Okay, it's that time of year again, where lists dominate the internet, overwhelming us, pulling us this way and that. My list may not be a traditional view of the top twenty comics that have come out this past year, but they are the twenty I personally enjoyed the most. I'm not going to put something in my list just because I feel obligated to do so. And so, this is the first half of the best of the year...
20. Seven Soldiers: Guardian by Grant Morrison and Cameron Stewart (DC Comics) The new Manhatten Guardian surprised me by becoming my favorite of the maxiseries Seven Soldiers so far. I wasn't expecting much, but the creative zaniness of this story just worked, with each issue seeming like a story in its own right, all different from one another, but all great nonetheless.
19. Mora by Phil Harmon (Image Comics) A strange, disturbing horror story with three storylines drifting and overlapping through four issues. Read more
18. Fables by Bill Willingham and Mark Buckingham (and may I also mention the gorgeous covers by James Jean) (DC/Vertigo) This year's stories included the great "Homelands" arc, where we get to see where the NYC fables came from and who instigated their evacuation.
17. Runaways by Brian K. Vaughan and Adrian Alphona (Marvel Comics) The beginning of the second "season" of the series, with a giant leap forward in art by Alphona, and the runaways creating a new life for themselves in the ever-changing series.
16. Manhunter by Marc Andreyko and Jesus Saiz (and again, great covers by Jae Lee) (DC Comics) Including the "Manhunted" arc, this dark portrayal of superhero vigilante Kate Spencer is the best in years. A welcome new character in an already-crowded superhero universe.
15. Astonishing X-Men by Joss Whedon and John Cassaday (Marvel Comics) My number one book last year with the awesome "Gifted" story falls to fifteenth place with "Dangerous," even though it was a great story despite harsh criticism.
14. Mnemovore by Hans Rodionoff, Ray Fawkes and Mike Huddleston (DC/Vertigo) A real creepy mini-series that experiments with the medium and creates a great atmosphere to get disturbed in. Read more about this little horror number.
13. Persepolis 2: The Story of a Return by Marjane Satrapi (Pantheon) This is a great autobiography from a woman escaping a country plagued by war. She's really interesting and goes through some trying times in Europe, lonelier than she's ever been.
12. Lady Snowblood by Kazuo Koike and Kazuo Kamimura (Dark Horse) From the creator of Lone Wolf and Cub, this samurai series was the inspiration for the phenomenal Kill Bill movies. Read more about volume one of this series.
11. Sexy Voice and Robo by Iou Kuroda (Viz) This manga title I had trouble placing in my countdown. I was back and forth between this one and my number ten comic, but the other title won out. This is about a schoolgirl who uses her voice ala Veronica Mars to carry out missions for an enigmatic old man. Read more
Stay tuned for part two of my best of the year!