40. FABLES vol. 20
Willingham & Buckingham’s seemingly-endless saga wends towards its conclusion, out of the darkness of its previous volume and back towards its heroic roots.
The tour-de-force cartooning in this WRENCHIES side story would make Moebius proud.
38. KILL MY MOTHER
Jules Feiffer is one of the true architects of the comics medium — here, in his smoke-wreathed noir debut graphic novel, he shows that he’s still on top of his game.
Let Ice-T and Dan Harmon (sadly, not doing his impression of Ice-T) and friends read Dungeons and Dragons to you. It’s…something special.
Simon Hanselmann’s weirdly sociopathic stoner gag strip MEGG, MOGG & OWL, collected here by Fantagraphics, is a stealth delivery system for some terrifyingly dark character studies.
35. MULTIVERSITY #1
Bucking the shitty MOR trends of DC, shamanic comics mastermind Grant Morrison delivers a brain-blasting metacomic, with gorgeously detailed universes drawn by Ivan Reis. Surprising that the suits are letting the iconoclastic Morrison have this much fun with their precious continuity.
A surprisingly straightforward two-issue series from the usually enigmatic Dash Shaw combines the brutal teen angst of GHOST WORLD with the obsessive fandoms of the internet age. Shaw is the last artist I would have expected to sensitively skewer the wishful shabbiness of cosplay and anime conventions with well-observed, even affectionate disdain.
33. JUICE SQUEEZERS: THE GREAT BUG ELEVATOR
Sometimes you just want to watch a bunch of mixed-up high school kids stomp a bunch of giant bugs to death. Finally, there is a book that fulfills that inexplicable but universal urge.
32. LITTLE NEMO: DREAM ANOTHER DREAM Smells Great!
Like fresh tubers and rich soil and history unfolding. We have a small batch of advance copies in hand, and we can’t stop inhaling them. Track us down at any of our upcoming shows to smell this ungodly beauty for yourself.
31. Pizza Cats
So it appears the Japanese version of Locust Moon is a Pizza Hut.
30. SEDUCED AND ABANDONED
Not new this month, but new to us — this hilarious, depressing, and utterly watchable documentary follows James Toback and Alec Baldwin as they pitch a thoroughly unmarketable sequel to LAST TANGO IN PARIS at the Cannes Film Festival. If you’ve ever wondered why movies suck so much, this weird and brilliant documentary is your answer.
29. Ed Piskor & Tom Scioli at Locust Moon
Tom may have kept his shirt on this time, but there were plenty of other thrills to be had — from Ed’s comprehensive and fascinating talk on his influences and sources of inspiration to watching Tom work on his triptych of TRANSFORMERS vs. GI JOE covers, it was a night that brought some uniquely Pittsburghian magic to the City of Brotherly Love.
28. THE WAKE
Scott Snyder and Sean Murphy teamed up to produce one of the strangest and most compelling books of the year, a claustrophobic horror story that explodes midway into an adrenal bio-futurist epic.
Our wettest, wildest issue. (Except for the previous one.) Rob Woods, Farel Dalrymple, Andrea Tsurumi, Mike Sgier, Dave Proch and Daniel Elisii take on aquatic themes, in shifting shades of blue ink.
Mike Dawson is the remarkably talented creator of ANGIE BONGIOLATTI. In this incredibly brave and clear-eyed essay, the very talented graphic novelist outlines his failure to find and communicate with his audience. It’s an unflinching portrait of a rapidly changing industry, with a brutally honest bravery that speaks well of Mike, and augers well for his future.
25. LITTLE NEMO: RETURN TO SLUMBERLAND
Gabe Rodriguez and Eric Shanower beat us by a hair to the Slumberland sandbox, and built some pretty spectacular sandcastles. True to the spirit of Nemo, yet sleek and modern in its storytelling, their long-form Nemo adventure promises months of sweet dreams.
24. THE FADE OUT
Brubaker and Phillips bring their patented brand of snarling pulp noir to Old Hollywood, and it feels like this is where they’ve been headed all along…
23. SANDMAN: OVERTURE #3
Shut it down and give J.H. Williams the Eisner already. This book has bled readership due to the endless delays, but you can’t rush work like this. Cartooning that transports you, that creates and destroys worlds from panel to panel. And hey, that Gaiman guy ain’t bad either.
22. Comic Artist of the Year Box Brown
Our man repped West Philly at the Geek Awards and took home the big comics prize.
21. JACK AND THE BOX
Spiegelman’s odd, charming and ever-so-slightly-creepy children’s book is finally back in print.
20. Koko’s Reaction to the Death of Robin Williams
Maybe it’s those who suffer the most who can bring the most joy. To man and monkey alike.
19. THE SHADOW HERO
Gene Luen Yang & Sonny Liew’s charmingly retro Golden Age superhero saga is a actually a deeply felt story about being a first generation American.
Curt Pires & ONCE UPON A TIME MACHINE alum Jason Copland launch a sneering, satirical, candy-colored sci-fi fantasia.
17. Sienkiewicz’s Cover for MC Frontalot’s QUESTION BEDTIME
A sort of surprise companion piece to Bill’s DREAM ANOTHER DREAM contribution indicates that our Little Nemo may have infiltrated his dreams to stay.
Our one & only Baby Boy Dave Proch is collecting his greasy fried-calamari comix in one weird, delicious magazine. Help make the world a sleazier, scarier, more imaginative place.
15. Eleanor Davis Cartoon Diary
With her week-long daily cartoon diary for The Comics Journal, one of the finest illustrators and storytellers in the biz invites us into her thoughtful, beautiful world.
14. Ron Wimberly’s LOCUST MOON COMICS FESTIVAL Poster
The one & only D-Pi delivers this Moebius-inflected icon of pure comic book glory. We’re not a cosplay kind of show, but if anyone wants to dress up as Arzach riding a giant locust we’re not gonna complain…
13. DAREDEVIL’s Original Sin
In the midst of an already incredible run, Mark Waid and Javier Rodriguez have used a cross-company crossover to leave an indelible and worthwhile stamp on the character of Matt Murdock.
This guy‘s in tip top shape and headed for 200!
11. Don Rosa’s SON OF THE SUN
No one has more reverence for, and has added more to, the great Carl Barks’ duck stories than Don Rosa, whose famous LIFE & TIMES OF SCROOGE MCDUCK should be required reading for any aspiring cartoonist or decent human being. Thanks to Fantagraphics, we’ll be getting ALL of Rosa’s duck work, starting here. Thank you, Fantagraphics.
Michael Allred and Warren Ellis tell the tale of House Bacardi. We’ll need to see some I.D., please.
An epic exercise in film-making has produced one of the most unique and intimate movies of our time, tapping brilliantly into the very way we remember our own lives.
8. Relaunched DARK HORSE PRESENTS
The heavyweight champ of anthologies returns in a slimmed-down format with new KABUKI from David Mack, new BIG GUY AND RUSTY THE BOY ROBOT, new SABERTOOTH SWORDSMAN…need we say more?
7. That ANACONDA Fart Remix
Some things you can’t unsee or unhear.
Something so special that it made this list without even existing yet. But it must happen. It deserves to. If you know what WILD ZERO is, you’ll want to contribute, too.
5. This Ad for Cat Neutering
Meet the coolest of the cool.
Erika Moen does a public service.
3. THE WRENCHIES
We’ve been talking about it for months, even years — and it’s finally here. Farel Dalrymple drops a visionary neutron bomb on this medium. Feed THE WRENCHIES to your eyes — your brain will thank you.
2. JACK DAVIS: DRAWING AMERICAN POP CULTURE
The quickest draw in the west is showcased in a beautiful Fantagraphics edition. Like only the best can, he makes flawlessly expressive cartooning look easy.
The singular Polish illustrator Andre Krayewski has decided, at the tail end of his seventies, to become a graphic novelist. Over the course of two years, between dialysis treatments, he drew a 356-page graphic novel about his life as a young bohemian in communist Poland. It’s a story full of adventure and longing, and Krayewski has a bold and original voice as a cartoonist. You can be any age when the glory of this medium sets your imagination on fire. Please help this unique book see the light of day.