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Saturday, August 17, 2002

The Quality to Crap Ratio -- A regular visitor to the Comic Book Galaxy message board said:

"Top Shelf [is] a publisher whose standards are leaps and bounds above most other companies out there."

That got me to thinking about the ratio of quality to crap, and it reminded me that just because you're in the top ten or top 50 or top 100 sales chart every month doesn't mean you're any damned good at all. Hey, I remember when Wham! had a shitload of top ten hits -- every one of them shit.

Top Shelf, Absence of Ink, Drawn and Quarterly and Fantagraphics are the true "Big Four" of quality comics. They don't put out as many books as, say, DCMarvelImageDarkHorse, but look at the quality to crap ratio. For every 100 books from Top Shelf, Absence of Ink, Drawn and Quarterly and Fantagraphics, how many will be entertaining, thought-provoking and move the artform forward rather than back? Now, how many out of 100 from DCMarvelImageDarkHorse will be able to say the same? How many of those, in fact, will be any goddamned good at all? How many of them will even be readable?

We live in a time when some of the best comics ever published are coming out at a blinding rate. Anyone who can't see that is being distracted by the flurry of shit regularly dumped on the market to deceive you into thinking comics are only about superheroes and cape fetishizing and zombie meat and lining the pockets of self-deluded business executives living out their bizarre and perverse childhood fantasies and calling women sluts.

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