Keenan Marshall Keller is Co-Director Drippy Bone Books and creator of the comic series Galactic Breakdown.
1. Xeno Kaiju by Pat Aulisio (Hic and Hoc)
This thing kills me. Its printed HUGE on newsprint in black, red and pink hues. Its visually amazing and displays Pat's abilities better than any work he's shown at this point. Movement and Kinetic Energy rip thru this fucker tearing up your eyeballs in the process. My favorite comic this year. It's a visceral and true response I have to seeing this comic. Its a lizard-brain thing It inspires and excites me.
It's fucking rad. Pat Aulisio is crossing over into new realms, and I appreciate him taking me with him.
2. Sequential Vacation II by Sar Shahar (Secret Acres)
This graphic and bold work is a mesmerizing meditation on modern living. The wash of noises,the constant movement, and the abusive constraints of our world, either self-imposed or forced upon us all... Crammed with information, the b&w pages pop with texture and graphic wizardry… I loved the 1st issue but the 2nd is really incredible. I really think Shahar will be making good comix for a long time to come. I dig it, man. Life is sad. Life is beautiful… Life is stupid. Life is Grand…
3. Buster by Max Clotfelter (self-published)
This mini is amazingly heartfelt and harsh, with moments of painful humor. Max tells this story from his childhood with an amazing candor that gives the comic an emotional weight that stays with the reader. It's getting rare to feel genuine heartache while reading a comic. Max Clotfelter is an amazing cartoonist.
4. Raw Power 2 by Josh Bayer (Retrofit Comics)
Okay. I'm a huge Josh Bayer fan. Raw Power 1 was a fucking masterpiece… A hard thing to follow up. But some fucking how he did it… Expanding on the world and characters from the 1st issue, issue 2 spirals out of control with its themes of violence, alienation, and empowerment and shows how adept Josh Bayer is at creating and controlling this insane world... Its mixing of history, pop culture tidbits, comix, politics and pure graphic freedom is awe inspiring. Josh is high on the short list of creators whom always bring it... Thanks for the killer comic Josh.
5. Henry & Glenn Forever and Ever 2 & 3 & 4 by Tom Neely / various (Microcosm)
I fucking love Henry and Glenn Forever and Ever. I loved the original zine, but by taking these characters and giving a bunch of freak underground cartoonists free reign to play, has creatively sparked some amazing comics!! All the stories in both issues are really good, but Justin Halls story in issue #3 is brilliant.
6. All Matt Crabe (a.k.a Heavens Favorite Man) comics and zines (he did like 15-20 this year)
So, I went to Short Run this Thanksgiving. It was a blast. Saw lots of great shit there… meet cool cats and got hammered… but out of all the killer shit and cool cats, Matt Crabe's was the fucking best. Hands down. I walked away with about 10 different zines and comics… and for the life of me, I cannot pick one out as the best because I love them all… He teams up with Shelia Marcello for several of them and both their work is outstanding. Just do yourself a favor and get his shit… Oh yeah, and bring him a 40oz when he tables a fest near you. You'll thank me if you do.
7. The Reach of the Mind: Book One by Sam Bell (self-published)
The 2nd best shit I found at Short Run. Swirling body morph horror psychedelia nightmare… intense. Beautiful. Paranoid. Graphic. Mysterious… Overflowing with detail, bile and blood, it's like a Death Egg trip… You cross over to the otherside with Mr.Bell for a bit. Rising into his mind-shredding world, you discarding your flesh, setting your organs free as you fade into his darkness…
8. Super Mag by Jim Rugg (Adhouse Books)
This is fucking great. One of my favorite artists in comics decides to do a one man anthology to prove to everyone he's the fucking best. Which he is… The jumps in style and tone only enhance the appeal of this comic. The layout and eye for detail Jim shows is incredible. It's as if he's growing in all directions at once, like Tetsuo in Akira, uncontrollably absorbing all those around him as his power increases to dangerous and unstoppable levels… That's Jim fucking Rugg.
9. Samurai Cowboy #2 by Geoff Darrow (Dark Horse Comics)
33 page nonstop Zombie kill sequence. A ballet of ridiculous and detailed violent glee. I just love he can get away with shit like this.
10. NO ME by Jason T Miles/various (Profanity Hill)
A collection of 62 artists of various styles and ideals come together in these 3 little books, with hand-screened covers designed and printed by the man whom put this bad boy together, Jason T Miles. Drawings, comics, and weirdness abound in this awesome li'l anthology. I'd name some of the artists involved but there are just too many fucking great one in this bitch... Just pick it up. Some really good shit in this one.
11. Blades and Lazers by Benjamin Marra (Sacred Prism)
Marra rules. It's obvious. He's one of the best. And with this li'l 2 color risographed comic he proves it again. Great art, good story and fun characters make this one easy to love. That plus the pink and purple color palette makes this muther pop!!!
12. Castle and Wood #6 (the black issue) by Darin Shuler (self-published)
So, Darin Shuler is quietly making one of the best comix series going with Castle and Wood. He's constantly playing as an artist, trying new things making each issue of Castle and Wood a graphic blast to the face! Issue 6 is the black issue. White line on black background to represent pitch darkness… Strange, graphic, and fun. I'm a huge fan of Darin and this issue kills.
13. Express Less #1 by Lale Westvind
Fleshy, sweaty, bulging Amazon bodies…Monster Lizards, Eyeball Warplanes being humped and ridden like dragons, "self" shedding enlightenment and righteous violence… Beautifully drawn and colored with a comic purity that draws you in. Lale makes some good-ass comix.
14. Battling Boy by Paul Pope (First Second)
His depictions of action, movement and speed are pretty fucking great. And the story is simple, interesting and fun. This is the exact sort of shit I want to see from Paul Pope!!! Snuff said.
15. Spiders Pee-Paw #1
It was nice to find a comic so visually disgusting, disturbing, and ugly to look at that it ventures into beauty… Makes me feel like I'm not alone in the world… that there are other true freaks making comics and art out there… Fun comic.
If I had not put them out myself, and think it's in bad taste, I would have had BITTERSWEET ROMANCE #1 by Victor "BALD EAGLES" Cayro and Cartoonshow #2 by Derek M Ballard on my list for sure. Both are serious fucking comix.