Friday, January 02, 2009

My Top 10 vs. CBR Top 100

CBR has posted the final batch of its Top 100 Comics of 2008, and I thought it might be interesting to see how my votes compared to the final tally. Please note that the Top 10 I voted for is slightly different than the Top 10 I listed in my WWC column because, for the CBR voting, I wanted to include some things that I ranked in my Best Collected Editions list. I don't know if that makes any sense, but that's what I did, so Local and Omega bumped Bottomless Belly Button and Hellboy out of my Top 10 for voting purposes.

Anyway, here's what I submitted for the voting, with each comic's final CBR rank in parenthesis:

#10 Marvel 1985 (Didn't make CBR's Top 100)
#9 Powr Mastrs (#96 on CBR)
#8 Local (#89 on CBR)
#7 Omega the Unknown (#15 on CBR)
#6 Criminal (#2 on CBR)
#5 Batman (#11 on CBR)
#4 Scalped (#3 on CBR)
#3 Acme Novelty Library (#12 on CBR)
#2 All-Star Superman (#1 on CBR)
#1 Casanova (#13 on CBR)

CBR's Top 100 list is all in fun, and it gives a wide range of contributors a chance to make their case for the best comics of the year. I'm really surprised not a single person besides me voted for Marvel 1985, which is Millar's best work of the year, and looks absolutely gorgeous thanks to Tommy Lee Edwards. I think it will have a much longer shelf life in hardcover/tpb form than much of the other stuff in the Top 100.

It's nice to see that everything in my Top 7 made the CBR Top 15, and I was glad (and surprised, but mostly glad) to see Scalped ranked even higher on the consensus list than on my list. I've been a champion of Scalped since the beginning, and I hope it sticks around for a long, long time. Hopefully it's extremely high ranking on this list will prompt more readers to give it a shot.

I just can't help but be a bit critical about some of the choices on the list. It's all subjective, I realize, but the voting was based on submitted Top 10 lists, and here are some of the comics I cannot believe were on ANYONE'S Top 10: Booster Gold (#17[!] on CBR, and completely mediocre by any standard), Madame Xanadu (#30 on CBR, and I know Andy Khouri likes this one a lot, but I gave it four issues and I thought it was cliche-ridden nonsense with pretty art), Final Crisis: Rogue's Revenge (#39 on CBR, and, I mean, it was fine for what it was, but how was it on anyone's Top 10?), Family Dynamic (#53 on CBR, and, sure, it was under-promoted and axed too early, but that doesn't make it a great comic), Trinity (#57 on CBR, and keep in mind that all of these comics ranked way higher than Local), and I could go on, but I won't. If you think any of these comics are honestly better than anything that ended up in the CBR Top 10, please feel free to try to convert me. Because I just don't see how it's possible.

But, no matter how much I may disagree with the final tally (and, really, the Top 20 is mostly filled with excellent stuff that I would highly recommend, so there's not much to complain about -- except Booster damn Gold), I love this kind of thing, and I'm glad I could be a part of it. Gotta love the lists!


Chad Nevett said...

I was surprised by some of the choices and where they ranked as well, especially when stuff I really enjoyed was lower than the crap that is Trinity or Kick-Ass. But, that's the way it goes. I can't complain too much when six of my picks make the top 20 (seven if you count the one book that I added to my top ten since redoing the list). I almost wish they'd publish the top ten lists submitted--which is something that some magazines do and I always enjoy more than the consensus list as it gives me an idea of who likes what a lot more.

*stepho* said...

This year's format was a bit of an experiment for CBR. The method of voting was one I borrowed from my old job at Sony. I worked for a website sort of similar to CBR but for music, and our staff put together the Best of the Year list in the same way. The music list fell into line without much shock and awe and followed closely the lists of most other sites and magazines; people obviously approached their choices with a critical eye, you know?

I think what we underestimated this time was the comics staff's wildly diverse opinions and occasionally activist attitudes. That a book like Spider-Girl or Trinity -- enjoyable as they may be-- made it on CBR's list is (in my opinion, of course) an indication of a small systemic flaw. Some people were obviously voting for their pet books.

I still think this is a better way to do it than each contributor making their own list and then throwing a shitload of lists at the readers to sort out, But we'll need to refine it with some editorial oversight next year.

But Booster Gold and Madame Xanadu R teh shit!!!111

andy khouri said...

Oh, oops. My girlfriend forgot to log out of Blogger and I accidentally made the above comment using her account.


Chad Nevett said...

Yeah, there is a problem with tons of lists--which does work better in a magazine where they're spread out over an entire issue, one or two at the bottom of each page instead of on a single web-page. Everything else, though, comes down to the standard conflict of subjective opinions--of which I'm always right, of course. ;)

Shecky Shabazz said...

I think it's strange that Ganges didn't rate higher. Issue number 2 is the best single comic of the year as far as I'm concerned (that said, I have not read Casanova #14, but I read the first trade and found it good, but not excellent). I think Huizenga is extremely underrated. His Jeepers Jacobs story from a couple of years back is quite possible the best comics story I've read this decade. Now if only he could draw faster . . . !

David Uzumeri said...

One of the most interesting things about the CBR list was the internal guessing-game of how things got where they were - I mean, I read enough CBR to have an idea of most of the reviewers/columnists and their voices, so I was pretty sure Booster Gold's place in the top 20, for instance, was largely motivated by Doug Zawisza (although that's just a guess). Either way, despite a few head-scratchers, it's still probably the best of these kinds of lists I've seen so far for 2008.

andy khouri said...

I am genuinely surprised to hear that Tim dislikes BOOSTER GOLD so much. I have been amazed by how fun AND funny it's been since the beginning. I find the premise of Booster Gold constantly proving himself to be the greatest and most important figure in the DC Universe but nobody knowing it to be endlessly amusing. The Blue Beetle arc was so heartwarming -- and a bit meta, with Booster reacting to a crossover event's mandate that Beetle die by saying FUCK THAT and doing everything he could to undo it. And it's obviously full of treats for longtime DC readers. Dan Jurgens is also one of my favorite creators, and his artwork has never looked better than in this series.

I've no choice but to conclude that TIm is what the kids call "a hater", and that his vicious attacks on BOOSTER are the consequence of some personal conflict he is unable to resolve.

Tim, I am here to talk whenever you need me.

Timothy Callahan said...

Clearly I'm projecting my own personal father issues/time travel problems/history with sports gambling onto my loathing for BG. Andy, I'll give you a call so you can talk me off the ledge.

Actually, I have read every issue of BG, and I think it's a completely average DC comic. I like the premise more than the execution, and within the last 6 months, we were subjected to two terrible Chuck Dixon fill-ins, and two of the worst issues Rick Remender has ever written. And Dan Jurgens is a decent artist, but he's like DC's version of Mark Bagley -- he can tell a story, but without much style (although now that Mark Bagley IS DC's Mark Bagley, that analogy makes no sense whatsoever, and BG is far superior to Trinity, that's for sure).

And, for the record, I am fine with ridiculous picks showing up on the Top 100, because then we have something to talk about.