Por Tom Spurgeon
Publicado originalmente en The Comics Reporter dot com
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10 — The Times of Botchan (series)
Jiro Taniguchi, Natsuo Sekikawa
The first few chapters of one of the best comics ever and one of the most uniquely told, with sterling craft and precision.
9 – Curses
Drawn and Quarterly
A collection of the best work to date from the most important cartoonist to emerge since Chris Ware, the comics here are precise, soulful and extraordinarily kind.
8 — Don’t Go Where I Can’t Follow
Drawn and Quarterly
A comic about grief and about art as a way to process grief; also the story of relationship told in its less than extraordinary moments. I found this comic perfectly pitched and restrained and, ultimately, heartbreaking.
7 — Popeye Volume One: I Yam What I Yam
The welcome return of an old friend, and a prelude to even better comics to come.
6 — Ode to Kirihito
Storytelling mastery in service of a wild, improbable soap opera, with sideways steps into beautiful religious imagery and portraits of the human condition. The plot resembles a medical drama that careens into everything from action-adventure to horror, all told through Osamu Tezuka’s great skill in creating effects whole cloth on the comics page, like a director that holds his own camera and improvises on set. There’s nothing like it out there, and if you read it a dozen times I’m not sure you’ll penetrate to the roots of the author’s inquiry.
5 — The Ticking
By far the best work of Renee French’s career, in The Ticking she pushes the more sublime qualities of her picture-making into an array of effects more complex and eventually more satisfying than simply grossing the reader out. The story of an artist and his relationship with his father, The Ticking reflects our own, troubled life stories in that what happens is very specific while what it means is largely determinant on what we’re determined to make of it.
4 – Shadowland
A comic that jumped up from the weeds for many of his longtime readers, a darker counterpart to Deitch’s Mishkin Saga that emphasizes the show business that preceded early animation and the business of nostalgia and historical inquiry that sprung up some years after that not-so-golden age. Deitch creates worlds of grotesques and then imbues them with a humanity based on their frequent, touching inability to ride roughshod over their more human desires; here he works even more gracefully with the inevitability of aging and regret.
3 – Kerblog
No other comic this past year had me as emotionally involved on a day to day basis as the comics of Mazen Kerbaj. Dispatches from a cartoonist in Beirut during the military attack by the state of Israel last summer, the frustration and disgust and fear and instability caused by the untenable situation fairly vibrated on the computer screen, single images of jagged faces wrecked with stress, or tableau designed to make a very specific point about family, safety and community. I don’t know that it will hold anywhere near the same power collected or revisited that it had as an unfolding story, but in that extended moment it was an amazing reading experience.
2 — Krazy & Ignatz 1937-1938: Shifting Sands Dusts its Cheeks in Powdered Beauty
I don’t have anything new to say about Krazy Kat except that I find it beautiful and funny all over again every time I read it.
1 — Kampung Boy
Town Boy may be a more sophisticated book, and a powerful scene or two in this book may have been excised between the earliest versions and the 2007 English-language edition from First Second. I still can’t get past this story’s beautiful tone, judiciously selected scene work, and the humane vision of a world that express itself in every aspect of its design and staging. Lat’s classic comic captures all of the vibrancies with which children imbue their immediate surroundings, and the unimaginable, almost impossible to express joy of new discoveries and first friendships. I wish there 100 comics like it, and I’m overjoyed to have the one.