Each year, we celebrate our favorite comics and creators by recognizing them in our year-end awards — the 11 O’Closcars. Unlike many shows or websites that pick a single “Best of…”, we share with you each of our favorites in each category. As importantly, we also poll our fantastic community for their choices. If you haven’t already, give Episode 456 a listen to hear the entirety of our annual awards extravaganza. In the alternative, we’ve provided all the winners by category here for your handy reference.
2016 Favorite Genres
- David — Love is Love (IDW)
- Jason — Love is Love (IDW)
- Vince — Haunted Horror (IDW/Yoe Books)
- EOC Community — Island (Image)
Credit to IDW Publishing for taking the 3/4ths of the Anthology genre this year. Both Jason and David chose the recently released Love is Love — a heartfelt tribute to those lost in the nightclub shooting in Orlando. Vince married is love of horror comics with the anthology category by celebrating Craig Yoe’s wonderfully horrific Haunted Horror. The listeners chose Brandon Graham’s passion project, Island.
Favorite Horror Comics
- David — Afterlife with Archie (Archie)
- Jason — Harrow County (Dark Horse)
- Vince — Providence (Avatar)
- EOC Community — Harrow County (Dark Horse)
In a surprise, Vince voted for Alan Moore and Jacen Burrows’ Providence. The H.P. Lovecraft-inspired comic shook off a slow start to vault into award-winning form late in the year. David went with Afterlife with Archie, in spite of the oft-delayed book only putting out two issues in 2016. The infrequent release schedule was forgivable given the quality Robert Aguirre-Sacasa and Francesco Francavilla brought to the page. Jason and the EOC community were in agreement on Harrow County. Cullen Bunn and Tyler Crook are taking us on a twisted journey into their southern gothic fairytale.
Favorite All Ages Comics
- David — Batman/Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle Adventures (DC/IDW)
- Jason — Giant Days (Boom)
- Vince — Nada/Zilch/Zip
- EOC Community — Ms Marvel (Marvel)
The All Ages category is a new addition to the awards slate this year, and David took the opportunity to recognize the DC/IDW crossover paring Batman and the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. James Tynion IV crafted a fun tale while Freddie Williams shone on art. Jason went with Giant Days, a tale of three women’s adventures in college (told masterfully by John Allison and Max Sarin). The EOC Community chose the very deserving Ms. Marvel — which chronicles Kamala Khan as she deals with being a young student and a superhero. Vince abstained from the category — because he has no soul.
Favorite Licensed Comics
- David — The Flintstones (DC)
- Jason — Darth Vader (Marvel)
- Vince — Scooby Apocalypse (DC)
- EOC Community — The Flintstones (DC)
DC’s Hanna Barbera re-imaging was a bit hit with the EOC crew this year. Vince gave the nod to Giffen, DeMatteis and Porter’s Scooby Apocalypse, which turns the silly detective adventure into a post-Apocalyptic survival tale. David and the EOC listeners chose Mark Russell and Steve Pugh’s The Flintstones instead, which brings uproarious, sometimes shocking satire to the world of Fred and Wilma. Jason is the only dissenter, tipping his cap to the best of the Marvel Star Wars books — Gillen and Larroca’s Darth Vader.
Favorite Crime/Mystery Comics
- David — Dept. H (Dark Horse)
- Jason — Deadly Class (Image)
- Vince — Cannibal (Image)
- EOC Community — Kill or Be Killed (Image)
Vince couldn’t have higher praise for Brian Buccellato, Jennifer Young and Matias Bergara’s Cannibal — a murder mystery in a near-future where some people have an uncontrollable desire to eat human flesh. Jason couldn’t chose anything other than Deadly Class, Rick Remender and Wes Craig’s look into an 80s’ assassin-in-training school. David chose another EOC favorite — Matt Kindt’s Dept. H — another murder mystery unraveling in the depths of the ocean. The EOC listeners chose Sean Phillips and Ed Brubaker’s Kill or Be Killed — which follows the budding emergence of a young, misguided vigilante.
Favorite Adventure Comics
- David — Deadly Class (Image)
- Jason — Seven to Eternity (Image)
- Vince — Weirdworld (Marvel)
- EOC Community — Paper Girls (Image)
Adventure is a genre with a somewhat nebulous characteristics. You’ll note that Deadly Class also won in the Crime/Mystery category, but David opted to recognize Remender and Craig’s brilliant tale of assassins-in-training here, instead. Jason’s choice, Seven to Eternity, also by Rick Remember (with stunning art by Jerome Opena), could have easily won in the Science Fiction/Fantasy category. Weirdworld also would’ve fit right at home in the Sci-Fi/Fantasy genre, but Vince gave the rousing, crazy look into an offshoot of the Marvel Universe (by Sam Humphries and Mike del Mundo) the nod in Adventure, instead. The EOC community opted for Brian K. Vaughan and Cliff Chang’s 80s-inspired Paper Girls — another fitting choice.
Favorite Science Fiction/Fantasy Comics
- David — The Mighty Thor (Marvel)
- Jason — Descender (Image)
- Vince — Omega Men (DC)
- EOC Community — Black Science (Image)
This is always one of the more difficult genres to choose from. Outside of superheroes, this genre has the most variety on the shelves. Given the variety, it’s no surprise we had four different winners in the category. David opted to reward the Mighty Thor’s Jason Aaron, Russell Dauterman and Matt Wilson for their consistent excellence in telling the story of Jane Foster in her quest to survive a battle with cancer while holding down the legendary mantle of the God of Thunder. Jason chose Jeff Lemire and Dustin Nguyen’s Descender — a fantastic tale of a future when robot are banished thanks to a near-Apocalyptic rebellion years before. Vince was in love with Tom King and Barnaby Bagenda’s Omega Men from the first page, and wasn’t alone in wishing it last more than 12 issues. The EOC community went with Rick Remender and Matteo Scalera’s Black Science — a tale of dimension-hopping scientists bent on finding redemption after early mistakes.
Favorite Non-Fiction Comics
- David — Dark Night: A True Batman Story (DC/Vertigo)
- Jason — March: Book 3 (IDW/Top Shelf)
- Vince — Dark Night: A True Batman Story (DC/Vertigo)
- EOC Community — March: Book 3 (IDW/Top Shelf)
This was a relatively spartan year for non-fiction comics. Our hosts uncharacteristically read very few books in this genre, but thankfully two of the books on the truncated list happened to be all-time greats. Jason and the audience selected the 3rd volume of the March series, which chronicles the civil rights journey through the eyes of Congressman John Lewis. Nate Powell brings the book to life visually, and Andrew Aydin partners with Congressman Lewis on the scripting. Vince and David were particularly taken with Dark Night: A True Batman Story. Drawn by cartoonist extraordinaire Eduardo Risso, this book looks at the very real and harrowing experiences of long-time Batman creator Paul Dini who was brutally assaulted years ago while walking home in the city.
Favorite Superhero Comics
- David — Superman (DC)
- Jason — Harley Quinn (DC)
- Vince — Superman (DC)
- EOC Community — Superman (DC)
Jason is the outlier here, opting for Harley Quinn as his favorite superhero book. Writers Jimmy Palmiotti and Amanda Conner have managed to tow the line between slapstick humor and action-packed adventure. It’s so easy to cross that line in comics, but they’ve continually excelled with Harley and her gang of misfits. The book is brought to life visually by a host of artists including Chad Hardin, John Timms, Bret Blevins and Jill Thompson. David, Vince and our listeners all agreed that Superman was their favorite “capes” book of 2016. The iconic lead character hadn’t found a consistent voice in recent years, but the team of Peter Tomasi, Pat Gleason, Jorge Jimenez and Mick Gray has returned Kal-El to the top of the superhero rankings.