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The Best American Comics 2019

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 Jillian Tamaki, co-author of This One Summer, picks the best graphic pieces of the year. “The pieces I chose were those that stuck with me, represented something important about comics in this moment, and exemplified excellence of the craft. Surveying the final collection, I’m moved by the variety of individual approaches. There are so many ways to make us care about litt  Jillian Tamaki, co-author of This One Summer, picks the best graphic pieces of the year. “The pieces I chose were those that stuck with me, represented something important about comics in this moment, and exemplified excellence of the craft. Surveying the final collection, I’m moved by the variety of individual approaches. There are so many ways to make us care about little marks on a page.”—Jillian Tamaki, from the introduction The Best American Comics 2019 showcases the work of established and up-and-coming artists, collecting work found in the pages of graphic novels, comic books, periodicals, zines, online, in galleries, and more, highlighting the kaleidoscopic diversity of the comics form today.  Featuring Vera Brosgol, Eleanor Davis, Nick Drnaso, Margot Ferrick, Ben Passmore, John Porcellino, Joe Sacco, Lauren Weinstein, Lale Westvind, and others.


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 Jillian Tamaki, co-author of This One Summer, picks the best graphic pieces of the year. “The pieces I chose were those that stuck with me, represented something important about comics in this moment, and exemplified excellence of the craft. Surveying the final collection, I’m moved by the variety of individual approaches. There are so many ways to make us care about litt  Jillian Tamaki, co-author of This One Summer, picks the best graphic pieces of the year. “The pieces I chose were those that stuck with me, represented something important about comics in this moment, and exemplified excellence of the craft. Surveying the final collection, I’m moved by the variety of individual approaches. There are so many ways to make us care about little marks on a page.”—Jillian Tamaki, from the introduction The Best American Comics 2019 showcases the work of established and up-and-coming artists, collecting work found in the pages of graphic novels, comic books, periodicals, zines, online, in galleries, and more, highlighting the kaleidoscopic diversity of the comics form today.  Featuring Vera Brosgol, Eleanor Davis, Nick Drnaso, Margot Ferrick, Ben Passmore, John Porcellino, Joe Sacco, Lauren Weinstein, Lale Westvind, and others.

30 review for The Best American Comics 2019

  1. 5 out of 5

    Dave Schaafsma

    I really like Jillian Tamaki’s selection of best comics of 2019. I had read longer versions of a lot of it, and with her recommend, among many others: An excerpt from Nick Drnaso’s (Chicago!) bleak futuristic mindscape, Sabrina; Margot Ferrick’s (also Chicago) Dognurse; Fanny Britt and Isabelle Arsenault’s Louis Undercover; A sample of what I had not read before and loved: Lale Westvind’s Grip, excerpt from Volume one, wordless, focus on women in the trades; “Selections From ‘King-Cat #78’” by John Po I really like Jillian Tamaki’s selection of best comics of 2019. I had read longer versions of a lot of it, and with her recommend, among many others: An excerpt from Nick Drnaso’s (Chicago!) bleak futuristic mindscape, Sabrina; Margot Ferrick’s (also Chicago) Dognurse; Fanny Britt and Isabelle Arsenault’s Louis Undercover; A sample of what I had not read before and loved: Lale Westvind’s Grip, excerpt from Volume one, wordless, focus on women in the trades; “Selections From ‘King-Cat #78’” by John Porcellino, about his backyard, the natural world, small wonders in a world of chaos; “Uninhabitable” by Jed McGowan, speculative fiction about developing other planets to live; “Hurt Or Fuck” by Eleanor Davis, a wry and witty exploration of relationships; And maybe the gem (because I had not heard of it) of the collection: Joe Sacco’s “Bitumen or Bust,” about climate change and the “tar sands” of Alberta, just amazing comics journalism from the master.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Rod Brown

    A fairly decent anthology as long as you keep in mind that hardly any of this is the best of anything except alternative comics to which the publisher could wrangle reprint rights. No DC, Marvel, Image, Dark Horse here. No, Drawn & Quarterly and Koyama Press are the dominate publishers according to this. Seriously, I read more than 500 graphic novels a year, and only 3 of the 25 excerpts were from books I had previously read. At least there were fewer unreadable selections than in previous years, A fairly decent anthology as long as you keep in mind that hardly any of this is the best of anything except alternative comics to which the publisher could wrangle reprint rights. No DC, Marvel, Image, Dark Horse here. No, Drawn & Quarterly and Koyama Press are the dominate publishers according to this. Seriously, I read more than 500 graphic novels a year, and only 3 of the 25 excerpts were from books I had previously read. At least there were fewer unreadable selections than in previous years, and the new-to-me Joe Sacco story was enough to make the whole book worthwhile.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Peacegal

    3.5 stars -- As with any varied collection from different artists, there were comics that really intrigued me and others that left me cold. I'm with the other reviewers who were wowed by Joe Sacco's contribution, in which he examines the complicated debate over the Alberta, Canada, tar sands and what they mean for the community and the environment. 3.5 stars -- As with any varied collection from different artists, there were comics that really intrigued me and others that left me cold. I'm with the other reviewers who were wowed by Joe Sacco's contribution, in which he examines the complicated debate over the Alberta, Canada, tar sands and what they mean for the community and the environment.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Maia

    Jillian Tamaki is one of my favorite comics author/illustrators, and I was delighted to see she was edited a Best American Comics volume! This cover by Sophia Foster-Dimino knocked my socks off. The anthology as a whole mixes short stories with excerpts from longer works. For me, the standouts were: Jillian's introduction; Joe Sacco's "Bitumen or Bust" about tar sands and oil extraction in Northern Canada; Ben Passmore's "Martin Luther King Jr. Was More Radical Than You Think" previously publish Jillian Tamaki is one of my favorite comics author/illustrators, and I was delighted to see she was edited a Best American Comics volume! This cover by Sophia Foster-Dimino knocked my socks off. The anthology as a whole mixes short stories with excerpts from longer works. For me, the standouts were: Jillian's introduction; Joe Sacco's "Bitumen or Bust" about tar sands and oil extraction in Northern Canada; Ben Passmore's "Martin Luther King Jr. Was More Radical Than You Think" previously published on The Nib; Sophia Foster-Dimino's "Small Mistakes Make Big Problems" which I had read before in Comics For Choice a collection supporting abortion access; Vera Brosgol's "Be Prepared" from the wonderful YA comic of the same name; and "Hurt or Fuck", a weird beautiful story by Eleanor Davis that investigates the meaning of art, love and human relationships.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Karl

    This was worth it for the Drnaso and Porcellino pieces but my biggest criticism of this particular anthology is that every year on the Notables list at the back of the book the editor always leaves off incredible work by outstanding creators. This years omissions were Jim Woodring ! Micheal DeForge ! Jaime Hernandez ! Even a lesser known Tom Van Deusen did a great book last year.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Matt Graupman

    Clearly any anthology claiming to collect the best comics, American or otherwise, published in any given year is going to take some heat for such a highly subjective endeavor. The “Best American Comics” series has always cleverly sidestepped that criticism through its use of guest editors, who cull the selections of series editor Bill Kartalopoulos into something more esoteric and personal; it’s just that “The Best American Comics According To Neil Gaiman” or “...According To Lynda Barry” is too Clearly any anthology claiming to collect the best comics, American or otherwise, published in any given year is going to take some heat for such a highly subjective endeavor. The “Best American Comics” series has always cleverly sidestepped that criticism through its use of guest editors, who cull the selections of series editor Bill Kartalopoulos into something more esoteric and personal; it’s just that “The Best American Comics According To Neil Gaiman” or “...According To Lynda Barry” is too unwieldy a title. This year’s edition, the 2019 model, is overseen by Jillian Tamaki and it is a winner from top to bottom. Maybe my tastes just align really well with Tamaki’s but I think this volume hits all the right notes. There’s a great mix of styles, tones, subjects, mediums, etc. throughout, with a slight - but well-deserved - emphasis on YA comics. Even the more abstract-y, experimental pieces that always grind “Best American Comics” to a halt are more accessible and interesting than in past years. There’s no doubt in my mind that this 2019 collection is one of the best editions in the anthology’s history. FAVORITES: “Selections From ‘King-Cat #78’” by John Porcellino: The self-publishing O.G. trains his gentle eye on the small wonders of the natural world. “Small Mistakes Make Big Problems” by Sophia Foster-Dimino: A passionate and raw personal defense of pro-choice rights and access. “Uninhabitable” by Jed McGowan: A lush piece of speculative sci-fi about the pitfalls of terraforming distant worlds for humanity’s benefit. “Hurts Or Fuck” by Eleanor Davis - A typically poetic and witty exploration of relationship dynamics from the master of poetic and witty comic explorations of relationship dynamics.

  7. 5 out of 5

    MundiNova

    I'm not going to argue about "best" American comics, that's subjective. But out of 25 comics, I only liked 3 or 4. I went into this book with minimal expectations - just wanting to be exposed to unfamiliar artists. Tamaki and I have different tastes. Now I know which artists I don't care for, so that's a win. Right? I'm not going to argue about "best" American comics, that's subjective. But out of 25 comics, I only liked 3 or 4. I went into this book with minimal expectations - just wanting to be exposed to unfamiliar artists. Tamaki and I have different tastes. Now I know which artists I don't care for, so that's a win. Right?

  8. 4 out of 5

    ashes ➷

    I agree with everyone else and would just like to provide my own favorite pieces. This is an intensely hit or miss collection, which I frankly think is a good thing. Someone coming here to see up-and-coming artists would be well satisfied; someone coming for artsy avante-garde works would be well satisfied; someone coming to see every 'rule' of comics broken would be well satisfied. And someone like me, who just likes comics, was also well satisfied. This was so much fun! I've marked this book D I agree with everyone else and would just like to provide my own favorite pieces. This is an intensely hit or miss collection, which I frankly think is a good thing. Someone coming here to see up-and-coming artists would be well satisfied; someone coming for artsy avante-garde works would be well satisfied; someone coming to see every 'rule' of comics broken would be well satisfied. And someone like me, who just likes comics, was also well satisfied. This was so much fun! I've marked this book DNF for a perhaps unusual reason; I did go from front to back, but when writing was too hard/dense to read or when I simply wasn't interested, I occasionally skipped a story. I personally believe this is totally normal for a 'best of' list picked by two editors-- no wonder I had some I didn't love! And I still understood why they were chosen. At the end of the day, it's painful to exclude absolutely anyone from the list, and I really appreciated the authors (both those I'd never heard of and those I was familiar with) chosen here. I'd recommend checking the book out just because I really loved my favorites here, and they absolutely inspired me to go looking for more. So here are those favorites, with some notes! Asterisks denote a writer/artist/project I was previously aware of or had read. Introduction - Jillian Tamaki* What a way to capture a moment. Tamaki's introduction was a breeze to read and very thoughtfully put together, along with the wonderful illustrations. An overall great start to the book. Louis Undercover (Excerpt)* - Fanny Britt and Isabelle Arsenault* Arsenault is becoming one of my favorite graphic novelists in the game. Her style is simply unforgettable; she works with a beautiful honesty and tenderness all ages can enjoy. I'm envious of the children reading her & Britt's work now who will get that wonderful experience of evolving alongside a favorite text. Joe Sacco - Bitumen or Bust A great piece in a traditional black-and-white inking style that, of course, reminds me of Craig Thompson. The style is delightful and the nonfiction worked perfectly; exactly what I want to see more of when I talk about graphic nonfiction. And I really didn't know anything about the topic before, so it says a lot that I found it entertaining and educational. Vanguard - Leslie Stein I love seeing this sort of thing-- a self-portrait style cheekily reminiscent of artists like Allie Brosh and Sarah Anderson while maintaining an entirely NEW unique style of minimalist self portraiture. The watercolors are absolute perfection, and the story itself is the cherry on top. Being an Artist and a Mother - Lauren Weinstein There are few things better than a writer telling you about something they love. This is the feeling Weinstein's comic has about Modersohn-Becker's art. Weinstein details an intimate connection in a manner that comes off only as honest, without spoiling any of her personal experience. And, yes, we need more mother artists! I can honestly say I had not thought much about mothers making art about motherhood-- rather, unfortunately, mothers making art while escaping the struggles of motherhood-- and this comic gave me a brand new worldview. Martin Luther King Jr. Was More Radical Thank You Think - Ben Passmore THE NIB! You know a collection of the best comics can't be complete without something from The Nib. This in particular was a fantastic choice; one I hadn't read before that nonetheless encapsulates so many things about The Nib and the larger comics scene. It's clever, funny, and clearly personal to the artist, not to mention delightfully colorful. This is the kind of work I want to see more of en masse. King-Cat #78 - John Porcellino I didn't read every one of these, but the way this man draws his cat deserves an award. Why Don't We Come Together (Excerpt) - Erik Nebel I don't think I understood this one, but I loved what it did with comics, and it made me feel a lot of things. And isn't that what's important? Small Mistakes Make Big Problems* - Sophia Foster-Dimino I read Comics for Choice back when it first dropped-- I believe I was the one who requested it at my library-- and am unbelievably glad I did. This comic is one of the best without a doubt; it is purposefully difficult to read and effortlessly good. Every tiny moment contributes to the overall experience of reading it and I truly believe it gains every positive it possibly could from the medium in which it's written. Kindling (Excerpt) - Xia Gordon Can't say I'd read a full book of this, but a lovely excerpt. Again showcases the bounds of comics and art as a whole. A wonderful expression of talent. Welcome to O.R.R.A. (Excerpt) - Vera Brosgol* BROSGOL!!! Oh how I adored her book Anya's Ghost. And having another one-- a Raina Telgemier-style graphic memoir? You should hear the ungodly sounds I am making. I was immediately swept into the story despite having literally everything else in the world to do. And, yes, I desperately want to read the rest now. I can't wait to see Brosgol blow up. Uninhabitable - Jed McGowan Evidence you don't have to fully understand art to love it... this was a fantastic little story with real emotional resonance to it. Sex Positive (Excerpt)* - Remy Boydell* You KNOW this collection had to include The Pervert by Remy Boydell. Boydell is not just a fantastically talented author/artist but the exact one we need right now. I recall reading all of The Pervert, jaw on the floor, outside of my library in the cold because I just couldn't stop once I'd started. I cannot believe I am alive at the same time as Remy Boydell's work, and I can't believe I'm going to be alive to see MORE! Obviously a pleasure, even as this chapter captures one of the darkest-- and rawest, most honest, best-- moments in the graphic novel. In Search of Water-Boiled Fish - Angie Wang This formatting was wonderful! I really enjoyed the comic both as it is in the book and imagining how it must have been online. A cute, minimalist style and a personal story combine for a wonder of enjoyment. whatsa paintoonist? (Excerpt) - Jerry Moriarty A great little story with real heart and soul from an artist you can feel the potential in. Beautiful, raw, unbelievably fun despite tough subject matter. Reminds me of Roz Chast in the best of way (those sharp pen lines!) Perfect Discipline - Tommi Parrish Another one that made me immediately want to read more! It's incredible to see a life so realistically similar to mine depicted on a comic page, and the style intrigues me. A great excerpt that has me excited to see more from this author. By Monday I'll Be Floating In The Hudson With The Other Garbage - Laura Lannes A great example of how slice-of-life memoir writing can perfectly suit a graphic style. An entertaining and swift read, with rewarding details to the painterly style. Also cannot believe the artist maintained this comic diary daily; hats off just for that. Hurt or Fuck - Eleanor Davis This was one of the standouts for me, if not just flat out the best. A heart-wrenching story with real depth and power, expressed in the unflinchingly honest linework of the 'amateur' artist. All in all, great read! Very happy I checked it out. Absolutely look into it if it sounds interesting; guaranteed there's something you'll enjoy here.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Billie

    The problem with the "Best American" collections is that they're highly subjective and very much reflective of the guest editor's tastes. And, if those tastes don't align with those of the reader, there's going to be some readerly disappointment. There were several titles in here that I would agree were among the best I read this year and several that were new to me, but that I will seek out full-length versions of and/or additional works by their creators. Some, though—and maybe it's the nature The problem with the "Best American" collections is that they're highly subjective and very much reflective of the guest editor's tastes. And, if those tastes don't align with those of the reader, there's going to be some readerly disappointment. There were several titles in here that I would agree were among the best I read this year and several that were new to me, but that I will seek out full-length versions of and/or additional works by their creators. Some, though—and maybe it's the nature of excerpts and their inevitable sense of being incomplete—just didn't work for me and didn't feel like the "best" of what American comics creators had to offer. As much as I enjoy and appreciate Tamaki's work, her tastes and my differ greatly. And that's okay. More than okay, really. Reading things outside our comfort zone is how we learn and grow as readers and this collection definitely accomplished at least that much.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Kathleen

    Thank you Jillian Tamaki for bringing a fresh eye and warm perspective to the series. I have been depressed by the negativity and despair prevalent in so many of the collections over the last few years. This was a breath of fresh air, and filled with so many wonderful, unique comics. Really a broad group of immense talent.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Savannah Tracy

    I loved some of these and didn’t love others! That’s how it goes.

  12. 5 out of 5

    kate j

    3.5– 75% of Jillian Tamaki’s taste was perfectly aligned with mine. The other 25% was drastically different.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Andrew

    Bill Kartalopoulos announced that the series has been cancelled, so this will be the final volume. I'm going to miss it! I enjoyed getting a snap shot each year of what's going on in American comics. http://on-panel.com/BAC/ Bill Kartalopoulos announced that the series has been cancelled, so this will be the final volume. I'm going to miss it! I enjoyed getting a snap shot each year of what's going on in American comics. http://on-panel.com/BAC/

  14. 4 out of 5

    Eric

    A little bit typical and predictable, and mostly seemed satisfied with a less than innovative collection overall. I will admit up front that I don't get excited about most partner autiobios and relationship examination comics these days, only because there has been so much of this material in alternative and literary comics over the last five years. Guest editor Jillian Tamaki focuses most of the collection on familiar traditions, and in several cases, less than inspired material. Tamaki makes an A little bit typical and predictable, and mostly seemed satisfied with a less than innovative collection overall. I will admit up front that I don't get excited about most partner autiobios and relationship examination comics these days, only because there has been so much of this material in alternative and literary comics over the last five years. Guest editor Jillian Tamaki focuses most of the collection on familiar traditions, and in several cases, less than inspired material. Tamaki makes an empowering statment by featuring more women cartoonists, and the opening piece by Lale Westvind is the real stand out piece of the whole volume, being visually interesting and engaging in how it delivers its message. Other favorites for me were the humorous irony of E.A. Bethea's short piece and Joe Sacco's look at the oil industry and its working community was uncommonly balanced and insightful for a hot topic documentary piece, not to mention one of the better pieces I have read by Sacco. There is an interesting piece by a pro-choice activist that is compelling, but also gut wrenchingly depressing as the cartoonist gives an account of how she imagines what her aborted child might be doing if alive, along with recounting her frail emotional state she experienced after the surgery as she affirms her pro-choice stance with a sense of lingering doubts. I have to admire her for her honesty in recounting her personal experience in this matter, especially where it is not the popular portrayal of abortion in the pro-choice arena of objective pragmatics. There are a few pieces that dwell on numb insecurities and obscure or empty sexual meaning that I could have passed on. There were also two or three fairly amateur pieces that did very little of anything and seemed an unfortunate waste of space. For the most part what is here is reasonably good, but not one of the more innovative or inspiring volumes. It is a fine, but not great.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Charles Hatfield

    A particularly strong edition of this annual series, distinguished by its range and variety, yet somehow still aesthetically unified. From experimental minicomix and webcomix, to mainstream graphic books for young readers, this is an incredible snapshot of the current American comics field. Full review at https://www.kindercomics.org/blog/bes.... A particularly strong edition of this annual series, distinguished by its range and variety, yet somehow still aesthetically unified. From experimental minicomix and webcomix, to mainstream graphic books for young readers, this is an incredible snapshot of the current American comics field. Full review at https://www.kindercomics.org/blog/bes....

  16. 5 out of 5

    Eli

    Delightfully more queer, feminist, and trans content this year than usual.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Lisa

    I enjoyed this. Were the pieces selected the best of what was published all year? I have no idea, not being that immersed in the comics world. A few left me flat, a few were good but not amazing, and a few knocked me out and were added to the list of full-length works that I want to check out when I can: Fanny Britt and Isabelle Arsenault's Louis Undercover, Joe Sacco's "Bitumen or Bust" (mostly for the drawing, which my crosshatching self loves) in Global Warming and the Sweetness of Life, Vera I enjoyed this. Were the pieces selected the best of what was published all year? I have no idea, not being that immersed in the comics world. A few left me flat, a few were good but not amazing, and a few knocked me out and were added to the list of full-length works that I want to check out when I can: Fanny Britt and Isabelle Arsenault's Louis Undercover, Joe Sacco's "Bitumen or Bust" (mostly for the drawing, which my crosshatching self loves) in Global Warming and the Sweetness of Life, Vera Brosgol's Be Prepared, Nick Drnaso's Sabrina,, Connor Willumsen's Anti-Gone, and Eleanor Davis's "Hurt or Fuck" in Now #1—she's someone I really want to see more of; I love her handling of bodies and the way they occupy space. Also really liked Lauren Weinstein's "Being an Artist and a Mother," which I remember from the New Yorker. This was a good introduction for me to work that's being done right now—I fell off the comics map (or I guess it fell off of my map) years ago, but have been wanting to pick up more graphic narrative stuff lately. This is a good push in the right direction... I wish my library had more editions of this series in ebook format, but I guess you can't have everything.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Edwin Arnaudin

    After bailing on last year's dreadful collection, it was a delight to experience Tamaki's intelligent selections. Joe Sacco and Nick Drnaso are familiar but welcome picks; I'll be sure to check out more offerings from Lauren Weinstein, Ben Passmore, Erik Nebel, Sophia Foster-Dimino, Jed McGowan, and Angie Wang; and I'm most likely to explore the following selected excerpts' full-length versions: -Grip, Vol. 1 (Lale Westvind) -Louis Undercover (Fanny Britt and Isabelle Arsenault) -Welcome to O.R.R.A After bailing on last year's dreadful collection, it was a delight to experience Tamaki's intelligent selections. Joe Sacco and Nick Drnaso are familiar but welcome picks; I'll be sure to check out more offerings from Lauren Weinstein, Ben Passmore, Erik Nebel, Sophia Foster-Dimino, Jed McGowan, and Angie Wang; and I'm most likely to explore the following selected excerpts' full-length versions: -Grip, Vol. 1 (Lale Westvind) -Louis Undercover (Fanny Britt and Isabelle Arsenault) -Welcome to O.R.R.A. (Vera Bristol) -Angi-Gone (Connor Willumsen) -whatsa paintoonist (Jerry Moriarty) -By Monday I'll Be Floating in the Hudson with the Other Garbage (Laura Lannes)

  19. 4 out of 5

    Eric

    Is there any medium right now that is so rich in its diversity? And I mean that in all interpretations of that word. What used to be primarily a creative ghetto of often overly creepy white guys is (at least as evidenced by this anthology) now a wondrous kaleidoscope of artistic voices. As an aging white guy, though, I’m both energized by this collection and left feeling old, overly orthodox, and little left out. So any review of this collection feels inadequate because I feel ill-equipped to re Is there any medium right now that is so rich in its diversity? And I mean that in all interpretations of that word. What used to be primarily a creative ghetto of often overly creepy white guys is (at least as evidenced by this anthology) now a wondrous kaleidoscope of artistic voices. As an aging white guy, though, I’m both energized by this collection and left feeling old, overly orthodox, and little left out. So any review of this collection feels inadequate because I feel ill-equipped to really make any authoritative judgment on the work here. So I’ll play it safe and go right down the middle, but still recommend it highly.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Tash

    I am a huge fan of Jillian Tamaki. So when I saw that she edited the newest “Best American Comics”, I ordered it right away. Tamaki’s editors note is brilliant and incisive, and she did in this collection what she explicitly sought out to do- to create a time capsule for 2019, for all the art created in the messiness as forms of critique, reflection and escape. These comics range from totally surreal and textless to memoir-style comics about abortion and the Alberta tar sands. They’re gorgeous, f I am a huge fan of Jillian Tamaki. So when I saw that she edited the newest “Best American Comics”, I ordered it right away. Tamaki’s editors note is brilliant and incisive, and she did in this collection what she explicitly sought out to do- to create a time capsule for 2019, for all the art created in the messiness as forms of critique, reflection and escape. These comics range from totally surreal and textless to memoir-style comics about abortion and the Alberta tar sands. They’re gorgeous, full of heart, informative. Totally worth a rent or purchase!

  21. 5 out of 5

    T. Augenblick

    I don't want to get into specifics, but I found that many of these stories were either about trivial or nonsensical events, or were so crudely or minimally drawn that I concluded that their creators were in the wrong line of work. The best comics, in my view, combine great technical ability, visual innovation, and a moving and compelling story. (Chris Ware's work is a shining example.) There are a few stories here that approach that level, but on the whole, the volume is a disappointment; I fini I don't want to get into specifics, but I found that many of these stories were either about trivial or nonsensical events, or were so crudely or minimally drawn that I concluded that their creators were in the wrong line of work. The best comics, in my view, combine great technical ability, visual innovation, and a moving and compelling story. (Chris Ware's work is a shining example.) There are a few stories here that approach that level, but on the whole, the volume is a disappointment; I finished it very quickly, finding little to linger over.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Sarah :)

    I really enjoyed most of the comics in here. Others, I found much too abstract even for my taste, or merely irritating in their subject matter. (The one about the man dog and the bunny or dog ((I couldn't tell)) irked me especially, because it seemed like a violation of that person's privacy & I am a firm believer in the fact that just because something is sad doesnt mean it is good fictionalized.) The art in all of them was beautiful and showed real technical skill, and I think overall this was I really enjoyed most of the comics in here. Others, I found much too abstract even for my taste, or merely irritating in their subject matter. (The one about the man dog and the bunny or dog ((I couldn't tell)) irked me especially, because it seemed like a violation of that person's privacy & I am a firm believer in the fact that just because something is sad doesnt mean it is good fictionalized.) The art in all of them was beautiful and showed real technical skill, and I think overall this was good.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Christine

    I haven't read one of these in years, but I've been writing about visual culture a lot recently and I needed to look at some visual storytelling. Favorites included: Louis Undercover, Bitumen or Bust, Dognurse, Martin Luther King, Jr. Was More Radical Than You Think, Sabrina, Sex Positive, and Hurt or F--k. But my absolute favorite was Angie Wang's In Search of Water-Boiled Fish -- beautiful to look out, a compelling story about food and craving and homeland and nostalgia. Also, I seriously want I haven't read one of these in years, but I've been writing about visual culture a lot recently and I needed to look at some visual storytelling. Favorites included: Louis Undercover, Bitumen or Bust, Dognurse, Martin Luther King, Jr. Was More Radical Than You Think, Sabrina, Sex Positive, and Hurt or F--k. But my absolute favorite was Angie Wang's In Search of Water-Boiled Fish -- beautiful to look out, a compelling story about food and craving and homeland and nostalgia. Also, I seriously want to go back to Shanghai now.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Lisa

    I can't rate this collection because my favorite excerpts were from works I had already read (as were a few of my not favorites) - and what was new to me was a pretty mixed bag. I haven't liked a lot of Joe Sacco's work, while recognizing that it is very important, but I liked his contribution quite a bit. I can't rate this collection because my favorite excerpts were from works I had already read (as were a few of my not favorites) - and what was new to me was a pretty mixed bag. I haven't liked a lot of Joe Sacco's work, while recognizing that it is very important, but I liked his contribution quite a bit.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Bryan

    I don’t think it’d be fair for me to put a star rating on this as my opinion of what’s “best” would hardly match anyone else’s. That being said I love the overall presentation of this anthology. Quality hardcover for a reasonable price. I also admire that the selections definitely covered a wide range of styles and genres.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Rachel Grey

    Props to these: Why Don't We Come Together by Erik Nebel for clever, wordless mini-comics Sex Positive by Remy Boydell and Michelle Perez for sensitive portrayal of sex workers In Search of Water-Boiled Fish for fascinating art and interesting perspective For me, these three stories didn't make up for the other 22, and I probably won't try Jillian Tamaki anthologies again. Props to these: Why Don't We Come Together by Erik Nebel for clever, wordless mini-comics Sex Positive by Remy Boydell and Michelle Perez for sensitive portrayal of sex workers In Search of Water-Boiled Fish for fascinating art and interesting perspective For me, these three stories didn't make up for the other 22, and I probably won't try Jillian Tamaki anthologies again.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Chris Drew

    I really enjoy this series and thought this was a great edition of it! Some pieces I liked more than others of course, but came away with some new titles and publishers I'm eager to follow up with. Recommend all the best american comics collections to anyone interested in non-super hero comics. I really enjoy this series and thought this was a great edition of it! Some pieces I liked more than others of course, but came away with some new titles and publishers I'm eager to follow up with. Recommend all the best american comics collections to anyone interested in non-super hero comics.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Suzanne

    A nice selection of comics. I wanted my favorites to be in book form and of course, a few were, but it is also an interesting picture of what is happening on the web and other formats. A few were very innovative in terms of art and storytelling.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Rachel Shields Ebersole

    I liked the huge variety of drawing styles! A lot of the actual writing and storylines were weird or trippy or not about anything that I could discern. But there were enough pieces I enjoyed to say the book was worth reading.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Steef Jacobson

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. Just terrible

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