The best comics of the ’00s | Best Of The Decade | Comics Panel | The A.V. Club
An interesting list. The problem with this sort of project is that a) you will ALWAYS forget something amazing (like Scott Pilgrim) and b) everyone has a favorite you will overlook (like Scott Pilgrim).
The list isn't too surprising. You have your All-Star Superman, your Bone, your Blankets. You have a bunch of the critical favorites like Pyonyang and Persepolis. But then you also get a few oddballs beauties, like Kupperman's "Tales Designed to Thrizzle."
Achewood, Chris Onstad (achewood.com, 2001-present)
This was the decade when webcomics tried to step up and prove they deserve a place alongside the great newspaper strips of the past, but Chris Onstad’s Achewood is one of the few that’s proven worthy of the challenge. Hiding some powerfully good storytelling behind simple art, Achewood quickly evolved from a reliably funny gag strip to a still funny but surprisingly deep character-driven comedy that’s stayed sharp no matter what bizarre direction it’s veered in. Ray and Roast Beef, the central funny-animal protagonists—human-like in their bad behavior, if nothing else—form the strip’s spine, and Onstad has found humor and meaning in their enjoyably quirky argot and exploration of the meaning of adult friendships. When he wants to go for more broad or surreal humor, he’s been able to draw on a bench of supporting characters as deep as any great sitcom’s.
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Comics fans learned a long time ago not to count out Alan Moore, so it’s no surprise that the man considered by many to be the greatest writer in the history of the medium was responsible for an ongoing comics series of exceptional quality this decade. What is surprising is how the series developed. Originally intended as Moore’s sophisticated riff on Wonder Woman, Promethea was an exceptional superhero comic from the start, but Moore grew bored with it. So rather than continuing to crank out stories in a more-or-less traditional format—or abandoning the book altogether—Moore decided to turn Promethea into a freewheeling exegesis on magic, philosophy, transcendental spirituality, and the nature of fiction. Moore’s scripts grew ever more discursive, and artist J.H. Williams III shadowed him every step of the way, providing innovative, experimental visuals that helped turn the stories into something much more symbolic and meaningful than some didactic lecture on mysticism. Like the best of Moore’s work, Promethea began somewhere familiar, and landed somewhere far stranger.