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Monday, August 31, 2009

 
The Best Comics of the Decade -- I don't know that I would have had the time to create this post if it weren't for Tom Spurgeon and his readers creating their superb list of titles for consideration as the best comics of the decade. Even so, the list as seen at The Comics Reporter is both enormous and enormously intimidating, and of course I have not read everything on it. Far from it. But of what I have read, I've decided to pick five from each category as the very best that I have read.

Note: Where I've reviewed a title, the title appears as a link to my review.

Thanks to Tom for making this possible, and I encourage everyone to check out the full list at TCR and start working on their own best-ofs.

A note on methodology: I had a very hard time narrowing some categories down to ten choices, never mind five. Ultimately I whittled each category down to which titles I felt were essential, and then from those (sometimes as many as two dozen titles) I picked the five that, if I were going to spend the rest of my life alone with just five books, those were the ones that I would pick. In some cases I had to leave off titles that were painful not to include (Fun Home), but I felt that sticking to five titles in each category would create the most essential and useful list (for me, if not for you).

Anthologies

* Art Out Of Time, Edited By Dan Nadel, Harry N. Abrams (2006)
* Best American Comics, series, various editors, Houghton Mifflin
* Drawn & Quarterly, series, Edited by Chris Oliveros, Drawn & Quarterly
* McSweeney's Quarterly Concern Vol. 13, Edited by Chris Ware, McSweeney's
* MOME, series, Edited by Gary Groth and Eric Reynolds, Fantagraphics

Archival Editions and Re-Releases

* B. Krigstein Comics, edited by Greg Sadowski, Fantagraphics (2004)
* Complete Peanuts, series, Charles Schulz, Fantagraphics
* Jack Kirby's Fourth World Omnibus, series, Jack Kirby, et al, DC
* The Complete Calvin and Hobbes, Bill Watterson, Andrews McMeel (2005)
* The New Love and Rockets Books, massive volumes, Los Bros Hernandez, Fantagraphics

Original Long-Form Comics/Translated/Definitive Collection

* A Treasury of Victorian Murder, series, Rick Geary, NBM
* Good-Bye, Yoshihiro Tatsumi, Drawn and Quarterly (2008)
* Ice Haven, Dan Clowes, Pantheon (2005)
* The Diary of a Teenage Girl, Phoebe Gloeckner, Frog Press (2002)
* The Ticking, Renee French, Top Shelf (2006)

Comic Book Series

* Conan, Kurt Busiek et al, Dark Horse
* Scott Pilgrim, Bryan Lee O'Malley, Oni Press
* Sleeper, Ed Brubaker and Sean Phillips, DC
* Street Angel, Jim Rugg, Brian Maruca, SLG
* The Filth, Grant Morrison and Chris Weston, DC

Manga (Translated)

* Abandon the Old in Tokyo, Yoshihiro Tatsumi, Drawn and Quarterly (2006)
* Good-Bye, Yoshihiro Tatsumi, Drawn and Quarterly (2008)
* Monokuro Kinderbook, series, Kan Takahama, Fanfare/Ponent Mon
* Solanin, Inio Asano, Viz (2008)
* The Push Man and Other Stories, Yoshihiro Tatsumi, Drawn and Quarterly (2005)

Newspaper Comics

* Dykes to Watch Out For, Alison Bechdel
* Maakies, Tony Millionaire
* Mutts, Patrick McDonnell
* This Modern World, Tom Tomorrow
* Zippy, Bill Griffith

On-Line Comics

* Achewood, Chris Onstad
* American Elf, James Kochalka
* George Sprott, 1895-1975, Seth, New York Times Sunday Magazine
* Mister Wonderful, Daniel Clowes, New York Times Sunday Magazine
* Perry Bible Fellowship, Nicholas Gurewitch

Works On The Subject Of Comics

* B. Krigstein Vol. 1, Greg Sadowski, Fantagraphics (2002)
* Meanwhile... A Biography of Milton Caniff, RC Harvey, Fantagraphics (2007)
* Outlaws, Rebels, Freethinkers and Pirates, Bob Levin, Fantagraphics (2005)
* Rebel Visions: The Underground Comix Revolution, Patrick Rosenkranz, Fantagraphics (2003)
* Strange and Stranger: The World of Steve Ditko, Blake Bell, Fantagraphics (2008)

Websites and Blogs About Comics

(This category was not on Tom's original list, but I found the idea of comparing the best comics writing online vs. the best comics writing in print too crazy-making to adhere to on my own list. I suggested to Tom that he spin off sites and blogs to their own list, but I don't know yet what he thinks of that suggestion.)

* Chris Allen Online, by Chris Allen
* Comics Comics, by Dan Nadel, Frank Santoro, Tim Hodler, et al
* Jog the Blog, by Joe McCulloch
* Journalista, by Dirk Deppey
* The Comics Reporter, by Tom Spurgeon, et al

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Download my free new eBook of nearly four dozen interviews with comics creators, Conversations with ADD, by clicking here. A full list of interview subjects can be found here.

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