Word Balloons: Best comic books of 2008 were super

by Matthew Price Published: January 2, 2009
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Periodical comic books are still staples of comic-book stores and the origination point for many great storylines. While Marvel and DC Comics dominate the sales charts for comic books, they aren’t the only ones publishing great material. The following are the top 10 periodical comic book series of 2008:

1. "Action Comics.” Writer Geoff Johns and artist Gary Frank took Superman to new heights in 2008. First, Superman visits the far-flung future of the Legion of Superheroes, where he is powerless, then he returns home to face the menace of Brainiac invading Earth. As the year ends, Superman is faced with 100,000 Kryptonians who now want to call Earth home.

"Action Comics” lived up to its title yet also brought character development to the forefront. Frank’s dynamic artwork enhanced Johns’ writing.

2. "Criminal.” Ed Brubaker and Sean Phillips’ noir drama continues to impress. "Bad Night” stars insomniac cartoonist Jacob, who gets in over his head as his past as a forger comes back to haunt him.

3. "Captain America.” Another Ed Brubaker title, with art by Steve Epting, Luke Ross and others. Captain America’s former sidekick, James Buchanan "Bucky” Barnes, now wears the garb of Captain America. This reluctant hero knows how to fight like the original Captain America, but he’s still learning to inspire people. The new Captain America’s journey is Marvel Comics’ best ongoing superhero narrative.

4. The comics of Kevin Huizenga. Indy comics creator Kevin Huizenga created three different comic books in 2008 that have to be considered among the best. "Ganges” No. 2, from Fantagraphics’ Ignatz line, parallels the dot-com era to a first-person shooter video game. Huizenga’s everyman, Glenn Ganges, is one of the most remarkably real characters in comics, regardless of the strange situations he encounters. Huizenga also released the fifth issue of his pocket-size comic "Or Else” in 2008 through Drawn and Quarterly. Among the stories in this issue are an adaptation of a Giorgio Manganelli story about wasps and spiders making their way into Glenn’s home. From Buenaventura, Huizenga released "Fight or Run,” an exploration of the "fight or flight” complex in comic-book form. It’s more of an exercise than a story, but under the direction of Huizenga, worth the time.

by Matthew Price
Features Editor
Features Editor Matthew Price has worked for The Oklahoman since 2000. He’s a University of Oklahoma graduate who has also worked at the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette and was a Dow Jones Newspaper Fund intern for the Dallas Morning News. He’s...
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