Robot 6

A dozen graphic novels rank among NPR’s great reads of 2013

captain marvel-v1On the heels of Time magazine, National Public Radio has released a substantial list of the best books of 2013, which includes a dozen comics and graphic novels among its more than 200 titles (although, granted, not all of them are strictly “comics”). A handful of the selections should by now be familiar from previous best-of lists:

  • Battling Boy, by Paul Pope (First Second)
  • Boxers & Saints, by Gene Luen Yang (First Second)
  • Captain Marvel, Vol. 1: In Pursuit of Flight, by Kelly Sue Deconnick, Dexter Soy and Emma Rios (Marvel)
  • Gris Grimly’s Frankenstein, by Mary Shelley and Gris Grimly (Balzer+Bray)
  • Hand-Drying in America and Other Stories, by Ben Katchor (Pantheon)
  • Hyperbole and a Half: Unfortunate Situations, Flawed Coping Mechanisms, Mayhem, and Other Things That Happened, by Allie Brosh (Touchstone)
  • Julio’s Day, by Gilbert Hernandez (Fantagraphics)
  • New School, by Dash Shaw (Fantagraphics)
  • Relish: My Life in the Kitchen, by Lucy Knisley (First Second)
  • Super Graphic: A Visual Guide to the Comic Book Universe, by Tim Leong (Chronicle Books)
  • The Encyclopedia of Early Earth: A Novel, by Isabel Greenberg (Little, Brown and Company)
  • You’re All Just Jealous of My Jetpack: Cartoons, by Tom Gauld (Drawn and Quarterly)



That’s not even the best Captain Marvel collection of the year, let alone one of the best books of the year.

@ Greg

Same here; I thought the opening arc was middling at best.

It’s an NPR list. Not hardcore nerds r us presents. Why so dismissive guys?

Only a few of these title are even still available through Diamond.

The average NPR listener isn’t likely going to step foot *near* a comic book shop. They’ll likely be buying these from Amazon, Barnes and Noble, or their locally-owned (real) bookstore, which should all carry these (and many other comic titles), or be willing to order them. Diamond won’t matter…

I love the current Captain Marvel, but Saga should really be on this list first.

Disappointed Saga didn’t wind up there. Oh well, its probably a bit to mature for an NPR list. Don’t want kids seeing that horrifying giant…

Not sure if I agree with Captain Marvel on this list. Her second trade was far better.

Ya’ll have some interesting ideas about NPR listeners.
I’ve been one for over 25 years.
Been LCS shopping for 27.

Have to say, I’m also surprised SAGA isn’t on their list–I don’t read it, tho I appreciate its rep. Would expect even more Fatagraphics and D&Q really if you want to stereotype.

For a more well rounded picture, I, an NPR listener, have enjoyed this year:
Superior Foes of Spider-man
The Movement
F.F <–my fav' book of 2013
Miniature Jesus, and Mondo by Ted McKeever
Adventure Time
Punk Rock Jesus (tpb)
Those IDW Popeye Classic reprints
Batman 66
(the return of) Achewood (web)
Superfogeys (web)
JL8 (web)
Battling Boy <–thought it was well above average but didn't grab my sweet spot. I'm going to give my copy to my 15 year old nephew, which I think is the perfect place for it.

and I'm waiting with bated breath the completion of the Miracle Man epic.

I’m an NPR listener as well, but just don’t think most listeners will instinctively head to a comic book shop (with all of its downsides) to buy these books when “real” bookstores, Amazon, etc., are available (and at cheaper prices).

I wouldn’t have said boo if they’d put the second collection on the list. Or The Enemy Within. I just thought In Pursuit of Flight was kind of weak.

I found In Pursuit of Flight to be an especially lacking part of a CM series that was disappointing in general.

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