Here are five comics I read this year which I really enjoyed. They are listed in no particular order. They are all great. I also have no idea whether they all came out this year or not, or if they’re still in print, but I hope that you’ll try and seek them out regardless.
Garrettsville by Jenn Lisa
This short comic came out last year (I think) as part of the Dog City anthology series. It’s a humble and touching comic about how small towns shape, accept and reject us. I keep coming back to it. There’s something in the balance the drawing strikes that is reassuring and captivating – gently walking a line between sketch and abstraction and cartooning. It’s really good, and I’m excited to see Jenn do more work.
A Homesick Truant’s Cumbrian Yarn by Oliver East
I finally picked up the last issues of Oliver’s walking comics series at TCAF. The ten comics document Oliver’s walk from Arnside to Carlisle, a 140 mile walk he made in 10 stages, loosely following the train line. As the issues progress, the work morphs into a visceral, impressionistic, visual account of person and environment. Words, shapes, elements. Floods. Livestock. People. Exertion. Wind. It’s pretty staggering.
Fütchi Perf by Kevin Czap
This is an intriguing, almost sensual comic (the shapes! the colours! the print! the paper stock!) about possible futures. Are they good possible futures? Is that the question we need to ask? It’s otherworldly and vivd and relatable and confounding too. Asks more questions as it answers. Amazing.
Baseline Boulevard by Emi Gennis
This is story is a beautifully paced account of grief, told across landscapes and pencil drawings. Built around driving a particular distance, while slipping in and out of memories and flashbacks, it’s a great example of how time in comics ebbs and flows at different rates. It’s moving and deeply personal.
I’m not sure if you can still buy it in print but you can read it online here
When The Last Story is Told by Allan Haverholm
A lovely hardback book of 60 pages of abstract, expressionistic, comics grids. Each one is textured, collaged, painted, and composed in a variety of ways. The eyes struggle not to find form and shape and narrative in the pieces, while also coming to understand them only as what they are. But what are they? It’s a remarkable book, if you let it in. So worth it.