The Best Amer­i­can Comics 2013 Edited by Jeff Smith [Houghton Mif­flin Har­court, $25]

Animation Magazine - - Frame- By- Frame -

We just knew we were in for a treat this year when we no­ticed that the 2013 Best Amer­i­can Comics col­lec­tion was edited by mas­ter car­toon­ist and Bone cre­ator Jeff Smith. The an­thol­ogy be­gins on a high note with Ali­son Bechdel’s au­to­bi­o­graph­i­cal Mir­ror and con­tin­ues to soar the heights with the highly imag­i­na­tive The Di­vine Man­i­fes­ta­tion of a Sin­gu­lar Im­pulse by Jesse Ja­cobs. An ex­cerpt from Sam Alden’s wa­ter­color piece Haunter is scream­ing to be made into an an­i­mated short. Some of the best works in the col­lec­tion—Craig Thomp­son’s 70 Nights of Plea­sure, an ex­cerpt from the ac­claimed graphic novel Habibi, or James Kochalka’s Amer­i­can Elf— cer­tainly whet the ap­petite to seek out the com­plete books by the creators. Oth­ers, like Vanessa Davis’ In the Rough, of­fer de­light­ful peeks into the mind of the ta­lented artists. As Smith writes in the in­tro, “In front of you awaits wit, style, dan­ger, cu­rios­ity, phi­los­o­phy, meta­phys­i­cal vi­sions, love, angst, sex, be­trayal and cut­ting-edge oc­u­lar tech­niques all folded into this thing—this ex­pe­ri­ence— we call comics.” We couldn’t agree with him more.

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