ComicsAlliance’s Best Of 2016: Outstanding Cartoonist Of 2016
Our writers and editors have made their picks of the best comics and creators of the past year, and you, the readers of ComicsAlliance, have voted for your favorites.
Check out the best cartoonists of 2016, including our critics’ picks, listed in alphabetical order, and the cartoonists you voted the runners up and winner in this category! This is the very best of 2016!
Critics’ Pick: Hannah Blumenreich
When I read Hannah Blumenreich‘s Spidey Zine, I get the same feeling Tom Holland gave me in Captain America: Civil War: that’s my Peter Parker. She gets the character in a way most creators working on officially-sanctioned versions of the character don’t, and that applies to her art as much as the writing. It’s there in the way Peter sits on sofas, and the way Spidey sits on buildings; those all-important hand gestures; the way he rolls up his mask. We’re glad to see Marvel making steps to open its doors to Blumenreich in 2017. [Alex Spencer]
Critics’ Pick: Blue Delliquanti
Blue Delliquanti makes engaging sci-fi that all kinds of people can see themselves in. Delliquanti’s O Human Star is a gorgeously illustrated vision of the future, in which humanity and robots with artificial intelligence live side by side. But it’s also a small story about a family reuniting after years apart, grappling with new members and old grudges. In 2016, Delliquanti successfully Kickstarted the second volume of O Human Star and won a Lambda Literary Award as part of the Beyond Anthology, all in deserved recognition of her talent. [Emma Lawson]
Critics’ Picks: Gigi D.G.
In addition to the ongoing and gorgeous Cucumber Quest, this year Gigi D.G. dropped Lady of the Shard in 2016, an infinite canvas comic rendered in the style of pixel art telling the story of love in the face of mind control, cosmic despair, and grudges older than any human lifespan. Gigi D.G. continues to push the artform of comics into unclaimed territory, and is a cartoonist everyone who is interested in comics should pay attention to. [Charlotte Finn]
Critics’ Pick: Kyle Starks
2016 was a big year for Kyle Starks as a writer, seeing him contribute stories to Oni’s Invader Zim and Rick and Morty titles, as well as the first-ever solo D-Man story at Marvel. However, the real showstopper was his new solo graphic novel, Kill Them All, which not only lives up to the reputation set by his previous effort, Sexcastle, but confirms that no one is as deadly with a one-liner and semi-ironic machismo as Starks. [Benito Cereno]
Third Place: Erika Moen
Oh Joy, Sex Toy, Erika Moen’s sexy sex education webcomic with Matthew Nolan, has been around since 2013, but 2016 was a banner year. In October, the third volume was released in print following a successful Kickstarter. Moen worked with Oni Press’s new imprint Limerence, which focuses on erotica and sex education, on the print edition, and announced that Limerence is also publishing an Oh Joy, Sex Toy coloring book. Moen reminds us that sex should be fun, funny, and safe, and her work is absolutely essential reading. [Emma Lawson]
Runner-Up: David M. Willis
With Dumbing of Age, his college-set slice-of-life webcomic with enough story arcs and long-term plotting to rival Chris Claremont, longtime webcomicker David M. Willis has found his opus. His cartooning skills are much like his writing: masterfully crafted, and able to pivot from goofy to tragic on a dime. Best of all, his racially and ideologically diverse cast proves that a varied world full of differing points of view can create for propulsive worldbuilding and storytelling. Long may Willis’s strip buffer increase! [Tom Speelman]
Winner: Faith Erin Hicks
Faith Erin Hicks has been one of the leading lights of cartooning for over a decade, and this may be her best year yet with the release of her graphic novel The Nameless City, about a city that continually resists the march of imperialism and the two young people who must protect it from an even more insidious threat. The energy and vibrancy of her linework underlines her strong skill at character and storytelling, and she’s phenomenally adept at every step of the cartooning process, from the worldbuilding to the writing to the pencils and inks. [Charlotte Finn]