Category Archives: Lists

Ten Favorite Comics Published in 2018

THE BEST COMICS OF 2018

The Comics Journal is an essential source for reporting on and discussing the comics scene. I am honored to be included in its annual Best of The Year in Comics feature. You can see my list highlighted below. And you will be amazed at the vast selection of suggested reading from various notable critics, creators and publishers. Take a look at this year’s Comics Journal feature right here.

Amongst the Liberal Elite by Elly Lonon and Joan Reilly

1. AMONGST THE LIBERAL ELITE  by Elly Lonon and Joan Reilly (Powerhouse Books)

To be able to take a popular column made up of clever repartee and turn it into a graphic novel is quite remarkable.

Prism Stalker by Sloane Leong

2. PRISM STALKER by Sloane Leong (Image)

For a comics critic who also both writes and draws comics, I am confident in sharing with you what sets Ms. Leong apart. If the cartoonist is particularly driven, the transition can be made from bohemian poet to career path. In this ideal case, the work retains that same idiosyncratic vibe and integrity.

Berlin by Jason Lutes

3. BERLIN by Jason Lutes (D&Q)

This is the omnibus we’ve been waiting for, the complete Berlin! It has been twenty years in the making and looks wonderful all in one place.

Art Comic by Matthew Thurber

4. ART COMIC by Matthew Thurber (D&Q)

Mr. Thurber actually works out his satirical narrative to such a precise degree that it reaches a peak of whimsical perfection.

Windowpane by Joe Kessler

5. WINDOWPANE by Joe Kessler (Breakdown)

In a fit of petulant bravado, Mr. Kessler will take a gob of primary colors and fling them like a bolt of lightning. A blast of these harsh basic colors will blow up some characters to bits. Others will be saved for a proper decapitation. All in a day’s work.

The Furnace by Prentis Rollins

6. THE FURNACE by Prentis Rollins (Tor Books)

This work does indeed compare favorably with the best of the original Twilight Zone. That’s a tall order but this is an exceptionally unique work. I don’t take such comparisons lightly and I have no problem striking down false claims that occur quite often. So, yes, this is the real deal with its finely modulated pace and attention to detail.

M.F.K. by Nilah Magruder

7. M.F.K. by Nilah Magruder (Insight Comics)

This is one of the most unusual and mysterious comics I’ve ever read.

Alpha: Abidjan to Paris by Bessora and Barroux

8. ALPHA: ABIDJAN TO PARIS by Bessora and Barroux (Bellevue Literary Press)

Alpha, our main character, while symbolic of all immigrants struggling against the odds, readily engages the reader with his own set of specifics. In this way, the creative team truly gives a face to a problem demanding our attention.

The Dead Eye and The Deep Blue Sea by Vannak Anan Prum

9. THE DEAD EYE AND THE DEEP BLUE SEA by Vannak Anan Prum (Seven Stories)

There are more slaves today, well over 40 million, than at any time in human history. A new book, a graphic memoir, by Vannak Anan Prum provides a most vivid and compelling testimony.

The Winner by Karl Stevens

10. THE WINNER by Karl Stevens (Retrofit)

Mr. Stevens is engaging in the fine old tradition of presenting a portrait of the artist and having the reader take of it what they will. In this case, there is much to take and much to celebrate.

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Comics Grinder Comics Top Twelve Lists for 2014

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

My parting thoughts for 2014: I always end up warming up to these end-of-year lists. This is based upon the batch of work that got reviewed here at Comics Grinder this year, what ranks as notable for one reason or another, with links included. I look forward to keeping to a quirky and offbeat path and see where it leads us this time next year.

I have separated things out into three main categories: Graphic Novels, Comic Books, and Small Press/Indie. I hope you will find this list useful as you look back on the year and consider what lies in store for us in 2015.

Weapons of Mass Diplomacy

Weapons of Mass Diplomacy

GRAPHIC NOVELS

Bohemians: A Graphic History “Inspiring.”

World War 3 Illustrated 1979-2014 “Enlightening.”

Weapons of Mass Diplomacy “A most relevant book.”

Truth Is Fragmentary “A persistent vision. Masterful depictions of the everyday with sly humor.”

Andre the Giant “Brown builds a case for a subject worthy of exploration. Andre the Giant proves to be a true hero.”

The Hospital Suite “Honest depictions of struggle told with simplicity and clarity.”

Megahex “Pure Genius.”

The Gigantic Beard That Was Evil “Sweet and fanciful with a nice satirical bite.”

The Wrenchies “A new generation’s ‘Quadrophenia’ with generous helpings of ‘Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory.’”

In Real Life “One of the most intriguing graphic novels of the year.”

Your Illustrated Guide To Becoming One With The Universe “Tranquil sincerity.”

The Collector “A masterwork by Sergio Toppi.”

The Wicked + The Divine

The Wicked + The Divine

COMIC BOOKS

Gotham Academy “Delivers the goods.”

The Witcher “Nicely paced chills.”

The Fade Out “Poetic and provocative noir.”

Lumberjanes “Compositions that slice right through the page.”

The Multiversity “From high concept to gut level action.”

Nightworld “Brainy, bawdy, and full of good laughs.”

Sirens “Playful, ferocious, and just plain fun.”

Loki: Ragnarok and Roll “A rock ‘n’ roll theme that gets it right.”

Dark Engine “Highly imaginative. All-out beautiful.”

The Wicked + The Divine “Gorgeous and audacious.”

Thomas Alsop “Great supernatural theme and premise.”

The Empty Man “One really good scare.”

Drag Bandits

Drag Bandits

SMALL PRESS/INDIE

Cats In Service “Quite an amusing and spooky tale.”

How I Made The World #1 “Very personal, conversational style.”

Towerkind “A true page-turner.”

Amelia: A Monsters & Girls Book “A funhouse of offbeat terror and mystery.”

Welcome to Nursing HELLo “Confronts reality head-on with quick smarts and with a heart.”

Drag Bandits #1 “This is like a truly fancy dessert or souffle, delicate yet full of life.”

Debbie’s Inferno “Great deadpan and droll humor.”

Facility Integrity “A wonderfully droll style.”

Trepanation “Both hilarious and informative.”

Study Group Magazine #3D “Fun and informative and so much more.”

Gonzo Cosmic #1 “Superhero comics grounded in a more plausible sensibility.”

Saltire “Welcome to Scotland’s first superhero, Saltire!”

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THE LIST: Comics To Look Out for According to HEEB Magazine.

One Trick Rip-Off Paul Pope

Here’s a nice lineup of comics from our friends at HEEB Magazine. Nice to see some favorites like THE CARTER FAMILY: DON’T FORGE THIS SONG and Paul Pope’s ONE TRICK RIP-OFF + DEEP CUTS.

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