15. The Undertaking of Lily Chen
I haven't read Novgorodoff's other graphic work yet, but Refresh, Refresh sounds promising. Her art is simple bordering on crude in spots, but incorporates watercolor and drybrush and evokes sumi-e in spots. Her photography and other illustration, which can be seen at her web site, reveal a great combination of control and passion. Her teaching and freelance career are clearly keeping her quite busy, but not so busy that there isn't another book on the horizon, I hope!
14. Lackadaisy Cats
|A recent Lackadaisy strip!|
The characters have a perfect verbal and visual economy. They never feel the need to make long-winded speeches! No illustrated radio here, these characters know who they are, and even when they're idling around, the strip is driven by movement rather than text.
And the art just shines. A lovely controlled palette, innovative yet perfectly legible layouts and strategically paced text, all of which move the stories along nicely.
And damn, it's pretty.
A tightly controlled palette, used very effectively, is a visual hallmark of the strip. Although it's not complex, I find myself looking at her art and thinking, "how does she DO that?"
There's been one collection so far, out in hardcover and TPB. The fans of this wonderful strip have been much too quiet about it. How about it, folks? Let's sing the praises of this one!
13. Marvel Star Wars titles
|Look who's hanging out at the comic store...|
Star Wars 1-3
Darth Vader 1
12. Brok Windsor
|one of the original comics covers|
|the artist/writer working on a different strip|
Quality reprints of classic comics, both standards and lost gems, routinely make my "best of" lists. 2015 was my year to go nuts on Kickstarter, backing 31 projects! The first project I backed was one of the best, spotlighting a lost Canadian comic hero, Brok Windsor. This work by Jon Staples is so many things- frontier adventure, fantasy, SF with a tinge of giant creature horror, and a delight to discover! This 1940s gem was rediscovered by Hope Nicholson, who gave us the wonderful Nelvana of the Northern Lights anthology a couple years ago. Though painstakingly restored, the detailed notes and background don't prevent enjoyment of this work. I was particularly impressed with Staples' fluid page layouts, as seen here.
The collection includes a newly drawn story from a recently discovered script, which will be very useful next time I teach Comic Book Writing.
I opted for the slipcased edition of this. See shots below.
11. Ms. Marvel/Captain Marvel
Again, these books began before 2015. But while they've always been strong, they both hit their stride this year. Ms. Marvel is a wonderful vehicle for empathy for Muslims from us ignorant non-Muslims, as well a being a slice of teen life that does NOT wallow in the usual cliches. Captain Marvel is about a woman coming into her own, finding her place in the scope of the Uinverse and embracing her power. Oh, and flying. Captain Marvel is all about flying.
I'm uncertain about the future of these titles, given that Marvel is planning yet another cataclysmic universe shaping event. Enough already. Just tell us good stories and stop getting in your own way.
Then again, I've been saying that for decades, and they just keep going.
Ah well. The books are still there for me, company politics aside.
Next: Best of 2015, numbers 10 - 6.