Best of 2014 Awards – Best Indy Comics

Features, Roundtables, Top Story

Mike Maillaro

  • Star Trek (Ongoing) – My wife is the real Star Trek fan in the family, but I have really enjoyed IDW’s expansion of the relaunched Star Trek universe.   The current arc features Q and an alternate version of the cast of DS9.  That alone would be enough to get this book recognition from me.
  • Dream Police – I am real glad that JMS finally got around to bringing Dream Police back. This started as a one shot at Marvel a real long time ago, and I thought this series had a ton of potential.  When Image announced they would be publishing it, I was eager to see what JMS had in mind, and this has been a terrific read so far.   I have heard that Book of Lost Souls will also be getting a relaunch, so I am looking forward to that too.
  • Saga – Brian K Vaughan is a true genius.  Saga continues to excite and surprise me each issue.  It might not be the newest and flashiest comic out there, but Vaughan and Fiona Staples always make it a top read whenever it comes out.  Saga features a huge cast of great characters and a real compelling and constantly shifting story.
  • Honorable Mention: Wytches/Tooth and Claw – Both of these series are far too new to be able to give them a fair assessment, but I really enjoyed them so I am throwing them up here anyway.

James Fulton

  • Way too many to mention or explain.  This has been a great year for comics, with the non-Big 2 putting out much better books.  Here’s a short list of titles I loved this year:
    • Dark Horse:  Mind MGMT, Massive, BPRD Hell on Earth
    • Image:  The Walking Dead, Zero, Saga, Black Science, Deadly Class, Manifest Destiny, Sheltered, Velvet, Lazarus, Mercenary Sea, Fatale, Fade Out, Trees, Alex + Ada, Manhattan Projects, Sex Criminals, Umbral, East of West, Stray Bullets: Killers, Chew, Outcast, Wytches, Southern Bastards, The Wicked & The Divine
    • Boom!:  The Woods
    • Oni Press:  Letter 44, Sixth Gun, Life After, The Bunker, Stumptown, Wasteland
    • Valiant:  Armor Hunters, Archer & Armstrong, Delinquents, Harbinger

Grey Scherl

  • Magnus Robot Fighter – I am actually cursing right now. I read the new issue this week, and, as usual, absolutely loved it. Then I found out it was cancelled. What in the blue hell?! This book is amazing! Everything about it is pure gold, and everyone should check it out! TWELVE ISSUES ISN’T ENOUGH! I NEED MORE!
  • Quantum and Woody – Thankfully this isn’t cancelled, because I think I’d ragequit Valiant if they took away my beloved Quantum and Woody. It’s a politically incorrect buddy comedy with an odd couple that literally can’t be separated for longer than a day. You’ve got your stick up his ass OCD former military guy and his lazy jackass of a foster brother, and they’ve got superpowers. They also have a superpowered goat that houses the memories of their dead father, and Woody’s girlfriend is a clone named 69. Yes, jokes are made. Read it. You will laugh. Especially when the Quantum (a black guy) finds out that a militia of redneck white supremacists are all HUGE FANS of his and is torn between being so happy that he has fans, and so repulsed that it’s these people.
  • Ghostbusters – Who ya gonna call? Well, nobody now, because the book is over, and I miss it like hell. Ghostbusters is my favorite movie of all time, and Erik Burham and Dan Schoening were absolutely killing it. Can we get a volume three? Maybe after the Ninja Turtles crossover mini?
  • Archer and Armstrong – Jim Morrison was a bad guy this year, as Archer and Armstrong wound up dealing with dead celebrities who can’t go on to their final resting place because people won’t forget them. It was an entire religion with power built up on the love and admiration that we have for famous people. Just trust me, read this book. Van Lente is amazing.
  • Crossed Badlands – I was totally prepared to write a giant thing about how Crossed is easily ignored due to the over the top graphic nature, but that hidden behind it is a dark look at the human condition and how we can be our own worst enemies, but then I read the last few issues in a binge and… Look, the thing about Crossed is that it is dark and it is twisted, and it’s not always the same creative team (usually it isn’t, sometimes Spurrier, Ennis, or Lapham come back for more), so from arc to arc you are really getting completely different stories with completely different tones. It just happens to be that the current revenge story is a little bit more messed up than I was expecting, and that is my talk about Crossed.
  • Uber – I never expected to be this into a book about the Nazi’s inventing superhumans and proceeding to start dominating World War II this much, but holy crap, Kieron Gillen is turning in some amazing writing. The book is brutal, violent, and incredibly smart. It’s not just superhumans smashing through regular people, it’s the entire story behind it.

Joe Smith

  • Magnus: Robot Fighter – This has been a fun series.  It’s disappointing that this series will soon be coming to an end.  There are some uninspired pieces of crap out there on the shelves that will continue to get published, which just irks me.  I really hope that some minis will be released in the future.
  • Archer and Armstrong – Consistently good and entertaining series.  This was the one Valiant series that I did not anticipate liking as much prior to the first issue, but ended up being the one that I’ve enjoyed the most overall.
  • The Woods – I’ve really been enjoying this series from Boom!  It is not just a thriller, but a really good human story as well.  I’m liking everything that the creative team is doing in it and I’m glad that I was able to get hooked on another series from this publisher.
  • Next year I know that I’ll have Resident Alien: The Sam Hain Mystery in this section.  It    doesn’t come out until Spring 2015, but I already know it’s going to be a great read.
Mike Maillaro is a lifelong Jersey Boy and geek. Mike has been a comic fan for about 30 years from when his mom used to buy him Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle Adventures at our local newsstand. Thanks, Mom!! Mike's goal is to bring more positivity to the discussion of comics and pop culture.