from Young Frances by Hartley Lin


by BK Munn

To look back at the last ten years of comics in Canada, Sequential asked a special panel of critics and retailers to come up with a list of ten comics that are worth remembering.

We were not necessarily looking for a “Best of List” but rather a list of important comics, overlooked comics, or just comics the panelists wanted to talk about, made by Canadians between 2010-2019. What we got were four very eclectic lists that I think illustrate the depth and breadth of the Canadian comics world (no longer a “scene” or a subculture), made up of kids’ comics, graphic novels, avant-garde art books and zines, and a whole lot more. While I originally thought to incorporate everyone’s lists into a single massive post, I’ve decided to publish each separately, with the contributors comments attached.

Much has changed in comics since I wrote my own previous Comics of the Decade list. You only have to browse randomly back through the postings on this website to pick up a few threads: the growth of the YA market for teen comics, comics in galleries and museums, the spread of the TCAF model of festivals as a means of distribution, etc, etc. Even though I’ve been posting to Sequential on a regular basis, I’m still overwhelmed by the deluge of new comics and comics-related news that I process daily, weekly, and yearly.

During the early part of the decade, I was still involved with helping to organize the Wright Awards and I felt that, because I was compelled to read so many comics with a critical mind and an eye for posterity, that I was managing to keep a handle on all the “good” books coming out (I still think the annual winners of the Wrights in any category would make a pretty fantastic “Best of” list for this project), but since I’ve basically dropped any duties in that area many years ago I really have no sense of where things are or where they are going.

I’m grateful to the four panelists who contributed to this project, they all responded with very thoughtful and thorough-going takes on a wide array of beautiful comics, including some I haven’t read myself, and I hope that you find something that pleases or amazes you as well. My undying thanks to Andrew Woodrow-Butcher (Little Island Comics/The Beguiling), Kim Jooha (2dcloud/solrad), Jenn Haines (The Dragon), and Candida Rifkind (University of Winnipeg/CSS).

I’ll be publishing these lists separately over the next few days, with links updated here as they come online.

Best of the Decade: Canadian Comix, 2010-2019 (English-language)

Andrew Woodrow-Butcher

Jenn Haines

Kim Jooha

Candida Rifkind


The Full List

Jane, le renard & moi by Isabelle Arsenault and Fanny Britt (La Pastèque)

Rapide blanc by Pascal Blanchet (La Pastèque)

Through the Woods by Emily Carroll (Margaret K McElderry Books)

When I Arrived at the Castle by Emily Carroll (Koyama Press)

Awkward, Brave, and Crush (the Berrybrook Middle School books) by Svetlana Chmakova (JY)

Jimmy et le bigfoot by Pascal Girard (La Pastèque)

The 500 Years of Resistance Comic Book by Gord Hill (Arsenal Pulp Press)

Young Frances by Hartley Lin (Adhouse)

On Loving Women by Diane Obomsawin (D&Q)

This One Summer by Jillian Tamaki and Mariko Tamaki (Groundwood)

Hungry Bottom Comics by Eric Kostiuk Williams

Sheltered by Ed Brisson and Johnnie Christmas (Image Comics) 

Batgirl of Burnside by Brenden Fletcher, Cameron Stewart, and Babs Tarr (DC Comics)

Parker: Slayground by Darwyn Cooke (IDW Publishing)

Isola by Brenden Fletcher and Karl Kerschl (Image Comics) 

Bera the One-Headed Troll by Eric Orchard (:01 First Second)

Three Thieves by Scott Chantler (Kids Can Press) 

Two Generals by Scott Chantler (Penguin Random House)

Hark! A Vagrant by Kate Beaton (Drawn & Quarterly)

Fatherland by Nina Bunjevac (Jonathan Cape)

Heartless by Nina Bunjevac (Conundrum Press)

Bezimena by Nina Bunjevac (Fantagraphics)

I’m Not Here by GG (Koyama)

Dear Scarlet by Teresa Wong (Arsenal Pulp)

Clyde Fans by Seth (Drawn & Quarterly)

Dakwäkãda Warriors by Cole Pauls (Conundrum)

Leaving Richard’s Valley by Michael DeForge (Drawn and Quarterly)

Fluorescent Mud by Eli Howey (2dcloud)

Hellberta by Michael Comeau (Koyama/Colour Code)

100 Crushes by Elisha Lim (Koyama Press) 

Undocumented by Tings Chak (Ad Astra Comics) 

Creation by Sylvia Nickerson (Drawn and Quarterly)

BrickBrickBrick by Mark Laliberte (Book*hug Press)

Somnambulance by Fiona Smyth (Koyama Press)

The Neverwheres by Fiona Smyth

The Palace of Champions by Valium (Conundrum Press)

Rudy by Mark Connery (2dcloud)

Carpet Sweeper Tales by Julie Doucet (Drawn and Quarterly)

Swinespritzen12 Lies for Seeing, Portraits, Anti-Gone (Koyama), and Bradley of Him (Koyama) by Connor Willumsen

Magical Beatdown by Jenn Woodall

Hey, I don’t mean to be condescending or anything, but we’re friends, you don’t have to be afraid of me by Victor Martins

Rocky & Ruff Draft by Kendra Yee

Journal of Smack by Andrea Lukic

Climb-ing Mushrooms Fabric Zine by Ginette Lapalme

Various comics by ddoogg

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