“The revolution is already here.”
Those were the words of comics scholar Scott McCloud in a conversation with me last month about the increasing diversity in the comics world. McCloud, author of “Understanding Comics” and the forthcoming graphic novel “The Sculptor,” says he expects a rapid rise in the number of women cartoonists, emphasizing that roughly half “of the creative community is a volcano that hasn’t necessarily erupted yet.”
A diverse span of creators, from longtime New Yorker cartoonist Roz Chast to best-seller Raina Telgemeier and rising star Jillian Tamaki, is proving true to McCloud’s words. Here are Comic Riffs’ top 10 graphic novels of 2014:
Bumperhead by Gilbert Hernandez
As he did in Marble Season, Hernandez writes of being young with piercing truth and nonjudgmental clarity. His masterful follow-up about adolescence in the ’70s is both culturally specific and experientially universal — as relatable characters are set against spare backgrounds. If you like this book, you might also enjoy: The Love Bunglers, in which Jaime Hernandez, after decades, somehow mines the Love and Rockets series (co-created with brothers Gilbert and Mario) for more gold; also, Mimi Pond’s transporting ’70s memoir Over Easy.
You might also enjoy: The warped and electric-tinted world-building of Michael DeForge’s wry-funny Ant Colony.