Robot 6

The Meta-List returns: The 100 Best Comics of 2008

Dash Shaw's Bottomless Belly Button

Dash Shaw's Bottomless Belly Button

Sandy Bilus of I Love Rob Liefeld, the Comics Internet tips its collective hat to you. Picking up the torch from the sadly discontinued blog of Dick Hyancith, Bilus has compiled a “meta-list” of the 100 best comics of 2008, as tabulated from the personal best-of lists of dozens of critics and commentators. Behold the Top Ten:

1. Bottomless Belly Button, by Dash Shaw
2. Acme Novelty Library #19, by Chris Ware
3. All-Star Superman, by Grant Morrison and Frank Quitely
4. Too Cool To Be Forgotten, by Alex Robinson
5. What It Is, by Lynda Barry
6. Ganges #2, by Kevin Huizenga
7. The Alcoholic, by Jonathan Ames and Dean Haspiel
8. Skyscrapers of the Midwest, by Joshua Cotter
9. Kramers Ergot 7, by various
10. Capacity, by Theo Ellsworth

The point system used to tabulate the list makes it easy for books that made it onto a lot of individual lists but didn’t top them to put in a strong showing; perhaps that explains the blowout victory of Bottomless Belly Button, which I recall as being widely liked but few people’s #1 pick.

For you front-of-Previews types out there, DC’s All-Star Superman is the highest ranking superhero comic, coming in at a strong #3. DC/Vertigo’s The Alcoholic is the Big Two’s next-highest representative at #7, while its labelmate Scalped comes in at #12. The top Marvel book, and second-highest superhero comic, is Omega the Unknown at #13. Manga’s top-ranking title is Travel at #16. Click the link to see what else made the grade.

Me, I’ve got some quibbles here and there, as is to be expected. But overall, if you’re looking to do some shopping this holiday season and don’t mind being a year behind, you’d be hard pressed to top this for a wishlist.



Glad to oblige. And I’m planning on running a follow-up post that shows the number of lists that each book appeared on. As for Bottomless Belly Button, it pretty much killed in both number of lists and ranking. It appeared on 31 lists in total. 15 of those lists were unnumbered. Of the other 16 lists, here was BBB’s ranking: 4,9,2,4,1,2,12,2,3,3,4,3,1,1,4,1. Not too shabby, which explains why it’s the runaway winner.

I should also point out that the point system also rewards books that appeared on only a few lists but were highly ranked on those lists; the bottom end of the meta-list has a few books that only appeared on one or two lists.

If there is a better way to quantify the lists, I’d be open to considering it. I think the list (at least the first half) is a fairly accurate aggregation of the critical consensus.

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