That’s one frustrating thing about the top 100: how little of it is available to the public. There is only a single volume in print sampling George Herriman’s 30-plus years of “Krazy Kat.” Cliff Sterrett’s “Polly and Her Pals” (#18), Frank King’s “Gasoline Alley” (#29), and Saul Steinberg’s The Passport (#67) are flat-out impossible to come by. A good chunk of the list can only be found in brief excerpts, or in expensive archival hardcovers, or by scouring back-issue bins. Why does America treat one of its great art forms this way? Is it an accident of birth— the way comics have mostly been printed to be thrown away? Is it that they were originally children’s entertainment, and can’t seem to shake off that reputation? Or is it just the sheer volume of garish crap that’s made “comic book” a synonym for “puerile and dumb”? How can the good stuff be plucked out and preserved?
Other quotes from Douglas Wolk.