Monday, December 31, 2012

Reviews and Top Tens

Tom, Emily and I have done our Top Ten Comics lists again, but first...please check out this excellent review of Riech #9 by Rob Clough!  Also, Nurse Nurse made it onto CBR's Top 100 comics of 2012, so congrats to Katie Skelly!  And now, the lists:

My top 10, in no particular order:
  • Cebolla Con Chocolate: surprise comics/zine find of 2012, by art collective Cafe Con Leche.  The covers are all one of a kind magic marker drawings, Spanish language text, artistic wizardry throughout!   
  • Love & Rockets #4
  • Zebediah by Asher Craw.  One of Sparkplug's newest distro books, by a super fine talent. Spooky and thrilling!
  • Forming Vol. 1 - Jesse Moynihan.
  • Hello, Me Pretty - Line Gamache.  I keep re-reading this.  It gives me hope for humanity.
  • Golem of Gabirol - Olga Volozova.  Hauntingly beautiful.
  • Nurse Nurse - Katie Skelly.  Hard to describe how great this book is, our first book under the new ownership!
  • Reich #9 - Elijah Brubaker.  This series just gets better and weirder!    
  • Short Run - a great event by and for small press weirdoes. 
  • Big Plans collection - Aron Nels Steinke.  Bridge City Comics has made the leap to comics publishing! Excellent book to start with!
  • Sparkplug 2012 - We did it!

Also not in order...
  • Are You My Mother? by Alison Bechdel
  • Nurse Nurse by Katie Skelly
  • In Situ #2 by Sophie Yanow
  • Jade #1 by Fiona Avocado
  • Zebediah #1 by Asher Craw
  • Black is the Color by Julia Gfrorer
  • Sleepwalking by Mel Stringer
  • The Melinderly Volume 1 by Melinda Tracy Boyce
  • 8th Grade (series) by Sam Alden
  • Vortex #1 & 2 by William Cardini
  • About a million people on Tumblr, esp. Georgia Capra, Aaron Whitaker & Noel Heimpel

To be honest, I've picked up a lot of amazing books from some great new artists out there that I'm really excited to dig into. But this year has been really fucked up and I really haven't read much at all... So, here's my top 10 comic related things that kept me happy in 2012 (in no particular order):

1) The first L.A. Zinefest was by far the best show of the year for me... best show of the last several years. It's so great to finally have a good local show and community building in this city that I love.
2) Collaborative art and bookmaking with a bunch of artists and Le Dernier Cri at The Projects in Portland, OR. Actually, the entire festival was such a great experience. Makes me wonder why I'd ever wanna sit behind a table and sell books at a "convention," when I could be at a festival collaborating with other artists for a fun weekend celebrating this treacherous but wonderful life we all lead of trying to make the world a brighter place.
3) Sparkplug publishing Nurse Nurse, Reich #9 and Golem of Gabirol. We're still chugging along... I'm really proud we got these books out and thankful we get to work with such amazing artists.
4) Eamon Espey's Songs of the Abyss is everything I hoped it would be. He is seriously one of the most unique artists making books right now. This is one of the only books I've managed to read in the last 6 months. But I've devoured it several times already.
5) (non-comics related but...) Witchcraft "Legend" - possibly my favorite album of the year. I can't stop listening to it.
6) DREDD 3D - my favorite movie of the year. A flawless action/art film that does everything right. I wish they would make a series of these. Now someone needs to start reprinting classic Dredd comics.
7) Oily Comics and Retrofit Comics subscriptions - there's nothing better than getting mini-comics in the mail! I just re-upped for another 6 months!
8) SPX continues to get better every year. I used to have mixed feelings about that show, but this year made me love it. See you again next year!
9) Freak Scene Art Show at Synchronicity Gallery, Los Angeles - curated by Keenan Keller, and full of some of the raddest contemporary underground cartoonists. Also a super fun weekend hanging out with all those guys. And an honor to be included amongst such great artists.
10) Rededicating all of my time and energy to my art and comics career. Now that I no longer have a wife, I'm married to my art. I'm finally back to working on new projects. The world is a big beautiful place full of possibility and I wanna see it all. See ya soon.

Happy New Year from Sparkplug!