Not the Best -- The Hooded Utilitarian
Would you believe it was about criticism of literary comics--and *only* literary comics--from 2000 to 2008? And that it excludes manga, online comics, online critics (!), and superheroes entirely?
Honorary Mojonaut Berlatksy breaks it down.
If you’ll look closely, you’ll see it’s not called, “Literary Comics, Literary Criticism, 2000-2008.” Hell, it’s not even called, “Best American Comics Criticism, 2000-2008.” It’s called, and I quote, “Best American Comics Criticism.” Period. No dates. No caveats. Just “Best American Comics Criticism.”
Now, if you title a book “Best American Comics Criticism,” I think your readers are entitled to assume that it is a book comprising the best comics criticism written in america. Not the best comics criticism written about the comics you happen to think are important. Not the best comics criticism written between 2000-2008. Just the best american comics criticism. Because that’s what it says on the title, you know?
Of course, I understand how these things happen. Schwartz and/or Fanta wanted to create a book focusing on the lit comics revolution they care about, without having to think about manga or on-line comics or random comics criticism written 50 years ago by god knows who and lord knows who holds the rights. But they figured that a book called “Literary Comics, Literary Criticism, 2000-2008″ would sound like it was created by a bunch of boring, insular stuffed shirts who rarely peer over the towering castle walls of the luxurious Fanta compound. So they figured, “you know, if we call this Best American Comics,” it’ll sound like all those other “Best American” books, and people will buy it because they like Best American things — and, what the hell, literary comics are the best anyway, and only the best people write about them, so it isn’t like we’re lying really.”