2016 was a very good year for comics. There are more cartoonists than ever before and the interest in comics just keeps growing. Here is a short list of some of the outstanding work that got on my radar this year.
ROSALIE LIGHTNING by Tom Hart
“Hart’s book proves to be an excellent work of self-discovery and of keeping the memory alive of a dear soul.” Read my review here.
BERNIE by Ted Rall
“Rall makes a strong case for a Bernie Sanders candidacy and what it means. Even if establishment Democrats are resistant, Sanders is paving the way for a return to progressive values.” Read my review here.
THE ARAB OF THE FUTURE by Riad Sattouf
“Sattouf’s graphic novel takes us into a part of the world many of us would like to understand better.” Read my review here.
SCORCHED EARTH by Tom Van Deusen
“Tom Van Deusen’s aim is to satirize the oily underbelly of hipsterdom with a neo-underground sensibility.” Read my review here.
SNOT GIRL by Bryan Lee O’Malley and Leslie Hung
“Not in a long while have I enjoyed such a pleasing mix of sexy and cute as with this new comic.” Read my review here.
THE DEATH OF STALIN by Fabien Nury and Thierry Robin
“It is highly accessible: drops you right in, as if you were a fly on the wall, a fly that Stalin, himself, would have thought nothing of swatting and flicking away.” Read my review here.
PATIENCE by Daniel Clowes
“Clowes has created an excellent vehicle for his vision. He has Patience, his ideal young woman, and he has Jack who, due to just the right touch of strange, becomes an ideal Clowes alter ego. This is quite a remarkable, beautiful, and ambitious work.” Read my review here.
DARK PANTS by Matt McFarland
“MacFarland’s drawing and writing is highly accessible. He immerses the reader in the inner turmoil that his characters are going through. With just the right touch of humor, MacFarland offers us stories of missteps of the heart that will stay with us.” Read my review for Issue 3 right here.
YEARBOOK HERO by Ami Komai
“Komai writes and draws this comic which is in the tradition of Daniel Clowes and Adrian Tomine: off-kilter slice of life. Her style is more pared-down, lean, and does a great job of capturing perfectly deadpan hipster moments.” Read my review here.
OVER THE GARDEN WALL by Cartoon Network and Boom! Studios
“Well, it all adds up to some magical storytelling. No prior knowledge, indeed! All you need to do is observe, with a certain amount of glee, little boy Greg as he returns to Dreamland traipsing about, all Little Nemo-style.” Read my review here.
THE NAMELESS CITY by Faith Erin Hicks
“Looking at the artwork to this latest book, I marvel at how Hicks brings her characters to life. Her action scenes are totally believable. It feels like the characters literally jump from page to page.” Read my review here.
HOW TO SURVIVE IN THE NORTH by Luke Healy
“There’s a wonderful depth to this book with its full-bodied scope following the rhythms of a prose novel.” Read my review here.
MUNCH by Steffen Kverneland
“The party was supposed to never end — and then each ending was capable of tearing these fierce bohemians to shreds as they quarreled, mostly over women. That crazy energy is mirrored throughout this book by cartoonist Steffen Kverneland masterfully inserting his own highly spirited debates on Munch with his friend and collaborator, Lars Fiske.” Read my review here.
A CITY INSIDE by Tillie Walden
“Much of what we see in “A City Inside” is a wonderful ode to a daydream nation and to overcoming the trepidations of a young person. Walden celebrates all the great eccentricity to be found in comics.” Read my review here.
THE STRANGER by Jacques Ferrandez
“Ferrandez favors a more painterly and economical approach to creating graphic novels. Throughout the book, he has paintings floating behind the panels. Elements of the watercolor artwork are mirrored back in the panels. The drawings are quick and simplified, kept light, while also providing substance.” Read my review here.
THE BOYS OF SHERIFF STREET by Jerome Charyn and Jacques de Loustal
“The size and scope of Charyn’s story leaves me thinking of what a great movie it could make. That said, everything adds up to a perfect graphic novel. Loustal has created a fully realized world that the characters smoothly move through. This all works flawlessly as classic tragedy with a noir bite.” Read my review here.
EQUINOXES by Cyril Pedrosa
“Pedrosa is living and breathing what he’s setting down on paper at a delicious level. He has an extensive background in animation, which certainly helps, but he takes it even further. He knows how to speed up work. He knows when he can ease up on the details and when to add an extra coat of polish. And to do that well with both his artwork and his writing is definitely remarkable.” Read my review here.
POCAHONTAS: PRINCESS OF THE NEW WORLD by Loïc Locatelli-Kournwsky
“Readers will be pleasantly surprised to read a more enlightened account of such a celebrated figure in history. Locatelli-Kournwsky’s artwork is just the right mix of lightness and precision. And the new English translation by Sandra Smith provides a smooth and accessible path to this most engaging story.” Read my review here.
BECOMING ANDY WARHOL by Nick Bertozzi and Pierce Hargan
“I believe Bertozzi does an admirable job of choosing what bits to use that add up. Hargan does an equally good job of tuning into an irreverent depiction of the man. His Warhol becomes an accessible comics character in his own right. As you read, you can get lost in conversations and the whole pace of things from a certain era.” Read my review here.
SP4RX by Wren MacDonald
“SP4RX has all the bells and whistles in all the right places. This 116-page graphic novel is a full-bodied cyberpunk adventure that would make William Gibson and Philip K. Dick proud.” Read my review here.
Hope this list proves useful and it helps give a sense of the quality and dedication you can find here at Comics Grinder.