2010 was another terrific year for good comic books. While the industry remains a blind and shambling beast, the medium is still producing work of astonishing quality, from low-fi web comics to high-end hardbacks, from fast and fun superheroes to wonderfully dreary existential screeds.
Out of all the comics I’ve read this year, it was surprisingly easy to name my ten favourite, and I’ll be writing something about each of them over the next week or so.
Every top ten list is subjective, but this list of my ten favourite comics is affected by all sorts of outside influences, most notably price. While Chris Ware’s comics are always rewarding, I’ve seen the most recent installment of the excellent Acme Novelty Library selling for $80 in local stores, which is just too much to justify.
There have also been undoubtedly brilliant comics from the likes of Charles Burns, Jim Woodring and James Sturm that will be read at some point, but I just haven’t had the opportunity to read them.
It’s also difficult to try out new creators, when the only option is a beautiful book costing more than $50 a shot, so comics by creators like Sarah Glidden – which receive almost universal acclaim – are also not on this list, although I will get around to them sooner or later.
Instead, I’m going to have to stick with the books, strips and periodicals I have actually read over the past 12 months, and while that is a fair amount of good material, it’s only a tiny fraction of what is actually out there.
But these are still 10 comics – above all others - that I found entertaining, funny, stimulating and moving. I read comics for all sorts of different reasons, but each of these works scratched a certain itch, and left me satisfied and content.
Who could ask for more?
Tomorrow: #10 – "Why do I even talk to that guy?"