Yesterday I posted my declaration of the American Comic Canon, and the comments have been great. I fully expect my Canon to spark debate and discussion, and it already has.
For the record, here's what's been suggested as essential additions to the Canon, followed by my brief rebuttal:
1. Thomas Nast added to Early Comic Strips
--I say yes, although I know very little about Nast. From what I do know, he sounds like an influential pioneer, and that's important to have at the beginning of the Canon, at least for historical perspective. Perhaps he doesn't belong because he doesn't do sequential work, though. What do you think?
2. Teen Titans, Uncanny X-Men, and Squadron Supreme moved from Bronze Age to the Modern Age (and, Squadron Supreme was actually my own suggestion as an addition, but the request to move it to the later era belonged to a reader).
--I say no, because the Titans, X-Men, and Squadron Supreme are the logical conclusion to the promise of the Bronze Age. Squadron Supreme, in particular, takes the O'Neil/Adams formula and projects it onto a larger stage. It, along with the other two titles, are the perfect end point for the Bronze Age. (And, in retrospect, I think I should add Squadron Supreme into that Bronze Age category.)
3. Walt Simonson's Thor added to the Modern Age
--I say no, although Simonson is a wonderful artist. I just don't think this one makes the cut as a singular work, although some of Simonson's page layouts are innovative enough to make it a close call.
4. John Byrne's Fantastic Four added to the Modern Age
--I say no, it's not even close. In many ways, Byrne's FF is a mashup of Silver Age plots with Bronze Age characterizations, and it's not truly representative of the promise of the Modern Era
5. Frank Miller's Ronin added to the Modern Age
--I say no, because Miller is overly represented as it is. Ronin is clearly a transformative work for Miller and you can see him literally progressing to a new style over the course of the book. It's him shedding his Daredevil skin and preparing for Dark Knight Returns, and it's an essential link between the two, but I don't think it stands on its own as canonical.
6. Chester Brown or Seth added to the Modern Age
--I say yes, but I don't know which work(s) I would add. I seriously considered Clyde Fans, by Seth, as an original addition to the list, but it's incomplete. I think he may have a masterpiece that will yet emerge. Chester Brown is important, but what's his major work? I honestly don't know. Suggestions?
7. Cerebus moved from Bronze Age to the Modern Age
--I say yes, definitely. The best, most important Cerebus stuff was during the mid to late 1980s, and it was high Modernist in style and content. I only placed it in the Bronze Age as a kind of bridge between the Undergrounds to the Moderns, but that's not fair to Cerebus.
8. The Authority added to the Modern Age
--I say yes, for two reasons. 1) Even though it's not truly an Image book, it represents the logical outgrowth of the Image approach to super-heroes, and it's worthy of inclusion as a kind of pinnacle of that sub-era, and 2) the comic has influenced other super-hero comics ever since its release.
What do you say? What else did I leave out? What should be removed? How many is too many? Do you love comics as much as I do?
EDITED TO ADD: Abhay has joined the fray HERE.