Don’t worry, folks, this is the last year-end top ten from the Flavorpill books department — for 2011, at least — but we promise, it’s a doozy. Though we’ve given our opinions on some of the best memoirs and debuts of the year, not to mention the coolest book covers, we realized we were sorely lacking in covering one important genre: comics. Accordingly, we asked Tucker Stone of super-awesome Brooklyn comic spot Bergen Street Comics, to share a list of his favorite new releases from the year in comics — and this is a guy who knows what he’s talking about. In addition to his job at the bookstore, he runs a very fine comics and culture blog, Factual Opinion, that is absolutely not to be missed, whether you’re a fan of serious graphic novels, pulpy one-off comics, or anything in between. Click through to read what Tucker has to say about his choices, and then be sure to stop by the store to swoop up all of his picks — or let us know which releases of the year you liked better.
Love and Rockets New Stories: Vol 4 by Los Bros Hernandez
Last year’s Love and Rockets was a huge deal, but this year’s installment is arguably even better. Providing the conclusion for what is, essentially, a 30-year story, Jaime Hernandez reminded everybody that the massive gaping hole at the heart of today’s narrative comics is their inability to do anything serious with romantic relationships, while at the same time, his brother Gilbert strip mined contemporary pop culture’s current exhaustion for any sign of meaning or importance. Comics has yet to provide Love and Rockets with anything approximating “competition,” but it doesn’t appear that the Hernandez brothers have any reason to be concerned about that quite yet. They’re still way better at this than everybody else on the planet.