Continuing with the list…
20. Heartthrob by Christopher Sebela and Robert Wilson IV (ONI)
Remember the first few issues of Sex Criminals, when the book was fun and wild and made you want to be a part of it? That’s what Hearthrob is. And there’s a lot of similarities: A woman’s sexual relationship turns her into a criminal! But her crimes are kinda good because big corporations suck! And there’s an otherworldly element to it, too, because her lover is…A ghost! This book is so much fun to read, at least at first, but then, of course, it all comes crashing in and gets less fun. Also like Sex Criminals. And I think they knew they were writing in the same mode, because look! There’s an appearance by a Howard the Duck mask, Chip Zdarsky’s post-Sex Criminals book!
The thing is: This book is better than Sex Criminals, because it feels more emotionally honest. The main character is a woman afflicted with a heart condition that limits her lifespan but at the same time opens her up to possiblities only the dying can consider, and as someone with a life-threatening disability, I can relate. I find myself in the pages of this book over and over, issue after issue, and it’s always the first one I read from my Wednesday stack.
19. Bitch Planet by Kelly Sue DeConnick and Valentine De Landro (Image)
Delays, delays, delays. This could probably have been a top 10 book, but its publication schedule made it hard to keep up the momentum. Still, it’s especially timely given the changes in the American political landscape to see a strong, feminist book that doesn’t hate men or oversimplify the feminist agenda. Using the typically exploitative “women’s prison” genre to speak a strong pro-female message is brilliant, and I’m hoping we get a full 12-issue cycle next year.
18. We All Wish for Deadly Force by Leela Corman (Retrofit Comics)
A collection of short stories about women’s rights, belllydancing, depression, World War II, and more. Yes, it’s heavy. But well worth a read.
SPECIAL AWARD: Best One-Shot of the Year
17. Wonder Woman-Earth One by Grant Morrison and Yanick Paquette (DC)
This books was so, so good. It was everything I’d hoped Greg Rucka’s run on Wonder Woman Rebirth would have been…But sadly, Rucka’s comic was pretty boring. Not terrible, just not exciting. In sharp contrast, this original graphic novel was able to follow the legend of the character and be true to its roots, like this scene, above, that references all the bondage in the original Wonder Woman’s Golden Age comics…And the fact that it’s a black man, raising a slave innuendo, just makes it all the meatier. Excellent work. And we know I love bondage in comics.
Next: #15 to 11!