In our second annual survey, our voting panel grew substantially: Inks editors, advisory board, contributors, Comics Studies Society board members, and Extra Inks folks. I assumed with this many people voting, we would end up with some clear winners—instead once again we ended up with well over 100 titles we all loved this year.
As with last year, our favorite superhero titles spread across so many individual books as to result in few hits for mainstream serial titles on our faves list. But there was lots of love nonetheless, including for Superman (DC), The Mighty Thor (Marvel), and The Unstoppable Wasp (Marvel). And as our crew grows more international, we also had more titles added to the love-fest from outside the North American publishing centers—including Simon Grennan’s Drawing in Drag by Marie Duval (Book Works), Comme un chef (Casterman) by Benoît Peeters & Aurélia Aurita, and Jerôme Pierrat & David B.’s Le grand banditisme (Le Lombard). A couple of cartoonists’ work showed up on people’s love-lists, but split across different works, including Carta Monir and Noah Van Sciver .
The poll provided a great snapshot of the range of comics in the last year. And while there was no run-away favorite, we did have some titles that gathered enough concentrated love to give us a top 20 fave list once again.
#1 Jason Lutes, Berlin (Drawn & Quarterly)
#2 Hartley Lin, Young Frances (AdHouse)
#3 Nick Drnaso, Sabrina (Drawn & Quarterly)
#4 Keiler Roberts, Chlorine Gardens (Koyama)
#5 Mister Miracle (DC)
#6 Olivia Jaimes, Nancy (Universal Uclick)
#7 Mark Russell & Mike Feehan, Exit Stage Left: The Snagglepuss Chronicles (DC)
#8 Eleanor Davis, Why Art? (Fantagraphics)
#10 The Nib
#11 Carolyn Nowak, Girl Town (Top Shelf)
#12 Jen Wang, The Prince and the Dressmaker (First Second)
#13 Liana Finck, Passing For Human (Random House)
#14 Tillie Walden, On a Sunbeam (First Second)
#15 Jérôme Ruillier, The Strange (Drawn & Quarterly)
#16 Aminder Dhaliwal, Woman World (Drawn & Quarterly)
#17 Michael Kupperman, All the Answers (Gallery 13)
#18 Lauren R. Weinstein, Frontier #17 (Youth in Decline)
#19 Summer Pierre, All the Sad Songs (Retrofit)
#20 Vera Brosgol, Be Prepared (First Second)
Jared Gardner teaches comics, film, and American literature and popular culture film at the Ohio State University. He was the founding editor of Inks and now helps out the amazing new editor, Qiana Whitted, and edits Extra Inks for Qiana and the Comics Studies Society. He has been nominated four times for the Eisners for books he has written or edited, which is a bit weird since his own comics are pretty terrible.