One of the things that I usually do on my blog towards the end of each year is a list of some of my favourite purchases from the previous year’s worth of releases. I may still end up doing a more comprehensive list for all comics released in 2009 that came across my path, but I thought that since we are heading into a gift-giving season that I might highlight some of my favourites by Canadians from 2009. I’m sure that we’ll be seeing some of these works represented on the 2010 nominees list.
Feel free to post additional recommendations as a reply to this post!
Wolverine: Old Man Logan by Mark Millar and Steve McNiven (Marvel)
– Although technically an American living in Canada, Steve McNiven has proven time and again that he is a fan-favourite creator, and the Old Man Logan is in many respects, the character’s Dark Knight Returns as an older Wolverine is brought out of retirement into a world where the heroes lost.
Captain Canuck Book One by Richard Comely and George Freeman (IDW)
– Canada’s first national superhero sensation, this fantastic hardcover features some fantastic artwork by George Freeman.
Ultimatum by Jeph Loeb and David Finch (Marvel)
– The complete mini-series featuring stellar artwork by Joe Shuster Award-winning artist David Finch. The world of the Ultimate line is crashing down. Many heroes die, others scarred for the relaunch of the Ultimate Comics line this past summer.
Justice Society of America: Thy Kingdom Come Book Three and Justice Society of America: Black Adam and Isis by Geoff Johns, Jerry Ordway and Dale Eaglesham (DC Comics)
– Dale Eaglesham’s artwork is in top form. Recommended that you read parts one and two first, but the Black Adam and Isis is a stand-alone volume, featuring the last Johns/Eaglesham colaboration.
Avengers/Invaders by Alex Ross, Jim Krueger and Steve Sadowski (Marvel)
– The complete mini-series featuring some great artwork by 2009 artist nominee Steve Sadowski.
The Collected Doug Wright Vol. 1: Canada’s Master Cartoonist by Doug Wright, edited by Brad MacKay and Seth (Drawn & Quarterly)
– A handsome collection designed by Seth of Doug Wright strip collections with an insightful essay on Wright by MacKay.
Strange Suspense: The Steve Ditko Archives Vol. 1 by Steve Ditko, edited by Blake Bell (Fantagraphics)
– Canadian editor Bell writes a brief introduction to this volume, and the pre-code horror and science fiction stories by Ditko are a real treasure for those of us who haven’t had a chance to see them before.
Prince Valiant Vol. 1: 1937-1938 by Hal Foster (Fantagraphics)
– This exceptional volume includes some great historical essays on Halifax native Foster and his career, with some excellent photos. However, the reproduction work is top notch and shows why Foster was such an inspiration to the legions of creators that followed in his wake, including Joe Shuster.
Disney/Pixar’s The Incredibles: Family Matters by Mark Waid and Marcio Takara (Boom!)
– Boom Studios has been doing a great job with their kids line, and Waid and Takara really capture the essence of the characters from Brad Bird’s movie. Gave this one to my niece (9) and nephew (12) and they both loved it. Can’t wait for the second collection to arrive in early 2010.
Jellaby Book Two by Kean Soo (Hyperion)
– Book One earned Soo the 2009 Comics for Kids Award, and Book Two is just as good. A great gift for a younger reader.
Les Nombrils Tome 4: Duel de belles by Delaf and Maryse Dubuc (Dupuis)
– Multiple nominees Delaf and Dubuc continue their popular series.
Harvey by Hervé Bouchard and Janice Nadeau (La Pasteque)
– The book that took home two Governor-General awards for literary work aimed for children.
Paul à Québec by Michel Rabagliati (La Pasteque)
– Rabagliati’s Paul series continues. D+Q will probably publish this in English in 2010.
Red: A Haida Manga by Michael Nicoll Yahgulanaas (Douglas & McIntyre)
– I’d be remiss not to include this ground-breaking work.
Angora Napkin by Troy Little (IDW)
– Fun book, the basis for what will hopefully be a regular series on Telatoon.
Scott Pilgrim Book 5 by Bryan Lee O’Malley (Oni Press)
– 2010 will be the year of Scott Pilgrim with the publication of Volume 6 and the release of the Edgar Wright directed motion picture. Book 5 continues the exceptional series, and was the toast of the New York Comic Con back in February.
The Nobody by Jeff Lemire (DC/Vertigo)
– A moving graphic novel, detailing the effect that the presence of a mysterious bandaged stranger (the Invisible Man) has on the residents of a small fishing village.
The Collected Essex County by Jeff Lemire (Top Shelf)
– Books 1 and 2 earned Lemire the 2008 Cartoonist JSA and book 3 a nomination in the same category. Exceptional and poignant, Essex County will be studied for many years. Book 2 is without a doubt one of the most powerful graphic novels you will ever encounter. This collection is a must-have.
Richard Stark’s Parker Book One: The Hunter by Darwyn Cooke (IDW)
– Man, Darwyn knocked this one out of the park! A fantastic adaptation of Stark’s (aka Donald Westlake) crime novel The Hunter, which has been adapted twice for the silver screen (as Point Blank – starring Lee Marvin, and Payback – starring Mel Gibson). Cooke’s pacing and unique style make this a great gift for any fan of crime fiction or of Cooke’s previous work (like the Spirit and DC The New Frontier).
George Sprott 1894-1975 by Seth (Drawn & Quarterly)
– Collecting stories originally presented in the NY Times magazine with some new material, George Sprott is a wonderful and elegant work. Definitely worth checking out.