This is always the weird one. Every month I review a fair number of comics, and always like to do a little month round-up for myself and for you, and to shine a light once more on some great comics. Except I’ve already done a best of 2012, and that included December reviews, and to make things even more confusing, it even included a comic I hadn’t reviewed until January.
So this means that Smoo #6 will be in the Best of 2012 plus by default it has to be in the Best Of January 2012. It makes sort of sense to me at least.
Anyway, here’s what tickled my fancy the most in December 2012:
By Al Ewing, Robbie Morrison, Si Spurrier, Carl Critchlow
2000AD as a whole made the best of year list, and this was my absolute highlight for its audacious conclusion to the Cold Deck storyline, giving over the anthology to just one story, but a story that brought together three separate strips; Dredd, Lowlife, Simping Detective. And oh boy, did it do it with fine, fine style.
By Robert Ball
“As you might expect from something so art driven, Winter’s Knight is all about the imagery and the manner in which Ball works that imagery into the reader’s head, playing upon themes, of weakness, of age, of image, of blood, of conflict.
Along the way there are a few mis-steps, a couple of panels that break the spell, that have you wondering what exactly that line or this line is doing there, whether it’s honestly meant to look like that, but overall it’s something so, so easy to get enveloped in. Winter’s Knight could turn out to be about so many things. It could also turn out to be simply a tale of a knight making his way through some landscape. Either way I don’t care.
Like so many others I’m busy wrapping myself up in the huge world of Ball’s imagery, a wonderful blanket of a world, icy cold, blood red, all utterly stunning.“
By Renaud Dillies and Régis Hautiére
Well this is one that made my best of 2012 list, so it had to be in here. Beautiful work, moving without sentimentality, indeed it was often brutal.
“It’s a beautifully crafted piece of storytelling from Hautiére that tugs mercilessly at the heartstrings but doesn’t ever fall into sentimental or sickly sweet. If anything, by the end, we’re assaulted by the brutality of the story. And Dillies’ artwork is quite beautiful, his charming characters almost deliberately at odds with some of the themes and actions of the tale, yet never feeling wrong. His stylised colours perfectly suited to detailing all the wonders, all the misery, all the dreams Abelard finds along his journey.”
By Chad Fifer, Chris Lackey, illustrated by I.N.J. Culbard
This was so, so close to getting in my best of 2012, and only lost out because I chose Culbard’s The Case Of Charles Dexter Ward over it. In truth there’s nothing between them, and Deadbeats is a wonderful boook.
“And that’s what gives Deadbeats its real class, the balance, so difficult to get right, so wonderful when it is, between thrills and comedy, between writers and artist. It’s deceptively clever, so easy to read, so difficult to do stuff. Classy, funny, pure and simply great.”