Jason Overby, Exploding Head Man, 2008.
Jason Overby is a true original at a time when our medium is cranking out all kinds of diverse and innovative work. His comics take the form of a meandering essay on the uses and meanings of comics, art, and life. What story there is often seem a pretext, a theme around which Overby weaves autobiographical observations, quotes from a variety of sources (sometimes attributed, sometimes not), emanata, asides, and marginalia. This searching is expressed in his drawing, too, which is in a state of constant mutation, bouncing from a variety of poles: Ernie Bushmiller, Gary Panter, Philip Guston, Picasso’s prints. He’s a prolific artist who is starting to appear all over the place—keep an eye on him.
What is this “Notable” thing all about? Matt and Jessica are the series editors for the Best American Comics, and are responsible for the Notable Comics list at the back of the book, which is comprised of virtually all the comics we sent to the guest editor that weren’t picked, as well as a number of others that we think are noteworthy for various reasons, but that we didn’t send to the guest editor.
We’ve always hoped readers will delve a bit into the list to find more great stories once they finish reading BAC. Realistically, though, we know that’s tough. What can you know about a story from a title and author? So this is one of a series of posts focusing on each of the Notables from the 2010 Best American Comics.
Have or know of a comic we should look at? Find submission info here.
The “age” suggestion is what we think might be the minimum age for reading and appreciating a work. All works on the list, though, should appeal to older audiences too. It’s a minimum suggestion only.