The Comics Journal took an interesting approach to its Best of 2005 offerings in issue #275, asking a variety of critics, commentators, and professionals to offer their choices in a variety of formats. I thought it would be fun to put together a list of all the titles that got the nod and note how many times each was cited.
I was very, very wrong.
It’s not that the pieces aren’t interesting reading. It’s a lot of fun seeing all of the different perspectives and taking in the wide range of quality titles that came out last year. (And it’s nice to see so many manga titles recognized.)
It was just kind of a pain to filter through them all, and the copy editing of the various pieces didn’t help. Sometimes they included creator and publisher information, sometimes they didn’t. Sometimes the same book was referred to in a number of different ways, or words in the title were misspelled.
I was a little bug-eyed by the time I reached the last list, so forgive me if I’ve recreated any glitches or added new ones of my own. I flatly refused to include one contributor’s list of “books that probably would have made (his) best of list had (he) actually gotten around to reading them.”
The big winners were Black Hole (Pantheon) with 11 mentions, Epileptic (Pantheon) with 9, Walt & Skeezix 1921-22 (Drawn and Quarterly) with 8, Wimbledon Green with 7, and Tales Designed to Thrizzle (Fantagraphics) with 6.
Sometimes people would cite a title, while others would specify individual issues of that title, so I’ve listed those separately. For example, six different people cited Or Else (Drawn and Quarterly), but three favored the title as a whole, while three specified issue #2.
Here’s the key of contributors: Noah Berlatsky = NB; Johanna Draper Carlson = JDC; Tom Crippen = TC; Dirk Deppey = DD; Evan Dorkin = ED; Shaenon Garrity = SG; Paul Gravett = PG; Sammy Harkham = SH; R.C. Harvey = RCH; Jeet Heer = JH; Rich Kreiner = RK; Chris Mautner = CM; Calvin Reid = CR; Diana Schutz = DS; Adam Stephanides = AS; Craig Thompson = CT; Tom Underhill = TU; Kristy Valenti = KV; Rob Vollmar = RV; Kent Worchester = KW.
(Corrected, because spell check isn’t my friend, and I wasn’t nearly smart enough to catch that it was turning “Jeet” into “Janet.”)