Oh wow, is this LATE or what?!? There are so many Best of the Year comics lists that I’ve read on the internet, some I agree with, others not so much… so like any other blogger, I thought why not make a list of my own? It’s what any real blogger would do! So, here are some of the books of 2008 that I’ve actually read that got me enthusiastic about comics-making again. It’s not ordered and it’s hardly an authoratative list, meaning that I’m a real expert on this stuff, ha. But again, I DO have to protect my blogger cred, so here goes:
“Haunted” – Philippe Dupuy – I was excited to see what Dupuy would do in a solo project and I was pretty blown away. I love the sketchbook style of his art, the movement of the lines, very animated and spontaneous.
“Jamilti and Other Stories” – Rutu Modan – this collection gave me a bigger glimpse of the depth of Rutu Modan’s talent. I liked exploring the stylistic progression that she goes through from her early work to her more current pieces.
“Ganges #2” – Kevin Huizenga – this was by far my favorite in terms of storytelling and dialogue. It’s done with so much drive and is so engaging, weaving seemingly different topics together so effortlessly. I hope to hell Kevin H. comes out with a third issue!
“What It Is” – Lynda Barry – There is no other book like this one. There is this one story in here that initially made me laugh, because Lynda Barry’s way of telling a story is so conversational and comfortable, but later on I quickly realized it was the saddest story in the entire world.
“How to Be Everywhere” – Warren Craghead has this amazing way of capturing a specific moment in time in seemingly the most simplest of ways but the end product is always perfect.
“Neverland” – David Kiersh – this was a very sweet and surprising find. I’ve loved David Kiersh’s work since his “Last Cry for Help” comic zine. The drawings in this latest book are so lush and the stories are out of a dream.
“Abandoned Cars” – Tim Lane – I never thought I’d get into this book. I thought it was just another book of some loner type who is all woeful about his life, but there’s way more. The artwork is crisp, and the stories show a different approach on autobiography with a more film-noirish narrative.
“Little Nothings” – Lewis Trondheim – always amusing diary comics by one of the great European comics masters. His studious observation of objects and places around him in his daily life are mesmerizing and humorous.
“Big Questions #11” – Anders Nilsen – another great issue of the ongoing series with breathtaking drawings documenting a meandering introspective journey, not to mention, funny dialogue between birds.
“Spaniel Rage, Spring 2008” – Vanessa Davis – more humorous diary strips that I can’t get enough of. It’s not so much the voyeuristic view of Vanessa D’s world that I enjoy, but the way she fits one entire story into just one page. Each one is pretty much like diving into a treasure map. It’s one of those comics you keep coming back to.
“Fine Tooth Comics” – a split comic by Onsmith and John Hankiewicz. I don’t know if this actually came out in 2008 or not. Well, at least I read it in 2008. It made me think of all those good ole days when minicomics were everywhere to be found and and were crafted as labors of pure love and in fun collaboration with other inspiring artists. Sigh!