ACME NOVELTY LIBRARY 20 and WILSON round out CBR’s Ten Best Comics of 2010

CBR's Ten Best Comics Of 2010

Comic Book Resources    |    Kiel Phegley    |    December 30, 2010

10. Wilson

Written & Illustrated By: Daniel Clowes
Published By: Drawn & Quarterly

I think this is Clowes' meanest book, but not for the reasons you think -- it's not Misanthropy On Parade like a lot of his old, witheringly sarcastic rant comics were. No, what's mean about "Wilson" is that Clowes keeps giving his loudmouth, obliviously cruel protagonist a chance, right down to the often incongruously cute cartooning and "Wilson" keeps slapping that chance away. Sympathetic portraits are often the most unflattering ones; no wonder so many people wanted to look away.

- Robot 6 Blogger Sean T. Collins

Dan Clowes always delivers for me, and Wilson was no exception. There is a school of meditation where the participants are encouraged to empty their minds by engaging in constantly opposing behavior. This book is like the embodiment of that practice, with extremely opposing styles used to tell the story of one man. While it can be read like a newspaper strip, randomly and in no particular order, there is great satisfaction to be had from piecing together the terrible contrasts and feeling out the path Clowes lays out for us.

- Comics Should Be Good Columnist Sonia Harris

Like his contemporary Chris Ware, Daniel Clowes knows how to compose a mountain of vignettes about the mundane nature of day to day life and the abrasive individuals who wallow in it with authority and spite. Clowes pulled another loser out of his hat for 2010's "Wilson," and the title character shines like a bronzed turd in the sunlight as provocatively as anyone to come before him in the pages of "Eightball."

- CBR Contributor Brian Warmoth

1. ACME Novelty Library #20: Lint

Written & Illustrated By: Chris Ware
Published By: Drawn & Quarterly

Each time around, I am astonished by how Chris Ware takes it up a notch. In "Lint," he absolutely blew my mind with this strikingly complex life study.

- Comics Should Be Good Editor Brian Cronin

The life of Jordan Lint in all of its contradictory glory. Or lack of glory, in typical Waresian style.

- CBR Columnist Timothy Callahan

The most lauded cartoonist around, Ware proves why he deserves every ounce of praise with this encapsulated look at the life and sorry saga of one Jordan Lint. An encapsulation in some ways of everything he's done since, Ware draws a sharp critical eye on Lint's inner thoughts and outer actions and weaves an unforgettable story about family, parenthood, responsibility, memory and how we constantly forget that, just as others are supporting characters in our lives, so are we in theirs.

- Robot 6 Columnist Chris Mautner

Chris Ware's latest foray into his "ACME Novelty Library" continues to evolve and expand with volume #20. Certainly the most elegant and beautiful object of the library it is a beautifully bound book and an object to desire. Then we look inside. A strange book, but then isn't that to be expected from this master of the an almost cubist surrealism? A culmination of sorts, as Ware's continued "ACME Novelty Library" continues to evolve and expand. "Lint" works as an incredible stand-alone novel, telling the life story of one Jordan Lint, from his experience of the exact moment of his birth to that of his death. Complete and elegant, the story is as creepy and touching as you would expect from Ware. The intimacy, vibrancy and attention to detail betray the author's affection for his character.

- Comics Should Be Good Columnist Sonia Harris

This 20th volume of ACME Novelty Library explores the life (and I mean the entire life) of Jordan "Jason" Lint, a one-time bully of Rusty Brown who is now explored in the traditional Chris Ware exceptional and microscopic detail. As Ware shows us Lint's story from birth to death you cannot help but be moved and transfixed seeing a man's life laid out as only Ware can. In "Lint" Ware continues his experimental and highly effective examination of just what the comics medium is capable of. It's a must read, and as a bonus, for those new to his work, it stands on its own just as nicely as it does a part of the larger whole of "ACME Novelty Library."

- Comics Should Be Good Columnist Kelly Thompson

The most influential cartoonist of the past quarter century assigns himself the task of chronicling an entire life, from birth (and before) to death (and beyond?). In so doing he takes an unsympathetic bit player from his massive "Rusty Brown" storyline and crafts his single finest and most moving stand-alone work to date around him; launches a virtuosic, pyrotechnic display of formal mastery yet still manages to make the most important parts the stuff he never shows you. It culminates in a final page so dizzying that I actually felt physically stunned, as if someone had taken the book from my hands and struck me in the head with it. Not just the best comic of the year, but the best comic I have ever read.

- Robot 6 Blogger Sean T. Collins

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