So, the inevitable end of year lists for 2010 are upon us.
It feels like it's been a lighter year for me comics wise, and it seems that increasingly, I'm more and more picky about what I like and what makes it to review here on Exquisite Things. Not everything I receive gets reviewed, and that's mainly because I need to feel a genuine connection with a book before I put pen to paper. Things don't always click for me, but when they do, I'll always do my best to give them the attention they deserve.
When I read a truly exceptional comic or book, or encounter something that moves me deeply, I believe these things become internalised. As readers, and as lovers of art, I feel we project much of our own lives and experiences onto what we read. They're as much a reflection of where we're at as people, as they are of the artists who create them.
I recently asked a cartoonist what he thought good comics should be, and to be perfectly frank I don't think there is a 'right' answer. It's a difficult questions to be sure, but remains a question I think we should all be asking. Personally, I feel that if we try to give as much of ourselves over to art, as artists gives of themselves in their work, then we're already much closer to appreciating what makes for truly good comics.
Here's what really got my blood pumping in 2010...
1. Big Questions #15 by Anders Nilsen (D&Q)
2. King City #1-12 by Brandon Graham (Image)
3. Alpha / MOA 192B by Stathis Tsemberlidis (Decadence Comics)
4. Untranslated #1-3 by Lando (Decadence Comics)
5. Bound & Gagged, by various ed. Tom Neely (I Will Destroy You)
6. Echew #2 by Robert Sergel (Sparkplug Comics)
7. The Heavy Hand by Chris C Cilla (Sparkplug Comics)
8. Good Minnesotan 4 by various, edited by Raighe Hogan (2D Cloud).
9. Acme Novelty Library 20 by Chris Ware (D&Q)
10. Planetary Vol 4. Spacetime Archeology by Warren Ellis & John Cassady (Wildstorm)
Not too many new things here, but its an accurate list of what's made me happiest in comics this year.
1. Rebel Visions: The Underground Comix Revolution by Patrick Rosenkranz (Fantagraphics)
2. Reich #6 and 7 by Elijah Brubaker (Sparkplug)
3. I Need Love by Aline Kominsky Crumb (MQP)
4. Schizophrenia by Vaughn Bode (Fantgraphics)
5. Pocket Full of Rain by Jason (Drawn & Quarterly)
6. One Model Nation by C. Allbritton Taylor & Jim Rugg (Image)
7. The Complete Crumb Comics Volume 3 by Robert Crumb (Fantagraphics)
8. H Day by Renee French (Picturebox)
9. Soba by Joe Sacco (Drawn & Quarterly)
10. The Land of Nod Treasury by Jay Stephens (Oni Press)