1. Wednesday Comics HC (DC Comics)
I never thought that DC could pull this off into a collected edition after the initial size and scope of the project. Not only did they prove me wrong but DC managed to fill this book with a ton of great extras including full color unused artwork. Yes, it’s big and tall but you should find room on your shelf for this book and if you can’t find room, head on down to the hardware store and build a better bookcase.
2. 40: A Doonesbury Retrospective HC (Andrews McMeel)
40 years is a lot of time for any comic strip, but Garry Trudeau makes it look easy day after day. Never without a topic and always full of raw humor, sadness and passion. There’s been a ton of Doonesbury collected editions over the years but none has shown what this comic has meant to everyday people, culture and politics like this one. Did I ever mention I even dressed up as Mike Doonesbury for Halloween in college? It didn’t go over so well.
3. Absolute All-Star Superman HC (DC Comics)
Everyone who has read this book, whether it was coming out in monthly, trade paperback or regular hardcover said it was the greatest Superman story ever. That’s a big bold statement and this is a big bold book. Grant Morrison went ahead and showcased Superman for the better and made a more personal and heroic story then we have seen in a very long time. It may just take Morrison to top it.
4. Art In Time Unknown Comic Book Adventures 1940-1980 HC (Abrams ComicArts)
Dan Nadel knows his comics and its rich history. This follow-up book to Art Out of Time: Unknown Comics Visionaries, 1900-1969 is nothing short of superb. Filled with stories not only from days gone by but also with stories that has slipped under the radar. It comes all back home with this book and I hope there are many, many, many more to come.
5. Parker: The Outfit HC (IDW)
Oh, IDW, you out did yourself again. Seldom are sequels any good and even rarer still are graphic novel/comic book adaptations of prose work. But once in a great while the planets align and a guy like Darwyn Cooke comes along and gives us a treat like no other. Not only is this work as good (and in some panels) better then The Hunter, but your marketing campaign was excellent. I picked up the $2 Man With The Getaway Face in the summer and it wet my appetite for the full novel that was released this past October. Parker can’t come back fast enough.
6. Dreadstar: The Beginning HC (Dynamite)
This prequel collected edition collects everything before Vance Dreadstar headlined his own series. It’s been along time coming, too, but Jim Starlin, who was hands on in overseeing this reproduction, was meticulous in getting everything just right. It was worth the wait. From the layout, colors (including the original back and white) and correct paper stock, this book, and Dreadstar The Definitive Collection, is a must have for any science fiction fan. I mean, name another piece of work where the entire Milky Way Galaxy gets eliminated? Genius!
7. Punisher: Franken-Castle HC (Marvel)
Regular readers of this blog know I’m a big fan of The Punisher. Mostly seen in the MAX imprint, the Punisher has been largely left out of things in the 616 universe. That changed a few years back when he was reincorporated into Civil War. But even still, his tone was that of MAX persona, but it just didn’t fly too well. Then his head got chopped off and Rick Remender took over. Franken-Castle was so different but yet it felt so right at the same time. Frank was now a true killing machine with a heart (or should I say a Bloodstone) becoming the savior of the underground world of Marvel monsters. Over the top, filled with gore, and yet, has kept its place in continuity.
8. Marvelman Classic Vol. 1 Premiere HC (Marvel)
OK OK it may not be deserving of a Top 10 but this book is somewhat of a talisman when it comes to the revitalization of Marvelman. Think back to the summer of 2009 and place yourself at Comic Con. Joe Quesada gets on stage and announces that they have acquired the rights to Marvelman. “Mircacleman”? you say to yourself, “This is the best news ever! Finally we’ll get to see Alan Moore’s greatest and most sought after work as an Omnibus”! “No no, silly”. I say back. “Marvelman. (pause). By Mick Anglo. (longer pause). From the 1950’s” (extended pause with blank look on face). Suddenly the rush of blood gets diminished as you reach for you mobile and fire up Wikipedia. Reality sets in and you remind yourself that you could have been at the Blackest Night panel instead. None-the-less, it’s good to see this work in print after so many years.
9. The Creeper By Steve Ditko HC (DC Comics)
Steve Ditko was everywhere in 2010 – but you may have missed it. Fantagraphics released the second volume in their Ditko Archives, Pure Imagination released Big Book O Ditko, Marvel continued the Masterworks line with Ditko stories strewn about, his work also showed up in the very nice Golden Treasury Of Klassic Krazy Kool Kids Komics anthology from IDW and he continued to self publish his own work with help from Robin Snyder. But it was the Creeper collection from DC that won me over. First rumored to be part of the back and white Showcase Presents line, DC did a solid and published all of Steve Ditko’s work as a full color hardcover and even included the very rare Enter Dr. Store (b/w) from Cancelled Comics Cavalcade #2 (1978).
10. Simon & Kirby Superheroes HC (Titan)
Steve Saffel continues to impress me with a rare Golden Age material from master craftsmen. This work from Joe Simon and Jack Kirby is handled with respect and republished with care. Some of these stories have never seen the light of day since the initial offering years ago. Heroes of a bygone era including The Black Owl, Stuntman, The Vagabond Prince, Private Strong, The Fly, and The Fighting America (current readers of Steve Rogers: Super Soldier will want to read that). Steve Ditko’s very first work is also included in this book with the title and character of Captain 3-D.