January 2, 2019

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Rob's Favorite Comics of 2018 Part 1: The Runners-Up

Welcome to the hardest column for me to write every year, my favorites list! In past years, I've written multiple lists. This year, I've pared it down to one, longer column. Why?

Well, the truth is, the old ways I did it never quite felt right to me. Whether it was by the way I read the comic, the comic's genre (sometimes hard to pin down, or imperfectly classified), or some other system, I always struggled.

I'm still struggling, but this year, I'm trying out something new. I read a ton of comics each year, both from the current year and years past. (I'm catching up on Rebirth here and there, for example.) Where I struggle is "How many make a favorites list?" --and the answer is, I've never been quite sure.

So this time, I'm going to use numbers. I like numbers. I work in numbers at my job. I'm estimating that I read about 250 various comics that were published (or collected) in 2018. That's about right for me (2017 was a bad year, and y'all know why). As I always do, I made a long list, which was about 90 or so all told this year.

I then cut that list to 50, which is around 20% of what I read. That's my short list. And while I'm not sharing that list in full, I can tell you there were some really hard calls. I hated cutting The Seeds, Valiant High, Laid-Back Camp, and Survive 300,000,000, just to name a few. Everything that makes it onto my long list is a great comic, in my opinion, or I don't even bother considering it. 

For my favorites, I worked hard to cut it down from 50 to about 25. I figure that's about right--without pushing too hard (it could be 22, it could be 29), that's about where I want to be for these favorites to mean something. That means to make my end of year favorites, you had to be one of the best 10% of comics I read this year. Given the volume of comics I read, that's pretty hard to do!

These comics were all really good. I enjoyed them a lot. They are some of the best comics 2018 has to offer in my opinion. They weren't the comics I liked the best, but I'd happily re-read or recommend them. My reason for listing them is to give recognition to some awesome comics, without making a favorites list that's insanely long.

Without further ado, here's my 2018 Favorites List Runners-Up:
  • All the Answers by Michael Kupperman, published by Simon & Schuster
  • Black Badge by Matt Kindt, Tyler Jenkins, Hilary Jenkins, and Jim Campbell, published by Boom! Studios
  • Brother Nash by Brigit Connell, published by Titan
  • By Night by John Allison, Christine Larsen, Sarah Stern, and Jim Campbell, published by Boom! Studios
  • Cold War by Chris Sebela and Hayden Sherman, published by Aftershock
  • Crowded by Chris Sebela, Ro Stein, Ted Brandt, Triona Farrell, and Cardinal Rae, published by Image
  • Dodge City by Josh Trujillo, Cara McGee, Brittany Peer and Goncalo Lopez, published by Boom! Studios
  • Dumb by Georgia Webber, published by Fantagraphics
  • Elvira by David Avallone, Dave Acosta, Andrew Covalt, and Taylor Esposito, published by Dynamite
  • Goosebumps Download and Die by Jen Vaughn, Michelle Wong, Triona Farrell, and Christa Miesner, published by IDW
  • Ice Cream Man by W. Maxwell Prince, Martin Morazzo, Chris O'Halloran, and Good Old Neon, published by Image
  • Invasion from Planet Wrestletopia by Matt Entin, Ed Kuehnel, Dan Schkade, Marissa Louise, and A Larger World Studio, published by Starburns Industry
  • James Bond: Origins by Jeff Parker, Bob Q, and Simon Bowland, published by Dynamite
  • Lil Donnie by Mike Norton, published by Image
  • Man-Eaters by Chelsea Cain, Kate Niemczyk, Rachelle Rosenberg, and Joe Caramagna, published by Image
  • Maxwell's Demons by Deniz Camp, Vittorio Astone, and Aditya Bidikar, published by Vault
  • Nancy Drew by Kelly Thompson, Jenn St-Onge, Triona Farrell, and Ariana Maher, published by Dynamite
  • Olivia Twist by Darin Strauss, Adam Dalva, Emma Vieceli, Lee Loughridge and Sal Cipriano, published by Dark Horse
  • Secret Voice by Zack Soto, published by Floating World
  • Shadowman by Andy Diggle, Various Artists, and Simon Bowland, published by Valiant
  • Water Dragon's Bride by Rei Toma, published by Viz
Tomorrow, I'll reveal my list of favorites, with a little bit about each one. See you then, and thanks to all of the creators above for making some amazing comics that I enjoyed tremendously in 2018. You are the reason I keep reading comics, year in and year out.