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The Best American Comics 2013 Hardcover – 8 Oct 2013

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 400 pages
  • Publisher: Houghton Mifflin (8 Oct 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0547995466
  • ISBN-13: 978-0547995465
  • Product Dimensions: 3.8 x 18.4 x 22.9 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 514,866 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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By bopperle on 14 Nov 2014
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
The usual decent selection, but a few too many excerpts from longer works and not enough short stories for my taste.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 32 reviews
16 of 17 people found the following review helpful
The Best American Comics 2013 18 Aug 2013
By Buffy - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
Nice selection of comics and like most anthologies you will probably like some but not all of the stories depending on your individual taste. I think the title of the series should be changed to the "Best American Comic Excerpts" as most of the pieces are excerpts from longer stories. It's like have the best scenes from the best movies of 2013 on one dvd or the best chapters of the best books from 2013. It's a sampler intended to introduce you to artists you may not have heard of before. In that respect it's very good and anything that helps me discover new comics is welcome reading. There are thirty different stories and a nice contributors notes in the back that has author bios and their description of what their piece was about or where it came from. For those not overly familiar with comics recommended as a way to sample a variety of different authors.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
More accessible than most of the others - funny too! 30 Aug 2013
By Michael Callaghan - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
Having read America's Best Comics from 2006 to 2010 inclusive, I can honestly say that this one is one of the better ones - along with Lynda Barry's 2008 and Harvey Pekar's (2006). Admittedly, a lot of these comics are excerpts from longer works, and sometimes that's not such a good thing. A few of these made me wonder why exactly this excerpt made the collection, as there was little in the way of character development and almost no story arc closure ("Turn Back" by Sam Alden and "You Lied to Us" by J. Aguirre and R. Rosado) - and while it is in no way the shortcomings of the artists (the art was uniformly beautiful), I also can't easily say 'it comes with the territory' that excerpts can be made that make so little sense on their own.

And now for the good - there are some really wonderful comics in here. Really interesting and strangely moving pieces. Jesse Jacobs' "The Divine Manifestation of a Singular Impulse" (whew!) is a visually arresting and oddly entertaining take on the creation of the universe, and "Story Time" by E. Dorkin and J. Thompson is both funny and fun to look at, a simple story of an older dog frightening the pups with a tale of danger and adventure. Good stuff! There's an excellent piece about Helen Keller which alternates between the 'real' word and an abstract-expressionistic view of what she might have been experiencing, and a great story about a bland, milquetoast serial killer (!!).

But the best part is - and I'm not afraid to admit this - there are some funny comics in here! Nice! Once in awhile it's great to use the medium for laughs, and I'm glad to see editor Jeff Smith agrees. "Fun Strips" by Evan Dorkin had me laughing, and so did the appropriately titled "Scary Bathtub Stories" by Michael Kupperman. There are a few more ("Velocipede", I'm talking 'bout you), but I'll let the reader discover them.

So all in all, this is one of the better books in this series. I can easily recommend it to comic fans (I always wonder if people who don't read comics will respond positively to any of this stuff, but I might be overthinking it). It's one of the better in this series, avoiding some of the lame pitfalls of issues past (Paper Rad from 2007 - I'm looking squarely at your cruddy 'work') while unabashedly steering into more accessible territory.

Which, honestly, is a great thing.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
High Art meets Low Art---The NEW comix 22 Aug 2013
By W. T. Hoffman - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
What will most impress those of us who grew up with the punk like comics of the late 80s and 90s, is the beauty and sophistication of the artwork in this collection. THE BEST AMERICAN COMICS 2013 has a wide choice of graphic styles and literary themes, and rest heavily on younger artists. You're sure to find some underground commix to suit your taste in these 32 selections. For example, if you enjoy Wimmen's comix (lesbian themes), look no further than Alison Bechdel's ARE YOU MY MOTHER?, or Leela Corman's UNTERZAHN. Gay themed comics are represented by Jeremy Sorese' LOVE ME FOREVER, OH! OH! OH! For more of the neo-feminist themes, try Sophie Goldstein's THE GOOD WIFE, or Kate Beaton's minimalist VELOCIPEDE. A favorite of mine in the collection, was the humorous, yet philosophical view of creation, Jesse Jacobs' THE DIVINE MANIFESTATION OF A SINGULAR IMPULSE. The artwork was simple, direct yet beautiful textured. Many historically themed pieces are included in this collection, with detailed, realistic artwork, like Craig Thompson's take on "The Arabian Nights", 70 NIGHTS OF PLEASURE. Other historical pieces includes THE STORY OF GRAINNE NI MHAILLE, and Irish epic by Doran and McCullough. However, if you only like Japanese Manga comics, or super heroes, move on.

BAC (Best American Comics) has consistently been the go-to publication, to discover the world of underground, art-comix. The chief editor is BONE creator Jeff Smith, tho equally well known are guest editors, for example Lynda Barry, Jessica Abel (La Perdida), and Matt Madden. The excerpts and selections are pulled from graphic novels, underground newspapers and magazines, as well as On-Line comic journals, such as WHATTHINGSDO.com, INCIDENTALS.com, and STUDYGROUPCOMICS.com. SO if you need to keep abreast of what North America's comic artists have been up to, from September 2011 to September 2012, this is THE ANTHOLOGY to purchase.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Very eclectic mix 14 Oct 2013
By Jane Rosenthal - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
Just to clearly state this up front: Kate Beaton's comics are the highlight of this book. Yay Canada!

This is an extremely eclectic collection of comics, heavily leaning towards avant-guarde. If you're a fan of Sandman, Watchmen or The Walking Dead, this may not be your cup of tea. Then again, it might be your glass of absinthe. If you ever considered reading some of the less-mainstream comics out there today, this is a good way to get your feet wet. This book contains comic art from a lot of different genres, styles and points of view. You might just run across something in here that will lead you to your next favorite comic artist.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Nice, if occasionally bewildering, collection of interesting comic work 10 Oct 2013
By Brian Connors - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
First off, if you came expecting DC, Marvel, or what's left of the newspaper comic page, this isn't your book. Most of these are from indie authors; some are excerpts from longer graphic novels; they cover a number of genres, and a wide spectrum from profound to silly to entirely incomprehensible. There are a couple of big names here -- an excerpt from one of Alison Bechdel's more recent books leads off. Science fiction appears to be a significant theme in this collection, including Eleanor Davis' postapocalyptic slice of life "Nita Goes Home" and Malachi Ward's "Top Five", essentially the mental ramblings of a bored time traveler as he works and thinks about Star Trek. Bechdel's "Mirror" and Derf Backderf's "My Friend Dahmer" go into autobiographical territory, and a chapter from Leela Corman's "Unterzakhn" does historical fiction among Jewish immigrants in pre-WWI New York. Michael Deforge's "Manananggal" and Terry Moore's "Rachel Rising" offer something for horror/thriller fans, Laura Park's "George" seems to be a meditation on terrorism, and Sophie Goldstein's "The Good Wife" is... simply rather strange and disturbing. (It appears to be an allegory about women being taken for granted, or at least that's the only way it makes sense.) And there's more traditional gag comics too, mostly with obvious influences from people like Matt Groening and R. Crumb.

I'm not terribly much of a comic fan myself, I confess, so I'm not really sure how they picked the authors, apart from Bechdel, who would be kind of a really obvious choice for serious comic fans. I did note that Kate Beaton's "Velocipede" from her web comic "Hark, a Vagrant!" was the only webcomic artist I recognized; I feel like they could have added a few more webcomics without making the book a doorstopper. And, well, I didn't like everything in here, but that's to be expected when covering as much ground as this one did. And some of the excerpts simply didn't make much sense without at least a little bit of context ("Unterzakhn" stands out in that regard, as something that you probably need the whole book to get into). And it's definitely not a book for people who only like mainstream titles; there's not a superhero to be found here. But generally, it makes good reading, as well as a nice checklist of authors to look up.
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