My Best of 2006

Based on shaky recollection and searching blog archives, I offer my favorite comics of 2006. All links go to my reviews on this blog.

1. Ghost of Hoppers by Jaime Hernandez (Fantagraphics): A contemporary master at the top of the form. The rich life of the characters and the depth of story is nicely augmented by the minimal and precise drawings.

2. Fun Home by Alison Bechdel (Houghton-Mifflin): A comics memoir that with a literary sense lacking from most autobiographical comics.

3. Ganges 1 by Kevin Huizenga (Fantagraphics): I just love Huizenga’s work. It’s fun and contemplative with a great and experimental use of the form.

4. Ninja by Brian Chippendale (Picturebox): I just reviewed it yesterday, so I won’t repeat myself so soon.

5. Frank Santoro: Yes, I’m cheating, but Santoro’s comics were a highlight of the year from the surrealistic Incanto (Picturebox) to the Ben Jones scripted Cold Heat 1 and Cold Heat 2 (Picturebox). His sparse line work and bold colors are sui generis in the comics world.

6. Mother’s Mouth by Dash Shaw (Alternative Comics): Shaw is an experiementer, and a good one at that.

Webcomics:

1. Les Petits Riens by Lewis Trondheim (Never reviewed this, so the link goes right to the comics)
2. Scary Go Round by John Allison (ditto, but I’ve read all the collected volumes)
3. Finder by Carla Speed McNeil (My review of the most recent volume)
4. Dicebox by Jenn Manley Lee (No review, mostly because I haven’t gone back and reread the whole thing)
5. Dinosaur Comics by Ryan North

Ongoing praise for reprints/translation: Krazy Kat (Fantagraphics), Peanuts (Fantagraphics), Walt and Skeezix (Drawn & Quarterly), Phoenix (Viz), and Buddha (Vertical, which finished up this year).