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The Best American Comics 2012 Kindle Edition

3.7 out of 5 stars 10 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Book Description

Previous ISBN 978-0-547-33362-5

From the Back Cover

“When I started RAW magazine in the ’80s, there were mostly superheroes, a few children’s comics, and the dirty, intentionally lowbrow, underground comix. And now, comics can tackle any topic.”—Françoise Mouly, from the Introduction

FEATURING Charles Burns, Chester Brown, Joyce Farmer, Chris Ware, Gary Panter, Sergio Aragonés, Christoph Niemann, Adrian Tomine, Sarah Varon, and others.

This year with a sampler of comics for kids!

Françoise Mouly
has worked as the art editor for The New Yorker since 1993 and is the publisher and editorial director of TOON Books, an imprint of Candlewick Press. In 1980, Mouly founded the pioneering comics anthology RAW with her husband, Art Spiegelman. She has been named Chevalier in the Order of Arts and Letters by the French Ministry of Culture and Communication, and in 2011 she was inducted into the Légion d’Honneur, France’s highest decoration.

Jessica Abel is the author of the graphic novel La Perdida, as well as two collections of stories from her series Artbabe. Matt Madden is a cartoonist best known for his book 99 Ways to Tell a Story: Exercises in Style. Together they are the authors of Mastering Comics, the follow-up volume to their popular comics textbook, Drawing Words and Writing Pictures.


Product Details

  • File Size: 223511 KB
  • Print Length: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt; 2012 ed. edition (November 13, 2012)
  • Publication Date: November 13, 2012
  • Sold by: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00A6HCHYE
  • Text-to-Speech: Not enabled
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  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,473,849 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
I must admit that I like these annual compilations of mostly indie comics. I've always found at least a couple of noteworthy new artists/writers. This includes Nora Krug's "Kamikaze", the story of a Japanese WWII pilot who survived through an accident; and Joyce Farmer's "Special Exits", the story of an elderly couple's life and relationship with their daughter. There are also welcome additions from old standbys like Chris Ware and Jaime Hernandez. A couple of the excerpts end rather abruptly; particularly "The Battle of Buron". The comics with pictures only seemed to be the least successful to me.

The guest editor includes an entertaining "Decoupage", which includes her words and visuals from a variety of artists. She also includes two welcome innovations. The first is a title page for each author that includes information about the author and the work included. This successfully separates the various comics as well. The second is a group of Comics for Kids. I was pleased to see the work of Mad Magazine's Sergio Aragones included.

So although I don't think this collection meets the quality of 2006's collection edited by Harvey Pekar or 2008's by Lynda Barry, it is still worth the reader's while.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Bravo to the series editors for moving the artist bios into the body of the book and using them as intros to the artwork. Maybe that was suggested by the seemingly high number of excerpts that needed some explanation. Whatever the reason, it enhanced the reading experience for me. I always read the bios, and this format is great.

Found some comics I'll follow up on.
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Format: Hardcover
This series in general is one I enjoy. Even when I might not like some, or most of the selections, I can appreciate the attempt to collect and show off what is possible and happening in comics to more people who may or may not really follow.

For me, this edition was not amongst my favorite of this series. I can appreciate the difficulty of having to make these selections to begin with. But then, as with any collection of excerpts, to find a strong stand-alone piece of a whole work that is strong on its own, and coherent without its original context... man, what a task that must be. For me, this book seems to choose pieces that are perhaps just too hard to remove from their respective larger works, and chooses a lot of excerpts that I did not find very compelling.

Where I found previous editors making choices that compelled me to look further into artists, I found this book easy enough to read, but a little less interesting in general than previous books in the Best American Comics series. I don't think there's a major failure in this book, I just don't know that I'd really want to own it. A great choice to browse in the store, or check out of the library, but as a lasting edition you'll revisit? I wouldn't go quite that far.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I always enjoy these collections and this version had a change that I really enjoyed -- putting the author's bio (as well as any helpful context for the exerpt) right before the selection from their work. It was so much better than having to flip to the back of the book to read the bio and I also enjoyed the little comic "self-portraits" that each artist did for their work.

I enjoyed reading this, but there was nothing that made me feel like I had to go out and buy a book right away, as has been the case with previous volumes. Because each editor has a different sensibility, I think this had more to do with how I felt about the editor's selection than a general decline overall. There were some things that I really didn't mesh with (several pages of water colors didn't feel like "comics" at all, even defining the term loosely) and even the selections from well-known artists who have made previous volumes didn't feel as sharp as previous years. I enjoyed the idea of the section for kids, but the work seemed tepid -- even the work of Sara Varon, who I have enjoyed in the past.

I wouldn't avoid this work, I just probably won't reread it as often as I reread some of the other volumes in the series (The Best American Comics 2008 or The Best American Comics 2011, for example).
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I've read a bunch of these "Best American Comics" compilations at this point. They each have different editors, and so the quality can vary a lot. This is one of the best in the series. I found some real awesome ones in here, which are hard to find and that the editors obviously dug deep for.
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