JonMOMB’s Book of the Year 2012

The past 12 months in comics have probably been the most I’ve enjoyed the medium since I made the first tentative steps back into it roughly a decade ago. Why? I’m not entirely sure but part of it may be because I’ve seen more of an incredibly broad selection of what the medium is capable of in the past 12 months  than I probably ever did before that. I mean Hell out of my two favourite books last year one was a horror movie spin off and the other was an all ages book aimed at pre teen girls. Sure they may have come from completely different genres and they may have appealed to different facets of my personality but when you get down to it they both impressed me for one reason more than any other: Good storytelling.

That said they weren’t the only books that impressed me this year and while a large chunk of my writing for the site may have been concerned with the indie side of the business the mainstream hasn’t exactly been a slouch in terms of delivering high quality titles and I’m pretty sure that when the time comes for me to make my next pick of the year a few months down the road I’m going to have a much harder time picking it than I did this year. So what will be my book of 2012? Here’s a few possibilities based on the titles I’ve been reading…

Amazing Spider-Man

Right, let me put it to you like this:

The other week I picked up three books when I went to the comic shop; Batman #5, Daredevil #8, and Amazing Spider-Man #678.

I’ll be honest, I thought out of those three Batman was actually the weakest book. That’s not a criticism on Snyder’s Batman run (anyone who’s been keeping up with that knows how awesome it’s been, especially #5), it’s a comment on how good the other 2 books were.

You see while DC have been busy resetting the universe to year dot,  Marvel have simply been writing incredibly good stories with Amazing Spider-Man at the head of the pack. And if Dan Slott’s hints at the year ahead are anything to go by then that is exactly where the webbed wonder will be the whole time.

Scalped

Jason Aaron and RM Guera’s tale of life on the Rez is due to finish this year.

I still have to go back and read the whole thing from#1 straight through to the end to make sure it’s all as awesome as I think it is, but I have the feeling it’ll surpass even my expectations of it.

The past few issues in particular have seen Aaron and Guera pushing their story as hard and as fast as it’ll go. Now with the finish line in site they’ve hit the nitros and Scalped is burning hot.

While I still can’t predict exactly how it will all end I’m pretty damn sure that I’m gonna enjoy finding out.

Locke and Key

Joe Hill tweeted at one point during the latter half of 2010 that he’d finished writing Locke and Key.

Of course, avid readers like myself will have to wait well into 2013 before we get to see how things end up for the Locke clan, but in the meantime Hill and Rodriguez have been going stronger than ever with the book’s fifth volume, Clockworks.

While we have had to sometimes wait longer than we’d like for the next issue, Hill and Rodriguez have made sure there’s no compromise on quality because of it. Yes, the wait is long and yes, it can be hard, but if the creators can keep producing a title of this calibre throughout I’ll be more than willing to wait as long as I need to for the end.

The Boys

Here we have another series due to end this year, and while at points the end has seemed so far away, with spin-off books making it seem even further, it now seems all too near.

Way back when, Garth Ennis said that this would be the book to “out Preacher  Preacher”, his earlier epic adult story.

While The Boys has had more than its fair share of depraved goings on it remains to be seen if the ending will carry as much of an emotional sock to the jaw as the tale of Jesse Custer did.

Even if it doesn’t, though, this book is sure to make a number of the end of year lists come December.

Action Comics

Ok look, I like Morrison.

I like him a lot and it’s not just because we share the same haircut. His take on Superman in All-Star Superman was one of the best comic books of the last few years.

And his run on Action Comics has so far been one of the highlights of DC’s reboot.

While the topics on display are all typically Morrison (religion, social commentary, punk attitudes and weird alien shit), his ability to weave them together has made the Man of Steel feel shiny, new and (most importantly) relevant, while still remaining true to the seven and a half decades of history behind him.

If they – Morrison and Superman – keep this up, this book could be a real contender.

Morning Glories

I’m taking a punt here.

Morning Glories has been good so far (I’ve only read the first 2 trades though), but it needs to shit or get off the pot.

While the story is engaging and the characters are interesting so far, the book suffers from Lost syndrome, in that it sometimes seems to think that keeping everything shrouded in ambiguity before wrapping it in an enigma is enough to keep people on board.

That said if Morning Glories can really flesh out its characters  and make good on the solution to its mysteries rather than just wrapping them in bigger mysteries for the sake of it then the hour of its being top of my too read pile will most certainly draw near.

Animal Man

The other title from DC’s reboot to catch my eye and my wallet (other than Batman) has been Jeff Lemire’s take on the life of Buddy Baker.

I know this book got voted the MOMB book of 2011, but let’s be honest if the next twelve issues are as good as the previous five, then Animal Man may walk away with the award for 2012 without even breaking a sweat.

So there you have it. My list of potential titles to win the coveted MOMB book of 2012 award.

Now I’m all too aware that something else may win it instead. I mean Daredevil walked away with a number of book of the year awards in 2011 and from what I’ve read of Mark Waid’s run they were well deserved. If he keeps on like this old hornhead may well own 2012 too, unless Rucka’s Punisher steps in and kicks his ass for the crown. Who’s to say what could win?

I mean I haven’t even mentioned Brian K Vaughn’s soon to be released Saga, or the fact that Simon Furman will be writing Transformers again for IDW come the spring. These books aren’t even out yet but I’m pretty much frothing at the mouth with anticipation for both of them already.

As I have stated already this list is based on the books I’ve been reading and while I read a lot of comics, because comics are epic, I can’t read all of them (much as I’d like to).

So if you’re looking at this list thinking that I’ve missed something off then you should tell me because chances are you’ll convince me to buy something I’m not already!