Saturday, January 16, 2010

Best Comics of 2009, cont.

I wrote my own "Best of 2009" list here, and one caveat I made was that there were many highly regarded comics I had not read, either because I hadn't seen them yet (but surely intended to read them when I did) or because I just didn't bother.

The blogger at I Love Rob Liefeld has gathered all the best-of lists he could find to create what he calls a "Best Comics of 2009 Meta-List." It has 100 entries (although it only counts the top 97, due to ties). He used 130 lists to compile this meta-list.

First of all, this list tells me how much I didn't read last year. Of the 100 listed here, I had read 27 (including only 5 of his top 10) when I compiled my list. Even weirder (to me) is that there are five in my top 15 that don't make the meta-list at all! They are Little Orphan Annie vol. 3, Journey vol. 2, Dick Tracy vol. 8, Multiforce, and Map of My Heart. Their exclusion from the list makes me doubt its usefulness as an actual record of the best of the best. A critical consensus that says that there were 100 comics better than those in Little Orphan Annie vol. 3 is just plain wrong.

That said, I plan to dig into the list and read at least some of the titles that I seem to have overlooked. I already have read Footnotes in Gaza and am reading the big Alec book (I'm fairly sure I've read it all before in various forms). These were two that were published after I wrote my list. I also read the first volumes of 20th Century Boys and Pluto, and the first two of Scott Pilgrim. Footnotes in Gaza and Alec belong on the top 100 list (indeed, probably the top 10). I'm less sure about the others, which had their virtues but didn't blow me away. I will be reading more of Pluto and 20th Century Boys--they are both intriguing series. While I recognize the quality and verve of Scott Pilgrim, I feel too old for it. And it just seems a bit slight. It is clever, though, and well-drawn.

As I read more from the meta-list, I'll mention them here. I am certainly not going to read all the books (there is a Batman series at 15 (!) on the list--all I can say is that at the age of 46, I just have zero desire to read about a man who dresses in a leotard and leather mask and beats up criminals... I read enough of those comics, and so I am exercising my perogative to not care.)

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