Why?: I thought about Grant Morrison. I've bought everything he's done in 2006 and enjoyed the bulk of it, especially Seven Soldiers and All Star Superman. Also considered JH Williams III for kicking much behind on Desolation Jones, Seven Soldiers #1, and his issue of detective Comics. All which show his range and versatility as an artist. But ultimately I went with Ross Campbell for both categories for his awesome OGNs Abandoned and Wet moon vol. 2. I'm not into zombies but Abandoned was beautiful looking and very engaging read. Wet Moon 2: Unseen Feet was just one of those titles I had to reread more than twice. The mans got talent. Lots of it.
Best Cover Artist: JG Jones
Why?: Hmmm... here's a reason. Two of 34 covers from 52 he did in 2006.
Best Single Issue: All Star Superman #3
Why?: From the iconic cover, into a jam packed single issue featuring a Lois Lane with super powers spending the day with Superman and watching as a couple of super tough men vie for her attention against the Man of Steel. Plus wonderful Frank Quitely art including a single page scene with Superman and Lois on the moon that's gorgeous.
Best Finite/Mini Series: 52
Why?: Well, there were some good minis starting/ending in 2006. The ones I truly remember at least. Especially Seven Soldiers of Victory which I analyzed, spoke about, praised and love but at the time of this article 37 issues of 52 have come out. Committing to a weekly comic is, well, a commitment but I love this series. yeah, some issues are great, others pretty dull, and most in between but 52 is always one of the first comics I read every week and that accounts for something.
Best Story Arc: Parental Guidance-Runaways/Up Up & Away-Superman & Action Comics
Why?: I chose a tie on two extremely well done story arcs. Runaways continues to be my favorite Marvel comic and this arc by the book creators was definitely thrilling and eventually tragic. A new pride has emerged to resurrect Alex Wilder from the grave and eliminate our lovely team of Runaways. Alphona's art was the strongest here. On the other side the best of DCs One Year Later stories was this 8 issue arc crossing into two books about Clark Kent getting his powers back and returning to the costumed life. Sounds pretty typical but it was very fun, light hearted and action packed. Fell good superhero comic.
Best New Series: Checkmate
Why?: Because Greg Rucka's a good writer, Jesus Saiz is a great artist, and a book about counter intelligence agencies isn't exactly my bag. However I've been entertained monthly by this well paced, action packed book with high drama. The series is getting better and better with every passing issue and that's what makes me think it was the best new series of 2006.
Best Series: All Star Superman
Why?: For a book with only 4 issues published in 2006, one before this entry, I have to say is worth the wait. Every issue Grant Morrison packs a punch. Superman and Lois Lane together in the Fortress of solitude on her birthday may seem light, but the issue has so many moments. as does the previously mentioned issue 3, the Jimmy Olson focused issue 4, the Clark Kent/Lex Luther in prison issue #5 and the recent issue 6 which is already a front runner for single issue of 2007. Adding to Morrison's soon-to-be-classic stories is the exceptional artwork of Frank Quitely. The man is awesome.
Best Original Graphic Novel: Wet Moon Vol. 2: Unseen Feet
Why?: I'm sure the critics will sight a pair of Vertigo OGNs like Pride of Baghdad or Fables: 1001 Nights of snowfall and they're both good but for my money here's the OGN I read more then any of those other books. Looking forward to vol. 3 in the end of 2007 and his new MINX OGN in 2007 as well. Seems his MINX book will have some relation to Wet Moon, getting around his DC contract, smart man...
Best Black & White Reprint: Showcase Presents House of Mystery vol. 1
Why?: DC and Marvel release those huge phonebook reprints and I love 'em. Cheap and plenty of goodness. of the ones I read, House of Mystery stands tall. An anthology book from the 50s(or 60s) featuring a ton of amazing artists like Neal Adams, Lee Elais, Alex Toth and more. plus various comic writers. It's the kind of book that has hidden goodies and I can't wait for vol. 2 in a few months.
Best Collected Edition: Absolute New Frontier
Why?: Big thanks to David Bird for sending me this incredible book. I had the two volumes but they are dwarfed by this colossal thing. Featuring an uncut story, lots of extras, and oevr sized format. Seriously, the story it self is worth the price alone. Darwyn Cooke reimagines the birth of the silver age of DC superheroes. Superman, Green Lantern, Martian Manhunter, and more. The artwork is breath taking. I've made a note to try and buy more of these in 2007, first up New Gods collection.
Moment of 2006: Spider-Man Unmasked in Civil War
Why?: Because it's the most talked about moment of 2006. Though Spidey is officially a dumbass now.