Saturday, February 02, 2008


I really don't want to do a best of this year. I mean, I'm so far behind on doing my music list that a comics list seems impossible. And the FSSMTW Series kind of dulled my review hunger.

Then I read Dick Hyacinth's Preliminary Meta-List of Best ofs, and it reinforced the idea that Democracy is a failure system. A great lesson to remember in a leap year. But I didn't think about it much. Then Marcos emailed me about it while I was at work. And I was at at work, so I was already sporting a drunk's anger. I'm like Bruce Banner: you wouldn't like to see me when I'm at work (thanks to Neilalien for pointing that link out).

Anyway, he was clearly trying to goad me. Asking me what I thought. Implying certain comics might not be great despite the internet's insistence. And he got me fumin' and thinkin'...

(unfortunately, I haven't read everything on the list, BUT)

Is Exit Wounds the very good but not great book that Fun Home was last year? I haven't read it yet. I keep meaning to, but I suspect anything short of a brilliant reading experience will register as disproprtionately exagerated disapointment.

Does Ed Brubaker get some sort of Crime/Ninja Pass for services rendered more than a decade ago? Criminal AND Iron Fist? And how does Iron Fist make it, but not Casanova?

When did The Arrival go from Eddie Campbell's curious favorite to Euro-Darling?

I saw the Buffy movie on opening night. I watched every single episode of the show when it aired for the first time. I own the ottoman-sized boxset. The comic? Top ten? REALLY?

I haven't read Shortcomings. I lost track of Optic Nerve about halfway through whatever the last collection collected.

Does anyone love I Shall Destroy All the Civilized Planets the way Dan Nadel and Paul Karasik love the original comics, or do we all just think it's this year's Joker's Boner? I think we're all suspect on this. Even Nadel and Karasik.

Are there more than three books on that list that aren't visually ugly? All Star Superman, Scott Pilgrim, Perry Bible Fellowship and... I can't think of a fourth. Can you?

And, even only considering the non-minicomic world:

Didn't Alias the Cat come out in 2007?
Didn't Superspy?
Tekkon Kinkreet?
Chance in Hell?
Speak of the Devil?
Volume 3 of The Times of Botchan?
Dr. Strange: The Oath?
The Salon?
Garage Band?
Notes For a War Story?
Death Note?
Drifting Classroom?
Hikaru No Go?
A new Dungeon?
The Blot?
Red Eye, Black Eye?
The third Jack Kirby's New Gods Omnibus?
New volumes of Peanuts, Popeye, Walt & Skeezix, etc.?
Shaolin Cowboy?
Big Questions? BIG QUESTIONS!
Pwr Mstrs?
Fear Agent?
The Goon?
Usagi Yojimbo?
The Umbrella Academy?
Omega the Unknown?

None of these were better than Iron Fist?

REALLY, internet?

Now, the total list (beyond the Preliminary Top 10) is said to include over 400 titles. Obviously, this is just as absurd. Were individual issues of Countdown, Shonen Jump and 2000 AD included? (Those are all weekly, right?) I'm sure most of what I listed above then makes the grand list.

Still, that means far more people included Iron Fist than Alias the Cat on their lists. This is a serious sin of either omission or judgement. Or both. And I dread the list that included both and ranked Iron Fist* above Alias the Cat. If you made such a list, then it's time you reconsidered life.

So, no Best of 2007 list from me. At least, not yet.


*If it seems like I'm coming down too hard on Iron Fist, let's keep a little perspective:

A. Iron Fist is the worst super hero name in a long history of terrible character names. Seriously. Try recomending the Iron Fist to your girlfriend/boyfriend. Don't even try coming up with worse names. Iron Fist beats the Man-Thing/Whizzer combo every day.

B. You said Iron Fist was better than Casanova, the Order and Captain America. Books written by the same people. At least ONE of those books is better (hint: it's Casanova, in case you're unsure).

C. Yes, I read it. At least the first three issues.

D. It's Iron Fist.


Blogger Marcos Perez said...

fall for my goads!

it's iron fist!

10:41 AM  
Blogger Justin J. Fox said...

goad to hell!

11:35 AM  
Blogger Jog said...

Exit Wounds and Shortcomings weren't bad... actually, if I'd done a Top 20 the former would probably have been on there. But I think (and I realize I'm just repeating stuff from Dick's site here) that their high showings are mainly a result of D&Q's skill with getting their books into the right hands... especially the print outlets, which will see comics criticism going the way of book capsule reviews as it becomes more common... there's limited space to cover anything, and the clever, small-output publisher can position themselves at the top of a limited heap. Plus, it's D&Q, which already has a reputation for high polish...

Also, given the wide net Dick's casting, it's no surprise that Morrison and Brubaker are placing so high... they are writing some of the better superhero stuff out there, and 'better superhero stuff' has a lot of pull, particularly given the hegemony of volume Marvel and DC have over the online discussion (new stuff every week = new posting material all the time). It'd have been even more obvious if Dick hadn't cut all the superhero-only lists from consideration...

7:57 PM  
Blogger Justin J. Fox said...

I do want to read Exit Wounds and Shortcomings. I just haven't yet. I can't, off the top of my head, think of anything D&Q has published that I haven't responded well to. They probably come the closest to having a perfect track record of anybody out there. (Including putting Crickets(!) out this week.)

Criminal surprised me because I thought internet consensus was that people were waiting for it to get better. That Brubaker was nicely hitting all the by-the-numbers tricks without transcending them (which matched how I felt about the first issue). Maybe I stopped paying attention to the reviews when it did get better.

I have to admit my Iron Fist 'shock' was a little more faux than I let on. I wouldn't have read it at all if it wasn't such an internet darling. I'm still unclear as to what makes it such a good superhero comic though (even reading what you and others have written about it). I have a feeling it just hits all the nerd buttons that are slightly off my... button pad?

The Arrival surprised me because (Eddie Campbell aside) it feels like it wasn't even on the radar at all until last week when it suddenly Happened.

More than the Top 10, though, I REALLY want to see the Top 400. That number is so outrageous that I can't even conceive it.

And I never expected a number of the things I mentioned to be on the list (Times of Botchan?), but Casanova's absence threw me. I could've sworn it was the darling of the blogs. And where was Green Lantern (that was supposed to be the greatest thing ever)? And the Manga? Were they both only heavily represented in genre-only lists?

Eh, I still hold the internet as a whole in contempt!

9:11 PM  
Blogger K. Thor Jensen said...

Iron Fist is better than Red Eye, Black Eye, actually. I ain't shook.

1:25 PM  
Blogger Justin J. Fox said...

As a hobo, you should ignore the rules of polite society and declare Red Eye, Black Eye superior to Iron Fist!

6:40 PM  

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