This is a thoroughly narcissistic post, spawned by my recent re-reading of a number of semi-serious attempts at comics canonization. These other lists, including that of The Comics Journal and The Hooded Utilitarian, are attempts at projecting the intersubjective consensus of a given demography of comic book consumers, be it a very narrow selection of competent and knowledgable comics intellectuals (for lack of a better term), or a slightly broader swath of (still competent) comics critics and polemics. In either case, the notion seems to be that the aggregation of the lists of multiple people will reveal some sort of insight that is, inherently, more informed and more relevant than the necessarily subjective choices of any one individual.
To that, I say screw you – this is my blog and my opinion is the only one that matters! Well, not exactly. Not at all, actually. But I do find it an interesting intellectual exercise to come up with a dozen titles that somehow seem more important and more worthwhile to read (it might be either/or) than any of the countless other works of comics art out there. Even if this is only the case in the universe in which my mind is the sole inhabitant. So read on, take everything with an ounce of salt, and please tell me why I’m wrong.
Little Nemo in Slumberland, by Winsor McCay (1905-1914)
Krazy Kat, by George Herriman (1913-1944)
GeGeGe no Kitarō, by Shigeru Mizuki (1959-1969)
Tintin au Tibet, by Hergé (1960)
The Garo stories of Yoshiharu Tsuge (1965-1970)
Hi no Tori, by Osamu Tezuka (1967-1988)
Binky Brown meets the Holy Virgin Mary, by Justin Green (1972)
Le Garage hermétique, by Jean “Moebius” Giraud (1976-1980)
AKIRA, by Katsuhiro Otomo (1982-1990)
Blood of Palomar, by Gilbert Hernandez (1989)
The Acme Novelty Library, by Chris Ware (1994-)
L’Ascension du haut-mal, by David B. (1996-2003)