I've had a lovely time hanging out at Isotope and writing comic book reviews for SFist for the last year and a half, and it's very fondly that I'll be devoting this last post to some of my favorite books from that time. But this won't be a re-review of those titles; instead, I'd like to wander away from evaluating them and take some time to think about why they're all so awesome in the broader context of culture -- basically, shifting format from "here's what the book did" to "and here's why that's so neat." In fact, that's the format I'll be practicing when I start writing my comic book column over at The Chron's Culture Blog in a few weeks. (Yes, THAT Chron! They have blogs now!) I hope you'll join me over there, where the first-person singularity and cultural comicbookery will continue unabashed. And now, on with the whee:

We hate to pick favorites, but Oakland artist Gene Luen Yang's may be as close to Perfect Comic Book as we've ever encountered. (We nearly compared it to Nirvana, but somehow that seemed a little awkward for a book that retells a Buddhist epic from a Christian perspective.) This isn't just a bunch of pix and text -- it's literature. Ooh!

American Born Chinese