Everyone loves year end lists. The “best this” of the year or in this case, the “best that” of the decade. Since we hadn’t done one in a while we decided to put a new list together but with our usual “Variant” spin on things.
We wanted to give you a list of the “Best Comics of the Decade” but then we thought we’d have people arguing about how their favorite comics aren’t on our list or how the rankings were off or hurling accusations of favoritism of Marvel over DC / the Big Two over Indie comics, etc. So instead of hearing our opinions on what we think were the best comic books of the 2010’s we decided to give that job to some of the best comic creators in the business.
Well, first of all because we can. Second, because the list of comics creators before you were gracious enough to reply to our emails and join the party!
Out of all of the creators in comics, I had the pleasure of corresponding with these amazing ten who gave me their sincerest thoughts on their favorite comics that came out in the last ten years. It was an awesome experience and before we get on to the list, I’d like to thank them all for contributing to the article and taking the time out of their busy schedules to talk to this comic nerd on the internet.
Now, onto the Ten Best Comics of the Decade as told by the Creators!
“It’s hard to pick just one, but I’ll go with Jason Aaron’s run on Thor. The saga that Aaron has built over the years has gotten me excited in a way that very few ongoing series’ have these days. The artists through the series have been outstanding, from Esad Ribic to Mike Del Mundo, Olivier Coipel, Russell Dauterman, Nick Klein or Ron Garney, each one bringing their unique style and look to the pages. As an artist, there’s things to get surprised by and to learn from each of those guys, and as a reader, Aaron’s script gets you from the first page, with honest, direct and brutal storytelling sometimes, and nuanced, classy and subtle moments all the way through, something that very few writers can do. And the most important part, the book is funny. It’s easy to read, and the comedy parts never feel off, being delivered by the right characters at the right time.”
- Pere Perez (artist - Rogue & Gambit: Ring of Fire, Deadpool Vs. Punisher)
“Godland by Joe Casey and Tom Scioli was a fantastic series. Rooted in 70’s Cosmic Kirby, it both paid tribute to the King’s singular blend of mind expansion, explosive visuals and biblical-hipster writing and staked out its own unique identity. Comics at its purest, most creative and exciting. I loved it.”
- J.M. DeMatteis (writer - Justice League International, Amazing Spider-Man)
“How to Be Happy by Eleanor Davis (FANTAGRAPHICS, 2014) Deeply moving and relatable, speaking to both the beautiful and monstrous parts of us (and life) in equal measure, Eleanor Davis is one of the greatest cartoonists of all time and simply everyone should read her emotional, riveting, and wildly creative work. Weaving between mundane and fantastical, each of her stories somehow feel powerfully resonant and has something meaningful to say. How to Be Happy collects some of her best and most engaging shorts including Seven Sacks and Stick and String.”
- Kelly Thompson (writer - Captain Marvel, Hawkeye)
“Uncanny X-Force #1- 4 by Rick Remender & Jerome Opeña or Memetic by James Tynion IV & Eryk Donovan. OK so this is a complete toss up because of my love for all things X and my last decade of jumping into indie comics without a net. Uncanny X-Force’s first arc The Apocalypse Solution by Remender and Opena asks the old question what if you could go back in time and kill baby Hitler, except it’s X-Force so they try to kill baby Apocalypse. I’m a HUGE Remender fan so there’s that and the ending which I won’t spoil here is just a gut punch that I didn’t see coming. Memetic is a weird little book that I was drawn to because of the crazy looking sloth on the cover and is about a meme that kills you when you look at it. Personally I hate memes and this, in my mind, is the ultimate extension of that. When there are few people making something original and a few million people ignoring the original stuff and instead sharing a stupid meme over and over again, that says something about society in general and this book nails it. I heard they’re making a movie or series about this book as well and they can take my money now because I’m all in.”
- RJ Marchese (writer / editor – 27 Club Anthology, The Night Before Krampus, The Variant)
“Captain Victory and the Galactic Rangers by Joe Casey, Nathan Fox and others from Dynamite Comics. Beautifully drawn and art directed. Classic and innovative at the same time, with some great guest artists. And, it was fun!”
- Tim Seeley (writer/artist - Hack/Slash, Grayson)
“Uncanny X-Force #9 by Rick Remender and Billy Tan. Wolverine is tasked to kill a retired Nazi who was a torturer in a concentration camp. The drama, the emotion, and the guilt involved is left to Logan only. He does it for Magneto, as a favor asked, and he has to live with the burden of that action.”
- Rob Potchak (writer/artist - Junior High Horrors, Immortal)
"Punk Rock Jesus" from Sean Murphy.
Many things I can say about this amazing comic book. The art is fantastic: the idea to have in your hands such amazing art just in black and white it's just the best thing in many years. Sean Gordon Murphy has a perfect sense of the story-telling and he really plays his skills as a good movie director. Any page, any panel he drew, it's on another level. Just for the art itself, Punk Rock Jesus is a book that’s really worth it. But that is not all the good things about this book. The story is the best. The idea of a reality show about the full 9 months of a girl's pregnancy and the birth or her baby, in a very incredible and powerful scientific fortress is "the big thing" because the new born baby is the clone of the most important person in human history... Jesus Christ himself. The way we see the fights from the fanatics of religion and scientists, the war between the fanatics vs. the people that only want to see the whole TV show is phenomenal. All the problems that this reality show is creating around the world are just so close to our present reality and is what makes this comic book a beautiful masterpiece.”
- Gerardo Sandoval (artist - Venom, New Avengers)
“So, it's hard for me to recommend one comic of the decade because I'm always catching up with old comics that I hadn't read yet. If I have to pick one done in this decade, it could be "Unastoria"(One Story) by the fascinating Italian artist named Gipi. I loved that book because it is poetry on images, it is an extremely sensorial reading, and it is masterfully crafted, full of absolutely beautiful, contemplative moments.”
- Pepe Larraz (artist - House of X, Extermination)
“The New Deal by Jonathan Case. I like The New Deal primarily because it’s a fun mystery and I love the setting. It’s a period piece, 1930’s Manhattan, set mostly in the grand Waldorf Astoria hotel. Case’s story deals with class, theater and crime, working in social commentary and balancing the fun tone easily (or, he makes it look easy). Reading the book feels like watching a more inclusive Howard Hawks film. It’s appropriate for all ages and will appeal to many of your friends and family, track it down!”
- Jeff Parker (writer / artist - Batman ‘66, X-Men: First Class)
“Hellboy in Hell by Mike Mignola. Any Hellboy tale by Mignola is cause for rejoicing, but this series was the culmination of everything Mike had been doing in his landmark series, in both story and art. Hellboy in Hell is everything you want in a Hellboy story -- odd, sad, spooky, funny -- turned up to 11. Freed of the constraints of the "real" word, the storytelling is a distillation of what makes Hellboy one of the most unique and important creations of the last 50 years in comics. Clever, character-drenched writing, gorgeously effective art (aided by colorist Dave Stewart), the series is pure Hellboy, pure Mignola, pure comics.”
- Ron Marz (writer - Green Lantern, Batman / Aliens)
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