Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Liz Prince's Top 5 Auto-Bio 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.

Liz Prince will come out with Alone Forever later this year. Visit her website.

In no order except that they stand out in my mind:

Our Ever Improving Living Room by Kevin Budnik (Yeti Press)
I really love journal comics, they're probably my favorite sub-genre of comics. That doesn't mean that I love ALL journal comics, but I'm likely to read through even the worst journal comic and find enjoyment in it, even if it's just a laundry-list of someone's day. Kevin Budnik's journal comics are far from the laundry-list, they stand out with the best of them, creating a poignancy comparable to American Elf. I can't recommend it enough if you like the genre!

Calling Dr. Laura by Nicole J. Georges (Mariner Books)
The first long-form book written zine veteran Nicole J. Georges, Calling Dr. Laura offers up a unique family drama, peppered with relationship woes, pet perils, and digestive problems. What's not to love? 

Little Fish by Ramsey Beyer (Zest Books)
This is a project that is very close to my heart, and so I can't round out a year end list without including Little Fish. An amalgam of Ramsey's long-standing zine, List, and her comic-stylings, this book takes us through a small towner's transition to big city life, adjusting to college, and finding out new things about herself in the process. The combination of collaged zine pages and comics makes for a unique reading experience, and although there is no big drama driving this story, this book tackles the issues of redefining yourself by what you keep and what lose.

Phase 7 #017 by Alec Longstreth (Phase 7 Books)
Weezer is Alec Longstreth's favorite band, and he writes about the Blue Album with the devotion that he puts into all of this projects (need a reminder, just check out the Basewood Beard). The only thing I love more than just straight up auto-bio is auto-bio that is music related, and being a teenager in the '90s, I feel a reverence for Longstreth's ability to capture what your favorite album can mean to you.  

As You Were #1 & #2 edited by Mitch Clem (Silver Sprocket Bicycle Club)
Maybe it's tacky to put a project that I'm personally involved with on my top 5 list, but whatever man, keep your rules off my body! Even if Mitch wasn't my best friend, and I didn't have comics in both issues, I'd still have these books on here. Not all straight auto-bio, but over 70% so, this anthology series of punk rock comics, each on different themes, are that rare diamond of an anthology: sure, there are some comics in each book that seem kind of throwaway, but by and large this series is packed with talent, really fun to read, and about the only other thing besides comics and cats that I've devoted my life to: PUNK. 



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