Welcome to Comicon.com’s Best of the Year Awards, gathering the best comics and comics talent of the strange year that was 2021. This year we will be awarding in the following categories: Best Original Graphic Novels, Best Comic Series, Best Single Comic Issues, Best Writers, Best Artists, Best Cover Artists, Best Colorists, Best Letterers, Best Digital/Webcomics, and Most Progressive Comics.
Contributors to Comicon’s Best of the Year Awards this year include: Oliver MacNamee, Brendan M. Allen, Rachel Bellwoar, Scott Redmond, Benjamin Hall, Tito James, Tony Thornley, and Richard Bruton.
The following are Comicon’s 5 Best Single Comic Issues of 2021.
5. The Many Deaths of Laila Starr #3, published by Boom! Studios; written by Ram V, drawn by Filipe Andrade, colored by Inês Amaro, and lettered by Andworld Design
The entirety of this mini-series is amazing — which makes picking out any issue to highlight ridiculously difficult. Yet, at the same time, it was instantly clear which one to choose. This third issue features a deep discussion about grief, loss, regret and death between the former god of death in human form and the young man destined to cure death. Ram V, Filipe Andrade, Inês Amaro, and Andworld Design were not satisfied to leave it there though, taking it up ten more levels. How did they do that you may ask? Well easy, have the story being told from the point of view of a cigarette that has gained brief sentience thanks to the ‘kiss’ of Death when former god Laila smokes it. Dialogue bubbles formed as smoke clouds make it even better. Just emotionally solidly beautifully genius.
— Scott Redmond
4. Cindy & Biscuit Year 1; published, written, drawn, and lettered by Dan White
Just eight pages of Dan White’s Cindy and Biscuit here — one of my favourite titles for so long now — but it’s eight pages of wonderful comics, eight pages in a perfect broadsheet comic format, and it’s taking us right back to the beginnings for this monster-fighting young girl and her dog!
It’s perfectly done, has all the cuteness of an all-ages strip, but also has just that dash of the subtle darkness and the strangeness that’s always there in Cindy and Biscuit. So get ready for adventures with a possessed paddling pool, strange aliens, spectral beings that can only be seen by Biscuit, a demonic pink goblin thing, and a weird green, multi-eyed thingymabob. Year One might be short, but it’s perfectly short.
— Richard Bruton
3. The Nice House on the Lake #1, published by DC Comic; written by James Tynion IV, drawn by Álvaro Martinez Bueno, colored by Jordie Bellaire, and lettered by Andworld Design
The only thing we knew before The Nice House on the Lake #1 was released was that it was a horror story about ten friends being trapped in the titular locale. What we got from Tynion, Martinez, Bellaire, and Andworld Design was a fascinating character study about growing up and growing apart … until the stunning two page reveal of what was happening, and why they were really there. It was an issue that hooked everyone that picked it up, and it’s only gotten better from there.
— Tony Thornley
2. The Immortal Hulk #50, published by Marvel Comics; written by Al Ewing, drawn by Joe Bennet and Ruy José, colored by Paul Mounts, and lettered by Cory Petit
To say a Hulk issue is one of the most emotionally affecting comics of the last three years is one of the strangest statements we could make. Regardless, the conclusion of Immortal Hulk was a quiet journey through the psyche of a character we thought we knew well, and showed us the man behind the monster. It should serve as a model for how these long-term runs should end, with a satisfying and emotionally fulfilling bang, and not just fisticuffs.
— Tony Thornley
1. What’s The Furthest Place From Here? #1, published by Image Comics; written by Matthew Rosenberg, drawn by Tyler Boss, and lettered by Hassan Otsmane-Elhaou
Never has the apocalypse rocked so much. In Boss, Rosenberg and Otsmane-Elhaou’s new Image series, music is what keeps the children trying to survive the end of the world together. The first issue was full of world building, interesting characters, and some exciting action — all in a package that feels indie rock. It hooked us immediately and we can’t wait for the rest of the series.
— Tony Thornley