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Been a while since I did these. But I’ll be CRAZY biased next year thanks to my work on IDW’s JEM AND THE HOLOGRAMS with Ross Campbell so I figured I should get in a final year. I did a comprehensive “Best of 2014” over on CSBG for this week’s SHE HAS NO HEAD! and this is simply an extension of that piece.

As always, you can see my biases in my choices. Title integration is important to me (which is why I’m only showing cover art with the titles on it), so are interesting compositions and great use of positive/negative space. I also tend to love bold colors (and a lot of white is a personal favorite) as well as simple, graphic, iconic images. Creativity is obviously key, but a lot of what makes a cover work for someone is just gut – how it makes you feel – and that it DOES make you feel. All these covers make me feel to some degree or another. This list is also only single issue comics – usually US since that’s what I have access to (no graphic novels or trade covers were considered for the list). As always I’m never quite sure if I got the order right, but it is what it is!

Here we go, counting down from 52 – one for each week of 2014.


051 amazing_spider_man_1_cover - marcos martin


050 All New Ultimates 5


049 Adventure Time 24a - Mike Holmes


048 Lumberjanes 8 - Noelle Stevenson


047 Uncanny X-Men 17

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These are always fun and I haven’t done one in…ever? Saw it over at Poisoned Rationality where THE GIRL WHO WOULD BE KING was mentioned as one of her “Hidden Gem” books – THANK YOU! :)

AUTHOR YOU’VE READ THE MOST BOOKS FROM: Hmmm. Hard one right off the bat. As an adult I don’t read an “entire author’s collection” much, mostly just because I have so many books on my to read list it takes me a while to get around to reading multiples. I’ve read three or four from Neil Gaiman (plus all his middle grade stuff), I’ve read about half a dozen Anne Rice books, and I’ve read Suzanne Collins HUNGER GAMES trilogy at least twice. But if I look at my whole reading life it’s probably Christopher Pike. I devoured those puppies (dozens of them?) as a teenager – and many of them still hold up on adult re-reads FINAL FRIENDS TRILOGY forever, yo!

BEST SEQUEL EVER: Woo. Another tough one. Again, as an adult I don’t read series near as much, though as  an adult I’ve begun exploring more YA and as a result I’ve dipped my toe in more series/sequel books (I haven’t been that impressed with most of them quite frankly). I do think maybe Susanne Collins CATCHING FIRE was one of the best sequels I’ve read, if only because after re-reading HUNGER GAMES last year before the film came out I finished it and immediately had to pick up CATCHING FIRE and tore through it in a day. So yeah, I’ll go with CATCHING FIRE – Peeta forever, yo! (now I’m going to have to end all of these with yo!)

CURRENTLY READING: Always more than one. Re-reading Mary Shelley’s FRANKENSTEIN, finally started Larsson’s THE GIRL WHO PLAYED WITH FIRE, and I also picked up Jo Nesbo’s NEMESIS yesterday. Really feeling the “detective fiction” thing these days. Speaking of detective stories, did you guys see PRISONERS?  SO GOOD.

DRINK OF CHOICE WHILE READING: In the cold months, coffee preferably with some French Vanilla creamer and a bit of sugar. In the brutal hot horrible miserable months, Vitamin Water Zero (Go-Go flavor) partially frozen from being in the freezer. It’s a whole THING, don’t ask.

E-READER OR PHYSICAL BOOK: I will never give up on physical books, I LOVE them. But I confess that the convenience of the e-reader, having a whole library at my fingertips is and the immediacy is getting more and more appealing. It’s especially awesome when it’s a huge heavy print book (i.e. wishing I had gotten both Susan Palwick’s giant SHELTER and Joe Hill’s giant NOS4A2 on Kindle instead of print…so heavy.)


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Image from THE GIRL WHO WOULD BE KING hardcover illustrated edition. Illustration by Stephanie Hans

So I already gave you guys some DC Drunk Solicits to help ring in the New Year (look for Marvel to show up on January 1st – it’s the way to start the year off right! Or at least help you nurse that hangover).

I also already gave you my comics Best and Worsts for 2012 over on She Has No Head!

And I promised to stop ignoring the blog…so what else is there to say?

Well, I’d love to give some love to all those people that have been so supportive of TGWWBK over the past months. First and foremost to those awesome folks that gave me awards. You people rock especially hard:

James Whatley over at WhatleyDude says THE GIRL WHO WOULD BE KING is one of the three best books he read this year. YES!

James and Brandon over at the awesome Comics! The Blog give THE GIRL WHO WOULD BE KING “Best Novel Our Friend Published”

And Seeley James gives THE GIRL WHO WOULD BE KING “Most Innovative Thriller for 2012”

All high praise indeed…even if I was possibly the only nominee in James and Brandon’s category! 😉

You can check out excerpts from all sorts of reviews on the updated TGWWBK website, including perhaps my favorite quote ever “… Lola is a hungry conqueror, claiming her title by force and seeking out further fortune like a would-be Ghengis Kahn in a catsuit.” (courtesy of January Hooper on Amazon).

I’ve also started up a TGWWBK Fan Art Page which already has some gorgeous submissions (submit directly to me at: 1979semifinalist[at]gmail[dot]com) to get yours up on the website. :)

Of course there’s also the store, where you can buy limited edition hardcovers, all sorts of swag, limited edition prints, and even the mysterious “blue envelope.”  If you prefer the ease of Amazon you can buy a digital version there, or a paperback edition there. You can also get the paperback version on Lulu (I actually think it’s a bit superior in quality to the Amazon version even though the thumbnail on Lulu is really blown out and saturated for some reason).

OH, and TGWWBK finally has a Facebook page. Please check it out and like/follow/whatever to keep up with all the news that’s fit to print…er…type.

What else?  I’m still writing for Lit Reactor, doing reviews for CBR, and of course doing She Has No Head! for CSBG. 3 Chicks is still ongoing of course (in fact, our big “end of the year” episode full of bests and worsts will go up on Monday).  I’ve also picked up another freelance gig doing comics reviews for Publishers Weekly, so I’m a busy busy girl. There has been some development on my first comic book mini-series (Heart In A Box) but nothing solid yet. Cross ’em if you got ’em!

Perhaps most important and relevant for 2012 is that I got a new agent and I feel really lucky that I was able to leave an agent and also get a new one within the same year. My new agent is amazing and I’m working on revisions to my new book (unrelated to TGWWBK) now, so stay tuned for development there. I’m still out of work, but I feel like the universe is actually taking pretty good care of me right now…thanks in large part to all of you. SO THANK YOU.

So I’m off to eat a bunch of cheese and crackers and probably some fruit, and drink far too much Veuve as I ring in the New Year, so Happy New Year to you all and here’s to an even better 2013 – for all of us!

May all of our days in 2013 be filled with the three C’s. COMICS. CAKE. & CHAMPAGNE. Gods, wouldn’t that be AMAZING?







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A new She Has No Head! is up.  That’s right, kids, it’s my “Bests (and a few worsts) of 2012”

Head on over to check it out.  And here’s a hint…it’s Hawkeye/Saga-rific!  :)

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So I’ve got a nice fun and light new piece up on She Has No Head! this week called 25 Great Superheroine Covers Of The Past Year. It was originally intended to be a companion piece to my 25 Great Superheroine Moments in honor of Women’s History Month. But then the whole Wonder Woman #7 thing happened and well…you all know.

Anyway, so head on over for this late addition to Women’s History month!

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A new She Has No Head! is up…a list of 25 Great Superherione Moments.  Inspired by Sue’s new Tumblr – THIS! – I compiled some of my favorite goose bump inducing moments for women in superhero comics. Enjoy!

You know what definitely made the list?  THIS!

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So over on She Has No Head! I mentioned that two categories, “Best Cover” and “Best Single Issue” were incredibly hard to decide this year thanks to an influx of great stuff I had trouble deciding between.  As a result I decided to do a top 25 “Best Single Issues” for 2011 on 1979.  As I noted on She Has No Head! there are some notable absences here, largely due to gaps in my reading. Off the top of my head I’d say the most glaring absences are DMZ, Scalped, and Daredevil, all of which I am significantly behind on. Because I have written about almost all of these issues elsewhere, I’m not going to do paragraphs on each of them.  You can find detailed CBR Reviews for 17 of the 25 below at this link.  And if you have questions about any other titles I didn’t do reviews for, just ask and I’ll be happy to talk about them in the comments.

All that said…these are my “25 Best Single Issues of 2011″…

025.  THE RED WING #1 by Brian Hickman, Nick Pitarra, and Rachelle Rosenberg

024.  HELLBOY: THE FURY #1 by Mike Mignola, Duncan Fegredo, and Dave Stewart

023.  WOLVERINE & JUBILEE #1 by Kathryn Immonen and Phil Noto

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A new She Has No Head! is up and it’s my Third Annual Awesome Women In Comics Holiday Gift List…head on over and see what 2011 gifts you should be giving…or asking for!


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Our last list of December (and of the year) to close out 2010 – check out the new She Has No Head! for a list of 2010’s ‘Bests’, and a few ‘worsts’.

Happy New Year to you all!

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Head on over to CSBG for the latest She Has No Head!, my second annual “Awesome Women In Comics Holiday Gift List”.  Enjoy!

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