Welcome to Comic Bastards' yearly "Best of" list. We have so many contributors on the site now that we actually had to break the list up into parts this year. This is part one which will cover "Best Indie Book", "Best Original Graphic Novel, Trade or Reprint" and "Best All-Ages Title." You can find Part 1, Part 3 and Part 4 by clicking on the previous links. Also be sure to check out this week's podcast to hear Kevin and Dustin read and have fun with everyone's list! Thanks for reading! (Hey Creators and Publishers! If you want a champ belt graphic contact us on Twitter or through the site and we'll make you one!)
Best Indie Book
This is the most insanely awesome thing I've ever read. This is the reason we need comics.
Because I wish that I had come up with it. That’s why.
By Jesse H. Mead, slacker fantasy comedy done right.
One of the most generic book names ended up being incredibly refreshing to read for me.
I’ve read a ton of indies this year and a lot of them were really good. I wish I could list them all here, but this book in particular has stood out to me all year-long. The story is short and sweet, but the payoff is so damn incredible that it blew my mind. If you haven’t yet, you should read it.
The greatest thing about this book is how simple it seems, but by the end, how complex it suddenly becomes. Great, meticulous writing coupled with a visual style that strains to restrain itself.
Such a great story revolving mystery and a young quirky girl leading through.
James - A Voice in the Dark
I really liked this "serial killer in the making tale" and to hear the story of its author, All I can say is wow! Top Cow and Image were hooked on it, and so am I.
Best Original Graphic Novel, Trade or Reprint
Jordan - Hellboy: Midnight Circus (Dark Horse Comics)
Mike Mignola and his team gives us a wonderful peek into one fateful night in the life of one of the greatest dark heroes in comics.
James - Last Man Standing: Killbook of a Bounty Hunter (Dark Horse Comics)
I am not even sure what this one would even be considered to be. It's not really a story, but it is. It is like nothing I have ever encountered....And I loved it.
Adam - The Last of Us: American Dreams (Dark Horse Comics)
I'm also using this as my best video game adaptation category, but I just thought this was one of the best stories I'd read this year, and it read extremely well in trade format.
Kevin - The Trip (Danger Zone)
Action Lab Danger Zone's not so typical teen horror book that adds enough twist and grins to make it well worth the read.
Steve - Strange Attractors (Archaia Entertainment)
This is what first put Soule on my radar: a fantastic story about urban chaos magic and how it can shape and save cities.
Erik - Batman and Robin Vol. 1: Born To Kill (DC Comics)
I'm kinda surprised that it took so long for this trade to come out. This was the best thing about The New 52. The relationship between Bruce and Damian was the only thing that kept me reading anything from the re-launch in the first place. Then we saw what they did with that.
Samantha - Boxers and Saints (First Second Books)
Has everything you want in a novel, great character build-up, cute pictures, tons of action, and tears for the light-hearted.
Dustin - Battling Boy (First Second Books)
This was a tough choice. Though I feel there weren’t as many good or great graphic novels this year, the ones that stood at as the best were something else. They were moving, funny and emotional, but Battling Boy was something else. It still had a three of those things, but it did something I haven’t seen done since Marvel’s Ultimate line of books… it changed the superhero genre. Battling Boy is one of the most incredible reads all year and there is literally only one other book that I can think of that compares and it will likely make its way on this list as well. If you haven’t read Battling Boy then you missed the most important work of 2013.
Best All-Ages Title
Dustin - Dungeon Fun (DoGooder Comics)
I personally think this was a great year for all-ages titles and I mean true all-ages titles, not books that are specifically written for kids that adults happen to read as well. Dungeon Fun came out of nowhere and stole my heart. It made me laugh, it made me sad, but through it all it entertained me. It’s rare that I re-read something multiple times, but it’s even rarer for it to be a single issue of a comic rather than a graphic novel. I loved the first issue and can’t wait for more.
Kevin - Dungeon Fun (DoGooder Comics)
This took me by surprise and by listening to Dustin's coverage I had to read it. It did not disappoint.
James - Itty Bitty Hellboy (Dark Horse Comics)
This is the title that "cool" parents would give to their kids. I dodged Art Baltazar for so long, but because of IBH, I embrace him. Excellent use of making dark subject matter lighthearted and kid friendly.
Samantha - Monster on the Hill (Top Shelf Comix)
Loved this graphic novel. It has such a cute story line, and I mean come on it has monsters everywhere. What kids/adult would not like this?
Jordan Samurai Jack Jim Zub and Andy Suriano are pulling it off and deserve a round of applause.
Carl - Peanuts (KaBoom)
Without Charlie Brown, there would be no good in this world.
Jeff - Bravest Warriors (KaBoom)
It may not be revolutionary but it's consistently entertaining and well crafted, a title with broad appeal.
Adam - Regular Show (KaBoom)
This is my favorite cartoon on TV, and the comic book is awesome. This is one of those shows like Spongebob that just transcends age. Sure, 6 year olds can watch it but there's stuff they'll miss out on that only older adolescents such as myself and adults can get. I think all of us have had a friend or can relate to Mordecai or Rigby, and their chemistry is great to watch in the show and see in the comic. Skips always has to save them from some weird supernatural occurrence brought on by their own ignorance and stupidity. Don't look at our crotches while we synchronize our watches!
Erik - Regular Show (KaBoom)
I was always into superheroes when I was a kid, but coming from an adult's point of view, your kids will grow out of superheroes soon enough anyway. It is very sad, but true. Try to get your kids into something different right off the bat. Or read it yourself, whatever.
Steve - Scottie Young's 2013 Covers?
I really don't read all-ages titles, but his covers are pretty sweet. -- Keep going with our "Best of 2013" list by checking out Part 1, Part 3 and Part 4! Thanks for reading and please leave us a comment below!