Grotesque Anatomy
Tuesday, October 28, 2003
  Loading The Canon
About a week ago I wrote an entry discussing Steve Higgins' call for a Comic Book Canon.  Since then, Steve has gone on to take a stab at putting together his list of recommended classics (not a permalink).  I haven't made any progress in assembling a list of my own, but a couple readers did point out several resources that might prove helpful:  Sequential Tart's Recommended Reading Lists; Friends of Lulu's Recommended Reading Lists; Comics Worth Reading's List of...Comics Worth Reading; and the Artbomb site (thanks to Jason Kimble and Johanna Draper Carlson for the links).  One book that seems to pop up on almost everyone's list is Watchmen.  In fact, Eve Tushnet suggests Watchmen is worthy of inclusion in "not solely the comics canon, which is boringly obvious, but the ultimate canon where all art forms converge."  I guess if there's one book that's sure to make everyone's list, it would be Watchmen, right?  Well, maybe not.  I recently stumbled upon this review of the comic book classic from Steven Berg.  Unlike most comic readers, Steven does not appear to be an unqualified fan of Moore's work (Steven does like League of Extraordinary Gentlemen considerably more than Watchmen, and From Hell even more than that, so it's not as though Steven is a simple Moore basher, either).  Although I count myself among the legion of Watchmen fans, I thought Steven raised some interesting points, so I'll reproduce his "bullet-list review" (yes! bullet points!!) and respond to his criticisms in bold.  I've reproduced the main body of Steven's criticism below, but I've touched up some misspellings (it's Dr. Manhattan, not Manhatten) and I've replaced all nongendered pronouns with their more traditional counterparts:
Is this a mark of a classic–to be generating commentary and controversy years after it was written?  Or are we only proving Jess Lemon's point for her? ("Find something new to analyze to death, you blasted fanboys!")  I'll have to find something else–something recent–to pore over...
Like Unto A Thing Of Irony!

Iron Fist

by John Jakala

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