These are the pages for my top tens of comics
Stark After Dark is predominantly concerned with fantasy and science fiction, which extend into the medium of comics – indeed, I would estimate that the majority of comics are fantasy or science fiction. Superhero comics almost by definition involve some fantasy or science fiction in their superheroics.
The casual reader of Stark After Dark might get the impression that I follow more comics than I actually do (perhaps because of my girls of comics?). Now it is true that I am aware of a wide range of comics – and that I read about (or read up on) comics, particularly with their cinematic or screen incarnations. (As for the latter, it’s my quip that I’ll see any film that’s adapted from a comic – or could be made into one). I have a love of the medium and will have a look at anything in it, although I actually read only a few comics and I actively follow even fewer of them, almost entirely outside mainstream DC Comics or Marvel – notably 2000 AD, which is not even American but British, published by Rebellion Developments and which I diligently read in digital editions each week.
It’s probably not necessary to state what comics are – although it is difficult to provide a definition that encompasses or captures the essence of all the medium – but perhaps it is necessary to state what comics can be. Comics are typically identified as being childish or adolescent, and indeed they often are – but then, what form of entertainment isn’t? To quote Sturgeon’s Law, 90% of everything is crap.
However, even at their lowest common denominator, comics have always been mythic – particularly superhero comics, which have virtually created a modern pantheon. I’d venture that the basic details of the character of Superman or Batman are better known than most founding religious figures (as well as embodying many of their characteristics) – and certainly better known than figures from classical literature or mythology, which until recently used to be the distinctive hallmark of Western education. Indeed, it would be a simple matter to swap the Justice League for the Olympian pantheon.
And at their highest, comics have matured, particularly in the quality of writing – notably from about the 1980’s (although that is not to discount quality writing before then), such that the term graphic novels tends to be substituted for comic books.
As a special feature, here’s an index of my pages for my top tens of comics (which can also be accessed through my blog menu):
Top 10 Comics (Special Mention)
Top 10 Comics (Honorable Mention)