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Graphic Novels That Flew Under The Radar In 2012

Illustration: a superhero flies while reading a book.
Nishant Choksi

In 2012, several high-profile comics creators added landmark works to their already impressive legacies. With Building Stories, Chris Ware offered 14 volumes of comics, each with its own meticulous, anagrammatic take on despair, and stuffed them into a box. Alison Bechdel followed up her much-lauded 2006 memoir, Fun Home, with Are You My Mother?, another deep dive into the turbid waters of the parent-child bond. The result was messier and less finished, but profoundly personal — and vividly real.

Jeff Lemire's Underwater Welder told a gorgeous, haunting — and haunted — tale of grief and redemption. And, in God and Science, the Hernandez Brothers dosed their skillful characterizations with a hit of superheroic whimsy.

These volumes are destined for many "Best Comics of 2012" lists, and rightly so. But some other, less familiar names produced outstanding works that haven't gotten the column inches they deserve. Here are just a few of the intriguing, hilarious and/or enlightening titles you might have missed.

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Glen Weldon
Glen Weldon is a host of NPR's Pop Culture Happy Hour podcast. He reviews books, movies, comics and more for the NPR Arts Desk.