By 14 December 2015 | Categories: feature articles


So how did 2015 turn out for comics? We asked a number of local comic book creators to select their best reads of the year.

Kay Carmichael
Find more of her work here.
Also read our interview

I picked up Emily Carroll's Through the Woods, a selection of her short horror comics that can also be found online. I loved the atmospheric stylised artwork and the use of colour and comic-panel timing as a horror-element (which works particularly well online). The stories often feature female protagonists in various period-piece settings, and both are beautifully and maturely realised. It’s genuinely creepy, very human and empathetic and doesn’t rely on degrading or exploiting its characters. Classy stuff.

Ben Geldenhuys
Find more of his work here.

My top find of 2015 is the local comic Pigeon City by John Amos (artist) and Greig Cameron (writer) that was released in May this year at Free Comic Book Day. The fact that humans don't perceive pigeons, squirrels and albatrosses as actual thugs and gangsters makes it really interesting. It's like an anthropomorphic version of Grand Theft Auto. I find the story very original, and John's art is incredible! I won't look at the Company Gardens critters the same way again.

Moray Rhoda
Find more of his work here.
Also read our interview.

The book that impressed me the most was Scott McCloud's The Sculptor. The story is beautifully put together with strong characters and a gripping, emotional plot that makes the most of the premise. A sculptor strikes a deal with Death that in exchange for fame he would only live another 200 days, but then he meets the love of his life. What I loved about it was the real humanity that shone through and the technical expertise Scott McCloud brought to the storytelling.

Other than that, I've just started Survivor's Club by Lauren Beukes and Dale Halvorsen and it's a real gripping read - I can very easily see it working as a movie or TV series. In case you haven't heard of it, a bunch of characters who survived 80s movie scenarios (i.e. possessed toys, or fighting an alien invasion through an arcade game, or the serial killer at camp) are all brought together in the now. They're all connected and being hunted by someone (or something) - it's pretty tense stuff.

Sean Izaakse
Find more of his work here.
Also read our interview.

I don't have a single issue but as a series, my best new find is Copperhead from Image Comics, by Jay Faerber, Scott Godlewski and Ron Riley. The story revolves around a new sheriff, Clara Bronson who takes over duties in the mining town of Copperhead. It's got that western cowboy feel to it, except there's also aliens! With a tough-as-nails female protagonist and her alien deputy, Budroxifinicus, they must lay down the law.

Willem Samuel
Find more of his work here.
Also read our interview.

 Weapons Of Mass Diplomacy by Lanzac and Blain - this book is perfect. The high stakes story is driven by compelling characters and the expressive and minimal style of Christophe Blain makes this tale of modern day politics come alive. It's a relevant read as nations today are clamouring for war, and the best behind-the-scenes glimpse of real politics you'll find in a comic book. 

If politics are not your thing, pick up the Dungeon series and see Blain own the fantasy theme as well.

Karl Stephan
Find more of his work here.
Also read our interview.

I have been reading comics over the past year, but they tend to be older collections. However, I would recommend Rumble from Image Comics specifically for the magnificent comic art by James Harren (who also had a run on B.P.R.D). I haven't reached the end of the first arc, but the story is solid enough. I've only just now started reading Saga, which is also amazingly drawn by Fiona Staples (I go for art first and hope the story is compelling). I can't recommend that yet though.

André Trantraal
Find more of his work

I have to be honest, I have not seen a lot of comics this year of both the local and overseas variety that truly took my breath away, and I’ve certainly did not come across any graphic novel that seemed truly memorable. Bumf Vol. 1 by Joe Sacco was a laudable attempt by that master of the artform to get back to his underground Robert Crumb/Harvey Kurtzman inspired roots, although I’ve never been a great fan of either Mad magazine or the seventies comics scene.

I also liked Jupiter's Legacy by Mark Millar as a guilty pleasure, while the new Ms. Marvel series, featuring a young female Muslim protagonist, is the most relevant mainstream comic that is being published in the States right now.

Alastair Brauns
Find more of his work here.

My pick of 2015 was Mark Millar’s Jupiter’s Legacy Book One, a story centred on the generational divide between golden age superheroes and their celebrity, media-loving children. The well-paced family friction makes for good drama, nicely balanced with the mesmerizing art of Frank Quitely, who manages simple yet richly detailed visuals. JL builds on the familiar themes of the superhero archetype and civil war (Millar’s work for Marvel) mixed in with the rebellion of youth. It’s a must for Millar and Quitely fans.

Luis Tolsana
Find more of his work here.
Also read our interview.

I haven't read anything this year, I was too busy creating comics. So in that regard my favourite comic is PINNACLE CITY by Falcon Comics to be released in 2016. I also like what SECTOR are doing to excite the local market.


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