Tuesday, November 16, 2004

Borders names its Best of 2004

Last week, Amazon.com released its Best of 2004. Now it's Borders' turn.

Unlike Amazon, which combines genres, Borders breakst its best books of the year into 16 handy divisions, from Art, Architecture & Photography to the oddly named Women's Fiction. Its Graphic Novels list is a short one, with just three entries:
The Chris Ware-edited McSweeney's Quarterly Concern No. 13 (McSweeney's): "Ware is one of the most renowned, most revered, and best beloved artists working in comics today. As guest editor of McSweeney's, Ware has assembled an amazing array of sequential art from a prestigious group of contributors. There are comics here from R. Crumb, Dan Clowes, Lynda Barry, the Hernandez brothers, and more."

Art Spiegelman's In the Shadow of No Towers (Pantheon): "With Maus, Spiegelman changed the way people look at comic books. By telling the story of his Holocaust-survivor father with pictures as well as words, Spiegelman transformed his genre. His latest book is an idiosyncratic record of the events of 9/11, an anxious appreciation of classic comic strips, and another starkly magnificent meditation on the human condition."

Craig Thompson's
Carnet de Voyage (Top Shelf):
"Thompson captured the attention of comics fans and critics with Blankets, his sweetly lyrical and deeply personal coming-of-age illustrated novel. In Carnet de Voyage, Thompson offers an equally compelling depiction of his journey across Europe and North Africa, a travel journal which includes anatomical sketches of the camel he rode across the desert and reveries about the sublime architecture of Gaudí."
The Science Fiction & Fantasy list is more generous, with 14 books, including: Legends II: New Short Novels by the Masters of Modern Fantasy (Ballantine Books), which features "The Monarch of the Glen," Neil Gaiman's followup to American Gods; and Susanna Clarke's Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell (Bloomsbury).