I like the idea of my creating a “Best of 2008” list, since I’m probably the worst person to do it. Why? I’m a slow reader… which translates into my having only read probably .05% of what I should have in the year. That said, after thinking this over, I had at least two books that I’ve been wanting to mention on the blog, and one I added to make my magical number three.
But before I get to the “meat”, a short disclaimer of sorts. All three of the works I’ll be mentioning below I received gratis. Does that make a difference? Yes and no. There’s a funny reason for the third selection, but I’ll wait to discuss it there. And to all the others that are making such end of year lists, I just want to remind you of this. Even though the book came out in June, it should still be considered. The fact that it was overlooked on one of the lists that I thought it should have been included makes my grapes sour! But enough of my publisher chest-beating…
Here’s my picks:
Best Book: Alan’s War by Emmanuel Guibert published by First Second.
What made this my favorite book? Everything. The combination of conversational dialogue and water-drawn pictures made it a hard book to put down. Throw in the rough front and the subject matter, and you’ve got my vote for best of the year. Do yourself a favor and read this. If any libraries are worth their weight, they should have it.
Best Collection*: Local by Brian Wood & Ryan Kelly and published by Oni.
First off, you have to see this collection to truly appreciate it. Oni spared no expense in production. But before that, you have the concept. A limited series that pays homage to 12 locals that have been researched out the wazoo. I feel like I’ve been to every city. Wood and Kelly out did them selves with this one. If you do nothing more than flip through this at your local shop, then at least check out the pin-up by moi.(*Assuming I don’t vote for Skyscrapers as a collection. 😉
Best Mini: Remake by Lamar Abrams.
Well, I’m pretty sure this first issue did not come out in 2008… but this is the first I had a chance to read it, so I’m breaking the rules. Lamar gave me copies of 1, 2 & 3 at SPX this year. I recall seeing Lamar the previous year, since he’s the kid with the Ultraman mask. Let’s see… I think I’d call this Astroboy meets Scott Pilgrim. And yes, probably too many things get compared to Scott Pilgrim these days, but it does have that vibe. The art is loose yet informative. The humor is spot on, and he has an eye & ear for the weird. Heck. These minis are so good I’m going to collect them in 2009! (See… that’s the small detail I was referring to at the beginning of this post. I’m sneaky!)
So, those be them. I’m sure I’m forgetting something that came out in April of this year, and I apologize. And to those things that come out in December… you’ll get the Holiday sales, so I don’t need to talk about you here.
But really, aren’t we in a golden age of sequential art publishing? It sure seems like it.