Saturday, August 10, 2013

Welcome to the 2012-2013 Hammy Awards. No, there is no actual, physical award. But the opinions of three very discerning and opinionated individuals who read everything should make you feel either very elated or very terrible if you're a creator who is about to read this year's Hammies. To those faithful individuals protecting and defending one of the last great American art forms left, we at The Hammond Comics Blog salute you. There is now an industry wide Renaissance happening and it is because of your hard work and dedication. There is no consensus at the Hammies. Every staff writer will be giving out individual awards, as per tradition. Get your LOLZ right here faithful readers, because we're drinking to the best and the brightest, and bashing all of the mediocrity and mindless drivel with the butts of sniper rifles that threatens to harm our beloved...comics. WRDJ

William R. Davis Jr.

Comic of the Year:

Saga You will never get a more fully-throated endorsement of a book than I will give you about Saga. It's almost perfect. A richly developed, beautiful read on every level (stands and claps).

Best Cover Art:
Yuko Shimizu The Unwritten Some of the golden age throwback covers of The Tinkerer are just plain magic. You could frame them and put them on your wall. They're that good; a huge bright spot in a once great comic that has come completely off the rails this year.

Best New Comic:

East of West Barrels full of interesting and the plot has barely yet to unfold. Great characters, art, what more can I say to you?

Most Overrated:
Scott Snyder/Brian Bendis Both are past their prime and are running point for the big two. These guys need to work on quality over quantity. I was super disappointed to see Snyder teamed up with Sean Murphy on The Wake. The man who wrote the awesomely awesome Punk Rock Jesus does not need a co-pilot. The Wake is a good read three issues in, but Snyder is not a finisher. It's his MO. Most Overrated does not do these guys justice. They both suck. Just sayin'.

Most Underrated:
God Hates Astronauts Ryan Browne is the most underrated creator in comics. Fact. Any GHA fan/worshiper knows this to be true. There is nothing like God Hates Astronauts on the shelves anywhere, and the art has a unique, fresh feel that never disappoints. "The Completely Complete" edition has just been picked up from Kickstarter and will be released by Image this fall. Buy this book.

Most Disappointing Comic
The Walking Dead Seriously, what happened? We now have a character that looks like George Clinton, who speaks olde English, and walks around with a tiger that obeys commands. Now go back and re-read that sentence. Yes, this is now a plausible thing that happens in The Walking Dead. It's taken a full thirteen issues to set up one major event, and we're not even there yet. These guys are just cashing checks and pumping out merch at this point. Arcs like "Fear the Hunters" are long gone. This one almost snagged the Rob Liefield.

Most Likely to Be Burned First for Heat in the Event of a Post Apocalyptic Earth "This is the End" Scenario AKA The Rob Liefield
Age of Ultron What a piece of shit. Multiple time traveling Wolverines. I may burn these comics in a garbage can dressed like a hobo because the idea of it sounds appealing to me for some reason.

Best Miniseries:
Mondo This is a book that reminds me of why I love print comics.I'm a rabid Ted McKeever fan. The feel of this book was just awesome, silver age sized and weird, but like a good weird, really really weird. Check out Miniature Jesus. It's shaping up to be even better. Both are a must read.

Worst Miniseries:
Age of Ultron ^

Writer of the Year:
Brian K. Vaughn Saga could be my favorite science fiction franchise ever. I know I've gone Saga heavy this year but it's that good.

Artist of the Year:
Chris Ware His art is hauntingly brilliant and detailed. Chris Ware is a master of his craft, and continues to be the most innovative artist in comics. Building Stories is another major cornerstone in Indie comics.

Cody "Madman" Miller

Comic of the year
Saga Gotta agree with Mr. Davis here. Hands down the best of the best.

Best cover art:
David Aja and Francesco Francavillia The popish covers these guys are throwing down on Hawkeye are fantastic . The cover on issue #1 is the sole reason I picked up the first issue.

Best new comic:
Superior Spider-Man Hey, what can I say, I have been reading Spidey books since I learned to read and this is the most exciting thing to happen to my beloved web head possibly ever.

Most overrated:
The Walking Dead This book was great, now it’s snowballing into mediocrity.

Most underrated:
Talon This is one of the only D.C. books that I could stomach longer than a few issues. Great writing and great art lost in the Bat verse.

Most disappointing:
Indestructible Hulk This one actually pisses me off. The Incredible Hulk was a fantastic run, then the reboot and Marvel feeds us this gamma powered bull shit. Horrible is an understatement.

Most Likely to Be Burned First for Heat in the Event of a Post Apocalyptic Earth "This is the End" Scenario AKA The Rob Liefield
Age of Ultron

Best miniseries:

Punk Rock Jesus by Sean Murphy This run was edgy, brilliant, and relevant all at the same time.

Worst miniseries:

Age of Ultron I’d ask for my money back if I could.

Writer of the year:
Malachai Nicolle. At the ripe old age of eight, he brought us Axe Cop. Axe Cop: President of the World made me laugh to the point of pissing myself. I hope he continues in comics, especially with Axe Cop. I’m a lifetime member of this little guy’s fan club.

Artist of the year:
Fiona Staples The only thing better than reading Saga is looking at Fiona’s fancy drawings.

Will Dubbeld:

Comic of the Year:
Rachel Rising This book is phenomenal. Terry Moore's pencils are tight as ever and the plot is full of mystery, horror, and Moore's trademark human drama. Top notch work.

Best Cover Art:
Skottie Young I don't care, those baby Avengers/X-Men variant covers are great. It's like Muppet Babies, but with X-Men.

Best New Comic:

Hawkeye Matt Fraction nails it on this series, bringing back the dynamic that worked so well in his Iron Fist series, albeit without Ed Brubaker's assistance. Action, humor, and character wrapped in David Aja's superb pencils. Buy this book, bro.

Most Overrated:

Bendis/Snyder Good lord, these two...
For being lauded as they are, Brian Bendis and Scott Snyder really need to step up their collective game, especially with the free reign given them by their respective companies. Snyder seems to have solid stories, but manages to shit the bed in the last act. Every time.
And Bendis is probably spread too thin, as it seems he's writing half the Marvel catalogue right now. Even Powers, his creator owned series, has taken a turn for the worst, serving to showcase how many times a writer can shoehorn "fuck", "shit", or "cunt" into a comic.
Shame on both of you.

Most Underrated:
Fatale Cthulhu Noir? Absolutely. Elements of H. Rider Haggard's She? I can see it. Ed Brubaker and Sean Phillips' tale of an ageless femme fatale on the run blends pulp, horror, and crime genres into one helluva comic.
And nobody I know actually reads it, besides myself.

Most Disappointing Comic:
Age of Ultron This was drek. Plain and simple. I love a good Avengers/Ultron throwdown, but Pym's robot appeared on the cover more than he did in the actual series. The writing was fractured, plotting horrid, and the few bright moments in the book were overshadowed by the garbage that composed the remainder. A prime example of how far Bendis' writing has slipped.

Most Likely to Be Burned First for heat in the Event of Post Apocalyptic Earth "This is the End" Scenario:

Before Watchmen Dear god, though it pains me to say, I'd rather suffer through Final Crisis, Liefeld's entire Youngblood series, and Secret Wars II than read this trash again. Having this enter the Watchmen canon disgraces the original work as opposed to adding meaningful elements to the mythos.

Best Miniseries:
Fashion Beast Although adapted from an unproduced Alan Moore movie script from the 1989s, Fashion Beast made a damn fine comic. It harkens back to a time when Moore produced top-notch books rife with dystopia and simmering anger at Thatcherism. It did the ol' heart good to see some classic Moore.

Worst Miniseries:
Age of Ultron/Before Watchmen I don't think I can express how horrid I find these books. When the Big Two hit on a good idea, they strike gold, but when they miss, they miss HARD.

Writer of the Year:

Brian K. Vaughn Okay, I didn't take the Saga kool-aid out of the gate like everyone else. I read the first issue and gave it a solid 'meh'. Only after every nerd on the planet touted the merits of BKVs Saga did I give it another shot.
And I was not disappointed. Is it the best comic ever written? Hell no, we all know that's Man-Thing, but Saga is pretty damn good and Vaughn's writing is top notch.
Kudos, three cheers, and huzzah to Mr. Vaughn.

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