The Best Comics of the Year (That I Didn’t Read)
Because I am a compulsive confromist, and thus feel like I have to do a best of the year list like everyone else inevitably will. Also, it occurs to me thatÂ a list of comics I didn’t read this year is probably better than a list of the ones I did. If nothing else, there ain’t much more I can say about my favorites likeÂ All Star Superman, Casanova, Scott Pilgrim, or Nextwave than “They are really awesome and you should all read them or you’ll make me sad and ruin my Christmas, man”, and I don’t feel like doing that. Or at least trying to make that sound all important and reflective, which you have to in any “Best of the Year” list. It’s a law. Passed by FDR during the Depression, I believe. Anyway, on to the list!
1. Lost Girls by Alan Moore and Melinda Gebbie, Top Shelf
Why I think it’s probably great- It’s Alan Moore’s next apparent magnum opus, many years in the making, with his usual level of craft, along with the humanity heÂ showed in his bestÂ recent work. Â
Why I haven’t read it yet- It’s porn. Unrepentantly so, according to Moore. With Victorian Children’s Characters. For $75. That just not a good combo to me. If the internet has taught me anything, it’s that I shouldn’t have to pay for porn. Even if it’s porn that Alan Moore himself is trying to elevate to the level of art.
2. American Born Chinese- Gene Yang, First Second
Why I think it’s probably great- Look at all these awesome reviews First Second provides for some reason I’m not sure of it! It’s even up for a National Book Award! Which Heidi McDonald says is a big deal in comics are relevant terms! Even if it didn’t win!
Why I haven’t read it yet- It didn’t win. And this guy said it didn’t deserve it anyway! And I base all my purchasing decisions on awards. And what copy chiefs at Wired Magazine say. Or, I just haven’t got around to buyingÂ it yet but plan to. That’s sounds right.
3. The FateÂ of the Artist byÂ Eddie Campbell, First Second (again)
Why I think it’s probably great- Because I’ve enjoyed Eddie Campbell’s Alec stories before. And both Graeme McMillan and Tom Spurgeon said it was. And I think that’s so significant thatÂ I won’t explain why.
Why I haven’t read it yet- I hateÂ Australian people. Entirely because of frequent contributor Funky Green Jerusalem. And I’ve been sort of not that interested in art comics lately, even ones that aren’t Victorian Kiddie Porn. I’ll probably buy it eventually, too. If I can overcome my prejudice of Australians. So it’s iffy.
4. Fun Home by Alison Bechdel, Houghton Mifflin
Why I think it’s probably great- It was Time’s Book of the Year.
Why I haven’t read it yet- I was Time’s Person of the Year. Among other undeserving people. So that hurts their credibility a lot. And their comics guy spells comics comix, which sends seering pain to my brain. So I hate them for that, too, and take it out unfairly on Ms. Bechdel, a dyke I really should be watching out for. Or whose work I should be reading. Or something. Just typing comix gives me pain, so I can barely think stra-… arghh! On to the next entry quick!
5. Whatever Chris Ware published this year, by Chris Ware, Chris Ware (I think; maybe Fantagraphics)
Why I thinkÂ it’s probably great- It’s Chris Ware. He’s amazingly skilled. A true master of the artform who has elevated the medium.
WhyÂ IÂ haven’t read it yet- I can recognizeÂ that Ware’s an amazing cartoonistÂ and still not be that interested in his work. Really, I can! It doesn’t even make my brain explode, like most paradoxes!
6. Daredevil by Ed Brubaker, Michael Lark, et al., Marvel
Why I think it’s probably great- I like Brubaker. I like Daredevil. That’s how deep my thought process goes here.
Why I haven’t read it yet- I read the first issue and didn’t think at the end “I have to have the next issue now!” And that’s what I need to read something in singles. So I haven’t followed in that format. I’m waiting for the trade. Which is code for “I may or may not ever read this, but I kind of want to.”Â There’s a big list of comics in there. Including Chris Ware comics! So, I’m as interested in his work as I am a new run on Daredevil. I have negative indie comics cred now.
8,Â 9.Â The indie comics anthologiesÂ that haveÂ come out recently, I can’t be bothered to look up all theÂ contributors or even the names of the books or publishers, but IÂ know Crumb, Hernandez,Â and allÂ the other usual art comics suspects are involved. You know the ones; Ivan Brunetti did one as a text book, Harvey Pekar was guest editor on the other or something
WhyÂ I thinkÂ it’s probably great- I feel obligated to.
Why I haven’t read it yet- I avoided that McSweeny’s alt comics sampler, and I’m doing that to these too! Just out of consistency. I’ll get one eventually. Because I should give alt comics more of a chance than I have. And I am a sampler afficienado. More for cheeses than art comics, but still.
10. Civil War by Mark Millar, Steve McNiven, et al.
Why I think it’s probably great- Given Mark Millar’s skill at subtle political commentary, believable character motivation andÂ genuine human moments, and McNiven’s craftsmanlike dedication to quality draughtsmanship that makes deadlines, I can’t imagine how this wouldn’t truly be a Marvel Comics Event in Seven Parts worth reading. So confident am I in its greatness that I have not read a single review of it, so certain am I that it is great and buying the trade will be a highlight of my life.
Why I haven’t read it yet- This was just here as a joke. In case you couldn’t guess. Merry Christmas, the five people who might read this!