Up here above the 42nd parallel the weather is such that I’m staying inside and reading more, and you might also plan to spend extra time indoors in the next few weeks. Or months. So as a public service, here are the best graphic novels I’ve read (so far) in 2010, complete with my brief notes to myself about them. They’re in no particular order; they’re all good and some are even better than that. I hope you find something here that you like!
Layman, John; Guillory, Rob
Almost completely fresh in its feel, great big-footy art, and some snappy dialogue and writing.
Criminal: Bad Night
Brubaker, Ed; Phillips, Sean
Fine, fine noir.
Rugg, Jim; Maruca, Brian
Terrific parody of all sorts of things, with no redeeming social value. Wonderful.
Immonen, Kathryn; Immonen, Stuart
Strong and moody, with a particularly solid middle section (where many books, including mine…I think, sometimes, maybe…sag). The art is terrific, displaying Stuart I’s versatility and composition. I’d be curious to see the script for this as well, since there’s a lot of subtlety in staging and pacing here.
Mysterius the Unfathomable
Parker, Jeff; Fowler, Tom
A lot of fun, and the art is terrific. I want this to be a series.
Trickster: Native American Tales
Dembicki, Matt (ed.)
Mixed, as with all anthologies, but most of the stories are very good.
Scott Pilgrim’s Finest Hour
O’Malley, Bryan Lee
How about that — a satisfying ending. Hard to do with a series like this, but done and done well! I re-read the whole thing before getting to the last volume, and had a ball. (p.s. The movie was good too, but not as good.)
Melancholy and regret as beauty. Wonderfully put together and presented.
Better than The Hunter, and more inventive as well. The style is full of, well, style and the art and editing are a great match Stark’s/Westlake’s prose.
Morrison, Grant; Quitely, Frank
Re-read, for book club: Wonderful, as in full of wonder.
Charming, and spot on for its demographic. And for me as well, it turns out.
Slender and hilarious. Very sharp humor.
Very strong and evocative. The cartooning and storytelling are so strong that they carried me through some parts that seemed predictable. (Here again, I’m not the book’s demographic, so that predictability is probably just fine in context.)
The Secret Science Alliance and the Copycat Crook
Excellent, densely packed, and funny.
Surprising! I liked this a lot; a nifty little fantasy about a girl who aspires to space travel, presented with more depth and promise than I expected. I look forward to the next volumes.
Cul de Sac Golden Treasury: A Keepsake Garland of Classics
The title is tongue-in-cheek and also true. The best daily strip out there.