Year in Review 2022: The Best New Comics and OGNs of the Year

It is the end of the year, and that means “Best of the Year” lists. I hate year-end “Best of” lists. They are never accurate and invariably are the cause of consternation for someone.

If you have read my columns, you know that I don’t disparage people’s work in public. I have read some very bad comics this year. Some were poorly conceived. Some were poorly executed, but I won’t talk about them on this site. Our goal here is to celebrate what is excellent.

With that being said, I have spent some time coming up with some of the best things that I read this year. I read a LOT of comics, but not all of them. I can only talk about what I read; so, that is the caveat when reading the lists below. These are the things based on what I read.

There were hundreds of new comic series that premiered in 2022. Many of them were good. Some were excellent. Below, you will find some things that I recommend checking out.

Top 10Honorable MentionsOGNs

Top 10 Best New Series

As I mentioned, there were a lot of new series to hit stands this year. I couldn’t read them all, but these two list of the Top 10 and Honorable Mentions are worth a read if you haven’t seen them. Also, they are in alphabetical order. You are asking a lot to get me to give a Top 10. I won’t rank them further.

Alice Ever After
Boom! Studios
Writer: Dan Panosian
Artists: Panosian & Giorgio Spalletta
Colors: Fabiana Mascolo
Letters: Jeff Eckleberry
Cover: Panosian

PCS Notes: This limited series written by Dan Panosian puts an interesting twist on the Alice story. It is intense and emotional while capturing the whimsy of the original source material.

IDW Publishing
Writer: Matthew Klein
Artist: Morgan Beem
Colors: Triona Farrell
Letters: Hassan Otsmane-Elhaou
Cover: Beem

PCS Notes: I love this book. It is heartbreaking and captivating. It has flown under the radar, but you should check it out!

Boom! Studios
Writer: Stephanie Phillips
Artist: Flaviano Armentaro
Colors: Rico Renzi
Letters: Tom Napolitano
Cover: Armentaro

PCS Notes: This is some of Stephanie Phillips’ best work. A reaper with a hidden past makes an intriguing premise, and the art is gorgeous.

AWA / Upshot Studios
Writer: Christa Faust
Artist: Priscilla Petraites
Colors: Marco Lesko
Letters: Andworld Design
Cover: Jeff Dekal

PCS Notes: A stunningly frank dive into fetish culture through the guise a murder/crime mystery. This series is well executed comic storytelling.

The Lonesome Hunters
Dark Horse Comics
Writer: Tyler Crook
Artist: Crook
Letters: Crook
Cover: Crook

PCS Notes: Tyler Crook delivered an interesting story with heart and danger. Taking on all the roles in making a comic can be a tricky gambit, but he did a great job of it. It was a joy to read this series.

Poison Ivy
DC Comics
Writer: G. Willow Wilson
Artists: Marcio Takara, Brian Level, & Atagun Ilhan
Colors: Arif Prianto
Letters: Hassan Otsmane-Elhaou
Cover: Jessica Fong

PCS Notes: This is really a great comic. It fits into the DC Universe, but is telling a distinct story focusing on the main character’s origin, development, and growth.

Image Comics
Writer: David Booher & Joe Hill
Artist: Zoe Thorogoood
Colors: Chris O’Halloran
Letters: Shawn Lee
Cover: Thorogood

PCS Notes: A captivating tale of survival and rebirth, this book should be on everyone’s must read list. The art is as heartbreakingly beautiful as the story.

The Roadie
Dark Horse Comics
Writer: Tim Seeley
Artist: Fran Galán
Letters: El Torres
Cover: Galán

PCS Notes: There is an unexpected welcoming feel to this fantasy horror comic that gets you excited to read each issue. Tim Seely and Fran Galán developed an accessible story that includes sex, drugs, rock-n-roll, and demons.

Superman: Space Age
DC Comics
Writer: Mark Russell
Artists: Michael Allred & Laura Allred
Letters: Dave Sharpe
Cover: Allred

PCS Notes: One of the best Superman stories that I have read in quite some time. The allegorical use of comic book characters is brilliant. The design is stunning. Only two issues came out this year, each issue makes you more eager for the next.

The Variants
Marvel Comics
Writer: Gail Simone
Artist: Phil Noto
Letters: Cory Petit
Cover: Noto

PCS Notes: As expected, Gail Simone and Phil Noto knocked it out the park with this mini-series. They were the perfect collaborators to take on Marvel’s most down to earth superhero. It is a well-crafted and beautifully illustrated comic story.

Back to Top

Honorable Mentions

These books should definitely be on your to-read list. They are all excellent. I am only sorry that I didn’t have space to add even more to this list.

Barbaric: Axe to Grind
Vault Comics
Writer: Michael Moreci
Artist: Nathan Gooden

Blood Stained Teeth
Image Comics
Writer: Christian Ward
Artist: Patric Reynolds

Bylines in Blood
AfterShock Comics
Writer: Erica Schultz & Van Jensen
Artist: Aneke

Damn Them All
Boom! Studios
Writer: Simon Spurrier
Artist: Charlie Adlard

Dark Ride
Image Comics
Writer: Joshua Williamson
Artist: Andrei Bressan

I Hate This Place
Image Comics
Writer: Kyle Starks
Artist: Artyom Topilin

Image Comics
Writer: Wes Craig
Artist: Craig & Jason Wordie

Metal Society
Image Comics
Writer: Zack Kaplan
Artist: Guilherme Balbi

Parker Girls
Abstract Studios
Writer: Terry Moore
Artist: Moore

Shaolin Cowboy: Cruel to Be Kin
Dark Horse Comics
Writer: Geoff Darrow
Artist: Geoff Darrow

Back to Top

Best Original Graphic Novels of 2022

The truth is that I don’t read enough OGNs. This list of books is small, and I hope to increase its size next year. But, before we get any further. Let us define a “Graphic Novel”. It is not a collected trade edition of individual issues that have been published previously. This is a sticking point for me.

I admit, as I was preparing this column, I looked at some other people’s “Best of the Year” lists just to see if I was missing anything glaring, and I saw a couple of people list the collected edition of one of the best series of LAST YEAR as the best OGN of this year. If a series finished in the previous year and has been nominate and won awards for the previous year, it is not considered for this list. However, if you haven’t read The Many Deaths of Laila Starr, you really should.

OK, I have spent enough time on Bob’s soapbox. Here are some of the best OGN’s that I read this year.

Chef’s Kiss
Oni Press
Writer: Jarrett Melendez
Artist: Danica Brine
Colors: Hank Jones
Letters: Hassan Otsmane-Elhaou
Cover: Brine

PCS Notes: This is a truly enjoyable coming of age story that is gorgeously illustrated and well laid out. The pacing is excellent and it is a joy to read. Read our review.

Ducks: Two Years in the Oil Sands
Drawn & Quarterly
Writer: Kate Beaton
Artist: Beaton
Letters: Beaton
Cover: Beaton

PCS Notes: A poignant glimpse into the harsh reality of economic inequality and the consequences of that reality. This massive story is fantastically crafted in terms of plot and visual narrative.

It’s Lonely at the Center of the Earth
Image Comics
Writer: Zoe Thorogood
Artist: Thorogood
Letters: Thorogood
Cover: Thorogood

PCS Notes: This stream of consciousness journey of self-realization and exploration is a beautiful visual trip. Thorogood hits some tough emotional beats while illustrating the world she occupies in her stunning signature style. Read our review.

The Night Eaters: She Eats the Night
Abrams Books
Writer: Marjorie Liu
Artist: Sana Takeda
Letters: Takeda
Cover: Takeda

PCS Notes: Lui and Takeda have done it again. This fantastical family drama is hauntingly beautiful and full of intriguing plot. This is a must read as most likely will be the subsequent graphic novels in this series of books.

Shifting Earth
Dark Horse Comics
Writer: Cecil Castellucci
Artist: Flavia Biondi & Fabiana Mascolo
Letters: Steve Wands
Cover: Biondi

PCS Notes: This book is a triumph in comic narrative storytelling. The conflicts that the main characters face elucidate larger issues that require attention in the real world. The art, character development, scenery and overall story are all excellent in this book. Read our review.

One last note. When reviewing this list of graphic novels that made our list, we were struck by the fact that none were written by strait white men and all were drawn by women. That fact was not intentional, but we find it encouraging.

Back to Top