The best comics of 2020: a meta list

[UPDATE: added 10 more lists – A.V. Club, Broken Frontier, ComFor, Comic.de, Comicgate, DoomRocket, Herald, IGN, SyFy Wire, WhatCulture. Arrows next to entries indicate that their rank went up or down compared to the previous version.]

Some people seem reluctant this year to look back at the past twelve months. From a comics perspective, however, it seems to have been a strong year, with no shortage of titles to fill all the ranks of those year-end best-of lists. As always, I put together a ‘master list’ out of all of those charts I found online (in English or German). Each title was assigned between 1 and 30 points, depending on either its rank or, in unranked lists, the number of titles (full explanation here).

THE TOP 25 COMICS OF 2020:

  1. Dragon Hoops by Gene Luen Yang (149 points)
  2. Superman Smashes the Klan by Gene Luen Yang (129) ⇧
  3. The Loneliness of the Long-Distance Cartoonist by Adrian Tomine (125)
  4. Superman’s Pal Jimmy Olsen by Matt Fraction and Steve Lieber (124) ⇧
  5. Blue in Green by Ram V et al. (115) ⇧
  6. Paying the Land by Joe Sacco (104) ⇩
  7. Far Sector by N. K. Jemisin (103) ⇧
  8. Dracula, Motherf**ker by Alex de Campi and Erica Henderson (95) ⇩
  9. Kent State: Four Dead in Ohio by Derf Backderf (92) ⇩
  10. Pulp by Ed Brubaker and Sean Phillips (87) ⇧
  11. A Map to the Sun by Sloane Leong (86) ⇧
  12. The Immortal Hulk by Al Ewing and Joe Bennett (82) ⇩
  13. John Constantine: Hellblazer by Simon Spurrier, Aaron Campbell and Matias Bergara (78)
  14. Daredevil by Chip Zdarsky and Marco Checchetto (68) ⇧
  15. Wendy, Master of Art by Walter Scott (65) ⇩
  16. You Brought Me The Ocean by Alex Sánchez and Julie Maroh (59) ⇧
  17. The Magic Fish by Trung Le Nguyen ⇩, tied with
    The Times I Knew I Was Gay by Eleanor Crewes ⇩ (57)
  18. Chainsaw Man by Tatsuki Fujimoto (56) ⇩
  19. Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba by Koyoharu Gotōge (55) ⇩
  20. Bowie by Michael Allred, Seve Horton and Laura Allred (51) ⇧
  21. We Only Find Them When They’re Dead by Al Ewing and Simone Di Meo (50) ⇧
  22. The Impending Blindness of Billie Scott by Zoe Thorogood (49) ⇧
  23. Big Black: Stand at Attica by Frank “Big Black” Smith, Jared Reinmuth and Ameziane ⇩, tied with
    Heartstopper by Alice Oseman ⇩ and
    Spy × Family by Tatsuya Endō ⇩ (48)

What a year for Gene Luen Yang, whose comics take the top two spots! As always, manga are sadly underrepresented, but at least we have three manga in the top 25 with Chainsaw Man, Spy × Family, and of course the ubiquitous Demon Slayer. The latter is also one of four recurring comics along with Jimmy Olsen, The Immortal Hulk, and Daredevil, all of which already charted in 2019. The highest-ranking German comic, not shown above, would be Freaks by Frank Schmolke on rank 30.

The following lists were evaluated: The A.V. Club, The Beat (top 10 only), Book Riot, Broken Frontier, CBC, Chicago Public Library, ComFor (German), Comic.de (German; multiple mentions only), Comicgate (German), Comickunst (German), DoomRocket, Forbes, GeekCast (top 30 only), Goodreads, Gosh (adults, kids), The Guardian, The Herald, IGN (ongoing / limited), io9, Kono manga ga sugoi via Anime News Network, NPR, Nerdist, Oricon Top-Selling Manga in Japan by Series via Anime News Network, Publishers Weekly Critics Poll, SyFy Wire, Tagesspiegel (German), Tor Online (German), The Washington Post, WhatCulture, YALSA.



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