An Anthology of Graphic Fiction, Cartoons, & True Stories HC
Brunetti's stated criteria for what made the cut for this hearty and hefty volume comes in his refreshingly honest introduction: "Ultimately... these are comics that I savor and often revisit." Luckily Brunetti's got a fabulous eye for an artist's signature work. The selections are difficult to argue with, hitting not just the expected luminaries (Chris Ware, Daniel Clowes) but lesser-knowns like surrealist Mark Beyer and Richard McGuire, whose "Here" breaks down the time-space continuum with mind-bending ease. Brunetti includes usually just one work from each artist, but makes exceptions for the likes of R. Crumb, and he isn't above putting his own work in, a move that's somehow more charming than obnoxious. Any fallow patches are more than made up for by, say, Jaime Hernandez's cinematic miniepic "Flies on the Ceiling." Unlike other recent anthologies, women cartoonists are represented with some of the best work in the book, like Debbie Drechsler's horrific "Visitors in the Night." While one may question the need for another comics anthology in a year unusually heavy with them, Brunetti has gone beyond the obvious to create an anthology of what is truly the finest in comics.