We asked a wide array of our contributors and other comics figures to share their favorite comics from the past calendar year. In the interests of keeping things individual and unpredictable, we let our listmakers choose their own criteria for inclusion, and decide for themselves whether or not their selections needed explanation. The Prince and the Dressmaker by Jen Wang.
The Hidden Witch by Molly Ostertag. Be Prepared by Vera Brosgol. So… was more of a toddler year for me than a voluminous reading year. And after bedtime, barely able to turn a page, I cuddled up with Rachel Maddow and dreams of Robert Muellers dancing in my head. And I still need the world to stop and my family to go on vacation without me so I can have a nice bottle of wine all to myself so I can read My Favorite Thing is Monsters from !
Still… I probably read more than the average schmuck. Been making them for over a decade. So I love picking up books at the few cons my three-nager allows me to go to. It was a lovely surprise and I adored it. Self-Published Boy, do I love getting comics in my mailbox. I feel like I missed out on really having the home delivery experience when my Crystar, the Crystal Warrior expired after like one issue and I never picked up another subscription after that.
But now? She does something fun with the covers each month. All the Sad Songs by Summer Pierre. Retrofit Summer Pierre is having a moment right now and I am loving that moment. Not you. Me, you whippersnappers. Ah, mixtapes… you kids today think that word means something completely different.
The Fanta series of big floppies, appearances in Prime Cuts and Raw magazines, etc. Why am I not hearing more about this goddamn miracle? Stray Bullets by David Lapham. Image And speaking of noir, when Stray Bullets went on hiatus, what, 15 years ago? It was a freaking tragedy. You like dirty 70s New Hollywood crime drama? This is your book. Go read it you fools! Saga by Brian Vaughn and Fiona Staples. So is Saga. Every TPB is a gift. My babysitter agrees with me. Blammo 10 by Noah Van Sciver.
Kilgore Blammo is like my Sandman or Saga. But seriously. Have you ever really been able to see the growth of a great artist like you can through each issue of Blammo?
There are a couple of familial moments with his brother and father that deeply touched me. Marvel — How do you not love Ed Piskor? So great to read those comics on the web at BoingBoing about the music and have the videos right there lined up for you to hear it and feel it at the same time. And this X-Men project? Writing, drawing, lettering, best boy-ing and gaffering that shit. Just let Ed do whatever he wants. He brings it. Also go catch his Cartoonist Kayfabe show with incredible artist Jim Rugg where they dissect… Wizard Magazine page by page from issue freaking One!
You know, when those stupid covers had Logan wearing a wizard cap? Rookie Moves by Birthday Boy - Otway* And Barrett* - Birthday Boy Garcia. Self-published So it looks like November already wrote one of my future Suffering - R.T.S. * - File Under: Punk for me. It even basically contains the story where I awkwardly talked with Gabrielle Bell once at Desert Island It just ends differently where they become friends.
Hollywood ending, pshaw. But really, if I could draw, I would want to draw this exact book. I loved it, and again, thought it was written just for me. Waitaseccond, did I say this was one of my favorites?
Yet, here is Olivia Jaimes, making Nancy smart and funny, practically every day. Smartphones, social media, and video games are ever-present, as they are in the Honesty - George Russell Sextet* - Ezz-thetics of actual kids.
Her comics make me do something that Bushmiller has never, ever done—laugh out loud. But the differences are instructive. Samarkind hopscotches across the globe, uses dream sequences, and seems to still be introducing major characters three-fourths of the way through the book. Both are great. The Dead were deeply steeped in country music—well, what country music meant inanyway—from the black Delta blues to the white Appalachian bluegrass, and all points in-between.
But the Dead was also just as deeply a product of its particular locale, and all of the popular-culture nodes of San Francisco at the time. They wrote of outlaws and brakemen and down-and-outers, but they were Mary Gregory - For The Fun & Love Of Music: Mary Gregorys.
Magic Touch and acid-laced about it. Anyway, Coyote Doggirl is a Suffering - R.T.S. * - File Under: Punk Francisco western, in the best way possible, with a dose of feminist punk thrown in to spike the punch even further.
This comic is a wonderwork, in which pre-Nazi Berlin is as vivid a character as any of the protagonists within it—and precisely because of their presence.
Dense with the weight of history but compositionally light on its feet. He did it. It was worth it. Chris Reynolds, The New World: Comics from Mauretania New York Review Comics : Suffering - R.T.S. * - File Under: Punk draws with such a thick, black line that his comics evoke woodcuts, like they are folktales set in stone, imprinted on us through centuries of tradition, and thus readily accessible and understandable.
And, among other things, this may be the book Seth was born to design. Suffering - R.T.S. * - File Under: Punk I started writing about comics in the late '80s, it was possible for me to read every important English-language work.
With that in mind, keep in mind that the list below is a subset of Suffering - R.T.S. * - File Under: Punk good comics published It is not in any particular Suffering - R.T.S.
* - File Under: Punk. Berlinby Jason Lutes. I almost gave Aint It A Shame - Geordie - The Albums (Box Set, Album, Album, Album, Album, Album) on this one. The story became strangely more relevant as he drew it.
Pieroby Edmond Baudoin. Koyama Drawn to Berlinby Ali Fitzgerald. But they had some great competition. I Suffering - R.T.S. * - File Under: Punk a comics Suffering - R.T.S. * - File Under: Punk who prefers bound volumes graphic novels to single issues. This is true for me both as a reader, who wants more story per volume, and as a librarian, who collects almost entirely comics in book form.
As a teen librarian, I am on the lookout for comics that appeal to teens in subject, artistry, characters, and representation. So while I and honestly a number of my older teens enjoy adult-content fare, my favorites are those that build a connection with young readers as well as give them either mirrors to see themselves or windows to the wider world. Runaways by Rainbow Rowell and Kris Anka. Please by Ngozi Ukazu.
Please pulls together elements I crave: humor, heart, vulnerability, identity, sports action, and stress baking. Like queer folks of all ages, teens look for romances that give them hope rather than drag them back to gritty reality. A slow-build romance with snappy character design, dramatic editing and pacing, and did I mention heart? Thus the happy surprise that these two manga offer sweet queer romance and deftly avoid problematic tropes.
That Blue Sky Feeling is especially welcome given its from an out gay creator. On a Sunbeam by Tillie Walden. Sleepless by Sarah Vaughan and Leila del Duca. With the majority of the characters, including both leads, people of color, it also visually and culturally shifts the traditionally white high fantasy population toward much needed diversity. Both versions make me cry, which is no small feat. Upgrade Soul by Ezra Clayton Daniels. YA novels are filled with cautionary tales about the volatile combination of scientific ambition and people determined to improve humanity.
Upgrade Soulbeautifully paced, deploys meticulous art to lead the reader toward looming tragedy. There are a number of ongoing series that have included wonderful work this year.
While the comics industry lists have ways to recognize series, series that span longer than a year lose out on awards in the book industry. Well of course my best of list would be filled with books by Conundrum Press but I can't choose between my babies so here is another list.
You Showed Me Love - Grass Strings - Wanted, Maybe Tomorrow - Stereophonics - You Gotta Go There To Come Back, Azteca (Tune For Winding The Maypole) - Yaqui - Yaqui Fiesta & Religious Music: Historic Recordings, Jerry Seinfeld - Im Telling You For The Last Time (Live On Broadway) (DVD), Anarchist Spectrum Disorder - Agathocles - Commence To Mince