Best Comic Books I Read in 2022
1. The Department of Truth, Vol. 3: Free Country (2022) by James Tynion IV (and various artists)
This continues to be one of the best currently-running comic book series. It’s a brilliant premise (about how the belief in conspiracy theories makes them manifest in reality) with an equally brilliant execution, both the writing and the artwork. It is impressive how Tynion ties every famous conspiracy theory together and has it all make sense.
2. Memetic (2015) by James Tynion IV & Eryk Donovan
An apocalyptic tale about a viral meme of a sloth that transfixes everyone who sees it and makes them want to share it, so the meme goes viral around the world, then everyone who saw it starts to turn into flesh-eating zombies. The premise may sound absurd, but it is taken seriously with profound social commentary about the internet, mass communication, and conformity. It talks about how powerful certain images and videos can be, and how the internet and social media can spread ideas worldwide instantly and result in revolution…for good or for ill.
3. The Nice House on the Lake Vol. 1 (2022) by James Tynion IV & Álvaro Martínez Bueno
This is like an apocalyptic mystery, similar to LOST, with a group of people being trapped at a “Nice House on a Lake” instead of an island. They were brought there by an old friend of theirs (who may not be human) as the rest of the world has seemingly ended. This is only the first part of the story, so let’s just hope the mysteries wrap up better than they did in LOST.
4. Eugenic (2018) by James Tynion IV & Eryk Donovan
James Tynion IV has become one of my favorite writers working in comics today. He is highly prolific, writing for major franchise comics like Batman, but I prefer his original stories, such as this and the aforementioned, which are mostly some combination of sci-fi, horror, and weirdness (my favorite combination). Eugenic (written pre-Covid) is about a plague and vaccine cure created by a big pharma company that goes wrong. There are two time jumps to the far future, following three different people who try to save the world in different ways, by fixing the mistakes of the previous generation.
5. Gideon Falls: Deluxe Edition, Book One: The Legend of the Black Barn (2021) by Jeff Lemire & Dave Stewart
As a fan of Jeff Lemire’s previous work, I read the first book in this series several years ago when it first came out but didn’t particularly enjoy it, so I didn’t bother continuing the rest of the books in the series. Part of the reason was I hadn’t really gotten into horror yet. Now that I have, I decided to give the series a second chance since it was complete. I made a mistake giving up early as Gideon Falls is great. The story gets a lot weirder, trippier, and mind-blowing as it goes along. It was influenced by Twin Peaks and you can see the similarities. I would put it firmly in the category of cosmic horror.
6. The Book Tour (2019) by Andi Watson
A Kafkaesque story about an author on a book tour where seemingly everything goes wrong: he loses his books, no fans show up at the stores, and he becomes a suspect in a string of recent murders.
7. UFOlogy (2016) by James Tynion IV, Noah J. Yuenkel, Matthew Fox
This story about two teens who encounter a UFO has a Stranger Things vibe, though it is set in the present day.
8. Something Is Killing the Children Vol. 1-3 (2020) by James Tynion IV & Werther Dell’Edera
This is similar to Tynion’s other series, The Department of Truth, in how belief in something manifests it in reality, this time monsters as opposed to conspiracies. It also has a Stranger Things vibe as it follows kids trying to defeat the monsters hunting them.
9. What’s The Furthest Place From Here?, Vol. 1: Get Lost (2022) by Matthew Rosenberg
This is one of the most original pieces of science fiction worldbuilding I’ve seen in a while: a post-apocalyptic story set in a world where everyone dies at age 18 and there are gangs of teens who patrol the ruins.
10. Saga Vol. 10 (2022) by Brian K. Vaughan & Fiona Staples
This zany space opera fantasy adventure returns after a long hiatus. It mimics my feelings toward Rick and Morty, another former favorite series of mine. I didn’t quite enjoy Saga as much as I did the earlier issues years ago, but I’m not sure if that’s because I’ve changed or they have. Again, it is probably a bit of both.
Cognetic (2016) by James Tynion IV & Eryk Donovan – The third in the “_____ic” trilogy, about alien god-like Lovecraftian monsters psychically controlling humans. It was good but not quite as great as Memetic and Eugenic.
Joe Golem: Occult Detective Vol.1-4 by Mike Mignola, Christopher Golden, Patric Reynolds – Similar to the video game The Sinking City, this is set in a flooded New York City with Lovecraftian monsters lurking in the water—plus mad scientists. Joe Golem is a detective investigating occult mysteries in the sunken city. These are not particularly mind-blowing or ground-breaking stories, but they are entertaining pulp adventures.
A Righteous Thirst For Vengeance Vol.1&2 (2022) by Rick Remender & André Lima Araújo – A revenge thriller reminiscent of Park Chan-wook’s South Korean revenge movies (Sympathy for Mr. Vengeance, Oldboy, and Lady Vengeance.)
The Silver Coin Vol. 1&2 by Various – An anthology horror series about a haunted coin, similar to “The Monkey’s Paw,” that grants people’s wishes by giving them what they desire—but the repercussions always turn horrific.
Chrononauts, Vol. 2: Futureshock (2020) by Mark Millar & Eric Canete – A fun but ridiculous sci-fi time travel action adventure in space.
Ascender by Jeff Lemire – Like Gideon Falls, I went back to give Ascender another chance despite not liking the first issue, but unlike Gideon Falls, this one never really improved. Ascender is not bad, but I just couldn’t get into it as much as the original series, Descender (about future battles between humans, robots, androids, and cyborgs).
Cryptid Club (2021) by Sarah Andersen – A series of short humorous single-page comics about cryptid creatures such as bigfoot, aliens, Mothman, Cthulhu, and more.
John Carpenter’s Tales for a Halloween Night Vol. 1,3,4,5 – A hit-or-miss anthology of short horror stories that I was in the mood to read around Halloween time.
John Carpenter’s Tales of Science Fiction: Vault & Vortex (2018) by James Ninness and Mike Sizemore – Two Alien-inspired space horror stories.
Sea of Sorrows (2022) by Rich Douek & Alex Cormack – Mermaid horror.
Mountainhead (2020) by John Lees, Ryan Lee – Teens facing cosmic horror in a mountain town.
Noir: A Collection of Crime Comics (2009) by Diana Schutz and others – A hit-or-miss anthology of crime stories with more misses than hits.
The Dark Horse Book of Horror (2017) by Mike Mignola, Gary Gianni, Jill Thompson, Evan Dorkin, Sean Phillips
Geiger, Vol. 1 (2021) by Geoff Johns, Gary Frank – A post-apocalyptic wasteland adventure.
The Calling: Cthulhu Chronicles (2011) by Michael Alan Nelson & Christopher Posseni – Decent story based on the Lovecraft mythos.
More Best Comic Books Lists:
Best Video Games I Played in 2022
I don’t have much time to play video games, so this isn’t so much a “best-of” list, but rather the only games I played last year, the first being by far the best.
This is the best of the Lovecraft-inspired video games I’ve played. Whereas the others followed a detective investigating crimes with some mythos elements, this felt like an actual H.P. Lovecraft story, much like “At the Mountains of Madness” in particular as the story is set in Antarctica. You wake up in an abandoned Antarctic base with no memory of what happened, then explore an underground cave system with ruins from an ancient alien civilization… It features my favorite type of gameplay: little to no action, no weapons or shooting, and not an open world where you waste time getting lost. Instead, it’s about exploration and mystery with a tightly focused narrative story—kind of like an interactive movie.
Amnesia: The Dark Descent and A Machine for Pigs
The Dark Descent is a survival horror game with a creepy atmosphere, but the gameplay was too difficult at times, and I needed to look up walkthroughs online to figure out what I was supposed to do. A Machine for Pigs had better graphics (as it was newer) and thankfully didn’t have the same gameplay difficulty problems.
A decent sequel to the first game. Set in an interesting steampunk-esque world with unique powers. The gameplay was good, but the story was mediocre.
Best Music Albums of 2022
Rather than listing them all here, I’ll just post this link to a Spotify playlist of my favorite albums released in 2022.
Previous Music Lists:
Best Audio Dramas of 2022
Last Known Position
A Lovecraftian audio drama about a crew on a ship in the middle of the ocean led by a billionaire searching for his wife and daughter whose plane went missing—but they discover something else lurking in the deep sea. The story is filled with twists and would make for a good movie adaptation.
The Video Palace
A cosmic horror audio drama about someone tracking down mysterious old VHS tapes that are potentially haunted and could open up a portal to another dimension. This would also make for a great movie adaptation. It is similar to one of my favorite TV shows of the year, Archive 81. They feature elements of my favorite new genre of “analog horror”, involving cosmically weird VHS tapes and other haunted media.