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Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Top 13

I'm working on a Top 5 list of comics from 2007 for another blog right now.

To help me shorten the list, I set a couple of rules for myself: I'm intentionally leaving out collections (such as Joe Matt's Spent or Adrian Tomine's Shortcomings) because they collect stories that were previously published as comic books. I'm also leaving out anthologies (such as Mome) because I don't want to single out an individual story by one artist in a book by several artists, and I've yet to read an anthology that I loved cover to cover.

Weeding it down to my favorites of the year I have a list of 13 that will have to be whittled down further for my top 5:

1. Reich by Elijah J. Brubaker (Sparkplug Comic Books)
This is one of the best biography comics I've ever read. A really good read, and the art is well done.

2. Lucky Vol. 2 # 1 Gabrielle Bell (Drawn & Quarterly)
Gabrielle continues to be one of my favorite writers in comics today.

3. The End by Anders Nilson (Fantagraphics)
I wanted to include "Don't Go Where I Can't Follow" but I loooked to find that it was published in 2006. The End is sort of a companion piece to that book, and I highly recommend both books, and everything else by Anders. He is currently my favorite contemporary cartoonist.

4. Sammy the Mouse by Zak Sally (Fantagraphics)
If you haven't read his previous book The Recidivist, go read it now. Sammy the Mouse is the beginning of what looks to be a very interesting story.

5. Injury Comics #1 by Ted May (Buenaventura Press)
I wish Ted May was the editor in chief at Marvel Comics.

6. Bat man by Josh Simmons (Josh Simmons)
The creepiest, weirdest batman story you'll never read.

7. Bluefuzz the Hero by Jesse Reklaw (Slow Wave)
Reklaw, who wrote my favorite comic of 2006 Couch Tag #3, gets some of his D&D obsessions out in this wonderful little mini-comic.

8. Reporter #6 by Dylan Williams (Sparkplug Comic Books)
Dylan is proving to be one of the most original voices in contemporary comics. He's unlike anyone else. So much so that I don't feel like I fully "get" him, but I really want to.

9. Service Industry by T. Edward Bak (Bodega)
Quite simply the best single story I've read in comics in a long time.

10. House by Josh Simmons (Fantagraphics)
Creepy... really creepy. I love horror movies, but am always disappointed with horror comiss. Not this time.

11. Windy Corner #1 by Austin English (Sparkplug Comic Books)
Austin English is a poetic genius and his new magazine is a must read.

12. Storeyville by Frank Santoro (Picturebox)
I can't put my finger on why I liked this book so much.

13. 1-800 Mice by Matthew Thurber (Picturebox)
There are a lot of people doing "Art" comics that are just confused, drug-addled wastes of paper. Thurber is giving us a confused, drug-addled masterpiece.

Other things I've loved this year are a lot of reprints such as the Popeye, Krazy Kat and Peanuts books published by Fantagraphics, Walt and Skeezix and Moomin books published by Drawn & Quarterly, all the awesome Jack Kirby hardcover omnibuses that are out now from various publishers, and King Cat Classix by John Porcelino (Drawn & Quarterly). Also of note: The Incredible Changebots by Jeffrey Brown and Fox Bunny Funny by Andy Hartzell. One more: so far I'm really liking the series Omega the Unknown by Jonathan Lethem and Farel Dalrymple.

Here's hoping my book The Blot will make it into some other "Top" lists of 2007.

Lastly, my friend Aaron often ends his posts by mentioning what he's listening to lately. I like that. So, here's what I've been listening to this week: In Rainbows by Radiohead, The Hobbit (audiobook) by J.R.R. Tolkein, Love That's Last by Oxbow, The August Engine by Hammers of Misfortune and The Complete On The Corner Sessions by Miles Davis.

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