The end of the year is a time of reflection, and the same holds true for comic creators. How many panels did you draw in the last year? How many incredible scenes did you imagine to the tune of a favourite song? And how many comics did you read? We at the Cloudscape board have come up with a list of comics that stood out to us this year! From romance to horror, there’s something for everyone!
Roaming, by Jillian Tamaki and Mariko Tamaki
Over the course of a much-anticipated trip to New York, an unexpected fling blossoms between casual acquaintances and throws a long-term friendship off-balance. Emotional tensions vibrate wildly against the resplendently illustrated backdrop of the city, capturing a spontaneous queer romance in all of its fledgling glory. Slick attention to the details of a bustling, intimidating metropolis are softened with a palette of muted pastels, as though seen through the eyes of first-time travelers.
It’s Lonely At The Centre Of The Earth, by Zoe Thorogood
Cartoonist Zoe Thorogood records six months of her own life as it falls apart in a desperate attempt to put it back together again in the only way she knows how. IT’S LONELY AT THE CENTRE OF THE EARTH is an intimate and metanarrative look into the life of a selfish artist who must create for her own survival. A poignant and original depiction of a young woman’s struggle with mental health—through the ups and downs of anxiety, depression, and imposter syndrome—as she forges a promising career in sequential art and finds herself along the way.
Phantomarine: Volume One, by Claire Niebergall
The Candlelight Sea has been haunted by a swarm of hungry ghosts for five thousand years. The living inhabitants of this archipelagic kingdom build their homes behind the comforting glow of sacred lighthouses, hoping for a savior to return and deliver them from the shattered cycle of life and death.
Princess Phaedra stands as the last beacon against this unending horde. The future naval leader of her people, she is strong, brave, skilled with a sword, and spiritually stubborn in the face of evil.
And she is now, with great regret, recently deceased.
A successful assassination sends her spirit across the horizon line and directly into the grip of her greatest enemy – a devious, shapeshifting death god who wants her soul for his ever-growing collection. But when his plans go awry, the fate of the entire world shifts, and a journey begins that may heal all that has been broken.
Her Tale of Shim Chong, by Seri Biwan
Based on a Korean folktale, two very different women find themselves making the same wish – to leave this world behind. One is Shim Chong, a young beggar living off the kindness of others to support herself and her blind father. The other is the bride-to-be of old Chancellor Jang, sold off to him for the sake of her family. When Shim Chong rescues this new bride from the river, their relationship triggers both love and hidden intentions. But will these two women be able to find their way forth in a world that favors men?
Beneath the Dead Oak Tree, by Emily Carroll
Murder, decadence, cowardice, guilt, and aristocratic foxes in wigs all combine in this gorgeously poignant poem/folksong from Emily Carroll, about the futility and heartbreak one can run into when dealing with vengeance.
Ride On, by Faith Erin Hicks
In this middle grade graphic novel, twelve-year-old Victoria is burned out from the high-pressure world or riding competitions. Can she get back to basics and rekindle her love of horses? Perfect for fans of Best Friends and Stargazing!
Victoria has always loved horses. But riding in competitions is high stakes, high stress, and shockingly expensive. And even though Victoria’s best friend Taylor loves competing, Victoria has lost her taste for it.
After a heartbreaking fight with Taylor, Victoria needs a new start—at a new stables. A place where she doesn’t have to worry about anything other than riding. No competition, no drama, no friends.
Edgewood Stables seems ideal. There are plenty of horses to ride, and Victoria is perfectly happy giving the other riders the cold shoulder.
But can she truly be happy with no friends?
We hope you enjoyed our list of comics we read this year. Be sure to check them out – you may find a new favourite for yourself! We at the Cloudscape Comics Society wish you all a Happy Holidays. May they be filled with joy, and may your 2024 be filled to the brim with comics!