October 31, 2018
Stamps Associate Professor Phoebe Gloeckner is the guest editor for the 2018 edition of The Best American Comics, available in stores and online now.
“I love comics. Comics is (Comics ARE?) a perfect language, robustly evolving and expanding like any other living language,” writes Gloeckner in her introduction to The Best American Comics 2018. This year’s collection includes work selected from the pages of graphic novels, comic books, periodicals, zines, online, and more, highlighting the kaleidoscopic diversity of the comics language today.
Published by Houghton-Mifflin Harcourt, The Best American Comics 2018 features a cover by Lale Westvind and includes work by Gabrielle Bell, Tara Booth, Geof Darrow, Guy Delisle, Emil Ferris. Julia Gfrörer, Sarah Glidden, Simon Hanselmann, Jaime Hernandez Julia Jacquette, Gary Panter, Ariel Schrag, and many more.
In this video from New York’s Strand Bookstore, series editor Bill Kartalopoulos and contributors Julia Gfrörer, Julian Glander, Kevin Hooyman, and Julia Jacquette take a look inside the new anthology.
As Gloeckner states in her wonderful introduction, these are auteur comics—works birthed from a single creator (with the exception of one father-son team)—rather than the ensemble approach (writer, artist, inker, letterer) often seen in commercial comics, not to mention the by-committee production employed in TV and movies. While independent comics stalwarts such as Fantagraphics and Drawn & Quarterly published many of these stories, self-published books make up a good chunk of the collection… An excellent encapsulation of what makes sequential art such a compelling, singular art form.
This year’s Best American Comics collection is, as always, a stellar lineup chosen by series editor Bill Kartalopoulos and the year’s guest editor, in this case Phoebe Gloeckner (Diary of a Teenage Girl). There’s a bevy of treats, from already well publicized work by Emil Ferris, Gabrielle Bell, Jaime Hernandez, and Guy Delisle to more obscure pieces by underappreciated talents like Julia Gfrörer and Max Clotfelter. Just be prepared to drain your wallet on a bunch of these creators’ full books once you’re done reading the collection.
...this year’s guest editor, aiding and abetting series editor Bill Kartalopoulos, is none other than Phoebe Gloeckner, an inspired choice.
Gloeckner is a teacher at Michigan’s School of Art and Design and a Guggenheim Fellowship recipient, in addition to authoring Diary of a Teenage Girl and other classic comics. She’s certainly well positioned to give an overview of 2018’s exploding comics world.