Sunday, October 03, 2004


Two days ago I filled out an online survey about comics, as part of which I was asked to provide a list of up to ten favorite comics. What follows is that list, for those who are curious, or would like a little better handle on my tastes. It's in no particular order, except the order in which the comics occurred to me. I spent no more than five minutes, if that, thinking about it, and I can't guarantee that further contemplation wouldn't lead to some changes. Still, looking over it again, there's nothing omitted that obviously needs to be on the list, nor is there anything on it that obviously doesn't deserve to be there. And it reflects the types of comics I read pretty accurately.

The one area that isn't represented here, that ideally should be, is European comics; and just now I considered replacing Jim with a European album, either Le Chemin aux oiseaux by Nadine Brun-Cosme and Baudoin or one of the Jean Corentin Acquefacques books by Marc-Antoine Mathieu. But I can't decide whether I'd really rank these books above Jim; so I guess I'll just stick with my original list, which has the virtue of spontaneity.

(Now that I think of it, there should be something by Robert Crumb on the list. I actually wanted to include something by Crumb when I was drawing up the list, but I didn't feel I could consider his entire output as a single "comic," and I couldn't think of a specific comic by him that stood out sufficiently. Oh, well.)

Ghost World, by Daniel Clowes
Acme Novelty Library, by Chris Ware
A*su, by Kotobuki Shiriagari
Hinshi no Esseisuto (Dying Essayist), by Kotobuki Shiriagari
Tsuki no Fumi (Moon Letter), by Usumaru Furuya
Krazy Kat, by George Herriman
Pogo, by Walt Kelly
Palomar, by Gilbert Hernandez
Locas, by Jaime Hernandez
Jim, by Jim Woodring

As you can see, except for the three manga, my list is drawn from the basic TCJ canon; and I firmly believe that if the manga I listed were known in the U.S., they'd be in the TCJ canon too. Aside from the manga, probably my biggest deviation from conventional wisdom is ranking Jim above Frank in Jim Woodring's work. There are no superheroes, not even Alan Moore, and that's deliberate: I like Moore's pre-Image work a lot, but I don't think it, or any other superhero comic, ranks with the work on my list. The omission of "Peanuts" was also deliberate: I do think it's a great strip, and if the call had been for twenty rather than ten comics it would definitely have been on there, but I just don't love it as much as I do the works on my list. Actually, on second thought, I probably should replace Jim with "Peanuts," but I think I'll just let it go.

Comments: Post a Comment

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?