It’s here! The plaudits season has begun and will run sometime until….well, with all the awards they are giving out, it never really ends. But from now until the end of the year we’re going to be in heavy, heavy “best of” selection mode. And here’s the first two that I know of!
Publishers Weekly is traditionally the first out of the gate with their Best Books lists. And as is tradition, there are five.
All the Answers: A Graphic Memoir, Michael Kupperman (Gallery 13)
Bad Friends, Ancco (Drawn & Quarterly)
Chlorine Gardens, Keiler Roberts (Koyama)
Upgrade Soul, Ezra Claytan Daniels (Lion Forge)
Young Frances, Hartley Lin (AdHouse)
On the kids list a few books made it as well:
Sanity and Tallulah, Molly Brooks (Disney-Hyperion)
Hey, Kiddo, Jarrett J. Krosoczka (Graphix)
On a Sunbeam, Tillie Walden (First Second)
The Prince and the Dressmaker, Jen Wang (First Second)
More solid picks.
We also have the Goodreads Choice Awards, as chosen by readers and algorithms. This is just the preliminary list, but it’s still worth perusing. You can see the while list in the link in picture format, but I typed it out (shortening some of the creators’ names, apologies.)
Saga Vol. 8 by Vaughan and Staple
Black Hammer The Event by Lemire and Ormston
Brazen by Penelope Bagieu
Ms. Marvel: Mecca by G. Willow Wilson et al.
Am I There Yet? by Mari Andrew
The Adventure Zone: Here There Be Gerblins by the McElroy family and Carey Pietsch
Paper Girls. Vol 4 by Vaughan and Chiang
Black Bolt: Hard Time by Ahmed and Ward
Sabrina by Nick Drnaso
Be Prepared by Vera Brosgol
Little Moments of Love by Catana Chetwynd
The Wicked & The Divine Imperial Phase Part II by Gillen and McKelvie
Fence by Pacat and Johanna the Mad
Bingo Love by Tee Franklin and Jenn St-Onge
Herding Cats by Sarah Anderson
As you can see – zero overlap on these lists! The Goodreads list is chosen by Amazonian algorithms:
We analyze statistics from the millions of books added, rated, and reviewed on Goodreads to nominate 15 books in each category. Opening round official nominees must have an average rating of 3.50 or higher at the time of launch. Write-in votes may be cast for eligible books with any average rating, and write-in votes will be weighted by the book’s Goodreads statistics to determine the top five books to be added as official nominees in the Semifinal Round.
These 15 graphic novels may just represent the most popular comics on Good Reads, however, which makes it an interesting – yet not that surprising – list.
I’d note that Little Moments of Love was not on my radar at all until I was at NYCC and saw a HUGE LINE for Chetwynd’s signing at the GoComics booth. It’s based on an Instagram comics with (gasp) 1.6 million followers. The content of the strip makes those much mocked Love Is comics of the 70s seem like a Lil Xan video, at least to my taste, as it consists of a cute couple saying how cute they are. I guess people need a positive message these days.
Andrews is another Instagram star, but with a mere 966,000 followers. Her book is likewise a series of gentle drawings pinpointing young adult anxieties over life and work.
Anderson’s Sarah’s Scribbles can be seen on GoComics, and it’s a bit more biting (and a bit more to my taste, but to each their own.) It’s also immensely popular and Big Happy Mushy Lump won the 2017 category in the Goodreads Choice awards, and Anderson won at least one other time.
I guess my takeaway here is that we may not have newspaper strips any more, but we do have Instagram, and it fulfills many of the same functions.
Anyway, they’re out of the starting gate! What do YOU think was the best comic of 2018?