Tuesday, December 01, 2009

2009 graphic novel roundup

You know, 2009 was really a good year for graphic novels, and I read a ton of them! Of course, the one getting the most attention right now is Stitches, but that book is nowhere near the best of the year. (I actually didn't like it much and have no idea why it was nominated for a YA National Book Award.)

Anyway, here were some books I really did enjoy reading this year:

--Scott Pilgrim 5! Need I say more?

--Everything by Naoki Urasawa that came out this year. The first 6 volumes of Pluto are out--it's a retelling of an Astro Boy story and it's totally incredible. I never thought I'd be so into a story about some malevolent plan to destroy the world's most advanced robots, but I totally am. His 20th Century Boys is also completely amazing--every volume has had me totally riveted.

--Locas II. I already own all the material in this book, but if you don't, it's a good way to catch up with Maggie, Hopey, and Ray--it's a great package and great material. This is the stuff that started to convert me from a Beto fan to a Jaime one.

--Robert Kirkman's Invincible. Kirkman also writes Walking Dead, but I prefer his superhero story. I love the character--this is one of the only superhero books I read (Greg Rucka's Detective Comics is the other, but it hasn't been collected yet). There are 11 trade paperbacks in this series so far and they're all stellar.

--X-Men Misfits. OK, I guess I did read some other superhero stuff this year, but how can you resist Kitty Pryde all manga-style? And Beast looks like a Totoro!!

--Locke and Key is another story that blew me away this year--Erin kept telling me I'd like it, but I was all meh, I don't wanna read a comic by Stephen King's son. How wrong I was! The first two miniseries have been collected and the third just started--sooooo good!

--Asterios Polyp has deservedly been on a bunch of best-of-the-year lists--it combines architecture, philosophy, hilarious puns, and a little romance with an actually amazing visual style.

--Amulet volume 2 came out this year--I really like this all-ages series--great art.

--I've enjoyed Richard Sala for years, but Cat Burglar Black may be my favorite book--his art is cuter than ever and meshes well with his slightly sinister story. I really hope there'll be a sequel.

--Masterpiece Comics is just hilarious. Perfect for the literature and comics lover in your life!

--R. Crumb's Genesis was actually pretty great--not at all weird or creepy like I was expecting.

--Yotsuba 6 finally came out this year--if you're not reading this adorable manga, you are missing out.

--Ed Brubaker just started writing a new Criminal story, so now's the time to catch up with the earlier volumes. Really great gritty noir stuff.

--Continuing series I enjoyed this year in trade or single-issue format: Fables, Yakitate Japan, Fruits Basket, Runaways, Echo, Madame Xanadu, Unwritten, Umbrella Academy, Buffy Season 8, Beasts of Burden, and probably some others I'm forgetting.


Stef said...

Eeeee! Thank you for writing this! I also love Yotsuba, though my reading has been out of date. And in fact, I started Asterios Polyp earlier today. I LOVE it so far. I had to force myself to put it down.

wordnerdy said...

Yotsuba 7 just came out this past week and the translation is way better than volume 6's (it changed publishers, hence the like 2 yer delay b/w 5 and 6 and the crappyish translation of 6). Anywya, it was awesome.

Asterios Polyp really surprised me! Plus, it's just gorgeous.

wordnerdy said...

I should also say that Brubaker's Incognito was really, really good (and is what got me into Brubaker) and is now out in a TP!