BookTube: Comics Recommendations – Top 5 Completed Series

People often ask me for comic recommendations so I decided to make a video about my top 5 completed comic series.  That way, you don’t have to wait between issues or trades and you can binge read the entire series!  What’re your top 5 favorites?

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Top 10 Comics

I read fewer comics this year than I did in 2014, but there were so many amazing titles to choose from that it was very challenging to narrow it down to only 10.  Here are my top 10 favorite comics of 2014 in a very particular order!  Don’t forget to check out the Top 10 Books of 2014, and Top 10 TV Shows, Top 7 Movies, & Top 5 Broadway/Off Broadway Shows of 2014! What were your favorites this year?

10) The Woods

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9) Gotham Academy

2

8) Silver Surfer

1

7) Rat Queens

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6) Sex Criminals

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5) The Wicked + The Divine

1

4) Batgirl

1

3) Sandman Overture

2

2) Lumberjanes

1

1) Saga

1

Bonus: Bee & Puppycat

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Best Comics Of 2013 Part Two Of Two

Without further ado, here is the second half of my best of 2013 list.  If there’s a title you didn’t see on either list that you think I should’ve included, leave a comment below!

12

Morning Glories by Nick Spencer & Joe Eisma1

Superior Spider-Man by Dan Slott & Ryan Stegman2

Sex Criminals by Matt Fraction & Chip Zdarsky3

The Private Eye by Brian K. Vaughn & Marcos Martin4

Batman ’66 by Jeff Parker & Jonathan Case5

Daredevil by Mark Waid & Chris Samnee6

Pretty Deadly by Kelly Sue DeConnick & Emma Rios7

Manhattan Projects by Matt Fraction & Nick Pitarra8

Captain Marvel by Kelly Sue DeConnick & Jaimie McKelvie9

Amelia Cole & the Unknown World by Adam P. Knave, D.J. Kirkbride & Nick Brokenshire10

Wraith: Welcome to Christmasland by Joe Hill & C.P. Wilson III11

Coffin Hill by Caitlin Kittredge & Inaki Miranda

13

HONORABLE MENTION: Harley Quinn by Jimmy Palmiotti & Amanda Conner – Harley Quinn gets an honorable mention because at the time I wrote this post, issue #0 is the only book to have been released.

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Best Comics Of 2013 Part One Of Two

I’ve said it before and I’m sure I’ll say it plenty more times, I love lists.  Which is why I also love when the year is ending because it’s the perfect time to reflect on the things you enjoyed in the past 365 days, and compile them into one comprehensive guide (or in this case, one comprehensive guide in two parts).  There were so many amazing comics published this year that it was too much of a challenge for me to narrow the list down to ten.  I decided to divide my favorites into two parts with 12 on each list.  Even with a total of 24, I feel as though I’m still neglecting several series that I thoroughly enjoyed reading this year.  The list is overwhelmingly Image and Marvel titles and as much as I adore each of the series I’ve chosen to highlight, I am hoping for more diversity next year.

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Batman by Scott Snyder & Greg Capullo

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Itty Bitty Hellboy by Art Baltazar & Franco

1

Rat Queens by Kurtis J. Wiebe & Roc Upchurch

2

Killjoys by Gerard Way, Shaun Simon & Becky Cloonan

3

The Wake by Scott Snyder & Sean Murphy

4

Hawkeye by Matt Fraction & David Aja

5

Revival by Tim Seeley & Mike Norton

6

Locke & Key by Joe Hill & Gabriel Rodriguez

7

Mind MGMT by Matt Kindt

8

Young Avengers by Kieron Gillan & Jamie McKelvie

9

Trillium by Jeff Lemire

10

Saga by Brian K. Vaughn & Fiona Staples

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Veronica Mars, the Doctor Who Bar & More

It’s been a few weeks since I’ve written a personal post about what I’ve been up to, so I figured that now is as good a time as any to get back into the groove of weekly updates.  It’s kind of a vicious cycle because lack of posts means I’ve been extra busy, which in turn means I have that much more to write about!  We’ve had an influx of West Coast visitors in New York in the past week which is part of the reason I haven’t had time to write/sleep/etc.  Our first visitor, my Super Villains Comic Book Club cohost, Jen, flew into NYC on Wednesday, aka new comic book day, and since she hadn’t ever been to Midtown Comics, Melissa, Brad, and I made sure to bring here there as our first order of business.  Jen was in awe of the amazing toy and statue selection at Midtown, and after swooning over several of the Scarlet Witch Bowen statues, we completed our purchases and headed back to her hotel to film an extra special live episode of our aforementioned club.  Melissa has been a guest in the past and I was so happy she could join us again to discuss Brian K. Vaughn and Fiona Staples’ Saga.  The three of us purchased our trades together, and had them signed by the creators at the Midtown Comics booth at New York Comic Con last year, so the story holds even more meaning for us.  Since we were filming at a hotel and didn’t have our usual home amenities, we forgot all about needing glasses, and a bottle opener.  After extensive googling and many failed attempts at using shoes, hangers, hair pins, pens, and the wall, it occurred to us to call the front desk and thankfully they were able to accommodate us.  We filmed in what we called, a “slumber party style,” since  the giant hotel bed was the only place we could get all three of us to fit in one screen.

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That same weekend, Molly McIsaac, who I hadn’t previously had the pleasure of meeting came to New York for a weekend visit.  Molly is absolutely lovely in person and I was surprised at how much the two of us had in common from our vegetarianism, to our love of fashion, to our preference for Matt Smith over David Tennant.  I met Melissa, Jill, Molly, and Leo, at The Museum of Sex near the Flatiron building and we perused the gift shop before jumping back in Jill’s car, sharing in a traumatic experience, and then promptly heading to The Modern for drinks.  After almost an hour of driving around and searching for a parking spot, we finally found one.  Little did we know, another woman was going to get out of her car, bang on all of the windows of our vehicle, scream obscenities at us, and claim that it was her spot.  After being told we would be in for “a rude awakening today,” the psycho woman realized that Jill had been filming our entire interaction and she quickly drove away.  Nonetheless, her behavior was completely uncalled for and all of us were rather shaken.  After all of that we realized the spot was too close to a fire hydrant anyway, and we ended up parking in a garage near the museum.  It is amazing to me that a person could become so enraged and uncivilized over a parking space that wasn’t even hers to begin with.  Once we were inside MoMA we were all really excited to see Edvard Munch’s infamous painting “The Scream,”  but sadly, the museum closed before we were able to make our way to the top floor.  Next, we headed to Canal Street for some shopping, and to Mayfield for dinner where we met up with Ali, Brad, and Nate.  I had the most delicious chopped kale salad, but was ridiculed by fellow dinner goers for supplementing my healthy salad with a side of fries.  They were worth it though, so delicious!  You would think we’d be exhausted at this point, but the fun continued at The Way Station, aka the Doctor Who bar, where we met Rachael, and Jen (who was still in town until the next day).  It was karaoke night, and after several River Songs (the bar serves Doctor Who themed drinks… I know, right?!) we went onstage and joined in the fun.

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Then on Wednesday I met up with Rachael, who took me to what is quite possibly the coolest bar I have ever been to.  It’s a speakeasy in Chelsea and I have never been so impressed with a bars delicious drinks, service, overall atmosphere, and of course, fantastic company.  The bar is located inside an unmarked door, and if you aren’t already privy to location, you would never find it on your own.  Even once you manage to seek out the door and open it up, two black velvet curtains hang in your immediate view causing you to wonder if you might be in the wrong place.  But once you bravely push back the curtains and overcome the fear of possibly breaking and entering into an abandoned building, you’ll be welcomed by dim candlelight and a very friendly bartender.  In typical speakeasy fashion, there are no menus to peruse so you must tell the bartender what you enjoy and he’ll make you something he thinks would please you.  He completely hit the nail on the head with my drink order.  I usually stick to wine, but the next time I go back to the speakeasy I will be asking for another gingery, citrusy, glass of heaven.  After catching up and realizing that neither of us had eaten enough for the day, we headed to the original Shake Shack where I indulged in more french fries, and a mushroom burger.  Also! I was so proud of myself because after leaving Rachael at 9:41pm on 23rd street and Madison Avenue, I was somehow able to speed walk back to Penn Station (34th and 7th avenue), where I made a 10:08 train with nearly 10 minutes to spare.  (Excuse the grainy quality of the below photo.  We may be grainy, but we’re still adorable!)

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And finally, all of these events lead me to one of the best stay in girls nights that I’ve ever had!  In the wake of the Veronica Mars Kickstarter miracle that launched on Thursday morning and was fully funded by 9pm on Thursday night (you can still donate and reap some of the awesome rewards here if you haven’t had a chance yet) Jill had the brilliant idea of having us over for a Veronica Mars marathon.  Melissa, Rachael and I came fully equipped with snacks and various selections of wines, cider, bourbon, while  Jill supplied us with tacos and champagne.  We watched about six episodes of the show in total, with many, giggling breaks in between (which you may have noticed if you happened to read any of our Twitter accounts on Saturday night).  I had seen the least amount of episodes of the show so we stayed within the first season, and Rachael was kind enough to lend me her DVDs at the end of the night… which I’ve now been watching for six straight hours.  I deeply admire Veronica for the decisions she makes, the character she possesses at such a young age, and her willingness to help anyone in need.  She is quite the detective.  I’m probably going to finish the first season by tomorrow night which is why I had to order the second season with Amazon Prime (thank gods for 2-day shipping!).  We successfully managed to avoid the overcrowded New York City bar scene on St. Patrick’s Day.  The extent of my St. Patrick’s Day attire has always consisted of Green Lantern t-shirts and accessories for as long as I can remember so I’ve continued the tradition this year.  A bunch a of other things have happened in the midst of what I’ve already recapped, but due to a combination of 1) keeping this post to a readable length, 2) lack of memory, and 3) being summoned downstairs for St. Patty’s Day dinner with my family (in which the vegetarians will eat salad, and everyone else will eat corned beef), that will be all for now! OH! And my genius brother Bob was accepted to Columbia’s graduate program to get his masters in journalism and I could not be more proud!

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My Favorite Moments: New York Comic Con 2012

New York Comic Con is the convention that I look forward to attending every year.  It’s local, it’s not overwhelmingly crowded and the panels are usually pretty interesting.  That is, until this year.  Don’t get me wrong, I had a blast at NYCC, but there is no doubt that the Javits Center severely oversold the event this year.  There was even a point on Saturday when they closed all of the doors and were not admitting any more attendees into the convention because they were over capacity.  I had arrived late that day, but luckily because I had a press badge and Melissa had an exhibitor badge we were permitted to enter anyway.  I had also heard people complaining about the lack of guests and interesting panels.  I disagree with this point.  Last year, the two big panels were The Walking Dead and The Avengers panels.  The Walking Dead returned for a panel again this year, but it wouldn’t have made sense for The Avengers to return when their next movie isn’t scheduled to be released for a few years.  Plus, Clark Gregg crashed the Marvel TV panel to be there when Joss Whedon and Kevin Fiege’s video clips announced that the S.H.I.E.L.D. television series would feature Agent Coulson.  That’s pretty darn exciting if you ask me!  Not to mention that Tom Felton, Adam West, Burt Ward, and Stephen Arnell (the new Arrow) were all in attendance.  As for other guests, I was very pleased.  Maybe it’s because I love comics, but the main reason that I attend conventions is to see the authors and artists behind each of my favorite series.  I don’t get overly excited when I meet movie stars, but place me in front of an author like Neil Gaiman and I’m speechless.  I love getting my books signed and just being able to have a few moments in the presence of someone talented enough to have created a series I respect.
So now, for my favorite parts of NYCC.  I was really pleased with the amount of Twitter people I was able to run into at the convention.  It’s so lovely to be able to finally put an IRL face and voice to a Twitter handle.  I do wish I could’ve spent more time with some of the people I met, but NYCC weekend flew past like a whirlwind.  I didn’t even get to spend the majority of time with my close friends with the exception of Melissa (@mechamelissa) and Jen (@jennifermarie). Luckily, I was able to catch up with some others that I missed at the con at the after parties.  On Thursday night, Melissa, Chris (@CapSteveRogers), and I ended our night early and nommed on Mexican food and margaritas before turning in.  It was the perfect end to an exhausting day.  The following night, Melissa, Alan (@SizzlerKistler), Lisa (@LisaMcMullan) and I attended the Psychology of Cosplay panel given by none other than Andrea (@ArkhamAsylumDoc) and Jill (@TheNerdyBird).  It was a great panel and the girls did a wonderful job speaking and informing us about cosplay demographics!  Immediately afterward we headed to The Mary Sue & Her Universe party which was moved to Beer Authority after the Houndstooth Pub lost the reservation.  We had a great time just hanging out and eating cheesecake and fries.  Saturday night was by far my favorite night of parties.  We left the convention around 10pm and attended the Geek Girl party at Stitch, followed by the Marvel Comics party.  In fact, we had so much fun that we didn’t end up getting back to Melissa’s until 5 AM (which we undoubtedly paid for the next morning).  It was so much fun catching up with Brad Walker (@IamBradWalker), who drew the art for Guardians of the Galaxy.  He just looked on at us embarrassed when Jen, Melissa, and I broke out into an Oasis sing along.
Part of what I find most fun about going to any convention is putting together outfits.  On Thursday (the first photo), I was decked out in Wonder Woman attire which other people kept referring to as a costume.  I had to assure them that those were in fact my normal clothes and are the way I dress on a day to day basis.  The next day, Jen and I wore our galaxy dresses by Black Milk and I made us complimenting Lantern headbands.  Jen is a Sinestro fan so she represented the Yellow Lanterns while I stuck to the classic Green Hal Jordan.  We were planning on collecting Lanterns to take photos with, but sadly we did not see very many Lantern cosplayers.  Then on Saturday we donned more of our BlackMilk pieces.  We attended the con as the droids you’ve been looking for with me as R2 and Jen as C3PO.  Almost immediately after entering the con, Melissa and I decided to impulsively purchase wigs and we spent the rest of the day roaming in our vibrant headwear.  Our friend Lauren (@LaurenMoran), was also dressed as an adorable Ewok on Saturday so she perfectly fit in with our theme!  Then on Sunday, I decided to cosplay since I hadn’t any of the other days.  I went as Stephanie Brown Batgirl and Melissa went as female Solomon Grundy.
As for highlights inside the convention, I was really excited to meet Jim McCann and get a signed copy of his Mind the Gap Volume 1 trade.  I’ve been loving each issue of the series and Jim even gave me his email address so I can interview him for On Wednesdays We Wear Pink.  I also acquired a signed copy of Blacksad by Juan Diaz Canales and Juanjo Guarnido, a beautiful Harley Quinn statue by Kotobuyika, an Indiana Jones Handbook from my friend Eric (@EricSmithRocks) at Quirk Books (@QuirkBooks), a few adorable tees from WeLoveFine (@WeLoveFineTees) which I’m sure I’ll be modeling soon via instagram, a signed Fables print from Bill Willingham, Harley Quinn and Batgirl iPhone cases, and I had Kyle Higgins sign my Nightwing trade.  And, I was able to accomplish my one convention goal which was to meet Brian K. Vaughn and Fiona Staples and have them sign a Saga trade for me.  We arrived at the Midtown signing quite late, but thanks to Thor Parker (@ThorParker), we were able to get in line and be the last few to meet them!  Overall, I’d say it was a very successful convention.  I’m sure that I’m forgetting things because like I said before, this NYCC really did fly by.  What were your favorite moments from NYCC?  Let me know in the comments section, on Twitter, or tumblr!  And for a full album on NYCC pics, feel free to friend me on Facebook.
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