With Best Books, the Year Has Ten Months

If you’re creating a graphic novel that you want critical praise for, make sure you release it before October. The “Best of the Year” lists have started coming out already, so even if an excellent work is released in November or December, oh well. You need the extra time to get the books into stores, you see, so that everyone who wants the guidance of a critic’s recommendations has time to find and buy them before the holidays.

Publishers Weekly‘s graphic novel list is rather as expected — my favorite of the ten is Dorkin and Thompson’s Beasts of Burden. Also included:

These are works it’s hard to argue against in terms of craft, although many comic readers will be unfamiliar with them, since most are firmly on the art side of the popular/artistic divide comic camps often fall into. In comparison, the Comics Reporter presents an illustrated list of Amazon’s best-selling graphic novels for the year, all media tie-ins or works that have been adapted into movies or TV shows. (For Blackest Night, I’m connecting the upcoming Green Lantern film.)

Amazon’s Editors’ Picks for Best Graphic Novels of 2010 splits the difference, with three of the same titles as the PW list but also more “mainstream” choices, such as Wednesday Comics, a Hellboy volume, and in a nod to comic strips and their history, 40: A Doonesbury Retrospective.

David Welsh also has commentary on these lists.

One Response to “With Best Books, the Year Has Ten Months”

  1. John Says:

    Is it just my elitaphobia or does the inclusion of Batwoman: Elegy on the PW list seem condescendingly obligatory? Like they said “well, I guess we should include at least ONE superhero. Lets make it the gay one so PW looks tolerant and inclusive at the same time”.

    The fact that the majority of those GNs never see the inside of a comic book shop and are almost invisible on the B&N shelves when compared to the amount of superhero trades, says something, I imagine.




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