This was one of my favorite inventions for the digests--DC's yearly "best of" compilations, the closest comics would come to an Oscar ceremony. You can see they comissioned a cover (by Ross Andru and Dick Giordano) to make that connection even more explicit.
I've always liked covers with heroes palling around, and as a kid I would read into who was seated with who (why is Aquaman all the way in the back? no way would Ollie let Dinah sit next to Travis Morgan!). Also, DC added 32 pages to the book, but didn't charge any more. Those were the days, eh?
DC's self-picked best stories of 1979 were:
"Miracle Man of Easy Co." by Cary Bates, Joe Staton, and Jack Abel (DC Comics Presents #10)
Deadman in "Never Say Die" by Len Wein and Jose Luis Garcia Lopez (Adventure Comics #466)
Jonah Hex in "Minister of the Lord" by Michael Fleisher and Luis Dominguez (Jonah Hex #24)
Superboy in "The Shadow of Jor-El" by Cary Bates, Joe Staton, and Frank Chiaramonte (Superman Family #196)
"The Mouse of History" by Don Thompson(!) and Rubeny(?) (House of Mystery #267)
Guess who in "The Curse of Crime Alley" by Denny O'Neil, Don Newton, and Dan Adkins (Detective Comics #483)
"Clark Kent's Mynah Dilemma" by Cary Bates, Kurt Schaffenberger, and Dave Hunt (Superman Family #197)
The Haunted Tank in "Back Door to War" by Robert Kanigher and Sam Glanzman (G.I.Combat #213)
"Papa Don" by Greg Potter and "Holy Panaligan" (that's gotta be a pseudonym) (Secrets of the Haunted House #17)
Superman in "The Fall and the Rise of The Star-Child" by Cary Bates, Curt Swan, and Frank Chiaramonte (Action Comics #502)
...in addition to all this, there's a "best covers of the year" gallery, a "who's who on the cover" feature (plus one featuring the back cover, starring DC staffers like Joe Orlando, Jennette Kahn, Ross Andru, and Bob Rozakis), and a text piece by E.Nelson Bridwell. Sa-weet!
Before I move onto BODCBRD#6 (whew!), I have a question for anyone who's started to read this blog: my original intention was to start with DC's first digest, Best of DC Blue Ribbon Digest #1, and go sequentially from there, all the way until its final issue, #71.
But right around the release of this digest, #5, DC started another title, DC Special Blue Ribbon Digest, which was published concurrently. Should I alternate between the two digest titles when posting, or go straight through one title then start over with the next one (other digest titles, like DC Special Series and the final year of Adventure Comics, could get thrown into the mix down the line as well)?
It's up you!