So the Washington Post put to a vote for the "Best Webcomic of the Past Decade," mostly because Girl Genius dominated a regular comic vote because, well, the poll was online. Duh. Anyway, after a nomination process, they presented a list 22 comics, they are thus:
Devin Crane, Comic Strip Ghost-Gagwriter
Eric Monster Millikin
Girls With Slingshots
Hark! A Vagrant
Jesus and Mo
Kevin and Kell
Least I Could Do
The New Adventures of Queen Victoria
The Order of the Stick
Penny Arcade (I won't link to this comic)
Perry Bible Fellowship
Links from the article (except PA).
Interesting list, isn't it? More interesting, Penny Arcade and Perry Bible Fellowship are duking it out for first place, and PA wasn't winning earlier, and was in fact behind. The fact that the numbers changed so much is merely the result of the vote ending up on their main page I imagine.
Still, PBF is a DEAD comic. Has been for, well, a while now. PA updates constantly and has a steady, if quite mad, following. Without them finding out about it, PBF, a DEAD comic, was beating the utter pants off of the entire list. Yeah, PBF is that good. Penny Arcade, well, isn't.
So what can we see about this list. Well, I see three categories: Comics that belong, comics that shouldn't but are popular so are and comics that really don't belong.
Comics that don't really belong include The Devil's Panties, which is a decent enough strip, but shouldn't even contend for the title of "best." Nor does Girls With Slingshots, Least I Could Do and Sinfest. These are good comics, but they aren't "the best" by far.
The comics that shouldn't be there, but are popular, are pretty easy to pick out. The king is Penny Arcade, of course, a comic I have a pathological hatred for and will never review (mostly because I don't think you want to see that many cuss words strung together). Questionable Content also does not belong, it's not that good, but is there by sheer popularity. User Unfriendly and PvP likely fall into the same category (I haven't read them). Oh, I suppose at one time some of these comics (not QC) might have earned a place here, but I doubt they can hold one now.
And finally the comics that definitely belong. My vote went to Schlock Mercenary, probably the overall best comic on the internet right now in my not so humble opinion. Hark, A Vagrant is right on the line of belonging, but given PA is on this list, I'll give this one a pass (that and the Canadians must be out in force as it has 9% of the vote at the time of this writing). The Order of the Stick, I hear, is doing some very good things, and I might actually read it one day (not today). xkcd is not a comic I'll be reviewing, but I could see it on this list if only because it is so recent. And, of course, Girl Genius most certainly deserves a place on this list.
As for the others, I know little about them. I think I've heard of Kevin and Kell and I believe I've seen an ad for Red String, but beyond that, I'm at a loss with this list. Could it be that after 200 reviews, I just don't know that many comics?
I guess, but the LACK of some comics disturbs me greatly. Errant Story and Gunnerkrigg Court are completely absent from that list despite being probably the best story comics on the internet. The Adventures of Dr. McNinja and 8-Bit Theater are postive classics of humor are missing. Zebra Girl, Count Your Sheep and, as always, Sluggy Freelance are all missing as well. Oh sure, there are a couple that I read that didn't quite make the list (Templar, Arizona and Cat and Girl), but even those are really light weights compared to the ones I just mentioned. Could it be that it's not MY horizons that need expanding, but the people who read and comment on the Washington Post's website?
Maybe a bit of both. Either way, I did vote for Schlock, and while it likely won't win, it probably should. Oh, PBF is good, very good, but it's DEAD. I'll spell that again: D.E.A.D. I'd rather read an active comic.
And I won't read Penny Arcade if you paid me.
Unless you paid me a LOT, and trust me, you don't have enough.