With 2010 one day away we have much to look forward to at the beginning of this new decade. Here’s at look at what books will be getting all the news coverage over the next 365 days.
Scott Pilgrim Vol. 6 (Oni Press)
Written and Drawn by Bryan Lee O’Malley
Over the course of five volumes O’Malley has managed to tell the story of Scott Pilgrim – the best fighter in the province – and his quest to date Ramona Flowers, the girl of his dreams by defeating her seven evil ex-boyfriends. Volume #5 is the best written, most confidently executed installment of the series yet, and this is one of those things that is written about each volume as it comes out.
The fact is, it’s not only an amazing comic book, it’s just a great story. Characters live and interact as real as you and your friends do – take away all the anime nods, the nintendo boss fights and it’s saturation and debt to nerd culture and you’re looking at a simple story about a guy getting his life together and growing up. Scott is – at first – completely likeable and intriguing – but as the books progress, we realize that Scott may be the main character, he’s not the hero, no one is. They’re all just people living and trying to figure out who they are.
Battling Boy (First Second)
Written and Drawn by Paul Pope
When I was putting together this list last year I put Battling Boy down as the book I was most looking forward to. I remember seeing the pictures that Paul Pope was putting on his blog and I was totally blown away. This was Paul Pope at his most raw and unleashed. Bringing the Kirby influence to the lessons he learned toiling away at the Kodansha Manga Studios creating an epic fight scenes that will possibly bring a new language to how we view how fight scenes could be read and laid out.
“In Batman Year 100, I had room for a couple of long fight sequences, but I felt cramped even with 200 pages. This fight scene from BATTLING BOY alone is about 50 pages. It’s liberating to have no page restrictions. I wish Kirby could’ve had 50 pages for one fight scene, imagine what he would’ve done.
Pope himself describes the series as such: “Battling Boy is aimed at kids and it’s coming out from First Second in 2007. It’s a kind of a fairytale kid Beowulf, or a Peter Pan with teeth. It’s set in a mythical city called Monstropolis, a city the size of a continent that’s overrun with monsters.”
Well, unfortunately it didn’t come out in 2009. But that’s fine – I mean, we got plenty of good reads – like the runner up on the list Asterios Polyp and Parker: The Hunter. But I cannot wait to see just what happens when this book finally drops and the influence it will have on future works.
Written by Mark Millar
Drawn by Steve McNiven
The storyline doesn’t matter – it’s a set piece book. It’s Mark Millar writing insane scenes of hyper violence and operatic super-villainy for McNiven to draw in brilliant, beautiful detail. Millar is only as good as his artist and with McNiven he’s found a wonderful partner for these sorts of high-concept, low thought process stories. Say what you will about Old Man Logan – there’s one thing people agree on, it’s beautiful. McNiven isn’t a fast artist, and that’s fine – we don’t want him on a monthly any way, we want him doing what he does to the best of his ability, don’t expect an issue a month, just be greatful to get it when we get it.
Nemesis is an excuse for Millar’s faith in McNiven’s imagination and skill to take off and go to darker and more widescreen places, and that’s what we’re going to get with Nemesis.
Pete DeCourcy is Editor in Chief of Comic book daily. He also manages Blue Beetle Comics in Barrie, Ontario. You can find more of his writings at the Simple Art of Crime and You Practically Rock. 2009 has been a good year for him, and he’s excited to see what 2010 brings.