Best Comics of 2006, part two
Continuing my never-ending (well not really, it just seems that way) countdown of favorite books of the past year, here's my list of the ...
BEST REPRINTED OR COLLECTED MATERIAL OF 2006!
1. “Curses” by Kevin Huizenga.
Even though I had read every single story in here before, there's no question that Huizenga's work remains, for me, illuminating and rewarding. Heck, "Jeepers Jacobs" along is better than 90 percent of the original material published this year. "Curses" is the perfect introduction for those who haven't sampled the artist's work before and I really hope it garners him a new legion of fans.
2. “Popeye: I Yam What I Yam” by E.C. Segar.
Just a phenomenal job of packaging and overall design here. And the strips are pretty great too. I already own most of the original Nemo books and I'm still planning on snatching up the rest of this series. It's that good.
3. “Moomin: The Complete Tove Jansson Comic Strip Book One.”
How sad that I never had the chance in my childhood to be exposed to this thoroughly delightful, warm, melancholy and funny comic strip. How wonderful that thanks to Drawn and Quarterly I now have the opportunity to show it to my children.
4. “The Squirrel Mother and Other Stories” by Megan Kelso.
Kelso's produces work of sublime power and grace. Her stories are quiet yet subtly hint at deep emotional turmoil. This collection of short stories proves she's not a "promising new artist" but someone new cartoonists can look up to.
5. “Art Out of Time” edited by Dan Nadel.
Like some ink-stained archaelogist, Nadel uncovers a veritable treasure chest of wonderful comics you never new existed. Just about every single inclusion here are strong enough to deserve their own book (and in the case of the Terrible Thompson and upcoming Fletcher Hanks book, have). Let's hope a sequel of some sort is in the works.
6. “Castle Waiting” by Linda Medley.
I hadn't realized how much I missed Medley's fantasy series until I actually sat down with this collected volume. It's really nice to see her doing comics again.
7. “Walt & Skeezix Book 2” by Frank King.
Warm and yet haunting. Filled with life and yet tinged with melancholy. Deeply funny yet deeply aware of the toll the passage of time takes. King's "Gasoline Alley" was quite possibly the most human and humane comic strip of the 20th century.
8. “Shadowlands” by Kim Deitch.
I have a review of this coming up next week (a short review, but a review nonetheless). Let's just call "Shadowlands" a stunning tour-de-force tour through early 20th-century America, filled with Deitch's usual penchants for high melodrama and interest in how the art can transform and at the same time trap our lives. More of what you'd expect from a truly great cartoonist.
9. “An Anthology of Graphic Fiction, Cartoons and True Stories,” edited by Ivan Brunetti.
As I said in my initial review of this anthology, if someone were to come up to me and ask what all the goldurn fuss was about these here comical books, this is the book I would hand them.
10. “The Complete Dick Tracy: Volume 1” by Chester Gould.
And with this, just about all of my most favorite comic strips ever sees print. Now if someone would just put together a "Toonerville Trolley" collection.