Publishers Weekly Announce their Best Books of 2009 - Indy and Small Press Books Clean-Up in the Comics Top 10


Publishers Weekly have revealed their Best Books of 2009. As well as their Overall Top 10 Novels, the editors have published lists for their Top Fiction Novels, Poetry Collections, Mystery Novels, Science Fiction/Fantasy/Horror Novels, Mass Market Paperbacks, nonfiction titles, and last but not least Comics!

This year’s Top 10 list contains “a graphic novel, an adventure story, possibly the next Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance, a delicious biography that could bring Cheever back into the literary firmament.” The graphic novel that appears in the Top 10 list is Stitches by David Small (Norton), which in the words of the article is:

A graphic novel to bring us all back to comics, Small’s account of his terrifying childhood is amazing. The drawings of his parents and the small suffering boy who doesn’t quite understand until much, much later will pull you along panel by panel and tear your heart out.

The Top 10 Comics list reads like a veritable who’s who of the U.S. independent and small press publishing scene. Parker: The Hunter was almost guaranteed to appear in the list, but there are a few surprise appearance in here that I didn’t quite expect to see. It’s good to see lesser known books getting some recognition in lists like this, now if only the books sold as well as their Marvel/DC counterparts…

For the full list of PW’s Best Books of 2009 be sure to click here. The Top 10 Comics list appears below:

Parker: The Hunter
Darwyn Cooke and Richard Stark (IDW)

A magnificent comics recreation of Stark/Donald Westlake’s noir classic of crime and vengeance and a stylish evocation of his stony, relentless protagonist.

Driven by Lemons
Josh Cotter (AdHouse)

A notebook full of abstract doodles somehow morphs into a riveting narrative that is as strange as it is imaginative.

Logicomix: An Epic Search for Truth
Apostolos Doxiadis and Christos H. Papadimitriou with art by Alecos Papdatos and Annie Di Donna (Bloomsbury)

Both informative and engrossing, this full-color comics-bio tells the story of mathematician and philosopher Bertrand Russell’s messy personal life while documenting his maniacal pursuit of the philosophical foundations of modern mathematics.

The Photographer: Into War-Torn Afghanistan with Doctors Without Borders
Emmanuel Guibert and Didier Lefèvre (First Second)

Alternating photos by the late photographer Lefèvre with the comics panels of his friend and chronicler Guibert, this powerful and prescient documentary work details a 1986 trip by a French medical team through war-ravaged Afghanistan.

Asterios Polyp
David Mazzucchelli (Pantheon)

A brilliant academic architect—Asterios Polyp designs edgy buildings that are never built—and witty, self-confident pedant, Polyp is faced with a profound loss of belief in the life he has chosen.

Scott Pilgrim vs. the Universe
Bryan Lee O’Malley (Oni Press)

The further rollicking adventures of world-famous Canadian slacker Scott Pilgrim; his awesome girlfriend, Ramona Flowers; and Scott’s ongoing battle with her seven evil ex-boyfriends.

Footnotes in Gaza
Joe Sacco (Metropolitan)

Focused on a little-known massacre of Palestinian refugees in Gaza in 1956, this definitive work is ultimately a history of the Palestinian struggle against Israeli occupation.

A Drifting Life
Yoshihiro Tatsumi (D&Q)

A massive (840 pages) and poignant memoir by the master—indeed inventor—of Japanese alternative comics (called gekiga) that doubles as a fascinating history of the beginnings of the Japanese manga industry after WWII.

You’ll Never Know: A Good and Decent Man
Carol Tyler (Fantagraphics)

Tyler profiles the greatest generation and the terrible price it paid in this memoir of her father’s life during WWII, and measures her own life against it.

Naoki Urasawa (Viz Media)

A tense mystery, an unsettling science fiction tale and a subtle exploration of what it means to be human as master manga-ka Urasawa reimagines Astro-Boy as something much more adult and serious.

Related posts:

  1. Diamond Distribution’s Top 50 Indy Comics, Top 50 Indy TPBs & GNs, and Top 50 Manga Titles for August 2009
  2. Diamond Distribution’s Top 300 Comics, Top 300 TPBs & GNs, and Top 20 Publishers for August 2009
  3. Diamond Distribution’s Top 10 Publishers, Comics, and Graphic Novels & Trades for August 2009
  4. Diamond Distribution’s Top 20 Publishers, Top 300 Comics, and Top 300 TPBs & GNs for September 2009
  5. Diamond Distribution’s Top Indy Comics & TPBs/OGNs for September 2009

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