It's an attempt to list the most powerful people working in the English speaking comic book marketplace. It's judged by all manner of attributes, the ability to influence what comics exist and sell, but also the willingness to use that power and the ability to retain said power if one aspect is taken away – a job, a gig or a prominent role. 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, those who are double and triple threats and also where power is concentrated in one person or perceived identity. But it also notes certain teams who work together, who've built up a joint identity, a gestalt more powerful than the sum of their parts. Some powerful organisations or groups, where power is diffused amongst many, drop down or drop out altogether.
It does not measure talent or likeability and also does not intend to represent diversity. All it does is note power, used for the betterment – or the detriment – of comics.
The list has been created in consultation with a number of senior figures in the comics industry. However, I'm aware the one thing that can be guaranteed is that everyone will think it's wrong and prefer their own take. Including all of those who were consulted.
There will be a new post every day on Bleeding Cool. We'll run the previous ones below as well, so, in reverse order…
22. Ted Adams (DOWN)
The powerhouse behind IDW, publishing a heady mix of franchise licenses, book adaptations and comics with a potential for mass-media exploitation. CEO/Publisher Ted Adams has seen IDW become Hasbro's publisher of choice, as well as developing its own properties as comics, games, TV shows, whatever and wherever it can grow, as well as innovating with high end Artists Edition projects. But more importantly, he has pushed the comics into digest sized foil pack sales items for Ponies, Turtles, Transformers and Skylanders, even palling around with Marvel's Avengers and Star Wars, selling hundreds of thousands and expanding the market to new kids as well. The only question is what will they come up with next?
Next year's position depends upon: Not spending all his time at the delightful gastropub at the new IDW San Diego offices…
21. David Steinberger (DOWN)
CEO of ComiXology, the leading digital comics distribution service, David Steinberger's role is partly a facilitator of his clients' wishes, but where ComiXology goes, the industry follows. A relatively benign dictator so far, nevertheless his power to affect the spread of comics content is massive and verging on the monopolistic.
However a plateauing of digital sales of late, as individual titles fail to grow in audience has seen ComXology look further afield for both new content and new audiences, growing internationally, while at home, encouraging local growth with the ComiXology Submit programme – making anyone an international comic book publisher.
Next year's position depends upon: Whether LINE WEbToons can break some of those big exclusive contracts when they come up for renewal.
20. Kelly Sue DeConnick & Matt Fraction (UP)
Another joint entry, more so than ever before, as the husband and wife team of Kelly Sue DeConnick & Matt Fraction have formed their own production company Milkfed Criminal Masterminds to produce their own comic and multi-media exploitation. As well as the work of their friends and colleagues, such as Phonogram and The Wicked + The Divine. Both have made the leap away from work for hire, as their creator owned books at Image Comics move from strength to strength – Bitch Planet, Sex Criminals, Pretty Deadly, Ody-C, Casanova and more. And Milkfed is becoming a brand in its own right, a Millarworld but more critically respectable.
Next year's position depends upon: Getting more books out on time…
#100-#98 – Dennis Barger, Janelle Asselin, Matthew Rosenberg
#97-#95 – Rich Johnston, Marc Silvestri, James Killen
#94-#92 – Jim Demonakos, Tim Buckley, Gahl Buslov
#91-#89 – Rob Liefeld, Peter Dolan, Catlin DiMotta
#88-#86 – Ken Levin, David Alpert, Kate Leth
#85-#83 – Jason Aaron, Stephen Christy, Jon Goldwater
#82-#80 – Stan Lee, Lorelei Bunjes, Marc Toberoff
#79-#77 – Jason Kingsley, Fiona Staples, Neal Adams
#76-#74 – Jim Sokolowski, Robbie Robbins, Corey Murphy
#73-#71 – Greg Capullo, Neil Gaiman, Art Baltazar & Franco
#70-#68 – Nemesis 43, Chris Powell, Mike Armstrong
#67-#65 – Hank Kanalz, Chuck Parker, John Rogers
#64-#62 – Alan Moore, Fred Pierce, John Wurzer
#61-#59 – Kate Beaton, CB Cebulski, Charles Soule
#58-#56 – Jeff Lemire, Matt Gagnon, Gail Simone
#55-#53 – Grant Morrison, Dinesh Shamdasani, Nicola Barrucci
#52-#50 – Skottie Young, William Christensen, Brian Azzarello
#49-#47 – Warren Ellis, Tim Lenaghan, Nicola Landau
#46-#44 – Eddie Berganza, Jonathan Hickman, Ross Richie
#43-#41 – Jonah Weiland, Peter Philips, Mark Waid
#40-#38 – Chris Ryall, Dan Slott, Mark Paniccia
#37-#35 – Nick Lowe, Raini Telgemeier, Sana Amanat
#34-#32 – Mark Doyle, Lance Fensterman, Mark Millar
#31-#29 – Hajime Isayama, Kieron Gillen & Jamie McKelvie, Kevin Tsujihara
#28-#26 – John Cunningham,, Dave Marshall, Amanda Conner & Jimmy Palmotti
#25-#23 – David Goyer, Loot Crate Merchandising Team, Frank Miller
And catch up on previous years, here:
Bleeding Cool Magazine #19 is out now in all good comic book stores. Bleeding Cool Magazine #20 with the full Top 100 Power List will be out in January.