Industry secret: making annual Best-Of Lists is both amazing and awful. On one hand, the exercise forces us to dive deep into the San Andreas Trench of comics, rereading the books we adored and hitting all the corners that we may have neglected. Those 3 a.m. reading marathons can be downright magical; the words “I fucking love comics” may have been texted on more than one occasion in late November.
Conversely, comics year-end lists fall prey to the same foibles as all year-end lists: we condense a year’s worth of storytelling into 25 truncated blurbs. And yes, ranking is an arbitrary collage of opinion and spreadsheet work. Ultimately, these lists are reductionist heresy, without even diving into questions like whether comics released without publicity teams and marketing budgets receive equal footing. It’s more messy Jackson Pollock after-a-few-drinks art than science. With this in mind, Paste Comics will be running some specialized best-of lists over the next few weeks, starting with today’s entry. We offered each of our contributors the chance to vouch for their favorite comic that didn’t make it onto the annual list. Let us know yours on our Twitter page.