100 All-Time Greatest Comics… Improved: Part XVII

As I said last week, I’ll be winding this nonsense up on the 25th installment, so I should be done by the end of the year. Well, no time like the present…

Scott Pilgrim’s Precious Little Life


If I were a popular singer performing in a large venue, this would be the part where instead of singing the chorus to one of my beloved hits myself, I would instead point the business end of the microphone to the audience and say “Now you sing the words!” because wouldn’t you know it, this is actually a good comic buuuuuuut…

Hang on! Black and white, simpe yet expressive artwork, journey of a young man as he struggles against selfish desires. Now, what could that remind me of?

The Replacement… Buddha Volume 1: Kapilavastu


Oh right, arguably the greatest series by the godfather of manga.

I know I’ve talked about this series before, but it bears further discussion for no other reason than it’s fantastic. And yes, I am including a manga in a list about comic books. However, any complaints you might have will have to be directed at Imagine Publishing, as they included Akira and Lone Wolf & Cub on their list. I have discussed this with several of my fellow nerds, and they agree that they are worthy exceptions; if that is the case (and I see no reason why it should not be) then ignoring Tezuka’s immense body of work is a severe oversight.

There’s just so much about Buddha that is so amazing, it’s hard to know where to begin. Making a biography about the entire life of the very first Buddha is a daunting task for most writers, but doing it in comic book format almost seems insane. And yet…

And yet, it’s all so perfectly made. The pacing, the characters, the spirituality (it should surprise nobody when I tell you that Tezuka was a Buddhist) are all completely believable, even when dealing with the mystical aspects of Prince Siddhartha’s life. Tezuka wasn’t just writing about Buddhism, he was writing about humanity at its best and its worst, how little we’ve changed since ancient times and how much we are all capable of.

If that’s not worthy of being called “great”, then I don’t know what is.


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