Posted by Decapitated Dan |

Decapitated Dan’s Best of 2013

Well it’s the end of the year, and what better way to recap it than by making a list! So check out what I liked best in 2013!

Writer of the Year: Mark Kidwell
You want to talk about bringing it in 2013, look no further then Mark Kidwell (and everyone else who worked with him in 2013). Mark has an amazing talent for not only telling amazing Horror stories, but he is also a master of War stories. All you have to do is take a look at anything '68 related or his one-shot from Monsterverse Wilder. On top of that the man writes novels and is an amazing artist too! There is no stopping him, and that is a damn good thing. I can not wait to see what he gives us in 2014.

Honorable Mentions: Terry Moore, Joe Hill

Artist of the Year: Juan Ferreyra
You want to talk about exploding with crazy talent, then look no further than Juan Ferreyra. In 2013 he laid down his mad skills on Colder and Kiss Me Satan, and just left my jaw sitting there on the floor. His amazingly detailed monsters in both of those series will leave your breathless, but his big highlight has to be his eye catchingly GORE-Geous cover to Colder #1.

Honorable Mentions: Nenad Gucunja, Drew Rausch, Rob Sacchetto

Horror Publisher of the Year: Avatar Press
I am not ashamed to admit that for the past year or so I was not really on the Avatar bandwagon. Not that what they were doing was bad, it just wasn't for me. All of that changed in 2013 though when they brought it harder then they ever had before. With titles like Crossed Badlands, Stitched, Ferals, Night of the Living Dead Aftermath, Extinction Parade, Skin Trade and the AMAZING Über coming out in 2013 they just stole the show. All, yes I will say that again, ALL of these titles blew away any thoughts in my head of the past few years, and sky rockets Avatar to the top of my reading pile. I can not wait to see what they have in store come 2014.

Honorable Mentions:  Antarctic Press, IDW Publishing, Monsterverse

Best Ongoing: Rachel Rising
If you want to talk about the BEST COMIC BOOK IN PRINT, you need to look no further then Rachel Rising. Every issue of this series just keeps getting better. Every character in the book is written so well I root for them all. Terry Moore is able to recap, progress and nail you with a cliffhanger in every single issue. It's just plain and simple people, if there is one comic that you NEED to be reading, it is Rachel Rising.

Honorable Mentions: John Carpenters Asylum, Stitched, B.P.R.D., Crossed Badlands

Best Mini Series
(Tie): '68 Scars / '68 Jungle Jim
Two of my favorite comic genres are Horror (duh) and War. So it's almost a no brainer that I LOVE '68 right? The team behind this book does more than just deliver zombie stories, they deliver the best zombie stories. When I think about what a "real" zombie story should be like, I think the Romero movies. This team delivers that same feel to every issue they put out, as well as mix in some amazing elements from past wars. Rumor has it that they have 2 more mini's coming out in 2014, and if they keep this up you will see them in this spot again next year.

Honorable Mentions: The Crow Skinning the Wolves, Crawling Sky, Helheim, The Last Zombie: The End

Best OGN: Rob Sacchetto's Cape Fear
You read this book right? If not, shame on you! I had never heard of this Rob Sacchetto guy before, but after reading this you better believe I know who he is. Rob delivered a story that was original, and amazingly well done. It was able to instill fear and hope in me. Now if I were to give the story a rating it would be a solid 10, but when it comes to the artwork we are talking a 12, and that is out of 10 people! As most know I am a Copper Age junkie, and this book brought that era back to life. Every single page is beyond GORE-Geous, but when you see the werewolf... just prepare to change your underwear. I am hoping that Rob will have some new material come 2014, because I need another fix!

Honorable Mentions:  Eldritch, Flesh and Blood Book 3

Best Small Press Title: Undead Evil (Asylum Press)
Talk about waiting for something to come out! I think Asylum wins the award for Longest Wait too, because I have been waiting since 2008! No matter how I look at it though, this book was well worth waiting for. The story by Frank Forte is deep and highly engaging. I was so sucked into this, and then I was so sad when it was over. I can't even put enough GORE in how GORE-Geous this book was either. Nenad Gucunja need to be drawing at least 1 comic a week to satisfy my need. And speaking of needs, I need #2 damn it! So here is to hoping we see #2 in 2014.

Honorable Mentions: Are You There Cthulhu It's Me Ted (Instant Press), Heart of Stone (N.A.S. Studios), Westwood Witches (Amigo Comics), Zombie Commandos from Hell: Ultragore

Best Book You Never Heard Of (Tie): Who Needs the Moon / The Horror Show
Who Needs the Moon? I do, and you better believe that you do too! This hidden gem by the AGH-Mazing Todd A McCullough is waiting for you over at Comixology and other digital sites. It focuses on a werewolf who is going to blow your mind. The story is interesting and Todd is setting things up for a big pay off. With only 2 issues out in 2013, I was teased. So here is to hoping that we will get a lot more in 2014.

The Horror Show is a book that will make you go one way, then flip that on you and make you tell EVERYONE you know that they need to read it. The creative team of James Maddox and Todd Beistel have a winner on their hands with this book. It makes me want to go to their homes and scream at them to make more based off of this concept on a daily basis. This issue was too short and too damn good for it to just be a one shot. So what do you say guys, lets get more issues cranked out come 2014.

Honorable Mentions: The Wrong House, Cromwell Green

Best One-Shot: Wilder
Look at that, we are back to talking about Mark Kidwell again, can you believe it! As if I didn't think he was a master of writing about the Vietnam War, he now tackles World War II and nails it. This story focuses on a few werewolves, and it's a FANG-Tastic read. What really took this book to the top though was by having the amazingly talented Andrew Mangum do the art. Andrew did one thing in particular with the female werewolves that I have never seen done before, and always wondered why no one else thought of it. The big treat with Wilder, is if you can get your hands on the Preview issue. In that issue there is a PSA announcement that will have your sides in stitches. I just hope in 2014 we can get more issues of Wilder.

Honorable Mentions: 68: Hallowed Ground, The Living Corpse: Haunted

Best Anthology: Monster Massacre Vol. 1
If you want to talk about the complete package in terms of putting together an anthology, then Monster Massacre is the book you want. Dave Elliot did an amazing job of collecting some of the best short stories, and presenting it in a GORE-Geous fashion. The creative talent on this book alone is worthy of so much praise in comics. Some of my favorite stories in this book were “Ira Gershwin Monster Puncher”, “El Zombo”, “Monkey Business”, “Sharky” and “Pair of Rogues”. From the cover to everything inside this collection, it's all just win win. I can not wait for Vol. 2 to come out in 2014.

Honorable Mentions:
  Bela Lugosi's Tales From the Grave, Dia de Los Muertos, Heavy Metal Magazine.

Best Small Press Anthology: Monstrosity Vol. 1
There were a lot, and I mean a lot of great Small Press Anthology books that came out in 2013, so this one was a tough call to make. Monstrosity is a collection of 20 short stories that were all fantastic. What made this book the #1 of the year though, was the fact that it was too hard to determine which stories stood out above the others. My head is off to the guys who put this one together because it was amazing all across the board. So do yourself a favor and add this one to your Horror Comic collection today.

Honorable Mentions:  Strange Aeons Magazine, Fubar, Chillers Vol. 2, Blokes Terrible Tomb of Terror, Insane Tales From the Dead

Best Collected/Archival Book: Night Pieces
I love Gary Reed. He has to be one of my favorite writers around, so when he put out Night Pieces I was excited. This book collects some of his short stories from over the years by various artists. In this collection is a recent story found in Chillers Vol. 2 that I absolutely loved called “A Mother’s Beauty”. This story alone, is worth the cover price on this book, and you should own it twice, so go buy Chillers too! There is also a fantastic story illustrated by Mark Bloodworth and a Deadworld story that everyone needs to read. I am very happy that this collection came out because some of these stories were hard to find in their original comics. This is a great book, that is well worth every penny. 

Honorable Mentions:  Chilling Archives of Horror Comics: Jack Cole, Haunted Horror, Creepy Presents: Steve Ditko

Best Comedy Title: Arsenic Lullaby: The Big Stall
I say it's about time that Douglas Paszkiewicz came out with a new book, and my god was it hilarious. Doug is a master of Dark Comedy, and it shows in every issue of Arsenic Lullaby that has come out. With The Big Stall he introduced us to his latest character, or at least his take on, Cthulhu. This storyline alone had me cracking up. I did not see the ending coming, and it paid off big time. This book also features one hilarious story featuring Twinkie the Kid. From start to finish you better be prepared to laugh, because this book will leave your sides in stitches. I pray that Doug will give us more new work to enjoy in 2014.

Honorable Mentions:  Futurama, Lenore, Suckers

Best Non-Horror Title: Über
When I look back on 2013 2 comics really stand out to me, Rachel Rising and Über. Über was a title in which I did not know what to expect, and it blew me away. Like I mentioned a few times so far in this list, I love War comics and in particular, War comics that are told from a non American perspective. Kieron Gillen gave these WWII events a different spin, and placed a what if situation on them. What if the German's bred super soldiers, what would happen then? From the get go Gillen and artist Caanan White, have just put the pedal to the floor and not let up. I have read about fights involving the Nazi's, Japanese and with the latest arc the Russians. I am constantly praising how much I love this title, and I can only hope and pray that it stays this good for a long, long time. Easily the Best New Comic of 2013 no matter what genre.

Honorable Mentions:  Powers: Bureau, Saga

Best Comeback: The Human Gargoyles
Back in the day there was a publishing company called Skywald. If you don't know about them, shame on you! However, we can look past that for now, and I can tell you about the Sartyros Family. Back in the 70's they made their debut in the Skywald books. Then in the 80's Eternity was nice enough to reprint the material, but it was kind of sloppy. So in 2013 George Warner brought back The Human Gargoyles and it has never looked better. The story was written by Horror Comic Legend Al Hewetson and drawn by Maelo Cintron. Cintron came back to work with Warner on this series with new artwork and they also cleaned things up a bit from the originals. The story is one that can transcend time, and is still as good today as it was when I first read it. It is full of depth, and struggle and this is just the beginning issue. This is something you need to read, and you will be like me, waiting for more to come out in 2014.

So there you have it. My picks for the best of 2013!

• Note: It was not easy to make this list. There are so many great horror comics that come out each year, so I say to you, create your own list and let the world know what stood out to you. When it came to choosing the writer and artist of the year I specifically took into consideration people who worked on more than one book for the year.