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Five For Friday #64—Talking the Talk
posted February 17, 2006

Name Five Great Pieces of Comics Criticism

1. Bob Levin on Jack Katz and First Kingdom
2. Rob Rodi on Garth Ennis' work
3. Donald Phelps on Smokey Stover
4. The "Master Race" Essay by John Benson, Bhob Stewart and Art Spiegelman
5. Carter Scholz's Seduction of the Ignorant

thanks to Chris Mautner

This subject is now closed. Thanks to the participants!

Jeet Heer

1. Mike Barrier's critical biography of Carl Barks.
2. Robert Fiore on Crumb and Music.
3. Dan Raeburn on Chris Ware.
4. Douglas Wolk on Dave Sim.
5. Manny Farber on Nancy.


Art Baxter

1. JESSE MARSH by Alex Toth (Panels #2)
2. MISTAH KURTZ, HE DEAD by R. Fiore (TCJ #163)
4. Page by page analysis of Kirby's NEW GODS #6 "The Glory Boat" by Charles Hatfield, Richard Kyle and Adam McGovern (JKC #24)
5. YOU GUYS NEED TO GET LAID by Heidi MacDonald (TCJ #200)


Michael Grabowski

My kingdom for a Comics Journal index or article database.

1. Dale Luciano on Yummy Fur in TCJ (mid-80s).
2. Any of Eddie Campbell's articles on comics from Bacchus, Egomania, and TCJ.
3. Gary Groth on Will Eisner's late 80s work in TCJ (1988?).
4. Dave Sim's comments about A Contract With God in Following Cerebus #4.
5. Ng Suat Tong on Kurtzman's war comics in TCJ (2003).


Stephen Frug

*Special All-McCLoud Edition!*

(1) McCloud, Understanding Comics (c'mon, how can this not top every list?)
(2) Dylan Horrocks, "Inventing Comics: Scott McCloud's Definition of Comics" (available on his web site here)
(3) Samuel R. Delany's essay on McCloud in his essay collection Shorter Views
(4) McCloud, Reinventing Comics (underrated in my opinion)

...and, just to add in a few others:

(5) Geoff Klock, How to Read Superhero Comics and Why (Harold Bloom meets Planetary. 'nuff said.)
(6) Thierry Groensteen, "Un premier bouquet de contraintes", partial translation by Matt Madden here:
-- not quite criticism as such, but mind-expanding writing on comics, so I'll count it. Madden's recent 99 Ways to Tell a Story can be looked at as a translation of that list into comics...

There. That's either four or six, depending on how you count. Average the two, and I did five!


Christopher Duffy

In no particular order
1. James Witek--"Comics As History"
2. "The Rhetoric of the Image" by Roland Barthes
3. Mark Newgarden's essay on Bushmiller's Nancy (his own Love's Savage Fury is kind of an essay too)
4. Alan Moore on Jaime's Locas as a "liveable world"...I forget where this ran! As an intro to one of the collections?
5. That recent essay on race in Krazy Kat...not able to recall the author, but it was very well written
and...I beg you to allow me:
6. James Agee essays on Silent Film...not comics, but it should be held up as an example of unpretentious, well-written essay-writing on characters in visual media