Monday, 1 June 2015

Taking stock: year's best comics... so far

It's June already, which means 6 months of 2015 have almost slithered by (and Ramadhan is soon upon us!). I wanted to share in one place the comics I've really enjoyed and been impressed by so far this year. I thought of perhaps tweeting them out, but having them compiled together in a short post that people can access, link, and return to, if need be, seemed like a better decision. The bulk of these comics are ones that may not get as much coverage (although I think Michael DeForge's First Year Healthy has been one of the most reviewed books this year), and the discussion around a comic in general has a very short life span: a burst of reviews around release time and then onto the next book. These are comics that have been the cream of the cream for me; the ones that have kept me invested in the medium, and I'd really encourage you to give at least one title here a go. I've linked the titles to their respective reviews which allows you to read and see a little more on each, although some I've not gotten around to writing about yet. It feels like a quiet year to me, with none of those unanimous-type 'big' books that people - I feel like The Hanukas' The Divine could go that way- but what do I know.

As much as I love lists (and I love lists A LOT), last year there was such a volume of end of year best of lists that making one felt incredibly redundant. I'm not going to do one this year. Or at least not in that format. I did a brief halfway look last year, and enjoyed that, so here we are again.  Should I still be doing this next year, my aim is to get in a list for January 31st precisely. Looking forward, there's still another 6 months to the year, months carrying quite a few comics I'm looking forward to- the two Junji Ito releases: Fragments of Horror, and Cat Diary. Kate Beaton's new Hark! A Vagrant! collection and picture book. David Rubin with books from Image and Dark Horse. James Stokoe on Godzilla in Hell. New books from Dilraj Mann (Nobrow) and Sophie Franz (Retrofit Comics).

First Year Healthy by Michael DeForge (Drawn & Quarterly)
Lighten Up by Ronald Wimberly (The Nib)
Frontier #7 Sex Coven (Youth in Decline), and SuperMutant Magic Academy (Drawn & Quarterly) by Jillian Tamaki
Sunny by Taiyo Matsumoto (Viz)
Weeping Flower, Grows In Darkness by Kris Mukai
Vacancy by Jen Lee (Nobrow)
The Highgate County Fancy Chicken Show by Eleanor Davis (The Nib)
Lovers Only by Cathy G. Johnson, Mickey Zacchilli, and Sophia Foster-Dimino (Youth in Decline)
The Divine by Asaf Hanuka, Tomer Hanuka, and Boaz Lavie (First Second)
Mowgli's Mirror by Olivier Schrauwen (Retrofit Comics)
The Hunter by Joe Sparrow (Nobrow)
Assassination Classroom by Yusei Matsui (Viz)
Soft Float by Valentine Gallardo (Space Face Books)

The Divine

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