Comics: books that drive the fanboy mad for not knowing the outcome of a story that they have invested so much time and money into. Not knowing the ending to a story is enough to drive one insane. However, Best American Comics 2014’s stories whet the appetite of those seeking great stories.
I honestly opened this book thinking that it was going to be a bunch of books from the past year that were talked about all across the interwebs. What I found was much more. The comics presented in Best American Comics, edited by Scott McCloud, are all books that I had previously not heard of (with the exception of Saga and March: Book One). It’s an amazing read that, at points, takes me on a myriad of emotions. While reading, I felt sad, happy, disgusted and even angry.
The inclusion of stories Iike Crime Raiders International Mobsters and Executioners by Jaime Hernandez, an excerpt from All The Marbles by Gilbert Hernandez, an excerpt from Drama by Raina Telgemeier and “August 1977” from Heartless by Nina Bunjevac makes this a MUST read for all comic book readers. It’s stories like these that are so complex and amazing that you start to wonder why you haven’t been reading them in the first place. But then there are others that, upon first reading, you are wondering how they were considered in the first place.
One specific story is completely mind boggling: High Road to the Schmuck Seat by Robert Crumb and Alice Kominsky-Crumb. It’s about an older couple that are going through the harsh realities of meeting deadlines. It’s all fun and games until things get hot and heavy. It’s not that I didn’t like this particular story. I just felt it too detailed and long and I am not particularly interested in knowing what a senior couple with a lot of time on there hands would do. But, I can understand why McCloud selected High Road: it captures a good story and that’s what all readers really want.
I consider this year’s publication of The Best American Comics 2014 to be an instant classic of compiled Americana.
Thanks to NetGalley and Houghton Miffin Harcourt for the review copy.