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“I love comics. Comics is (Comics ARE?) a perfect language, robustly evolving and expanding like any other living language,” writes Phoebe Gloeckner in her Introduction to The Best American Comics 2018. This year’s collection includes work selected from the pages of graphic novels, comic books, periodicals, zines, online, and more, highlighting the kaleidoscopic diversity “I love comics. Comics is (Comics ARE?) a perfect language, robustly evolving and expanding like any other living language,” writes Phoebe Gloeckner in her Introduction to The Best American Comics 2018. This year’s collection includes work selected from the pages of graphic novels, comic books, periodicals, zines, online, and more, highlighting the kaleidoscopic diversity of the comics language today.   Featuring GABRIELLE BELL • TARA BOOTH • GEOF DARROW • GUY DELISLE • EMIL FERRIS • JULIA GFRÖRER • SARAH GLIDDEN • SIMON HANSELMANN • JAIME HERNANDEZ • JULIA JACQUETTE • GARY PANTER • ARIEL SCHRAG, and others


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“I love comics. Comics is (Comics ARE?) a perfect language, robustly evolving and expanding like any other living language,” writes Phoebe Gloeckner in her Introduction to The Best American Comics 2018. This year’s collection includes work selected from the pages of graphic novels, comic books, periodicals, zines, online, and more, highlighting the kaleidoscopic diversity “I love comics. Comics is (Comics ARE?) a perfect language, robustly evolving and expanding like any other living language,” writes Phoebe Gloeckner in her Introduction to The Best American Comics 2018. This year’s collection includes work selected from the pages of graphic novels, comic books, periodicals, zines, online, and more, highlighting the kaleidoscopic diversity of the comics language today.   Featuring GABRIELLE BELL • TARA BOOTH • GEOF DARROW • GUY DELISLE • EMIL FERRIS • JULIA GFRÖRER • SARAH GLIDDEN • SIMON HANSELMANN • JAIME HERNANDEZ • JULIA JACQUETTE • GARY PANTER • ARIEL SCHRAG, and others

30 review for The Best American Comics 2018

  1. 5 out of 5

    Wil Wheaton

    There are some fantastic entries in this volume, from creators I wouldn't otherwise have discovered. That's what I want from a collection like this, and it's why I gave it 3 stars instead of 2. I wanted to give it 2 stars because this is mostly excerpts from larger works, and while they give us a sense of what those larger works are, I was left feeling unsatisfied over and over again, like I was just getting into a show and someone grabbed the remote and changed the channel. I know it's tough to c There are some fantastic entries in this volume, from creators I wouldn't otherwise have discovered. That's what I want from a collection like this, and it's why I gave it 3 stars instead of 2. I wanted to give it 2 stars because this is mostly excerpts from larger works, and while they give us a sense of what those larger works are, I was left feeling unsatisfied over and over again, like I was just getting into a show and someone grabbed the remote and changed the channel. I know it's tough to collect and represent what's going on in comics these days, because there are so many fantastic webcomic artists and indie graphic novelists out there. If anyone cares, I would recommend that in the future this series splits itself into multiple volumes, maybe one for online work and another for indie work, so we can dive deeper into stories and get a more satisfying experience.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Rod Brown

    I approached this volume with trepidation after last year's disastrous entry, but I'm pleased to see some selections in here from books I might actually consider putting on a best-of list myself, especially Guy Delisle's Hostage or Sarah Glidden's Rolling Blackouts: Dispatches from Turkey, Syria, and Iraq. (It wasn't good for me, but the critically-acclaimed My Favorite Thing Is Monsters, Vol. 1 is also included.) There is still too much fixation on being an alternative comix sampler or indie pub I approached this volume with trepidation after last year's disastrous entry, but I'm pleased to see some selections in here from books I might actually consider putting on a best-of list myself, especially Guy Delisle's Hostage or Sarah Glidden's Rolling Blackouts: Dispatches from Turkey, Syria, and Iraq. (It wasn't good for me, but the critically-acclaimed My Favorite Thing Is Monsters, Vol. 1 is also included.) There is still too much fixation on being an alternative comix sampler or indie publisher showcase for my taste, but I can forgive that if I at least discover something interesting of which I was not previously aware. The excerpted gem from this volume for which I'll be seeking out the full work: Playground of My Mind.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Karl

    I love this series. I’ve been reading it since 2006 and for the most part they are consistently outstanding.This edition gets 4/5 mainly because of a few weaker entries but generally the comics are very good. This year I had bought and owned submissions by the following, all of which were great: Gabrielle Bell, Tara Booth, Guy DeLisle, Emil Ferris, Sarah Glidden, Jesse Jacobs, Joe Ollmann, Keiler Roberts, and Ted Stearn. Interestingly, my favourite entries were from books I’d already read. Surpr I love this series. I’ve been reading it since 2006 and for the most part they are consistently outstanding.This edition gets 4/5 mainly because of a few weaker entries but generally the comics are very good. This year I had bought and owned submissions by the following, all of which were great: Gabrielle Bell, Tara Booth, Guy DeLisle, Emil Ferris, Sarah Glidden, Jesse Jacobs, Joe Ollmann, Keiler Roberts, and Ted Stearn. Interestingly, my favourite entries were from books I’d already read. Surprisingly, submissions that made the Notable List and therefore were not included shocked me by their omission: Ben Passmore, Roman Muradov, Anders Nilsen, Juliacks, Kevin Huizenga, John Porcellino, Seth, Dash Shaw, Leslie Stein, Jillian Tamaki, Chris Ware, Sophie Yanow, Michael Deforge, Eleanor Davis, David Collier, and Sammy Harkham. Any of these creators could have replaced several unnamed entries. Oh, a taste of nostalgia and a pleasant surprise for me was the incredible Geof Darrow piece. Seek this out.

  4. 4 out of 5

    vostendrasamigosyotengolibros

    La verdad que me gusto mucho la antología por que me dio la posibilidad de leer autorxs que no tengo la posibilidad de leer de otra forma y de descubrir a un par que no conocía, especialmente agradecida de leer los trabajos de Chloë Perkis, Keiler Roberts, Michael Ridge, Richie Pope, Laura Pallmall, Julia Jacquette, Alex Graham, Sarah/Margot Ferrick, Julian Glander, Casanova Frankestein, Abraham Diaz, Gabrielle Bell and Lale Westvin, asi que tiene un montón de cosas interesantes.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Megan Kirby

    Some great memoir comics and a series of Susan Something strips I can't stop thinking about, counteracted with some gross-out comics that were definitely not for me.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Lisa

    As per usual, this is a really mixed bag. A lot of my favorite selections I had read in their entirety (Sarah Glidden, Guy Delisle, Simon Hanselmann, Jesse Jacobs, Keiler Roberts, Emil Ferris), or was aware of the work already (Tara Booth). This collection functioned less as a source of discovery of new work for me. And a lot of the work I wasn't familiar with was pretty unpleasant with gratuitous violence.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Steve Portigal

    It's good to see all the different styles in the form. But I can't say anything in this particular selection moved me or made me interested enough to seek out more of the author's work.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Matt Graupman

    Finding it too joyless, heartbreaking, and obvious in its need to shock, I have to admit that I couldn’t finish Phoebe Gloeckner’s acclaimed comics/prose hybrid book, “Diary Of A Teenage Girl.” With this in the back of my mind, I was wary picking up the new 2018 edition of “Best American Comics” because my enjoyment of the series tends to be directly related to how my tastes lines up with the guest editor’s. Happily, Gloeckner’s choices for this volume of the anthology serve as a great reminder Finding it too joyless, heartbreaking, and obvious in its need to shock, I have to admit that I couldn’t finish Phoebe Gloeckner’s acclaimed comics/prose hybrid book, “Diary Of A Teenage Girl.” With this in the back of my mind, I was wary picking up the new 2018 edition of “Best American Comics” because my enjoyment of the series tends to be directly related to how my tastes lines up with the guest editor’s. Happily, Gloeckner’s choices for this volume of the anthology serve as a great reminder not to equate an artist with their characters. Unlike “Diary Of A Teenage Girl,” the pieces in “Best American Comics 2018” are largely warm, humorous, and surprising without being mean-spirited. Aided by series editor Bill Kartalopoulos, Gloeckner’s selections provide a wide-ranging overview of the current landscape of comics, mixing relative unknowns with established voices, with a particular emphasis on the flood of amazing female cartoonists working today. There’s a lot - I mean A LOT - of excerpts in this edition, which further reinforces that so-called graphic novels are definitely the stars of the medium right now, but there are also a fair amount of exciting and experimental stories from various zines and online sources. Every volume of the series leaves me with several new artists to check out but this edition gave me a longer than average list. I’m really impressed this year. “Best American Comics 2018” includes pieces from some of my favorite big-name graphic novels from last year - “Hostage” by Guy Delisle, “Rolling Blackouts” by Sarah Glidden, and “The Abominable Mr. Seabrook” by Joe Ollman - so, in the interest of spotlighting some other creators, these are my lesser-known... FAVORITES: “The Warlok Story” by Max Clotfelter - The author recalls the disgusting, embarrassingly vulgar comics he used to make as a misanthropic teenager. “Sunburning” by Keiler Roberts - Pleasant and wry autobio comics in the vein of John Porcellino and Jenny Zervakis. “Things I Regret” by Ariel Schrag - An unflinching inventory of Ariel’s mistakes, poor choices, and missed opportunities. Lastly, I still believe that “My Favorite Thing Is Monsters” by Emil Ferris is gorgeous but I don’t “get it.” I know I’m in the minority.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Annschi

    Kein guter Jahrgang.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Comics Alternative

    http://comicsalternative.com/episode-... http://comicsalternative.com/episode-...

  11. 4 out of 5

    Manintheboat

    "Oh Phoebe Gloeckner is the editor this year... this is going to be FUBAR." and it is.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Christian McKay

    Not a dud in this collection. Not for the faint of heart.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Walaka

    My enjoyment of this series really depends on how closely my sensibilities match those of the guest author. In this case, not so much...

  14. 5 out of 5

    Brianna Sowinski

    I love finding new artists through these anthologies.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Grady

    Well, that was depressing. I know there’s immense creativity and artistry in this collection, but so much of it is ugly - grotesque bodies, stories full of gory violence (usually a metaphor, but not always) and self-loathing, comics perhaps as therapy for the person who writes and draws them, but I walk away from the collection feeling sickened and sad rather than stimulated or enlarged in spirit. Is there another medium where we value emotional authenticity so highly over proportion, beauty, emp Well, that was depressing. I know there’s immense creativity and artistry in this collection, but so much of it is ugly - grotesque bodies, stories full of gory violence (usually a metaphor, but not always) and self-loathing, comics perhaps as therapy for the person who writes and draws them, but I walk away from the collection feeling sickened and sad rather than stimulated or enlarged in spirit. Is there another medium where we value emotional authenticity so highly over proportion, beauty, empathy and access? Or perhaps I’m just poorly suited to be a reader of these and should stick to texts. Selections I did like -all drawn either realistically or with geometric precision - include Guy Delise, the excerpt from Hostage, about a single garlic clove; Sarah Glidden, Sam’s Story, the account of a man deported and separated from his wife and kids because of post-9/11 suspicions; and Julia Jacquette, excerpt from Playground of My Mind, my favorite of the collection, which conveys a fantastic and colorful sense of wonder and discovery.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Rachel

    Inherently 5 stars since reading this got me doodling comics again. Newly OBSESSED with the pattern painting comics of Tara Booth (it me) and creepy-cute ethereal furry brown abstractions of Margot Ferrick. Previously-established obsessions reinforced: My Favorite Thing is Monsters by Emil Ferris, Megg Mogg & Owl by Simon Hanselmann, Crawl Space by Jesse Jacobs. Stoked to see that Julian Glander makes comics--stumbled on Lovely Weather We're Having in the Steam store and thought it was hilarious Inherently 5 stars since reading this got me doodling comics again. Newly OBSESSED with the pattern painting comics of Tara Booth (it me) and creepy-cute ethereal furry brown abstractions of Margot Ferrick. Previously-established obsessions reinforced: My Favorite Thing is Monsters by Emil Ferris, Megg Mogg & Owl by Simon Hanselmann, Crawl Space by Jesse Jacobs. Stoked to see that Julian Glander makes comics--stumbled on Lovely Weather We're Having in the Steam store and thought it was hilarious. The author's note for Andre Krayewski's "Miss V: My Last Love Story" had me choked up, and the comic itself was so dirty old man but I found myself laughing anyway--weirdly delightful. Not as smitten with the excerpts towards the end but chalk it up to anthology fatigue.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Rachel

    This is a good collection. I liked it better than the previous year's collection, as you could actually tell what was going on in most of the comics. I like Phoebe Glockner and her introduction very much. Her graph of first letters of last names of the contributors versus those of the general America public was deliciously quirky! Also, though my taste is not very similar to that of Bill Kartalopolous, I like his foreward, which talks about artists challenging our assumptions about how art can o This is a good collection. I liked it better than the previous year's collection, as you could actually tell what was going on in most of the comics. I like Phoebe Glockner and her introduction very much. Her graph of first letters of last names of the contributors versus those of the general America public was deliciously quirky! Also, though my taste is not very similar to that of Bill Kartalopolous, I like his foreward, which talks about artists challenging our assumptions about how art can or should work.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Ian Hrabe

    An improvement over Ben Katchor's old white dude comics edition from last year, but I wish there was more grounded material. The trend over the last few years has skewed toward more avant-garde/weird for the sake of weirdness stuff that doesn't resonate with me at all. Gloeckner does, however, do a great job putting together a diverse collection of work. Even if it's pretty hit or miss (leaning more on the miss side of things), it's a neat book to flip through.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Cara Byrne

    "I love comics. Comics is (Comics ARE?) a perfect language, robustly evolving and expanding like any other living language. The pictures say what words could only struggle to express, the words tell us things that images could only describe in awkward pantomime" (Gloeckner xi). My favorite entries including "My Favorite Thing is Monsters, Book 1 (Excerpt)," "Susan Something in: Megapets," and "Playground of my Mind (Excerpt)."

  20. 5 out of 5

    Kaitlyn Novotny

    Gloeckner picked a surprisingly wide array of comic styles that open the possibilities of meaning, interpretation, and the notion that (almost) anyone can be a graphic artist. It's hopeful, inspiring, dark, depressing, and more..making you want to find the original pieces and get the backstories of ALL the authors. But I love "The Best American Comics" collection no matter what so ?

  21. 5 out of 5

    patty ramona

    Just OK. However, the excerpt from Julia Jacquette’s Playground of My Mind was outstanding. I’d like to read in full her graphic memoir about growing up in a Columbus Park Towers apartment in Manhattan, and the modernist playgrounds (1960s and 1970s) she played in as a child. Her illustrations are wonderful.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Kat Hulu

    Conflicted about this one. On the one hand, it really focused on women’s voices and experiences in a way that no other book in the series has so far (though a couple came close). But on the other... boy, there was a lot of absolute garbage. Predictably, I did love the “megapets” (or whatever) bit.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Phyllis

    FROM LIBRARY

  24. 4 out of 5

    P.

    These always give me new people to seek out! And they are also totally influenced by their guest editor, stop lying Bill K. That's part of the fun.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Brendan McAuliffe

    This year is the worst,. Get Phoebe Gloeckner to draw comics but don't let her edit anything anymore

  26. 4 out of 5

    DOUGLAS J BERRY

    A coffee table book. I didn't enjoy this. A collection of reviews and quite thorough. I skimmed thru it, I think it's more enjoyable in the hardcover version?

  27. 5 out of 5

    Michael Kitchen

    As anthologies go, some of it I liked, and some I didn't. Still, it's an excellent example that comics and sequential art are not just about costumed super heroes.

  28. 5 out of 5

    David4439

    3.5 stars. As with all these anthologies, it’s hit or miss.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Kirsti

    Of the artists who are new to me, my favorites are Margot Ferrick and Jesse Jacobs.

  30. 5 out of 5

    chrstphre campbell

    Good Content… But I’m very annoyed that the structure of the book was created so as to defeat some of the element of functionality of the iPad !So that I can’t Pinch Out to Zoom in on Things ? Why would the editors defeat this feature ?

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