Our favorite books of 2012
What They Call 'Graphic Novels'
Here's to a year happily suffused with the visually evoked narrative gambits – comics, right? – of Chris Ware's cohesive and omnidirectional Building Stories (Pantheon), breaking our hearts with careful verisimilitude across more than a dozen different formats; of Derf Backderf's My Friend Dahmer (Abrams), using memory's best keys to unlock the homely horrors of high school and the early days of a notorious serial killer; of Ron Regé Jr.'s The Cartoon Utopia (Fantagraphics), a magnum opus that ushers in a new world of enlightenment for all via pages glorious with coruscating linework; of Mary M. Talbot and Bryan Talbot's Dotter of Her Father's Eyes (Dark Horse), a deftly mirrored biography of James Joyce's daughter Lucia and Talbot herself, both history and herstory, perfectly limned; of Magda Boreysza's Toasty Cats No. 6, wherein we witness the eerie transmogrification of various Critters in precise and stunning inks and wonder again when this author will be signed to one of the majors. And, speaking of majors, this year also brought us monthly delights for the year to come, with Kate Beaton's two hilarious Hark! A Vagrant calendars from Drawn & Quarterly. – Wayne Alan Brenner