IN THE end, Nick Drnaso didn't win the Man Booker Prize. Indeed, his graphic novel Sabrina (Granta, £16.99/Drawn & Quarterly) didn't even make it to the short list. But the fact that it was named in the long list back in July was enough. A sign that the form's cultural reach doesn't start and end with Marvel movie adaptations. The graphic novel had been welcomed into the literary establishment. Another step up the ladder in terms of critical acceptance. And another reason why this has been another good year for cartoonists.
There were some - myself included - who weren't sure that Sabrina belonged on the Booker long list, but more because of form than content. Told in a clean, clear, style, Drnaso's potent, pitiless vision of grief, the corrosive effect of social media and the rise of the digital alt-right is one of the most incisive visions of the Trump era we've yet had. It feels very of the moment, while never losing a sense of novelistic space, depth and mystery.
You could argue that the best of this year's graphic novels revolved around one or other of those two approaches.
Reading Jason Lutes's epic graphic novel Berlin (Drawn & Quarterly), which has taken its creator more than 20 years to finish, it's difficult to ignore the contemporary resonances in its account of life in the German capital between the First and Second World Wars.
Graphic Content's Top 20 graphic novels of 2018 (NB: there are probably lots of good ones we haven't included simply because we haven't had a chance to read them yet. Apologies to all the creators we've missed out as a result. And that includes you, Posy Simmonds).
19 Red Winter, Anneli Furmark, Drawn & Quarterly
Set in a commune in 1970s Sweden, Red Winter, Anneli Furmark's graphic novel of an affair between a married mother and a young communist describes another world where politics vies with love. A cold snap of a book.
9 Woman World, Aminder Dhaliwal, Drawn & Quarterly
Smart feminist comedy in comic book form. Dhaliwal is one to watch.
8 S*** is Real, Aisha Franz, Drawn & Quarterly
The German cartoonist's graphic novel about heartbreak and depression is slyly surrealist and in danger of being overlooked.
6 From Lone Mountain, John Porcellino, Drawn & Quarterly
John Porcellino's diary accounts of his life are proof that comic strips can also be poetry.
5 Berlin, Jason Lutes, Drawn & Quarterly
More than 20 years in the making it was worth the wait. Lutes's brick of a book is an epic piece of work that never loses sight of its humanity amidst the spectacle.
4 Sabrina, Nick Drnaso, Granta/Drawn & Quarterly
Zadie Smith calls it a masterpiece on the cover. It's possible that she's right.