Publication delays have allowed this nine-issue series to land on our Best Of lists for three years, but with every issue's art surpassing the prior, it was worth the wait. As Andy Kubert became more comfortable adapting his style to mimic Frank Miller, and Miller's art growing as his health improved over the past 18 months, the burden on Klaus Janson lessened, and he was able to turn in even stronger embellishments. Brian Azzarello and Miller stuck the landing on the story, and have left the story of a veteran Bruce Wayne in an unexpected place for Miller's planned sequel to capitalize upon.

9. Doctor Aphra

Having staged her death to evade the wrath of Darth Vader, rogue archeologist Doctor Chelli Aphra, and the killer droids, 0-0-0 and BT-1 continue to travel though unseen corners of the Star Wars universe under the guidance of creator and writer Kieron Gillen. With recurring appearances by Wookie bounty hunter Black Krrsantan, the cast can resemble a dark version of the classic film's central cast, but the series is never limited by any aesthetic similarities. Full of capers, betrayals, and multi-layered schemes, the cast members forge their own paths as they explore the galaxy. 

8. Nick Fury

Many Nick Fury comics are Valentines to Jim Steranko's character-redefining run in the late 1960s. This volume is a full-on, holstered-gun-hung-on-the-back-of-a-chair promise of a good time. James Robinson does his best Ian Fleming, and Aco ably apes Steranko's pop art as the duo chronicle Nick Fury Jr. Issues are fast and fun, and the art is truly something to behold as Fury infiltrates and foils plans of evildoers across the Marvel Universe.

7. The Walking Dead

Robert Kirkman has killed characters in a myriad of brutal, shocking, heartbreaking ways. This time, it was a bite on the neck. Not a hand or leg that could be removed to curtail the turn, but an unavoidable death sentence that played out slowly, dreadfully and honestly. Characters actually got to say goodbye and mourn in a way we haven't seen. It was beautiful. The next issue, Negan gave one of his greatest monologues to talk down an angry mob of Saviors, during which he discusses fetishes and how magnificent his member is. That too was beautiful.

6. Seven to Eternity

Science fiction meets fantasy with an occasional touch of super-heroic tropes and an array of complex characters through which to explore a complicated world. Fear runs rampant in the kingdom of Zhal, and a small band fights the paranoia, oppression, and distrust in the hopes of restoring some measure of freedom. Rick Remender drops readers into a story in an already fully-running world, forcing readers into the deep end. The art of Jerome Opena and Matt Hollingsworth is not only beautiful, but Opena is producing the best storytelling of his career

10. Dark Knight III: The Master Race

5. Shaolin Cowboy: Who'll Stop the Reign?

4. Shirtless Bear-Fighter!

1. My Favorite Thing is Monsters

2. Doom Patrol

3. Batman/Elmer Fudd

Geof Darrow's exiled Shaolin monk has returned. The art is as beautiful and hyper-detailed and violent and absurd as ever. The dialogue is actually a bit heavier than normal as crabs and pigs explain their respective intricately-complicated grievances with our hero. The series is strange and funny and spectacular, but no amount of description can prepare you for how much detail Darrow fits into every panel of every page of every issue.

The book delivers everything that the title promises, and so very much more. Bears are indeed punched, kicked and otherwise combated by our often-nude protagonist. And there's a Bear Plane. And a Hillbilly Warlock. The entire creative team, from writers to artists to letterer, succeed at packing as much humor as can fit into this fantastically fun adventure. It seems inevitable that this series will eventually be optioned by Adult Swim, as the humor is similar to and matches that quality of the sub-network's finest original programming.

Looney Tunes meets The Long Goodbye. Tom King and Lee Weeks create a noir tale of lost love, betrayal and revenge, humanizing—both literally and figuratively—Warner Bros' beloved stable of characters. Blending hard-boiled detectives and the expected humor is no easy task, and Fudd's narration is so complete that even his sound effects bear his unique dialect. This tale was easily the best of a surprisingly-strong series of DC/Looney Tunes mash-up specials.

Gerard Way has out Morrisoned Grant Morrison, and it is tremendous. Continuing in the vein of the surreal that the legendary comic writer forged when Vertigo was just a glint in DC's eye, Way is knowledgeable and respectful of the past without ever being beholden to it or afraid to stretch outside of the series' already amorphous box. Stunning art, both inside and on every cover, that keeps up with his hyper-imaginative storytelling is no easy task, and everybody delivers every time.

Set in the 60s, a monster-movie-obsessed 10-year-old chronicles in her diary, her investigation into her Holocaust-survivor neighbor's death. Stories of those around her coalesce into a mix of politics, personal tales, and scars of the past blending with a healthy helping of Hollywood horror.


Whatever you consider the greatest artistic debut—be it comics, prose, film or music—Emil Ferris' beautifully-illustrated-and-written graphic novel is that level of a debut. A work that will be celebrated and noted for years to come. Fantagraphics has worked with many of the greatest independent creators in comics for decades, and this is another prize addition to their stable.