It’s time for a new tradition here at Mega City Comics, a countdown of each of our TOP 5 personal favorite graphic novels of the year!
Picking just five graphic novels to include in this list has proven to be a rather trying task, 2018 has been a tremendous year across the board with the release of many fantastic books!! Thankfully some of our favorites aren’t being collected until early 2019, so they’re not eligible this time round, otherwise we’d still be agonizing over our choices!
Before we get started we’d like to give a shout out to some books that just missed out but we feel need to be mentioned anyway, being continuations of your favorite series or books you should be on the lookout for:
Now, let us begin…
Andy: Death Or Glory – HIGH-SPEED CHASES. HEISTS. CROOKED COPS. AMERICA. Death Or Glory has all this and more! Brought to us by star writer Rick Remender and fantastic artist Bengal, this is the series for fans of high-octane crime stories!
Jordan: The Highest House – This beautiful book from the team behind Vertigo’s ‘The Unwritten’ takes a look at class inequalities, corruption and the strength of the human soul in a breathtaking fantasy setting!!
Vittorio: Dark Nights Metal: Dark Knights Rising – A stellar cast of the most talented writers and artists in the mainstream comic book industry join together to tell the origins of each and every one of the nightmare Batmen from a dark version of their own stories. Fun and mostly self-contained, Dark Knights Rising uses the newest toys in the box to have fun with long established characters that usually can’t be messed around with too much!
Andy: Oblivion Song – This new series from Robert Kirkman follows a man who has made it his mission to bring people back to Earth from Oblivion, another dimension(?) that a large portion of a city disappeared to. Full of fantastic new creatures and beautful landscapes, this is a standout sci-fi series of the year!
Jordan: The Immortal Hulk – Marvel have taken the Hulk down a horror route for this new series from Al Ewing and Joe Bennett (with STUNNING covers by Alex Ross!!), creating a book that stands out as one of the best superhero comics on the shelves right now!!
Vittorio: Dementia 21 – Shintaro Kago’s mastery in his self-forged mixed style of psychedelic paranoia haunts this beautiful Fantagraphics Manga, as the protagonist, a nurse for elders, finds herself in the most absurd situations and reality-breaking events. Dementia 21 plays with your phobias, dances around them with humorous stories and strikes them with some of the most horrifying and disturbing visuals and concepts that the manga medium has to offer.
Andy: Doctor Star & The Kingdom Of Lost Tomorrows – Doctor Star is a beautiful story, one I refuse to spoil for you. You should trust me and just read it when I tell you that it’s one of the best superhero stories I’ve read in recent years. Whether or not you’ve read its parent series (Black Hammer), Jeff Lemire has created a book that will give you much to think about and enjoy.
Jordan: Gideon Falls – Jeff Lemire must be one of the busiest creators in comics at the moment, but even with the high quantity of work he’s churning out at multiple publishers, the quality is ridiculously high! Gideon Falls sees him working with Andrea Sorrentino once again, crafting a mystery that’s equal part thriller as it is horror. This is the best ongoing series of 2018 and one that will hopefully continue to drag readers into the madness of the Black Barn for years to come!!
Vittorio: My Heroes Have Always Been Junkies – The fantastic team of Brubaker and Phillips are back with their first standalone graphic novel! Their names are synonymous with quality, and once again they don’t disappoint! Part crime, part love story, this is an exploration of addiction and the dangers of romanticizing drugs. Do yourself a favor and give this a read, you won’t regret it.
Andy: Lip Hook – Witches, cultists and gas masks in a rural setting, Lip Hook has it all! This “Tale of Rural Unease” (as it says on the cover) sucks you in with its mysterious and beautiful art while slowly unsettling you bit by bit page after page.
Jordan: Frankenstein Alive, Alive! – Finally collected as a graphic novel, it would be easy to just talk about how this is late horror master Bernie Wrightson’s final work, but that would be doing it a complete disservice. At its heart Frankenstein Alive, Alive! is a beautiful exploration of loneliness and what it means to be human. Steve Niles is a fantastic writer as always, but Wrightson’s art truly brings this story to an exceptional level and turns it into essential reading for anyone with even a passing interest in horror and/or Frankenstein’s Monster itself.
Vittorio: Sherlock Frankenstein & The Legion Of Evil – Jeff Lemire makes his third appearance on this list, with each of us including a different book from him! Straight out of his bestselling Black Hammer series, Sherlock Frankenstein is where you should go if you like fun and/or superheroes! I won’t say anymore so as not to spoil it for you, but this very nearly took the top spot on my list!
Andy: Assassinistas – An assassin being forced out of retirement may not sound like a new idea for a story, but the way it’s executed here is just so brilliant that it tops my list this year! Octavia recruits her son and his boyfriend to aid her as she teaches them her skills and how to carry out her rather deadly work. Assassinistas explores what happens after the career in killing, what the legacy is of a mother or wife who used to kill people for money. For those who enjoy tales that explore the story after the story, this is one for you.
Jordan: Infidel – Released earlier this year as a five issue miniseries and now collected as a TPB, Infidel is my favourite comic to be released in 2018. Not only is it a compelling ghost story featuring truly terrifying and horrific artwork, but it’s also socially charged and examines the racism that is still so prevalent within the western world exceptionally well. If you only read one book from 2018, make it this one.
Vittorio: Ice Cream Man – This seemingly colourful and joyous book is an anthology of some of the most terrifying stories the comic book medium has seen in recent years. As the first story (of four) did the job of setting up a certain feeling of uneasiness and built expectations around the figure of the Ice Cream Man, the second got me so unexpectedly hard… I caught myself in such a disrupted emotional state that I had to put the book down. No matter what comic book genre you prefer, make sure you don’t miss this series.
There you have it… One list, three members of staff, fifteen books. Hopefully this has given you plenty to read over the Christmas period and beyond! Have we missed out any of your favourites? Do you agree with our choices? Do you disagree? Please let us know in the comments!
The Staff at Mega City Comics