Continuing our annual tradition we present our "Best of TCJ in 2013" list. This is non-comprehensive attempt to highlight some of the better and more interesting posts from the year 2013 that you might have missed during the year, and may now have the time to revisit during the holiday season. Without further ado:
We lost the great Kim Thompson this year. Here is a wonderful array of tributes, a short essay by Jeet Heer about Kim's work as a critic, as well as his obituary.
Other notable comics figures who died in 2013:
Zak Sally interviewed Peter Bagge, part 1 and 2.
Sean T. Collins interviewed Simon Hanselmann and Heather Benjamin.
Richard Gehr profiled George Booth, Edward Koren, Jack Ziegler, and Charles Barsotti.
Naomi Fry interviews Geneviève Castrée.
Gary Groth's aborted interview with Jerry Moriarty.
Dan spoke to Gabrielle Bell about her work.
Jay Babcock interviewed Ron Rege Jr.
Rob Clough spoke to Charles Forsman about Oily Comics.
Marc Sobel interviewed Ed Piskor and Rutu Modan.
Jeet Heer talked to outgoing University Press of Mississippi acquiring editor Walter Biggins.
Nicole Rudick spoke to James Romberger and Marguerite Van Cook.
Chris Mautner interviewed Carol Tyler, Jeff Smith, and Gene Luen Yang.
Adam Smith talked to British comics and jazz luminary Wally Fawkes.
Brandon Soderberg talked to Josh Bayer.
Joe McCulloch did a career-ranging interview with the Metal Hurlant co-founder Jean-Pierre Dionnet.
And James Romberger spoke to Paul Kirchner.
Matthias Wivel profiled/interviewed the Dongery collective.
Essays, Features, & Reporting:
Eddie Campbell visited us for a few outings. Here he is on The Literaries and then later with his Rules of Comprehension.
Here's R.O. Blechman on Maurice Sendak.
Gary Groth on E.C. Comics.
Bob Levin also wrote about EC Comics, as well as Chris Ware's Building Stories, Harvey Kurtzman's war comics, and Black Eye.
Here's R.C. Harvey on Marty Links, Gasoline Alley, Sergio Aragones, Helen E. Hokinson, and VIP, among others.
Tucker Stone and Abhay Khosla offered the best wisdom yet for how to break into the biz. There was also the time Tucker got really frustrated.
R. Fiore on a trio of important comics.
Ken Parille took a close look at Chris Ware's Acme #19, while Frank Santoro excavated Building Stories. Frank also continued to keep us posted on all things comics new and old and inbetween. Ken also posted a great musing on a Harvey Casper comic, and made the case for Fredric Wertham (!) as America's greatest comics critic.
Paul Tumey joined us as a columnist and turned out an epic study of George Carslon and his work. Part 1 and 2.
Ryan Holmberg looked into the origins of the name Garo and explored an unusual Filipino comic. Ryan also reported from India. Here's just one of his fascinating looks at the comics scene there.
Rob Clough looked at a couple of teaching institutions, one in Minneapolis and one in Gainesville.
Craig Fischer gave Dave Berg more than he ever expected, I bet. And he also got personal.
Charles Hatfield had enough of bad fairy-tale comics, but appreciated offerings from Gilbert Hernandez and Paul Pope.
Tim Hodler reported on the end of the Brooklyn Comics and Graphics Festival.
Michael Dean looked at the evolving Superman rights situation.
Bill Kartalopoulos reported from the opening of the Billy Ireland Cartoon Library.
John Hogan compared conceptual artist Richard Prince with cartoonist Mark Newgarden.
Guest contributors to our Cartoonist's Diary feature included Gabrielle Gamboa, Joe Ollmann, and Faith Erin Hicks.
Sarah Boxer on The Great War.
Joe McCulloch on Fran.
Carter Scholz on New School.
Sean Rogers on Hand-Drying in America and Beta-Testing the Apocalypse.
Sean T. Collins on Black is the Color.
Alex Dueben on Relish.
Walter Biggins on The Rocketeer.
Matt Seneca on Jupiter's Legacy.
Shaenon Garrity reviewed every webcomic sent to her.
And Rob Clough on True Swamp and Eye of the Majestic Creature Vol. 2.
We also began culling and representing some of the highlights (and low-) from the print TCJ's long history of letter-column feuds and arguments. We started with one of the most fondly remembered, Harvey Pekar vs. R. Fiore. Then Fiore offered new, somewhat regretful thoughts on the old argument.
Sam Henderson, also with some regret, looked back at an anti-School of Visual Arts rant he'd written for TCJ fifteen years ago.
Check out "Highlights from the Archive" for much more.
And that's all, folks! See you in 2014.