Welcome to the Comics Should Be Good Top 100 Comic Book One-Shots and Graphic Novels poll!
This is different from our annual poll schedule. The annual poll, which is on an every four years schedule, will still show up later in the year. Probably the middle of October (so that the countdown can begin in mid-November).
In any event, a reader named Adam asked me last year if I could do a Top 100 list for one-shots and graphic novels. You see, when we do Top Storylines and Top Runs, that inherently means that one-shot stories and graphic novels are ineligible, so something like The Killing Joke or "For The Man Who Has Everything" would never end up on any of those lists. I told Adam that I wasn't sure if there would be enough turnout for a list like this, since it is a bit more niche than the other lists. Everyone can think of 10 great stories or 10 great runs, but can everyone think of 10 great one-shots or graphic novels? Heck, when people do think "graphic novel," they often think of stuff like Watchmen or Dark Knight Returns, neither of which would be eligible for a list like this, since they were just collected storylines.
Well, I guess we'll find out now, won't we? If this works out, I'll add it to our four-year schedule (I guess every fourth year would have a bonus poll). If not, then, well, no harm, no foul!
Okay, so let's get to voting on your all-time favorite one-shots and graphic novels!
Here’s the deal. You folks all vote via e-mail (send your votes to email@example.com) up until 11:59 PM Pacific time, August 31st. I’ll tabulate all the votes and I’ll begin a countdown of the winners starting some time in early September.
Okay, read on for the guidelines!
1. Vote via e-mail, to firstname.lastname@example.org.
2. Vote for your ten favorite comic book one-shots and graphic novels. Vote for TEN – less than ten and I don’t count your ballot.
3. Rank your ten favorite comic book one-shots and graphic novels from #1 (your most favorite) to #10 (your 10th most favorite). I’d prefer it if you actually numbered your entry, #1-10. It’s easier for me to count.
4. Your top choice will be given 10 points, your second choice 9, etc.
5. A one-shot is any comic book story that is contained to a single comic book. A one-shot can be an annual, like Superman Annual #11 ("For the Man Who Has Everything"), it can be a story within an issue, like Amazing Spider-Man #248's "The Kid Who Collects Spider-Man") and it can be a one-off issue of a comic book series, like Fantastic Four #51 ("This Man, This Monster"). What it cannot be is part of an overall arc. Like, we all get that the issue where Spider-Man lifts the heavy machinery is awesome, but it is part three of a three-part story. It is not eligible. We're only talking done-in-ones here.
6. A graphic novel, in this context, is a comic book story that was never serialized before its debut. maus and Watchmen are ineligible, as they were serialized before they were collected. Really, just look at the list of the Top 100 Comic Book Storylines. If it is on that list, then it is not eligible for this list. Things that are eligible are stuff like Asterios Polyp and Fun Home. I'll also allow works that were split into parts to count as a single work if that was the original intent. So Persoplis would count, as would March and My Favorite Thing is Monsters. More open-ended stuff like the Earth One books or Scott Pilgrim would not. Those are eligible for the storylines list, so you can vote for them there!
7. Obviously, outright one-shots like The Killing Joke are eligible. They're not quite graphic novels and they're not one-and-done issues in the middle of regular series, but obviously they count for this. Similarly, while Marvel Graphic Novel was technically an ongoing series, we all get that the individual graphic novels in that series are distinct graphic novels that would be eligible, right?
8. If you really can't remember an issue number, that's fine, just try to make it clear what you’re talking about.
9. Again, check out the Top Storylines list. If it is on that list, it is ineligible for this list. The whole point of this list is to spotlight books that couldn't be on that list.
10. I’ll make various decisions in the interest of fairness.
11. If you have questions/clarification requests, feel free to ask them to me via e-mail (at email@example.com. Subject your question something that makes it clear that you're asking a question rather than voting, so I don't toss your question into the voting folder. And don't ask questions in your vote. Ask first and then vote). Here are some common things people often need clarification on (I'll add to this as needed)
A. "It was like a graphic novel, even though it was in two comic books" - No, it's not eligible.
B. I know it's tricky, but maus is mot eligible.
C. Scott Pilgrim is not eligible.
D. DC's Earth One series of books are not eligible. Those books are eligible for Top Storylines.
E. Watchmen, Dark Knight Returns, Dark Phoenix Saga, Born Again are not eligible.
F. Any collected miniseries is not eligible. The original format had to have been a graphic novel, not a collection of a miniseries. Collections of miniseries would go in the "Top Storylines" voting.
G. When it comes to one-off stories in the middle of arcs, I'm willing to trust your best judgment. If you think that the actual "Anatomy Lesson" is a distinct one-off story, I'm willing to accept it. Or that Invisibles issue where we see the background of that one guard.
Most importantly, have fun!