Thursday, February 09, 2012

The Best Canadian Comics or Humans just keep on creating

In typical fashion, I've spent the morning crawling in and out of the rabbit holes of my mind. (I'm not well today, by the way, so this may get weird.) It started with The Best American Comics 2010, which arrived in the mail last week; the inside cover art, specifically, which is called the endpaper, apparently. I never knew that. Don't know whether I like the name, to be honest, since it's also inside the front cover. Anyway, I found Theo's blog, then was looking up a few of the other artists, like James Kochalka -- yes, I'm sure I've read his stuff before, but the ones that Gaiman picked out for BAC 2010 had me falling in love all over again -- when I thought, why isn't there a Best Canadian Comics? (I'd just read Rebecca Kraatz's Snaps and thought it deserved to be in such a 2011 anthology, at the very least.)

Well, it didn't take me long to find the Doug Wright Awards -- again, holy embarrassing that that took so long, but at least I know all about winners like Seth and Michel; oh, and Rebecca won their Best Emerging Talent award in 2007! Nothing else that big really jumped out at me, so I decided to write them then and there. We'll see what they say, but it wasn't long after that that I realized that BAC actually accepts North American submissions, and that publications like The Devil's Artisan and publishers like Drawn & Quarterly and Conundrum Press already do a pretty good job of promoting Canadian talent. (Check out the former's whopper of a Year In Review post, for example; not limited to Canadian pubs, granted, but still awesome.) Still, an anthology couldn't hurt, right?

Then, as always happens when I dive in the pool that is my stack of to-read comics, I get completely overwhelmed with all the cool stuff I've been missing while reading sci-fi, travelogues, etc.; particularly when I find their blogs and follow a dozen recommendations down the interwebs. And that's when I realize that that old monkey I'm still afraid of, but need, to spur me on, Mr. Well Read, is growing. And he isn't sticking with the soapbox favourites like:
  • You say you love Golding, but you still haven't read The Spire;
  • There's more to Shakespeare than you studied in school, you know; and,
  • Really? You still haven't picked up that lovely edition of Moby Dick?

No, every year now, there are a few more must-reads; soon to be 'Classics', whatever that means these days, in their own right.

This isn't a lament, by the way. Like I said, I need the monkey to egg me on, the slow, easily distracted reader that I am. No, if anything, it's a blessed time to be alive. Doubly so if you love comics.