While we always do our best on the site to make our daily coverage of comics, graphic novels, movies and the rest as objective as we possibly can, when it comes down to it sometimes you just play favorites with your own work. And this year, we had a lot we were proud of on CBR. 2010 saw the site expand out in several directions with new blogs, new staff, new columns and new sections. We had some of the biggest names in the industry stopping by on a regular basis to not only take part in regular news interviews but also to create brand new content for CBR and with each other. We uncovered some unseen gems of the comics and Hollywood realm. We profiled some of the best creators the medium has ever known, and we brought the world of comics to the fans at each and every major convention in America. It was a lot of work from the staff, and it’s hard to chose which pieces of content stood out the most…but we’ll try to anyway.
So please help us send off 2010 at last with a look at our Ten Favorite Features of 2010, and once you’ve seen our rundown feel free to sound off on your own annual highlights on the CBR Message Boards.
10. The Launch of Spinoff Online and CBR’s Comic Hubs
As we said, CBR grew in a few different ways in 2010, but two of our favorite changes came in the form of new sections of the site to help brings more specific kinds of content to the readers.
With Spinoff Online – our sister blog covering movies, television and Hollywood -Â we’ve been able to expand out our coverage to include not just comic adaptations but also all kinds of nerdy genre entertainment goodness. And since the content is hosted on its own blog with its own dedicated staff, we’re happy to say that widening the circle of what CBR covers hasn’t hindered our ability to put the main focus of the front page squarely on the comics industry and medium where it belongs. Take a minute to check out Spinoff’s many features including reviews of hit movies like “True Grit,” “Black Swan” and “TRON Legacy,” recaps of TV shows like “Fringe” and “The Walking Dead” and interviews with talents as wide ranging as Dolph Lundgren, Scott Wolf and the cast of “Morning Glory.”
Meanwhile, the brand new CBR Comic Hubs section of the site launched as the perfect repository of all the info you could ever need on marquee characters including Batman, Green Lantern, Iron Man and Scott Pilgrim. Click any one of those names for character profiles, previews and the full force of CBR’s recent coverage of their comics!
9. “Where The Hell Am I?” and “Shelf Life”
CBR has always been a home for opinion columns written by the best names in the industry, and this year, we added two outstanding entries to that long legacy from one rising star of the comics field and one industry veteran well known to fans. “Wolverine” writer Jason Aaron chronicles his rise to comic fame in the aptly titled “Where The Hell Am I” while “Witchblade” scribe Ron Marz tells it like it is after years in the business with “Shelf Life.” Both columns are great additions to CBR’s front page, and we’re sure they’ll be informing and enteraining readers for a good long while to come. Check them out today!
8. Cup O’ Joe’s Tea Party Controversy
There’s always plenty to chew through in CBR’s regular chats with Marvel Comics editorial team including the CUP O’ JOE feature and the MARVEL T&A interviews that run weekly in our CUP O’ JOE mini site, but in a year when we had discussions as big as Joe Quesada’s intensive commentary on the “O.M.I.T.” story line to Tom Brevoort and Axel Alonso’s regular discussion of the $3.99 pricing debate, one column stood out above all others.
In February when a right wing blogger took issue with some signage in an issue of “Captain America” that could be construed as critical of the Tea Party movement, Quesada took to CBR to explain Marvel’s side of the issue and give some background on the lettering mistake that slipped into the final comment. The story was widespread getting written up on Fox News and even getting CBR a nod on MSNBC’s “Countdown With Keith Olbermann.”
7. Spotlighting Classic Creators
Here at CBR, we always try to keep in mind the rich history of comics even as we help cover the future of the medium, and in 2010, there was plenty to talk about in terms of legendary talents from across the medium getting their due. From chats with acclaimed and resurgent underground cartoonist Lynda Barry and tireless creator’s rights advocate/Joker creator Jerry Robinson to coverage of the uncovering of Jack Kirby art owned by Ruby-Spears Productions, killer old school comics were a big part of our year.
However, we’d be remiss if we didn’t point out the extraordinary profile of the late, great Al Williamson that CBR Staff Writer Alex Dueben filed in September. Alex spent months speaking with collaborators, friends and admirers of the “Buck Rogers” artist including John Romita, Jr. and George Lucas. The final piece is one of the strongest we ran all year, and if you haven’t had a chance to read it yet, it is more than worth your time.
6. Tracking Comics Commentaries
There’s little that’s more fun than getting a behind the scenes scoop on the creation of your favorite comic book, and this year the CBR staff kicked it up a notch in terms of pulling back the curtain on some of the most acclaimed series of the year. Staff Writer Josh Wigler came to bat time and again on the Image Comics beat with multiple commentaries on the all-star series “Image United” as well as regular looks at Eisner Winner “Chew” with “Chew On This” and current critical fave “Morning Glories” with “Morning Glory Days.” Add those to our regular look at “Behind Buffy The Vampire Slayer Season 8” with Dark Horse talents including Scott Allie, Brad Meltzer and Georges Jeanty stopping by, and readers should be swimming in the sausage-making secrets of their favorite series.
5. Mega Features For Mini Events
Sure, there was no earth-shattering, line-wide, 1,000+ title crossover anchoring the superhero mainstream in 2010, but a ton of slightly smaller character-based events rocked their way through the marketplace, and CBR News was there to bring as many different kinds of updates to fans as possible. Whether it be tracking the “Return of Bruce Wayne” in our newly-launched interview column THE BAT SIGNAL, looking into the battle plans of Jeph Loeb, Greg Pak and Jeff Parker in our Hulked out column THE GREEN ZONE or peek into the casefiles of “Shadowland” with THE UNUSUAL SUSPECTS, any reader wanting to know more about the big stories in comics in 2010 had a unique experience on CBR.
4. Behind The “Watchmen” Movie That Wasn’t
Sometimes big stories just fall into your lap, as was the case with CBR’s uncovering of the production art from the “lost” “Watchmen” movie that director Paul Greengrass had been planning before Warner Bros. took the rights away from Paramount and into the hands of Zack Snyder. We were introduced by chance to production designer Dominic Watkins, who invited CBR News into his studio to shoot some exclusive images from the production book he’d kept including concept art of Doctor Manhattan, Night Owl and the rest of Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons legendary comic series. A much more street-level and realistic take on the property, Watkins images of Greengrass’ vision are a startling look at what might have been for one of the most sought after comic movies of all time.
3. Cant Stop Convention Coverage
In 2010, comic conventions were as big a part of the industry as they’ve ever been -Â endlessly hyped by publishers and movie studios alike and attended by thousands of fans across the entire calendar year. And CBR was on hand with live reporters at virtually every major show of the year. Take a moment and have a look back at our coverage from shows including Comic-Con International in San Diego, New York Comic Con, Baltimore Comic Con, Chicago’s C2E2, the Chicago Comic Con, Emerald City Comic Con and Wonder Con just for starters.
2. CBR’s All-New Video Page
Sure, we’ve been providing videos of interiews from conventions, our own LA studio, Tiki Lounges and boats for years, but 2010 saw not only more original video content than we’ve ever had, it also saw the launch of a brand new video site at Video.ComicBookResources.com. Clicking through will get you a look at our 2010 interviews with the likes of Samuel L. Jackson (Part 1, Part 2), Brian Michael Bendis, Tommy Lee Edwards & Jonathan Ross and Berkeley Breathed as well as trailers and video features including the just published blooper reel from Comic-Con 2010:
1. Creator On Creator Interviews
Of all the fine new features we launched on CBR in 2010, perhaps the ones we’ve enjoyed the most are the ones we can take the least credit for. There’s little more interesting than listening to two creators dig in to their own art on their own terms, and that’s why we made putting various comic pros on the phone together to interview each other as much as possible throughout the year.
From listening in to the expansive two-part interview between Brad Meltzer and Brian K. Vaughan on the end of “Ex Machina” to seeing Brian Michael Bendis chat up his writing hero David Mamet and from having “Fables” partners Bill Willingham and Matthew Sturges together as the core series reached its 100th issue to letting the DC up-and-comers that are Scott Snyder, Paul Cornell, Jeff Lemier and Nick Spencer pass the mic around in our “DC Writers Relay,” having so many voices bat around their ideas was a highlight for everyone here, and we hope for the readers as well.
What was your favorite story on CBR in 2010? Sound off now on the CBR Message Boards!