And so, we wave goodbye to the decade that everyone hated, that had no name, that changed the world much for the worse…here’s some reading while you wait to pop open the bubbly and pray for better times.

§ Chris Butcher finishes his Previews liveblogging for the month.

2:22pm: Did not get a Christmas Card from Boom this year, so I can only assume I was annoying when I called them out last month for doing $25 hardcovers of 112 pages of Uncle scrooge comics (seriously.). This month they go back to the well on that a couple of times with a Valentine’s Day book and another Uncle Scrooge Book, but on the Uncle Scrooge at least (The Hunt for Old Number One, by Erik Hedman and Wanda Gattino, p210) they’re also offering a simultaneously released $9.99 SC edition, which is really excellent. A big part of the criticism of the Gladstone books is that they were unattractive as children’s entertainment because of the price, at $8 for a slim volume. $25 for a volume double-the-size isn’t any better, and I’m glad to see them doing something about it. We’ll be supporting the soft cover in a big way, to show our preference as a retailer (and put our money where our mouths are).

§ Best of’s: – The Omaha World-Herald best books list includes a graphic novel rider.

§ Bryan Lee O’Malley mentions some books he read in 2009.


§ Jeff Smith has his best books of the decade, which is a good spot to mention Paul Pope, who despite his controversy in academic circles, was definitely one of the decade’s most influential cartoonists, if only in keeping the classic European adventure style current among younger artists.

§ NPR’s Glen Weldon amusingly looks at the year’s best.

Tamara Drewe Posy Simmonds Cover

§ Rich Johnston has Bleeding Cool’s Top Ten British Comics Of The Decade . which is a good place for us to stump for best of decade inclusion for Posy Simmonds and her dynamic duo of Gemma Bovary and Tamara Drewe, literary comics that showed a depth and breadth of emotion and context far beyond the average graphic novel.

§ For those who have been complaining all these lists lack evidence of process, Tim Callahan explains his.

§ Not end-of. Steven Grant pops up over at TCJ.COM and spikes The Spirit – A Pop-Up Graphic Novel. Which is a little harsh because it was, y’know, a pop-up book but agree on the $35 price tag thing. So overall…fail on the Spirit Pop-Up.

§ Speaking of spiking, to end the year, Sean T. Collins rebuffs two critical darlings, You’ll Never Know Book One: A Good and Decent Man and The Photographer.


  1. My local Half Price Books has a lot of copies of The Spirit Pop-Up book for something like $6.98 each.

    Come to think of it, they have multiple copies of Posy Simmonds for $2 each. I need to grab that.

  2. Chris Butcher wrote:

    “A big part of the criticism of the Gladstone books is that they were unattractive as children’s entertainment because of the price, at $8 for a slim volume.”

    The Gladstone books were almost 3 times the length of a standard comic for less than 3 times the price, making them a bargain in terms of amount of story per issue. And the quality of the stories in any issue was guaranteed to be better than any 3 random issues of Marvel or DC comics.

    That some people can’t see the cost comparison is a shame. And the argument that children wouldn’t spend $8 for them is a false argument. Children aren’t wandering in from the street to buy comics; their parents are.

  3. Once again, the defensive “woe is me” posturings of Heidi “The Beat” MacDonald. I was just cracking a joke, Heidi. I can’t fathom how on earth I’d be correcting anything with that line, passive-aggressive or not.

    I did straight-up correct your half-assed, lousy treatment of Anne Cleveland in the end-of-year thread, but I suppose you’ll complain about that, too, and somehow make it about you.

  4. My comment actually was aimed at the passive aggressive correction in the Obituary thread, not the obscure joke here. Because nothing shows respect to the dead like comments that are not intended to correct misinformation but to show up the transgressor. Although it does make a non-sequitur, I’d rather our petty squabbling be confined to this thread than the other.

    BTW, as far as the Paul Pope thing goes, I was talking about the Comics Comics Cage Match: which definitely sums up the two main streams of thought about his work.

    I have made some corrections to the obituary — including the one that Tom so graciously pointed out — and some other folks whom I should have included.

  5. Tried Tamara Drewe on a recommendation many months back and I couldn’t have been more impressed. What a fantastic cast of characters and compelling intertwining of their lives.

  6. How on earth is “Comics Cage Match” “academic circles”? It’s not like even their paper edition is presented as an academic journal or anything. Especially when the article you cite has lines like “Jeez, Dan. You were smoking out of a bong at 14?” What is it that make that “academic circles”? Is it because they have long, thoughtful articles? Because Jeet Heer (who isn’t part of that conversation at all anyway) is working on a doctorate?

    That sounds like townies complaining about the “fancy-pants college kids” messing up the vibe at their malt shop with their big words or something.

  7. If you genuinely feel that the thread shows more respect for the dead without my comment in it, please delete it. Me, I show honor for the dead by keeping my personal and abiding grief re: Captain Lou Albano to myself, but to each his own.

    I’m not going to play the ascribed motivation game; that’s for children. I will say, and you can believe this or not, that I was upset to see Cleveland paid such an elementary disservice and responded with that flash of anger still across my face. Although in a strange way I guess this means you win the original Anne Cleveland argument from a long time ago: she really doesn’t get the respect she deserves.

    Either way, thank you for changing the art. I liked the liveliness of her figures.

  8. Also 1) that correction was all aggressive, no passive; in fact to hold someone else to a higher standard than they display is sort of the opposite of displayed passive-aggressiveness 2) I’m sad to hear you suggest even by proximity that elementary historical rigor on the part of female cartoonists is a petty matter.

    Happy New Year!

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