Following up on yesterday’s list of 10 Essential Films from the American Neo-Noir Movement, it isn’t much of a stretch to turn our spotlight on crime comics. Richard Keller at CBR compiled his list of The Most Influential Crime Comics Of All Time. Keller’s list is a good one. Before you click over, here are my thoughts on his selections and a few not on his list that are favorites of mine…
Dick Tracy: As a kid I read Dick Tracy comic strips off and on. As an adult I’ve read some Dick Tracy comics (notably those by Kyle Baker and Michael Avon Oeming), but Dick Tracy has never been a character I’ve held dear. I wouldn’t mind someday reading some of the old Dick Tracy comic strips.
The Spirit: Will Eisner’s The Spirit is considered one of the classic comics by nearly everyone. Eisner’s work on The Spirit is cited as an influence by many, many great artists. I’ve read and enjoyed a cross-section of The Spirit comics, but not nearly enough. I need to remedy that. (Oh, and if all you know about Will Eisner’s The Spirit is the movie… you don’t know The Spirit.)
Crime Does Not Pay: I’ve never read any of these comics as they were well before my time. Perhaps I should try to find reprints.
True Crime Comics: Like Crime Does Not Pay, these comics were before my time and I’ve never read any.
Crime SuspenStories: Although also well before my time, I would like to read these EC comics. I’ve toyed with getting the reprints but have never, uh, pulled the trigger. I should.
Sin City: As most of you probably know, Frank Miller’s Sin City comics are my favorite series of all-time. If you like film noir, Mickey Spillane, tough mugs and sexy dames, then these are the comic yarns for you!
Sam & Twitch: I’ve never read any Sam & Twitch comics. Reading Keller’s write-up, I need to change that.
100 Bullets: A classic crime comic where the story was a great as the art. I loved that it was always scheduled for 100 issues and when the story was told, the comic ended… at 100 issues.
Powers: Where the focus is on the cops in a world of super-heroes. I’m a fan.
Stumptown: I haven’t read the comics. That needs to change.
Keller’s list provided me with some crime comics I need to track down. Here are a few I’d recommend that didn’t make his list…
The Black Terror, Seduction of Deceit written by Charles Smith, Beau Dixon, with art by Daniel Brereton. If you liked The Godfather and the tv series Wiseguy then this is for you!
Scalped written by Jason Aaron and illustrated by R. M. Guéra, Scalped is a modern day western where organized crime has moved onto a fictional Indian Reservation.
Gravedigger written by Christopher Mills with art by Rick Burchett. Sadly there are only two Gravedigger tales, but they should be in every crime comic fan’s collection. The stories are collected in the trade Gravedigger: Hot Women and Cold Cash.