Here though are a couple of enjoyable graphic novels which stood out for me this year.
The Marquis of Anon - Isle of Brac & The Black Virgin
Although a long time BD fan I'd not come across this series until the always reliable Zainab Akhtar mentioned it on her blog a couple of years ago ahead of its English language release through those fine folks at Cinebooks. Well I picked up the first couple at last year's Thought Bubble Festival and completed the 5 issue set (so far) at this year's event. I've only read the first two so far but they don't disappoint with their mystery, charm and real sense of peril to make for a thrilling read!
Delilah Dirk and The Turkish Lieutenant
I'd actually been looking for this for years without realising it had finally come out! There had been a really enjoyable Delilah Dirk one shot comic years ago by the talented Tony Cliff and his blog had teased the forthcoming release of a longer form graphic novel but last time i checked it had only come out in France. So I had a pleasant surprise when browsing the English language shelf at Fantask during our Copenhagen trip earlier this year to find not one but two graphic novel collections - yay!
The other is called Delilah Dirk and the King's Shilling which I've not yet read but the first one - The Turkish Lieutenant is an enjoyable historical fiction romp with a little steampunk, humour and good ol' honest adventure making for a great read. Annoyingly on catching up with Tony Cliff's blog I discovered that he had made a very rare UK appearance the year before at Thought Bubble in a hall next to Accent UK but I totalled missed him! Ah well maybe next time!
I'd been aware of the Lady Mechanika comic series from writer & artist Joe Benitez for a little while but it was only this year that I picked up the first couple of collected volumes, recently finishing the first. This really follows our own recent 'discovery' of steampunk which is having quite an influence on our approach to not only comic events but comic making - more to come!
I was more than happy to immerse myself in the world of Lady Mechanika and enjoyable it was with good portions of mystery, action and suspense. The story in this first volume was perhaps more of a 'set-up' of her world and the players in it and for my tastes was a little unsubtle in places, lacking a little of the charm that we have experienced ourselves in the steampunk community and the art, while accomplished was a little too 'cheesecake' and stylish for me, but then I am British and blush easily!
There were a couple of others I enjoyed but the above are the ones that probably made the most impression this year and may influence or inspire my own comics storytelling!