Today's Online Commentary & Diversions:
• List: Tucker Stone counts down The Best of 2011 at comiXology. and we sure like the looks of his top 5:
At #5, Jim Woodring's Congress of the Animals: "Deftly exploring the individual's relationship with labor, consequence and love, Congress of the Animals might be Woodring's least nightmarish work yet. (Although there's still a decent portion of it involving face-robbed humanoids that you shouldn't leave lying open if you have junkies visiting.)"
At #4, Prison Pit Book 3 by Johnny Ryan: "Back in 2009, when Ryan began Prison Pit, it was a revelation; a bone-crushing giant, born fully clothed…. Make no mistake: if Jack Kirby was born today, these are the kinds of comics he'd be drawing."
At #2, Ganges #4 by Kevin Huizenga: "While it has been two years since the release of Ganges #3, the only thing that could possibly have dulled would be the audience's memory of how extraordinary the series can be…. As with Yokoyama's Color Engineering, the audience becomes participatory witness, buried head to toe alongside Glenn, living and dying by his attempts to conquer. The shaggy dog ending — weirder than the last one — only seems cruel for the length of time it takes you to remember: being broken out of a trance is supposed to hurt."
And in the #1 spot, Love and Rockets: New Stories #4: "…Love and Rockets 4 saw Jaime Hernandez making good on the promise of decades. Resolving with as much finality as one could ask the question of 'how's this gonna end,' the final passage of this issue's Maggie story was without comparison. There was absolutely nothing else like reading those pages for the first time — the gasp held tight in your throat, the 8 panel grids giving way only once, for a two page silent recap of the last 30 years of a life only we seem to know was well-lived."
• List: At Trouble with Comics, Alan David Doane names his 10 Best Comics of 2011, including Walt Disney’s Donald Duck: Lost in the Andes by Carl Barks — "Quite simply, some of the best comics of all time, in the most beautiful design and format of any book I saw all year."
• Review: "…[The Armed Garden] is absolutely marvelous, a gorgeous and searing series of comics from an artist who earns the description 'freakishly talented' as completely as anyone this side of his trans-Atlantic fellow in crafting dreamy/nightmarish parables of violent spirituality, Jim Woodring. These comics are just as lovely and just as frightening, and just as singularly the work of their creator and no other." – Sean T. Collins, Attentiondeficitdisorderly
• Anecdote: When Blake Bell titles a blog post "Being Punked by Jerry Robinson and Other Memories" you know that's going to be good (Pictured: The Comics Journal #271 with Gary Groth's interview of Robinson)