Best American Comics 2013: complete line-up

Published On August 26, 2013 | By Zainab | Comics

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October sees The Best American Comics 2013 anthology hit shelves both virtual and real, neatly encased in a Kate Beaton cover. This year’s volume is edited by ‘Bone’ creator, Jeff Smith, with a foreword by Jessica Abel and Matt Madden, and as usual, it provides a good look at the more independent and non-mainstream comics produced over the pond. If you’re looking to expand your horizons in terms of comics reading, it serves as a good introduction to a variety of works from people who you may not have heard of before, with a hotch potch of selections from web-comics, mini-comics excerpts from graphic novels, anthology contributions and so forth.

Let’s attempt some number crunching: I count 6 web-comics on there, inclusive of Kate Beaton’s and James Kochalka’s efforts: neither have had a book release in 2013, so their strips are sourced from their respective web platforms rather than any published versions of their work. It’s good to see web-comics slowly (and finally) getting more recognition from awards and such, and being included in an anthology like this can only help to raise the profile of the format. I count 12 women creators out of 30- nothing really to report there- I don’t believe in quotas and 12 out of 30 is an absolutely fine ratio.

It’s difficult to get perspective at times when you’re relatively immersed in a particular area (as I am here), but I think there’s a lot of newer names on here which you might consider the point of these compilations but certainly isn’t always the case: I would count Bechdel, Thompson, Moore, Pope, Dorkin, Harkhm, Kochalka, Beaton and Bell as the slightly older and familiar hands, so that’s about two thirds of space given to fresh talent. I’m aware of 22 of the works listed here, so I feel pretty confident in saying it’s a very strong line-up, and one you should  definitely look into picking up when it releases on October 9th. You can pre-order a copy here.

Here’s a complete list of all the artists and works featured:

  • Alison Bechdel: excerpt from Are you my Mother
  • Brandon Graham: ‘The Speaker’ from Dark Horse Presents
  • Jesse Jacobs: excerpt from By This You Shall Know Him
  • Sam Alden: excerpt from Haunter (StudyGroup web-comic)
  • Michael DeForge: Manananggal (web-comic for WhatThingsDo
  • Sophie Goldstein: The Good Wife
  • Terry Moore: excerpt from Rachel Rising
  • Craig Thompson: excerpt from Habibi
  • Colleen Doran, Derek McCullough and Jose Villarrubia: excerpt from Gone to Amerikay
  • Derf Backderf: excerpt from My Friend Dahmer

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  • Jorge Aguirre and Rafael Rosado: excerpt from Giants, Beware!
  • Evan Dorkin: ‘Fun’ strips from Dark Horse Presents
  • Joseph Lambert: excerpt from Anne Sullivan and the Trails of Helen Keller
  • Faith Erin Hicks: excerpt from Friends with Boys
  • Leela Corman: excerpt from Unterzakhn
  • Sammy Harkham: A Husband and Wife from Kramers Ergo
  • Tony Puryear: Concrete Park (first chapter) from Dark Horse Presents
  • Grant Snider: Four Comics (web-comic from incidentalcomics.com)
  • James Kochalka: American Elf strips
  • Eleanor Davis: Nita Goes Home from Mome

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  • Malachi Ward: Top Five (StudyGroup web-comic)
  • Laura Park: George from Mome
  • Kate Beaton: Velocipede from Hark! A Vagrant
  • Jennifer Hayden: Saints in the Store from Underwire
  • Michael Kupperman: Scary Bath Stories from Tales Designed to Thrizzle
  • Gabrielle Bell: Cody from Kramers Ergot
  • Paul Pope: 1969 from Dark Horse Presents
  • Jeremy Sorese: Oh! Oh! Oh! FROM Little Heart: A Comic Anthology for Marriage
  • Vanessa Davis: In the Rough from Tablet
  • Evan Dorkin and Jill Thompson: Story Time from Dark Horse Presents

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About The Author

Zainab

Zainab Akhtar is a qualified librarian with a specialisation in building comics collections. She currently writes for Forbidden Planet and The Beat, and is a committee member for the British Comics Awards.’

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