|Marble Season by Gilbert Hernandez|
In June, Gilbert Hernandez's Marble Season topped our Best of the Year So Far list for Comics & Graphic Novels. Since then, it's been a strong season for comics, but after revisiting Hernandez's touching, nostalgic tale of kids in Southern California when assembling our Best Books of 2013 picks, I was reminded that nothing else has delighted me as much this year. Beneath the innocence of Hernandez's cast of eccentric troublemakers is the conflicting desire to grow up without understanding what that means; as a reader we approach Marble Season with the opposite perspective: we long for our childhood but appreciate it with the wisdom of adulthood.
|Very Casual by Michael DeForge|
Collecting the bizarre works of Michael DeForge's mini-comics, Very Casual marks the arrival of a fresh, bizarre talent. Even in his early twenties, DeForge has already won numerous awards (including the 2013 Ignatz Award for Outstanding Anthology of Collection for Very Casual). DeForge's aesthetic sensibility is hinged on the compellingly weird. Kids get high on squid ink; absurdist deer mate; and a rock band is made out of weird blobs. Revealed within Very Casual's psychedelic stories and grotesque geographies is something sublime.
|Sol The Deluxe Edition|
The collected works of DC's Solo lets many of the most well-known comics writers/illustrators, including Darwyn Cooke, Paul Pope, and Michael Allred, go hog-wild with the DC universe. It's a showcase of familiar heroes getting strange makeovers "” an eclectic mix of talent and imagination not to be missed.
|The Property by Rutu Modan|
Israeli-born artist Rutu Modan's first work, Exit Wounds, was an Eisner Award-winning trek through Tel Aviv. The Property, her second full-length comic, takes us to Warsaw, where a young woman named Regina accompanies her grandmother on a trip to secure property owned by her parents during the Holocaust. Modan's work is extremely subtle. But despite her penchant for earth tones and nuanced expressions, The Property feels so alive with compassion and humor and humanity.