I thought now would be as good a time as any to explain my own thought processes behind this odd little case of editing after the fact. As I keep saying, this publication isn’t a bad list… it’s just quite frustrating. There are some genuinely amazing comics in there… and there are some bloody odd ones too, and I don’t mean the nice kind of “odd”. I’ve been quite nice so far, but there’s going to be at least one update in the near future where that won’t be the case.
But let’s get back to 100 All-Time Greatest Comics; specifically, the title. There’s certainly 100 comics in there (if you don’t count the interviews, recycled from back issues of Uncanny Comics, which have their own must-read lists from the various comics legends inserted somewhere as a sidebar), and as I shall doubtless say several more times before I’m done, some of the comics are great… the key word there being “some”. This “bookazine” (seriously, who thought that was a good name?) still has a few more comics that really only qualify as “good, not great”, but we’ll come to those later on this year, and probably well into 2016 as well.
In the meantime, let’s take a look at their use of the word “all-time”. Technically two words, but what’s a hypen among friends? With the hypen, it means “unsurpassed”, but without it means “best of all time, up to the present day.” There are indeed some very recent comics in there (remember what I said about not being nice?) and that’s sort of the problem. I did a quick tally of all the comics listed in this thing, and just over half of them were published in the last 15 years. Now, I’m not saying there haven’t been some damn great comics published this millennium, but I’m not sure they’ve been that great, especially when stacked against everything that came out in the last millennium.
Remember when I complained about “recentism” in my last post? Well, you may also have noticed that I’ve been including quite a lot of comics from the 60’s in my revisions – that’s because there are no 60’s comics included in this list, even though there’s several 70’s comics and one from the 50’s. You read that correctly; in a magazine that boasts a compilation of the must-read comics of all bloody time, they skip an entire bloody decade, specifically the one that revolutionised comics as a whole bloody medium. That’s like writing about all the greatest rock musicians of the past 100 years, and missing out The Beatles and The Kinks so you can have more room to talk about how great Oasis and Coldplay are are.
If you have detected a certain amount of bitterness in this post, don’t worry; it’s only frustration at those damn kids being so stupid and not recognising their elders and their better when they see them.
The bitterness will come later.