Friday, January 06, 2006

2005 2GBC Awards: Chris Edition: Best Ongoing Series

On with the ceremonies!

Today we're looking at the awards for Best Ongoing Series. My personal criteria for this award: At least 3 issues published this year. That's it. Just three. Which means that if a latecomer managed to put out a couple of great issues in an ongoing that hasn't been announced for cancellation next month then they're in the discussion whether it's fair or not. Of course, lateness in schedule will play a part too, so if you promised 10 issues and delivered 3 (I'm lookin' at YOU, Iron Man) then you're probably not in the running.

Also excluded are comics I didn't actually buy monthlies of, which is the ONLY reason 100 Bullets isn't in the mix. Once I get caught up on the 8 trades Jake loaned me, though, it'll get on the pull list.

Bronze: Marvel Team-Up

Yeah, you're guaranteed about 1 bad issue for every four. Sadly, that's a pretty darn good ratio these days. Robert Kirkman provides a funny, thoughtful look at the Marvel cast of characters, and while the series overall is still Spidey-centric, we've also seen Nova, Warbird, She-Hulk, Moon Knight, Blade, the Ringmaster, Stilt Man, and Invincible. It has a few problems --- usually art-related --- but I don't think there's been an issue yet that hasn't made me laugh out loud at least once. Old-school Marvel, old-school fun.

Silver: Hawkman

I think that Jimmy Palmiotti and Justin Gray's work on this comic has been nothing short of excellent. Yeah, I know Geoff Johns did the heavy lifting with the origin stuff. But quite frankly, I had lost all interest in Carter Hall and Kendra Saunders for many years until Palmiotti and Gray took over and embarked on their revitalization of the Hawks' rogues. What's more, they didn't forget that part of the reason Hawkman works is because he's so darn good with a mace. The Joe Bennett art was perfect for this book as well. The story, the characters and the plots made this my most looked-forward-to book every month. Too bad DC foisted Rann-Thanagar crap on these guys, as the Charley Parker story felt rushed at the end, and the title's getting renamed Hawkgirl after Infinite Crisis is over. (The good news: Walt Freakin' Simonson is on it. Let's see...I seem to recall him doing an OK job with another quasi-religious/spiritual/cosmic warrior hero...who was that?)Two thumbs up, and go get the "Farewell, My Enemy" trade when it comes out.

Gold: Fell

Gotta do it. I know there's only been three issues so far. I don't care. I've already raved about this Warren Ellis book on the blog, but I'm gonna do it again. Let's run down the benefits, once more for the newbies:

  • It's a 16-page story that each month includes 6 pages of text from Warren Ellis on the process behind that month's issue
  • It's a 16-page story that reads like a 32-pager
  • It's $1.99
  • It's done-in-one mysteries
  • There's a creepy ominous air over the whole thing because of the city that serves as much, much more than a background
  • Ben Templesmith is a much better artist on this than you might think. It works very well.
  • The cast is small and interesting
  • Just pick one up already

I would rather read the 3 issues of this book than the entire year-long run of any other comic, which is why it gets the gold from This Guy Buying Comics. I could not be more impressed at the value and the quality of this book.

Honorable mention: Elk's Run, Conan, Jonah Hex


Blogger kelvingreen said...

Interesting choices there. I fully agree regarding MTU (as you know), I know next to nothing about Hawkman (but I'm looking forward to Simonson's run), and I like Fell and what it does for the comics format, but I tend to think it's a bit overrated.

1:27 PM  
Blogger Jake said...

A bit overrated? I hate to imagine the hype it would get if it actually had a decent story or art in it.

3:07 PM  
Blogger kelvingreen said...

Fell has good solid stories and while I can understand why some might not like the art (I'm still undecided), it does the job. And it undeniably does some progressive things in terms of storytelling, format and comics economics. I think it's an important book.

But I also think it's somewhat overrated; some people talk about it like it's a flawless bit of comics, which it certainly is not.

6:48 PM  
Blogger Grotesqueticle said...

The entire comics blogosphere is ranking on Rann/THangar. Sure, the story is weak, but the art was pretty freaking solid. Better than solid actually.

6:59 PM  
Blogger markus said...

re jake: not fair. Templesmith's art (on Fell) may not be everyone's cup of tea, but it is done well, and actually adds to the story instead of merely depicting it.
Storywise the complaint I'm aware of is that some people believe there's too much coincidence, but the validity of that criticism hinges on where on the super to mundane continuum the book is meant to fall. (Or rather, whether Snowtown is just your average bad city or something more.)
But yes, it could and should have positioned itself more clearly.

(I couldn't find an entry on fell on your blog, feel free to take the discussion there.)

6:14 AM  
Blogger Jake said...

Good point. Chris and I had discussed doing a Lincoln-Douglas style debate regarding whether Fell was a great comic or garbage. Now that we've finished the year-end awards, maybe it's time to finally do that.

11:24 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hawkman had my faveriot villain of all last year.

Fadeaway man.

Any time he was around you just knew he was going to make Hawkman look stupid.

11:57 AM  
Blogger kelvingreen said...

Hawkman doesn't need anyone else to make him look stupid.

Would it kill you to wear a shirt, (Hawk)man?

9:24 PM  

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