Monday, April 19, 2010

Best American Comics 2009


I know I know I know. This is way overdue. It was way overdue when I got it for Christmas, it was way overdue when I finished reading it on March 22, and it's way overdue now. But at least here it is.

This volume was edited by Charles Burns (but, although it looks like Burns, the cover was actually drawn by Michael Kupperman who also did the Twain and Einstein comic on the inside which I found disappointing.

Today I posted a review of a short-story anthology and I realized that expecting --- or even hoping --- that an anthology only give you works you like is to largely miss the point of anthologies. So I'm going to stop whining about that in my BAC reviews (though I reserve the right to complain for other reasons).

Probably the biggest revelation for me was Kevin Huizenga's "Glenn Ganges in Pulverize." I have heard of Huizenga often enough, but his style and storytelling prowess are very attractive. The way he blends and meshes very different visual ideas into stylistic unity is impressive.

Since this review is so late, I'm not going to go into great depth or detail, but I will list my faves and why and then just leave it at that:

"Artist vs. Artisan" by Peter Bagge: A look at Paul Revere and John-Singleton Copley proves that Kate Beaton ain't the only historical-haha-comics genius on the scene.

The Crumbs entry about a tape dispenser (like I used to use!) is further evidence that they don't suck. I'm happy this is true, since they are so beloved.

Probably my single favorite entry was Dan Zettwoch's creation of old Church bulletins through the decades. I loved this. I just wish they were real. And that I want that to be so proves to me how fully I believed in the world these old bulletins seemed evidence of. Brilliant work.

"Over Easy" by Mimi Pond was a nice bit of fictionalized autobiography-of-an-artist in a sweet and savory cafe.

Dash Shaw's biography of an artist was, in turn, bittersweet and faux savory and rather moving in an underground-man kind of way.

Chris Ware. Brilliant as always. Time to read another Ware book, I think.

Laura Park brings us a snapshot of the intersection between sibling love and sibling loyalty and being really really annoying to each other.

Korem Shadmi's wasn't really all that great, not really, but the concept (hooking up with the decapitated girl) is brilliant.

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