We seem to be well past the point where announcing the guest editor of the yearly Best American Comics volume is a news story in itself, which is a shame. My review copy of the 2018 volume arrived this week and I can tell you that this year’s guest editor, aiding and abetting series editor Bill Kartalopoulos, is none other than Phoebe Gloeckner, an inspired choice.
Gloeckner is a teacher at Michigan’s School of Art and Design and a Guggenheim Fellowship recipient, in addition to authoring Diary of a Teenage Girl and other classic comics. She’s certainly well positioned to give an overview of 2018’s exploding comics world.
Lale Westvind is not exactly a comics household name, but her cover is pretty outstanding! She’s best known for the Ignatz nominated Hot Dog Beach and Chromazoid.
The contents of this year’s book are many of the usual suspects, including
Gabrielle Bell, Tara Booth, Geof Darrow, Guy Delisle, Emil Ferris. Julia Gfrörer, Sarah Glidden, Simon Hanselmann, Jaime Hernandez Julia Jacquette, Gary Panter, Ariel Schrag, and many more. mostly from the very indie/literary/art side of the comics world, a take carried over onto the year’s 100 notable comics list as well.
Which is as it should be. BAC traditionally spotlights work that has very limited distribution, as excellent as it may be. It’s similar to how the Best Fiction and other traditional literary Best American collections drew mostly from small literary magazines with 10,000 subscribers or fewer.
Having just gotten my galley, I’ll be digging into it a bit later, but I’m looking forward to discovering a lot of work that I wasn’t all that familiar with. Kudos to Kartalopoulos and Gloeckner for carrying on the tradition.
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.