We asked some comics practitioners to share their favorites of the year as a follow-up to Graphic Content’s list of the best graphic novels of 2020.
This year, Edward Ross released Gameish, his follow-up to Filmish, his graphic history of gaming. In an old movie theater in Brighton, his own pick for Graphic Novel of the Year is set:
Breakwater, Avery Hill, Katriona Chapman, £12.99.
I have not been touched in a long time by a graphic novel like this. Chris, a cinema usher, who befriends Dan, a charming new employee, is accompanied by Breakwater. The book is a haunting, contemplative graphic novel that captures the peculiar ebb and flow of working in a film theater and the frustration of a life put on hold in a brilliant way. With such a pared-down setting and script, Chapman achieves so much. The pictures speak for themselves, capturing the stunning loneliness of empty streets and deserted rooms and representing the silence of individuals struggling to communicate. It’s a book with a lot to tell, and it does it with a creator’s artistry at the top of his game.
Gameish, written by Edward Ross, is £ 20 by Particular Books.
Cartoonists Sandra Marrs and John Chalmers, also known as Metaphrog, based in Glasgow, admire the way in their decisions cartoonists take on real-life situations:
Joe Sacco Paying the Ground, Jonathan Cape, £20.
An excellent and significant book based on the Dene people of the Northwest Territories of Canada, about aboriginal peoples of North America. Journalism is as meticulous as artwork, and while giving voice to the Dene people, Sacco continues to remain an objective observer.
When Stars Are Scattered, Victoria Jamieson and Omar Mohamed, Faber & Faber, £9.99.
A beautiful graphic novel set in a Kenyan refugee camp. Another true story beautifully told in comic book form. You really feel for the characters and the enormity of their situation.
Bluebeard by Metaphrog is published by Papercutz, price £17.99.
Publisher Avery Hill has given us some of the best graphic novels of 2020, including Breakwater. Here, Avery Hill co-publisher Ricky Miller picks his two best of 2020.
Glass Town, Isabel Greenberg, Jonathan Cape, £18.99.
Another outstanding achievement by Isabel Greenberg, who now has a back catalog of books comparable to any of the last 10 years.
Shame Pudding, Danny Noble, Street Noise Books, £12.99.
A hilarious and genuinely moving work from the UK’s funniest comic artist.