If there’s one thing we’ve learned from our years on the Internet, it’s that there’s no aspect of comics that can’t be broken down and quantified in a single definitive list, preferably in amounts of five or ten. And since there’s no more definitive authority than ComicsAlliance, we’re taking it upon ourselves to compile Top Five lists of everything you could ever want to know about comics.

These days, if people remember that they still make newspaper comics at all, they probably think of gag-a-day humor strips, like Garfield, or one of the few remaining soap opera strips, like Apartment 3G, or whatever Mark Trail is. But in the 1930s and '40s, the adventure strip ruled the roost. Two-fisted men and women sockin' jaws, flyin' planes, and rightin' wrongs, three panels at a time. This video counts down five of the best, most exciting, and most beautifully rendered adventure strips of all time.

Show notes:

  • This list is pretty much limited to straightforward adventure stuff. The more slapsticky, humor-laden strips like Popeye and Mickey Mouse will be covered in another video at some other time.
  • Winsor McCay's Little Nemo in Slumberland, while undoubtedly one of the finest comic strips of all time, is pretty much a fantasy strip, and Nemo is never really in real peril, and whimsy is the appeal of the strip, so, no, it didn't make this list. These are the kinds of hard calls you have to make with a top five.
  • Anyway, vague descriptions for the links again so that the video isn't spoiled.
  • Honorable mentions can be found here, here, here, here, and here.
  • Number five is collected in a lovely set of hardcovers starting here.
  • Number four is also collected in a lovely series of hardcovers, starting here.
  • Number three is getting its own series of lovely hardcovers as well. The first one just came out and here it is.
  • Great news for your wallet! You can get all of number two in one volume, here.
  • Surprise! A lovely set of hardcovers for number one, starting here.

 

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