Notables 2010: Maggie McKnight’s Swingin’

Maggie McKnight, Swingin’. The Iowa Review, 2009.

Maggie McKnight’s “Swingin'” is a glancing look at a few moments in her life tied together by a family wedding. It’s slight, and it relies heavily on illustrated text rather than comics (images that repeat and don’t much amplify text), but it’s very charming series of incidents that gives us a warm sense of her and her family. I especially like how McKnight fluidly interlaces flashback with various contemporary incidents, and how she lets little bits of information pile up without comment to organically create our sense of the event.

As an aside, this comic ran in the prose-heavy Iowa Review, one of a number of literary journals now publishing comics. Nice to see.

Age: Teen, or maybe adult, since it’s written from a very looking-back-on-things point of view.

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.


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