Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Odds and Sods

Comic Book Resources has started a new series of articles, titled "Best 100 Comics of 2008," which vividly illustrates the hazards of a mostly genre-focused outlet attempting to compile a comprehensive list. Please believe me that I'm not trying to be snarky here. This really is what the list says so far.

In Part 1, we learn that Green Lantern Corps is better than Nate Powell's Swallow Me Whole. Also, G.I. Joe: America's Elite beats Matthew Loux's Salt Water Taffy. New Avengers is better than all of the above, but not as good as Jason Lutes' Berlin or Brian Wood and Ryan Kelly's Local. Justice League of America and Green Arrow/Black Canary are much better than the latter two, on the other hand.

Part 2 goes on to establish that Dave Sim's Glamourpuss is better than Tiny Titans, but not as good as The Walking Dead, and all three are inferior to Marvel's Nova. Ed Brubaker's Captain America and Brad Meltzer's DC Universe: Last Will and Testament are superior to Hope Larson's Chiggers, John Pham's Sublife and Terry Moore's Echo, on the other hand. Kramers Ergot Vol. 7 is better than The Amazing Spider-Girl, you'll be relieved to hear. But the finest, the absolute best among all those comics listed to date, is Punisher War Journal.

Again, I'm not trying to be snarky. That's what the list says. You can place your bets right now that Blue Beetle is going to kick Kramers Ergot's ass.

(Edit, December 31: See, I was right. Also, Secret Invasion and Final Crisis: Requiem are superior to Ganges.)

In related news, the online department of German newspaper Die Zeit has demonstrated that polling your audience can produce similarly astounding results. In December, they asked their readership for the best records of the year. When the poll closed a week later, they had received a sobering 230 replies that favored 137 different records. And the three winners weren't TV on the Radio, Vampire Weekend or Santogold, but Thomas Godoj, Daniel Küblböck and Fady Maalouf.

Now, if you haven't heard these names before, that's because they're all participants in Deutschland sucht den Superstar, the German version of American Idol (or Pop Idol, if you're British). Evidently, the article says, the poll was hijacked by fans of the show.

Admirably, the author, Rabea Weihser, puts a good face on the proceedings and explains all this patiently before dutifully going down the list. (Runners-up are Portishead, Sigur Rós and Fleet Foxes, in case you were wondering, so it seems there were some people who took the poll seriously, at least.) Given the tiny number of participants in the poll and the botched results, I wouldn't be surprised if the whole affair had just been quietly swept under the rug.

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