It’s that nobrow 10 PDF again to round up the comics I consider the best and most interesting of the year. Please feel free to agree, disagree, and recommend others in the comments below. In an end of the year list, I don’t usually include comics that are only a couple of issues into their run—but it only took one issue of this comic to make an impression on me and on many other readers, it seems, who took a chance on it.
Författare: Alex Spiro.
This September, 20-year-old Tillie Walden won the coveted Promising New Talent Ignatz award at the Small Press Expo for one of two graphic novels she released last year. Right after receiving the award, she began self-publishing a new webcomic called On a Sunbeam and within a few months had posted over 300 pages. Japanese court for distributing obscene material when she shared a digital file online that could be used to make a 3-D printing of her vagina. This manga telling of her experience in jail is funny, engaging, and eye-opening. Obviously, 2016 will be remembered as the most insane election year ever, but thankfully The Nib returned from hiatus in time to see it out. Matt Bors found a new home and returned with a bang to cover and comment on the election.
Box Brown has developed a niche for making non-fiction graphic novels about 1980s pop culture starting with his 2014 biography of Andre the Giant and his latest is about of the most addictive video game ever made. It is a surprisingly complicated tale of corporate wrongdoing, creator rights issues and communism that shows how the idea came from a software engineer in Moscow who originally shared it as freeware. Superhero comics are usually not where you’d look for thoughtful and realistic portrayals of parenting, and Spider-Woman, a comic whose recent claim to fame was a questionable cover that caused a media backlash, may seem especially unexpected. Dennis Hopeless and Javier Rodriguez are way beyond that controversy, though. Veteran writer Christopher Priest stepped away from comics over 10 years ago but never intended to be away that long. 90s, the African American writer began to continuously turn down offers to write black superheroes, finding that these were the only books he was being considered for.
Priest’s long-awaited return to comics has not disappointed. He uses a broken chronological narrative, morally shaded characters and a dry sense of humor to reintroduce this old Teen Titans villain. Deathstroke is one of its best. In 2011, Sarah Glidden traveled to Turkey, Syria, and Iraq with a group of journalist friends to interview refugees in hopes of finding a story to tell. Glidden finds her own unique hook by choosing to document the act of creating journalism, showing us the behind-the-scenes decisions journalists make, the technical process of interviewing and the hopes and fears about how their stories will impact their subjects and the people they are hoping to inform. When this book was first released, some reviewers were fooled into thinking it was really a career retrospective of a famous Singaporean cartoonist.
In fact, what makes it so astounding is that it is 320 pages of comics, sketches, life drawings, and paintings convincingly created by Sonny Liew to invent a lifetime’s worth of work. Lovecraftian monstrosities and a matriarchal society in which women have all the power and men barely factor into the story, Liu and Takeda have done an amazing amount of world-building so far in their new series. Takeda’s gothic, art-deco influenced artwork is absolutely stunning to behold and the epic fantasy that she and Liu are putting together here is complex and brutally violent. The nine-issue mini-series at the heart of an epic event that effectively destroyed the Marvel Universe and upended its entire publishing line for over four months had the most massive scope of any crossover book Marvel has ever published. I’m not even talking about the dozens of tie-in series that supported the main story. Writer Jonathan Hickman spent 44 issues of Avengers and 33 issues of New Avengers concurrently to build up to this story, but it’s even bigger than that.
Charles Dickens with the Disney Jr. Dawson has been successful shifting from writing longform narrative comics to putting out shorter, topical non-fiction pieces. In 2011, Tom Hart and Leela Corman experienced the worst horror a parent could ever face when their 1-year-old daughter Rosalie unexpectedly passed away. Being cartoonists, both utilized their disciplines as a coping mechanism to help make sense of this awful tragedy. Hart and his wife try to imagine how to move on with their lives. Like her husband, Tom Hart, Leela Corman used her cartooning expertise to explore her own grief after losing her child.
The other pieces in Corman’s book tackle a range of subjects from her family history, Jewish identity and her experiences teaching bellydancing. Northern England in the 1970s while the Yorkshire Ripper was on a murdering spree, killing 13 women, most of whom were prostitutes. The amount of time it took for the police to get serious about catching a serial killer that seemed to prey on sexually active women is a symptom of the problem Una delves into in this dark, brave, and creatively ambitious work. A group of kids hanging out in the woods stumble across a dead body that turns out to be Plutona, the world’s greatest superhero. Their disagreement about what to do next will drive a wedge between all of them. Marvel’s most unique comic is also one of its most crowd pleasing.
Geared towards a teen girl audience that superhero comics rarely aim for and even more rarely succeed with, it stars a female protagonist who looks nothing like comics’ usual hyper-idealized super heroines and is written and drawn with a sense of humor and irreverence that is more often found in webcomics. What looks on the surface to be a whimsical and colorful children’s book about a young girl and a talking panther who visits her bedroom, reveals a dark underside that will slowly get under your skin as it goes along. Young Christine is mourning the death of her cat when she receives a visit from the charming panther but it is the reader, not Christine, who begins to pick up on his unspeakable ulterior motives. One of the best webcomics of the past few years is now available in a print format ideal for reading with your kids.
Tough but diminutive Margo Maloo is a monster mediator in Echo City who helps ease grievances when the local monsters lose their cool with the humans that are gentrifying their neighborhood. When Charles and his parents move to the city to restore a rundown tenement apartment, one of those monsters ends up in Charles’ closet, leading him to require Margo’s services. A Flintstones comic is in the top 10. When DC Comics took on the Hanna-Barbera license, no one expected much from the comics they’d produce, especially when they seemed to be aiming for a gritty, modern spin on these classic kids cartoons. What happens to superheroes after they’ve been retconned out of existence? Abraham Slam, Golden Gail, Colonel Weird, Madame Dragonfly, and Barbalien are stand-ins for a variety of recognizable comic book character types from the Golden Age through the Modern Age. Lemire has been producing outstanding work for both Marvel and Valiant Comics this year but his creator-owned comics are even better, and this book in particular, with Ormston and Stewarts’ creepy, understated visuals is one of his best yet.