Graphic novel presentations of work by assorted creators, sometimes on the same character, somtimes on a theme. Sometimes a collection of varied work by a single creator.
The Mammoth Book of Cult Comics – Lovingly curated by Ed Hillyer, this collection gathers numerous inventive examples of the small press scene in the UK from the early 1980s. The headline names are Nick Abadzis, Eddie Campbell or Oscar Zarate, but their work is equalled by others. Robinson.
Drawn and Quarterly vol 5 – Long out of print, but beg, steal of borrow this excellent oversize anthology where the creators are given meaty page counts and make the most of them. 3 and 4 are also recommended. Dupuy & Berberian, R. Sikoryak, Yoshihiro Tatsumi and more. Drawn & Quarterly.
Graphic Ink: Darwyn Cooke – The Graphic Ink title covers the work of a number of artists, gathering what’s not been collected elsewhere, the short stories, the covers and the pin-ups. They’re all good, but none has the sheer variety over genres of this one. Art and writing immense. Darwyn Cooke and DC.
Juicy Mother – “A celebration of the vitality and variety of queer cartoonists” in this wide ranging collection drifting from autobiograhical to fantasy material, highlighting real world problems, and often very funny. A jam strip concludes the book, and it was popular enough for a sequel. Soft Skull Press.
Lois Lane: A Celebration of 75 Years – Of all DC’s 75 Years anthologies this is the best. the artistic standard high throughout, the approaches to the character wide-ranging and surely we can now all laugh at the patronising camp chic of the 1950s and 1960s? From DC.
Messages in a Bottle – He only drew comics for a few years in the 1950s, yet Bernard Krigstein constantly strained against constrictions to produce ever more remarkable work, varying his style according to the story’s theme. Contextualised by Greg Sadowki, from Fantagraphics Books.
Nelson – The idea is simple. Starting in 1968 and moving forward a year per strip numerous creators build up Nelson’s life until the then present day of 2011. It’s a snapshot of UK comics that year. Co-ordinated by Rob Davis and Woodrow Phoenix, the result is wonderful. From Blank Slate.
Solo – 12 creators were allocated with the warning that only their name was going on the cover of a 48 page comic, but the choice of material was theirs. They could use DC characters or not, but beyond some boundaries of good taste how to fill the pages was their choice. They responded. From DC
Streetwise – To accompany a rare Jack Kirby strip detaling his youth, numerous creators were asked to submit an autobiographical strip. The result is an embarrassment of riches beyond the editor’s wildest dreams arrived from creators usuallly associated with mainstream work. From Two Morrows.
The Toon Treasury of Classic Childrens Comics – A stunningly curated and beautifully designed hardback of strips from the days when childrens comics meant more than just simpler stories about superheroes. Carl Barks, Sheldon Mayer, John Stanley, and many more from Abrams Comicarts.