Friday, January 20, 2017

The 2011 International Best Comics Poll--The Top 115

The International Best Comics Poll was first published at The Hooded Utilitarian in August of 2011. The material remains available at that site. I conceived, organized, and edited the project. I'm cross-publishing my posts and the participant lists here for personal archival purposes. Links to essay contributions by other writers will go to saved versions of The Hooded Utilitarian pages on

The extended list of top vote-getters, ranked by number of votes received:

1. Peanuts, Charles M. Schulz [50 votes]
2. Krazy Kat, George Herriman [46 votes]
3. Calvin and Hobbes, Bill Watterson [45 votes]
4. Watchmen, Alan Moore & Dave Gibbons [31 votes]
5. Maus: A Survivor’s Tale, Art Spiegelman [28.125 votes]
6. Little Nemo in Slumberland, Winsor McCay [25.5 votes]
7. The Locas Stories, Jaime Hernandez [24.5 votes]
8. Pogo, Walt Kelly [24 votes]
9. MAD #1-27, Harvey Kurtzman & Will Elder, Wallace Wood, Jack Davis, et al. [23.75 votes]
10. The Fantastic Four, Stan Lee & Jack Kirby, with Joe Sinnott, et al. [22.333 votes]
11. The Fourth World Stories, Jack Kirby, with Mike Royer, et al. [22 votes]
12. The Donald Duck and Uncle $crooge Stories, Carl Barks [20 votes]
(tie) From Hell, Alan Moore & Eddie Campbell [20 votes]
14. Jimmy Corrigan: The Smartest Kid on Earth, Chris Ware [17.25 votes]
15. Tintin, Hergé [17 votes]
16. Cerebus, Dave Sim & Gerhard [16 votes]
17. The Counterculture-Era Stories, R. Crumb [15.167 votes]
18. Batman: The Dark Knight Returns, Frank Miller, with Klaus Janson & Lynn Varley [15 votes]
(tie) The Spirit, Will Eisner, with Jules Feiffer, et al. [15 votes]
(tie) Thimble Theatre, starring Popeye, E. C. Segar [15 votes]
21. The Palomar Stories, Gilbert Hernandez [14.5 votes]
22. The Sandman, including The Death Stories, Neil Gaiman, et al. [14 votes]
23. The Jimbo Stories, Gary Panter [13.125 votes]
24. Black Hole, Charles Burns [13 votes]
(tie) Fun Home, Alison Bechdel [13 votes]
26. The Alec Stories, including The Fate of the Artist, Eddie Campbell [12 votes]
(tie) Bone, Jeff Smith [12 votes]
28. American Splendor, Harvey Pekar, with R. Crumb, et al. [11 votes]
(tie) Terry and the Pirates, Milton Caniff [11 votes]
30. I Never Liked You, Chester Brown [10.83 votes]
31. Spider-Man, Stan Lee & Steve Ditko [10.33 votes]
32. The Weirdo-Era Stories, R. Crumb [10.292 votes]
33. Hi no Tori [Phoenix], Osamu Tezuka [10.25 votes]
34. Doonesbury, Garry B. Trudeau [10 votes]
(tie) The Far Side, Gary Larson [10 votes]
(tie) Le Garage hermétique [The Airtight Garage], Jean “Moebius” Giraud [10 votes]
37. Asterios Polyp, David Mazzucchelli [9.5 votes]
38. The EC Comics War Stories, Harvey Kurtzman & John Severin, Wallace Wood, Jack Davis, et al. [9.417 votes]
39. Nancy, Ernie Bushmiller [9 votes]
(tie) Understanding Comics, Scott McCloud [9 votes]
41. Rusty Brown, including “Lint”, Chris Ware [8.75 votes]
42. Akira, Katsuhiro Otomo [8 votes]
(tie) Corto Maltese, Hugo Pratt [8 votes]
(tie) Daredevil: Born Again, Frank Miller & David Mazzucchelli [8 votes]
(tie) Gasoline Alley, Frank King [8 votes]
(tie) The Invisibles, including The Filth, Grant Morrison & Steve Yeowell, Phil Jiminez, et al. [8 votes]
(tie) The New Yorker Cartoons, Charles Addams [8 votes]
(tie) Persepolis, Marjane Satrapi [8 votes]
49. “Here,” Richard McGuire [7.125 votes]
50. L’Ascension du haut-mal [Epileptic], David B. [7 votes]
(tie) Astérix le gaulois [Astérix the Gaul], René Goscinny & Albert Uderzo [7 votes]
(tie) The Bradleys and The Buddy Bradley Stories, Peter Bagge [7 votes]
(tie) A Contract with God and Other Tenement Stories, Will Eisner [7 votes]
(tie) Dick Tracy, Chester Gould [7 votes]
(tie) Hicksville, Dylan Horrocks [7 votes]
(tie) Kozure Ôkami [Lone Wolf and Cub], Kazuo Koike & Goseki Kojima [7 votes]
(tie) Prince Valiant, Hal Foster [7 votes]
(tie) Pluto, Naoki Urasawa [7 votes]
59. Ghost World, Daniel Clowes [6.8 votes]
(tie) Ice Haven, Daniel Clowes [6.8 votes]
61. Buddha, Osamu Tezuka [6.25 votes]
62. Binky Brown Meets the Holy Virgin Mary, Justin Green [6 votes]
(tie) The Conan the Barbarian Stories, Roy Thomas & Barry Windsor-Smith, with Sal Buscema, et al. [6 votes]
(tie) The Dirty Plotte Stories, including My New York Diary, Julie Doucet [6 votes]
(tie) The Doom Patrol Stories, Grant Morrison & Richard Case, with Scott Hanna, et al. [6 votes]
(tie) Elektra: Assassin, Frank Miller & Bill Sienkiewicz [6 votes]
(tie) Feiffer and Sick, Sick, Sick, Jules Feiffer [6 votes]
(tie) Flex Mentallo, Grant Morrison & Frank Quitely [6 votes]
(tie) Li’l Abner, Al Capp [6 votes]
(tie) The Little Lulu Stories, John Stanley, with Irving Tripp [6 votes]
(tie) The Swamp Thing Stories, Alan Moore & Stephen R. Bissette, John Totleben, Rick Veitch, et al. [6 votes]
72. David Boring, Daniel Clowes [5.8 votes]
73. Quimby the Mouse, Chris Ware [5.375 votes]
74. “Master Race” and Other EC Comics Stories, Bernard Krigstein, et al. [5.25 votes]
75. The Alack Sinner and Le Bar à Joe [Joe’s Bar] Stories, José Muñoz & Carlos Sampayo [5.125 votes]
76. All-Star Superman, Grant Morrison & Frank Quitely [5 votes]
(tie) American Flagg!, Howard Chaykin [5 votes]
(tie) Aruku Hito [The Walking Man], Jiro Taniguchi [5 votes]
(tie) The Arzach Stories, Jean “Moebius” Giraud [5 votes]
(tie) Bloom County, Berkeley Breathed [5 votes]
(tie) Cages, Dave McKean [5 votes]
(tie) Dykes to Watch Out For, Alison Bechdel [5 votes]
(tie) The Frank Stories, Jim Woodring [5 votes]
(tie) Furûtsu Basaketto [Fruits Basket], Natsuki Takaya [5 votes]
(tie) Fuochi [Fires], Lorenzo Mattotti [5 votes]
(tie) It’s a Good Life, If You Don’t Weaken, Seth [5 votes]
(tie) Kaze no Tani no Naushika [Nausicäa of the Valley of the Wind], Hayao Miyazaki [5 votes]
(tie) King-Cat Comics and Stories, John Porcellino [5 votes]
(tie) Maison Ikkoku, Rumiko Takahashi [5 votes]
(tie) The Nick Fury, Agent of S.H.I.E.L.D. and Other Marvel Comics Stories, Jim Steranko, with Joe Sinnott, et al. [5 votes]
(tie) Palestine, Joe Sacco [5 votes]
(tie) Promethea, Alan Moore & J. H. Williams III, with Mick Gray, et al. [5 votes]
(tie) V for Vendetta, Alan Moore & David Lloyd [5 votes]
(tie) Works, Edward Gorey [5 votes]
(tie) Yotsuba&!, Kiyohiko Azuma [5 votes]
96. The EC Comics Science-Fiction Stories, Al Feldstein & Wallace Wood, Al Williamson, Joe Orlando, et al. [4.917 votes]
97. “Building Stories,” Chris Ware [4.75 votes]
98. The X-Men Stories, Chris Claremont & John Byrne, with Terry Austin [4.5 votes]
99. Ernie Pook’s Comeek and the RAW Stories, Lynda Barry [4.125 votes]
100. Blueberry, Jean-Michel Charlier & Jean “Moebius” Giraud [4 votes]
(tie) A Drunken Dream and Other Stories, Moto Hagio [4 votes]
(tie) Fables, Bill Willingham & Mark Buckingham, et al. [4 votes]
(tie) Goodbye, Chunky Rice, Craig Thompson [4 votes]
(tie) Groo the Wanderer, Sergio Aragonés, with Mark Evanier, Tom Luth, and Stan Sakai [4 votes]
(tie) Moomin, Tove Jansson [4 votes]
(tie) Nijusseiki Shônen [20th Century Boys], Naoki Urasawa [4 votes]
(tie) Preacher, Garth Ennis & Steve Dillon [4 votes]
(tie) Seven Soldiers of Victory, Grant Morrison, et al. [4 votes]
(tie) The Superman Stories, Mort Weisinger & Curt Swan, Wayne Boring, et al. [4 votes]
(tie) The Uncle $crooge Stories, Don Rosa [4 votes]
(tie) One Piece, Eiichiro Oda [4 votes]
(tie) Works, B. Kliban [4 votes]
(tie) Works, Saul Steinberg [4 votes]
(tie) Works, Rodolphe Töpffer [4 votes]
(tie) Y: The Last Man, Brian K. Vaughan & Pia Guerra, with José Marzán, Jr., et al. [4 votes]

The above list of top vote getters should be considered an interpretation of the 211 lists that were sent. It is not definitive. Others, upon examining the individual lists, may reach somewhat different conclusions about the poll consensus. However, I believe the above list is the one that best reflects the lists of the participants in aggregate.

With many of the entries, there wasn’t uniformity among the individual votes. In order to create a coherent list, I chose to accommodate several of the disparate votes by including them under an umbrella entry. Obviously, a vote for a single story in Harvey Kurtzman’s MAD or Stan Lee & Jack Kirby’s The Fantastic Four was counted as a vote for the work as a whole. Some of the umbrella entries were suggested by the lists, such as Jaime Hernandez’s The Locas Stories. Others, like The Counterculture-Era Stories of R. Crumb, were invented whole cloth. No one actually voted for “The Counterculture-Era Stories.” It is an umbrella entry covering votes for Head Comix, Fritz the Cat, “Whiteman Meets Bigfoot,” Crumb’s work in Zap Comix, and other solo Crumb efforts from 1976 and before.

In some instances, participants submitted a vote that covered several works that could have been voted for individually. Examples include anthologies like Love and Rockets, The ACME Novelty Library, and RAW. In these instances, I first counted the votes for the individual works that appeared in the anthologies, and then evenly divided the votes for the anthologies among the individual works that received multiple votes on their own. A vote for Love and Rockets resulted in a 0.5 vote each for The Locas Stories and The Palomar Stories. A vote for The ACME Novelty Library resulted in a 0.25 vote each for “Building Stories,” Jimmy Corrigan, Quimby the Mouse, and Rusty Brown including “Lint.” The one vote received for RAW was divided among eight works: Maus, The Jimbo Stories, The Weirdo-Era stories of R. Crumb, Richard McGuire’s “Here,” The Alack Sinner and Joe’s Bar stories by José Muñoz & Carlos Sampayo, Quimby the Mouse, Ernie Pook’s Comeek and The RAW Stories by Lynda Barry, and (although it is not in the above list) The Autobiographical Stories of Aline Kominsky-Crumb.

Some participants voted, in whole or in part, for the body of work of an individual creator. In these instances, the principle described in the above paragraph was applied. A vote for Jaime Hernandez’s body of work was treated as a vote for The Locas Stories. A vote for the EC Comics work of Wallace Wood resulted in a 0.333 vote each for Harvey Kurtzman’s MAD, The EC Comics War Stories, and The EC Comics Science-Fiction Stories. With a number of artists who are deceased, I used “Works” as an umbrella entry. The creators who benefitted from this include Edward Gorey, B. Kliban, and Rodolphe Töpffer.

I note the formula for dividing votes was not used in every applicable instance. Each was a judgment call to a degree. For example, a vote for Bernard Krigstein’s EC work did not benefit Kurtzman’s MAD or the EC Comics Science-Fiction Stories, nor did votes for that material benefit the Krigstein entry. A vote for The Complete Crumb Comics did not benefit American Splendor or Aline Kominsky-Crumb’s autobiographical work. A vote for Crumb’s Zap Comix work in toto did not benefit The Weirdo-Era Stories.

Notes on how the individual votes were applied towards the counting is included with each of the participants’ published lists.


The 2011 International Best Comics Poll Index

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