It’s time for the biggest of the big guns in the SKTCHD AWRDS, as I’m going to be revealing my favorite comics of the decade all this week. It’ll be five a day, and due to the awards show nature of this, each of them will be blessed with their very own, completely personalized award.
As a reminder, these are my favorites, not necessarily what some would say the best, and they are very much personally driven rather than some erudite position on what everyone should believe is the best. Also, I kept it down to 25, so apologies to my final cuts in the form of Saga and Benjamin Dewey’s Tragedy Series. Both amazing! Both defined the decade in their own way! But both were unfortunately reflections of what was an incredible decade in comics.
Before we get started, I have some other quick notes in terms of my methodology:
- This only features comics that were published between the years of 2010 and 2019
- If a comic was originally published in another language, I’m using that version’s original release date as my date of determination
- Reprints do not count in any way – this has to be an original comic, unless it’s the first version that is widely available
- I considered comics of all varieties – single issues, arcs, graphic novels, webcomics, kids comics, adult comics, etc. etc.
- I tried to read as many comics as I could, but as a one person show, I could only do my best. This list is criminally empty of manga. It’s a weakness, I know.
That’s it! Let’s get to the list, and come back each day for five more titles to be added to the mix before we close things out on Friday.
The Brenden Fletcher Award: The Abominable Charles Christopher
Written and drawn by Karl Kerschl
This award might seem particularly strange. Why would I name the award for a webcomic by cartoonist Karl Kerschl after his Isola and Gotham Academy collaborator Brenden Fletcher? Seems strange, and yeah, I’ll admit it, it is sort of strange.
But when I think of The Abominable Charles Christopher, one of the first things I think of is Fletcher because whenever I see Karl at cons, I also see Brenden, and the writer always jokes about how I’m going to fanboy out because he knows how much I love Charles Christopher. And you know what? Brenden is right, both in making fun of my Chris Farley Show nature and in how much I love this comic. It’s one of my favorite comics ever, as this webcomic that is largely about a quiet yeti finding his way in the world while trying to care for those around him – but often diverges into varying tangents, including stories of a very important Moon Bear and assorted woodland creatures in the vicinity of the titular character – is at times hilarious, most of the times poignant, but always remarkably crafted and engrossing.
While it’s a webcomic, it’s actually told as a pretty classic styled comic strip, with the average entry being delivered as a strip of the traditional one to three panel length or a more Sunday-like length with two columns of a higher number of panels. That leads to something that both works as a serialized story but also one with impactful smaller beats. It’s an incredibly versatile format, and one that Kerschl really uses to his advantage. (It also means the comic is very sharable as well as something that works well as prints for personal use. I have two framed, and I intend to get a third as well)
The Abominable Charles Christopher’s rate of release has diminished greatly as other projects have taken priority over it. That’s totally fair, and even if it doesn’t complete, I’d be fine with it. Ultimately, you could say one of the themes of the story is that it isn’t the result that defines your journey, but the impact we have upon the world during it that matters. If we never get to the end, then I’ll just be thankful for the impact this comic has had on me, even if Brenden Fletcher still sasses me for my endless fanboying of Karl’s work. Whatever Brenden! I like what I like!
You can read all of The Abominable Charles Christopher on the comic’s site right now, for free (or you can buy the collections). Go and do that. Seriously. Right now.