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Sunday, January 16, 2005

 
Best Best of 2004 -- Well, it was inevitable that if Tom Spurgeon decided to do a Best of 2004 piece, he'd show us all up and do a wonderful job summarizing the year in comics as he saw it. His Best of 2004 went up this morning, and it is well worth your attention.

Tom's greatest strength as a writer -- and there are many -- is the way he makes the intersection of his life with reading comics so breezily personal. To read Tom's thoughts on comics is to feel that you've spent a few minutes chatting with an old friend about something you both love, and about which he just knows a whole hell of a lot about.

Among many small pleasures, I was happy to see Tom liked Waterwise in much the same way I did; more interesting, though, is his take on 2004 in superhero comics:

They read more than ever like unpacked movie pitches or series bibles designed to throw attention onto the creators rather than anything designed to exist on its own merits and make people want to read them a couple of years from now.


Now, Tom does mention that he enjoyed reading Street Angel in 2004, and if you've hung around Comic Book Galaxy much in the past year you certainly know that I think it's one of the very best series being published right now and one of my all-time favourite series. Tom seems to paint SA with the brush of "Enjoyable, but not impressive," if I am reading him right (and he'll correct me if I'm not, I am sure), but I have to say that Street Angel impresses the hell out of me, for just the reasons Tom suggests comics should be impressive. Every time I read Street Angel, my faith in the essential joy of comics is renewed, and I do indeed believe that the book is (intentionally or not) "designed to exist on its own merits and make people want to read [it] a couple of years from now." I have re-read every issue of Street Angel multiple times, and I get a laugh and a smile and a sense of fun and adventure out of the book every time I revisit it.

Hmm. I meant this to be a loving plug for Tom's excellent year-end piece, and ended up on a long digression, once again, about how much I love Street Angel. Well, head over to Tom's essay, then if you like, compare and contrast it to my own list. It's always interesting to me to see how my tastes compare to those of other critics I respect, and there's no critic I respect more than Tom Spurgeon.

(And there's no current comic I respect more than Street Angel, there, I said it. Nyah nyah!)

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