RICKLY Reviews - Top 10 Comic Writers Of 2013

..Pens down. Well, for these guys, that doesn't happen often. Who made the cut as the year's best writers? Click on to find out Rickly's picks of 2013, and leave your thoughts in the usual place.

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By Anil Rickly - 12/30/2013
Rickly here again to continue capping off my year-end list. There are so many diverse architects in the business now that the industry's shifted from mainstream big two...to creator-owned. Yes. You can follow publishers or creators that aren't Marvel or DC and even see their stuff on TV or film, before the talismanic titles we grew up on. Comics as storyboards for film? Why not?
As I list the various writers who've had a bumper 2013, some of them may have had one or many books that make my list of quality books I read this year. Making one list doesn't guarantee a spot in the other. So let's have at thee. Also, anyone wanna hire me to write the Miley Cyrus bio on graphic novel? No? Okay.

Top 10 Writers of the 2013
Honorable Mentions - Brian Azzarello continues to take a difficult title like 'Wonder Woman' and precipitate so much awesomeness from the thralls of gods and demigods, while Ed Brubaker's gunning it with 'Velvet' in a style that's not unfamiliar with him yet so refreshing in its action and drama. Brian Vaughn's continuing another stellar year and you wonder, just how the transition will be in 2014 for indie writers who are getting snapped up by the big two per year. Well, the list is tough but it's great to see writers both mainstream and indie garnering praise and recognition.

10. Ales Kot - 'Suicide Squad' and 'Zero' are just two things he's dabbled in. He's even got stuck in with some clandestine stuff in 'Secret Avengers'. He has his aura of prose that reminds of a younger Jon Hickman and the earlier days when you could feel the likes of Matt Fraction and Grant Morrison, when they were cutting their teeth, yet stamping that they were meant for bigger things.

9. Justin Jordan - More Luther Strode. Haven't gotten into it? Two volumes in and you're missing out. It's violent...it's 'Kickass' meets 'Super' (by James Gunn). It's ridiculous. And it's sharp as the knives in the book. He writes unadulterated sequences of gore like no other. Wanton violence aside, Jordan's epic beard is right up there with the rest and he's also stationed himself into the 'Green Lantern' universe. Look for something even more blinding next year. Oh, Tradd Moore's cracking into the big publishers so keep an ear to the ground for him next year.

8. Jeff Lemire - I can't list everything he's done at DC this year. As a fan of his indie stuff, the one thing I can pinpoint to show why he rocks as much as he does...is 'Animal Man'. It's grotesque and thought-provoking. One of the most visceral years he's had scribing...and I loved every word of it. Hell, he even made 'Green Arrow' interesting again, and yes, after Geoff Johns and Scott Snyder pass the mantle, it's surely going to this guy.

7. Matt Fraction - 'Sex Criminals' and 'Hawkeye'. Do I need to list anything else? As a guy who loved his collaborations with Ed Brubaker early on and then really felt a disconnection with his 'Fear Itself' material, I can say, my love-hate relationship is back to unbridled love. He took his high-concept themes down a notch with a tome of piercing stories that hit home hard. One rocking, emotive year!

6. Kelly Sue DeConnick - If you didn't touch base with her forays into the world of Avengers or Spider-Man this year, please do. It's not the flagship titles but she's allowed spacious environments and free elements aka blank pages to craft some pretty rocking stories. And she does in fine style. I can't wait to see her expand even more on 'Captain Marvel' because 2014 is going to be a big year for Carol Danvers, and a certain newbie under that guise. What makes her work alluring is the compassion and energy she stirs the pot with.

5. Jason Aaron - He totally took 'Thor' and 'Wolverine and the X-Men' and upped the ante so much with a batch of daring, brash and plain bold moves. Balls of steel to match a beard of steel. He continues his painstaking yet coming-of-age tales in the finest fashions and the power, drive and finesse of his articulation shows why he's tentpole at Marvel. Look for his Jason Latour-attached project next year. 'Scalped' has a sibling I hear. PS - Esad Ribic, reminds me of Jerome Opena. Beasts!

4. Scott Snyder - His 'Batman' work is unrivaled at DC. He then re-energized 'Superman Unchained' the way he did 'Swamp Thing'. What about 'The Wake'? Depths of the sea bring depths of despair. This man is a bonafide machine of brainpower. His labyrinths, measures of mystery and snippets of destruction are all wrapped in some of the most intellectual words in contemporary sequential art. Not often does one of his caliber come along, so when they do...appreciate it.

3. Nick Spencer - He touched down into the 'Avengers' world, ran through the gauntlet of 'Bedlam' and even had time to continue the machinations of 'Morning Glories'. The inner-workings of this guy's mind is nothing short of wondrous. He's proven yet again why he's so versatile. In past years, he showed potential but this year, he explored it fully and blossomed. His penchant for gut-wrenching mysteries and emotional resonance make every story he tells, one worth picking up.

2. Jon Hickman - Swore he'd be my #1. His 'Infinity' and 'Avengers' work caught me in the gut - akin to the days of Abnett and Lanning. 'The Manhattan Projects' also spiraled down into the catacombs of my geeky stomach and I ingested it until I keeled over and begged. For more. Hickman's long-form storytelling is something that ripples through the industry as much as Kirkman's 'The Walking Dead' did, but Hickman maintains a high level of consistency and composure. His payoffs...worth every dime. Action in comics has never been THIS good.

1. Charles Soule - His resume's stacked. 'Superman/Wonder Woman', 'Swamp Thing' and 'Red Lanterns' for DC; 'Thunderbolts', 'She-Hulk' and 'Inhuman' for Marvel; and a creator-owned title called 'Letter 44' from Oni Press. Well, writing a lawyer like She-Hulk should be a doozy seeing as he's a lawyer too. Seriously, this man's a robot. Furthermore, his work is challenging and keeps you on your toes. His thought-processes and verbal illustration really add so many layers to the books that his artists draw. At a time when I'm happy to see James Tynion IV getting more pages in and angry that Sholly Fisch isn't, I can safely say that having a book spearheaded by Soule is money, class and extreme optimism. He went from being promising to being fabulous a writer and this year's careened brilliantly for him. How does he do it? I think he has clones. And yes, he's the successor to Scott Snyder. I dare say.
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TheBlackNerd - 12/30/2013, 8:44 PM
Love Scott's work! Epic storytelling!
Moohika - 12/30/2013, 8:56 PM
I would put Scott Snyder at 1, but that's just me. His first two Batman arcs (Court of owls, Death of the Family) were instant classics.
staypuffed - 12/30/2013, 8:57 PM
Another good list!
JayJayCAW - 12/30/2013, 9:35 PM
Snyder & Soule are neck and neck for me, damn good stuff :)
Dustellar - 12/30/2013, 9:54 PM
Kelly Sue DeConnick... umh, no! IMO
Firgosaurus - 12/30/2013, 9:57 PM
Been telling you nigs that Soule is the best writer at the moment. The dude can make everything cool. From Swamp Thing to Superman. That dude is the go-to writer at the moment.
Jollem - 12/30/2013, 11:11 PM
lots of good scribe people
Wildaniel - 12/31/2013, 6:50 AM
Scott Snyder for the win!
marvel72 - 12/31/2013, 10:37 AM
no love for the writer of the best comic book from image & the best comic book from any publisher....

brian k.vaughan(saga)

JoshuaDBr - 12/31/2013, 1:14 PM
Love Snyder!

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