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The best of the best of the year lists


As the end of 2011 approaches, websites and publications are unveiling various year-end lists. Here’s just some of what’s been released in the past few days:

• Brian Truitt at USA Today looks back at the year that was in comics, naming best writer (Scott Snyder), best non-superhero artist (Rob Guillory), best fight (Spider-Island) and many more categories.

• Kaleon Rahan takes an alphabetical approach to the year in comics, where “A” is for Action Comics, “J” is for Jim Lee, “S” is for Schism and “W” is for “What the Hell(boy).”

Dan Kois and Glen Weldon at NPR both name their favorites of the year.

• Cap’n Carrot at Dad’s Bug Plan lists his favorite ongoing series of the year, including Daredevil, Secret Six, Darkwing Duck and Batgirl.

• iFanboy lists the top 10 comic events of the year.

• Sean Gaffney discusses his favorite manga titles of the year.

Comics A.M. | ‘Spider-Island’ tops sluggish July; BOOM!’s Disney titles end in October

Amazing Spider-Man #666

Publishing | Sales of comic books and graphic novels in July fell 6.17 percent versus July 2010, with dollar sales of comic books sold through Diamond Comic Distributors falling 4.27 percent and graphic novels falling 10.10 percent year-over-year. Unit sales for comics were only down slightly, at .52 percent, which ICv2 points out “indicates that comic book cover prices have in fact declined. The problem is that circulation numbers have not risen enough to make up for the decline in revenue from lower cover prices.” Marvel’s Amazing Spider-Man #666, which kicked off the “Spider-Island” event, was the best-selling comic of the month, while League of Extraordinary Gentlemen III Century #2 from Top Shelf topped the graphic novel chart. John Jackson Miller has commentary.

Marvel saw a slight increase in its dollar market share for July when compared to June, while DC’s jumped from 28.03 percent in June to 30.55 percent in July. IDW, the No. 5 publisher in terms of dollar share in June, moved to the No. 3 position in July. The top seven publishers were rounded out by Image, Dark Horse, Dynamite and BOOM! [ICv2]

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The Fifth Color | Looking at Marvel for October 2011

Fear Itself #7

Fear Itself #7

You guys.

We did it.

This is, quite possibly, the best it’s ever going to get. Two opening weekends of more than $65 million from Marvel Studios movies this summer, Thor and Captain America, combined with the $55 million from X-Men: First Class … I feel like I want to go buy a jet ski! We really did own the box office this year, and I am so proud to see the House of Ideas forge their own path in Hollywood and come out on top for staying close to the stories we adore and yet still forging entirely new ones for a new generation.

Then there’s print media. I know, it’s a weird time to be looking ahead to October, because events tend to end around this time of year, if not simply reveal their catastrophically shocking twists. So the solicitations have shed a lot of words like trees shedding leaves, both leaving us with the bare branches of what will later flower in the spring with … well, whatever next big story will dazzle the public.

I will be honest with you, gentle reader; this one will be a little bare as a snapshot of Marvel’s titles in October. Add to this that I wasn’t at Comic-Con this year, so I can’t exactly report or add info I heard at the show. The good news is that CBR is the most dashing and handsome news site out there, so you can catch all the coverage here.

Thanks to the seasonal shift that event books create, there’s a lot of stuff we just can’t say or know about until we hold those issues in our hot little hands. On the other hand, you can’t keep everything a mystery without the public going to town on speculation, so let’s delve int the unknown of October and see what Marvel has around this corner.

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The Fifth Color | Forward into the Past with Marvel in September

Fear Itself #6

They're breaking up Superman and Lois Lane?!?

What’s the point?

This is like hosting the best block party for three months straight, and then suddenly the guy next door rents an outdoor projector and starts playing “Best of the Web” YouTube videos on the side of his house. People just can’t help but turn their heads. Is it a wise idea? Aren’t these just constant clips of low-rent YouTube versions of Jackass? Why can’t I look away?

So here we are, minding our own business, when the Distinguished Competition comes out with a hefty announcement for their September line-up. It’s bright and shiny and controversial and loud, and maybe this is what the other half feels like every time Marvel announces that they are going to create a studio to make their own movies, make a push for trade paperbacks, support digital comics or kick off a whole new universe where characters are younger and more movie-savvy for the modern comic reader.

Yeah! So let’s look at September, people! Let’s face front to the future and remind ourselves that no matter the number on the cover, it’s the content that counts. What’s Marvel bringing to the fore in September?
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The Fifth Color | Forward into the Past with Marvel solicitations for August 2011

Fear Itself: HF #5

August is going to look a lot like this

So here we are, looking ahead to August. The confetti and streamers from what will probably be the most successful year of Marvel films to date (three summer movies released consecutively helps!) will be quietly swept up, the San Diego Comic Con will have probably released tantalizing footage of the next year’s main event, the Avengers movie and oh, yeah. Something something comics something.

Looking to my extensive notes, I have dusted off the leather tomes of yesteryear and found that 2010 wasn’t half as lively as this year is shaping up to be. Sure, it was a month of endings and beginnings, plus vampires were everywhere and Shadowland was just kicking out the jams in all its mini-series glory but … looking back now, maybe it’s the nostalgia that keeps me from thinking better of the books that came out in August last year. Maybe it’s because I already know what became of each ending or beginning, how important vampires turned out to be and that yes, the Cable & the New Mutants: X-Force HC was a clue that Nate Summers was going to bow out at the end of Second Coming (man, Second Coming was last year? It feels like it’s been longer than that…).

With that in mind, can I tell you how excited I am for Fear Itself #5? Come look ahead at August and see what Marvel has in store after their banner year in film.
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The Fifth Color | Forward into the Past with Marvel in July 2011

Captain America #600July is daunting. I almost fear the month itself, because it could possibly be the month of overload. I may have to take a vacation, and not to the San Diego Comic-Con! Just think of what the world is going to look like just a few months from now: two Marvel blockbusters (maybe three) will have hit the big screen. The ever-present and ever-daunting Comic Con, where even more movie, TV and comic print news will be announced. We’ll be in the middle of a major event, ending an Ultimate event and the starting two new ones. Normally, we get this kind of action (sans the movies) around December or January, when the full road to Marvel Universe Destruction has made the final leg of its journey and the Aftermath/Dark Reign/Initiative months kick in. This is a lot of action, and it’s all happening in July. Readers will certainly need a road map, if not a Sherpa and a well-stocked base camp.

So let’s prepare for the journey ahead and read on!

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Manhattan quarantined in Marvel’s ‘Spider-Island’ summer event [Updated]

The Amazing Spider-Man #666

While Marvel fans knew the April-debuting “Infested” arc would put them on the path to “Spider-Island,” few details were known about the next big Spider-Man event. That is, until this evening.

On today’s episode of G4’s Attack of the Show, “Fresh Ink” host Blair Butler revealed that the storyline begins in August’s Amazing Spider-Man #667 as more than 16,000 New Yorkers begin to manifest abilities similar to Peter Parker. Among those residents embroiled in a spider-powered crime wave? Hawkeye and Shocker.

But as the crisis worsens, with many New Yorkers sprouting extra limbs, Mayor J. Jonah Jameson is forced to place Manhattan under quarantine. Hence, “Spider-Island.”

Butler teases that the event, by Dan Slott and Humberto Ramos, will permanently change some of Spider-Man’s core cast members.

Watch the “Fresh Ink” segment after the break.

Update: Now with the official press release and cover art, after the break.
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