The Top 100 Comics of 2014

And this is why DC is building up to the Convergence event. And also because 90s Aquaman = the best Aquaman. Actually, the best Aquaman is from TV’s Batman: The Brave and the Bold, but you get the point.

Graphic Policy

Previews has compiled a list of the top 100 comics sold to direct markets. The list, which you can read below, is dominated by Marvel, who have 9 of the top 10 spots. The Walking Dead #132 comes in at an impressive second, but DC Comics doesn’t see a book make the list until slot 14 with Batman #32.

Dark Horse‘s Serenity: Leaves on the Wind #1 was that publisher’s best-selling comic book at #137. Transformers Vs. G.I. Joe#1 from IDW Publishing was the publisher’s top book in 2014 at #965.

2 WALKING DEAD #132 (MR) $2.99 AUG148104-M IMA
3 ROCKET RACCOON #1 $3.99 MAY140803-M MAR
6 THOR #1 $3.99 AUG140785-M

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The Secret Life of Dagwood Bumstead

If you don’t know about Don Markstein’s Toonopedia, you should go to there.  How else are you supposed to know that Dagwood was born into a wealthy family and shunned because he loved and married the working-class Blondie Boopadoop? How else are you supposed to know she’s Blondie nee Boopadoop? Or that Thurston Howell voiced Dagwood’s boss in the ’60s? Go there. Go there now.

You might also like to know about the website that mashes The Family Circus with aphorisms from Nietzsche.

Agent Carter Review: Episodes 1 and 2

Darling, ten seconds into Agent Carter, I was crying. This surprises no one who knows me;  I wear my heart on my sleeve, and in the deep Pennsylvania midwinter of this past week, there’s extra sleeve to go around — enough for the kickass heart the first two episodes of this new Marvel/ABC series brought.


I’ll admit when I first learned that Agent Carter was going to be a thing, I did not jump up and down. Hollywood does not have a history of accurately portraying women in positions of kickassness. Women always have to have a male sidekick at the very least, the tropes are clear;  no girl is complete until her knight in shining armor rescues her.


I set the bar low for Pilot and was not planning on watching on Bridge and Tunnel. WHOOPS.  Agent Carter has everything: things that go “BOOM!,” men who would use #NotAllMen, a woman named Angie (I’m a little biased), Jarvis, Sousa, and a man being threatened with a fork by Agent Peggy Carter.


And speaking of Sousa, can we just talk about how he nails being a feminist (although I’m not sure how I feel about the bet). He does not argue back with Agent Carter when she tells him that she does not need him to be her rescuer. He does not judge her when he finds her crying over a photo of our favorite Living Legend. So far he is a good guy and I hope he stays that way.


Now back to the fabulous women of Agent Carter.


Colleen O’Brien. Clearly someone paid attention to George R.R. Martin’s ability to kill off favorite characters early on. Despite the fact that we do not get to spend too much time with Colleen, we did learn that she had to teach a man how to use a rivet gun. We also learned that she is very lucky to have a job. This show gives no effs when it comes to calling out patriarchy.


Rose. I really hope we get to spend more time with her. Is anyone else reminded of Penelope Garcia?


Angie Martinelli. Like all women named “Angie”, she takes no shit from anyone. There is a cloud of sass in the diner when she has to deal with the epitome of white male privilege. Angie making faces at Peggy melted by little pansexual heart. They are my new ship. Sorry, but not sorry.


Agent Peggy Carter. First, a shout out to the people behind this show for not hiding her PTSD; y’all are amazing. She is scared and gorgeous and can I please have her wardrobe? If I had to pick a favorite scene in the two episodes of epicness that have been released it is without a doubt the scene in Bridge and Tunnel where she kicks some serious ass while the radio is portraying her as weak and needing a man-hero to fill out expected gender hero roles.


Next weeks episode is Time & Tide. Will someone drown? Or will it have absolutely nothing to do with water? Will Peggy be Angie’s neighbor? Will we learn Jarvis’s secret(s)? Will we see diner guy again? Who will die? Only time will tell, darling.


DC Reboot: Superman #1, Batman #1, Flash #1

Flash (vol. 2) #1 (June 1987). Wally West hold...
Like Bach once said, "I remember you."

As you might recall, I really liked the social justice superheroics of Action Comics #1.  Last night, I finally got around to reading Superman #1, Batman #1, and The Flash #1 and wanted to share my thoughts.

Superman #1:  Very ambitious.  We have the struggles of new vs. old media, the problems with media conglomerates in general, Superman as guardian of the past, Clark Kent rejecting a sweet cable news deal because 1) he despises cable news and 2) millions of people would see his face every day, like, forever, a Perry White full of vim and vigor, saying “let’s show them the hard-hitting analysis that only print can deliver!”  A lot of things like that, which I eat. right. up.   The conflict between Supes and the actually “villain” of the arc wasn’t as interesting to me, but I do like the fact that the book serves as a one-shot while giving us the seeds of some classic arcs.  Clark loves Lois like Dobie Gillis loved Tuesday Weld.  And there’s even a young (much nicer) Warren Beatty type between them.

Unfortunately, the content of Clark’s exclusive story about Superman and the big incident, which we get in caption boxes, doesn’t feel like the front-page work of a great reporter.  I’m eager to give George Perez the BOD on this because 1) I’m a writer, and yeah, it’s freaking hard, and 2) he’s George Perez. Maybe Clark’s unpolished style is part of his cover?  There’s also a very strange crossover page from Stormwatch that makes Ben 10 look like Beowulf.

Overall, a good read with a lot of interesting things to say in the first half about history, time, urban renewal, economic decay.  I want to give it a 7 out of 10, but Action was so good, Superman feels more like a 6.5.  I’m conflicted.  I’ll go 7.  That seems high on a ten-point scale, but not as good when you think about it as a percentage and covert that to an an academic grade.  (This is why I blog).


Batman #1:  The best of the bunch.    Bruce’s new contact lens tech is great, the Batcave looks great, and the internal monologue that stitches most of the story together is top-notch.  Bruce’s love for Gotham, and his investment in its future, could be a template for the philosophies of hope surrounding some very pressing real-world reclamation projects.  He exudes a strong ethos, suggesting that forward-thinking and risk-taking for the common good are moral virtues.  I’m not saying this was a civics lessons disguised as a comic book, but it was uplifting and hopeful.  Not something you tend to expect from a Bat-book.  And did you notice that I keep saying “Bruce”?  That’s an effect of good writing and successful character development in a matter of pages.   This still isn’t a book for kids, as a crime scene near the end (central to the hook for issue 2) reminds us.  If you’re looking for a Batman title for younger readers,  The Brave and The Bold is good  if you don’t mind mostly slap-stick violence.


Flash #1:  There’s a very special place in my heart for the Flash.  But my Flash is and always will be Wally West.  Jay Garrick is my second favorite.  That’s not a comment on my feelings about Baby Boomers in general…Wally is the Flash I grew up with, an imperfect hero struggling with all kinds of emotional issues and mentored by an icon from the Golden Age.  What’s not to love?  I totally get that Wally’s favorite Flash is his uncle, original mentor, and former partner, Barry Allen.  I totally understand the overwhelming sense of loss that pervades Wally’s Flashness, especially in the 90s, is what makes his character so compelling.  I also love that he’s a screw up.  I’m not 100 percent sure where he’ll shake out in the new DCU, but I hope there’s a prominent place for him.  I hope he’s not de-aged like all the Robins, but I suppose he has to be if Barry and Iris aren’t married yet.

Onto the Barry-centric book at hand.  Loved the splash page.  Captured the Silver Age feel that brought us Barry in the first place.  The story moved quickly (ha) and ended on a cliff-hanger that has me interested.  It felt like a younger read, something akin to those titles from DC’s early-90’s Impact line.  (The Fly was my favorite).  Since Impact was meant to introduce new, mostly younger readers to old characters at an accessible level and the reboot is meant to do the same, mission accomplished.   The Flash has always been one of the most kid-friendly of the major DC heroes (emotional issues that we adults love aside), and I think that will continue.

It was a fun read, which is the point of a Barry book.  I don’t like the new suit.  Too panel-y.


A good mix, but nothing touches Action.