Via Scott McCloud: Time Magazine columnist Andrew D. Arnold presents a list of 25 “must-read” works of graphic literature from the last 25 years. I give enthusiastic endorsement to much of the list, but I balk at Our Cancer Year (a moving story, but not representative of Pekar’s best work, and the artwork in this one leaves me cold), The Golem’s Mighty Swing (pretty, but cheap baseball sentimentalism), and Flood (Drooker’s a great illustrator, but this word-less tale seemed kind of superficial to me). I am not crazy about From Hell, although I like much of Alan Moore’s other work. Why the heck isn’t Moore’s Watchmen on this list? Frank Miller’s Dark Knight Returns? Meh. Find Miller’s Batman: Year One, instead.
If you are only going to buy two of these works, I would recommend Jimmy Corrigan: The Smartest Kid on Earth and Stuck Rubber Baby, two very different but beautiful and powerfully affecting works.
Slow me. You can check out Arnold’s archive of columns at
I’ve come close to buying “Golem” several times but couldn’t shake the fear that it would descend into cheap baseball sentimentalism. I like baseball, but I don’t like baseball sentimentalism (cheap or expensive), so thanks for the warning. I actually like “From Hell” quite a bit despite its flaws (the prostitute-with-a-heart-of-gold is a bit over the top). And, yes, “The Watchmen” should be at or near the top of any list.
Well, the next time you’re in the comics shop, take a look and see what you think. That was my take, but yours might be different.
Is it kosher (no pun intended) to post to archived material? Can’t remember how I came across this post, but I have to object to the cheap baseball sentimentalism line. What I love about the Golem’s Mighty Swing is the combination of art and story, and how perfectly well blended they are, how well he manages to convey sadness, fear, and loneliness through the use of his imagery.
As for the rest of McCloud’s list, it seems more personal and sentimental than objective. Of course, that’s the beauty of lists, though, n’est ce pas? I personally can’t believe he left off Charles Burns’ work.
It’s kosher to post on archived material, Renae. People do it all the time. :-)
The Golem’s Mighty Swing seems to have been received pretty well, so you are not alone, but it just wasn’t my cup of tea.