Amoeblog

Finally Resolved: International Best Comics List

Posted by Charles Reece, August 1, 2011 09:35am | Post a Comment
trophies

Geeks being geeks, we make lists. The latest example is The Hooded Utilitarian's Robert Stanley Martin's attempt to nail down a top comics list in the style of Sight and Sound's one for movies that occurs every decade. He asked comics enthusiasts of all stripes to contribute our top 10 lists of what we "consider  [our] favorites, the best, or the most significant." Collation now done, the results are being revealed over this week. Contrary to many these days, I think there's something objective about the aesthetic best of some medium. For example, the problem lies within you if you don't like Kafka. On the other hand, there's a problem with simply picking what you think are the most significant works in order derive the best. Doing so will tend to merely recapitulate qualities others have previously thought made for the best, and they might be wrong (is The Seventh Seal really that great? -- it's not even Bergman's best). So I went with my favorites that sprang most readily to my present mind without a lot of brooding over how significant to the ages any of these comics might be. I also had to like reading the text involved, not just looking at the art (so no Steve Ditko, although he's one of my favorites -- Stan Lee, not to mention Ditko's own prose, is just tedious). Anyway, here's my list in alphabetical order:

acme novelty library chris ware  black hole charles burns  

Target Practice 1: On Sundry Topics

Posted by Charles Reece, March 1, 2008 09:09pm | Post a Comment
This is my trial run at blogging on my new laptop.  I switched to a Mac, which is a bit like what those really young kids must've felt in Piaget's experiments on object constancy where they hadn't yet developed the proper conceptual framework to understand that when a doll goes behind an obscuring object it doesn't cease to exist.  My perspective is all out-of-whack -- no right-clicking, can't figure out how to easily shift between programs, there's a bunch of little objects at the bottom of my screen that have no meaning for me -- forms without functions -- and I have no idea if files still exist once I've saved them.  It was definitely time for a change, however.  My other laptop looks like it was dug up on a excavation in New Guinea, a talisman from some forgotten arcane ritual.  Now, everything on the Web works the way it's supposed to (well, once I downloaded Firefox) and I don't have to wait for the grinding gears to stop before my next action, so I'll get used to it.  Baby steps.  The agony of living in the First World.

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On my conversion to Macatholicism, I'm reminded, of course, of this piece from Umberto Eco, written way back in 1994:
The fact is that the world is divided between users of the Macintosh computer and users of MS-DOS compatible computers. I am firmly of the opinion that the Macintosh is Catholic and that DOS is Protestant. Indeed, the Macintosh is counter-reformist and has been influenced by the ratio studiorum of the Jesuits. It is cheerful, friendly, conciliatory; it tells the faithful how they must proceed step by step to reach -- if not the kingdom of Heaven -- the moment in which their document is printed. It is catechistic: the essence of revelation is dealt with via simple formulae and sumptuous icons. Everyone has a right to salvation.