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The Best American Comics 2014 by Scott…

The Best American Comics 2014

by Scott McCloud (Editor), Bill Kartalopoulos (Series editor)

Other authors: Sam Alden (Contributor), Isabelle Arsenault (Contributor), Andrew Aydin (Contributor), Fanny Britt (Contributor), Allie Brosh (Contributor)36 more, Nina Bunjevac (Contributor), Charles Burns (Contributor), Victor Cayro (Contributor), CF (Contributor), R. Crumb (Contributor), Erin Curry (Contributor), Michael Deforge (Contributor), GW Duncanson (Contributor), Theo Ellsworth (Contributor), Brandon Graham (Contributor), Tom Hart (Contributor), Gilbert Hernandez (Contributor), Jaime Hernandez (Contributor), Jaime Hernandez (Cover artist), Gerald Jablonski (Contributor), Ben Katchor (Contributor), Miriam Katin (Contributor), Aidan Koch (Contributor), Aline Kominsky-Crumb (Contributor), David Lasky (Contributor), John Lewis (Contributor), Ted May (Contributor), Onsmith (Contributor), Ed Piskor (Contributor), Nate Powell (Contributor), Ron Rege (Contributor), Sam Sharpe (Contributor), Mark Siegel (Contributor), Fiona Staples (Contributor), Raina Telgemeier (Contributor), Richard Thompson (Contributor), Adrian Tomine (Contributor), Brian K. Vaughn (Contributor), Chris Ware (Contributor), Lale Westvind (Contributor), Frank M. Young (Contributor)

Series: The Best American Comics (2014), Best American (2014)

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I have Scott McCloud's brilliant 1990s books "Understanding Comics" and "Reinventing Comics," and thought he'd be a great editor for the 2014 best-of collection, but boy, was I wrong. What disappointed me about this book? Let me count. First, the absolute lack of surprise in the selections. He starts with the established greats: Jaime and Gilbert Hernandez, Ben Katchor, Charles Burns, Adrian Tomine, and R. Crumb. But I, like everybody else, have been reading these authors for decades, and these selections in no way show anything new or different in their current work, with the possible exception of R. and Aline Crumb's X-rated "senior sex" piece, which I desperately wish I could un-see. (I'm 52. I don't have that long to wait. I'll wait.) Second, of all the new artists I was exposed to in this book, I can count only one that struck me as interesting enough, different enough, and well-executed enough to make me seek out more. It's no exaggeration to say that I was over halfway through the book, which I read from cover to cover, before I found a piece I enjoyed. And I wouldn't have picked up a book of current comics if I didn't enjoy comics. Everything I *dislike* about comics was here in abundance: the pathetic chronicles of depression, the sad childhood memoir, the pointless angst, the wild, ungrounded experimentation, the clichéd situations, and the weirdness for the sake of weirdness. What I like about comics was mostly missing: the shock of recognition, the unexpected perspectives, the fresh expressions of life-affirming humanity, and the just plain gorgeous art. (As I mentioned, with at least one exception.) Jaime Hernandez's wonderful cover art just doesn't match what's inside, in tone or in quality. And McCloud's frequent, annoying begging of the reader to bear with him, read straight through, and not skip over things didn't pay off. Your mileage, as they say, may vary. But be warned. ( )
  john.cooper | Mar 28, 2015 |
no reviews | add a review

» Add other authors (1 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
McCloud, ScottEditorprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Kartalopoulos, BillSeries editormain authorall editionsconfirmed
Alden, SamContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Arsenault, IsabelleContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Aydin, AndrewContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Britt, FannyContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Brosh, AllieContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Bunjevac, NinaContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Burns, CharlesContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Cayro, VictorContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
CFContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Crumb, R.Contributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Curry, ErinContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Deforge, MichaelContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Duncanson, GWContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Ellsworth, TheoContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Graham, BrandonContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Hart, TomContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Hernandez, GilbertContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Hernandez, JaimeContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Hernandez, JaimeCover artistsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Jablonski, GeraldContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Katchor, BenContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Katin, MiriamContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Koch, AidanContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Kominsky-Crumb, AlineContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Lasky, DavidContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Lewis, JohnContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
May, TedContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
OnsmithContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Piskor, EdContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Powell, NateContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Rege, RonContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Sharpe, SamContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Siegel, MarkContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Staples, FionaContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Telgemeier, RainaContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Thompson, RichardContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Tomine, AdrianContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Vaughn, Brian K.Contributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Ware, ChrisContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Westvind, LaleContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Young, Frank M.Contributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0544106008, Hardcover)

“It’s the perfect book to pick up to restore your faith in comics or help show infinite diversity in infinite combinations on display on paper using the world’s greatest artform.” — Comics Bulletin

The Best American Comics showcases the work of both established and up-and-coming contributors and highlights both fiction and nonfiction — from graphic novels, pamphlet comics, newspapers, magazines, minicomics, and the Web — to make a unique, stunning collection. Frank Miller (Sin City, 300) called guest editor Scott McCloud “just about the smartest guy in comics.”

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:11:32 -0400)

"The Best American Comics showcases the work of both established and up-and-coming contributors and highlights both fiction and nonfiction--from graphic novels, pamphlet comics, newspapers, magazines, minicomics, and the Web--to make a unique, stunning collection. Frank Miller (Sin City, 300) called guest editor Scott McCloud 'just about the smartest guy in comics.'"--from publisher's description.… (more)

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