fantastic and I cannot wait until next year. I would like to finish on a few comments that do not fit any of the above categories, some a funny, some are quite serious and insightful.

You didn’t ask for any breakout writers/artists but I’m gonna mention some anyway. 🙂

  • Max Bemis (writer on Polarity)
  • Michael Moreci (writer on Hoax Hunters, Prime-8’s and upcoming Curse)
  • Ed Brisson (writer on Comeback and Sheltered)
  • Johnnie Christmas (artist on Sheltered)
  • Geoff Shaw (artist on Buzzkill)
  • Christopher Sebela and Ibrahim Mustafa (team on High Crimes)

Questions relating to DC: 

  • What DC have comics? I thought they just made movies!
  • What DC have comics? I thought they just made toys!
  • What DC have comics? I thought they just made animated kids TV shows!

Favourite comic:

I shouldn’t need to answer this Koolie it should be obvious

1. Hawkeye

2. Hawkeye

3. Hawkeye

A caution: 

Thank you for asking, it’s been fun to do, but I won’t sulk if you decide my responses will distort the final result. I fear I can’t buy into the mass of Big Two books out there these days, and that leaves me sounding pretty cynical and snotty. That’s not my intention. It’s just not my era where the superhero comic is concerned. Luckily, it’s been a brilliant year for comics in general.

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