I’ve read stacks and stacks of comics this year — probably more than any year before. I guesstimate… about 1K books? It’s been one of those years.
When I read a comic that grabs me, it migrates to a special little shelf in the living room where I can stare at it some more, and at the end of the year, this is what was on that shelf. So here they are, the best comics of 2022 (in no particular order):
Time Zone J by Jule Doucet (Drawn & Quarterly)
How To Make A Monster by Casanova Frankenstein and Glenn Pearce (Fantagraphics)
Puttana Cartoonist by Heather Loase
Comic Collection Book 2022 by Gizem Vural
City Crime Comics by Teddy Goldenberg (Floating World Comics)
Headland by Kate Schneider (Fantagraphics)
Oslo by Johan Ingemarsson (Lystring)
Naracha by Lars Sjunnesson (Sanatorium forlag)
Magic Nation #1 by Ellen O’Grady (Fieldmouse Press)
Plaxa by Yokoyama Yuichi (Living the Line)
That’s it for the books published in 2022.
Are there any publishing trends here? Well, it’s a really weak year for Drawn & Quarterly. Time Zone J was fantastic, of course, but that’s basically it. It seems they’re more focused on mainstream acceptability these days than publishing exciting comics. (By “mainstream” I mean “mainstream”, not “comics shops”.) I used to buy D&Q books on faith, but after this year, with one book after another doing performative respectability, I think I’ll start giving the books a look-over before buying.
Also — just two Fantagraphics books? They did publish a bunch of pretty good books, but few that were astounding, so…
But there’s more! I caught up with a whole bunch of older books (about half of them from 2021, so I was just a bit too late on the uptake). Here’s the best pre-2022 books I read in 2022, and would have been on my “best of” list of those years if only I’d read them in time *sob*:
Six Hundred and Seventy-Six Apparitions of Killoffer by Killoffer (Typocrat)
Good Person Rouble by Noëlle Kröger (Fieldmouse Press)
Barrel of Monkeys by Florent Ruppert and Jérôme Mulot (Rebus Books)
Ways to Survive in the Wilderness by Andrew White
Helem by Stanley Wany (Conundrum Press)
Letter to Survivors by Gébé (New York Review Comics)
Big Gorgeous Jazz Machine by Nick Francis Potter (Driftwood Press)
Spells by Graeme Shorten Adams (Conundrum Press)
The City of Belgium by Brecht Evens (Drawn & Quarterly)
Francis Bacon by Ea Bethea (Domino Books)
That’s it. The end. It was a good year for reading comics, at least.