The 2nd Annual Occult Detective Awards, Part III
Here we are, Bugbears… into our third day of the Occult Detective Awards and we’re all about bleeding in four colours. I’ve been a fan of comics for roughly forty years and though I’d strayed from the industry the past few, DC Comics’ bold experiment brought me back into the fold. I had a lot of catching up to do and I’ve been devouring comics at a near herculean pace. It’s good to be back because there is a lot of great stuff out there. The malaise that seemed to settle over comicdom in the 90’s and into the early 2000s has apparently lifted. Not only am I reading comics again, but I’m writing them as well. And it feels great. But enough about all that, let’s take a look at the stuff responsible for me falling off the wagon.
League of Extraordinary Gentlemen: Century #2 – 1969 (Top Shelf / Alan Moore & Kevin O’Neill)
Moore is a crazy old wizard and 1969 proves there’s still plenty of magick in him. Of course with the miraculous Kevin O’Neill along for the ride, there could be little doubt. This book was an occult detective’s dream (or hallucinagenic trip, if you will). Perverse, layered, and littered with easter eggs, this is Moore and O’Neill at their best.
Runner-Up: Hellblazer Annual 2011 “Suicide Bridge” (Vertigo / Peter Milligan & Simon Bisley)
Best Graphic Novel
Hellboy: The House of the Living Dead (Dark Horse / Mike Mignola & Richard Corbin)
A perennial favorite, Mignola breathes new life into Hellboy, pitting the downtrodden and morose red-skinned beastie against none other than the Frankenstein Monster. What’s not to love?
Runner-Up: Batman-Noel (DC Comics / Lee Bermejo)
The Sixth Gun, Volume One (Oni Press / Cullen Bunn & Brian Hurtt)
Cullen Bunn and Brian Hurtt have developed one of the coolest Weird Westerns ever, building a spine-tingling mythology that reads like a “what if HP Lovecraft had created Wild, Wild West.” Worth every penny, and the second volume is just as cool.
Runner-Up: Locke & Key – Keys to the Kingdom (IDW / Joe Hill & Gabriel Rodriguez)
Scott Snyder (Batman, Swamp Thing, Severed)
This cat’s got game. What I like best is that he’s comfortable in any environment you drop him in. Crisp dialogue, intricate storylines, and keeping an equal balance between character and plot, Snyder knows his audience and plays them like a well-tuned instrument.
Runner-Up: Joe Hill (Locke & Key)
J.H. Williams III (Batwoman)
Runner-Up: Gabriel Rodriguez (Locke & Key)
Why DC? Because they made a bold move in a struggling economy, reversed their fortunes, kicked Marvel right in the ass, and embraced what I feel is the future of monthly comics by going digital. Sure, I’ve dropped most of the New 52, but I respect their moxy. For that, I’m tipping my fedora in their general direction and whispering, “well played” to them.
— Well, there you have it, kids. Feel free to disagree, just keep it respectful in the comments below. And be sure to tune in tomorrow as we stick a fork in this year’s Occult Detective Awards. Thursday we butter our bread and take a look at what the wordsmith’s have been churning out.