Once again we invited a number of our friends who are also cartoonists, comics publishers and editors to tell us what their favorite comics of 2012 were. We'll be posting those lists over the next couple weeks.
Sean Ford is the creator of Only Skin.
(in no particular order)
Arséne Schrauwen #1 - Olivier Schrauwen
This comic combined masterful visual storytelling with an amazing mood or tone or voice that reminded me of some of my favorite modernist novelists. It felt fully realized in a way many comics I've read can't even touch. I can't wait for the next issue.
White Clay - Thomas Herpich
I often think comics should function like or maybe just steal things more from poetry. Herpich's stuff is some of the only comics that actually read like poetry to me with the added bonus that they're often hilarious or disturbing as hell. I re-read this book more than any other this year and I hope he does a lot more.
Pope Hats #3 - Ethan Rilly
Probably my favorite ongoing story in comics right now, the coming of age / coming apart of two friends trying to navigate the career / art divide that so many of my own friends struggle with is handled here with just the right mix of sadness, humor and restraint. And the art keeps growing by leaps and bounds every time out.
Heads or Tails - Lilli Carre
I think Lilli Carre is probably one of the best writers in all of comics, something that doesn't get talked about too much because she is also one of the singular artistic talents in the medium. But these stories collected all at once with a ton of new stuff really show her off as one of the best short story cartoonists in the game, possibly the best.
Sick - Gabby Schulz
An excoriating trip down the worm hole from one of comics' best curmudgeons and most reluctant talents. This is the only web comic I've ever cared about, mercifully being given the hardcover treatment by Secret Acres next year.
Multiple Warheads - Brandon Graham
2012 seemed like the year of Brandon Graham between Prophet, the King City collection, but it was the late-breaking Multiple Warheads that might be his most fully realized work. It's a kind of Moebius road-trip joke book, it's beautiful and so much fun. Going to the comics store to get a new MW issue reminds me of the feeling of excitement I used to have as a kid going to pick up the new Jim Lee X-Men or TMNT or Bone or something.
The Infinite Wait - Julia Wertz
A great book where Julia Wertz harnesses the laser-like accuracy of her sense of humor in the service of a larger, really affecting story. This feels like a breakout book for her and I can't wait to see what's next.
The Furry Trap - Josh Simmons
One of the only truly disturbing horror cartoonists I can think of, these stories will make your stomach feel yucky. They're funny, too. But oh my god the last story in this book... jesus.
Girl Apocalypse - Angie Wang
I had to read this comic a few times to figure out what happened and I mean that in a positive way. Angie Wang plays with time, narrative structure and panel sequence in a really interesting way over the course of like 30 pages. And of course the art is incredible.
My Friend Dahmer - Derf Backderf
I read this when it was a single issue floppy about 8 years ago and didn't like it. I thought it was too dense. Given room to breathe over 200 pages, with really important character developing scenes given a chance to creep and set a deeply unsettling tone, it feels like a totally different book. And a great one at that.
Truth Zone - Simon Hanselmann
I lied there's another web comic I love. Truth Zone is hilarious and Simon's characters are some of the funniest and most well-developed through non-moments in the game. Everything he does I will buy.