The 2011 FPI Master List

Published On January 23, 2012 | By Richard Bruton | Best of the Year 2011, Comics

Every year, FPI blogger-in-chief sends out the call to various comic types to send in their best of the year lists. And every year, you respond, quite brilliantly, with a huge variety of titles you really loved. It speaks volumes for the sheer quality around that from 31 respondents we had 93 comics nominated, comics in 2011 were eclectic and wonderful it seems, and demonstrates just how much great stuff there is out there. (I’ll post the full 93 titles in the comments later)

It’s completely non-scientific, since many of you (and us) cheated and nominated more than the asked for 3 titles, but it’s still nice to collate all those votes and produce this FPI 2011 Master List, an indication of just what was the best of the best of the year.

Here we go then…. the FPI Master List 2011

With 7 votes this year, the out and out winner was….

NELSON, edited by Rob Davis and Woodrow Phoenix (Blank Slate Books)

A major UK comics event – 54 artists telling one brilliant story that holds up incredibly well with so many diverse British voices. A veritable who’s who of Brit comics right now, this was big news ever since its initial announcement, and credit must go to editors Davis and Phoenix for producing something so very good.

And to top it all off, every penny of the profits went to Shelter. Good all round.

Next up with 5 votes….

Love & Rockets – New Stories Volume 4 by the Hernandez Brothers (Fantagraphics Books)

Yes, it’s by the brothers, but it was Jaime’s Love Bunglers finale that had people proclaiming this amongst his best work. People such as Nick Abadzis:

“There are no pyrotechnics or fancy-ass page layouts, just a slow burn of emotion and expression, presented in calmly immaculate style. The moments of his characters’ lives that Hernandez chooses to show in the telling of his tales are picked and deployed with such precision it betrays a wisdom and clarity very few storytellers possess, in comics or any other media. Just beautiful.”

And right behind L&R on 4 votes:

Don Quixote Volume 1 by Cervantes, adapted by Rob Davis (SelfMadeHero)

You’d probably have grounds to call Rob Davis the man of the year in UK comics 2011. Not only did he come up with the idea for Nelson and shepherd it to publication, but the first part of his Don Quixote adaptation came out to much acclaim from SelfMadeHero, yet another company flying the flag for the new wave of Brit Comics publishing.

Here’s Dan Lockwood on the Don:

“With beautiful use of colour, and a loose, fast style, Rob has perfectly captured the absurdity of Cervantes’s dense novel without sacrificing any of the underlying tragedy – this is, after all, a book about a man losing his mind. The relationship between Quixote (a senile old man) and Sancho Panza (a dimwit) is brilliantly established and maintained, and the physical comedy perfectly judged. The funniest (and contender for best) book I read all year.”

Now, a few on 3 votes:


The universal feeling was that Tharg and co. are having a big, big resurgence in quality right now, with good strips across the year. Cover featured is by Henry Flint. And here’s Mark Kardwell from his best of year post:

“….the comic that has defined the artform in these islands for five decades has also had its best year in ages, too”

Bad machinery by John Allison

Much enjoyed webcomic from Allison – here’s what Adam Cadwell thought:

“John Allison has been creating and defining web comics for so long I think everyone takes his work for granted and I’d put him top if I hadn’t been singing his praises for years. With Bad Machinery, Allison has been creating amazing, thoroughly well written mystery stories for kids and adults alike. The most recent story, ‘The Case of the Lonely One’ is the best story about school friendships, aliens, belonging and the true power of onions you will ever read. And that’s a promise.”

Everything We Miss by Luke Pearson (Nobrow Press)

Luke Pearson is definitely a rising star, with Everything We Miss and Hilda And The Midnight Giant both from Nobrow this year both practically universally praised. Here’s Tom Humberstone:

“This year has been Luke Pearson’s – without a doubt. After releasing Hildafolk last year his output has been consistently brilliant and profilic. With this mature, smart and ambitious piece followed by the equally outstanding Hildafolk and the Midnight Giant – Luke’s really stepped up a gear artistically, and that’s no mean feat considering his previous work.”

Hairshirt by Patrick McEown (SelfMadeHero)

Another entry in the master list for SelfMadeHero, a company at the forefront of the rise in Brit publishers over the last few years – here’s Joe’s take on the book:

“This is a superb, dark piece from SMH, a labyrinthean maze of childhood memories and how they shape and influence the character and outlook of the protagonists as adults”

And several comics came out with a couple of votes each:

The Boss by John Aggs and Patrice Aggs (DFC Library)

Corporate Skull by Jamie Smart

Habibi by Craig Thompson (Faber & Faber)

Hector Umbra by Uli Oesterle (Blank Slate Books)

Long John Silver by Xavier Drison and Mathieu Lauffray (Cinebook)

Luchadoras by Peggy Adam (Blank Slate Books)

Metamaus by Art Spiegelman (Penguin)

Pinocchio by Winshluss (Knockabout)

Sandcastle by Pierre Oscar Levy and Frederik Peeters (SelfMadeHero)

War – The Human Cost – edited by Sean Duffield (Paper Tiger Comix)

Another year, another great collection. Thanks for voting, thanks for reading, and here’s to an even better 2012 for comics.

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About The Author

Richard Bruton
- Started in comics retail aged 16 at Nostalgia & Comics, Birmingham. Now located in Yorkshire, he's written for the Forbidden Planet International Blog since 2007. Specialising in UK Comics and All-Ages comics, Richard's day job in a primary school allowed him to build the best children's graphic novel library in the country.

One Response to The 2011 FPI Master List

  1. Richard says:

    Right, as promised – the complete list…..

    The Absence by Martin Stiff
    Accidental Salad by Joe Decie
    Adele Blanc Sec by Jacques Tardi
    Adventures of Unemployed Man by Erich Origen and Gan Golan
    Aya de Yopougon by Marguerite Abouet and Clément Oubrerie
    Babel by John Miers
    Bad Machinery by John Allison
    Bakuman by by Tsugumi Ohba and Takeshi Obata
    Batgirl (DC New 52) by Gail Simone and Ardian Syaf
    Batman & Robin volume 3 – Batman & Robin Must Die! By Grant Morrison and Cameron Stewart
    Batwoman (DC New 52) by JH Williams III & W Haden Blackman
    Blood Blokes by Adam Cadwell
    Boerke In Hollywood by Pieter De Poortere
    Boss by John Aggs and Patrice Aggs
    Bulletproof Coffin by David Hine and Shaky Kane
    Cassanova by Fraction and Ba
    Chloe Noonan Colour Special by Marc Ellerby
    Cindy & Biscuit by Dan White
    Comics The Complete Collection by Brian Walker
    Corporate Skull by Jamie Smart
    Criminal by Ed Brubaker and Sean Phillips
    Cyril Bonin
    Daytripperby Fábio Moon and Gabriel Bá
    Dear Patagonia by Jorge Gonzalez
    Don Quixote by Rob Davis
    Dr Who Comics Exhibition
    Drawing The Line
    Dresden Codak by Aaron Diaz
    Dungeon Quest Vol 2 by Joe Daly
    Everything We Miss by Luke Pearson
    Feynman by Jim Ottaviani and Leland Myrick
    Girl and Boy by Andrew Tunney
    Grandville Mon Amour by Bryan Talbot
    Habibi by Craig Thompson
    Hair Shirt by Patrick Mceown
    Hector Umbra by Uki Oesterle
    Hellboy: The Fury by Mike Mignola and Duncan Fegredo
    Hemlock by Josceline Fenton
    Hilda & The Midnight Giant by Luke Pearson
    Hitsville UK by John Riordan and Dan Cox
    Homestuck by Andrew Hussie
    Infinite Kung-Fu by Kagan McLeod
    Joe The Barbarian by Grant Morrison and Sean Murphy
    Journey Into Mystery by Kieron Gillen
    Kiki de Montparnasse by Jose-Luis Bocquet and Catel
    La Maison de Pain d’Epice by Cleet Boris
    Le Trop Grand Vide d’Alphonse Tabrouret by Sibylline, Capucine and Jerome d’Aviau
    Lengths by Howard Hardiman
    Life With Mr Dangerous by Paul Hornschemeier
    Little Things by Jeffrey Brown
    Locke & Key by Joe Hill and Gabriel Rodriguez
    League Of Extraordinary Gentlemen: Century 1969 by Alan Moore and Kevin O’Neill
    Long John Silver by Xavier Dorison and Mathieu Laffrey
    Love & Rockets New Stories 4 by Los Bros Hernandez
    Luchadoras by Penny Adam
    Malinky Robot by Sonny Liew
    Meta4 by Ted McKeever
    MetaMaus by Art Spiegelman
    Nelson edited by Rob Davis and Woodrow Phoenix
    Notes For A War Story by Gipi
    Onwards Towards Our Noble Deaths by Shigeru Mizuki
    Optic Nerve 12 by Adrian Tomine
    Orbital by Sylvain Runberg and Serge Pellé
    Paying For It by Chester Brown
    People I Know by Timothy Winchester
    Pinocchio by Winshluss
    Pirate Penguin Vs Ninja Chicken by Ray Friesen
    Please Be Moral Do Not Spit by Sarah McIntye
    Ralph Meyer
    Retrofit Comics
    Rime Of The Modern Mariner by Nick Hayes
    Sandcastle by by Pierre Oscar Lévy and Frederik Peeters
    Scalped Vol 7 by Jason Aaron and R.M. Guera
    Scenes From An Impending Marriage by Adrian Tomine
    Shadoweyes in Love by Ross Campbell
    Summit Of The Gods by Yumemakura Baku and Jirô Taniguchi
    SVK by Warren Ellis and D’Israeli
    Swamp Thing (DC New 52) by Scott Snyder and Yanick Paquette
    Tank Tankuro by Gaju Sakamoto
    Taste Of Chlorine by Bastien Vives
    The Abaddon by Koren Shadmi.
    The Well Below by John Robbins
    Three Word Phrase by Ryan Pequin
    TMNT – IDW
    Tuk Tuk by Will Kirkby
    Uncanny X-men by Kieron Gillen
    Vattu by Evan Dahm
    Vignettes of Ystov by William Goldsmith
    War: The Human Cost – anthology edited by Sean Duffield
    West – Stray Bullets by Andrew Cheverton and Various
    Zombillenium by Arthur De Pinis