<i>Asterios Polyp, The Hunter</i> top the Best of 2009 meta-list

The hive mind has spoken! Taking a page from retired comics blogger Dick Hyacinth, Sandy Bilus has compiled a "meta-list" of the 100 Best Comics of 2009. Asterios Polyp by David Mazzucchelli took the top spot by a landslide, followed by Richard Stark's Parker: The Hunter by Darwyn Cooke, George Sprott by Seth, Pluto: Urasawa x Tezuka by Naoki Urasawa, and A Drifting Life by Yoshihiro Tatsumi.

The list was drawn from fully 130 individual best-of lists -- including those of Comic Book Resources and Robot 6, independent bloggers, online retailers like Amazon and Barnes & Noble, media outlets like NPR, USA Today and Publishers Weekly. Each selection on the individual lists was assigned points through a system devised by Chad Nevett that Bilus explains at length. The point totals were tabulated, and voila -- a picture of collective comics criticism conventional wisdom.

Click here to see the whole list, as well as to read Bilus's breakdowns of how various kinds of comics -- superheroes, manga, ongoing series, non-fiction, anthologies, reprints, webcomics and more -- all fared.

One quick thought of my own: I wonder if all the punditry we've seen recently to the effect that superhero comics weren't gettin' it done for many critics this year helps to explain the higher-than-ever rankings of manga on the meta-list. I mean, I'm not sure if A Drifting Life is necessarily the next logical step for folks who aren't enjoying Dark Reign or Blackest Night, but Pluto, aka "Watchmen for Astro Boy"? That makes some sense. Plus, in any given year, a limited number of manga titles break wide among the comics blogosphere -- see whatever I'm reading for the conventional wisdom about manga in action, yeah, I admit it. So for critics looking for something interesting from the East, it's usually pretty easy to find worthwhile titles, since they're the kinds of titles other critics will be talking about.

Anyway, enough of my yappin' -- go read! There's enough to chew on to last till next year's meta-list.

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