"Comics will be the culture of the year 3794." -Salvador Dali
I ordered this book from the library because I always find it pretty interesting to see which titles are included in these best of compilations. I'm not one of those people who firmly believes that certain literature is classic and a must-read, in many instances I've picked up a book because I felt I should have read it- Catcher In the Rye, for example- and thought it was really nothing special. Ironically, a large proportion of the disappointment encountered when reading books like that comes from texpectaion garnered from their reputation It's all very subjective, but if nothing else, these anthologies introduce me to books I wouldn't even know existed otherwise.
I thought the format of this was pretty good- it gives you an indepth analysis of the comic with annotated reproductions of a few pages so you get to see what the art is like too. It then goes on to feature more books that are similar in subject to the one listed- a sort of 'if you liked this, you may like', which is rather helpful.
So I've managed to glean a few comics that I'd like to read from it (a couple of which I've been meaning to get but not got around to):
- Scene of the Crime by Ed Brubaker, Michael Lark and Sean Phillips: an ex-junkie private detective's case turns into murder when the missing girl he's eacrhing for turns up dead. Art looks good and it's written by Ed Brubaker
- Rising Stars by J.M.Straczynski and various: pretty excited about discovering this series about a group of people who are born with special abilities after a mysterious light appears in the sky. Apparently like Hereos and it's available in a compendium. . .
- Akira by Katsuhiro Otomo: I have heard (and read) lots about Akira but there's something about it that puts me off even though I've not read it. I do think I will have to give it a shot though, simply to see what the fuss is about. Set in Neo-Tokyo after World War Three (I think that's the bit that gets me), Akira is a young boy who has been drastically mutated by psychokinetic forces.
- Criminal Macabre by Steve Niles and Ben Templesmith: I love Ben Templesmith, he's a fantastic artist who manages to make his drawings atmospheric and gloomy without them being murky and impenetrable (hello, Arkham Asylum). This book is about a detective of the supernatural. which is my kind of thing- X-Files etc.
- The Wipeout by Francesca Ghermnadi:I'm really looking forward to getting this one too- it looks crazy. The art appears awesome, kind of surreal vinatge cartoons inspired- really techni-coloured and bright.
- The Princess Mermaid by Junko Mizuno: described as a dark re-telling of Hans Christian Anderson's already dark tale. I 'm curious to see how it translates into comic form- have a feeling it will be good.
- Gemma Bovery by Posy Simmonds: Another one that's been on my 'to buy' list. Really like Posy Simmond's art and the way she mixes traditional panelled comics with off panel illustartions and text.