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Best American Comics: the Notable Comics of 2013

best-american-comics-2013-cover

As you may know, Matt and I have been the series editors for the Best American Comics (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt) for the past six years. That means that, every year, we tried to get our hands on every comic published by a North American cartoonist (which is the USA, Canada, and Mexico), or anyone who makes his or her home here, and then read them all to sort out the best 100 or so comics of the year. (Of course, we couldn’t possibly see everything, but we tried.) These best 100-120, we then handed on to the year’s guest editor, who picks his or her favorite 25-30, which go into that year’s volume. Then, Matt and I got to make our list of everything else we think comics readers should have read that year. It’s called the Notable Comics list, and it comprises 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.

Over the six volumes we’ve edited, we’ve tried to shine a spotlight on this list. As most guest editors point out in their introductions, the selection process, when it gets down to which stories make the cutoff for the volume and which don’t, can be alarmingly arbitrary. Often, we and the guest editors would love to include 50 stories in the published volume, but there just isn’t room. But when you combine the notable list with the stories that are printed, it might be a little more possible to talk about representing what’s we actually think is best in a given year. Also, when looking for good comics to read, why limit yourself? We’ve always hoped readers will delve a bit into the list to find more great stories once they finish reading BAC.

Below, we’ve reprinted the full list of the Notables from the 2013 volume, which was guest-edited by Jeff Smith. We’ve also added extensive links and images of the covers to intrigue you and to help you track the works down.

You may have noticed the use of past tense in the preceding paragraphs. Matt and I have stepped down as series editors as of the 2013 volume. It was a fabulous run, but time to do something else with our lives! We wish the best of luck to new series editor Bill Kartalopoulos, and hope maybe he’ll want to run his Notables here next year.

A quick note to educators before you dive in: be sure to check out Dr. Katie Monnin‘s extensive lesson plan for BAC13 which she recently posted on the Diamond website.

 

Hilary Allison Badswords

Hilary Allison, Bad Words

DerikABadmanthebigsleep

Derik A.Badman, Untitled (August 2011)

Jeremy BaumPostland

Jeremy Baum, Postland

bayerrawpower

Josh Bayer, Raw Power

BOWBROWNThe-Survivalist-300dpi-22

Box Brown, The Survivalist

chadbikeman

Jon Chad, Bikeman

Seymour Chwast The Canterbury tales

Seymour  Chwast, The Canterbury Tales

CloonanTheMire_Cover-500x50cloonan0

Becky Cloonan, The Mire

CookParker_TheScore

Darwyn Cooke, Richard Stark’s Parker: The Score

01_craghead_wstevens

Warren Craghead III, “A Rabbit As King of the Ghosts” Phoebe

davidson

Anya Davidson, “Barbarian Bitch” Kramers Ergot 8

dresdengone

Kris Dresen, Gone

estradaojitos2_

Inés Estrada, Ojitos Borrosos

Falkenhemrrcover14_rota1

Sofia Falkenhem, “Can I Sit Close Like This?” Rabid Rabbit 14

FAWKESpodx5295

A.G. (Glynnis) Fawkes, “Thinking About Dust” Minimum Paige

fiffeZ2.Cover_.Smalls

Michael Fiffe, Zegas number 2

foresmanTEOTFW.woods

Charles Forsman, The End of the Fucking World, parts 1-7

forsythe

Matt Forsythe,  Jinchalo

franklinyjustnoise_09

Eroyn Franklin,  Just Noise

fryeregalia

Eliza Frye, “The Lady’s Murder” Regalia

gfrorer

Julia Gfrörer, “Black is the Color” Study Group 12

goldberg

Myla Goldberg and Jason Little, “Invisible” Bomb

graham

V A Graham and J A Eisenhower, Scaffold

hart

Tom Hart, Daddy Lightning

heffernan

Seamus Heffernan, Freedom No. 1

hernandez

Gilbert Hernandez, Fatima: The Blood Spinners issues 1-2

Joehilllockekey

Joe Hill and Gabriel Rodriguez, “Open the Moon” Locke & Key one shot

hoey

Peter Hoey and Maria Hoey, “Occurence at Pont Neuf” Coin-Op

howard

Luke Howard, All Coons Look Alike to Me: the Life of Ernest Hogan, Father of Ragtime

hussey

Leo Hussey and Conor Stechschulte, Untitled (Tliug)  Weird

jensen

Jeff Jensen and Jonathan Case, Green River Killer

kalesniko

Mark Kalesniko, Freeway

lap

Dave Lapp, People Around Here

leach

Brendan Leach, Iron Bound #1

lemire

Jeff Lemire, The Underwater Welder

lutes

Jason LutesBerlin # 18

madonna

Paul Madonna, “Regret Trilogy” All Over Coffee

madson

Justin Madson, Breathers

mardou

Mardou, The Sky in Stereo

marra

Benjamin Marra and Michael Deforge,  “Faunamancer Domination” Smoke Signal 10

martin

Jason Martin and Calvin Wong, “Scenes from the Fire” Papercutter #17

martz

John Martz,  Machine Gum 3

mazur

Dan Mazur and Jesse Lonergan, Cold Wind

macf

Dakota McFadzean, Unkindness

macmanus

Jesse McManus and Austin English, Spider Monkey

meconis

Dylan Meconis, Outfoxed

motley

Tom Motley, “Al Jaffee Homage Dept” Tragic Strip

naomi

Mari Naomi, “Smoke in Your Eyes: Dragon’s Breath” The Rumpus

neufeld

Josh Neufeld, “Bahrain: Lines in Ink, Lines in the Sand” Cartoon Movement

orner

Eric Orner, “Avi & Jihad” The Rumpus

pekar

Harvey Pekar and Joseph Remnant, Harvey Pekar’s Cleveland

henson

Ramon K. Perez, adapted from a screenplay by Jim Henson and Jerry Juhl Tale of Sand

petty

JT Petty and Hilary Florido, Bloody Chester

piskor

Ed Piskor, Wizzywig

porcellino

John Porcellino, “The Strip Outsider” Ecotone 12

FAWKESpodx5295

Liz Prince, Joe Quinones, and Maris Wicks, “The Stuff of Fluff”  Minimum Paige

quach

Peter Quach, I Am A Racist (And So Can You)

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Matt Rota, “Romance” Rabid Rabbit 14

russel

P. Craig Russell, Fairy Tales of Oscar Wilde

sacco

Joe Sacco and Chris HedgesDays of Destruction, Days of Revolt

sakugawa

Yumi Sakugawa, “Seed Bomb” Slake #4

santiago

Wilfred Santiago, “The Story of Roberto Clemente”

schultz

Gabby Schultz, “Sick” Gabby’s Playhouse

FAWKESpodx5295

Robert Sergel, “Control” Minimum Paige

schreshta

Anuj Shrestha, Genus

snider

Grant Snider, “The Book of the Future” The New York Times Book Review

stall

Vincent Stall, Things You Carry

stechs

Conor Stechschulte, The Amateurs

tamaki

Jillian Tamaki, Supermutant Magic Academy

terry

Laura Terry, Overboard

thruber

Matthew Thurber, “Infomaniacs” PictureBox

marra

Matthew Thurber and Benjamin Marra, “The Transformers of Life” Smoke Signal 10

tin can forest

Tin Can Forest, Wax Cross

tinder

Jeremy Tinder, “Mothman, Lake Michigan” Elephant Ear

towle

Ben Towle, The Oyster War, Chapter 4

tsumuri

Andrea Tsurumi, Dance Party

sciver

Noah Van Sciver, 1999

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Various, Suspect Device #2

Crier_spot

Various, Cartoon Crier

ward

Malachai Ward, Real Life: Ritual issue 1

warner

Andy Warner, The Man Who Built Beirut

westvind

Lale Westvind, “Potent Impact” Chromazoid

knowles

Elaine M. Will, Look Straight Ahead

williams

Eric Williams, Wow You Are A Hungry Bottom

worby

Jess Worby, A Walk in the Park

zett

Dan Zettwoch, Birdseye Bristoe

Comments

6 Comments to Best American Comics: the Notable Comics of 2013

  • by MariNaomi

    On October 8, 2013 at 6:30 pm

    Well this makes me very happy. Thank you so much!

  • by Yumi

    On October 11, 2013 at 9:02 pm

    Thank you so much, Matt & Jessica! Looking forward to seeing the rest of the anthology when it comes out.

  • by Gina

    On October 11, 2013 at 11:21 pm

    Could you provide any information where we could buy some of these? Many of them strike me as stuff you wouldn’t get on an average Wednesday next to Spiderman and Archie.

  • by Jessica

    On October 12, 2013 at 8:59 am

    Very true, you probably can’t. That’s the idea behind the links, though. The intention is to link the artists’ names to their websites or blogs or whatever, and the titles of the books to somewhere you can (hopefully) purchase or view them. If you can’t find a way to buy them, contact the authors.

    Happy hunting!

  • by Jessica

    On October 12, 2013 at 9:00 am

    You’re more than welcome. Thanks for the great reads.

  • by Pat Shewchuk

    On October 25, 2013 at 4:12 pm

    Thanks for including us in your list, and thanks for including the website link too!
    best,
    TCF

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