Best of 2020

Although the Lounge is no longer actively selling new material (we work with our retail partner ALL NEW COMICS, INC.) I’m still a reader and follower of new comics. I’ve continued to maintain my best of lists, entirely subjective, and post them here on the Comic Book Lounge website.

It’s been certainly one of the oddest years, especially when most people I know had huge chunks of the year when they couldn’t actually go into a comic shop, and since early March there haven’t really been any comic cons at which we meet and assemble. At least we have social media on which we can disagree (and occasionally agree) on what we like.

I don’t know what’s going to happen to us, but I am optimistic we’ll see some semblance of what we had a year ago back again in 2021. I hope our shops can weather through the latest COVID-19 induced storm and please, if you have a pull list, comics ARE coming out and if your shop isn’t open for walk-in, chances are they still want you to come and get your pull list books via curbside pick-up or delivery. They need you to maintain and keep revenue flowing, as they still have bills to pay for those comics at the very least.

I’m finding myself, as an old fogey over the age of 50, skewing towards the past more than the future with my book orders but that doesn’t mean I’m not watching and seeking the well reviewed books and supporting the new work by creators whose work I enjoy, and looking for my next favorite new talent. Proud to see many young talents whose work I’ve encountered through our conventions moving up and into the big leagues and wish everyone a strong 2021.

2020 Best of Serialized Comics

I skip so many periodicals, waiting for the trade – but I do get Marvel books and the occasional DC and other periodicals as single issues. Unfortunately not enough to qualify for any kind of best of list, especially considering I have hundreds of Marvel comics on my iPad yet to read. However, some periodical comics and one shots I enjoyed:

DC – highlights include: Batman: The Adventures Continue, Rorschach, Green Lantern, Shazam!, 80th Anniversary Specials (Robin, Catwoman, Joker, Green Lantern), Detective Comics 1027

Marvel – highlights among the regular series include: Immortal Hulk, Thor, Star Wars, Star Wars: Darth Vader, Amazing Spider-Man, Fantastic Four, Avengers, Savage Avengers, Venom, Daredevil

Misc.- The Cimmerian: Red Nails (Ablaze), Mtsyry: Octobriana 1976 (Adhouse Books), Solid Blood (Image), Walking Dead: Negan Special (Image)

2020 best of Comics History / Illustration / Biographies

#5 – Comics Ad Men

#4 – The World of TwoMorrows

#3 – Austin Briggs: The Consummate Illustrator

#2 – Masters of British Comic Art

#1 – Ditko Shrugged

2020 best of Comic Art Books

Honourable Mention: (not comics) The Art of Star Wars: The Mandalorian

#5 – The Art of Frank Cho: A Twenty-Year Retrospective

#4 – Big Tease: A Naughty and Nice Collection by Bruce Timm

#3 – Batman: The Animated Series by the Phantom City Collective

#2 – Dave Cockrum X-Men Artisan Edition

#1 – Michael Golden The Micronauts Artist’s Edition

2020 Best of Collected Editions – New Material

#10 The Question: The Deaths of Vic Sage HC by Jeff Lemire, Denys Cowan and Bill Sienkiewicz (DC)

#9 Adventureman HC by Matt Fraction and Terry Dodson (Image)

#8 Batman: Curse of the White Knight HC by Sean Gordon Murphy (DC)

#7 History of the Marvel Universe Treasury Edition by Mark Waid and Javier Rodriguez (Marvel)

#6 Batman: Three Jokers HC by Geoff Johns and Jason Fabok (DC)

#5 Doomsday Clock TPB by Geoff Johns and Gary Frank (DC)

#4 Batman Universe HC by Brian Michael Bendis and Nick Derrington (DC)

#3 League of Extraordinary Gentlemen Vol. IV: The Tempest HC by Alan Moore and Kevin O’Neill (IDW/Top Shelf)

#2 Once and Future Volumes 1 and 2 TPBs by Kieron Gillen and Dan Mora (Boom!)

#1 Criminal Vol. 3 Deluxe and Cruel Summer Hardcovers by Ed Brubaker and Sean Phillips (Image)

2020 Best of Collected Editions – Source Material published prior to 2018

#10 – Legends of the Dark Knight: Matt Wagner HC (DC)

#9 – Man of Steel Volume 1 HC (DC)

#8 – Power of Shazam HC (DC)

#7 – The Incredible Hulk by Peter David Omnibus HC Vols 1 and 2 (Marvel)

#6 – Timely’s Greatest: The Golden Age Sub-Mariner by Bill Everett The Post-War Years Omnibus HC (Marvel)

#5 – Plastic Man: Rubber Banded – The Deluxe Edition by Kyle Baker and Scott Morse HC (DC)

#4 – Sensational She-Hulk by John Byrne Omnibus HC (Marvel)

#3 – Wrath of the Spectre Omnibus HC (DC)

#2 – Absolute Swamp Thing Volume 2 HC (DC)

#1 – The Complete Hate (Fantagraphics) Slipcase HC Set

2020 Best of New Graphic Novels

To be honest, this list skews very Canadian, and it’s tough to rank these.

#10 Blackhand and Ironhead by David Lopez (Image)

#9 To Know You’re Alive by Dakota McFadzean (Conundrum)

#8 Eat and Love Yourself by Sweeney Boo (Boom!)

#7 Titan by Francois Vigneault (Oni Press)

#6 Camp Spirit and What if We Were by Axelle Noir (IDW/Top Shelf)

#5 Fire Power by Robert Kirkman and Chris Samnee (Image)

#4 Pulp and Reckless Hardcovers by Ed Brubaker and Sean Phillips (Image Comics)

#3 Bowie: Stardust, Rayguns and Moonage Daydreams HC by Michael Allred, Steve Horton and Laura Allred (Insight Comics)

#2 Bix HC by Scott Chantler (Gallery 13)

#1 Paul at Home GN by Michel Rabagliati (D+Q)

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