1001 Comics You Must Read Before You Die: The Ultimate Guide to Comic Books, Graphic Novels, and Manga - Paul Gravett, Terry Gilliam, Marc Weidenbaum
Alright, I did it, and after borrowing it twice from the library to read it, I "read" what I could stomach, and tried to speed through - yes, skimming - what seemed to be useless or uninteresting. Although this book does, indeed, have it's "moments" where I felt that I had, indeed, discovered something that sounded interesting (you can find the stuff that I think I may enjoy in my To-Read list), if I was being kind, I would say that 1/5 of the contents of the book sounds either as though I can find it still in print, period, interesting to my own tastes (of which I believe I can fairly say that there are VERY wide margins of) and can be found in damn ENGLISH. That's about four and a half pages between every entry that I even want to go through the trouble of reading, if I spaced it all out equally.

Perhaps I need to further illustrate the problem here - this book is massive. So very large that even a very weak Paul Sheldon could crack open Annie Wilks' skull with a bit of force and luck.

A book this size, it had better have a good reason to take up at least three other normal sized books' space on someone's probably strained and filled-to-bursting book shelf. Let me also make one other thing clear - I am not being unfair that when I state that this book has already written a check to the reader, even before they crack it open.

"1001 Comics" - now, already, we have to assume a couple of things, based on these two words alone. A large amount of material to be considered, probably far more than you could swallow in three days, maybe even a week, if you had other stuff to do besides reading. The second word here is Comics - the stuff you buy in dark little stores with giant Silver Surfer statues that come in some rather flimsy paper.

Alright, the rest of the title itself is pretty easy to discuss. "You Must Read Before You Die." I would argue this is the most crucially important element contained in the title that sets the mood of the thing as a whole. There should be a lot of gushing, unabashed personal favorites and, most of all, there should be quality in the entries.

Then we get to the small print: The Ultimate Guide to Comic Books, Graphic Novels and Manga. Look, if you DIDN'T want to talk just about the thin stuff with cheap paper that you buy wrapped in plastic protectant, then call the book by its more proper title - 1001 Pieces of Graphic Literature you Must Read Before You Die. There; a simple fix for a dumb as all hell oversight.

Whoo. When we get to the first entries in the book, we run into our first couple of problems:

a. Most of these are not shit that you would call, "Must Read Before You Die" material, and I would not call something like "Moon Mulligans" shit I would regret not having read on my deathbed. If YOU would, please do not associate with me.

b. Good luck finding some of this shit! In print or on the internet, some of this is impossible to find. I sincerely think that some of these dickless contributors put shit in here, because of the fact that you cannot find a good chunk of this shit ANYWHERE, so who the fuck would you be to say that their choices are borderline retarded, if you can't read it yourself?

The problems only grow and multiply as the book goes on. Frankly, the weight of the contributors' pretentiousness causes the whole thing to collapse under its own weight like a dying star.

A major problem that becomes so bad that I began to flip furiously through this thing is that the stuff they push as being "Must Reads" are the sort of material that what I call Comic Book Apologists material. They went far enough to dip their toes into the medium, but can't be seen reading Marvel. Yes, I understand that "Weapon X" was included in the book, but where was Old Man Logan, the Marvel Civil War or some damn Deadpool - ANY Deadpool?

The stuff that's in a completely different language begins to overtake a good deal of entries - which simply boggles my mind to no end. No; I am not saying that I am against reading Manga or anything originally written in another language - this shit has NO known translation in English, which leaves me to wonder just what the fuck the contributors were thinking when they completely disregarded the fact that their audience - English readers - could not possibly read some of their contributions. It's like eating chocolate in front of a diabetic, offering it to them, and then snatching the chocolate away, once they give in to their desires. And it is, ultimately, the completely inexcusable problem with this collection.

I know I complained in another user's review that there seemed to be no entry for "The Walking Dead," but, after having trolled through this tired collection, I did eventually find it. After finding that entry, however, I was left more than a little surprised when I found that there was no entry for Locke & Key.

Possibly the best series that I have ever laid my hands on, and no entry for it in, "1001 Comics YOU MUST READ BEFORE YOU DIE."

Sincerely, and from the bottom of my heart, you may all go fuck yourselves.

If you are looking for a book to help you get started in the area of comic books, you couldn't make a worse decision than wasting time with this self-loathing, pretentious, un-spell-checked, mess, and you couldn't hurt yourself by reading a few lists here on Goodreads for a place to start.