It’s time that I select my favorite comix of 2015. Lots of incredible books to choose from this year. I was particularly impressed with the quality of self-published and small press editions, which I’ll list separately on the bookstore’s Facebook page.
– Larry Reid, Curator, Fantagraphics Bookstore & Gallery
- Black Light: The World of L.B. Cole. The colorful covers of golden age comix are the focus of this exceptional and long overdue volume on mid-century master L. B. Cole. Essential.
- We Are Gypsies Now. Tacoma-born media artist Danielle de Picciotto chronicles her nomadic adventures with husband and collaborator Alexander Hacke of Berlin-based noise band Einstürzende Neubauten. An enchanting look at modern Bohemia, which renewed my romance with challenging experimental art.
- Class Photo. Veteran cartoonist Robert Triptow delivers on the clever premise of this narrative constructed around a found photograph.
- Worst Behaviour. I confess I missed the boat with Simon Hanselmann’s Megahex, despite an enthusiastic endorsement from Charles Burns. His bookstore signing last year was attended by none other than Art Spiegelman. With my pot smoking days long behind me, I was apprehensive about his association with so-called “stoner” comix. This new book won me over. A well executed and inspired concept.
- Leaf. Chinese cartoonist Daishu Ma hits the mark with this charming allegory of modern life. A beautifully designed, wordless wonder from a promising new artist.
- Chicago. Glenn Head returns with a semi autobiographical story of a cartoonist’s coming of age. We all likely encountered some element of Head’s experience in that awkward period between adolescence and adulthood. A wonderful work of art.
- The Eternaut reminds us of the power, and potential danger, of comix. The writer of this dissident Argentine masterpiece, Héctor Germán Oesterheld, was “disappeared” along with his three daughters in the “dirty war” of the 70s. The late artist F. Solano Lopez, was forced to flee to Spain. This Latin American classic appears for the first time in English in an exquisitely designed format.
- Inner City Romance. Guy Colwell’s classic comix remain remarkably relevant and moving. His early 70s work marked a transition from typical underground themes of hippie bliss to a more sobering assessment of urban existence among the underclass. Colwell’s talent as a visual artist also appears in the Street Scenes portfolio, published this year on the adventurous F U imprint.
- Invisible Ink. Bill Griffith surprised me with this powerful graphic memoir revealing a sordid family secret. A highly nuanced, atmospheric narrative from one of America’s greatest living cartoonists.
- Cheech Wizard’s Book of Me. I didn’t come to fully appreciated the work of Vaughn Bodé until his alluring images began to adorn subway cars in New York City – the handiwork of wild style street art pioneers like Dondi, Zephyr, and Seen. It drew me to rediscover the captivating appeal of Bodé’s amazing body of work. The lasting legacy of this influential artist will be on full display at the bookstore this Saturday as we debut the book with The Cheech Wizard Show featuring Mark Bodé at our 9th anniversary celebration. See you all then.