Saturday 12 December 2015

Top 5 Best and Worst Comics of 2015

Top 5 Best and Worst Comics of 2015
by Geordi Demorest
2015 was a huge year for comics. Highly requested series have been licensed in droves, French comics made a splash onto the North American market, new services sprung up like Spottoon, Yen Press simulpubs, Silent Manga Audition, webtoons (a new format for comics designed for the digital age) seem to be taking off globally, and so on and so forth. With the year drawing to a close I thought I’d make a best and worst list for comics that came out in 2015. To clarify the worst list was really subjective while the best list is made up, what I feel to be, the best comics of 2015.

Let’s get the worst out of the way:
5) Idol Dreams: I couldn’t get past the first chapter of this one. Tanemura really isn’t that great at writing adults who feel and act like adults. There was also a suicide joke thrown in and well let’s say it isn’t one of her better works.
4) Takahashi-san is Listening: This series relies completely around a really awkward joke: the protagonist is a stalker. There really isn’t much to say about it beyond that. It never really goes beyond the joke nor does the heroine face any consequences for her actions.
3) Samon the Summoner: This one was particularly insufferable. The biggest problem lies in the fact that the heroine is actually a great person, and yet Samon tries to convince the audience that secretly she is evil at heart and that she should, thus, be miserable. It never gave a reason in the pilot chapter and it was another one I couldn’t read much of beyond it admittedly. Like most of the Jump Starts this year this one was cancelled quickly.  
2) Yuuki and Nao: This one goes higher because, when I started reading it, I was cautiously optimistic, that it might be decent, but it turned out to be yet another of Renta’s many hard-core smut series.
1) Marie of the Dragons: It now occurs to me that this list is comprised mostly of smut and tasteless humor series. Marie of the Dragons falls into the former category. It took me many months to finish the one issue I have bought. While I enjoy some bande desinee this is not one of them. The art is hideous and it prefers to concentrate on the smut far too much for my tastes.

Now for the “best of” list:
5) Bloody Mary: Admittedly this one is more of a personal favorite but the way it goes about its subject matter is well written and refreshing. It’s far more intelligent than I thought it would have been from the outset and it was a genuinely pleasant surprise for me.
4) Scarlet Empire: Another personal favorite. The artwork is distinct and eye-catching, the story flows fluidly, and the characters have layers to their personalities. It’s probably the lowest profile series on this best list but I think it deserves a spot.
3) So Cute It Hurts: This series was even more of a pleasant surprise. Despite how plain it looks it has a lot of personality. Gender benders are difficult to do well and I think So Cute it Hurts is certainly up to the task.
2) Princess Jellyfish: I really struggled with the top two.  Princess Jellyfish is only in second because I was well aware from the outset how great it would be. It’s charming and has many, many likeable, colorful characters. The common is perfectly tuned and it just does very well at what it sets out to be: a romantic comedy.

1) Tokyo Ghoul: I really could not NOT put this one at number 1. Tokyo Ghoul is by far the most compelling comic of 2015. It spends lots of time and effort establishing the decay of its protagonist’s morality and sanity and its multi-layered world. The artwork is no slouch either the series comic consistently looks good too. Tokyo Ghoul is nigh impossible to put down and it truly deserves its place.

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