Monday, January 20, 2014

J.T. Yost's Best Comics Of 2013

As is our annual tradition, we invited a number of our friends who are also cartoonists, comics publishers and editors to tell us what their favorite comics of 2013 were. We'll be publishing them all over the next few weeks.

J.T. Yost is the founder of Birdcage Bottom Books and a talented cartoonist. Visit his site.
  
Mr. Mom-ing for two kids doesn't leave me near enough time for reading comics, so my list will be comprised of comics that we distribute at Birdcage Bottom Books:

(in no particular order)
1. Jason Little's Borb series
This homage to classic newspaper strips like Gasoline Alley about a homeless alcoholic manages to be funny, moving and full of pathos. Gorgeous artwork throughout.

2. Marek Bennett's Slovakia: Fall in the Heart of Europe
Marek's simply drawn anthropomorphic bunnies allow for such a huge range of emotion in this huge collection of diary comics and stories. I knew virtually nothing about Slovakia before reading this, and I feel like I've been given a great primer on their history and outlook on life through engaging personal anecdotes. Plus, it's possibly the best value in our whole catalog at $20 for over 600 pages!
 3. Joseph Remnant's Blindspot #3
Somehow I was unaware of Joseph's work until Dan at Kilgore sent me this to distribute which is unforgivable. 

4. Jamie Vayda's Loud Comix series Jamie is most known for being in various punk bands, but he's decided to commit to drawing with such a ferocity it's terrifying. His artwork is a mash-up of Peter Bagge, hot rod art and punk sensibility, and he uses it to great advantage in illustrating stories penned by southern punk luminaries, stand-up comedians, foreign television writers and other ne'er-do-wells. At first we were just going to distribute his comics but were so taken with his talent that we've committed to publishing a new 32-page comic every two months!
5. Anuj Shrestha's Genus series
Anuj is so sweet and unassuming in person, I'm always surprised at what lurks in his subconscious. Genus has a Twilight Zone quality to it that is truly unsettling yet appealing. Plus, this guy can draw floral-headed people like nobody's business.
6. Sam Spina's Spinadoodles: Year Four (I'm Zonin')
I'm a sucker for diary comics. I'll read them even if they're horrible. Sam's are not horrible. Four times out of five they'll make me laugh aloud, and I absolutely love his brushwork and character design (can you call the way he draws people "character design"?). 
7. Noah Van Sciver's Weekend Alone
Has Noah Van Sciver ever not come through? No, even in his sketchbook, lavishly reproduced in full-color here, he delivers. "Sketchbook" is a little misleading since this collection contains many fully-formed stories. There's one fake ad for Domino's Pizza that kills me every time I look at it. This is an extremely limited edition not being sold in retail stores (I don't think), but we're lucky enough to have a handful of 'em in our web-store.
8. Kriota Willberg's (NO) PAIN! A Guide To Injury Prevention for Cartoonists
Admittedly, this will only appeal to a small subset of people, but it's a great resource for those who need it. Her other minis are really great as well. 
9. Josh Burggraf's Kid Space Heater #3
I'm not usually a huge fan of sci-fi comics, but Josh has won me over with both his Kid Space Heater series and the Future Shock anthologies he compiles. This latest chapter shows an even greater honing of his craft than in previous issues. Especially great color work!


10. Victor Kerlow's Bad Party
Yet another amazing collection of short comics. Victor seemingly never stops drawing, and it's a compulsion for which I'm thankful. I'm less thankful for his compulsion for wearing terrible baseball hats. Engaging stories, a good sense of humor and fantastic artwork.

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