Various (Ed: Paul Gravett) - The Mammoth Book of Best Crime Comics
Lead by Frank Miller’s nightmare-noir Sin City series, crime comics are enjoying a resurgence in creativity and popularity the like of which hasn’t been seen since the genre dominated the American newspaper ‘funnies’ in the 1930s. Which makes this ‘best of’ anthology very timely. Except, the 25 strips curated by comics aficionado Paul Gravett hardly constitute the best the genre has to offer. While there are some classics – Will Eisner’s groundbreaking The Spirit, Max Allan Collins’ femme dick Ms Tree – and a few gems – Jack Cole’s bonkers ‘Murder, Morphine and Me’, EC Comics supreme Johnny Craig’s ‘The Sewer’ – there are plenty of obvious omissions, among them David Lapham’s Stray Bullets, Brian Michael Bendis’ Torso and Brian Azzarello and Eduardo Risso’s 100 Bullets, all of those titles easily rivalling Miller’s work (also not included herein). Still, the collection remains a useful introduction to what’s currently a trailblazing genre.