Notables 2010: Josh Simmons’ Jesus Christ

Josh Simmons, Jesus Christ, MOME, Vol. 13, 2009.

Word is getting out that Fantagraphics’ excellent anthology MOME will cease publication this summer. A friend of mine asked me the other day, “now how are you going to find enough work to fill the Best American Comics?” While I’m happy to report that there is plenty of amazing work out there to fill BAC (and, of course, the List of Notable Comics), it’s true that MOME has been a remarkably consistent source of contributions to this series. Issue 13 featured two stories that made it to the Notables (Dash Shaw’s CMYK being the other).
Josh Simmons’ “Jesus Christ” is a wordless mash-up of Bizarro-world parable and monster movie. With no narration or further context, a ball of fire lands in the middle of a sprawling metropolis. From it emerges a mute, centaur-like giant who proceeds to lay waste to the city and its populace. The storytelling is fluid and dynamic, and Simmon’s ability to convey the enormity of the monster is bracing. Simmons deliberately mixes elements from different mythologies to defy any obvious reading. In the end, all we have before us is this escstatic Kali-Godzilla-Centaur with a halo of fire and a title to provoke us.

Age: college

(you can also see a bit of this in FB’s strange “video preview” for MOME Vol. 13)

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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