Best Comics of 2016 | Erin Jameson

So…I met Charlie Cox this year.

EEJ’s Super Excellent Year in Comics (and also General Nerdery, I Guess)

Nerdlings! Hello! So I guess this is supposed to be a Top 10 list? I think I probably have 10 things I can talk about, but it’s probably not going to be in any order because I don’t like picking things and an ordered list feels like choosing. Which is weird, since I used to be a lady nerd journalist and frequently chose things. Or critiqued them or whatever. I kind of feel like criticizing art is making a choice, though: I like it or I don’t, or I think you should read it/watch it or whatever or I don’t. I guess now I have to choose what I want to tell you about from my year. I wish I had actually done this sooner so I could think about it more. Except then it would probably be 5,000 words long and really overwrought because y’all know me: That’s how I roll.

Oh, I’m also using the term “year” pretty loosely. So this isn’t an ordered Top 10 list. It may or may not be stuff from 2016; I should probably apologize now. I’m sorry in advance for being so garbage at, like, directions and choosing things and pretty much all of this.

The X-Files: Origins

UM, HELLO… THIS HAS WEE BB SCULLY IN IT. WEE BB SCULLY INVESTIGATING THINGS AND GETTING INTO TROUBLE AND SHE IS LEGIT THE CUTEST AND I LOVE HER. And I guess Mulder is in it, too, but eh. Mulder is way more interesting when he’s legal. I kid, I kid, but I do feel like Mulder’s youth, due to the OMG horrible trauma of it, has been pretty heavily explored. It is nice to see a silly tiny Mulder but BB Scully!” Oh, and I guess there was a reboot on Fox, too.

Blue Monday

Blue Monday was reissued in FULL FREAKIN’ COLOR! (Sorry, I’m super excitable!) Anyway. Chynna Clugston Flores has reissued her early ’90s teenage romp starring Britpop-lovin’, Pepsi-swillin’ hopeless beginner Blue L. Finnegan and her weird and hilarious friends. I love Blue Monday so much, and seeing it in glorious full color has been super exciting. You should def check it out if you like really cute comics about being delightfully adolescent during the ’90s.

Doctor Who: Ninth Doctor

Dude, it’s real cool to see Nine and Rose and Jack ride again.

Squirrel Girl

Nerd ladies have it pretty rough. Either we’re not nerdy enough and we’re fake, or we’re too nerdy and we’re totally, like, weird and scary. Either we’re too pretty to be ~legit~ or we’re ugly hambeasts and, believe me, it always fucking comes up. We’re nice and desperate or we’re frigid bitches. It was nice to see Squirrel Girl have to deal with some of this shit from Mole Man, too.

Jughead

Sabrina and Jughead went on a date. I mean, I really like Riverdale. Not the show, because I haven’t watched that (and it might not be out yet?). But I get a whole slew of Riverdale-centric Archie Comics books and I really like them. Anyway, Jughead is canonically asexual and Sabrina is a depressed teenage dropout with magical powers so the whole date, which goes on for a few issues, is weird but in a really funny way. If that’s a thing. (And, yeah, I’ve dated, so it’s a thing.)

The Wicked and the Divine

I don’t want to spoil this but if you’re not reading The Wicked and the Divine, you really should be. Maybe Persephone isn’t an exclusively 2016 phenomenon, but I really feel like it’s gotten pretty real this year. Unreal? Idk. It’s gotten something.

Ms. Marvel

Ms. Marvel also had a hell of a year. She was already a pretty great character, but I feel like we really got into her life and the complications inherent in being an anonymous teenage superheroine this year. And, honestly, The All-New All-Different Avengers Annual made me clap like a friggin’ seal and I genuinely laughed myself sick over it. Seriously, it was hilarious and I loved it so much. Phil Coulson can be the moderator of my heeeeeeart.

Lucifer #1

Round two came out in December of 2015 so it barely missed actually being relevant for 2016, but whatever: I love Lucifer and I’m glad to be reading it again. We’ve seen some old friends in this run who have been pretty delightful. Also, the TV show is pretty great. It’s not really necessarily super faithful to the comic, but I feel like it respects the reference material and, hoo boy, TV Mazikeen and comics Mazikeen are both spectacular characters.

Faith

My friend, whom we’ll call Ariel, was so excited about Faith because she said there was finally someone who looked like her. She felt like Faith represented her and was just a superhero, and you don’t really get many zaftig ladies getting to save the world while having nice hair and a day job doin’ the thing. I know people talk about representation a lot, and then other people make weird faces because they’re total a-holes, but sometimes it’s nice to see yourself and this felt like quite a leap.

We All Wish for Deadly Force

This list feels pretty superhero heavy. I mean, I still read indie stuff, like the intriguingly titled We All Wish for Deadly Force, which was a beautiful comic with serious feels. Sometimes, I shy away from things like this because I go to comics to escape—which sometimes works—but even I have to put away the capes sometimes. I’m glad the title stopped me while I was flipping through Previews that month, because this is a very female, very visually compelling book. I keep typing sentences to tell you more and then deleting them because they just don’t capture what I want to convey. I feel like “very female, very visually compelling” should be worth about 500 extra words, anyway.

Charlie Cox

So I met Charlie Cox this year. I mean, not, like, just randomly or whatever. It was pretty much a spur-of-the-moment decision a friend and I made while we were at Wizard World St. Louis to get a photo with him and Elden Henson, and he was literally the NICEST HUMAN BEING EVER. I don’t know if you’ve ever done one of those things, but I was trying to manage the last day of the Con and had this hideous migraine firing up and it was…yeah, it was bad. So the person helping in the photo booth just shoves me at Charlie Cox, like they do, and he threw an arm around me to get me steadied and turned around, which I needed, and then asked me if I was having a good time, like, twice. I mean, it’s kind of his job and everything, but he seemed like he genuinely wanted to know if I was having a good day. Also, I totally forgot that he has a British accent because he’s as American as can be in Daredevil. Well, he does. And he’s super nice. And this is number one.

So there’s my list. It’s not in order, except for the last slot, and it’s kind of low on detail and feels vaguely rubbish, but you should dash to the googs if any of these sound interesting. Also, I’m absolutely available for consultations. Thanks for reading! Happy New Year! Thanks for not letting me fall on my face in front of a bunch of Wizard World volunteers, Charlie Cox! | Erin Jameson

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