We have finally reached the end of the most controversial year in the decade. The Year 2008 had its fair share of surprises; Booming Indian Economy, Global Economic Slowdown, Indian Crickets Turn-around, Gore of Terrorism; it was overall a mixed bag of events. Hopefully, we will get to see a better year, in 2009.
The Comics or Graphic Novel Biz also had a fair bit of happenings around in 2008, with the introduction of new players in form of CineBook, Tara Press, Euro Books, Vimanika, etc. In the South, we had a rejuvenated Prakash Publishers, unveiling their line up of classical Tamil comics. Overall, it was year to remember and cherish for a Comics fan.
With the experience of running a blog for the last 3 years, I believe it’s time we talk about good things which have passed over in 2008, on the field of Comicology. But, don’t we need a fair trial ? In keeping up with the Election fever in the country, Comicology gives you an option to elect the best of 2008, in a democratic way. Yes, I am not going to be the sole judge in selecting the best in various categories. In fact I will only be a facilitator allowing all the comics fans to choose, by providing them options among the nominees elected by Comicology in the various categories.
UPDATE (26-Jan-08): And thus it turned out, the Inaugural Comicology's Readers Poll to choose the Best of 2008, has surely turned on as the biggest attraction to the blog. There were a total of 333 Votes which were cast across multiple comics categories, which makes me proud to have initiated this, and will go a long way in organising this poll on a yearly basis. Thanks to all those Comicologists, who spent their time and effort in making this a big success. Without further due, here are the Winners in respective categories.
#1: Best English Comics
The Nominations for this category, would be from the English Comics Series, which were reviewed at Comicology in 2008, as that gives a chance for everyone to arrive at their decision with what they have read about them at Comicology. If you choose to read the reviews before you vote, click on each of those series for reaching the respective review page at Comicology.
The Nominations are:
- CineBook - Lucky Luke Series
- CineBook – Clifton Series
- CineBook - Thorgal Series
- CineBook - Blake & Mortimer Series
- CineBook - Largo Winch Series
- Teshkeel - The 99 Series
- Graphix - Bone Series
And the Winner is: Surprise, Surprise. The unanimous choice seems to be The 99 Series from Teshkeel Comics, out of those English comics series reviewed at Comicology in 2008.
The Strong favourite, as many thought was the Lucky Luke Series from CineBook, which was leading the pack when the polls were started. But the predominant visitors from out of the country, seem to have voted in favour the 99 series, as that is the new kid on the block.
Total Number of Votes: 49.
#2: Best Tamil Comics
Year 2007 had a new star in the Tamil Comics horizon in form of Star Comics. But its starting issues, coupled with a no-show of Iceberg Comics, ensured that Prakash Publishers, were the only player available in this competition in 2008. So, there are no surprises that all the nominees are from the Lion Comics & Muthu Comics (Comics Classics is left out for obvious reasons, as they are olden classics which can't be placed in the same scale of Modern day Comics). As with the previous section, if you would like to read a review about them before voting, click on the respective titles.
The Nominations are (in the order of their release):
- Lion Comics - #202 - Lucky Luke - மேற்கில் ஒரு மாமன்னர் - Jan '08
- Muthu Comics - #308 - John Steel - கதை சொல்லும் கொலைகள் - Apr '08
- Lion Comics - #203 - Tex Willer - மரணத்தின் முன்னோடி - Jul '08
- Muthu Comics - #309 - Nick Raider - சித்திரமும் கொல்லுதடி - Jul '08
- Lion Comics - #204 - Tex Willer - காற்றில் கரைந்த கழுகு - Aug '08
- Muthu Comics - #310 - Martin Mystery - பொன்னில் ஒரு பிணம் - Oct '08
- Lion Comics - #205 - Tex Willer - எமனின் எல்லையில் - Nov '08
And the Winner is: There are no surprises in this category, as the pack of Tamil comics released by Prakash Publishers, is lead in the front by the Lucky Luke extravaganza, showing to prove the fan-following this legendary character enjoys among Tamil comic fans. The much acclaimed and well received Martin Mystery extravaganza takes the second place, marginally missing out on 3 votes.
Total Number of Votes: 22.
#3: Best Blog
We saw an abundant amount of interest in the Comics Blog World, with a lot of new bloggers staking their claim, and giving much needed competition to the two long running blogs: MuthufanBlog & Comicology. So this award category will highlight the Best Blog of 2008. The Criteria for the Blog Nominations are:
- Minimum of 5 Posts (relevant to Comics) over the Year
- Blogs about English Comics and Tamil Comics (Hindi Comics is too early to be reviewed at Comicology)
- Blogs which doesn’t infringe any Copyrights held by the authorised publishers
The Nominations are (in the order of their Post Count):
1. Tamil Comics Ulagam: Obviously, the most happening blog on the Tamil Comics blogosphere, inspired by Viswa. The fact that it boasts 25 Posts in a time span of 4 months from its launch, speaks volume about his dedication. A strong contender for the top honours.
2. Comicology: I shouldn’t be talking much about my own blog initiative, nevertheless for the sheer count of 25 Posts over the year, I believe Comicology is qualified to be in the nominations list. But as always, the final judgment is with the readers.
3. Aa.Ko.Thee.Kaa. (அ.கொ.தீ.க.): The First full exclusive Tamil Comics Blog, started by veteran Tamil Comics Researcher, Dr.Sathish. His unique knack of providing a complete account of every series, made it one of the most sought after blog of 2008, with a total of 7 Posts (Including 1 Intro post).
4. Comics Pookal (காமிக்ஸ் பூக்கள்): A new entrant in the Tamil Comics Blog, but quickly staked his claim on the equals, by breaking away from traditional comics review and concentrating on the different topics through the history of Comics and its evolution. The posts are strengthened by the strong Tamil root evident in the writing of Ayyampalayam Venkateshwaran, and rightly deserves its nomination with 6 Posts (Including 1 Intro post).
And the Winner is: Comicology narrowly beat AKTK, by 1 vote. Thanks to all those who made that possible. Surprisingly the 3rd place is shared both by TCU and Comics Pookal with equal number of votes.
Total Number of Votes: 65.
Apart from the above blogs which were nominated, there were a few others, which just missed out from the nomination, but deserves a special mention (in the order of their importance and content relevance):
1. Muthu Fan’s Comics Blog: The Old War Horse missed the bus for the Nomination with only 3 posts in the year 2008, but doesn’t it deserve a legendary category award, for having pioneered the whole comics blogging passion? So, its deservedly should not be among the nominations, as the blog has a cult following unmatched by any other blogs. Muthufan has promised a series of posts in 2009, so it augers well for the legacy set by the forerunner of Tamil Comics Blog.
2. Kanavukalin Kaathalan (கனவுகளின் காதலன்): A Tamil Comics Blog by the superiorly talented Shankar Visvalingam. His posts are uniquely styled with a fair mix of poetry and classic writing, backed up by the rich experience on a range of comics genre. He has 3 unique posts as a testament to his talent.
4. Share Hunter: Eventhough the primary aim of this Tamil Blog by Josh Alexander, was to write his analysis about the share market, he has offlate been more active in posting a number of comic related blogs, with reviews, and even an iconic adventure series featuring the who-is-who of bloggers. The only thing lacking is that they are lost in the pile of his share-market related posts. But isn’t he more famous for that ? :)
5. Rani Comics (ராணி காமிக்ஸ்): A new entrant in the Tamil Comics Blog, originally started by me, with the intention of making it a team blogging activity talking through the history of Rani Comics. So far I have been playing a lone hand in the process managing 3 posts in total, all in the month of Dec’08.
6. Mudhalai Pattalam (முதலை பட்டாளம்): Started by a serious Comics collector Kaleel. A long way to go for him to stake his claim among the other bloggers.
7. Chitrakathai: Started by Siv, talking about the forgotten comics initiatives in Tamil. He is yet to make a mark in the blogosphere, and his focus on the less-quality comics, with little info isn’t helping grow his stature. He has 4 posts so far about these Tamil Comics.
#4: Best Comics Post
This is across the Comics Blogosphere, and I have chosen the best posts from the top Comicologists blog as a list of nominees for this prestigious award at Comicology. This is the only poll in the Year 2008 round-up, which will give you a chance to pick multiple blog posts, you deem to be the best so far in 2008.
The Nominations are:
- Comicology: CineBook - Blake & Mortimer – 2008
- TCU: James Bond Comics No.2 Rocket Ragasiyam
- AKTK: அன்டோனியோ காடி
- Comics Pookal: காமிக்ஸ்களில் சில களைகள்
- Kanavukalin Kaathalan: ஒன்று.. இரண்டு.. XIII
- Share Hunter: வேதாள நகரம் - 06. சின்ன அணில்
- Rani Comics: முன்னோட்டம் – II
And the Winner is: There is another tie in this category too. Comicologists have voted Blake & Mortimer post of Comicology, and Bond post of TCU both has the joint winners, garnering 30 votes each. So, we have a joint winners once again, in the form of Comicology & TCU.
Total Number of Votes: 93.
#5: Best Comics-Commenter
Time and again, I have iterated in my posts, that more than the number of readers who visit your blog, it is ultimately the persons who decide to record their comment are the important factor, which decides a success of the blog. It is a clear reward for the hard work put in by a blogger, which has to be aptly supported by all those who read through them to record their views as a comment. Either it is a comment in nature of a critic, or appreciative, they are the building blocks for a healthy blogging environment. The idea for this category, is to appreciate the best and the most active one out of this lot, to recognize the equal importance played by them on a blog’s lifeline. Here are those select GEMS out of the crowd.
The Nominations are:
- Rafiq Raja
- Shankar Visvalingam
- Mahesh Kumar
- Arun Prasad
- அய்யம்பாளையம் வெங்கடேஸ்வரன்
- Dr. Sathish
- அம்மா ஆசை இரவுகள்
And the Winner is: The winner seems to be unanimous, and I am thankful to all the Comikers who voted me out from the lot. I always considered that Comments are the best way to support a blogger, and it is good to know that people have shown supports towards the same cause. Thanks once again.
Total Number of Votes: 104.
That completes our Comicology’s First ever Comics Vote Categories. With the phenomenal success, I am pretty sure that we will see this as a regular year end feature at Comicology.
And before I close, wish you all a Happy New Year 2009. May all your wishes come true on this joyous occasion. To quote, Edith L Pierce:
“We will open the book. Its pages are blank. We are going to put words on them ourselves. The book is called opportunity and its first chapter is New Year's Day.”
In keeping up with the New Year Spirit, We have also moved onto a new exclusive domain for Comicology, www.comicology.in (I don’t know, how many noticed this change in the URL). The old blogspot URL will now redirect to this new domain automatically. It’s my long-time ambition to move to an exclusive domain and part of my Ver.2.0 plan. I thought this blog deserved this worthy expense, as a New Year Gift.
Happy Holidays, and I will be back with a New Year Special Post shortly.