Monday, September 21, 2009

The Best Comics of the Decade?

We're closing in on the final months of the Zeroes, and I thought it might be neat to construct a list of the best comics of 2000-2009.

So I made two lists: a big one with lots of titles on it, and a smaller one that might be a top ten of the decade. I should say that I haven't read many of these comics; for both lists I'm going by what I think are considered by critics and fans to be the best comics.

1) The Best Comics of the Decade:

100 Bullets, Brian Azzarello and Eduardo Rizzo
20th Century Boys, Naoki Urasawa
A Drifting Life, Yoshihiro Tatsumi
Achewood, Chris Onstad
Acme Novelty Library, Chris Ware
Age of Bronze, Eric Shanower
Alias, Brian Michael Bendis and Michael Gaydos
Alice in Sunderland, Bryan Talbot
All Star Superman, Grant Morrison and Frank Quitely
American Born Chinese, Gene Luen Yang
Asterios Polyp, David Mazzucchelli
Astro City, Kurt Busiek and Brent Anderson
B.P.R.D., Mike Mignola, John Arcudi, and Guy Davis
Batman: Year 100, Paul Pope
Black Hole, Charles Burns
Blankets, Craig Thompson
Bottomless Belly Button, Dash Shaw
Captain America, Ed Brubaker and various
Chance in Hell, Gilbert Hernandez
Civil War, Mark Millar and Steve McNiven
Criminal, Ed Brubaker and Sean Phillips
Daredevil, Brian Michael Bendis and Alex Maleev
Dark Knight Strikes Again, Frank Miller
DC: The New Frontier, Darwyn Cooke
DMZ, Brian Wood and Riccardo Burchielli
Epileptic, David B.
Ex Machina, Bryan K. Vaughan and Tony Harris
Exit Wounds, Rutu Modan
Fables, Bill Willingham, Mark Buckingham, and various
Final Crisis, Grant Morrison and various
Fun Home, Alison Bechdel
Ganges, Kevin Huizenga
George Sprott, Seth
Gotham Central, Ed Brubaker, Greg Rucka, and Michael Lark
Green Lantern, Geoff Johns and various
Hellboy, Mike Mignola
I Kill Giants, Joe Kelly and JM Ken Niimura
I Killed Adolf Hitler, Jason
La Perdida, Jessica Abel
Love and Rockets, Jaime Hernandez and Gilbert Hernandez
Monster, Naoki Urasawa
Nana, Ai Yazawa
New X-Men, Grant Morrison and various
Omega: The Unknown, Jonathan Lethem, Karl Rusnak, Farel Dalrymple
Parker: The Hunter, Darwyn Cooke
Persepolis, Marjane Satrapi
Planetary, Warren Ellis and John Cassaday
Pluto, Naoki Urasawa and Osamu Tezuka
Pride of Baghdad, Bryan K. Vaughan and Niko Henrichon
Promethea, Alan Moore and J.H. Williams III
Punisher, Garth Ennis and various
Scalped, Jason Aaron and R.M. Guera
Scott Pilgrim, Bryan Lee O'Malley
Seaguy, Grant Morrison and Cameron Stewart
Seven Soldiers, Grant Morrison and various
Shortcomings, Adrian Tomine
Stitches, David Small
Swallow Me Whole, Nate Powell
Tekkon Kinkreet, Taiyo Matsumoto
The Amazing Remarkable Monsieur Leotard, Eddie Campbell
The Photographer, Emmanuel Guibert
The Walking Dead, Robert Kirkman and various
Town of Evening Calm, Country of Cherry Blossoms, Fumiyo Kuono
Travel, Yuichi Yokoyama
Ultimate Spider-Man, Brian Michael Bendis, Mark Bagley, and Stuart Immonen
Ultimates, Mark Millar and Bryan Hitch
We3, Grant Morrison and Frank Quitely
What It Is, Lynda Barry
Y the Last Man, Bryan K. Vaughan and Pia Guerra
You Can't Get There From Here, Jason

There are 70 titles on this list. 8 titles are manga. Only 1 webcomic.

This is a working list, which means that I'm going to continue to add and remove books over the next couple of months.

I was trying to be inclusive in this first go-round to encourage discussion. I'm also certain that there are some comics that I've forgotten about and belong on the list. Feel free to write a comment with your suggestions for comics to add and remove.

Also, are there any books that are coming out over the remainder of the year that have a shot at the list? I'd say Robert Crumb's Book of Genesis looks like a sure thing. Any others?

And now for the second list.

2) The Top Ten Comics of the Decade (in alphabetical order):

Asterios Polyp, David Mazzucchelli
Black Hole, Charles Burns
Blankets, Craig Thompson
Bottomless Belly Button, Dash Shaw
Epileptic, David B.
Exit Wounds, Rutu Modan
Fun Home, Alison Bechdel
Persepolis, Marjane Satrapi
What It Is, Lynda Barry

Yep - that's only nine. I'd say those nine are the most well-respected and critically-acclaimed comic books of this decade. What other book belongs in the top ten? A Drifting Life? Pluto? Parker: The Hunter? [Edit: Acme Novelty Library probably takes the spot.] Any books that don't belong there? And I'm sure a lot of superhero fans would be up in arms over this list. Any superhero books deserve a spot? All Star Superman?


  1. I imagine The Fate of the Artist could go on the list, since that's arguably Eddie Campbell's best work of the decade. And The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen. Nick Bertozzi's The Salon? Ice Haven, by Daniel Clowes? The Other Side? War Stories/Battlefields, by Garth Ennis and various artists? Did Paul Pope's 100% come out after 2000? Bone started earlier, but it finished in the Oughts, right? And if you want to count manga that came out earlier but didn't get translated until later, I would suggest Ode to Kirihito, Buddha, MW, and Drifting Classroom.

    Eh, I'll probably think of others at some point, and I could always go raid Tom Spurgeon's list, but I think that's good. I'm late getting to this anyway...

  2. I'd have to say I think Y: The Last Man was the greatest comic to come out over that time. Easily. But it may be a little more my opinion than fact, but surely it at least earns a spot in the top ten.

  3. I'd say that your list needs to have Yostuba&! on it.

  4. Either ALL-STAR SUPERMAN or Darwyn Cooke's NEW FRONTIER should get the superhero love.