Tuesday, June 23, 2015

The Best American Comics 2008, edited by Lynda Barry (2008)

My latest read from the St. Denis bookshelf is The Best American Comics 2008, edited by Lynda Barry (2008), another in the extremely satisfying "Best American Comics" anthology series.

As with the other volume of this series that I've read, the anthology brings together a nice mix of familiar names (Ware, Barry, Geary, Bechdel, Groening, Derf), and a sprinkling of enjoyable new artists. Barry, true to form, presents her introduction as a comic where she leads us through her changing relationship with comics and art and the importance of the much-maligned comic strip in the world of "Graphic Novels" (especially for the children of today who will become the artists and readers of the future).

That being said, some of the entries in this volume were a little too comic strippy for this graphic novel devotee to really get into, especially without a little more context for the characters in the strips. I did come away with some new (to me) artists that I'd like to check out more of, including Nick Bertozzi, Lilli Carré ("The Thing About Madeline" was one of my favorite pieces in the book), Jason Lutes, and Sarah Oleksyk.

What can I say -- anthologies are fun, and anthologies of comics are even funner. 2008, you were a pretty good year (comically).

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