News: Pipedream Comics and A Place To Hang Your Cape presents Indie Comic of the Year 2019 (in association with ComicScene)
If you thought Avengers Endgame or DC TV’s Crisis on Infinite Earth was going to be the ultimate comics crossover this year, then think again. The teams at Pipedream Comics and A Place to Hang Your Cape have united to bring you this year’s Indie Comic Of The Year 2019 award. And they are ably assisted by the mighty Comicscene UK magazine.
In a spirit of seasonal co-operation the teams at Pipedream Comics and AP2HYC have joined forces, locked themselves in a darkened room and hand picked their very favourite comics of the year. Starting on Monday December 9th, both sites will be running down their respective long lists of amazing indie comics from the year. Then on Friday December 13th the two sites will be revealing ultimate indie comics top 10 as chosen by their respective indie comics experts.
Following on from this announcement, readers of both sites will have the chance to vote online for two weeks for their favourite indie comic. The overall winner of ‘Indie Comic of the Year 2019‘ will then be announced on December 28th.
Pipedream Comics editor Alex Thomas explains more: “The Indie Comic of the Year poll has been an annual tradition at Pipedream for five years now, but we wanted to broaden its scope and include more voices in the selection process. Teaming up with the folks at AP2HYC was the ideal match up, as they share the same passion for indie comics as us. But they also bring a fresh insight and perspective to what makes a comic great and cover comics which we might not get a chance to. As a result I think we are going to have the most diverse and original top 10 we have ever had and I can’t wait to see which title comes out on top!”
David Molofsky, editor of A Place To Hang Your Cape added: “We wanted to find a way to unite our review sites in a way that celebrated the indie comics community. I’d always wanted to do a comic awards like our TV awards and it made sense to combine forces with Pipedream since they already do a top 50 countdown. We thought that by having more sites contribute to the awards, it would add more legitimacy to it and show that these comics weren’t just one person’s personal taste. We all love being a part of such a great community and this is our way of giving back.”
As well as revealing the best of indie comics on both sites, the two teams will be joining forces for a special episode of the AP2HYC podcast, Podcapers where the teams will discuss their choices.
We will also be producing a round up of the Best of The Indies in the January issue of ComicScene magazine.
But how do we choose the best of the year and what did we look for?
Picking the best comic of the year is never easy, and is a process which takes up much of the year. Lists are compiled, orders are shuffled, but at the end of the day, certain books simply stand head and shoulders above the rest and inevitably they are the ones that make their place on the top 10 list. This years process for selecting the overall top 10 has been slightly different though, as each site was given five picks to make up the overall top 10. While some of our selections were mutual, there are several which were exclusive to each site and in those instances, this is what we looked for in a great comic:
A great story
While comics may be a visual medium without a great story it’s just a collection of nice looking pictures. A top 10 worthy comic needs engaging characters, an intriguing premise and a well thought out world that challenges and entertains the reader in equal measure.
Comics are all about words and pictures working in perfect synergy together. But great art doesn’t have to be just about intricate detail or impactful splash pages. It’s about creating a mood that matches the story and helps bring the words on the page to life to create something really special.
Top quality production
Gone are the days when an indie comics was just hand printed sheets of paper stapled together. With affordable printing and crowd funding now the norm in indie comics, they are every bit the equal of their mainstream rivals and our top 10 books need to reflect that. But comics are about more than just awesome printing, we also look for quality design, lettering, colouring and a consideration for how the comic works as a whole.
A spark of originality can go a long way. Part of what makes indie comics so exciting is that they aren’t hamstrung by mainstream restrictions. This means a story can push boundaries, art can be unconventional and production spec’s unique. Without that spark of originality then a comic cannot stand out from the increasingly dense indie market place, let alone stand out from our reviews list!
With many indie creators investing heavily in their products, both financially and emotionally, it always pays dividends to see that passion in the pages of the comic. Whether that is by filling the book with personal elements of their own life story, or by adding in extra features and bonus elements that make the readers experience richer and more fulfilling. Indie comics creators can be a passionate bunch, but so can their readers, and if you can channel that then you are on to a winner!
The sign of a great comic is one that stays with you as a reader, long after you have finished the final page. That may be an awesome story, an amazing image or a mind blowing moment. Either way, the very finest of indie comics are those which are not throwaway or disposable, and which require you to revisit and reinvest your time in an issue, story or character on multiple occasions, whether that is with future issues or with re-reads.