EXIT WOUNDS, SHORTCOMINGS, SPENT, AYA on Panels and Pixels Best of list

“Graphic Lit: Best of 2007” / Panels and Pixels / Chris Mautner / January 2, 2008

Overall, 2007 could be called a banner year for comics as the medium continued to garner mainstream traction.

The death of Captain America won major newspaper headlines, Naruto dominated the best-seller landscape, and Stephen King and Buffy the Vampire Slayer attracted scores of people who had never set foot in a comic shop before.

It was also a great year for high-quality books. Here’s a list of some of my own personal favorites:

Best Graphic Novel of the Year: “Exit Wounds” by Rutu Modan. Few books this year had the emotional heft and warmth that Modan’s story of romance and estranged family set in Israel did.

Runners Up: “Shortcomings” by Adrian Tomine; “Laika” by Nick Abadazis; “Alias the Cat” by Kim Deitch.

Best Nonfiction Comic: A tie between Bryan Talbot’s “Alice in Sunderland” and Larry Gonick’s “The Cartoon History of the Modern World, Part One.”

Runners-up: “Red Eye, Black Eye” by K. Thor Jensen; “Spent” by Joe Matt; “American Elf Book Two” by James Kochalka.

Best European book: “Aya” by Marguerite Abouet and Clement Oubrerie. An African expatriate and a Parisian artist tell charming slice-of-life story set in the Ivory Coast.

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