The website Vice has a lot of problems. However, one minor one that’s gotten criticism from the comics community lately is their list of 2017’s “10” best comics. Or should I say, eight, as the list’s writer felt he couldn’t name 10. The list’s writer also criticized the AV Club’s list as “mostly garbage.” While I don’t like everything on the AV Club’s list (some stemming from my heavy dislike of modern comics’ take on Batman, for instance), I wouldn’t call it “garbage.”
Thus, I thought I’d contribute a list of comics I enjoyed reading in 2017. It’d also keep with my goal of focusing more on (and talking more about) comics I do like. The comics below were the first ones off the top of my head (from a tweet I wrote about the Vice article), and include webcomics.
1. Goldie Vance
I’ve previously written about this graphic novel series about a teenage sleuth living in a version of early 1960s Florida. The period elements are enjoyable—one character has a crush on astronaut John Glenn. However, it also has modern sensibilities folded into its setting. Racism seems absent, plus there’s modern attitudes toward same-sex relationships.
2. Wonder Woman ’77
A series based on the classic 70s “Wonder Woman” TV show.
See my previous post on “Lumberjanes.” The series is about a group of girls at a summer camp with strange supernatural goings-on.
The storyline involving mermaids holding an underwater concert was pretty amusing, especially for some of the jokes about how certain stuff can “work” underwater.
4. The Backstagers
“The Backstagers” is similar in tone to “Lumberjanes.” The series features an all-boys’ high school’s drama club dealing with odd, supernatural goings-on backstage.
There’s also same-sex relationships, plus some diversity in body types; Hunter’s overweight, but it isn’t mentioned by anyone—he’s introduced as “good with tools” and “a bit of a flirt.”
5. Scooby-Doo Team-Up
“Scooby-Doo Team-Up” is another series I’ve previously written about. It features team-ups between the Scooby-Doo gang and either another Hanna-Barbera character or a DC Comics superhero (think “The New Scooby-Doo Movies”).
A few of my favorite team-ups so far:
- The Marvel Family. (We even get Uncle Marvel and Mr. Tawny!)
- Frankenstein Jr. and the Impossibles.
- The Flintstones.
- Wonder Woman. (Nubia appears!)
- The Flash.
- The various canine heroes of the DCU (Krypto, Ace, etc.).
6. The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl
“Squirrel Girl”‘s become one of my favorite current superhero comics. The Twitter exchange opening pages (usually between Doreen and Tony Stark) both summarize the previous issue’s plot and are hilarious in themselves.
One favorite issue: the one where Nancy, Koi Boi, and squirrel sidekick Tippy-Toe try writing dating profiles for Doreen. All three attempts end up feeling like something they’d write for themselves (and reflect their personalities).
7. Moon Girl and Devil Dinosaur
Moon Girl‘s book is a fun, light series, while also making use of Marvel’s recent Inhumans push in a creative way. It also features Devil DInosaur, a character that’s had sporadic appearances in the Marvel Universe in recent years.
8. Patsy Walker, aka Hellcat
Patsy’s technically a very old character (she dates to the 1940s). Fortunately, this series doesn’t rely on knowing a lot about Patsy’s previous appearances, either as a humor character or once she was folded into Marvel’s superhero setting in the 60s/70s.
I also liked her friends, Tom Hale (another character from her old series, now an openly gay owner of a LGBT bookstore) and Ian Soo (Patsy’s roommate). Unfortunately, the series ended its run, so I’m not sure what’ll happen with Patsy’s supporting cast in the future.
9. Questionable Content
I’ve also written before about Jeph Jacques’ long-running webcomic, which features a cast of various characters (both human and robot). Of late, I’ve enjoyed Faye and Bubbles’ storyline (trying to run their own robot repair business), as well as Brun and Clinton.
10. Dinosaur Comics
While the art is exactly the same in each day’s “Dinosaur Comics,” the dialogue in each strip is original, and often hilarious.