Robot 6 Staff pick their best of 2013 - Modan, Hernandez, Bagge, Tomine, Hanawalt, and Mizuki!

“Robot 6′s favorite comics of 2013” / Robot 6 - Comic Book Resources / January 1, 2014

We’ve been hearing about what comics various industry folks enjoyed in 2013 in our Looking Forward, Looking Back series, and now it’s our turn: ROBOT 6 contributors share their favorites from 2013, which include Hawkeye, Marble Season, East of West and Batman.


The Property, by Rutu Modan: The Property is a graphic novel that reads like a novel, with strong characters, a plot that pulls you along and several subplots to add complexity. Modan’s art is superb, and the cemetery scene in particular is a thing of beauty all on its own. Overall, this book is a perfect blend of art and story.


Marble Season by Gilbert Hernandez. What do you do if you’re one of the most talented and prolific cartoonists working today and you’ve tried your hand at virtually every style and genre — drama, melodrama, noir, avant-garde, horror, porn? You make a warm, affectionate all-ages story about childhood, that’s what. Marble Season deals with universal emotions and experiences — the way we interact with our friends and family, our early obsessions, the way through playing we discover ourselves — but it’s so sharply observed that it feels both recognizable and specific — no mean feat. Chalk another one up for Beto.


Woman Rebel by Peter Bagge. Leave it to the old guard to show all those whippersnappers how to make one of them there newfangled graphic novels. Bagge’s actually been transitioning from the satirical comedy of Hate to nonfiction (or fictionalized biographies if you prefer) for a while now, but if you weren’t paying close attention you could have easily missed it. What’s fascinating is how easy a transition it was. Bagge sacrifices none of his humor, his humanity or his general smart-assery in detailing Sanger’s fascinating life story. I hope he has more true stories to relate in the near future.

Optic Nerve #13 by Adrian Tomine. Few cartoonists are as good at creating flawed, ugly but somehow sympathetic characters as well as Adrian Tomine does. “Go Owls,” a fabulous cringe-comedy involving two down-on-their-luck characters, one of whom is an abusive boyfriend and really bad drug dealer, underscores that ability with observant dialogue, subtle expressions and deft plotting. Then there’s “Translated, From the Japanese,” which attempts to avoid showing any people — at least up close — at all and yet remains as stark an emotional tale of a family nearing a break-up as you are likely to find in comics any time soon.


[Honorable mentions]

Kitaro by Shigeru Mizuki
My Dirty Dumb Eyes by Lisa Hanawalt


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