Saturday, March 1, 2008

A few notes on you know what

Okay, so the big list is up. I actually could have gone about 350 titles deeper, but there would have been more and more ties like the big one at #83. And I think 100 is a little easier to digest. If there's enough call for more info, I'll supply it. But 100 seems like a lot to chew on for now.

I'll probably devote most of next week's posts to breaking down the list a little further. Of greatest interest, at least to me, are the "mainstream" and comics-oriented lists, which might reveal some useful trends. I'll probably have something to say about the lack of manga on the list, even though Jog already made a lot of the points I was going to make (and a few that hadn't occurred to me--as is always the case with Jog's posts, it's well worth your time). There's also the issue of superhero titles and superhero fans' reaction (see comments on Blog@Newsarama).

For anyone who's wondering, I'm tentatively planning on doing this again next year. As I've alluded to here in the past, there are big (and positive) life changes afoot, so I'm going to be in a very different place (figuratively and literally) in late 2008/early 2009. But I still think I'll be able to churn out another meta-list. Making the list really wasn't as much work as some folks have suggested--once Chad provided a formula, it was pretty smooth sailing. And you have to bear in mind that I had a pretty big cushion of time--I first mentioned that I'd be making the list in early January, and I didn't finish until late February. I'll have an even bigger cushion next year; I'll just enter the lists as I see them, when they first start popping up in November or so.

I will be making a few changes next year, though, mostly in the realm of better record keeping. Several people have asked me for a master list of the various lists I used. I don't have one; it just didn't occur to me until well into the process. I'd like this process to be as transparent as possible, so I'll keep a running tally next year. I'd also like to include more specialized lists next year--there are relatively few manga- or superhero-only lists, not really enough to make me confident in any conclusions I might draw from them. The manga thing could probably be solved easily enough, but I'm not sure what to do about the superhero dilemma. I just didn't see that many top ten (or whatever) lists out there. Most of the superhero-centric best of 2007 features tended to be in more of an awards show format, with specific categories and whatnot. Some of these lists are usable (like Don MacPherson's), but others are not. If anyone has any suggestions about improving this aspect of the coverage, please let me know.

Thanks to everyone who helped out. I'm gratified that there's so much enthusiasm about the meta-list. I know I'd be interested in a project like this if someone else were doing it, and I'm glad that other people seem to think the same way. Analysis of comics-related discourse often steers toward snark (and I'm as guilty of this as anybody), but I think there's a lot of thoughtful stuff out there amid the exaggerated rhetoric and grudge-bearing. Hopefully this list illuminates some of that useful discourse, and will inspire more of the same.

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