11 O’Closcars — 2016 Favorite Comics

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 Comics

Favorite Digital Firsts or Webcomics

David is nothing if not predictable, choosing Ménage a 3, yet again. David has chosen the naughty (and funny!) artistic offspring of Gisele Legace and Dave Lumsdon in every year of our voting. Vince joined David this year, which is a testament to the consistent quality of the series. Jason and the audience were of like mind, opting for Daniel Warren Johnson’s brilliant space trucker adventure, Space-Mullet.

Menage-a-3 Strip
Space-Mullet Panel

Favorite Ongoing Series

  • David — Doctor Strange (Marvel)
  • Jason — Deadly Class (Image)
  • Vince — The Flintstones (DC)
  • EOC Community — Deadly Class (Image)

This is always one of the more difficult categories, given how many amazing comics hit the stands each year. David tipped his cap to team of Jason Aaron, Chris Bachalo and a cadre of inkers on the latest volume of Doctor Strange. Marvel’s Sorcerer Supreme has never been in better hands. Jason once again concurred with the EOC community; both think Rick Remender and Wes Craig crafted a true masterpiece in Deadly Class — a story of a school for assassins-in-training set in the 1980s. Last, but certainly not least, Vince couldn’t stop his gushing for the reimagining of The Flintstones. Mark Russell and Steve Pugh have taken a timeless cartoon and turned it into a politically-charged, subversive social commentary.

Favorite Singles/One-Shots

  • David — DC Universe: Rebirth #1 (DC)
  • Jason — Criminal: Tenth Anniversary Special Edition Magazine (Image)
  • Vince — DC Universe: Rebirth #1 (DC)
  • EOC Community — DC Universe: Rebirth #1 (DC)

Jason was the outlier here, choosing the brilliantly composed Criminal: Tenth Anniversary Special Edition Magazine. In celebration of 10 years of the series, Brubaker and Phillips give us a father son story with all the typical heartbreak and pathos that defines the series. David, Vince and the audience (in overwhelming fashion) selected DC Universe: Rebirth #1…the Geoff Johns’ helmed issue that launched DC Comics back into a world that celebrates all that’s come before, while also hinting that Alan Moore’s seminal Watchmen is tied to the main DCU.

Favorite Limited Series

  • David — Superman: Lois and Clark (DC)
  • Jason — Tokyo Ghost (Image)
  • Vince — Dark Knight III: Master Race (DC)
  • EOC Community — 3-Way Tie: House of Penance (Dark Horse), Jupiter’s Legacy 2 (Image), Lake of Fire (Image)

If you’ve listened to our show for a long time, there’s something wonderful karmic about David choosing a Superman series and Vince choosing a Batman series. Vince’s choice — Frank Miller and Brian Azzarello’s Dark Knight III: Master Race, is probably the most hyped limited series of the year. We’re really glad it made Vince happy. David went with Superman: Lois and Clark, finding it hard to resist the combination of Jurgens and Weeks. Jason kept up his Rick Remender love fest by selecting Tokyo Ghost — the futuristic, samurai/techno mashup done in partnership with Sean Gordon Murphy. The EOC community was indecisive in this category, with a few dozen titles getting votes. That led to a 3-way tie for House of Penance, Jupiter’s Legacy 2 and Lake of Fire.

Favorite Original Graphic Novels

  • David — The Art of Charlie Chan Hock Chye (Pantheon)
  • Jason — The Art of Charlie Chan Hock Chye (Pantheon)
  • Vince — The Art of Charlie Chan Hock Chye (Pantheon)
  • EOC Community — Dark Night: A True Batman Story (DC/Vertigo)

When we’re right, we’re right. The minute Vince recommended The Art of Charlie Chan Hock Chye on the show, it set course for one of those transcendent works that all three co-hosts agreed was masterful. Sonny Liew created a faux biography of a fictional creator, and shows off an incomparable number of artistic styles and techniques to deliver a modern classic. The audience opted for Dark Night: A True Batman Story, which was a popular choice among the hosts in the Genre categories. Paul Dini’s story of his own violent experience was made alarmingly haunting by Eduardo Risso’s artistry.

Favorite Collected Editions/Reprints

  • David — Wandering Star (Dover Comics)
  • Jason — Killing and Dying (Drawn & Quarterly)
  • Vince — Puke Force (Drawn & Quarterly)
  • EOC Community — Master of Kung Fu Omnibus (Marvel)

With so many incredible comics being brought to new audiences through re-issues and new packaging (e.g., hardcovers), it stands to reason this would be a diverse set of winners. David adored the fact Teri S. Wood’s Wandering Star was re-issued after nearly two decades. Jason was taken by Adrian Tomine’s collection of short stories, Killing and Dying (editor’s note: Jason accidentally broke the rules here, since Killing and Dying was published in 2015, not 2016). Vince can never resist a chance to tout Brian Chippendale’s work, Puke Force. Last but not least, the EOC community was giddy about Marvel’s decision to collect the classic bronze age kung-fu adventures of Shang Chi, aka the Master of Kung Fu.

Favorite New Comics

  • David — Seven to Eternity (Image)
  • Jason — Seven to Eternity (Image)
  • Vince — Seven to Eternity (Image)
  • EOC Community — Black Hammer (Dark Horse)

The cosmic forces aligned as all three of our EOC hosts agreed that Rick Remender and Jerome Opena’s fantasy adventure, Seven to Eternity, was their favorite new comic of 2016. The long-time collaborators take us into a new world called Zhal as a band of revolutionaries attempts to free civilization from the God of Whisperers. The audience went their own way, choosing Jeff Lemire and Dean Ormston’s Black Hammer, a story of a once-great super team now stuck living in a rural town on a small farm.

Favorite Publishers

  • David — DC Comics
  • Jason — DC Comics
  • Vince — DC Comics
  • EOC Community — Image Comics

The EOC community voted overwhelmingly for Image Comics; and that’s hardly a choice worth arguing against. Vince, David and Jason have voted for Image more times over the 8 years of the O’Closcars than all other publishers, combined. This year, though, our hosts unanimously tipped their caps to DC Comics. Rebirth was the creative renaissance the “Distinguished Competition” sorely needed.

Comics of the Year

  • David — Vision (Marvel)
  • Jason — Vision (Marvel)
  • Vince — The Art of Charlie Chan Hock Chye (Pantheon)
  • EOC Community — Vision (Marvel)

With all the astoundingly good work to hit the stands in 2016, it’s a testament to Tom King and Gabriel Hernandez Walta that David, Jason and the EOC audience all agreed Vision was the top book. The 12-issue series reimagined the long-time Avengers as a husband and father of synthezoids struggling to fit into society. Vince could’ve ignore his unending adulation for Sonny Liew’s The Art of Charlie Chan Hock Chye.