Sunday, February 15, 2009

That announcement

In case you've missed it during this wild Valentine's Day weekend, I'm now writing for The Savage Critic, along with fellow new recruits Tucker Stone, Sean Collins, David Uzumeri, and Chris Eckert. I even have a neat little icon designed by Kate McMillan, a test tube to represent Chemical King. I had no idea until I joined that all the Savage Critics' icons represented Legion of Superhero characters (with the exceptions of those prima donnas Tucker and Douglas, who apparently prefer Popeye and Krazy Kat, respectively, to the genius of teenage Jim Shooter; also, maybe (MAYBE) I'm dense, but I'm not entirely sure if Chris and David's icons represent Legionnaires or not). I guess that explains Jeff Lester's tooth, which had previously always baffled me. Anyway, my first post is here. (EDIT: And you know, it now occurs to me that Sean Collins' lightning bolt probably has more to do with David Bowie than Lightning Lad, which probably explains why it's purple and red instead of yellow. Plus, I guess my icon is more accurately described as a beaker, rather than a test tube--and a beaker makes for a better visual anyway. Sigh. One day I'll figure shit out, I swear.)

I'll mostly be working on a project I was going to announce whenever I finished my best of 2008 list (STILL IN THE WORKS, I promise you): an ongoing diary of my attempt to put together a best of the 00s list. I, of course, encourage each and every one of you to consider making a similar list at the end of this year. And we can also think about which comics we would consider for such a list, whether or not to include reprints and translations of work from before this decade, etc. I'm not going to try to make an exhaustive list right now (that's what the comments section is for), but we can start with a list of what I suspect are the consensus choices, or at least the closest approximation to such a thing that I can think of off the top of my head:

Things originally published in this decade:

Fun Home
Bottomless Belly Button
All Star Superman
Exit Wounds
What It Is
Scott Pilgrim series
Acme Novelty Library
Safe Area Gorazde
American Born Chinese
Y the Last Man

Things spanning multiple decades, or originally published in the 90s and collected in the 00s:

Black Hole
David Boring
Jimmy Corrigan
Louis Riel
any of the thousands of Love and Rockets reprints

Reprints would include:

Complete Peanuts
Krazy Kat
Art Out of Time

Translations would include:

Persepolis (I think it qualifies for the 00s anyway)
D&Q's Tatsumi reprints
various Tezuka reprints

Anthologies would include:

Kramers Ergot
McSweeney's #13

None of that is an endorsement of these selections (particularly Y the Last Man), but it's a starting point for a starting point. Now to narrow it down further: what book should I read to start this series? I'm kind of leaning towards Black Hole.


Cole Moore Odell said...

Because "that's what the comments section is for":

I'd give some thought to the John Porcellino collections, Kevin Huizenga (Curses, if you have to narrow it down to one book), and Dark Horse's Little Lulu reprints have been a revelation to me, consensus be damned. I also think comics fans will be talking about Eddie Campbell's autobio comics a long time from now--after some of the other works on your lists have faded from sight. Ed Brubaker's best 00's work (Sleeper, Criminal, even parts of Catwoman and Captain America) is good enough that it sidesteps discussions of whether it transcends genre, Kochalka's 10 year run of daily diary comics is a huge, mostly successful achievement, and Eric Shanower's Age of Bronze is so consistently beautiful and self-assured that it ought to be considered.

Dick Hyacinth's Ghost said...

I should have remembered Curses (and Ganges, for that matter). Ditto for Fate of the Artist. Sleeper was one of the first comics to occur to me for inclusion in this series; I'll definitely be doing it at some point. I really need to read Age of Bronze, and this is probably as good an occasion to do so as any.

Anonymous said...

Immediately, off the top of my head: No strips, no reprints, no Manga, No anthologies, I think in 12s

1) One! Hundred! Demons!
2) Ghost of Hoppers
3) You Can't Get There From Here
4) The Arrival
5) King City
6) WE3
7) Cages
8) Pyongyang
9) Alan's War
10) Alias the Cat
11) Salamander Dreams
12) Fun Home
13) Ice Haven
14) Sandman: Endless Nights (The first half)
15) Open Me! I'm a Dog!
16) Building Stories
17) Louis Riel
18) Ninja
19) Killer Princesses
20) King Cat Comics and Stories

Dick Hyacinth's Ghost said...

Cages is from the 90s. I even bought a copy of the hardcover in the 90s.

Pyongyang is a good call. Still stands out as the best of Delisle's work. I think I might do an entire post dedicated to Clowes' 00s work as well (Ice Haven, Death Ray, Mr. Wonderful).

I'm assuming your no-manga stance is due to the best work being from decades prior to the 00s?

Anonymous said...

Nah, due to me not knowing enough about Manga to make value judgments. But I really like YOTSUBA, NANA, and JAPAN AS VIEWED BY 17 CREATORS.

OK, so scratch CAGES (and OPEN ME, which it turns out was released in'97) and tentatively replace with THREE FINGERS and KING DAVID.


Or maybe KING, or BIG QUESTIONS...

Yeah, if I think about this too much, it's gonna become impossible.

Anonymous said...

Achewood and PBF are iconic comics of this decade.

I don't know how you're counting the years, but Safe Area Gorazde was 2000.

Dick Hyacinth's Ghost said...

Achewood is painfully (achingly? ho ho ho) obvious in retrospect. Perry Bible Fellowship maybe a bit less so, but that might be personal bias--I like(d) it fine, but I just don't see it as one of the best of the decade. And it always struck me as more popular than critically acclaimed. I don't know.

I'm definitely considering 2000 as part of this decade, because (a) otherwise I'd have to wait until 2010 to do this, and I'd look silly having already announced all this in two public fora; and (b) I don't care if there was or wasn't a year 0 AD--2000 is a part of the 00s in my book. I guess you could argue that this decade didn't really begin until September 11, 2001, much as the 20th century didn't begin until WWI broke out, but that's probably not a conversation anyone really wants to have considering how depressing that thought is.

Jones, one of the Jones boys said...

Including reprints makes it tricky, since there's been so much reprinted in the past decade. I second Cole's suggestion of Little Lulu. It really is as good as just about any other reprint out there. Also in reprints:

various Kirby reprints from the past couple of years

DC's Spirit archives--not all of them, but there's a patch of half a dozen or so, when Eisner came back from the war, that are essential

DC's Plastic Man archives--all but one of them published since 2000

Taschen's Complete Little Nemo

Drifting Classroom

Little Orphan Annie


Also, non-reprints: Maggots, Dungeon, Angry Youth Comix, the end of Cerebus and, if you're feeling generous, Seven Soldiers.

Those might not be consensus picks, but they're (some of) the picks I'd make.

Dick Hyacinth's Ghost said...

I was planning to do the Dungeon series (maybe when the new volume of Zenith comes out?) and either Seven Soldiers or New X-Men later in the year, once the taste of Final Crisis is out of my mouth. I'm kind of leaning towards New X-Men, since there's been so much written about Seven Soldiers.

Anonymous said...

I just want to say that your plan for Savage Critics fucks up my plan for Savage Critics, right down to starting with Black Hole.

Dick Hyacinth's Ghost said...

Sorry, Sean! You were seriously going to do a decade-in-review thing as well?

Anonymous said...

Heh. It'd be cool if you guys worked together.

Dick Hyacinth's Ghost said...

That's an idea. Sean, send me an email or something if you want to work something out.

Dick Hyacinth's Ghost said...

You know, it occurred to me today that I should have mentioned the 00s volumes of Drawn and Quarterly among the best anthologies of the decade. That's a seriously underrated series, and the last three volumes were sort of like predecessors for KE7.

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