MadInkBeard by DerikBadman

This blog is now in archive mode. For redirection to newer content, go to the homepage.

Best Comics Criticism of 2007

Chris Mautner asked a bunch of comics critics/reviewers/bloggers to select their favorite piece of comics criticism for his “Everyone’s A Critic” column at Newsarama. Once I started looking around, I found a few pieces that I enjoyed over the past year. They skew towards the longer or recent, as my memory fails me, and I neglected to keep track of this particular area of my reading. Chris has my top choice for his column (coming soon), but here are the runners-up, in no particular order:

a) Jesse Hamm on Jesse Marsh: This is an old piece of Hamm’s that he posted a couple months ago to his LiveJournal, but it’s the first criticism I’ve seen on Marsh that made me see why I should read his comics. (The piece on Marsh in the most recent Comic Art issue helped too, but it’s strong biographical focus was less to my tastes.)

b) Stephen Frug on a page from City of Glass: Great close reading of a page, including a nice comparison of the original novel to the comic adaption. (The first in a series on “100 Great Pages”.)

c) “Jaime Hernandez: Mad Love” in Reading Comics by Douglas Wolk: Wolk really gets to the many reasons to love Jaime’s Locas stories. This is the kind of comics criticism you could give to a non-comics reader and get them interested in reading a comic (I think, I haven’t tried it yet). Part of this chapter originally appeared as a review of “Ghost of Hoppers” in Salon.

d) System of Comics by Thierry Groensteen as translated by Bart Beaty and Nick Nguyen: What can I say, I love this formalistic kind of analysis. Groensteen’s concept of “braiding” is, in particular, deserving on more thought and attention. (My comments on the French edition from few years back.)

e) Noah Berlasky on a few panels from Asterix: A fine bit of close reading, something I always appreciate.

I’d love to here any suggestions from my readers…