"I don't know why the Comics Journal gets so bent out of shape about self-nomination, since they often do it themselves." That's the assertion of Cho's I felt worth discussing (hardly a "reflex," but a response to a professional's accusation.) He then goes on to recite a refrain I'm sure is much beloved by Journalistas, that four or five of the Top Ten on the list are Fanta books. I'm not sure if it's more beloved than the "J0URNAL is just a house organ for Fantagraphics" refrain, but I feel sure it's right up there.

At any rate, while Cho does admit he should have excused himself from the judgeship, he clearly doesn't think Fanta's hands are clean on this either, and I don't think he's making a "silly" comparison. Yes, there are differences between the Ignatz and the Top 100 list, but at base I still think they are comparable in being publicity-garnering stunts.

Lemme try to make my position clear to anyone listening:

If Gary Groth on his lonesome writes a positive review of a Fanta book, it doesn't bother me. If Kim Thompson on his lonesome writes a positive review of a Fanta book, it doesn't bother me; in large part because the JOURNAL has a history of running some negative reviews of their stuff. This sort of criticism is "publicity" only in the loosest sense; a review by any single critic, even one I disagree with, is for me an attempt at discourse first and an attempt to publicize second.

I don't consider the Top 100 list to be the same sort of discourse. It is, like the nominations of the Ignatz judges, an attempt to produce a "consensus sapientum", a consensus between those who are or consider themselves "wise," on what is worthy work (the Ignatz for a particular year, the Top 100 for all comics up to that time). I regard both as primarily attempts to publicize, not to provide critical discourse. You might remember that others besides myself criticized the list on the grounds of not providing critical parameters, which is admittedly a lot easier to do when dealing with one critic essayist than six or more separate nominees.

And that's why I think Cho's comparison is at least partly valid. Feel free to disagree till you're blue in the face.