2020 has been a crap year for a whole lot of things. Thankfully there’s been some great stuff in comic books. So, I decided to round up some recommendations for some of the best things people have read in 2020.
I asked fellow comic creators and publishers, comic fans across the interwebs, and of course from my own pages and pages of reading. Pulling together a not so definitive list of sequential art and storytelling that will keep you entertained for hours to come. And then some.
All these are based on personal preferences and tastes, not sales, popularity contests, or any other such criteria.
Aniruddho Chakraborty, founder of Chariot Comics recommends
Mark Russell and Steve Pugh
Welcome to Billionaire Island, where anything goes… if you can afford it. But the island’s ultra-rich inhabitants are about to learn that their ill-gotten gains come at a very high price.
DC’s Young Animal
N.K. Jemisin and Jamal Campbell
A new Green Lantern story for the ages. For the past six months, newly chosen Green Lantern Sojourner “Jo” Mullein has been protecting the City Enduring, a massive metropolis of 20 billion people. The city has maintained peace for over 500 years by stripping its citizens of their ability to feel. As a result, violent crime is pretty much unheard of, and murder is non-existent. But that’s all about to change in this new maxiseries that gives a DC Young Animal spin to the legacy of the Green Lanterns!
Akshay Dhar, founder & co-owner of Meta Desi Comics and one half of the dynamic duo writing the award-winning Holy Hell series recommends
TMNT The Last Ronin
Kevin Eastman, Peter Laird, Tom Waltz, Escorza, and Delgado
I’ve raved about this issue before. And I’ll do it again. From the minds of the creators of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles comes The Last Ronin. A story set in the NYC of an unrecognisable future, one single turtle is on a seemingly hopeless mission to avenge his fallen family. The second part set to release in January, you can be sure it’s going to have its own set of fantastic variant covers. Just like the 71 that came with issue #1.
Al Ewing, Joe Bennett, Javier Rodriguez
Ok, Technically not a strictly 2020 comic. The Immortal Hulk has been an ongoing series since 2018, but the run into 2020 has been nothing short of exciting. Read it from the start and get ready to see the Hulk like you’ve never seen him before.
We only Find them when they’re dead.
Al Ewing and Simone De Meo
A Sci-fi epic on the edge of space, where humanity is harvesting the corpses of giant alien gods to survive. No one has ever seen a living god, but Captain Malik is obsessed with being the first. Captain Malik and the crew of the Vihaan II harvest the only resources that matter from the giant corpses of alien gods found on the edge of human space. While other autopsy ships race to salvage the meat, minerals, and metals that sustain the human race, Malik sees an opportunity to finally break free from this system. But Malik’s obsession with the gods will push his crew into the darkest reaches of space, bringing them face to face with a threat unlike anything they’ve ever imagined—unless the rogue agent on their trail can stop them first.
Jatin Varma, the Founder, and head honcho of Comic Con India recommends
Paul at Home
Published in english by Drawn & Quarterly, this is the 9th graphic novel in the Paul series.
Paul is in his mid-50s, a successful cartoonist with an achy shoulder living in a house he once shared with his wife and daughter. The backyard is unkempt, full of weeds. A swing set sits idle, slowly rusting beside a half-dead tree Paul planted with his then-five-year-old daughter. The room that belonged to his now-18-year-old daughter is mostly unused, especially once she decides to move overseas. Rabagliati doesn’t shy away from these intimate issues, approaching them as much with self-deprecating humor as with sorrow or pain. Characterized by both a deep insight and a willingness to poke fun at life’s shortcomings, Paul at Home is a playful and poetic rumination on loss and the sometimes unsettling changes that come with middle age.
Abhijeet Kini, the man mountain behind Angry Maushi and a whole load of award-winning comical goodness, recommends
Tom King, Jorge Fornes, Dave Stewart
If you enjoy anything Watchmen related, you’re going to enjoy this. It’s been 35 years since Ozymandias dropped a giant interdimensional squid on New York City, killing thousands and destroying the public’s trust in heroes once and for all. And since that time, one figure in a fedora, mask, and trenchcoat has become a divisive culture icon. So what does it mean when Rorschach reappears as an assassin trying to kill a candidate running against President Robert Redford? Who is the man behind the mask, and why is he acting this way? It’s up to one detective to uncover the true identity of this would-be killer—and it will take him into a web of conspiracies involving alien invasions, disgraced do-gooders, mystic visions, and yes, comic books.
The awesome John Kovalic of Dork Tower and Munchkins fame says
Skottie Young, Jorge Cardona
Another series that been running for a while. Middlewest, is one of those series from the crazy crazy mind of Skottie Young, that you just cant help but be in awe off. Here is a tale of Abel, a young boy who must navigate the old land in a quest to reconcile his family’s history. At least that’s how it starts. Read on to see what happens.
Dumbing of age
Web Comic by David Willis
As a man who makes an incredible web-comic himself, John’s recommendation towards web series is not surprising. So when he recommends a webcomic (or any comic for that matter) I take it seriously.
Dumbing of Age is a college web comic, that tells the stories of a whole host of characters. It’s a reboot of his own webcomics universe, “The Walkyverse”. Which originally began in 1997 with Roomies. Then onto It’s Walky. And more.
Why should you read this now?! Over the years Willis has refined his style and his characters to a point of perfection. So you can actually see the character growth as it trudges along.
Also published in book form so you can grab a copy, you can check out this ongoing story at his website https://www.dumbingofage.com/
Stick Figure Hamlet
Dan Carroll a.k.a Goodticklebrain and William Shakespeare
Described as the greatest work of literature in human history… now with pictures. Essentially you see Hamlet by William Shakespeare turned into, well stick figure. It’s hilarious, it’s delightful, it’s available in web comic and printed on paper. Go check it out.
And rounding up with some of my personal favourites (beyond those already mentioned above) this year –
Once and Future
Keiron Gillen and Dan Mora
Arguably my favourite series of the year. This dramatic action packed story is something I been recommending to anyone who listens and their grandmother. Follow a bloody recreation of sorts of the King Arthur legend, but not quite.
Geoff Johns and Jason Fabok
Thirty years after Batman: The Killing Joke changed everything, Three Jokers re-examines the myth of who or what the Joker is. Geoff Johns and Jason Fabok delve into the mind of the clown prince of crime. A great start, with a sort of meh finish, but still an interesting read and a fantastic concept that came from the pages of the Darkseid War in Justice League comics.
Donny Cates, Nic Klein, and Matt Wilson
The prince of Asgard is now king. Thor delves into madness as he struggles in his new role longing for the glory of battle. A new enemy approaches, the Black Winter is coming and to stop it Thor must take to the frontlines again. He becomes a herald of Galactus. Not only that, an old “friend” returns to the pages of Thor. Check this series out for some incredible character development combined with utter madness.
Chip Zdarsky and Marco Checcheto
2020 has brought out some great stuff in Daredevil. Home to some of the greatest creative runs in Marvel history, which makes it an intimidating prospect for any newcomers. But under Chip Zdarsky and artists like Marco Checchetto, Daredevil is back to consistently being one of the best superhero comics on the stands, Marvel or otherwise. Full of action, intrigue, twists and turns that will keep you stuck to this series like white on rice. This is one series that definitely deserves to be on your radar.
Here’s looking forward to a new year, and all the comic and pop-culture goodness that comes with it.
To quote Stan Lee: Face Front True Believers. Excelsior!