Continuing on with the Countdown (see what I did there?), this week we'll be focusing on the Best Continuing Series category. For the past two years Saga has reigned supreme, salting the earth so the rest of the nominees don't stand a chance. However, this year just may be the year someone else wins it. The nominees for this category are always strong, for at least one of these titles is on everyone's pull list. These comics are the reason we keep coming back month after month, money in hand and drool on the floor. Choosing only one to win it all makes this category feel like I'm in my own personal Sophie's Choice. In the end, they're all winners.
Keep in mind I cannot vote for who wins (nor can you, probably), as per the rules. However, that's not keeping me from being vocal regardless!
Who is eligible to vote?
Comic book/graphic novel/webcomic creators (writers, artists, cartoonists, pencillers, inkers, letterers, colorists
All nominees in any category
Comic book/graphic novel publishers and editors
Comics historians and educators
Graphic novel librarians
Owners and managers of comic book specialty retail stores
Who is not eligible to vote?
Comics press or reviewers (unless they are nominees)
Non-creative publisher staff members (PR, marketing, assistants, etc.)
Before I get back to impersonating Brian K. Vaughan so I can be eligible for next year, let the games begin!
Best Continuing Series
Astro City, by Kurt Busiek & Brent Anderson (Vertigo)
Winged Victory is set up to look like a criminal, and needs the help of the Samaritan and the Confessor to help her discover which villain is going out of their way to make sure everything she stands for come crumbling to the ground. Busiek also has a few one-shots focusing on one sorcerer's assistant, a well-dressed bad guy, and an old woman who finds and restores old abused robots. As usual, you can jump onboard at any issue and have a fun time discovering the world and characters of Astro City.
Bandette, by Paul Tobin & Colleen Coover (Monkeybrain)
Bandette and Monsieur compete for the title of "Greatest Thief in the World" by seeing who can steal the rarest of artifacts. Meanwhile, Bandette continues her one-woman war on Absinthe and his evil organization FINIS, who has called in the hitman Il Tredici to take care of her. And just when it looks like Bandette has bitten off more than she can chew, an unexpected ally drops in to help kick butt. Action, humor, romance, and pirate pigs galore continue to make Bandette a hit all-ages title.
Hawkeye, by Matt Fraction & David Aja (Marvel)
We follow two different Hawkeyes on two different coasts. Back in New York, Clint continues his mission with his brother Barney to save his building and the other occupants who live there from the nasty Bros who want to evict. Out in Los Angeles, Kate Bishop does her best to be a superhero for hire while going up against Madame Masque, stumbling on both fronts. The art remains strong and the story fun, Bro.
Saga, by Brian K. Vaughan & Fiona Staples (Image)
Several different storylines emerged last year, including Alana getting an addictive new job, Marko playing stay-at-home dad, and Prince Robot IV's son getting kidnapped by a fanatic. We see the different class systems of the Robot Kingdom, and are introduced to several crazy new characters and unlikely alliances. The story remains just as action-packed and humorous as before, and Brian K. Vaughan and Fiona Staples continue to kill it issue after issue.
Southern Bastards, by Jason Aaron & Jason Latour (Image)
Earl Tubb came back to Craw County, Alabama after being away for 40 years to take care of some family business. He hates the place because of memories of his asshole father who was the town sheriff. Upon returning he sees how much the place has changed for the worse, and decides to make it his mission to try and bring justice to a lawless shithole and the man who runs it, Coach Boss. Unfortunately for Earl, things don't exactly go his way. Aaron and Latour bring the gritty South to comics, filled with football, ribs, and renegade rednecks.
The Walking Dead, by Robert Kirkman, Charlie Adlard, & Stefano Gaudiano (Image/Skybound)
Things come to a dramatic climax between Rick's people and Negan, with the body count stacking up. After Negan's been dealt with, Kirkman launches the reader two years into the future to discover a very different Alexandria. The beauty of going forward a few years is we see the characters grow and deal with new situations, for while walkers are still around, new problems arise as well.
Not only does Kirkman keep you craving more month after month with those spectacular cliffhangers of his, but even when doing something radically different such as fast-forwarding two years into the future, he keeps things from going stale. A major war ends, then a time for peace and growth begins. New faces join the cast, as well as some new harrowing situations and creepy antagonists. Adlard's art continues to be strong, gritty, and intricate, setting the perfect tone for the series.
The Walking Dead has always been superb, but it made leaps and bounds in 2014 with some stellar storylines.
Who I think will win:
Southern Bastards, by Jason Aaron & Jason Latour (Image)
While it feels more like a new series than a continuing one, Aaron & Latour brought something new and hearty to the table. Slightly reminiscent of Scalped, Southern Bastards does a great job of hooking you early on, and makes you look forward to spending the next several years with these crazy characters in Craw County.
It's definitely the underdog in this category, and I'm hearing lots of praise for Aaron & Latour.
Who I think should have been nominated:
The Wicked + The Divine, by Kieron Gillen & Jamie McKelvie (Image)
It was released 2 months after Southern Bastards, and yet it's in the Best New Series category. I think it definitely deserves to be in this category as well, for the mind-blowingly awesome combination of story and art that Gillen & McKelvie bring to the table deserves every ounce of praise it's been getting.
Who do you think should win / been nominated?