I read a lot of good books and comics this year. I even made my goal of 100 in the GoodReads Challenge. I had to leave off a lot of good books, but I think I managed to narrow it down to the best of them.
10. Heavenly Blues
by Ben kahn & Bruno Hidalgo.
I tabled next to Ben at Flame Con in 2019, but only got around to reading Heavenly Blues this year. This book is a whole hell of a lot of fun, pun intended.
9. American Rule
by Jared Yates Sexton.
I listened to this as an audiobook. It provides an account of American history that fills in a lot of the darker parts that our education system likes to gloss over. It’s a great starting point for unlearning the lie of American exceptionalism.
8. Solutions and Other Problems
by Allie Brosh.
The beginning felt a little uneven, but then it went right for the jugular. Allie Brosh has an uncanny ability to write about mental health, tragedy, and comedy.
7. Wild Seed
by Octavia E. Butler.
I hadn’t forgotten how quietly intense Octavia Butler can be, and I was not disappointed. I’m looking forward to reading the rest of the Patternmaster series.
6. These Savage Shores
by Ram V, Sumit Kumar, Vitorio Astone, Aditya Bidkar.
The story and the artwork for These Savage Shores are simply stunning. And I’m not typically a fan of vampire stories, but I’m beginning to learn that maybe it’s just the tropes I don’t care for. This was easily one of my favorites released by Vault so far.
by Marguerite Bennett, Ariela Kristantina, Bryan Valenza, Jessica Kholinne, & A Larger World.
I was hooked right from Marguerite Bennett’s introduction about the natural horror of having a female body. The narrative got messy at times, but I still loved every moment of both volumes. I want more horror comics written by women.
4. The Hate U Give
by Angie Thomas.
The Hate U Give is every bit as powerful as it was praised to be. There’s so much to take away and unpack. So many vibrant characters and a story that speaks to the present moment we are living in. It’s the perfect fictional companion to Imram X. Kendi’s How to be an Anti-Racist.
3. The Kingdom of Copper
by S.A. Chakraborty.
I took way too long to get back to the Daevabad trilogy and had to read a recap of The City of Brass. There is so much I love about this series. I wouldn’t have pegged myself for a fan of historical epic fantasy, but I am now. I will not wait as long to dive into the final book of the trilogy.
by C.S. Pacat, Johanna the Mad, & Joana LaFuente.
I wrote about this for GeeksOUT earlier in the year. I was not expecting to like a comic about high school fencing nearly as much as I did. I tore through the first three books and wanted more. If you’re looking for something light-hearted and fun, but also full of passion, then you should check out Fence.
1. How to be an Anti-Racist
by Ibram X. Kendi.
This is essential reading for anyone who wants to better understand what’s been happening in the United States regarding the Black Lives Matter movement. And if you’re expecting a dense and dry reading experience, you would be wrong. Kendi’s personal account takes the reader on a journey with him and ends on a hopeful note. Racism is a cancer. It’s been killing us slowly, but there is a way forward and we can dismantle it. Read this and follow it with The Hate U Give.
A few of the books that missed the cut for the top 10. I loved each one of them, and there were a few that even missed this list that I also loved.
We Are the Ants
by: Shaun David Hutchinson
Archie vs. Predator
by: Alex de Campi, Fernando Ruiz, Fernando Ruiz, Rick Koslowski, John Workman, & Jason Millet
by: Kevin Panetta & Savanna Ganucheau
Over the Top: A Raw Journey of Self Love
by: Jonathan Van Ness
Kick-Ass Ongoing Series:
As always, I’m continuing on with various comic book series, some of which wrapped up this year and some of which are ongoing. I think Power Rangers is going to remain a staple on here so long as they keep killing it.
by: Matt Fraction & Chip Zdarsky
X-Men: Messiah Complex
by: Ed Brubaker, Mike Carey, Peter David, Craig Kyle, Christopher Yost, Marc Silvestri, Billy Tan, Scot Eaton, Humberto Ramos, Chris Bachalo, & Others.
by: Marguerite Bennett, Rafael de Latorre, & Rob Schwager.
Mighty Morphin Power Rangers
by: Ryan Parrott, Daniele Di Nicuolo, Walter Baiamonte & Others.