Friday, January 8, 2016

2015 Favorites | Graphic Novels & Trades & Misc.

Part two, kind of, of my favorite books of 2015. Because, yes, I could definitely not choose just ten from all of the different categories. So I kind of split them up. The first post - fiction and non-fiction - this one with Trades and such, and then I'm planning on doing on about the single issues/running series I found or continued to love through out 2015. Now, let's just jump right in.


Trees, Volume 1 by Warren Ellis, Jason Howard
I read this pretty early in 2015 and I'm still thinking about it, and also still excited about getting volume 2. I don't know what it is about this story or anything, but I just fucking loved it. I didn't know anything going into it, just the gorgeous cover, and that I'd liked something Ellis had written before. He's now an auto read/buy author, which is not a common thing for comic writers for me. To the point - this trade is incredible, and diverse, and I just can't recommend it enough.

Sex Criminals, Volume 2: Two Worlds, One Cup by Matt Fraction, Chip Zdarsky
These two. This comic. These two. If you haven't heard of Sex Criminals, basically it's about two people who, all their lives, have stopped time when they orgasmed. And then they meet each other and realize that each other can do the same thing. And then they decide to rob a bank. And then things get really fucking crazy. I so recommend this comic series, and the team of Fraction/Zdarsky does it so damn well. Definitely NSFW or kids, though, most of these aren't, honestly.

Locke and Key, Volumes 1 - 6 by Joe Hill, Gabriel Rodriguez
I am not technically including rereads in these favorites list - and volumes 1 to 3 in this series were this year - however this whole series was just so damn good I think it's fair to include all six. This is a story about a family that has a lot of problems, focusing on the three kids, and it's just damn amazing. You get so attached to the characters, and the world is one that you'd kind of want to be in, because of the keys. Highly, highly recommended.

Velvet, Volumes 1 + 2 by Ed Brubaker, Steve Epting, Bettie Breitweiser
I'm not going to lie, I saw this was Brubaker and Epting, and bought volume one. I didn't know much about it going in, and was kind of blown away. I'm not sure why I loved both of these so damn much, it must just be a person taste kind of thing. They're about a women in the cold war who is a secretary at a government agency - I want to say CIA, but I don't think they say or I don't remember - but she isn't just a secretary. And she's badass and it's awesome, it's just so good. Probably not for everyone, but I was a fan.

Lady Killer, Volume 1 by JoĆ«lle Jones, Jamie S. Rich
I saw this one too late to grab issue one, so I had to wait for the trade. It was definitely worth the wait, though. This is about a women in the sixties whose a housewife, a perfect one with the two kids and everything. However, she is also an assassin. (female assassins is just one of my things, apparently). This is so well done, though, the main character is fantastic, though I'm still not sure I like her. The art is gorgeous, especially how the blood is done. Also so damn highly recommended, all of these are.

Ms. Marvel, Volume Two: Generation Why & Volume Three: Crushed by G. Willow Wilson, Adrian Alphona
I read volume 1 in 2014 - and I can't praise highly enough for this series, though I've sure you've heard about it. It's been everywhere, really, been spread far and wide on the bookternet. And it's just so damn good, I love Kamala so much as a character, and I just feel for her so much - even though her life is in no way the same as mine, but I just want good things for her. She's so great as a character.

Thor, Volume One: Goddess of Thunder & Thor, Volume Two: Who Holds the Hammer? by Jason Aaron, Russell Dauterman
As soon as I heard that this was happening, I wanted it, so much. I haven't read any pervious Thor stories, though I'm thinking of doing so before my Marvel Unlimited year runs out. This story line is so interesting, though - female Thor and what that means. And who she is. No spoilers, and don't go looking, because it is so worth not knowing.

Captain Marvel by Kelly Sue DeConnick, David Lopez, Mario Takara
I read these a little out of order by accident - I read Volume One: Higher, Further, Faster, More (And Volume Two, Stay Fly) without realizing that there'd been series that DeConnick had been writing before it, but I did go back and read that (Volume One, In Pursuit of Flight). Regardless - I cannot recommend this series highly enough. DeConnick is a fantastic writer and Carol is such a fantastic character. The whole this is amazing, all of it. Read Captain Marvel.

Honorable mentions: Batgirl, Volume One: The Batgirl of Burnside, Brubaker's Cap run from Winter Soldier through Red Menace, Runaways, Complete Collection: Volume One, and Virgil


So I'm kind of cheating here - but these are some books that I just felt didn't fit on the general fiction/non-fiction list.

Above the Dreamless Dead: World War 1 in Poetry and Comics edited by Chris Duffy
I had never read any World War 1 poetry until this collection, and I'm not entirely sure why I decided to pick it up. I remember hearing some good things about it, and being intrigued, and then I had it and was reading it. It's gorgeously put together. It's also heart-wrenching and beautiful - the art aside for right now, the words are beautiful and horrible. I kind of want to reread it just talking about it, because it's been about a year now, and I also want to read more trench poetry, some of those were my favorites.

Mostrous Affections edited by Kelly Link
My first Kelly Link short story collection! This is some kind of monumental thing, right? I'm not sure what it was about this that I loved so much, but I did. I wrote up a full thing on Goodreads, and I definitely want to reread this one, and read more of Kelly's collections - just her and others.

No Matter the Wreckage by Sarah Kay
Sarah Kay is a spoken word poet, so reading her poems was a little strange - though, I did end up reading them out loud to myself. Either way, I highly suggest her in general. I did a whole post about spoken word and slam poetry, but you can also just type her name into youtube.

The Melancholy of Mechagirl by Catherynne M. Valente
My first book by this wonderful author and I just loved the whole thing. I'm not entirely sure why, but I did, it was just plain incredible. Magical realism but also so much more then that, highly recommended if you're into that kind of thing. So damn good.

The Things They Carried by Tim O'Brien
To be honest, I was just going to put this in with the fiction, but it just didn't feel like it went with the other things over there. And I want back and forth, but it's here now. This book hurt, I'm not entirely sure why, but it did. It was incredible, but it also just hurt and was hard to read. And I already want to reread it.

Welcome to Night Vale by Joseph Fink, Jeffery Cranor
I've been listening to the podcast since... 2012? That's when it started, so I guess it couldn't of been earlier then that. I think just a few episodes after it started. And there's been multiple points when I've fallen behind, but it's just so damn good, I highly recommend it. I also highly recommend this book, because it's so different then what the podcast is, though there's the same atmosphere and feeling, also small tastes of what the podcast episode would be. Highly recommended - book and podcast.

And I think that's it - would love to hear your thoughts. Your favorites or if you've read any of these, or would like to. Let me know!

2015 Favorites | General Fiction and Non-Fiction


  1. YES, Locke & Key was SO GOOD!!! I also really liked the Thor series, it was my favorite of all the Marvel comics I read.

    1. Gah, Locke and Key. Whenever I got to write anything about it, I just spew love for it. And Thor was really good! Thanks for stopping by :)