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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 that 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 like 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 he showed in his best recent work.  

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 buying it yet but plan to. That’s sounds right.

3. The Fate of the Artist by 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 that I won’t explain why.

Why I haven’t read it yet- I hate 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 think it’s probably great- It’s Chris Ware. He’s amazingly skilled. A true master of the artform who has elevated the medium.

Why I haven’t read it yet- I can recognize that Ware’s an amazing cartoonist 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.” 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, 9. The indie comics anthologies that have come out recently, I can’t be bothered to look up all the contributors or even the names of the books or publishers, but I know Crumb, Hernandez, and all 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

Why I think 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 and 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!

15 Comments

See, now this is the kind of list I could make, too.

Rock on, Brad.

You should read American Born Chinese because I liked it so much. Everyone should take their cues from ME!!!!!!

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.

Bwa-ha-ha! And yeah, that and their “comix” guy has me leery, too; but I’m planning to check it out anyway.

American Born Chinese was a great read, though. Not sure about NBA great, but it’s certainly deserving of an award of some kind.

I’ve always thought that people who spell it “comix” are being rather silly. I feel the same way about people who spell it “magick.”

But all the cool faeries and daemons spell it “magick”!

Gah! Too many unneccessary letters. Head, exploding!!!!

Or is it explouding?

This is seven people.

FunkyGreenJerusalem

December 23, 2006 at 11:26 pm

“Why I haven’t read it yet- I hate 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.”

Well Brad, I’d like to be able to say I hate America, Americans and everything that nation apparently stands for because of you, but I can’t.
The show Blossom holds that card. I hadn’t even hit the full effects of puberty yet, and already I was having to deal with being sexuall attracted to, yet utterly repulsed by a person.
I was too young! TOO YOUNG!

I know why I hate you though. There are two main reasons.
Firstly, that website where some guy made up a course about comics, but instead of having any must read works, the course consisted of books Wizard likes. I spent 90seconds on that site, and I’m never getting them back.
Secondly, when this place was on blogspot, there used to be some guy who always posted in the comments sections of your posts about how unfunny you were, and how he thought you should be fired.
Sometimes he was the only poster.
God that used to make me laugh.

Anyway, the real question is – why can’t Australians draw straight lines – or even close off drawings?
Eddie Campbell, Ashley Wood and Ben Templesmith – none of them draw straight lines, and often they just do impressionistic drawings?
Is it because that Australia’s art style? Is it their laconic Aussie attitudes? Is it because they were drunk?
I don’t know, I work in television, so art isn’t my forte.

“The show Blossom holds that card. I hadn’t even hit the full effects of puberty yet, and already I was having to deal with being sexually attracted to, yet utterly repulsed by a person.”

Joey Lawrence did that for me too.

WHOA!

SanctumSanctorumComix

December 24, 2006 at 1:39 pm

Guys,

Re # 4.

As one who uses the term comix on occasion, I feel I need to toss in “MY” rationale.
(Or know that each of you miscreants are casting aspersions at me for any reason OTHER than my crazed ways.

;-)

Seriously, the reason that I type comiX at the end of my tagname is that, when I was seriously thinking of turning my love of the medium (and my gazillion back-issues) into a comic-shoppe (yes, I spell it shoppe! Deal with it.) I wanted to let my clientele know that there’s MORE to comics than JUST the books.

The ancillary products, the new comics, the old comics, the indies, the underground comix (they who started the whole “x” comix thing to begin with) and …everything.

That it was a MIX of stuff.

Get it?

CoMIX

As for the SanctumSanctorum part?
Well, my love of Dr. Strange was at the forefront of that, but for my publick (no. I don’t really spell it publick. Just messing with you there) message it was to take the actual definition of the term (a deeply secret and hallowed place) for my feeling of how many comic fans feel about the place they store their comics stash – or where they can score their weekly swag – or both.

I’ve been lucky enough to have a whole room dedicated to my collection (not just in our new house, but in our previous apartments as well. Yes, my wife is great – although she has lived to regret it. haha).

Anyway, I wanted to put forth that feeling of “understanding” that “I get it”. Comics are special. We, as a readership, are special (in as much as we, unlike many, can actually grasp the nuance and scope of the medium – as well as being able to decipher the panels and language used) and, while not trying to segregate ourselves into a little cult or cloister of geeks (actively seeking to broaden the customer base WITH the aforementioned “MIX”), give the clientele the feeling that they have found “the holy of holies” for their comic needs.

But that’s just MY reasoning.

I’m guessing what that other guy (at TIME) has going on is another thing entirely.

Well, it’s Christmas Eve and my free-time window has just closed.

Merry Christmas to all!

~P~
P_TOR

Funky- I missed the guy who hated me on blogspot. That’s what I get for rarely having the guts to read the comments sections of my own posts, I guess. Sorry about those 90 seconds of your life I wasted, but really, what were you going to do with them? Also, I should say that you are not the only reason I hate Australians. Maybe it’s that you’re a country and a continent. Pick one, you bastards!

I do hate you a lot, though. Especially for talking about your boner for Mayim Bialik. Or however her name was spelled. Go to hell, Funky. Even if you make a good point about Australian Cartoonists linework. To hell!

I love you.

FunkyGreenJerusalem

December 25, 2006 at 5:58 am

“Sorry about those 90 seconds of your life I wasted, but really, what were you going to do with them?”

What I always do – sign on under another name and type mean things to Greg Burgas.

“Maybe it’s that you’re a country and a continent. Pick one, you bastards!”

Sometimes we also call ourselves an Island.
We’re all things to all men. And Women.

“I do hate you a lot, though. Especially for talking about your boner for Mayim Bialik. Or however her name was spelled. Go to hell, Funky.”

Why do i feel that I just held up a mirror to so many people?

“I love you.”

I’ll let you kiss it if you want.

So that’s who it is! I always wondered …

SquareBluePalestine

December 27, 2006 at 5:52 am

“So that’s who it is! I always wondered … ”

Why do you hate the X-men?
Why do you judge Tom Belands comics if you can’t make your own?
Why do you joke about our beloved Grant?

hello, super design, best regards

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