2 D&Q books in the EDMONTON JOURNAL’S Top 5 of 2005

Graphic novels, comics blossomed in '05

Edmonton Journal    |    Gilbert A. Bouchard    |    January 3, 2006

This was a great year for graphic novel and comic book aficionados.

Not only did the once marginal art form continue its rapid development as a full-fledged and demanding adult medium, the output was almost daunting, with quality titles flooding the bookstore and comic book shop shelves from a growing stable of publishing houses.

More than just sheer quantity, the medium offered up some impressive quality and an equally impressive range, encompassing everything from edgy fictional offerings like Charles Burns's Black Hole; non-fiction, autobiographical epics like David B.'s Epileptic; and international career-spanning retrospectives like Drawn & Quarterly's collection of work by Japan's Yoshihiro Tatsumi.

In that spirit, the following Top 5 Graphic Novel Roundup for 2005 is offered up to not only reflect the best work of the past year, but to hit a handful of diverse thematic and subject matters in a naturally eclectic art form.

by Guy Delise

Drawn & Quarterly, 176 pages, $24.95

Don't let the fact that Pyongyang is Canadian cartoonist Guy Delise's first major anglophone graphic narrative mislead you. This is a wildly sophisticated and artistically engaging work -- a book-length documentation of the artist's professional sojourn in North Korea, where he worked on an animation project with his Korean subcontractors, that's told with great storytelling panache and psychological complexity.

by Michel Rabagliati

Drawn & Quarterly, 120 pages, $25.95

In this second graphic novel of his Paul series (the first was Paul Gets a Job), Michel Rabagliati continues to produce work that does great justice to Canada's rich graphic novel tradition of sensitive autobiographical work produced in a Europeanesque clean-line cartooning style. This work creates an engaging picture of life in Quebec in the early '80s.

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