The best comics of 2022: a meta listPosted: December 20, 2022 Filed under: review | Tags: 2022, best-of lists, comics, ranking, year-end review 1 Comment
It’s that time of the year again: the Internet has picked the best comics of the year. More precisely, I have compiled several year-end best-of-2022 lists into one, awarding points to each title depending on its rank and the total number of entries on the list (full explanation here).
Shortly before Christmas, about two thirds of the usual sources have posted their lists. I’m going to update this blogpost with the data from the remaining lists in January, so make sure to come back here, as there are likely to be some major changes still.
Anyway, for the time being, these are…
THE TOP 25 COMICS OF 2022:
- Ducks: Two Years in the Oil Sands by Kate Beaton (269 points)
- The Night Eaters: She Eats the Night by Marjorie Liu and Sana Takeda (159)
- Immortal X-Men by Kieron Gillen and Lucas Werneck (131)
- Fantastic Four: Full Circle by Alex Ross (127)
- The Flash by Jeremy Adams and others (110)
- Wash Day Diaries by Jamila Rowser and Robyn Smith (99)
- A.X.E.: Judgment Day by Kieron Gillen and Valerio Schiti (90)
- Squire by Nadia Shammas and Sara Alfageeh (89)
- The Nice House on the Lake by James Tynion IV and Álvaro Martínez Bueno (88)
- Batman/Superman: World’s Finest by Mark Waid and Dan Mora (87)
- Who Will Make the Pancakes by Megan Kelso (85)
- Saga by Brian K. Vaughan and Fiona Staples (83)
- The Many Deaths of Laila Starr by Ram V and Filipe Andrade (79)
- Akane banashi by Yuki Suenaga and Takamasa Moue, tied with
One Piece by Eiichirō Oda (73)
- Action Comics by Phillip Kennedy Johnson and others (72)
- Acting Class by Nick Drnaso (70)
- Clementine by Tillie Walden (68)
- Genkai chitai (a.k.a. The Liminal Zone) by Junji Itō (67)
- Shuna no tabi (a.k.a. Shuna’s Journey) by Hayao Miyazaki (66)
- The Human Target by Tom King and Greg Smallwood (64)
- Once & Future by Kieron Gillen and Dan Mora (62)
- Talk to my Back by Murasaki Yamada, tied with
The Keeper by Tananarive Due, Steven Barnes, and Marco Finnegan (61)
- Little Monarchs by Jonathan Case (59)
[UPDATE: 16 more lists added on January 15]
This time there are quite a few high-ranking manga on the list (possibly due to the inclusion of several new manga-specific lists). Who would have thought One Piece would make a return, and on rank 14 at that? Honourable mentions go to Sayonara Eri (a.k.a. Goodbye, Eri) and Look Back by Tatsuki Fujimoto, Jujutsu Kaisen by Gege Akutami, Yomi no tsugai (a.k.a. Daemons of the Shadow Realm) by Hiromu Arakawa, and Spy × Family by Tatsuya Endō, all having just missed the top 25 with 50+ points each.
It seems to have been not quite such a good year for (non-English) European comics. Geneviève Castrée: Complete Works 1981-2016, Malgré tout (a.k.a. Always Never) by Jordi Lafebre, and Dagen van Zand / Jours de Sable (a.k.a. Days of Sand) by Aimée de Jongh, the highest ranking ones, would not even make the top 50.
As for German comics, there were a few noteworthy ones in 2022, such as Das Gutachten by Jennifer Daniel, Stockhausen by Thomas von Steinaecker and David von Bassewitz, Rude Girl by Birgit Weyhe, and Das Humboldt-Tier by Flix. But the only way for them to reach the top 25 is to get picked by at least three of the four German lists, which didn’t happen.
The following lists were evaluated: Barnes & Noble, The Beat, Book Riot, Broken Frontier, CBC, CBR, Chicago Public Library, ComFor (German), ComicGate (German), Comickunst (German), DoomRocket, Entertainment Weekly, Forbes, Gamesradar, Goodreads, Gosh (adult, kids), The Guardian, IGN, Kono manga ga sugoi via Anime News Network, Kotaku, Looper, The Mary Sue, NPR, Paste, Polygon, Publishers Weekly (Holiday Gift Guide, Critics Poll), Screen Rant (“Best Comics”, combined “Best New Manga” and “Best Continuing Manga”), Tagesspiegel (German), Top-Selling Manga in Japan by Series via Anime News Network, The Washington Post, YALSA.
Ducks was certainly one of the best things I’ve read not just this year but probably in the last five or so; I loved it so much I actually bought a physical copy both in hopes that my wife would read it and that it would support Kate and encourage publishers to pursue more work like it. (I managed to snag a signed copy from the D&Q website for the same price Topatoco wanted for a vanilla edition so uhhhhh hello accidental family heirloom I guess???)
The graphic memoir as a genre is one I’m taking more and bigger chomps of (currently with Guy Delisle) but like many of us I’ve enjoyed Kate’s work for what feels like decades, and was so proud of her for branching out not into something more ~important~, but more personal and practically meaningful. Also yes, it takes place when I too was a coming-of-age young adult and it gets automatic nostalgia points for that.
The Nice House On The Lake is more proof that Tynion is one of the best authors out there (who, admittedly, also does weird garbage when he feels like it, bless him), The Many Deaths Of Laila Starr was surprisingly thoughtful and GORGEOUS (Ram V’s work on Swamp Thing also rules), I greeted the return of Saga with the joy of a child on their birthday and a soul-deep fear that Ghüs’s number might finally be up (we will RIOT), and obviously I don’t have anything to say about One Piece that hasn’t been said before and better, but yes: One Piece Good.
Great list! And it’s great to hear that a few others I’d been interested in but not tried yet (like It’s Lonely At The Center Of The Earth and Look Back) seem to deserve the hype they’re getting.