There’s nothing like having a stack of comics that you really enjoy. Even visually, a handful of comics has unbeatable appeal to me. Not a stack of hardcovers or a window of bookmarked webcomics, but a bunch of physical issues varying in shape, size, and pedigree.
Since it’s the season for lists, here’s a rundown of my modest stack of off-the-beaten-path comics I’ve liked throughout 2011 (and some that were acquired mere days ago). All of them can easily be purchased from the artists themselves.
Note: First half of the list are the ones I’ve gotten throughout the year. Second half is from this past weekend’s BCGF.
Calamity of Challenge #127
Matthew Allison had me as a fan since his work on Covered. This comic mostly features material from his webcomic, but its solid presentation here makes it worth seeking out a copy. He’s recently been selling original art at beyond reasonable prices.
You Are Always On My Mind #1
Kat Roberts, who has also made her stamp on popular characters, handmade this comic with its cover treatment and sewn binding. I don’t want to give away the goodness of the main feature, but you can see a little bit more here.
Rubber Necker # 5
One of the best, Nick Bertozzi continues to serialize Drop Ceiling in the last one-man anthology standing. He’s been holding down that fort for a while, and I want to live to see it reach issue 100.
Space & Gravity
Sarah Crowe drew this great but too short of a comic. She told me she’s working on a longer collection of pieces (while working on other things), so that’s one more to look for in the next year.
Open Country #1
You can follow the million things that Michael DeForge is doing on his blog, and you won’t be let down by any of it. It’s difficult to pick a favorite, but I was really into Open Country. I’m glad I found the follow up at this past weekend’s BCGF!
Kid Mafia #1
I got OC #2 from DeForge. He also had Kid Mafia, which is amazing for its own set of reasons. Nice to finally meet him, too.
[Everything by] Traditional Comics
If you’re not convinced about Benjamin Marra and what he does, go here. Actually skip it. There’s no hope for you if convincing is needed. Sometimes I treat his Night Business series as a light at the end of a tunnel. Don’t you?
I got tons of stuff at Marra’s table, including this new comic by Madeleine Bliss (read it here).
Scepter Gem Magic Universe Part 1
Brother Sasquatch Book One
Tim Hamilton has taken a select few passages from his online strip which is somewhat serialized at Cut Bleed. The guy can draw anything, and does. I can’t believe he makes one of these every morning in a dream state.
Regarding BCGF itself, I’m glad that I was able to stay a little longer than I anticipated (I’ve missed out before due to work). I was happy to finally have met Josh Simmons, Tom Spurgeon, and Adam McIlwee. Also got the latest Smoke Signal which is always welcome. Make sure to get your hands on a copy somehow (contact Desert Island) as it’s one of the finest collection of cartoonists around.
The next day I spent part of the afternoon going to a “place” where comics were unearthed, dusted off, and gleefully purchased. I went with the few people that never fail to reaffirm my hope in humanity and yeah, I got some more amazing things there.
Since the feeling of dancing between the bright/upcoming/homegrown and the obscure/processed/forgotten is a thrilling and pretty hilarious thing, I suspect that the experience will be well documented by the gentlemen I experienced it with. Look for it.