The Best American Comics 2016 eBook –

There S Something Thrilling About Seeing People Invent New Ways To Tell Their Story To Me, It S Proof That The Art Form Of Comics Is Healthy It Lives And Grows And Reinvents Itself It S Alive Roz Chast, From The Introduction FEATURING Lynda Barry, Kate Beaton, Cece Bell, Genevi Ve Elverum, Ben Katchor, John Porcellino, Joe Sacco, Adrian Tomine, Chris Ware, Julia Wertz, And Others Roz Chast, Guest Editor, Was Born In Brooklyn, New York Her Cartoons Began Appearing In The New Yorker In Since Then She Has Published Hundreds Of Cartoons And Written Or Illustrated Than A Dozen Books Her Memoir Can T We Talk About Something More Pleasant Was A New York Times Bestseller And A National Book Award Finalist Bill Kartalopoulos, Series Editor, Is A Comics Critic, Educator, Curator, And Editor He Teaches Courses About Comics At Parsons And At The School Of Visual Arts He Lives In Brooklyn, New York For Information Please Visit On Panel

10 thoughts on “The Best American Comics 2016

  1. says:

    So collections like this are invariably uneven and of course skewed to the taste of the editor whose choices we are dependent on Last year s chooser, Jonathan Lethem, was disappointing to me I was hopeful about Roz Chast as editor this year but also suspected she would choose mainstream stuff, as she is an older artist working with The New Yorker for decades But I like her work a lot, and I was pleasantly surprised to find a blend of kind of mainstream or at least well known stuff with things I might term experimental I knew quite a bit of it from my reading of the last year, but it was nice to revisit it.My favorites, all stuff I knew Adrian Tomine, an excerpt from Killing and Dying Chris Ware, an excerpt from The Last Saturday Keiler Roberts, Powdered Milk Vol 14 Richard McGuire, Here excerpt Ben Katchor s stuff, Joe Ollman s Shut Your Piehole, Johnny Pinetop, and GG s Don t Leave Me Alone My absolute favorite was probably Ollman s fictional piece check him out and runner up Keiler Roberts s memoir comics, but there s a lot of good stuff here, stuff Beto Rodriguez, Cece Bell.But I also liked new stuff I didn t know that I look forward to reading into such as Gabrielle Bell s The Dishrack and Lance Ward s Adults Only Better than uneven mostly good, this year

  2. says:

    What a pleasant surprise I ve dabbled aplenty in the Best American insert literary genre insert year anthologies, but never before with comics I had mixed feelings about picking this up, as I ve read a lot of comics lately and have been dealing with some silly guilt about limping across the finish line of my annual reading challenge fueled by the energy gel of heavily illustrated books However, I felt my brain stretching as I read through this anthology, and this reminded me that there is not necessarily a qualitative distinction between books with or without visual elements both have equal potential to challenge and enlighten.I figured that if I were to explore an anthology like this, what better guide than Roz Chast, this year s editor, who proved an excellent Beatrice to my Dante on this journey and well worthy of my appreciation and trust Many of the comics in this book had elements of the emotionally raw, unflinching, plain spoken, laid bare quality of Can t We Talk About Something More Pleasant, and its dark and fleeting hints of humor as well Roz s brief introduction I call her Roz now is also as excellent and funny as you d hope, and it s preceded by a useful, concise history of comics as recounted by series editor Bill Kartalopoulos.As with any anthology, there a couple entries I didn t read or care for, but I was surprised at the percentage of the contents that I found truly compelling I ended up adding a number of previously unfamiliar authors and works to my TBR and library hold lists Chast includes comics from contributors who are very diverse in terms of visual style, demographics, and means of distribution, from the relative stars of Drawn and Quarterly published volumes to new or outsider artists who share their work through self published zines and blogs Some comics are featured in entirety, but when excerpts are used, the editing is very well executed and allows the reader a tasty contextualized glimpse of what that longer work offers though I was usually left wanting of it.Since it s the holiday season, it s worth mentioning that a couple volumes of this series would make an enjoyable and inspiring gift for the artists and graphic novel comics readers in your life Be aware that many of the comics have adult content, so you may want to preview before gifting Although there are also excerpts from work suitable for quite young readers again, the beauty of this anthology is its inclusionary eye for quality and talent above all other factors Enjoy

  3. says:

    This was a nice compilation with a thoughtful intro, but also I d read a lot of the stuff in it already And it wasn t clear to me why there was so much work in here that had been published in 2014 such as an excerpt from Porcellino s The Hospital Suite, El Deafo, Syllabus by Lynda Barry, Bumf by Joe Sacco, Here by Richard McGuire, a story from Happy Stories About Well Adjusted People from by Joe Ollmann, and Ware s The Last Saturday I guess by 2016 they mean 2014 and 2015 But it was a bit frustrating that I had already read than half the book And, well, I know the Foreword starts out There is no mainstream in comics these days, but still, a lot of the stuff in here is about as mainstream as comics get I think, and there were long excerpts of fairly main stream accessible works thankfully, at least in the MA public library system , and I would have enjoyed it if there were fewer long excepts of mainstream comics and a bit work by lesser known or not quite as available stuff All of that said, it s still an enjoyable collection and great to see Roz Chast s tastes Things I hadn t read before Wendy, by Walter Scott, which I am still trying to figure out how I feel about Here s a review I really enjoyed contextualizes Scott s work rather Wonderfully Liana Finck s All the Paintings Here Agree , which I thought were great Fashion Cat by Alex Schubert, which is published in Vice as far as I can tell, there s no Fashion Cat book out It s funny and enjoyable, but the humor and narcissism is a bit violent and bleak for my taste And the Kate BeatonwellI don t know if I ve read these particular Broadside Ballads before, but I don t recall having read them, and in any case, I m glad they were in here I love her work a lot Here s one that was in the anthology Work by Sophia Zdon, Lance Ward, Dave Lap, and GG, artists I don t think I ve read before, who s work I will look out for Glad to see Chast editing this and appreciate the book she put together a lot And am looking forward to checking out some of the Notable Comics at the end.

  4. says:

    This is my third encounter with the Best American Comics series, and just as in previous years The Best American Comics 2016 is a powerful blend of the well known and obscure, of styles ranging from clean cut to chaotic, of artists from North America American does not mean from the U.S alone Here, it means there are comics from both countries the U.S and Canada although there are still no entries from Mexico or points farther south.All of the comics in The Best American Comics 2016 have passed through at least two filters series editor Bill Kartalopoulos and then this year s editor, Roz Chast whose own work includes the impressive graphic memoir Can t We Talk about Something More Pleasant The only missing elements are the big names the slick house brands, like Marvel and DC, that are easy enough to find elsewhere anyway.One quick complaint I m not sure whether it was my aging eyes or reproduction issues, but I did have a harder time reading the finer details in many of these, something that wasn t a problem for me before.Standouts for me this time started with the lead story, Killing and Dying, by Adrian Tomine about parenthood, improv, and always saying the wrong thing Anne Emond s wordless The Swim the near photographic quality of Drew Friedman s R Crumb and Me kids and their contrariness in Powdered Milk, Vol 14 by Keiler Roberts I could hear the giggles of the child calling her mother into the bedroom to announce, I want some privacy Joe Sacco s chilling offscreen dialogue in Milk What can we conclude from the fact that she does not correspond to any signal Hell, we re only about a third through and I might as well be listing em all or almost all, anyway so instead I ll stop there, with the acknowledgement that I m short changing quite a few artists by doing so.In The Best American Comics 2016 there are, as Chast says in her Introduction,stories by people you ll probably know, and people that I hope you will discover, as I did There is traditional storytelling, and also comics that are unlike anything I d ever seen, but that still work I ve included a mix of visual and narrative styles I like variety Also, there s something thrilling about seeing people invent new ways to tell their story To me, it s proof that the art form of comics is healthy it lives and grows and reinvents itself It s alive p.xviiiAnd I have no argument whatsoever with that assessment.

  5. says:

    The Best American Comics volumes are always worth reading Not everyone will agree with the term Best , but these are certainly all interesting It helps to think of it as equivalent to the difference between literary fiction and the average SF or whatever your favorite genre happens to be anthology, or the typical Oscar nominee versus a typical Summer blockbuster It may not be what you usually read, but there s a certain level of quality and artistic achievement that s apparent whether it fits your personal definition of Best or not Roz Chast is the guest editor for this volume While I appreciate the idea of rotating guest editors, I m not sure how much it does for the series Yes, each volume has a different feel to it, but it s difficult to say how much of that comes from the guest editor s taste and how much is due to the fact that different stuff gets published every year I suppose, at the very least, it helps to preserve the sanity of the various editors by not subjecting them to a constant grind And I suppose it helps to prevent favoritism from having much impact on the contents Still, it s not like you can easily point to any story in here and confidently say, Yes, that s definitely a story that everyone could predict only Roz Chast would have chosen Some of these stories Adrian Tomine and Joe Ollmann, for instance were familiar to me, but I was happy to read them again Some of them Gilbert Hernandez, for one are things I ve been meaning to read and just haven t gotten to yet And there are some Alex Schubert and Lance Ward, at the very least that I need to read because the excerpts in this book are top notch.In all, this is a high quality anthology that lives up to the promise of its title, as long as you don t take the word Best literally.

  6. says:

    Well, I m getting better at this Or maybe these were just mainstream choices But I had already read a good chunk of these and I m familiar with than half of the cartoonists As usual, I think these are good books to pick up from a library because there s just a nice diverse selection Nothing really popped out to as super awesome, and I don t feel compelled to seek out work by any of the new to me artists here That being said, it was still a pleasant read.

  7. says:

    Dag this may be the best Best American Comics yet.

  8. says:

    I m so proud of Taylor Ruth I read it in one sitting, it was a Christmas gift for me.

  9. says:

    This should really be called Best American Indie Autobiographical Adult Comics That Are Not Graphic Novels or Ongoing Comics like Saga I was pretty disappointed there was a very heavy weighting towards autobiographical zine style web comics, many with just okay craft in other words, ugly drawings I find that whole sub genre incredibly self indulgent and boring Like, dudes, we can aaalll draw shitty drawings about how we feel shitty sometimes or EVEN WORSE felt shitty once when we were teens OMG PLZ NO MORE ABOUT HOW EMO YOUR TEENAGE YEARS WERE Aaghh I feel like an asshole, since the autobio comix are often pour your heart out about your gritty mental health issue , and so it feels especially mean to dislike it BUT I DO I think there s to the craft of comix than just panel pacing and panel structure The actual art inside, the dialogue, and A PLOT Even the relatively better crafted stuff, like the comic by Adrian Tomine, was centered around an excruciatingly painful family dynamic stuttering, deluded daughter trying her hand at amateur standup while cancer ridden mom is super supportive and cynical dad is frustrated and NOT supportive That was one of the better ones there was a lot of skill in how Tomine unveiled the dynamic, and the drawings were great But I was, by the end of the book and having read N similar emo gutter porn, like, JEEZ IS THERE ONLY ONE SETTING ON THIS THING

  10. says:

    You only get excerpts but the cumulative effect is weighty And very dark.