Chris Mautner, why have you forsaken us?
I digress, though those two possible introductions are in fact great indicators that you’re reading a pretentious list, I wanted to talk more about the lists themselves. I am not arguing at all that popularity equals quality. The problem is when things are seemingly shunned because of their popularity. It’s the same thing that largely happens with movies and awards. The tendency is to go strictly to ultra-serious, ultra-dramatic, and often obscure options that few have seen/heard of/read, just to show the nominator or organization’s amazing breadth of knowledge and experience. I am very glad that comics and graphic novels can be used and do get used for so many different kinds of stories. The fact remains that the majority of comics are superhero books, and some of them are very, very good.
That’s Lucas Siegel telling it like it is, yo, no one on the corner has swagga like him. He’s right; all these end-of-year lists include stuff like SKYSCRAPERS OF THE MIDWEST or TRAVEL while ignoring RANN/THANAGAR: HOLY WAR and VENOM: DARK ORIGIN and all those other excellent colon comics. Matthew J. Brady and Tucker Stone show up for some spirited debate with Siegel and Troy Brownfield. There was also talk in the blogosphere, as Dick Hyacinth went at it a couple of times.
I we actually going to refrain from commenting too much on the new Blog@ since it’s such a new crew — a Dirty Dozen as it were, of people quickly thrown together to undertake a dangerous mission behind enemy lines. Others have not been as charitable, however, and the general consensus may be that the Blog@ crew was shot loudly made sport of by the Nazis soon after landing in Brittany, and were subsequently so embarrassed that they could barely show their faces in the school cafeteria. Hyacinth again; Valerie D’Orazio pretty much declared the whole concept null out of the box.
Suffice to say that the new Blog@ hasn’t been a giant hit, although reading the thoughts of guest bloggers Paul Levitz and Jimmy Palmiotti has much inherent usefulness. And you should definitely check out Strangeways. I do think the new crew needs more time to shake out — the first week’s flood of disparate, unfocused posting has given way to slightly more opinionated fare, such as the idea that end-of-year “Best of” lists are snubbing superhero comics, which is a dubious improvement.
I will say, just to make one thing clear, J. Caleb Mozzocco is the Lee Marvin of the bunch, and would be welcome in any group blog. Russ Burlingame also seems to be a nice fellow, lives in New York and goes out a lot — and first person reporting can be valuable.
The rest are still in basic training, to put it kindly. In the larger sense, not to be tootling my own horn, but you know, good blogging ain’t as easy as it looks. You need writing skills, news sense, inquisitiveness, and knowledge. You can throw a bunch of raw recruits out on the beach, but that doesn’t mean they’ll turn into commandos.
As for the ORIGINAL Blog@ commandos? PopCultureShock reports, with little detail, that they are moving to Comic Book Resources. A smart move for both parties, we’d say.
UPDATE: Siegel has a clarifying post on Hyacinth’s blog.