As year-end lists of best continue to come out at a steady clip, graphic novels continue to be represented on lists—not as a special category but as their own thing. And that’s a good thing.
§ Dan Kois at Slate lists his best books of 2012 and GNs are represented by the award-winning Jim Henson’s Tale of Sand by Ramón K. Pérez, a worthy pick on any list.
§ School Library Journal has a bunch of year-end lists out, and a bunch of comics represented. The Best Adult Books 4 Teens 2012 list includes the following comics
Goliath by Tom Gauld
Gone to Amerikay by Derek McCulloch and Colleen Doran
Sailor Twain: Or the Mermaid in the Hudson by Mark Siegel
Dotter of Her Father’s Eyes by Mary and Bryan Talbot.
The Best Books list includes a few more:
Little White Duck by Andrés Vera Martinez & Na Liu. illus. by Andrés Vera Martínez.
In addition, a couple of prose works by comics folks make the grade. G. Willow Wilson’s words-only Alif The Unseen made quite a few best book lists. And Rachel Hartman’s prose Seraphina has garnered wide acclaim and ended up on the NYT bestseller list. It’s actually set in the same world as her webcomic, Amy Unbounded.
§ The New York Times has listed its top 100 books of the year and rather disappointingly they play it super safe with only two graphic novel choices: Building Stories, to no one’s surprise, and Are You My Mother? A Comic Drama by Alison Bechdel. While you can’t fault either choice,hopefully the Times will break format in the future and recognize books that are a bit more off the beaten path.
Heidi MacDonald is the founder and editor in chief of The Beat. In the past, she worked for Disney, DC Comics, Fox and Publishers Weekly. She can be heard regularly on the More To Come Podcast. She likes coffee, cats and noble struggle.