on 7 December 2011
I have been a follower of BAC since the beginning.
I have always loved them, not only do they provide a good sampler of what is going on in the graphic fiction spheres, they also provide an access to stuff you would otherwise never think of reading.
Last year's BAC was a big disappointment though : too much excerpts from long stories (and not clever excerps either - they just seemed randomly cut, too much well known artists, and from mainstream books you actually had a good chance of owning already.
This year they are back with the same editorial flair we have grown to love; and while there are still some excerpts, they seem to stand on their own and owe are not left off frustrated.
Perhaps, in my case, I was at first a little disappointed to not see some of the recurent artist from previous years, but in the end I found that to be a good thing as I was introduced to a lot of artists I had not heard of anywhere before. Maybe my only beef is the Joe Sacco excepts is too long... all that space could have been filled with less mainstream short stories.
Of course Chris Ware is still there, but the chosen piece is surprisingly atypical and very interesting in its non-linear narrative and "non-ware" graphics... a very wise choice by guest editor Alison Bechdel.
All and all it's pretty good, and while the 2008 BAC remains my favorite, it's nice to see them back on the right track.