I keep seeing these Best American editions in my library and as someone who enjoys lists and finding out about unknown sources of literature, I’ve always wanted to pick one up and get to know some new authors. The Best American Comics 2014 edited by Scott McCloud and Bill Kartalopoulos gave me the idea that I should get more familiar with the graphic novel/comic world. I’ve read a few for Cannonball Read 6, but I wanted to expand my horizons. Thankfully, I wasn’t disappointed.
Scott McCloud is well-known for his work, Understanding Comics, something I’ve taught in class. So I started out thinking I wasn’t a total newbie. And then I started reading the anthology. All the authors except for one I had never heard of. And I realized that I must be the audience that McCloud and the other editors in the series are trying to reach.
While I was only given parts of these amazing works, it only served to whet my appetite. Being the good Cannonballer, I quickly created a list of the ones I liked and you will be treated to many of them during CBR 7.
One of my favorite comics is Hyperbole and a half by Allie Brosh. I get a kick out of her work every time there’s a new post. Even though her artwork appears quite elementary, her way of carrying out a theme and connecting with her audience is phenomenal. I’m glad that they included a piece of her work. She’s considered a Web comic due to the fact that she publishes on her website. That’s not quite true anymore considering she published a collection of her work.
Another standout was a comic about a young girl who is isolated by the other girls at school. Her only escape is when she reads the book Jane Eyre. The comic does a brilliant job of showing her escape by coloring the every-day events in blacks, whites, and grays, while the world of Jane Eyre is in color. For those of you interested it’s called Jane, the Fox, and Me by Fanny Britt and Isabelle Arsenault. It’s comics like this make me appreciate the genre and the unique ways in which words and visuals can combine to tell a powerful narrative.