Best Graphic Novels of 2010
Here’s what I thought were the best graphic novels of 2010, in order, based on what affected, entertained, and enlightened me. For more information on any of the following titles, the links take you to my reviews.
- Castle Waiting Volume 2 by Linda Medley — Exceptionally illustrated fantasy revolving around everyday life among a stunning cast of unusual characters who make their own unusual family in an abandoned castle.
- Beasts of Burden by Evan Dorkin and Jill Thompson — Gorgeous and scary, charming and creepy, as a neighborhood gang of dogs tackle ghosts and monsters.
- Hereville: How Mirka Got Her Sword by Barry Deutsch — “Yet Another Troll-Fighting 11-Year-Old Orthodox Jewish Girl”, as the subtitle has it, demonstrating the complexity of this modern fable.
- Two Generals by Scott Chantler — A skilled graphic memoir (with outstanding design) of a time thought to be ethically simple but shown to be as complicated as the modern day.
- Smile by Raina Telgemeier — Adolescence as symbolized by dental trauma in an easy-to-read story approachable by all ages.
- Scary Godmother by Jill Thompson — Thank you, Dark Horse, for bringing these beautiful painted Halloween tales back into print.
- Underground by Jeff Parker and Steve Lieber — Thrilling adventure in an extreme caving environment few readers will ever see.
- Drinking at the Movies by Julia Wertz — This volume showed me that a genre I thought was played out through overuse, the autobiographic diary comic, just needed the right hand — and a good selection of events — to make it fresh and involving.
- Moving Pictures by Kathryn & Stuart Immonen — Starkly affecting portrait of an art worker in France during World War II.
- Blacksad by Juan Diaz Canales and Juanjo Guarnido — Another Dark Horse reprint rescue, this time of an anthropomorphic noir that’s just lovely to look at, with the benefit of thought-provoking messages under the adventure.
In very pleasant contrast to last year, where I couldn’t even fill out a top ten, I had more good books to choose from than slots. Runners up, in alphabetical order, included
- The Adventures of Unemployed Man
- The Art of Failing Buddhism
- Love and Capes: Going to the Chapel
- Make Yourself Happy
- The Night Owls
- Questionable Content
- Scott Pilgrim’s Finest Hour
For previous lists, see my page of must-read comic classics.