Sean’s Favorite Comics of 2022

Howdy, fellow comic enthusiasts! It’s been a bit since I’ve shone some light on the comics I’ve read. So I figured I’d muster up enough energy to share with you what I’ve been reading and where my favorites have landed.

As a reviewer, I’ve been performing less-than-par at best and I’d like to take a moment to reflect on a year where I’ve read and enjoyed an incredible amount of comics.

Briefly, I’d like to mention a few honorable mentions where I’d presume give a gesture of some sort if I were to be in the same room as the creators responsible.

Grim from BOOM! Studios and by Stephanie Phillips, Flaviano, Rico Renzi and Tom Napolitano has been a consistently fun read about something not often considered fun — death. Feature a scythe in your books and I’m sure to take notice!

Kingjira: Hungry Like A Monster from Scout and by Marco Fontaniji was hands down the best one-shot of the year! Phenomenal line art and top notch storytelling featuring— a hungry Kaiju!— was something that I ate up with no regret.

The Junction from Titan and by Norm Konyu had been an early surprise for me. The story and the artistic choices made were some of the most somber I’ve seen in some time. A true master at his craft, I hope to see more comics from Norm.

10: Past the Last Mountain from CEX and by Paul Allor, Louie Joyce, Gannon Beck and others.
A heartfelt story where three fugitive mythical creatures flee their containment in hopes to find Dragon Lake— the place where all mythical creatures are safe from human hands. It’s a story told generously giving light and attention to the human tendency to conquer and divide by definition of our differences.

9: Chicken Devil vol.1 from Aftershock and by Brian Buccellato, Hayden Sherman and Hassan Otsmane-Elhaou
I cannot tell you how much fun this comic is without spoiling the experience. Think Walter White, but instead of hiding behind a pork pie hat and a healthy dose of narcissism it’s a full-size chicken costume. Yup. It’s that goofy. Oh and— it features some of Hayden Sherman’s best sequential work to date. 

8: Phenomena Book 1 from Abrams Books and by Brian Michael Bendis and André Lima Araújo
The black and white interior is what drew me to this book initially, but I stayed for the lovable characters and the thrill ride only Bendis and Araújo could envision. I truly am an Araújo enthusiast and I urge you all to pick up comics his name is on— this one included and at the tip top of that list.

7: The Pass from Graphic Mundi and by Espé (translated by J.T. Mahany)
After last year’s Parakeet, I knew that I was in for another tear jerker that pulls hard at the heartstrings. Not quite as endearing as it’s predecessor, but a genuine masterpiece in comics nonetheless. Espé books come with high recommendation from me. 

6: My Bad vol.1 from Ahoy and by Mark Russell, Peter Krause, Kelly Fitzpatrick and others
A Batman-typed costumed hero with a chandelier for a cowl and a name fronts a cast of literal misfits, both good and bad, as Russell and company dig deep for page after page of satirical nonsense. And I love it.

5: Mazebook from Dark Horse and by Jeff Lemire
You had me at Lemire. This comic is how a comic is supposed to work. Lemire does what Lemire does sparing no expense telling a story of grief and trauma by utilizing the format of a maze in the most brilliant of ways. A gorgeous book.

4: What’s the Furthest Place From Here from Image and by Matthew Rosenberg, Tyler Boss and Hassan Otsmane-Elhaou
This comic is just a whole helluva lot of fun. T-Boss and Rosenberg deliver with this dystopian tale of teenagers and manage to make the pages come to life right before your eyes. 

3: As A Cartoonist from Fantagraphics and by Noah Van Sciver
I need not say this, but Noah is a living legend and arguably the cartoonist’s cartoonist. This graphic novel is as profound and as silly and quirky as the rest of his library of works, and this is the one that should finally get him an Eisner. Not that that really matters— but the bragging rights would be cool. 

2: Ghost Cage from Image and by Caleb Goellner and Nick Dragotta
Another black and white illustrated comic on my list. (I have a soft spot for these type). Instantly likable characters, and a hard-pressed battle of good versus climate change, this is probably the most inventive way to plead your case for rising sea levels that I’ve ever seen. Bravo, Goellner and Dragotta, bravo!

1: Newthink from AWA and by Gregg Hurwitz, Mike Deodato Jr, Ramon Rosanas, Keron Grant, Mike Choi and Will Conrad
Everyone needs to read this. And I mean ev-ree-one! This is a social commentary on our current society from a perspective not commonly spoken from and presented in anthology format with each issue illustrated by a separate artist. It’s an eerie and uncomfortable depiction of our current day-to-day habits— specifically with our relationship to our screens. Unlike other dystopian stories, this one ends on a morally significant high note giving readers something to chew on and mull over long after you are done reading.