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2020 | Best Comics and Graphic Novels

Updated: Dec 7, 2021

2020 has been dedicated to the 9th art as the French Ministry of Culture with BD 2020 helped independent shops, schools and cultural institutions set up events in relation to comics and graphic design. There is a plethora of great content which gets released every single year yet we focused on the comics we found the most appealing, both in terms of drawings and in terms of storyline. Delve into the monochrome sketches of feminist illustrator Mirion Malle, Hakim’s long journey from Syria to France, or the hilarious instagram vignettes by Lisa Mandel.

Les belles personnes, Chloé Cruchaudet | Éditions Soleil

14 portraits of anonymous people who, all in their own way, act virtuously, especially by helping others. We meet a night watchman, a neo-natal nurse, an old philosophy teacher, and even a guide dog for the blind. To capture the uniqueness of these people, Chloé Cruchaudet adapted her graphic line to each of the stories. And as we discovered little details about the lives of these unsung heroes, we were simultaneously charmed by the tenderness of the colourful illustrations. This is a read of hope.

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L’odysée d’Hakim, Fabien Toulmé | Delcourt

Fabien Toulmé knew of the arrival of refugees in Europe and of shipwrecks in the Mediterranean, yet after meeting Hakim from Syria in 2016, he felt the urge to put a face next to the word “refugee”. In three beautiful tomes he tells the true story of a man who had to leave everything: his family, his friends, his business…because war broke out, because he had been tortured, because the neighbouring country seemed to be able to offer him a future and security. The last volume of this beautiful trilogy is finally out and it is the perfect occasion to (re)read it all.

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C’est comme ça que je disparais, Mirion Malle | Editions Pow Pow

Mirion Malle's first fiction is softly anchored in the reality of serious subjects such as sexual violence, mental health and depression. With elegance and a pinch of humour, the graphic novel effectively renders complex struggles into accessible and touching black and white pictures. As we delve into life in Montréal thanks to the typical Quebécois expression, we also find some of the author's favourite themes: feminism, sorority, karaoke, songs from the 2000s, and social networks.

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Une année exemplaire, Lisa Mandel

Over the last 12 months, Lisa Mandel tried to overcome her addictions (junk-food, binge watching...) and while she was doing her best, she drew and published one page per day on her instagram account. She posted everything and nothing raising self-mockery to the level of art and eventually the challenge rounded off with a hilarious self-published book. We followed it all and were happy to notice she expertly used social media.

Read on instagram

L’âge d’or - volume 2, Cyril Pedrosa and Roxanne Moreil | Dupuis

As fantasy stories go, the plot of l’âge d'or sticks to the tropes, but it is in the details that it steers into exciting territory. Moreil and Pedrosa seem to have crafted a fantasy epic that speaks to the classist inequality that burdens the world and fuels so much of the racism, sexism, and general hate that has overtaken politics. Pedrosa’s illustrative work is dynamic and sumptuous.

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