I didn’t think 2013 could better 2012 as far as graphic novels were concerned.
After all, last year, we had Jeff Lemire’s Underwater Welder , Mark Siegel’s Sailor Twain , Chris Ware’s Building Stories , and several others, almost all of which featured in this column.
Yet, when I sit down and review the graphic novels I have read through the year, I have to admit that 2013 was a pretty good year for comics too. The new Batman reboot carried along swimmingly; and Neil Gaiman returned to the character who made him the force he is in the modern fantasy genre, The Sandman; and Charles Soule brought suspense and chaos theory and comics together in his Strange Attractors , but there were several little treasures as well.
This edition of Cult Fiction will focus on these.
The Property, Rutu Modan: Modan’s first book Exit Wounds was featured in this column a few years ago and like it, The Property, about an Israeli family trying to reclaim property it owned in Warsaw before the second world war forced them out, is funny, real, and illustrated in a languorous style that is just right for a slow-paced narrative.
Marble Season, Gilbert Hernandez: One of the brothers Hernandez best known for their wildly popular Love And Rockets, Gilbert Hernandez’s Marble Season is about growing up in 1960s California (and is partly autobiographical), but it is also about the unique way in which every generation grows up—doing the things that children always do, but also shaped by the happenings around them and the media of the time (much like today’s children will be affected by Flipboard and Hunger Games and Google and Facebook)
I would have liked to include Gene Luen Yang’s two-volume boxed set on the Boxer revolution, Boxers And Saints, but it has just arrived and I am still to even unwrap it. It will be good to start 2014 with a backlog.