Comics Alliance Best of 2015: Best Comedy Comic of 2015
Our judges have adjudicated; our readers have voted. We’re proud to present to you the best comedy comic of 2015 — and four great runners up.
Runner Up: Sexcastle
Kyle Starks’ ode to 80s action movies was packed to the brim with incredible lines, perfectly choreographed fights, and one of the best uses of bear-as-weapon since Garth Ennis and Steve Dillon’s Welcome Back Frank. Starks is a creator equally skilled at hilariously great lines (this is a book where the first page has a doctor looking at Sexcastle and proclaiming, “This baby was born mean”, and it only gets better from there), and retaining genuine emotional depth in his stories. That a book called Sexcastle features a poignant take on guilt, shame, and redemption is really only surprising if you don’t know Starks’ work.
It’s a rare creator that’s able to make a graphic novel as great as Sexcastle look effortless, but by combining the loose elegance of cartoonists like Jason with the undeniable joys of movies like Road House, Starks has done it was deceptive ease. [Ziah Grace]
Runner Up: Quantum & Woody Must Die
Only James Asmus could introduce the brilliant new character find of 2015 and kill them off one page later. Ideas are in no short supply throughout his run on Quantum & Woody, and the nominal finale (for now) sees him paired with Steve Lieber for a continually mad story with alternate dimensions, pissed off cat burglars with a domino gimmick, and… well, developments for their goat.
Lieber came to this series straight off his much-loved turn on Superior Foes of Spider-Man, and immediately hits a synergy with Asmus. The pair are brilliant at taking a moment, a page, a sequence, and boiling it into the most distilled, pure form of comedy you could imagine. Quantum & Woody has been missed by too many people, but it’s been an absolute highlight of the comics industry for years now. [Steve Morris]
Runner Up: Sex Criminals
There are two big problems with reading Sex Criminals in public. One: it’s a smorgasbord of p’s and v’s in various stages of excitement, and that’s not something you want to show to everybody else on the bus. Two: it’s impossible to read an issue without laughing out-loud at least once, thereby drawing attention to you and all the aforementioned naughty parts.
Matt Fraction and Chip Zdarsky are funny in their bone(r)s, and this comic is a laugh riot on every level. The situations are hilariously cringe-inducing; the characters are all genuinely funny but fully-rounded into more than just comedy-delivery-systems; any time the fourth wall is broken (which is a lot) funny stuff happens; and the background is so littered with jokes, most of them filthy, that you’d need a jeweler’s loupe just to find them all; even the covers and letters pages will make you giggle like a sixth-grader. Absurd, dirty, quirky and honest, Sex Criminals is the Watchmen of goofy sex comedies. [John Parker]
Runner Up: Unbeatable Squirrel Girl
The fact that Squirrel Girl, a Steve Ditko creation who just so happened to beat up Dr. Doom in her first appearance, is pretty widely agreed to be the strongest character in the Marvel Universe, is honestly one of my favorite things in superhero comics, but it took Ryan North and Erica Henderson to turn that running joke into one of the freshest, funniest comics on the stands.
North’s dialogue is as self-aware as it is enthusiastic, and his commitment to building a strong supporting cast has kept the character from being a one-note joke, while Henderson’s smooth lines, strong character design, and excellent comedic timing work together like squirrels and girls. Add in Rico Renzi’s unorthodox color palette, and you’ve got a comic that looks like nothing else, reads like nothing else, but can be enjoyed by everyone. [John Parker]
Winner: Rick & Morty
Oni’s Rick & Morty comic captures the feel of the TV show exactly. Every issue has the same manic-but-meandering style as the best episodes. CJ Cannon’s art could be lifted straight from the animation cels. Reading Zac Gorman’s dialogue, with each character’s familiar tics in place, it’s hard not to hear each the actors’ voices in your head. With a show as singular as Rick & Morty, getting all that right is a mighty achievement. A perfect imitation doesn’t necessarily make for an entertaining read, but luckily, the show’s energy translates perfectly to comics, and the team manage to build on it.
The format allows for stories that run between multiple issues, while Marc Ellerby’s backups squeeze stories about the rest of the family, exploring their lives outside the B-plot, into a more traditional gag-strip format. Most importantly, it rarely leans on familiar characters and settings for simple fan service. It’s as restlessly inventive as the show, taking you to new worlds and letting Rick and Morty be as awful as ever within them. [Alex Spencer]