As the end of 2011 approaches, websites and publications are unveiling various year-end lists and gift guides — so many that keeping up is a challenge. Here’s just some of what’s been released in the past few days:
• Prolific manga commentator Deb Aoki lists her nominations for the 15 best manga of 2011, divided up by category (shoujo, shonen, etc.). Despite talk of a "manga bust" in recent years, 2011 was a pretty good year for new series, and there are some books here that are definitely worth a look.
• Garrett Martin, Hillary Brown and Sean Edgar at Paste Magazine share their picks for the 20 Best Comic Books of 2011, which they've broken into two different lists -- new comics and reissues. Their lists include Animal Man, Big Questions, the We3 Deluxe Edition and Celluloid, among many others.
• Drawn's John Martz shares his favorite books of the year, which include Pope Hats, Paying for It, Mister Wonderful and The Great Northern Brotherhood of Canadian Cartoonists.
• The Comic Vault present a lengthy discussion among their bullpen of their favorites of the year, breaking it down in various creator and comic book categories.
• Comics Should Be Good!'s Kelly Thompson shares her third annual "female positive comics holiday gift list," which includes Shadoweyes in Love, Echo, Batman: The Black Mirror and Strange Tales II, among many others.