IN THE PRESS

The Golemâs Voice: âMausâ

Stan Lee/Dean Haspiel Team-Up - Heeb Magazine

Michel Fiffe's ZEGAS #1 at Baltimore Comicon!

Stan Lee/Dean Haspiel Team-Up - The Frog Bag

Haspiel's Monsters & Men for WAREHOUSE 13

The Comic Archive interviews Dean Haspiel -Part 10

The Comic Archive interviews Dean Haspiel - Part 9

The Comic Archive interviews Dean Haspiel - Part 8

The Comic Archive interviews Dean Haspiel - Part 7

The Comic Archive interviews Dean Haspiel - Part 6

Chris Miskiewicz talks EVERYWHERE w/Tim O'Shea

The Comic Archive interviews Dean Haspiel - Part 5

The Comic Archive interviews Dean Haspiel - Part 4

The Comic Archive interviews Dean Haspiel - Part 3

The Comic Archive interviews Dean Haspiel - Part 2

The Comic Archive interviews Dean Haspiel - Part 1

Stan Lee/Dean Haspiel Team-Up - LA Times

Panels for Primates in Saanich News (again!)

Writing With Pictures interviews Dean Haspiel

Panels for Primates on Ain't It Cool News

Stan Lee/Dean Haspiel Team-Up - Examiner.com

Stan Lee's P4P Tweets - The Fourth One

Stan Lee's P4P Tweets - The Third One

Stan Lee's P4P Tweets - The Second One

Stan Lee's P4P Tweets - The First One

Stan Lee/Dean Haspiel Team-Up - Comics Reporter

Stan Lee/Dean Haspiel Team-Up - Comics Alliance

Stan Lee/Dean Haspiel Team-Up - MTV Geek

Stan Lee/Dean Haspiel Team-Up - The Beat

Stan Lee/Dean Haspiel Team-Up - Talking with Tim

Panels for Primates on The Coast

Panels for Primates on Sequential

Panels for Primates on Joe Shuster Awards site

TWI-NY 10th Anniversary Talk: DEAN HASPIEL

Lost in a Supermarket digs THE ANGEL: MOTION COMIC

Roger Stern Talks P4P with Tim at Robot 6

Panels for Primates on Deconstructing Comics

The Webcomic Beacon interviews some ACT-I-VATOR'S

P4P (Michael May and Simon Roy) on Robot 6

Panels for Primates on Comics Journal blog

Bunnies Everywhere on MTV GEEK

MTV GEEK interviews Chris Miskiewicz on EVERYWHERE

Panels for Primates on Talking with Tim

Maurice Fontenot talks GHOST PIMP at MTV GEEK!

Panels for Primates on The Comics Reporter

Washington City Paper interviews Jason Little

Washington City Paper interviews Nick Bertozzi

Panels for Primates in USA Today

Thomas Baehrs Penguins at The New Yorker

Undie Press interviews Jennifer Hayden

Jennifer Hayden exposes herself at Undie Press

THE ANGEL - MOTION COMIC = Haspiel + Kramer + Moby

Brian the Great (from P4P) on Bleeding Cool

Undercover Chimp in Comics Alliance's Link Ink

io9 on Haspiel + ACT-I-VATE + EVERYWHERE

Agent M Loves Tacos - and Undercover Chimp (P4P)!

Panels for Primates in the Nexus newspaper

Robot 6: Nick Bertozzi draws Lewis & Clark

Haspiel draws SUPERMAN 80-PAGE GIANT 2011

Robot 6: 5-years of AIV + launch of EVERYWHERE

GNYC talks to Chris Miskiewicz about EVERYWHERE

The Beat celebrates 5-years of ACT-I-VATE

Panels for Primates @Saanich News

USA TODAY: Cousin Corinne's REMINDER

iFanboy: Dean Haspiel Talks to the Content Maker

MTV and ACT-I-VATE launch Michel Fiffe's ZEGAS

January 20th is Penguin Awareness Day!

Jennifer Hayden's IT'S SITCOM-IX!

PW: The Evolution of the Comics Media Tie-in

Michel Fiffe's ZEGAS at MTV GEEK

Jeff Newelt's Best of 2010 @Forbidden Planet

Comic Creators Monkey Around to Help Real Primates

HEEB Storytelling: Live Comics Edition Recap

Seth Kushner Talks w/Tim O'Shea about CulturePOP

Dean Haspiel's STREET CODE in The Bicycle Times

CUBA: MY REVOLUTION at Miami Book Fair

Colin Smith does an analysis of my storytelling

Bleeding Cool debuts Haspiel's SEX PLANET

Dean Haspiel's KING CON 2

Tim O'Shea talk w/Jen Ferguson

New Lilly coming soon

The Comics Journal: Never Forget, Never Forgive

WORD BALLOON podcast: Dean Haspiel and Tim Hall

Talking with Tim: Dean Haspiel

CBR/Robot 6 interviews Dean Haspiel

NYT: The Unfinished Tale of an Unlikely Hero

Portland Mercury reviews CUBA: MY REVOLUTION

Dean Haspiel's STREET CODE #3

Comic Revolution reviews CUBA: MY REVOLUTION

Scripps News reviews CUBA: MY REVOLUTION

Dean Haspiel's STREET CODE 2

Dean Haspiel wins Emmy Award!

Darryl Cunningham on Psychiatric Tales & the A

Haspiel's STREET CODE launches digitally

Dan Goldman discusses AIV @Daily Cross Hatch

Haspiel's WOODGOD for Strange Tales vol.2

Daily Cross Hatch interview: Dean Haspiel - Pt.4

AIV Members at MoCCA panel

Daily Cross Hatch interviews Dean Haspiel, pt.3

The Life and Times of Illustrator DEAN HASPIEL

Ames & Haspiel's SUPER RAY mini-comic for HBO

Daily Cross Hatch interviews Dean Haspiel, pt.2

Colsmi reviews Lilly Mackenzie

Daily Cross Hatch interviews Dean Haspiel, pt.1

Dean Haspiel on the passing of Harvey Pekar

Robot6/CBR on James Smith's GANG OF FOOLS

Dean Haspiel earns Emmy nomination

CBR: Haspiel & Irving on GNYC HASPIEL book

Preview of GNYC's Dean Haspiel book

Newsarama interviews Rami Efal

CBR interviews Nathan Schreiber / POWER OUT

GNYC Presents Dean Haspiel, The Early Years

Jen Ferguson's art on HBO's 'Bored To Death'

Sword & Script reviews Haspiel's STREET CODE

Comics Alliance likes Kushner's CulturePOP

2010 BEA Drink/Draw w/Haspiel & Toon Books

GNYC reviews Cousin Corinne's REMINDER #1

Optical Sloth reviews Power Out!

Review of Darryl Cunningham's PSYCHIATRIC TALES

Multiversity Comics interviews Nathan Schreiber

PASTE MAGAZINE: Every Day Should Be FCBD

ACT-I-VATOR's + more draw SAVAGE DRAGON

The Comics Reporter reviews POWER OUT

Sword & Script interviews Darryl Cunningham

CBR interviews Kevin Colden

New York Comix Culture by Qiu & Zepeda

The Action Room interviews Haspiel & Newelt

Dean Haspiel + Midtown Comics = interview podcast

GNYC: MoCCA Fest 2010: The Art of the Superhero

GNYC: The Faces of MoCCA Fest 2010

Fandomania interviews Nathan Schreiber

Simon Fraser converses with the Examiner

Dean Haspiel's STREET CODE returns!

GNYC reviews NEVER FORGET, NEVER FORGIVE

TWI-NY TALK: Dean Haspiel

GNYC profiles Jason Little

GRAPHIC NYC [and AIV] in Italy's La Republica

FYC Replay: Dean Haspiel's BILLY DOGMA

Kat Roberts talks w/Tim O'Shea @ROBOT6

Geek Girl reports AIV @Politics & Prose

Comics Girl reports AIV@Politics & Prose

Washington City Paper interviews Jim Dougan

2/27/10: ACT-I-VATE in DC and VA!

Tim Hamilton on JEOPARDY

Wednesday's Child's 2009 Dean Haspiel interview

Nathan Schreiber awarded Xeric grant for POWER OUT

GRAPHIC NYC profiles Nathan Schreiber

Heeb chooses ACT-I-VATE Primer

THE ACT-I-VATE EXPERIENCE DOCUMENTARY

Ulises Farinas saves/destroys the Marvel/DC Univer

Michel Fiffe launches website

Fiffe's Top 5 Non Comics Influences

BIT: Comic Festival: Brooklyn Review

TIME.com video reports KING CON & AIV

Haspiel's Anatomy of an American Splendor Cover

ACT-I-VATE EXPERIENCE debuts online @Newsarama

origin of Kushner & Colden's SCHMUCK

The NY Times picks ACT-I-VATE PRIMER

Warren Peace reviews ACT-I-VATE PRIMER

INDIE PULP: Dean Haspiel and ACT-I-VATE in Chicago

GRAPHIC NYC: TOM HART on Mamet & Herzog

Tim Hall's "King Con: First Thoughts"

Comic Critique reviews THE ACT-I-VATE PRIMER

24/Seven: Mighty King Con comes to Brooklyn

CBR reviews THE ACT-I-VATE PRIMER

Tor.com Buys Book-Size Webcomics to Serialize

DoubleX: Comics Isn't a Boys' Club Anymore

ACT-I-VATE SALON videos

Hall & Ferguson's MONSTER MASHUPS

Michel Fiffe's ACT-I-VATE SALON review

PopMatters reviews the ACT-I-VATE PRIMER

NEXT-DOOR NEIGHBOR - Radar video

Haspiel's Top 5 Non-Comic Book Influences

FLICKCAST interviews Dean Haspiel

Comics And...Other Imaginary Tales reviews PRIMER

Cosmic Comix & Toys reviews AIV PRIMER

Cosmic Comix Reviews the Primer

WIZARD on ACT-I-VATE

WORD BALLOON: BALTIMORE CON VERSATIONS

Full of Crow interviews Tim Hall

GRAPHIC NYC profiles Jeff Newelt

Newsarama reviews THE ACT-I-VATE PRIMER

Nick Bertozzi Talks "Stuffed!" at CBR

GRAPHIC NYC reviews THE ACT-I-VATE PRIMER

CBR: ACT-I-VATE Experience panel @BCC

GRAPHIC NYC profiles Tom Hart

ACT-I-VATE week at GRAPHIC NYC

GRAPHIC NYC Announces ACT-I-VATE Week!

Scott McCloud "Comics Without Pictures?"

NY Times profiles Molly Crabapple & Dr. Sketch

Montgomery News: From Flash Gordon to Billy Dogma

GRAPHIC NYC profiles Leland Purvis

Tim O'Shea talks to Tim Hall about UTP

Columbia Spectator on ACT-I-VATE

The Beat - Amazon: Cartoonists aren't authors

Fiffe's FUT MISO makes Heeb Best of 5769: Comics

Newsarama: ACT-I-VATE @Brooklyn Book Festival

Revel in NY profiles Molly Crabapple

GRAPHIC NYC profiles Nick Bertozzi

Columbia Spectator re: AIV@Brooklyn Book Festival

Ballpoint Fiends recommends ACT-I-VATE

THE BEAT: Cartoonists are spanning the globe!

Tim Hamilton has an art blog

PW Panel Mania: THE ACT-I-VATE PRIMER

Newsarama: Haspiel ACT-I-VATEs in Print w/IDW

Molly Crabapple talks w/Tim @Robot 6

Michel Fiffe's early years

The Beat: Bertozzi's unused ACT-I-VATE covers

GRAPHIC NYC profiles Kevin Colden

CBR: ACT-I-VATE Artists on IDW's "Primer"

LA Times: Haspiel & Billy Dogma's broken heart

Tom Spurgeon interviews Josh Neufeld

Marvel's STRANGE TALES spotlights Nick Bertozzi

Tim Hamilton's F451 adaptation reviewed at NPR

Haspiel on the ACT-I-VATE Primer at CBR

GRAPHIC NYC profiles Michel Fiffe

ACT-I-VATE PRIMER - 16pp preview

IDW announces ACT-I-VATE PRIMER

GRAPHIC NYC profiles Josh Neufeld

Making Webcomics panel at SDCC'09

Tim Hall reads "San Diego Sutra"

The Daily Record article- WITH PHOTO SPREAD

Simon Fraser profiled in the Scottish Daily Record

Molly Crabapple in BEHIND THE CURTAIN

ComixFan interviews Jennifer Hayden

MetroWest features Nathan Schreiber's POWER OUT

Cool Webcomic List reviews Lilly MacKenzie

Cool Webcomics List reviews SAM & LILAH

LiveJournal SPOTLIGHTS Josh Neufeld

Nick Bertozzi on 'Stuffed!'

GRAPHIC NYC profiles Molly Crabapple

Molly Crabapple at Newsarama

Laura Lee Gulledge at Newsarama

LA Times on NDN

GRAPHIC NYC profiles Mike Dawson

MTV on "Earth 2100" & ACT-I-VATE

BIT Neighborhood Beat: DEEP6

COMICS DC reviews SAM & LILAH

GRAPHIC NYC profiles Tim Hamilton

Bertozzi talks Iraq comix w/Tim O'Shea

GRAPHIC NYC profiles Joe Infurnari

Vote Infurnari's "Vs."

Roger Langridge Panel Border podcast

AIV + Bergen Street Comics = FCBD video

Ames + Haspiel = Authors@Google

GRAPHIC NYC profiles Kat Roberts

Geekanerd reports AIV/FCBD@BSC

AIV/FCBD@BSC via iFanboy

PW: Hill & Wang talks Tim Hamilton's F451

PWCW on Tim Hamilton's F451

PWCW on Scarlett Takes Manhattan

Nashville Examiner digs ACT-I-VATE

Mike Dawson on Inkstuds

Ulises Farinas reads MOTRO live!

Daily Cross Hatch interviews Crabapple - Part 2

Pleece Bros. interviewed at Newsarama

Daily Cross Hatch interviews Molly Crabapple

DEEP6 and NDN video featured on Radar

Warren & Gary Pleece talk to Tim O'Shea

GRAPHIC NYC profiles Mike Cavallaro

USA Today digs Jennifer Hayden's UNDERWIRE

Dick Hyacinth interviews PARTY BEAR'S Paul Maybury

Mike Dawson's Jack & Max at The Pulse

Welcome to Webcomics: Dean Haspiel

Pulse: Jennifer Hayden's THE STORY OF MY TITS

GRAPHIC NYC profiles Dean Haspiel

NYT profile on Dean Haspiel

CBR profiles Dan Goldman's 08

GRAPHIC NYC profiles Dan Goldman

Newsarama interviews Josh Neufeld / A.D.

Mike Dawson talks to Tim O'Shea at Robot 6

Greylock Arts interviews/showcases Jennifer Hayden

The Daily Cross Hatch reviews MOTRO #1

Talking Comics with Tim: Nathan Schreiber

Comic Impact loves ACT-I-VATE

CBR's ROBOT 6 Favorite Comix of 2008

Dean Haspiel's "Snow Dope" at NY Times

Bingdu5 reviews FEAR, MY DEAR

iFanboy interviews Kevin Colden

KYW Newsradio 1060 interviews Kevin Colden

"If We Do It Ourselves" by Wim Lockefeer

Life Styler digs ACT-I-VATE

Daily Cross Hatch reviews FISHTOWN

CBR reviews FISHTOWN

CBR interviews Kevin Colden about FISHTOWN

Marvel Digital: Dean Haspiel & Frankenstein

LA Times recommends FEAR, MY DEAR

Kevin Colden - Entering 'Fishtown'

Billy Dogma makes HEEB Best of 5768

Jennifer Hayden talks UNDERWIRE

Smashd.TV interviews Dean Haspiel

Fred, Mugwhump & More: Talking to Roger Langri

Act-i-vate Makes Dynamic Webcomics!

PC Mag's 10 Best Unsung Webcomics

Dean Haspiel Word Balloon podcast

Dean Haspiel STREET CODE interview at Newsarama

Thomas Baehr on "The End is Here"

"Found" Comics: Joe Infurnari on Ultra-L

Sequential Tart reviews IMMORTAL

DOUGAN'S LIKABLE SAM & LILAH at The Pulse

Paul Maybury Interviewed by Tom Spurgeon

Wizard reports NYCC/AIV panel

ComixTalk reviews IMMORTAL

Future of ACT-I-VATE at Newsarama

Fandomismo.com - Spotlights Lilly MacKenzie

ACT-I-VATE in the NY Times

Eisner nominees at ACT-I-VATE

AIV BLOG
Back to blog
ACT-I-VATE'S BEST OF 2011
12:25pm / Dec 6, 2011
ACT-I-VATE'rs, and some extended family, weigh in with their Top 5 favorite COMIX and Top 5 favorite ANYTHING ELSE that were either new to all of us in 2011, or just new to them. Happy Holidays!



ACT-I-VATE TOP FIVE 2011



DEAN HASPIEL

( w/a Billy Dogma )



I can never do these Top 5 Lists justice. So, rather than go insane rifling through my shelves, boxes, and towering stacks of stuff that would make a seasoned hoarder cringe, I decided to restrict myself to knee-jerk reacting my Top 5 favorite comics and non-comics in 5-minutes. Any one of these items either made me laugh, cry, stopped my heart, made me jealous, made me think different, or just gave me the steam to get through the next page on my art table:



MY TOP 5 FAVORITE COMICS 2011

SCALPED by Jason Aaron and R.M. Guera [Vertigo]

DAREDEVIL by Mark Waid, Marcos Martin, and Paolo Rivera [Marvel]

GODZILLA: Gangsters and Goliaths by John Layman and Alberto Ponticelli [IDW]

PLANET OF THE APES by Daryl Gregory and Carlos Magno [Boom!]

ZEGAS #1 by Michel Fiffe [Copra Press]



MY TOP 5 FAVORITE NON-COMICS 2011

RISE OF THE PLANET OF THE APES, directed by Rupert Wyatt

PARIAH by Bob Fingerman

WTF Podcast by Marc Maron

CHILDREN'S HOSPITAL [The Compete First and Second seasons], created by Rob Corddry

TKOL RMX 1234567 by Radiohead



LELAND PURVIS

( w/a Vulcan & Vishnu )



COMICS-RELATED

1 SALVATORE, VOLS. 1&2. New Nicolas de Crecy (in English!) from NBM.

2 BLUE ESTATE, Victor Kalvachev, art by Nathan Fox, Toby Cypress and others.

3 PETROGRAD, artist Tyler Crook. A really phenomenal debut.

4 VIETNAMERICA, GB Tran's family memoir about coming to the U.S.

5 QUENCHED CONSCIOUSNESS, Moebius artblog. http://theairtightgarage.tumblr.com/



NOT-COMICS

1 THE NATIONAL (band) I'm late to the party, but my favorite music

this year (with the possible exception of the new Tom Waits album.)

2 SURFACE DETAIL, Iain M. Banks. Another 'Culture' novel. He can't

write enough to suit me.

3 LIE TO ME (TV) Tim Roth as a deception expert. Great fun.

4 ROBERT FAWCETT, THE ILLUSTRATOR'S ILLUSTRATOR. High time we had a

real monograph of this guy's work.

5 BLUE COLLAR/ WHITE COLLAR, artbook by Sterling Hundley. If you're at

all interested in modern illustration, you should give Hundley a look.

And this book is the best way to do it, beautifully designed by Chris

Pitzer.





DOV TORBIN

( w/a The Revolution Will Be Televised )



COMICS:

1) HABIBI by Craig Thompson

This book firmly places Mr. Thompson as the top cartoonist in America. As far as pure cartooning skill goes, no one can touch him right now.

2) SNARKED by Roger Langridge

It's always nice to see a comic done by somebody who's perfected the language. A very charming comic that can be enjoyed by both children and adults.

3) NEDROID by Anthony Clark

My favorite web comic. Funny without being profane (a rarity these days).

4) CHESTER 5000 by Jess Fink

The best sex comic I've ever seen. Although repetitive, it blew me away the first time I saw it.

5) ALL-NEW ADVENTURES OF CARTOON BOY by John Kerschbaum

An ACT-I-VATE comic for good measure. Pure fun and Kerschbaum's colors are great.



TOP 5 EVERYTHING ELSE:

1) BREAKING BAD

This season came to a great climax full of explosions, betrayal, twists, and half-melted faces.

2) GOTYE "Somebody That I Used To Know"

Been listening to this song a lot these past few weeks.

3) FLORENCE + THE MACHINE

Great voice. She's like the new Annie Lennox. I like her a lot more than that Adele lady.

4) THE BRUINS

I never in my life thought I would get excited about hockey...but I did.

5) FIGHTING THE MAN

Although the future is uncertain, I believe all the recent revolutions in the Middle East and Occupy Wallstreet movements in America will create a brighter tomorrow. As an artist, it's always exciting to see people fight for what they believe in and speak out about how they feel.



MICHEL FIFFE

( w/a Zegas )



TOP COMICS

1) GANGSTA RAP POSSE #2

2) DAREDEVIL 4 & 5

3) TONY SALMONS' UNPUBLISHED MONQ COMIC

4) PRISON PIT 3

5) RUBBER NECKER 5



TOP EVERYTHING ELSE

[See above, I know nothing else about the world around me. What's an "Occupy" anyway?]





NICK ABADZIS

( nickabadzis.com )



COMICS

1. LOVE & ROCKETS NEW STORIES No.4 - Jaime Hernandez's The Love Bunglers, part 2 (Fantagraphics). Sublime work and my outright favorite strip of the year.

2. THE ADVENTURES OF HERGÉ - Bocquet, Fromental & Stanislas (D&Q). Ligne-claire bio of Tintin's creator. I'm a sucker for this sort of thing, expecially if it's so lovingly done.

3. EVERYTHING WE MISS - Luke Pearson (NoBrow). Short, sensitive tale of love and reality gone awry, beautifully presented and printed by the ever-reliable aesthetes at NoBrow Press.

4. LEWIS & CLARK - Nick Bertozzi (First Second). How to make history grab you and take you on a journey. Fluid, easy and utterly engaging, Bertozzi's up there, this country's Joann Sfar.

5. PINNOCHIO - Winshluss (Knockabout/Last Gasp) Hilariously pessimistic and scratchy retelling of Carlo Colludi's classic fairy tale. Essential.



EVERYTHING ELSE

1. KATE BUSH - 50 Words For Snow

2. BRIAN ENO, just for being Brian Eno

3. GAME OF THRONES

4. BOARDWALK EMPIRE

5. DEREK JACOBI as King Lear at BAM



JENNIFER HAYDEN

( w/a Underwire )



MY "TOP 5 FAVE COMIX FROM 2011":

#1--HABIBI. By Craig Thompson. This book is unbelievable. If you had to give someone a book to show them what a graphic novel can be, this is the book to give them. It is about the origin of language, art, stories, people, and how they are all intertwined from the start.

#2--THE INFLUENCING MACHINE. By Brook Gladstone and Josh Neufeld. Fantastic exploration of the development of news media throughout history, forcing us to think about what we should expect from our web-scrambled media now. I gave this to my eighteen-year-old to read, because I think he's the next Jon Stewart, and this book will give him a leg-up. Neufeld's art makes Gladstone's points really hit home.

#3--EVERYTHING IS ITS OWN REWARD. By Paul Madonna. I can't believe I never discovered this guy until now. This is not sequential art, so not strictly speaking a comic, but it is a lovely, original combination of text and art. It's a collection of Madonna's "All Over Coffee" strip in The San Francisco Chronicle. Each image is a gorgeous sketch of some corner of San Francisco, with a hand-written text, just a fragment, usually fiction, layered on top. Not people, but people-residue, amazing.

#4--MID-LIFE. By Joe Ollmann. So. Damn. Funny. This is a graphic novel about a forty-something guy, father of grown kids, remarried with baby, parenting, fantasizing, and generally being a sweet, bewildered douche-bag. I just loved this book.

#5--EYE OF THE MAJESTIC CREATURE. By Leslie Stein. I also just discovered Leslie's work, and I think it's so great. It's about her days as a twenty-something, working, wondering, spending time with her guitar who drinks too much. She has such a light, funny touch, and has such a great sense of what it is to be alive--and the art is really wonderful.



OKAY--MY TOP FIVE "OTHER SHIT FROM 2011":

#1--Cynthia von Buhler's SPEAKEASY DOLLHOUSE

#2--My new niece LUCY

#3--HIGHLANDER'S FAREWELL, album by Natalie Haas and Alasdair Fraser - some great Irish fiddling, paired with cello.

#4--Joan Didion's book "BLUE NIGHTS" - this chick isn't afraid to look pain in the face.

#5--ACUPUNCTURE--not, strictly speaking, from 2011, but that's when I discovered it, and the shit WORKS, man. It WORKS.



JAMES SMITH

( w/a Gang of Fools )



COMICS I LIKED IN 2011:



1) Really digging Remender, Opena and White on UNCANNY X-FORCE. Gorgeous art with a story I can't make heads or tails of, and somehow don't care.

2) It didn't come out in 2011, and it's been cancelled, but I just read Langridge and Samnee's THOR THE MIGHTY AVENGER and it was a lot of fun and really well done.

3) BUTCHER BAKER. I hope I get to see more of what Mike Huddleston was doing here, in more places.

4) Gabby Shulz's webcomic SICK.

5) Page 113 of HOLY TERROR. (Frank Miller)



EVERYTHING ELSE:



1) Music: SIR LUCIOUS LEFT FOOT: THE SON OF CHICO DUSTY. When I realized I'd just heard the last song and the album was over, I got a little sad.

2) Politician: HERMAN CAIN. Because otherwise I wouldn't even be paying attention.

3) TV: LOUIE. It’s funny because it’s true.

4) Cartoon: JUSTICE LEAGUE SEASON 2 EPISODES 19 AND 20: HEREAFTER.

Grieving Batman and a villain who spends eternity watching everyone on Earth die. Also, Clark Kent as Mad Max. Just barely squeaks by that season's episodes 9 and 10, HEARTS AND MINDS, where the villain is an Insane Space Baptist.

5) Podcast: WALKING THE ROOM. Because they give me something horrible and sad to rise above.





THOMAS BAEHR

( w/a The End Is Here )



COMICS

1. NORDGUARD, BOOK 1: Across Thin Ice by Tess Garman and Teagan Gavet (same style as Blacksad, the artist is almost at the same level, but a total different kind of story and genre)

2. BOUMERIES VOL.1 by Boum (just awesomely funny!)

3. LADY S. #3: Game of Fools by Philippe Aymond and Jean Van Hamme (there is nothing that does not suck you in what is written by Van Hamme)

4. UNDERWIRE: by Jennifer Hayden (the goddess of almost everything)

5. CAFFEINATED TOOTHPASTE VOL.1: The Good and the Bad by Josh Bauman (also awesomely funny)



EVERYTHING ELSE WITH NO PARTICULAR ORDER:

- EINSTÜRZENDE NEUBAUTEN: ALLES WIEDER OFFEN (the latest of this German band, okay not from 2011, but who cares when you get songs like "suseJ"?)

- OFFICE OF FUTURE PLANS: same (J.Robbins new band!!!!)

- GAIL COLLINS at the NYTimes Op Ed

- HOT - LIVING THROUGH THE NEXT FIFTY YEARS ON EARTH: by Mark Hertsgaard (way more people should have read that)

- THIS IS ENGLAND! (British movie, not from 2011, but I finally had the chance to see it this year - and it is THAT good, mate.)





DIRK MANNING

( w/a Farseeker )



TOP FIVE COMICS OF 2011



B.P.R.D.

While HELLBOY is clearly Mike Mignola’s better known creation, more and more readers are coming to discover that – while the former is a great character and offers scads of great comics in his own right – B.P.R.D. is where the action is in regards to the Apocalyptic threat Mignola and company have been building towards for years. Highlighted largely by the amazing artwork of Guy Davis (although that torch has now been passed), B.P.R.D. is a no-holds-barred action comic with a dynamic and monstrous (yet very humane) cast where the only constant is change as the Doomsday clock is now mere minutes away from hitting midnight.



JONAH HEX

Despite (or perhaps because of) my lack of emotional investment in most corporately-owned superhero comics, I’ve been a big proponent of DC’s “New 52” from the beginning. The only downside, in my eyes, was the change in format of Palmiotti and Grey’s JONAH HEX. Formerly a series of “done-in-one” stories with each issue illustrated by a different artist, the series has now changed to ALL-STAR WESTERN and features a consistent (albeit very good) art team and longer-term story-arcs. I, too, was came late to the party concerning JONAH HEX due to my inability to believe the hype of everyone else who read the series, but when I finally gave the series a shot I discovered one of the most invigorating and original comics in the pre-“New 52” DC line-up. With the release of “Bury Me in Hell” this month the whole run is now available in TPB form. Start anywhere and discover what prove in the long run to be the most underrated comics of not only last year, but the last decade.



NEONOMICON

As a huge fan of both Alan Moore and H.P. Lovecraft, I thoroughly enjoyed the TPB adaption of his prose short story “The Courtyard” (illustrated by Jacen Burrows) by Avatar from several years back and was thrilled to hear that his last non-LoEG-related comic work would be a sequel to this work. Moore himself described the series as being especially dark… but even his repeated warnings did not brace me for the truly horrific nature of this series. By portraying physical and sexual acts of deprivation without ever glorifying them combined with creating a masterful tone of suspense and dread by using great pacing, in NEONOMICON Moore produced one of the most genuinely frightening horror comics in recent memory. While this series (now released in a TPB-collection that also includes the previously released two-parter THE COURTYARD) certainly won’t be for everyone, any fans of horror – especially of the Lovecraftian variety – would do very well in checking it out.



SCALPED

Given that I already included JONAH HEX on the list a moment ago, I was hesitant to include a second western-ish title (let alone a second Western-title from DC Comics) in my Top Five… but then I remembered that SCALPED is much more “noir” than “Western” and that, quite frankly, it deserves to be here. A modern noir masterpiece, to say this book is dark is akin to saying the sun is hot or the ocean is deep. In SCALPED (which focuses mainly on a troubled Native American returning to his reservation as a double-agent for the FBI with the task of bringing down a fellow tribe member who has grown to become a corrupt casino owner/crime Kingpin) Jason Aaron and company are unrelenting in both the depths to which they will punish the books large and tragic cast as well as the whiplash inducing twists and turns that reveal themselves as the series continues to barrel along at a breakneck pace. This book is the spiritual successor to PREACHER that fans around the world have been waiting for.



SAVAGE DRAGON

I don’t think there was a more satisfying, enjoyable, or downright riveting story-arc in all of 2011 than the “Emperor Dragon” storyline in SAVAGE DRAGON. When Dragon’s original personality of a wicked alien warlord is awakened within him, what transpires is a harrowing and violent series of events in which Dragon, now identifying himself as “Emperor Kurr” (his real identity before being left on Earth in a burning field two decades ago), sets out to claim the Earth as his own, viciously wiping-out anyone is his was with intelligent, laser-like precision. There’s been a lot of series over the years in which the hero temporarily becomes the villain, but in 2011’s biggest story-arc, it is revealed that Dragon really is (or at least was) a villain, and the result is a rampage through the title that results in one of the most dramatic upheavals in the status quo of any comic of the last year. Lives are lost, worlds are destroyed (both metaphorically and literally) and 20-year-old Easter Eggs finally hatch, resulting in the most exciting and unpredictable (and perhaps a bit under-appreciated) superhero comic currently on the shelves of 2011 being Erik Larsen’s SAVAGE DRAGON. Even someone who has never read the title before could pick-up the “Emperor Dragon” collection and find themselves drawn into a the dynamic and engrossing struggles put before the cast of this modern action-adventure gem that fully embraces all the best qualities – and potential – of a superhero comic where the only constant is real, uncompromising change.



TOP FIVE NON-COMICS OF 2011



TRANSMETROPOLITAN: ALL AROUND THE WORLD

Also graciously billed and authorized as TRANSMETROPOLITAN: VOLUME 11 by DC Comics, this charity artbook (spearheaded by Susan Augér to raise money for ACTOR and The HERO Initiative) and fully supported by original TRANSMETROPOLITAN creators Warren Ellis and Darrick Robertson features hundreds of pages of pin-ups, short stories, photos and more all set in the world of TRANSMETROPOLITAN. An oversized hardcover (some of which even came in a slipcase), TRANSMETROPOLITAN: ALL AROUND THE WORLD was not only one of the biggest “feel-good” released of 2011, but also one of the most must-have ones to boot. A success on every level, anyone lucky enough to have a copy can tell you it is a procession to be cherished.



ALAN MOORE: STORYTELLER

There have been several books – especially in the last few years – that have discussed the work of Alan Moore, but none are as ambitious, detailed and ultimately rewarding as ALAN MOORE: STORYTELLER by Gary Spencer Millidge. A chronological work of his life and work broken into detailed yet bite-sized bits – all with the support and cooperation of Moore to boot – this hefty tome will most likely prove to be the most definitive book of its kind on the subject of Moore… and it also includes a CD packed with over a dozen songs/performance pieces written, recorded and/or performed by Moore to boot, making it a winning package from cover to cover for anyone who is engrossed with the man and/or his work.



ADELE

The rise of mainstream attention and adoration for this remarkable singer in 2011 is, if not overdue, at least definitely appropriate, and while at this point almost anyone with a radio has most likely been deluged with the one-two-three punch of “Rolling in the Deep,” “Someone Like You” and “Set Fire to the Rain,” really, there’s not a single dud among the whole collection of songs that comprises “21,” meaning the five or six of you out there who – for whatever reason – haven’t yet succumbed to purchasing the album are really not hurting anyone but yourselves… and why would you ever want to do that?



FRINGE/THE WALKING DEAD (tied)

I hate it when people put “ties” in Top Five/Top Ten lists… but, really, there’s no way around it here.



Admittedly (and obviously) I’m late to the game on FRINGE, having only just discovered and finished the first season at the tail end of this year… but, damn, what a show. While I could not bring myself to slog through LOST, finally giving-up on the series mid-way through the second season, FRINGE seems not only to have learned from some of the missteps of the former, but also its successes (as well as the successes of THE X-FILES, a show that was clearly the forerunner to both shows). Starting almost obstinately as a “science fiction mishap of the week” series, throughout the first season FRINGE slowly but steadily revealed a “big picture” concept that has limitless possibilities of awe-inspiring potential. Despite the fact that I can’t help but feel that Warren Ellis deserves some sort of official recognition in the credits for the premise of the show (which, in my eyes, derives – at least – a lot of inspiration from his collected woks), FRINGE – in its first season alone – has become the most exciting and exhilarating shows on TV (tied with THE WALKING DEAD).

In regards to THE WALKING DEAD television series, I see a lot of people online panning the first half of the second series, tagging it as a “boring” series that only got exciting in the closing moments of the last episode. This disheartens me greatly, since it seems to ignore the fact that this first half of the season has done such a phenomenal job building-up an emotional investment in all the characters, none of whom at this point could be considered by even the most jaded viewer as “zombie bait.” Like FRINGE, THE WALKING DEAD has taken an extended amount of time to get us to invest in the characters, and that makes their struggles all the more engaging and discussion worthy to mainstream viewers across the would – something fairly remarkable for a set of shows that are unabashedly science fiction and horror, respectively.



THE MUPPETS MOVIE

The Muppets have returned to the big screen – and the mainstream – with one of the most heartwarming, hilarious and human films of the year. If you don’t know or understand what’s so great about this, go watch the movie, because I refuse to believe that anything other than a lack of seeing the film could lead to this same conclusion.





JIM DOUGAN

(Writer, SAM & LILAH )



Top 5 Comics/Graphic Novels for 2011 (not in order)



VIETNAMERICA by GB Tran. Complex, ambitious telling of Tran’s family history and their journey from war-torn Vietnam to America (hence the title). Tran makes fine use of the unique storytelling potential of the comics medium without descending into trickery or losing sight of the very real people at the heart of the story. There needs to be more graphic novels like this. Many, many more.



THE SHOW MUST GO ON by Roger Langridge. For longtime fans of Roger Langridge, Christmas came in September when this book was released. There is more pure cartooning mastery – and laughs - on every page of this book than in most cartoonists’ careers. And there are 200 pages.



ZEGAS #1 by Michel Fiffe. It would be easy to say that this book is Fiffe “coming into his own” as a cartoonist, but that would underestimate just what a giant success this is, not only for Mike but for everyone interested in comics as an art form. Inventive, formally daring, disturbing, and beautiful, all at once. I can’t wait for the next issue.



THE LOVE BUNGLERS (in LOVE AND ROCKETS: NEW STORIES #4) by Jaime Hernandez. In the last issue, Jaime punched me in the gut and broke my heart. In this issue, he gives with a few more punches before piecing me back together. It’s hard to remember being so emotionally affected reading a comic. Just pure brilliance.



DAREDEVIL by Mark Waid, Paolo Rivera and Marcos Martin. This is the way superhero comics should be done. Clear, direct, exciting and fun storytelling that still manages to be innovative. There’s been a lot of noise about DC’s New 52, but in 20 years, most of that will have been forgotten, while fans and students of the form will still be reading and enjoying this, picking it apart for the ample lessons about writing and art than can be found throughout.



Top 5 Everything Else for 2011 (not in order)



ONLY IN DREAMS by Dum Dum Girls. What do you get when you have Chrissie Hynde front the Ramones to play a bunch of Ronettes songs? This.



ALL DAY by Girl Talk. A lot of times, mash-ups feel very, uh, 2003. But this record is just a mash-up like Guernica is just a wall hanging.



CENTIFOLIA by Stuart Immonen. (Kind of a cheat, since this could technically be considered “comics”, but it’s really more an art book and collection of sketchbooks. So there.) I can’t think of anyone with broader and more developed skills in the world of cartooning, illustration, and design than Stuart Immonen. Any number of things on display in these books (vols. I and II) are exceptional in their own right, but taken as a whole the versatility is simply dazzling. Especially when you remember it’s from the guy who also drew the big Marvel event comic of 2011, FEAR ITSELF.



DC UNITED signs Dwayne DeRosario. The fact that my team managed to pick up one of the 2 or 3 best players in the history of MLS (the American pro soccer league) is cause for celebration. That he was basically stolen in a trade from the much-hated and perennially-underachieving New York Red Bulls is even better.



UNCLE VANYA at the Kennedy Center. I was lucky enough to see this performance, featuring the galactic cast of Cate Blanchett, Hugo Weaving, Richard Roxborough, and Jacki Weaver. Reading the play (which I found a bit dull) was no preparation at all for the tour de force entertainment in seeing it live. The best argument ever for the fact that plays are meant to be performed, not read.

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