Logan's Top 5 Comics of 2015

Much like with television, we live in a day and age of comics where there seems to be an endless amount of quality stories being told by multiple publishers. This is a wonderful thing for us as readers/consumers but it also means that there is so much to consume. That being said, these are my top 5 comics of 2015 and the list only scratches the surface of all the amazing books being put out. Though it didnt make the top 5, shout out to Lumberjanes, a book I have loved since it launched but I wanted to focus of books that came out in 2015 or that I discover in 2015.

5. Self Obsessed- Sina Grace

The title only scratches the surface of this memoir created by Sina Grace. The book is a narrated collection of work done by Sina Grace of the past year and goes into in the personal struggles of a comic creator. While the comic revolves solely on the life of Sina and everything that he has gone through, it also connects you and lets you into the mind of an artist and provides a glimpse of what it is like to try to make comic books while maintaining a life full of mistakes, love, friends and family. As someone trying to make comics myself, I connected with the struggles of trying to be human while devoting time to telling stories.

 

 

 

4. Sandman: Overture

If you haven't read the original series (1989) by creator Neil Gaiman, I recommend you do so now. But it is not necessary to have read it before reading Overture as time is fluid and this story is a self contained mini-series by Neil Gaiman and artist J.H. Williams III. Overture follows the Sandman, the "Prince of Dreams," on a journey to save the universe from destruction. The art is beautiful and for that reason alone is worth picking up but Neil Gaiman also tells an amazing poetic story that only he can tell. I didnt read the original series until last year but I fell in love with the book and was so happy for more of Morpheus (Sandman has many names I used three).

 

 

 

3. Ms. Marvel

There are so many " Cape" books in an industry built on superheroes that it's easy to reach fatigue of super events, crossovers, reboots and relaunches, but Ms.Marvel fell into my lap and was a breath of fresh air. Created by Marvel editor, Sana Amanat, writer G. Wilow Wilson, and artist Adrian Alphona, Ms. Marvel is a beautiful book with a strong story. The main character Kamala Khan recieves her inhuman powers in a world already filled with superheroes. She, like us the readers, is a fan of these super humans and names herself after Captain Marvel (Carol Danvers) whom she idolizes. I really enjoy that its a book like Spider-Man where we follow a young kid getting powers (shapeshifting and size changing) while learning to deal with them in a contemporary world. I also love the color of the book that feels light and whimsical. The book stands alone and only recently tied into big events. It's exciting to see a brand new character make an impact and looks to be sticking around in the Marvel Universe.

 

 

2. Descender

The top two spots were the hardest to decide on. There are so many great books and so many others I didn't even get to read, but there is one creator I follow religiously, and that is Jeff Lemire. His book with artist Dustin Nguyen was a book I wasnt going to pass up. Jeff Lemire is a master of capturing what the kids call "the feels" and I am a sucker for "the feels," also a sucker for scifi robot stuff. Descender takes place in a human colonized galaxy in a time where the humans have already preformed an "ethnic cleansing" on the robots and it picks up by following the awakening of a kid robot named, Tim-21 and his robot dog. The universe seems to be wiped of optimism until the young boy tries to discover what is happening. He runs into humans and other robot harvesters but there is more to Tim-21 than anyone had predicted. The story has only continued to grow and open up more paths. It captures bits of Mass Effect and a journey of a kid lost in the unknown world.

 

 

1.  Paper Girls

The number one spot goes to all time favorite writer Brian K. Vaughan for his new series Paper Girls. This spot could have easily gone to his other ongoing series, Saga which is a favorite, but I wanted to choose a book that launched this year and to be honest, they are both amazing (Read anything put out by BKV and you can't lose). There have only been five issues but it is already solid book that continues to promise a fantastic story. Paper Girls is a tale set in 1988 following a gang of girls on their predawn paper route with a Sci-Fi twist. It's been called "Stand by Me" meets " War of the Worlds." I don't want to spoil anything but BKV sets up another amazing adventure that is only further captured by the art of Cliff Chiang.

The Shrieker Podcast 002: Jeff Dee

Jeff Dee talks to us about his legal battle over the rights to Villains and Vigilantes and the speculates on the where the strengths of RPGs will take the hobby in the future.

Jeff Dee entered the RPG industry as a teen, illustrating for TSR in 1979. Along with Jack Herman, he developed the first complete superhero RPG, Villains and Vigilantes. 1st and 2nd edition V&V were published by Fantasy Games Unlimited Incorporated in 1979 and 1982. In 1991 FGU unincorporated, effectively ending their publishing contract. FGU president, Scott Bizar, retained the name to the company and began selling the V&V rulebook and supplements electronically in 2010. Since then Jeff Dee and Jack Herman have fought Scott Bizar in court, winning back the copyright for the V&V text but, currently not the trademark for the name. You can help Jeff fight for creator’s right on his Go Fund Me page.

Having been a part of the RPG hobby since nearly its inception, Jeff Dee has a good perspective on where the industry is going. He marvels at the increased availability of games, and resources. There are free random generators for pretty much anything a player might need online. There are ample cheap printable paper miniatures at drivethruRPG.com. There are even customizable 3D printed miniatures, such as at heroforge.com, though the technology is still very expensive. Online virtual tabletops, such as Roll20, are allowing players around the globe to play together, though they will need to become easier to use.

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Downloadable Character Sheet (Sky Hunter Man)