Friday, February 10, 2012

Best Comics of 2011: no. 1

To recap:
14. Sailor Twain
13. The Lions of Valletta
12. FF/ Fantastic Four no. 600
11. Rachel Rising/ Terry Moore's How to Draw series
10. Batwoman
9.  Star Trek
8. Scapled, Book 8
7. Ruse: The Victorian Guide to Murder
6. Sugar & Spike Archives
5. The Shade miniseries
4. Kevin Keller/ The Simpsons no. 183
3. Habibi
2. Pogo Vol. 1: Through the Wild Blue Yonder
And the No. 1 comic of last year:
This thing is a monster, in every way. Close to 40 years in the making, this is the only comic I know of that contains work by Vaughn Bode', C.C. Beck, Fellini, Frank Zappa, Will Eisner, Barry Smith, Wally Wood, Trina Robbins and Tom Wolfe, which is but a small sampling, to give you an idea of the book's scope.
The volume measures a hefty 5.7 x 11.8 x 0.9 inches and weighs over four pounds. The initial concept as proposed to Rolling Stone was to have cartoonists create work that summarized their views of the 1960s as the decade drew to a close. The project was tabled for a labyrinth of reasons, and just finally saw print this last November from Abrams Books.
Another noteworthy touch: the editor, Micheal Chocquette, asked that the creators leave blank space in each of their stories. He then returned to the stories and filled in those holes, illustrating his escapades in getting the book out in panels contained in the other narratives.
I had a hard time deciding which pieces to include in this entry, but here's the Frank Zappa page.
And I'll brook no complaints about the pages being crooked. Given the size of this bear, it's a miracle I got it on the scanner!
And here's the Eisner story, always a welcome treat.

 A new Spirit story.
That alone is an event worth celebrating.
In addition to the aforementioned benefits, the text of the foreign language strips is printed in the original text, with a section in the back devoted to translations. And the editor even has the courtesy to refer to the late Jeffrey Catherine Jones by her proper name and pronoun, despite her work having been submitted before she came out.
So what does it say that the two best comics of the year were reprints? Was there really such a dearth of worthwhile new material? Did I just not see the best stuff? Did my limited exposure for the first half of the year taint my judgment?
Or was that just the way it worked out?
Some combination of those factors, I suspect.
2012 looks to be a promising year for comics. I'm enjoying the stuff I've been reading all along- CHEW, Unwritten, Terry Moore's stuff- and some old favorites are reappearing- the first new issue of The Twelve for almost two years- so I have hope for a good year in comics.
Thanks for sticking with me through this painfully protracted process. Much faster next year!

1 comment:

  1. I've really enjoyed reading this series of posts, particularly the one on Star Trek, which I love but had completely lost track of. You have a really interesting range of material represented here.