The First Panel Rating System

9: A pretty damn good book.
8: Definitely worth your time.
7: Decent.
6: It was OK…
5: Meh.
4: There are better choices out there.
3: You might finish it, but wonder why.
2: Read it if someone pays you.
1: Don’t read, even if someone pays you.
0: Piss on the ashes.

When I decided to create this blog, I came up with a list of “features” that I thought would make the site useful, in addition to fabulously entertaining (as I’m sure it is). I read the Engadget blog religiously, and I’ve often referred to their excellent reviews, which come complete with a number score for whatever gadget they’re reviewing (as reviews often do). Because, you know, reading stuff can take a long time. So I decided early on that one of the features of the First Panel comics blog should be a rating for each comic I review.

I immediately went into dork mode and started really over-thinking this rating system. I would grade the books I read on 3 parameters: story, art, and an intangible-but-extremely-valuable “how-much-Joe-likes-it” score. I would then average those 3 values for a final super-scientific score representing the comic book’s value to humanity. I used a similar system to almost win an American Idol office pool last year!

But, I became worried about that “how-much-Joe-likes-it” parameter. I started to think, “What does it matter if I like it or not? Different people like different things! Who am I to judge the value of this work? Someone poured their blood, sweat, and tears into this book! Who the hell do you think you are, Self?” Then I slapped myself and said, “Gawd, is there a baby crying in here? It’s all subjective, dumbass. If you’re afraid of hurting people’s feelings, WTF are you writing a review blog for? Sometimes people make crappy stuff, and you’re going to have to break some hearts here.”

That just gave me a funny idea for the worst review blog ever. Heh. Heh heh. Um, anyway…

So I had that little internal debate and came to a happy place, and then I started thinking about the specifics of my rating system. I like a 1-10 scale more so than a 5-star scale, because it’s granular enough to get pretty specific about exactly how good or bad I think the book is. But, a 1-10 scale doesn’t have a middle score. Think about it. You’d think 5 is in the middle, but on a 1-10 scale 5 is actually closer to 1, and 6 is obviously closer to 10, so the true middle of a 1-10 scale is 5.5!!!  !!!!!  Fractions make me mess myself, so I changed the scale to 0-10, and now 5 is exactly in between totally awesome and complete shit, or in other words a perfect ‘meh‘.

Then I decided I would try to make the rating system kinda humorous (as I try to do throughout this blog, just for you, dear reader), so I added a colorful descriptor for each value in the scale. The end result is the official First Panel rating system you see above, and I hope you find it useful. 🙂

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27 Responses to The First Panel Rating System

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