I’ve talked about the main problem I have with the list Imagine Publishing came up with several times, and I figured now would be as good a time as any to bring it up now; some of the comics just aren’t that great. Not that they’re bad (but there are a few of those, which I’ll get to later on) but they just don’t qualify as all-time greats.
I mean, I understand softballing people who are new to comics (incidentally, everyone who worries about picking up a comic halfway through the story… don’t. Comics nowadays are very considerate about bringing johnny-come-latelys up to speed, and DC and Marvel have their own wikis, so just look up the previous issue if you’re confused). But there’s a difference between going easy and just going for the safe option.
My point is, whilst the majority of comics I’ve covered are genuinely fun reads in their own right, there’s no point making a must-read list if you’re going to skip over the comics that actually deserve to be there. It’s like writing about the great artists of the last 200 years and skipping Monet, van Gogh and Dali to talk about how great Tracey Emin and Damien Hirst are. Yes, The Physical Impossibility of Death in the Mind of Someone Living is amazing, but Sunflowers, people…
Really, the whole list is an exercise in frustration. They have great superhero comics like The Death of Captain Marvel and Batman: Year One, but nothing much beyond that time period (again, nothing from the 1960’s). They have Tintin and Blacksad and even The Airtight Garage, but no Asterix or Corto Maltese. They’ve got Art Speigelman and Alison Bechdel, but no Harvey Pekar. They even have some manga; Akira and Lone Wolf & Cub (one of the few items on the list from the 70’s). Both excellent additions, but what of Osamu Tezuka?
I just… I just wish they’d put a little more thought into it, y’know?