A new comics-awards season is ramping up ahead of Friday, which is the submission and nomination deadline for the Eisners (a.k.a. “the Oscars of comics”).
With so many conventions and their companion awards ceremonies on the horizon, Comic Riffs urges voters to especially consider a handful of eligible graphic novels and other sequential-art books from last year — many of which might be otherwise overlooked in the shadow of top superhero books and blue-ribbon powerhouses like “March: Book Three.”
(And to check out Comic Riffs’s “best of 2016,” go here.)
1. “Mooncop,” by Tom Gauld
Restraint is everything in this British cartoonist’s dryly spellbinding tale of a space officer who can’t get home. The monochromatic tones and deadpan language blend brilliantly for maximum impact when the jokes land.
5. “Nicolas,” by Pascal Girard
Is it possible for the grief memoir to feel oddly leavened by the art? This Canadian cartoonist brilliantly boils down sibling loss to deceptively poignant line drawings that are as playful as childhood — but their cumulative force is strong. And then the afterword — rendered with a Roz Chast-like looseness — has the honest depth of a diary.
8. “Rolling Blackouts: Dispatches From Turkey, Syria, and Iraq,” by Sarah Glidden
In the spirit of comics-journalism great Joe Sacco, Sarah Glidden travels to hot spots to document — through pen and watercolor brush — how battles affect the civilians who aim to stay and endure. With a keen ear, Glidden bears witness.