You Are What You Read

Reviews of books as I read them. This is basically a (web)log of books I've read.

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Location: Lawrenceville, Georgia, United States

I am a DBA/database analyst by day, full time father on evenings and weekends.

Tuesday, January 03, 2012

The Best American Comics 2011

The Best American Comics 2011 is a compendium of comics from the previous year, edited by Alison Bechdel. There's a variety of content and genres here, from philosophical to fantasy to memoir to meta. Some pieces are complete sections and some are as short as a page. The really short ones are hard to digest, and I couldn't get a good sense from just one or two pages.

The best piece is "Nov. 3, 1956" by Joe Sacco. This black and white comic starkly depicts the murders of dozens of Palestinian men by Israeli soldiers on that date. But it also contrasts the tales of the survivors, showing that while their stories make a coherent whole, one contradicts the others. It is a commentary on memory and history.

I really appreciated "Pet Cat" by Joey Alison Sayers, a comic about a comic, and the comic's fate as it goes through different writers. Another gem is "Flower Mecha" by Angie Wang, a colorful and imaginary creation combining organic and mechanical art.

Jeff Smith's "The Mad Scientist", an excerpt from his comic RASL, is a fun, gritty, and informative selection. It involves Tesla and time travel, along with the protagonists wild adventures. This is one comic that I will want to see more of.

The selection of comics is a bit uneven, though this is not surprising with such a wide variety of subject matter and styles to choose from. There are several good ones so overall it is enjoyable. B

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