Every year, Bleeding Cool Magazine runs its Top 100 Power List of members of the comics industry. And every year we get told how wrong we are. Somehow, it's always for completely different reasons and from completely different directions. Why was X in when Y was not? Why is Z is high when W is so low? And neither U or T should be on this list after that incident involving V…
But that's part of the fun. This attempt to list the most powerful people working in the English-speaking comic book marketplace is, of course, flawed. It is judged by all manner of attributes, the ability to influence what comics exist and sell, but also the willingness to use that power in the industry to affect things, and the ability to retain said power if a job is taken away. Which is why you will see a number of people on a higher spot than their bosses.
The Power List rewards those who combine roles, creator, publisher, distributor, retailers, those who are double and triple threats, and also where power is concentrated in one person rather than being spread out among many. Some powerful organisations or groups, where power is diffused amongst many individuals, drop down or drop out altogether.
It does not measure talent or likeability, and it does not intend to represent diversity. All it does is note power, used for betterment — or detriment — in comics.
The list was created in consultation with a number of senior figures in the comics industry, and I thank them for their help. Although because they all disagree, they'll all think the final list is wrong, too.
Watch for a new batch twice a day. Okay, maybe not today. But maybe more as we get going.
56. Mark Doyle – Heading up Vertigo and Young Animal, with a foot in all sorts of camps at DC Comics he remains a conduit for new talent into DC Comics as well keeping the publisher as hip as possible.
57. Tim Lenaghan. Vice President of Purchasing at Diamond Comic Distributors. You want a book in Previews? And into the direct market. The buck stops with him.
58. Dinesh Shamdasani – CEO and Chief Creative Officer of Valiant Entertainment, who keeps the machine running on sheer enthusiasm – and plenty of renminbi. Constantly batting above their weight.
59. Mark Paniccia – From Malibu to Marvel, the group editor of the X-Men titles. Which, now that Disney has bought Fox, may be able to let loose a little. Expect a Phoenix-like re-ResurrXion this year…
60. Frank Miller – Just an associated name somewhere near a Batman comic can rocket that series to the top of the charts. Wants to write the next Dark Knight rather than just be in the room, and has a Superman comic in the works too. Both are guaranteed to top the charts and remain backlist sellers. And there's still always Xerxes…