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Trouble with Comics

ADD’s 10 Best Comics of 2011

Criminal: The Last of the Innocent by Ed Brubaker and Sean Phillips (Marvel/Icon) — Nuanced and bold, a new high-water mark for Criminal, which continues to be the best regularly-published comic book around. Check out the Flashmob Fridays reviews.

Incognito: Bad Influences by Ed Brubaker and Sean Phillips (Marvel/Icon) — Not quite as soaring as the very best of Criminal, Incognito still manages to entertain and provide the sort of thrills corporate comics don’t even bother with anymore.

League of Extraordinary Gentlemen: Century 1969 by Alan Moore and Kevin O’Neill (Top¬†Shelf) — This series has only gotten deeper and better since freeing itself of DC’s control.

Neonomicon by Alan Moore and Jacen Burrows (Avatar) — There was a lot of outrage and controversy surrounding this title, but I thought Moore conveyed a lot of subtext and genuine horror in this Lovecraft-inspired title, every issue of which had me giddily anticipating more, even as it plumbed the darkest depths of human and inhuman cruelty.¬†

Daredevil by Mark Waid, Marcos Martin and Paolo Rivera (Marvel) — As Tucker Stone recently noted in his interview with Tom Spurgeon, this title stands out simply because it is good superhero comics, and Marvel and DC don’t know how to do that anymore. It is, therefore, a miracle. Flashmob Fridays covered this one recently, too.

Treasury of XXth Century Murder: The Lives of Sacco and Vanzetti by Rick Geary (NBM) — If you’re not following this continuing series of self-contained graphic novels centered on true crimes of the past, you are missing out on some of the most entertaining, witty and well-crafted comics being produced in the world today.

Little Nothings Vol. 4: My Shadow in the Distance (NBM) — Whimsical, genuine. Here’s my review.

Batman: Legends of the Dark Knight - Marshall Rogers (DC Comics) — My nostalgia gene doesn’t usually express itself, but the Englehart/Rogers/Austin Batman stories were the first Batman comics I ever loved, and my 10-year-old self is very happy this collection exists.

Avengers Academy by Christos Gage, Mike McKone, Tom Raney and others (Marvel) — Not quite as good as Daredevil, but head-and-shoulders above the average, unreadable current-day Marvel comic. And any book with art by Tom Raney gets a look from me, because he is just an amazing artist and brings a great deal to the projects he works on.

Walt Disney’s Donald Duck: Lost in the Andes by Carl Barks (Fantagraphics) — Quite simply, some of the best comics of all time, in the most beautiful design and format of any book I saw all year.