- Posted by Johanna on November 7, 2006 at 4:47 pm
- Category: LinkBlogging
The latest PWCW has an early Best Graphic Novels of 2006 list (link no longer available). I’ve read two of them:
Lost Girls — exactly the kind of book made for these lists, but disappointing given its pedigree (and price!). Not bad, but not as wondrous as hoped.
Scott Pilgrim and the Infinite Sadness — great book, but didn’t hit me as powerfully as the first two. That’s the problem of a series by such a talent: how do you keep raising the bar?
I haven’t read these yet, and I don’t plan to:
Ghost of Hoppers — I find Love and Rockets and their subsequent spinoffs some of the most overrated comics ever. I think you had to be there then, and grow along with the series, to truly appreciate it now, because for me, it’s like going to someone else’s never-ending high school reunion.
Curses — I like Kevin Huizenga’s work just fine, but there are many other things I want to get to first. And technically, it’s not even released yet.
Can’t Get No — Flipped through this a while back, and for all the hoopla about it saying important things about life post-9-11, I found it pretentious and, well, stupid.
The 9/11 Report: A Graphic Adaptation — If this was a movie, we’d be calling it “Oscar bait”. It’s designed to be important, just by the subject matter. I stay away from books (and films) like those, because I seek entertainment. If enlightenment comes along with the enjoyment, that’s a bonus.
Dragon Head Volume 1 — The only manga on the list, and apparently very gripping, only it’s horror, so not for me.
In short, this list is not very surprising. All of these books are important and significant (well, maybe except for Dragon Head) and done with great craft. It’s a wonderful thing for comics that we’ve reached the point where we can easily make such a list without someone snickering at the choices, but some of the excitement and goofiness seems gone from the process.
I wish the list said more about WHY these were the best books. The short descriptions seem to concentrate more on plot and content than quality, with only an adjective or two to indicate why they’re great. I’m also curious about who made the selections and how.
Update: A Wisconsin retailer has feedback on the list, saying:
some we don’t have, a few I’ve never even heard of, and many of the ones we do have in the store haven’t sold all that well. Now, that doesn’t mean they’re not good. I think it means that these types of books, because they are non-super hero based, probably sell better in regular book stores and on-line, to people who don’t ordinarily go into comic book stores.
She also questions why more manga aren’t on this list, citing Naruto‘s place on bestseller lists. I don’t think the two are related, though — a volume 10 can do quite well in sales, but why would it place on a best-of list? If it’s that much better than books 8 and 9, then that’s an argument for poor craft (in terms of the series).
When it comes to long runs, it’s likely that only the first and last will be considered for quality rankings. With translated manga series that started this year, I’d have thought about Naoki Urasawa’s Monster.