Saturday, February 04, 2012

Favorite comics of 2011

I know, it's been over a month since 2012 started, but I've always found a bit silly how "the best of..." lists for a given year always show before the year is actually over. So here are my personal favorite comics of 2011:

Beauté, tome 1 - Désirs Exaucés by Hubert and Kerascöet. Sometimes less is more and in this case the deceptively simple drawings by Kerascöet and flat colors by Hubert create an aesthetic that is completely in-synch with the cautionary (fairy)tale of Morue.

Quai D'Orsay Chroniques Diplomatiques - tome 2 by Lanzac and Blain. Best praise I can give: I found myself laughing out loud alone as I read this second volume chronicling the day-to-day behind the scenes of the french foreign affairs ministry staff. Christophe Blain proves once again his immense talent as a cartoonist.

Major by Moebius. Okay, technically this is a facsimile of a sketchbook Jean Giraud Moebius worked on over several years but I believe it was oficially released in 2011. I was amazed to see how much detail and accuracy the master was able to give the artwork at the small A6 size. Amazing!

Donald Duck - Lost in the Andes by Carl Barks. The first volume of Fantagraphics reprint of Carl Barks duck comics collected in an affordable format with beautiful restored flat colors proves that more than sixty years after they were originally drawn and published, these are still some of the best-ever all-ages comics.

John Byrne's Next Men: Scattered, part 1 and 2 by John Byrne. Total fanboy moment here: after this comic series was put on hiatus back in 1995 by its author, I (and everybody else) had to wait fifteen years before he finally resumed and finished the story with this couple of volumes first serialized as a monthly nine-issue comic series between December 2010 and August 2011. Unforgettable characters, classic artwork and a great time-travel science-fiction plot showed that maybe John Byrne should have never paused this in the first place... and apparently this was not the definitive ending as the first issue of a five-issue epilogue - Next Men: Aftermath - hits the comic book specialty stores next wednesday.

Now, let's see if 2012 tops this!

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