We don't really go in for the "best comics" type lists here. No, we just want to provide you, the reader, a guide to OUR best of 2014. That's right, here's what we think is worth a second or first read from this past year here at TCJ. Please note that this list is compiled in a pre-holiday haze, so any omissions or acts of unintentional offensiveness are entirely, uh, unintentional!
Sarah Boxer did a wonderful interview with John Porcellino.
Philip Nel had a terrific piece with Mark Newgarden and Megan Montague-Cash.
Dan had questions for comics scholar Hillary Chute.
Don't miss Pablo Guerra's translated interview with Manuele Fior.
Matthew Thurber's conversation with Carlos Gonzalez was a great look into an under-explored cartoonist.
Both Greg Hunter and Mike Dawson interviewed the novelist, translator, and critic Brian Evenson on the very same topic—Chester Brown's Ed the Happy Clown—and between them covered an enormous amount of ground.
Greg also had a nice one with the great Jules Feiffer.
Likewise, it was great to feature Lale Westvind, who had a stellar 2014, on the site.
Manga fans shouldn't miss Jocelyne Allen's interview with est em.
Jeffrey Trexler did an outstanding job as our legal correspondent this year, focusing primarily on the Jack Kirby case. Here are three of his most solid pieces from June, July, and November. Read those in order.
Rob Clough had a great "exit interview" with Andrew Neal of Chapel Hill Comics, as he retired early from a successful career in comics retailing, and also wrote about his own experiences helping to found a comics convention.
Whit Taylor joined the TCJ team this year, and immediately made waves with strong, fresh, and unusual features on topics that in other hands might have made for lackluster stories, such as a a conference on comics & medicine and the three-millionth report from SPX.
R. Orion Martin looked at Chinese pulp comics.
Matthew Thurber's "Letter to a Young Cartoonist" focused on important and timely issues and touched many a nerve.
Howard Cruse honored us tremendously by allowing us to publish his most recent strip.
Julia Wertz and Mike Dawson spoke about Roz Chast.
Shaenon Garrity on the comics award system.
Paul Tumey took a very close look at Alley Oop, a truly great and under-appreciated comic strip.
R. Fiore did some great work on the business of comics.
How can we pick and choose among Joe McCulloch's columns? He's inimitable and unstoppable, a show horse's talent with a work horse's sense of dedication. Most of his columns qualify for this space, but maybe start with his SPX report and what may have been his masterpiece this year, an in-depth look at Hong Kong's Jademan comics.
Hazel Cills on Never Forgets.
Dash Shaw took on Juiles Feiffer's Kill My Mother.
John Hilgart explored the Secret History of Marvel Comics.
Katie Skelly wrote about Guy Peelaert's Adventures of Jodelle.
The great gag cartoonist Sam Henderson looked at a collection of another great gag cartoonist, Virgil Partch (and was reviewed himself by Dominic Umile).
Paul Tumey had some thoughts about Mutts.
George Elkind did a nice job with Jon Vermilyea's Fata Morgana.
Rob Kirby wrote about Mark Connery's under-recognized Rudy.
Rob Clough looked at Jason Shiga's Demon and Brontez Purnell & Janelle Hessig's Cruising Diaries.
Luke Geddes also joined the team with an excellent review of Peter Bagge's Buddy Buys a Dump.
Brandon Soderberg looked at Bobby London's collected Popeye strips.
James Romberger had a mixed review of the Alex Toth Genius, Animated collection.
Thad Komorowski writes about the historian Michael Barrier.
Matt Seneca came out of retirement to outdo himself with a review of Richard McGuire's Here.
And in this season, it's worth remembering some of the comics figures who left us this year: