<<•>> edited by Charles Burns; series editors Jessica Abel and Matt Madden <<•>> Well, Crumb is a tough act to follow, but we'll give it a shot with this star-studded anthology filled with the best and the brightest from the last twelve months of comics, as judged by Charles Burns. In a book like this, we feel that the contributor list says it best: Doug Allen, Peter Bagge, Gabrielle Bell, Matt Broersma, Daniel Clowes, Al Columbia, Robert Dennis Crumb, Sammy Harkham, Tim Hensley, Gilbert Hernandez, Kevin Huizenga, Ben Katchor, Kaz, Aline Kominsky-Crumb, Michael Kupperman, Jason Lutes, Tony Millionaire, Jerry Moriarty, Anders Nilsen, Gary Panter, Laura Park, Mimi Pond, Ron Regé, David Sandlin, Koren Shadmi, Dash Shaw, Art Spiegelman, Ted Stearn, Jillian Tamaki and Mariko Tamaki, Adrian Tomine, Chris Ware, Dan Zettwoch. 'Nuff said. Well, actually, we can't help but add that while the material contained in this anthology is absolutely fabulous, the quality of its reproduction is, mysteriously, not up to the same standard as the three previous volumes in this series, which were excellent in that department. This shouldn't stop anyone from picking up this fine volume, but it is worrisome. Let's hope that this was a one time aberration and that next year we'll find the fine folks at Houghton Mifflin have figured out what went wrong and put things in the production department back on track.
<<•>> edited by Scott McCloud <<•>> series editor Bill Kartalopoulos <<•>>
Whether you've been buying this volume every year since its inception in 2006, or you've yet to give it a try, we think everyone interested in what's going on in comics should check out this volume. After shepherding it through nearly a decade of great comics, the original series editors Jessica Abel and Matt Madden have put the series in the eminently capable hands of comics scholar (and comics festival organizer), Bill Kartalopoulos, who has teamed up with this year's editor, the one and only Scott "Understanding Comics" McCloud to produce what we are going to go out on a limb and declare the best Best American Comics volume yet. Organized into ten thematically unified sections, each with its own introduction defining and justifying the theme and selections, the comics included in this volume range far and wide, from the recognized masters of the form such as Jaime Hernandez (whose work graces the cover), Chris Ware, Ben Katchor, Charles Burns, R. Crumb and Aline Kominsky-Crumb to amazing work by the up and coming generation of cartoonists like Theo Ellsworth, Michael DeForge, Lale Westvid and Sam Alden to boundary pushing works by the likes of Aidan Koch and Erin Curry. And there's much more! Readers will also herein find amazing work by many other creators of all stripes, including mainstream heroic fantasy, web comics, comics for young readers, newspaper strips, works of history in comics form (like an excerpt from Ed Piskor's Hip Hop Family Tree!), some particularly intense examples of the ever popular comics memoir, and more, including work by perennial Copacetic favorites like Ron Rege, Jr. and "C.F.". We recognize that Copacetic customers are likely to already be familiar with if not already own many of the works found here, and so may be less inclined to consider it for themselves, but we all know someone who could greatly benefit being hepped to the dazzling spectrum of comics on hand here (and we are in full agreement with Kartalopoulos's "suggestion" that the material contained in this single volume better represents the wide array of comics today than the entire "graphic novel" section of most bookstores), so consider pointing them in this direction...
We haven't written about The Believer in a while, but there was no way we could let this go without throwing it your way. This is by far the most comics-centric issue yet, and it's a must! First off, there is the amazing Charles Burns cover that celebrates Chris Ware's interview of Jerry Moriarty, the latter of whom, in turn, contributes a gigantic, removable, fold-out poster of a Jack Survives page. Then there are the additional interviews with Aline Kominsky-Crumb, and the one-and-only Peter Blegvad! On top of this add a historical overview of the life and career of Morrie Turner, the creator of Wee Pals, the first nationally syndicated "comic strip of color." And, if that weren't already enough, this issue features the debut of the all-new Comics page, edited by Alvin Buenaventura and featuring full color comics by the likes of Anders Nilsen, Ron Regé, Jr., Tom Gauld, Leif Goldberg, Lisa Hanawalt, Charles Burns, Lilli Carré and Al Columbia. A keeper, we'd say.