LAS MEJORES NOVELAS GRAFICAS DEL 2008
Now that the first blush of wonder has faded, new fans are beginning to realize what comics buffs have known for decades: Comics and graphic novels have their own traditions and idiosyncrasies, and learning to understand them can be a rewarding lifetime journey.
Skyscrapers Of The Midwest
Read a graphic excerpt from Skyscrapers of the Midwest
Joshua W. Cotter's 'Skyscrapers of the Midwest'
Skyscrapers of the Midwest, by Joshua W. Cotter, Adhouse Books, 282 pages, $19.95
This tender meditation on boys growing up in the Midwest captures the mystery and loneliness of America's vast farmlands. Drawn as hapless cats, robots and skeletons, these young people haven't really discovered what it is to be alive, yet they long for something. The comic book-loving protagonist is haunted by visions of jet pack-wearing kitten angels and of a lonely robot striding across the seemingly endless landscape; the images and vignettes make emotional, rather than logical sense. Cotter weaves his story with such care and honesty that, despite the almost unutterable sadness, the overall effect is one of love and wonder. The book also shows a deep understanding of how Christian fundamentalism can weigh heavily on young men. Skyscrapers has the eeriness of a dream remembered from childhood. It is a sensitive masterpiece that can stand side-by-side with any literary debut of the last two decades.
Read a graphic excerpt from the first issue of Local
Brian Wood's 'Local'
Local, by Brian Wood and Ryan Kelly, Oni Press, 374 pages, $29.99
This graphic novel in 12 short stories follows punky dreamer Megan McKeenan as she roams America. Each short represents a different year in a different city, as she takes odd jobs, gets into creepy relationships and lives the extended childhood of many 20-somethings. Though she often lies and gets into dodgy situations, Megan approaches people with the instinctive wisdom that only young wanderers have. Wood, author of the hugely popular comic DMZ, has created a contemporary ballad to the idea of the open road. It's both frightening and freeing to see how identity can be as fluid as location. Megan moves from state to state, dealing with roommates and dead-end jobs and looking for an existence that befits her intelligence and desire for authenticity. She's not a lost cause; she simply chooses, for personal reasons, to drift a while.
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