Time for a little navel gazing. First and foremost, thanks to Chris Tamarri for arranging the whole deal and for the analysis that he and Ed Cunard followed it up with, which is far more interesting than what you’re about to read here. Assuming you continue reading after an intro like that.
My plan going in was to choose three awardees for each category and divvy up the ten points among them. I didn’t want to get into spreading out one point here or there, figuring that would dilute the ratings for the titles/people I felt strongest about and, well, I’m lazy. That plan went out the window almost immediately, but I still managed to not get spread too thin.
I started my selection with the books because that was somehow easier. My choices for Best Ongoing were FABLES, SHAOLIN COWBOY, GOON, and CAPTAIN AMERICA. I basically gave each the same amount of points - or would have if half points were allowed. So two of them got two points and two got three. Can’t remember which. I was glad to see all of my choices received points from people other than myself. This is really about validation for me – I just want to fit in. I wasn’t at all surprised to see ALL STAR SUPERMAN so high but I had only read the first issue at the time of my voting and couldn’t justify awarding a point on that. I suspect that will change if we do this next year. I probably could have given a point or two to FELL or DESOLATION JONES or both, but I knew they would get a boatload of votes from other bloggers and figured I’d save mine for other titles. That may not have been in the best spirit of things. FABLES was tricky for me as I actually read it collected but think of it as an ongoing series. In the end I decided to put it here instead of in the collection category.
Best OGN was pretty easy since I read only three that were actually published this year: TOP TEN: FORTY NINERS, SALAMANDER DREAM, and BONE SHARPS, COWBOYS AND THUNDER LIZARDS. This is where my time away from comics catches up to me as I spend a lot of my reading on older books most other bloggers have probably read already. SCOTT PILGRIM, CAPOTE IN KANSAS and WIMBLEDON GREEN are all on my read list, but I haven’t gotten to them. I gave most of the points to the TOP TEN book and a few to BONE SHARPS – which was apparently only read by me. That’s too bad, but at 23 bucks it was kind of expensive. SALAMANDER DREAM did nothing for me, but I’m pretty thick.
Best Collection was a category I could have spent more time on. I read a lot of titles collected but often I’m playing catch up from two or three years ago. In most cases I couldn’t remember what was collected from this year or last or the year before that. I could have looked up this information but as mentioned, I’m lazy. I’m very comfortable with the two I gave points to: WE3 and THE BEST OF THE SPIRIT. I think I gave more to WE3 – but I might have split them. If I had it to do over I’d probably give a couple of points to the ADAM STRANGE PLANET HEIST and MADROX TPB’s. Those were darn good. For whatever, reason it never even occured to me to include the Showcase books for consideration.
Best Mini or One-Shot was the hardest because there were approximately forty seven thousand to choose from. Thankfully I only read about half of them. I gave the most points (4, I think) to VILLAINS UNITED, and then spooled out points to FF/IRON MAN BIG IN JAPAN, BATMAN AND THE MONSTER MEN and ASTRO CITY: THE DARK AGE. I considered giving some points to INFINITE CRISIS but I’d only read three issues and that title has the potential to get derailed faster than my train of thought. If it holds course I’ll happily reward it next time around. Now that I’ve seen the results there were several titles that I probably should have given points to, including ELK’S RUN, NEVERWHERE and THE QUESTION. Ah, well.
I almost felt guilty voting for a Best Artist as I’m a lousy judge of this. But I ended up splitting the points between Simone Bianchi, Bryan Hitch and Jock. Those were the three who’s art I looked at and thought, “Cool!” the most. I guess I don’t hold Frank Quitely with the same reverence as most everyone else.
Writers. I gave Morrison a slight nod over Ellis and then dolled out roughly a point a piece to Andy Diggle, Gail Simone and Bill Willingham (I think.) The last three all wrote books I gave high points to in other categories so it seemed right to cast a nod here as well. Sort of a Best Picture/Best Director sort of thing. I should probably have given some run to Ed Brubaker, Kurt Busieck and Eric Powell. (As to the latter, I think it was mentioned elsewhere but I’d have no problem with a best ARTIST/WRITER combo as a place to give guys like Powell, Matt Wagner or Charles Burns more recognition.) I like Brian K. Vaughan’s work just okay -- he doesn’t seem to be able to maintain momentum very well -- and Alan Moore’s output was too limited. I was surprised Bendis (or his books) didn’t make much of a showing since he was the best selling writer by light years. I'm not saying he should have received more votes (he got none from me) but somebody is buying all those books.
The process was fun and it made me think. I’m sure I’ll spend more time this year thinking about how various books fit in my own internal polling. There were certainly titles I read early this year that didn’t register in January. Next year I’ll be right on top of it.