Why I Love Comics Awards for 2010!
It's the end of the year folks and you know what that means? That's right, it's the Why I Love Comics Awards #3! This year has been a fantastic year for pop culture and there was plenty to love about it so without further ado let's get right into the awards!
BEST TV SHOW
Community - A show that has several actual nerds in its cast (looking at you Donald Glover) and has referenced Spider-Man/Die Hard/Batman/Zombie movies and much, much more, it's funny every single week and has some of the strong writing on television.
The show uses a mostly small cast (8 if you include the Dean and Senor Chang) and manages to weave these great character stories out of it. This year's Christmas special they did a full on stop motion episode! Plus when you have a lead like Joel McHale it's easy to see why the show is so much fun. And Troy/Abed is easily the best relationship on television right now.
The Walking Dead - Obviously it wasn't completely faithful to the first volume of the book, but it gave plenty of drama and amazing zombie effects to the screen. I really love the casting as well and it was a personal favorite for all 6 episodes.
The human drama that Kirkman has been writing for the entirety of the comic is right there in live action and just hits on all cylinders. I honestly also think these are the best zombie effects seen on screen since the Zack Snyder version of Dawn of the Dead.
Scott Pilgrim vs. the World - The movie going audience may have failed to pick up on it but I sure as heck didn't. Directed by fan favorite Edgar Wright and starring some of the up and coming actors and actresses like Mary Elizabeth Winstead, Scott Pilgrim vs. the World was a fun action movie filled with heavy nods to comics and video games and even a Seinfeld reference.
It, to me revolutionizes the way a comic book movie can be made with the effects they threw into the movie. From each unique boss battle to Scott gaining a new level it really is hard not to love the movie. I'll be really interested to see Edgar do Antman after this.
BEST INTERNET SERIES
The Legend of Neil - What do you get when you cross an average guy with the NES classic Legend of Zelda? Well, you get Neil, who is an average Joe who gets sucked into the game after getting drunk and asphyxiating himself. Everything about the 3 season show was awesome as it wrapped its final this year.
Neil was a hero you could root for as he was heavily flawed and was just a regular guy dealing with giants and even Ganon himself. He had an old man to direct him to becoming a proper hero, a fairy to heal him and Princess Zelda to save.
For the budget the show had, it was amazingly faithful to the material that it was parodying. Sandeep Parikh (of The Guild fame) was the writer and creator of the show. Felicia Day, Alex Albright and many others guest starred and it was just an all around entertaining series. Here's hoping for some DVDs or a follow-up. Highly recommend checking it out.
Anthony Saves the World - 3 episodes in, this has become one of my favorite things on YouTube. Anthony Saves the World stars Anthony Burch (of Hey Ash, Whatcha Playin' fame) and Mikey Neumann in which Mikey is apparently a man sent back in time to help Anthony save the world. Like I mentioned already, we only have 3 episodes so far but those episodes are filled with gun fights, a conversation about Pokemon cards and some double downs.
The humor really comes from just how Anthony reacts to the chaos around him and just how much Mikey doesn't react. It's something that I look forward to every update as I really have no idea where they are going to go with this thing.
Hey Ash, Whatcha Playin' - If you are a gamer at all, enjoy the occasional d*ck joke or even wonder about the sexual preference of Marcus Phoenix at all, this is a series for you. Anthony and Ashley Burch write the series in which fictionalized versions of themselves get into situations based on the video game they are playing.
Ash drives her brother insane on a constant basis and it's become something that I flat out love following every update. The season finale had Ash saving her brother and father from Marcus Phoenix and Nathan Drake while being in an old school style similar to the Monkey Island games. Season 3 of the show is being worked on right now and I'm looking forward to seeing the ensuing chaos.
(yes this second one is from 2009 but from season 1 and incredible)
BEST LIMITED SERIES
Siege - Yeah Siege completely came out in 2010, I know it's felt longer than that. Siege was a 4 issue limited series that had the Avengers coming face to face with their greatest fear, which, thanks to Norman Osborn had come true. The Sentry had become fully unhinged and helped bring Asgard crashing down to earth.
Mind you, I did say 4 issue but those 4 issues were incredibly packed with content. I personally think this was the strongest event book that Bendis has done; there was no decompression to be had here. Oh and Olivier Coipel's artwork is beyond amazing in the book.
BEST GRAPHIC NOVEL
Return of the Dapper Men - I know I reviewed it a while back, but once again, it's a book that deserves all the attention andpraise it gets. It's something original and fun that uses the genre to its fullest. It's a fairy tale with fantastic artwork and a message that never gets heavy handed.
The Dapper Men are incredibly unique characters, the robotic humanoids are interesting and the children that never grow up are all fantastic characters who get plenty of screen time throughout. To me the book feels like the best of Seuss mixed with Pixar and a bit of Where the Wild Things Are all rolled into one. It's something that should be on any bookshelf or being read to a child before bed.
BEST NEW SERIES
Morning Glories - Nick Spencer and Joe Eisma truly have one hell of a powerful little mystery book on their hands. It's a great book filled with a cast of characters that is both easy to identify with as well as great to be pulled into their drama.
You easily find yourself immersed in the mystery of the academy, just what each person is about and why they are all connected. Cannot wait to see where they take the book next.
Uncanny X-Force - I hate/love Rick Remender. Earlier this year I was attempting to cut back the pull list when this was announced. Of course, 2 of my favorite characters in comics are on the roster, Fantomex and Deadpool. Oh, and reading that first issue, I was more than hooked. This is my X-book. I mean no offense to Fraction or Mike Carey or anyone else in the X-offices, but this has quickly become the book that I know I won't be dropping. The cast is fantastic and that artwork is astounding. It's going to be fun to follow where the team heads next and see if Warren and Logan can truly make this team function to where they need to.
Avengers: The Academy - Basically a direct follow up to Initiative, the book is a lot of fun and features super powered teenagers with actual problems who are very damaged goods. Christos Gage does and amazing job making people care about these 6 kids who may or may not end up on the right side of the law, which is really half the charm of the book.
Scarlet - This feels like the Anti-Bendis book, even though it's written by the man. It's a book about a young woman starting up a revolution after being wronged by a dirty cop and everything about it is fantastic. Scarlet is a great character and I just can't praise it enough.
BEST ONGOING SERIES
The Unwritten - We are about 20 issues into the book now and it shows absolutely no sign of slowing down. It continues to be a huge love letter to writing and classic literature, all while weaving in its own history into things. Mike Carey and Peter Gross are one of my favorite creative teams in comics, easily.
Invincible - I really have no idea where Kirkman is taking the book and that's one of the highest compliments I can give it. The war has been amazing so far and actual casualties and repercussions are something rare in comics nowadays, but the book has them by the truck load. Issue #75 had some very cool material in it and I really can't wait to see Mark get back to Earth and what happens next.
Jason Aaron - Finally got to read his Ghost Rider stuff thanks to the Omnibus at NYCC and wow, the man truly is one of thebest in the industry. For those that didn't read the Wolverine series he did last year, you missed out as well. He even manages to get the Spidey/Thing back and forth perfectly as well. I really think Aaron is a name that will just continue to grow at Marvel.
Peter Gross - Everything about The Unwritten is amazing, but the art is well worth the price of the book alone. Peter's artwork can capture all the chaos of Mike's scripts and he manages to show both magic and classic characters perfectly. His art style is truly unique and I think he hit it out of the park for both the "choose your own adventures" issue and the "origin" issue. Seeing the Winnie the Pooh like dimension was pretty amusing as well.
BEST HORROR SERIES
Feeding Ground - One word should tell you exactly why this series has become an instant horror favorite of mine...werewolves. Out of nowhere in issue #2 the guys brought werewolves into the picture and suddenly my interest got piqued. Though the true horror of the book comes from the underlining themes and its people fighting for survival.
The Molting - It might be the most disturbed thing I've read in my life, but I mean that as a very high compliment. Terrance Zdunich manages to craft a story about a heavily damaged mother and her sons and their father. It's visually enticing as well as disturbing in the things that happen. I still honestly have no idea where it's going, but the charm of the art style is definitely something that keeps me interested.
BEST TEAM BOOK
Avengers - Earth's mightiest heroes are back in full force, attempting to save the world from the greatest threats ever. The first major arc of the new series was all about time travel and the damage it was causing to our world. Having Hawkeye, Thor and Iron Man back on a team together again just felt right and every member of the team got a moment to shine. I'm interested to see where the team is by the end of the second arc.
PUBLISHER OF THE YEAR
Archaia - I have to give them more than the nod here, they have one of the most diverse stables of both creators and characters at Archaia. Theyhave the Fraggle Rock license, they have Feeding Ground, and they have Return of the Dapper Men. They can go from all-ages material to mature and really just have things for anyone. I think it's beyond well done the way they have embraced the digital age and push each book as if it was their only one.
Maxwell Lord - You manage to get the whole world to forget you exist and then get the world to turn on a group of heroes that you'd think they'd never turn on, you've accomplished one hell of a goal and you aren't even done yet. Max has been cold and calculating since he's returned and has even managed to come face to face with a few of his former friends a few times. It's surprising the balls the guy has and it will be interesting to see if he truly accomplishes what he's setting out to do by the end.
HERO OF THE YEAR
Steve Rogers - He's alive and has basically taken the job that Nick Fury once had, to protect the free world. So far he's reformed the Avengers, helped give Deadpool a new goal in life, set up a special Avengers task force, and just much, much more. Steve is the main man in the Marvel Universe and has even managed to get the Superhero Registration Act reversed. In just the short, like 8 months that he's been in charge comic wise Steve has done a lot and it will be fun to see what happens next with him in charge.
MOMENT OF THE YEAR
The Last Few Pages of Ex Machina - We'd been building up since issue #1 of Mitchell telling his whole story and the possibility of him running for President. But those last few pages if nothing else hit really out of left field. It felt a little like an in joke, but considering who ran last election and just how they lost, it was a really great moment that made me smile. Tony Harris really hit it out of the park.
So that's it for this year, folks. Another year down for the Why I Love Comics column and a great year it was. See you back here in 2011!
Eric Ratcliffe/Reviewer, Podcaster and Columnist
Eric is a writer/pop culture journalist/interviewer who is currently working on pitching a project named the Hunter chronicles. When not reading his weekly stack, Eric can be found watching dvd's, playing on his 360 (gamertag: Zack Hunter) or just surfing online trying to find a scoop or two. Eric is a prolific writer, podcaster and convention reporter here at Comic Related. Eric shops at TJ's Collectibles. Visit them on the web at www.tjcollect.com!
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