In my haste to publish my annual list of books, I neglected to include two (Canadian) gems from AdHouse Books, that rank with my favourite books of the year:
Like Joe Lambert’s I Will Bite You, Even the Giants showcases the work of a young cartoonist still honing his skills and exploring the possibilities of the medium in short bursts. The book comprises a series of seemingly random comic strips woven throughout scenes of isolation, arctic wastelands, and snow monsters. The strips are poetic and suggest a stream of consciousness, but illustrated with detail and careful draftsmanship. I was blown away by Jesse’s 2008 minicomic Small Victories, and Even the Giants is a continuation of his brand of comics-as-art, and I look forward to what he has in store for us next.
Ethan’s another cartoonist not rushing to pump out a graphic novel, despite his obvious capability, in favour of sharpening his skills through smaller works and traditional floppy pamphlet comics. The first issue of Pope Hats came out about three years ago, I think, and I can only hope issue #3 sees the light of day sooner than 2014. It’s remarkable how readable and engaging a story about law clerk with an office job can be in the hands of a skilled storyteller and craftsman.