Saturday, November 22, 2008

Best Whatever Lists...

In the new Rolling Stone, the magazine counts down the supposed 100 greatest singers of all time. The list is a usual mix of subjective getting it rights and what were they thinkings, but that doesn't actually matter since the point of these lists isn't so much saying this is how it is, but creating a little discussion and piquing interest. What really interests me is how this list compares to the recent top 100 guitar songs that the magazine published this summer, which I found pretty laughable in spots (only two Zeppelin songs?), if only because it seemed geared towards being inclusive and featuring a lot of different people rather than actually listing the top 100 guitar songs (which would result in a band like Zeppelin taking up a much larger chunk than 2% of the list, I imagine). But, do you know what the difference between those two lists is, really?

The guitar list was created in-house, while the singers list was created via voing by polling "a wide range of rock luminaries, acclaimed producers and music-industry heavyweights" (according to Jann Wenner). Say what you will about the actual make-up of the lists, but doesn't the second one at least have a hint of credibility behind it? You may disagree with the eventual results, but you can't exactly fault the method in creating the list... what better way? (Of course, some could fault who was polled and who wasn't, but come on...)

And that got me wondering why Wizard or The Comics Journal or whatever other comic book magazine remains doesn't do some lists this way (this isn't the first list Rolling Stone has created in this manner). Maybe they have (I'm not aware of such instances, though), but, jesus, wouldn't a list of the top 100 greatest comic book artists of all time (or writers, or stories, or whatever) created by polling a wide range of writers, artists, critics, editors, retailers, etc. (currently active or not, doesn't matter) be something fun and interesting? Or, is the comic book industry too in-bred, too connected... people voting for themselves or their buddies' work... voting along company lines... voting along genre lines... could it work?

Just wondering.