Sequential State – the comics criticism archive of Alex Hoffman

Comics That Challenged Me In 2015: Part 3

New week, new installment. The list is going to run into next week
because I added another 10 books compared to 2014’s list. Hopefully you’ve
checked out the other installments already posted.

Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3 | Part 4 | Part 5 | Part 6 |

Complete List


by Jason Little (Uncivilized Press) tumblr: @littlebeecomix / @uncivilizr

Little’s BORB is illustrated like an old newspaper comic, reminiscent of
Gasoline Alley. Its slapstick humor doesn’t mask the wretchedness of
homelessness – it brings it into stark clarity. Like another book on the list
today, BORB is a call to action. You can see my full review here.


Thru Fire
 by Annie Mok & Sophia Foster-Dimino (Hazlitt) tumblr: @heyanniemok / @sophiafosterdimino@hazlittmag

so much to say about Swim Thru Fire, but this was my favorite comic on Hazlitt
in 2015 (and there were some great comics on Hazlitt). Annie Mok and Sophia
Foster-Dimino reinterpret the classic  Hans Christian Andersen story “The Little
Mermaid” in a remarkable and stark look at sexual assault. The comic is one of
the few that are utilizing the capabilities of smart-phones and new technology
to their fullest, implementing a downward scroll instead of traditional panel
borders. Swim Thru Fire is beautiful and haunting. The whole comic is completed and online at Hazlitt, check it out.


Cole by Noah Van Sciver (Fantagraphics) tumblr: @noahvansciver / @fantagraphics

Cole is one of the darkest comics I’ve read, full stop. It’s a queasy, wretched
feeling when you find a high school classmate as the subject of an intense character
study. Van Sciver has looked into the depths of the recession and the falling middle
class and plucked out a case study as good as any psychology textbook. I know
this story because I’ve seen this story in the real world; Van Sciver deftly
captures it for the rest of the world to see. You can check out my full review


Perf by Kevin Czap (Czap Books) tumblr: @kevinczap / @czapbooks

be as open as possible, I was asked to give a pull quote for this book, which I
did. That’s a conflict of interest, but I think it’s important that Futchi Perf
still be on this list. I’ve been reading and rereading it a lot over the last
few months, and each time I find new things to think about, and puzzle over
Czap’s intimate portrayal of a future anarchist utopic Cleveland. Hope is a
powerful thing, but Czap pushes readers to put that hope into action.


by Lala Albert (Kuš komiksi) tumblr: @plslala / @kushkomikss

Lala Albert was on a tear in 2015, with some great books from a variety of
European publishers. One of these was R.A.T from Kuš, whose mini kuš I
regularly review. I didn’t write a full review of R.A.T. this year but I was
fascinated by Albert’s comic about online surveillance. I loved its nearly
fluorescent colors and its opening salvo wondering – What if surveillance is a
sign that you aren’t alone in the world? R.A.T. also has one of the better
endings of comics in 2015. A great read if you can get a copy.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.