December 15, 2018

BOOKS WE LIKED 2018: Special Saturday Edition

It’s the most wonderful time of the year. That’s right -- it’s BEST OF season when comic sites large and small churn out their lists, anointing subjective BESTS and, thereby, relegating thousands upon thousands of unlisted comics to the long box of Misfit Toys.

We here at Your Chicken Enemy are uncomfortable with these implications of creating BEST OF lists. Instead, we focus on celebrating ALL that is good in small press/self-published comics. Our site is built on an appreciation for diversity, admiration of artists, respect for the craft, and, of course, sandwiches.  

So, in lieu of the traditional BEST OF list, Publisher and EiC of YCE, Daniel Elkin, has gathered his flock of (Chicken) Enemies and asked them for their contributions to Your Chicken Enemy’s inaugural
Today’s BOOKS WE LIKED 2018 features books that have yet to be reviewed by any of the Enemies 

Make sure you check out Friday's Favorites from Matt VadnaisJustin GiampaoliMichael Bettendorf, and Daniel Elkin

Thursday's Favorites from Francesca LynDavid FairbanksKawai Shen, and Josh Hicks

Wednesday's Favorites from Nick HanoverSara L. JewellJason Sacks, and Mark Stack

Tuesday's Favorites from Ryan CareyPhilippe LeBlancSteve Morris, and Austin Lanari.

And Monday's Favorites from Rob CloughKim JoohaAlex Hoffman, and Keith Silva.

Follow Me In
By Katriona Chapman
Published by Avery Hill
Available HERE

This is a beautiful book. In Follow Me In, Chapman uses the format of a travelogue to not only explore the beauty and history of Mexico but also examine her own growth as an artist and her agency as a woman. Through voyage, Chapman outlines how she moves forward by exploring the past, expertly weaving her personal journey into the context of traveling through a foreign land.

This is also a book about dealing with an alcoholic partner -- and Chapman uses all the tools of the medium to both convey the turmoil of participating in that relationship and make that struggle real to the reader.

Finally, Chapman may well be one of the best cartoonists working today when it comes to conveying an incredible range of human emotion through gesture, expression, layout, and color.

Vanishing Act
By Roman Muradov
Published by Fantagraphics Books
Available HERE

Vanishing Act breaks apart all concepts of narrative and, in doing so, overlays a close resemblance to direct experience. Muradov is seemingly not interested in telling a story as much as he is trying to approximate Duchamp’s Nude Descending a Staircase No. 2. All the moments of a moment are laid out in sections, even though they happen simultaneously, consecutively, or in dreams -- “a single evening under a sidestepped temporal constraint

With Vanishing Act, Muradov once again proves himself to be one of the most maddening, talented, humorous, and thoughtful creative forces working in comics. In his work, everything comes down to gesture, even intent.

Ink Brick: The Journal of Comics Poetry No. 9
Edited by Alexander Rothman, Paul K. Tunis, Alexey Sokolin, and Matthea Harvey
Available HERE

Everyone contributing and editing this journal are constantly and consistently trying to define the concept of comics poetry, while at the same time expanding the medium of comics. The ninth issue of this series continues this mandate. When abstract images are presented in conjunction with poetic expression, each side opens up and the reader grabs for handholds unique to their own understanding. Ink Brick has been providing space for this sort of exploration -- and doing so in a way that never allows anyone to become complacent in any sense they have made -- never resting on a single characterization or delimitation of what constitutes Comics Poetry

Also of Note:

By Rozi Hathaway
Available HERE

Based on a conversation with a four-year-old, Moon is an original comics story with plenty of imagination, a look at familial relationships, and a nod the Chinese legend of Chang-e and the Mid-Autumn Festival.

By Jean Wei
Published by Peow
Available HERE

Beautiful slice-of-life centered on a naked 8-foot fire demon and farm life with an old Aunt and grand-niece. Sounds pretty spicy if you ask me. And you know what they say about spicy. Spicy is HEAT.”

No Better Words
By Carolyn Nowak
Published by Silver Sprocket
Available HERE

This is a porn comic that beautiful and viscerally captures desire in a safe story filled with agency and consent.

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