2010 was a great year to read some comics. So since I myself am not drawing comics at the moment because I have the post holiday blues, I am going to compile a little list of the favorite comics I read this year. I have to tell you, though, I didn’t read as much as I should have (like Acme #20 or Wally Gropius or Picture This! ), so of course this is not an authoratative list. Also, let’s face it, I am not an authority. I am a follower. Anyway, here’s a list of my favorites.
Love and Rockets, New Stories #3 by Los Bros Hernandez.
Definitely my favorite volume in the series so far. Gilbert continues to push the envelope while Jaime’s story haunted me for days and days. Probably the best story I have read in 2010.
Market Day by James Sturm, who after all his time schooling those kids at the Center of Cartoon Studies in White River Junction (As Bing once said, “That sounds very Vermonty!”) got the chance to finally release a new book. And it’s wonderful. It’s a beautifully written, moving story done with no frills and no gimmicks. It’s a simple tale of survival, an artist’s dilemma to change with the times and risk compromising his art for the sake of his livlihood and family.
Wilson by Dan Clowes.
We all know why, I don’t have to tell you. It’s the “Oakland Book.”
Palookaville #20 by Seth.
I do love Wimbledon Green and have come to appreciate all the work that goes into his comics and book design, but for some reason I always found Seth’s Palookaville stories distant and maybe even cold. However, now in a bigger hard cover-format, this issue actually felt a lot more intimate and open than his previous Palookaville issues. It had the feel of a sketchbook, including personal notes on his process, topped off with an autobiographical comic (which was a lot looser than his usual style) about his lonely times on the road, preparing for a comics presentation/talk. It’s very honest and revealing, and I appreciated it and Seth a whole lot more. I should really do myself a favor and re-read the old Palookaville issues again.
The Art of Jaime Hernandez: The Secrets of Life and Death by Todd Hignite. A wonderful collection totally devoted to the art done by the master, Jaime Hernandez. It follows where Hignite’s “In the Studio” left off but on a way bigger scale; lots of reproductions of original work to stare at all day, as well as production notes that give the reader an inside look on Hernandez’ influences and process through the years.
Make Me a Woman by Vanessa Davis.
A funny, vibrant collection of Davis’ recent strips for both Tablet Magazine and her own self published mini comic series Spaniel Rage, not to mention some whimsical sketchbook work. A fun book to read again and again.
Birchfield Close by Jon McNaught.
Beautifully designed book, and a quiet nostalgic view of the seemingly ordinary world around us. Each page is mostly blanketed by pinks and blues, marvelous sunsets and wordless panels. Breathtaking, really.
Lose #2 by Michael De Forge.
At first glance it’s a visually-arresting art comic with cute little characters thrown into twisted, grotesque situations, but eventually you find yourself immersed in a humorous self-portrait, a young artist’s thoughts on his own life as a cartoonist.
The Wrong Place by Brecht Evens.
Every page in this book is a whirling dervish of overlapping colors and images that fuel the crazy dance hall and party adventures of the story’s playboy protagonist.
Richard Stark’s Parker, Vol. 2: The Outfit by Darwyn Cooke.
The great film noir series continues through a mix of superb storytelling and lush, loose drawings by Darwyn Cooke. I can’t wait til the 3rd and 4th!
“Old House”, “Cane Cane” and others – by Trevor Alixopulos.
Trevor started posting a whole lot of great stories on his blog in 2010. Trevor has the ability to tackle various genres from fantasy to autobio, but what’s consistent in each story is the smart commentary on the human condition. I have a feeling that these are going to be collected in one sweet book in the future but he’s just not telling us. Anyway, I hope it is, and it SHOULD be. I also have to tell Trevor that one time my friend ran over my foot with her car, too. It was actually okay. My foot wasn’t broken, but I was afraid to tell my mom about it after it happened.
the day we learned to fly by Souther Salazar.
Souther released a mini-comic through his Etsy shop that really made me happy. It’s a colorful mix of word and playful images that like his older minis never ceases to inspire and amaze. Everytime I think of quitting mini-comics and self-published zines, a new Souther comic comes along and it pulls me back in! It’s one of those comics you always want to have in your pocket. Unfortunately, I think he sold out of them, but this is how it looked like and how it was made:
THANK YOU to the cartoonists, writers, and artists who keep plugging along and continue to give us wonderful stories to read and beautiful drawings to gawk at! Here’s to more in this new year!