While 2016 was a tough year in many regards, it produced some amazing comics, including a lot of great comics aimed at teen readers. Our writers and editors have made their picks of the best comics of the past year, and you, the readers of ComicsAlliance, have voted for your favorites.

Now check out the best comics for teens in 2016, including our critics' picks, listed in alphabetical order, and the comics you voted the runner up and winner in this category! This is the very best of 2016!

  • Critics' Pick: Backstagers

    James Tynion IV & Rian Sygh / Boom Studios

    We often talk about the importance of diversity at ComicsAlliance, but we don't just mean "put more women and POC in comics." We want to see the true diversity of peoples' lives represented in our art, and Backstagers by James Tynion IV and Rian Sygh does a fantastic job of that. It shows a wide range of what masculinity can look like through the lens of a group of theatre kids at a private boys' school. The world behind the scenes is magical (literally) and a place where teens can truly become themselves. [Emma Lawson]

  • Critics' Pick: Giant Days

    John Allison & Max Sarin / Boom Studios

    As someone who hasn't been a teenager for nearly a decade now, Giant Days presents a vision of what I wish those years were like. The drama is all painfully familiar, but I can't pretend my adventures were as thrilling as those of Susan, Esther and co, or that I was anywhere near as smart and funny as John Allison's dialogue, or as well-dressed and beautiful as Max Sarin's renderings of the cast. I wish I had been. Hell, I wish I was now. [Alex Spencer]

  • Critics' Pick: Jem And The Holograms

    Kelly Thompson, Meredith McClaren, Sophie Thompson, M. Victoria Robado, Jen Bartel et al / IDW

    Last year, Kelly Thompson, Sophie Campbell, M. Victoria Robado and the rest of their team relaunched Jem and the Holograms as a comic, and captured the hearts of readers with their imagination and passion. One of the best new comics of 2015 continued as one of the best of 2016 as Thompson, Campbell, Jen Bartel and Meredith McClaren gave us an evil version of the team and re-introduced the Stingers, helping maintain Jem's place as an essential book for teen readers. [James Leask]

  • Runner-Up: Archie

    Mark Waid, Fiona Staples, Veronica Fish, Pete Woods, et al / Archie Comics

    When the Archie reboot was announced in 2015, I snarked that the mandate seemed to be, "Make sure our characters actually look, dress and behave like modern #teens." But reading it, I was floored. Mark Waid gets what makes these kids work, and the brilliant artists he's paired with, including Fiona Staples, Veronica Fish, and Pete Woods, make it all a joy to read. Hopefully, the title sticks its course and keeps being something I can show everyone from younger relatives to my mom — all of which makes it the perfect continuation of Archie's 75-year legacy. [Tom Speelman]

  • Winner: Paper Girls

    Brian K. Vaughan & Cliff Chiang / Image Comics

    The preteen years bring a change in perception: as children we're enamored with the present, but once we cross a certain threshold all thoughts become fixed to the myriad promises of the future. In this retro, time-twisting, coming-of-age sci-fi by four grown men (Brian K. Vaughan, Cliff Chiang, Matt Wilson and Jared K. Fletcher), four teenage girls are confronted with exactly that. In Paper Girls, all the energy and frustration of those chaotic preteen years age is apparent in a YA adventure that also features pterodactyls, giant insects, a war between the generations, and underage smoking. It just gets it, man. [John Parker]

    Cliff Chiang / Image Comics
    Cliff Chiang / Image Comics

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