Once again we invited a number of our friends who are also cartoonists, comics publishers and editors to tell us what their favorite comics of 2012 were. We'll be posting those lists over the next couple weeks. Keenan's list is the first.
Keenan Marshall Keller is Co-Director Drippy Bone Books and creator of the comic series Galactic Breakdown.
1. Transformer by Josh Bayer
Fuck Josh Bayer. He does wwwaaaaaaaayyyyyyy too much great shit. I feel as a cartoonist he has very few equals… His ability to tell tight narratives while using a style so free and open is a contradiction that creates killer comic after killer comic. I love me some Josh Bayer.
p.s. This comic is about Sly Stallone "transforming" into a car. And Stan "the man" Lee is in it too. DO I REALLY NEED TO SAY ANYTHING ELSE??!! BUY THIS COMIC! ITS NUMBER FUCKING 1!!!!
Visit Josh's Blog.
2. Face Man by Clara Bessijelle
This little mystery of a comic comes from Austin Englsih's Domino Press. It's one of those comics that lingers… Dreamlike and haunting pencil drawn faces... This is what happens when drawings and words come together and a comic becomes a poetry. I don't really want to tell you what its about in any way. Just trust me that this is one of the best comics of the year. You need to see it.
3. Lose 4 by Michael DeForge
So. Ok. Michael DeForge is as good or even better than everyone says. LOSE 4 to me, is the best thing he's ever done. Graphically, its outstanding to look at. The stories within are so strange and oddly perfect.
I love the Canadian Royalty short and the world he creates with and around them. A great fucking comic.
4. Suspect Device #2 edited/curated by Josh Bayer
If you don't know about this… Come on already. Buy this shit. It's got a shit-ton of artists in it all tearing it up! Garfield & Nancy mash-ups lead to some amazing truths and some great cartooning by dozens of todays best in comix! Josh Bayer is doing important things with this series...
5. Ad Zine by Jasen Lex + Jim Rugg
Notebook Nerd by Jim Rugg
Once again I'm placing 2 artists' books as one slot in my top 13 because I can. Jim Rugg. Do I need to say anything about the dude? He is awesome. Draws better than anyone and has great ideas. The Ad Zine is one of those "why the fuck didn't I think of that" sort of projects. Created by Jim and Jasen, it's a collection of ads from the by-gone era of advertisements in comics. Some are beautiful, some strange and most are funny as shit. Something warm comes from this book. Like a hug from your childhood...
Notebook Nerd is a collection of ball point pen drawing by a master that was also an art show in L.A. with the same name. I look at this book when I want to cry because of how far my talent is from his… If you haven't seen this book you're missing out.
6. Comics Are The Enemy by Pat Aulisio, Josh Bayer, and Josh Buggraff
The best jam comix ever? 3 styles that clash and mesh and clash again. 3 artist having a blast drawing on each others dicks… The fun is palpable and rubs off as you read it. This is what being an artist in comix is about.
7. Fukitor #7 by Jason Karns
Fukitor #8 by Jason Karns
Both issues of Fukitor that came out this year were impeccable. Jason Karns voice is one of my favorite in comix. Funny, profane, and disgusting. What other 3 words would you need to hear to have to buy this? Fukitor is one of those titles everyone needs to own.
8. Ripper and Friends #1 by Benjamin Marra
Night Business #4 by Benjamin Marra
Ok. So Benjamin Marra is killer. He just kills. Some people don't get it but it seems more do every day.
I could go on for a paragraph on both these titles but I'll keep it short.
Ripper and Friends: the most fun and free comic I saw all year. The theme song kills my ass.
NB#4: Just so goddamned good. One of the best series going... The greatest sex scene since Armageddon #3 666 by Barney Steel.
9. Henry and Glen Forever and Ever #1 by Benjamin Marra, Ed Luce and Tom Neely
I love Henry and Glenn Forever, but this expansion on the idea into short comics form is genius. All 3 of the artists use the characters with great success and Ed Luce's strip gave me my favorite gag panel of the year… Ian Mackaye holding a scarf up that reads "THIS IS NOT A FUGAZI SCARF"… fucking perfect. 2nd printing coming out soon with a new variant cover by the awesome Jim Rugg!
10. Popeye #3 by Tom Neely
Best fucking Popeye in decades… The design, layout and coloring all work to create the world of Popeye as it should be. Fun and imaginative and goofy as shit. IDW is really fucking stoopid, not hiring Neely more.
11. "Whatever Happened to Link" a Castle and Wood comic by Darin Shuler
Just for some of the artwork in these panels alone this gets into my top 13… but also, I love the "filling in the gaps" nature of going back to a part of the story we didn't see originally. Good shit.
12. Prison Pit 4 by Johnny Ryan
Everyone seems to love Johnny Ryan. I do too. He's just too fucking good. And Prison Pit just keeps getting better. I find comfort in this series… I hope it never ends.
13. Copra 1 and 2 by Michel Fiffe
I like a creator who takes what he wants. Yes these characters are blatant rip-off of DC counterparts but that's why the series works so well! A simple comic story w/weirdo character design and a great sense of whats good in comics… These comics are great reads.
Tell Me Something That I Don't Know Podcast (I know it's not a comic but it's the best comic related podcast I listen to. Jasen Lex and Jim Rugg do great interviews with amazing artists.)
BOWMAN #2 by Pat Auliso
SCHURKENSALAT #1 by Paul Paetzel
MARVEL COMICS: THE UNTOLD STORY by Sean Howe (not a comic but awesome and about comics)
Castle and Wood 4 by Darin Shuler
Secret Prison 7 by Various published by Retrofit Comics
Abraham Washington 1 by Benjamin Marra
Healers by Daniel Wayne Olsen