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Top 100 Comic Book Runs Notes

Before delivering the top two runs, I figure I’d address some questions/concerns I have seen here and there.

1. Yes, this is a “favorites” list. I think I saw someone say, “They should just make this a ‘favorites’ list,” but that’s what this is.

2. On the note of “favorites,” that is why I’m allowing current runs, because a big part of this list is to be as inclusionary as possible, I want to see what the readers of this blog think, not “readers of this blog who have read enough older works to qualify” or whatever. This is just to see what folks who read this blog are into, which is why current runs are allowed (as quite a number of voters ONLY listed recent runs – okay, not quite a number, but more than, like, twenty!).

3. Top Ten only ended up as 12 issues, but that was not the intent when it was written (same with Nextwave). League of Extraordinary Gentlemen counts because it is, you know, STILL GOING, hence it counting as an ONGOING title (Moore plans on publishing new League stories indefinitely). It’s just like Hellboy.

4. Claremont’s X-Men and Lee’s Spider-Man are unique cases because the most prominent artists on the runs actually WROTE the comics with them. You can’t call it “Lee’s Spider-Man” when Ditko was coming up with the plots. Similarly, while most of Claremont’s run was only Claremont, the most famous run was co-written by John Byrne. So you have to count that as separate, because it wasn’t Claremont writing, it was Claremont AND Byrne. This is different from other long runs of one writer that had different “eras,” like, say, Peter David’s Hulk or Mark Gruenwald’s Captain America, which were all written by David and Gruenwald, respectively. And once you’ve split up the Byrne stuff, you might as well split up the other artists, too, right? Especially since Jim Lee also co-plotted the book (I forget, did Cockrum co-plot as well?).

5. 682 people is a LOT of people for a survey, especially for something as niche-y as “comic book fans.”

Hmmm…I think that’s it.

Okay, on to the top two! :)


When I was voting, I decided to ignore the many questions of what qualified and go with “comics that made me do the pee-pee dance waiting for the next issue to come out.”

For the next Top 100, how about Comics Greatest Villains?

Hurry! It’s almost Saturday here in the Eastern time zone.

your clock is off by a few hours. It says 7:38 on my previous post, but it is 10:40 now. Your clock is 3 hours off.

Josh Alexander

May 2, 2008 at 7:51 pm

Im sure Brian is burnt out on the Top 100, but as soon as he gears up for another, I agree with you whole-heartedly it should be the 100 greatest/favorite villains.

Eventually add 100 greatest artists, 100 greatest mini series, `100 greatest moments…this could go on forever….and hopefully it will

I must admit I probably counted out a few series I should/could have counted in, but the most important thing to me about this whole idea is that it’s FUN! I like seeing what everyone else has enjoyed reading and if MY top ten is nothing like THE top ten, well, that’s nothing I hadn’t expected anyway :)

Way I figure it, no list is gonna be perfect, but so far I’m definitely impressed by this one. It’s as decent a stab at a ‘Best US Comics’ list as you’re likely to find anywhere, IMO :)

Josh, you are so right. Before Brian did the Top 100 Characters list, I had never been so eager to log on to the internet. I would check the site over and over before I had to leave for work in the morning to see if the new entry had hit. The fact that he used my write-up about Hawkeye only made it all the more special.

Thank you, Brian. From the bottom of my fanboy heart.

Thanks for this Brian , it seems like a few respondents missed the initial brief.

What I really need to know though is which runs came close to making it but didn;t quite get there. (You mentioned Peter David’s other X-Factor run as having come close)

As a Brit I find it somewhat (but not very) surprising that there is such small representation from 2000AD and other British comics – obviously Zenith, Miracleman and V for Vendetta, but no votes for John Wagner’s Judge Dredd? Or Gerry Finley-Day’s Rogue Trooper? or Pete Milligan’s Bad Company? (the list goes on but you get the picture)
Are these runs undervalued or just under-read?
Or did those who have read these series just vote for other runs, thinking they would be squandering votes (like my own ashamed self)?

I think that these rankings are useful for many different things: to see what other people like, to know other works, but mainly, they are excellent catalysts for friendly dicussions. Whoever thinks the results these polls give are carved into stone, is mistaken.

In fact, once the final results are up, it’ll not the end. In fact, it’ll be just the beginning of many (hopefully) well-intentioned arguments between CSBG readers.

And that’s terribl… no, I mean that’s great!

You’ve been reading my drafts, haven’t you? Damn you, Cronin!

I think it would be fascinating to do the Top 100 Characters again, just to see how much the list has changed in the short time since the last one.

You don’t have a life, do you Brian?

Brian Cronin

May 2, 2008 at 8:42 pm

You’ve been reading my drafts, haven’t you? Damn you, Cronin!

I plead the fifth. ;)

Seriously, though, all these questions/concerned have been brought up in a lot of places, so I figured I should address them all.

Brian Cronin

May 2, 2008 at 8:44 pm

your clock is off by a few hours. It says 7:38 on my previous post, but it is 10:40 now. Your clock is 3 hours off

We’re on Pacific time.

Cockrum did a degree of co-plotting, but I don’t think as much as Byrne. His biggest contribution was bringing in the Starjammers, a property he’d been trying to pitch to Marvel as an OGN for some time with little success.

I had to laugh a few years ago, when fans complained that Kevin Anderson’s Starjammers miniseries was betraying the concept of the team because it didn’t have anything to do with the X-Men. Taking the X-Men out of the picture actually got it closer to Cockrum’s original idea than it had ever been.

Didn’t Cockrum create Nightcrawler, too? I swear that was an Urban Legend about that.

I had John Wagner’s Judge Dredd in my top 10. I think it was # 8 or 9. I love Judge Dredd.

I would like to reiterate what so many people have said: Brian, thanks for doing this. It must be a ton of work, but it gets me checking the site excitedly several times a day in the hope the next entries are up.

That being said, I’ll suggest even more work for you. I totally would love if you listed everything that got votes, like you did with the characters list. You don’t need to do a write-up, just let us see all the rankings. I also would like to see a top 100 story-arcs/minis list and top 100 writers and artists lists. You know, when you have the time.


I assumed it was US comics only, I must admit. While 2000AD has many of the best stories in comics, it’s also an anthology which means that it doesn’t fit well with the concept as described.

If we’re talking ‘best serial ongoing stories in comic form’ that opens the door not just to 2000AD but also to web comics. It’s hard enough to create a top ten already, just with the American pamphlet stuff!

If I have to start working out how Nikolai Dante stacks up against Gunnerkrigg Court and The New Mutants (Just to pluck a few names at random) – with all the content and format differences – I think I’d go crazy! :D

I had some Brit choices in my top ten although not Wagner’s Dredd. But it really should have been. Hopefully when Brian is recovered he can provide us with an extended list so me can see where, if anywhere, strips like Dredd, Strontium Dog, Rogue Trooper etc ended up.

Yeah, you made it pretty clear at the beginning that it was “favourite runs” and it ‘s kind of funny that people were still arguing about whether it was that or “best” runs & whatever that meant for such a long time.
Whether you’re calling someone a whippersnapper for listing something too latter-day, or saying that an esteemed older run doesn’t “hold up”, you’re making a non-point, because that’s irrelevant to what this was about.

A list of favourites on a site dedicated primarily to American superhero comics was never going to be filled with manga, web comics or 2000AD stories, however wonderful they may be. That’s just the way it is :)

The highest entry on my list came in at 24. That’s a lot higher than I’d expected! :D

Great fun, though. Thanks for all your hard work, Brian :)

Thanks for the clarification, Brian. All very reasonable points. Do some people really wish there was some objective qualitative list that would keep out all the riff-raff? Would anybody be convinced by that if their own favorites weren’t on it? Looks to me like you conducted a very reasonable voting process. I’ve found it fascinating so far!

Rhod said:
Thanks for this Brian , it seems like a few respondents missed the initial brief.

No kidding! It seemed I’d occasionally see somebody responding to the latest announcement of some of the winners by saying something along these general lines: “How on earth could so many of you people have voted for [fill-in-the-blank] to put it up so high on this list? Do you seriously think it was even half as original and influential as [fill-in-the-blank-with-a-run-that-didn’t-score-so-many-points]?”

Or words to that general effect.

The thought going through my mind whenever I read some such complaint was: “Influential? Original? What’s that got to do with anything? I didn’t think I was voting on which runs made the biggest impact on what other creators did after they were exposed to that material; I thought I was only voting on whether or not I personally still get a kick out of going back and rereading a given run on a regular basis! That doesn’t mean the run was one of The Greatest Landmarks in Its Genre when it came out; it only means it’s wormed its way into my heart as one of my all-time Favorites!” :)

MarkAndrew, he did create Nightcrawler, who was originally as a character for a LSH spin-off. Storm was also a creation of his, at least her look; she was an amalgam of 3 other characters he designed for that same spin-off. Plus, he designed the looks for Colossus and Thunderbird. While he may not have had the influence of Byrne, his contributions to the characters is undeniable.

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