Wednesday, December 10, 2008

First roundup of best of 2008 lists

Great thanks to those who have been sending me links to best of 2008 lists. As we move deeper into December, we'll certainly start to see more and more of these things. I've determined that the most effective way for me to compile these lists is to post periodic updates to my list database. This should serve a few functions. First, it will allow anyone who wonders if I've missed a recent list the opportunity to see what I've compiled so far; plus, you can leave links to missing lists in the comments. Second, it allows me to discuss in a public forum the process of determining which lists will and won't be used in the final meta-list tally. Finally, those looking for a clearinghouse of year in review-type lists can find them here.

I'll be updating this list at least once a week, probably more often as we start seeing a deluge of new lists after Christmas. I'll put new lists in bold as I add them to the database.

And, as a reminder, here are my criteria for being included in this project:

-list must contain no fewer than five items and no more than fifty
-list must be a general best-of list, not a series of categorical awards like "best superhero book," "best children's book," etc.
-list must not be limited to superhero comics, manga, major publishers, etc.
-I don't include votes for things like "everything Warren Ellis wrote in 2008"
-when a list includes a vote for a title which came out in a year prior to 2008, I usually tally everything like I normally would; it's rare that there are enough votes for an out-of-date item for it to crack the top 100

If you dislike these criteria, you may find some comfort in this call for affirmative action for superhero books in best of lists. Does the last issue of Love and Rockets count?

Here are the lists so far:

GENERAL INTEREST LISTS (lists from newspapers, websites, or other media outlets which cover a wide range of subjects beyond comics):
Amazon
Daily Vanguard (Portland State University)
New York Magazine
NPR
Publishers Weekly

COMICS-FOCUSED LISTS (lists from blogs, websites, or publications devoted to comics):
Doane, Alan David (kind of an unclear format for ranking, but Alan and I have talked and he's instructed me in how he wants his vote tallied)

Harbin, Dustin

QUESTIONABLE:
The Independent (Seems to have an awful lot of books from before 2008--Sleepwalk? Embroideries?--which might reflect new British editions, but I'm skeptical. Comics and Sequential Art seriously never came out in the UK before 2008? Just seems like a lazy list.)

St. Louis Today (Includes one from 2007, which reduces the list down to a total of four, below the minimum threshold. I'll probably include it in the final tally, and ignore the votes for Laika.)

Douglas Wolk (I think this is a gift guide, not a best-of list?)

WILL NOT USE:
Talbot, Bryan (too short, includes stuff from 2007)

3 comments:

Chad Nevett said...

Here's a question (prefaced by some statements):

I do reviews for CBR where I've been asked to contribute a top ten list where each item will get a point value (ten for #1, nine for #2 and so on) and then tallied up with every other list that contributed to create a master list of sorts. At the same time, I also do my own blog where I plan to count down my top ten (possibly top twenty) comics. So, would both lists count despite my contributions to both, or since one is JUST me and one is compiled from many different people, would they each count?

Dick Hyacinth said...

Well, I'm pretty sure that PW Weekly's list is a collaborative one, and some of those collaborators made their own lists last year (Johanna Draper Carlson and Douglas Wolk for sure did, and maybe a couple of others as well). I'll count both, unless of course the CBR list fails to meet certain criteria (and I'm guessing that won't be the case this year, since the review section there got beefed up a few months ago).

And thanks again for providing that formula last year. I was just using it a few minutes ago for the first batch of entries. There's already some clear leaders emerging.

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