Last year Darwyn Cooke’s Parker: The Hunter was voted our best comic of 2009.  Even though I was the only one on the site to read it I just couldn’t award any other comic the awards.  This year is no different.  Darwyn Cooke has created a masterpiece follow-up to The Hunter with Parker: The Outfit. It features fantastic dialogue, a great story and some of the best art I’ve seen all year.  Darwyn wasn’t alone this year as there were many other great books so I thought it would be neat to take a look at some of the very best comics and original graphic novels released this year.  So let’s start with our winner.

If there’s one graphic novel you need to read this year, this is it.  Hands-down Darwyn Cooke has produced the finest re-imagining of Richard Stark’s Parker.  It’s simply brilliant.  If you consider yourself a comic book reader, or someone who might be interested in the format…you have to read this book.

What started off as an interesting idea by Scott Snyder and Stephen King has turned into one of the biggest breakthroughs of the year.  Along with iZombie American Vampire takes what you know about supernatural figures and turns it on its head.  While iZombie is more fun and jokey, American Vampire is extremely serious and dramatic.  Both of these series are superb and for anyone who says comics are for kids, just hand them a copy of either of these books and they’ll think twice about that statement.

Chew remains just as interesting now as when it originally launched.  If you had the ability to see where everything you ate came from, what would you do?  Would you join the FDA and try to put away criminals?  Yeah, didn’t think so.  I mean, imagine being able to see the cow getting killed every time you ate a cheeseburger.  What about if you needed to know who murdered some random dude on the street.  Well just take a little nibble of his finger and you’d have your answers.  Would you be willing to go that far?  Only Agent Chu has the balls to do it and we’re all the better for it.  This is a must read series and one that continues to delight.

Unwritten was a breakthrough hit last year, and this year the storyline came to a head.  Where the road goes from here is completely up in the air, but we all know it’s going to be a blast getting there.  Imagine if Harry Potter really existed only that he didn’t realize he was really Harry.  Add in a modern setting and tons of mystery and fun and you don’t even begin to scratch the surface of what makes this series so spectacular.  Our very own Timothy Magana was the first to give this one a try and he convinced me it was worthwhile.  Needless to say, I owe him a great deal of thanks for getting me into this amazing series.

Brian Bendis and Alex Maleev were the duo that changed Daredevil forever.  They then worked on bringing Spiderwoman to the forefront of comics.  While working on that series an original idea popped up and they quickly ditched everything to create what is one of the most surreal comics ever printed, Scarlet.  She has had one hell of a past and now as she enacts revenge on those that did her wrong we can sit back and enjoy the ride.  What makes this series so original is that we’re all part of the story.  We know exactly what she sees and what she knows.  If she’s taken by surprise, so are we.  Even more interesting is that she knows we’re part of her world and as she says “together we’re going to change everything.”  Indeed we are.

So there you have some of my favorite comics and series for 2010.  I’m fairly certain you have your favorites so let’s hear about them!