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…
5. Geoff Johns (UP)
After taking on – and leaving – the Superman books, DC Comics Chief Creative Officer Geoff Johns went on to sure up the Justice League comics with their big events, taking advantage of DC's looser continuity. He has continued the Earth One original graphic novels, and is currently taking Aquaman back, but has also seen his work spread across DC Entertainment's burgeoning TV series. His influence in TV, writing and co-creating the spinoff shows, as well as the cartoons, is now providing a greater influence on DC's publishing than ever before with the new digital first titles.
And for some reason his comics are more likely to be adapted into cartoons than any other, which has also lead to their comic/DVD box set line. He has been restrained somewhat in recent years, but his influence and work is burgeoning again. The films and TV reflect his takes more than anyone else – and they then affect the comics right back again.
6. Eric Stephenson (UP)
Publisher of Image Comics, Eric Stephenson has turned this position into the most powerful engine of pure creativity in the bsuiness. No one has quite the power – and willingness to use it – to take a completely unknown comic book creator and make them the talk of the town as well as pulling mainstream comic creators from their Marvel and DC teat. Many, like Mark Millar, Robert Kirkman, Scott Snyder, Kieron Gillen, Rick Remender and more have found they can make a lot more money on the comics, keep the rights and push talented friends in the process. His power comes completely from his position, but it's one he has used to better the industry and garner great loyalty as a result. This last year has seen Phonogram, Wytches, Tokyo Ghost, Descender, Bitch Planet and I Hate Fairyland join The Walking Dead, Pretty Deadly, Sex Criminals and more, blossoming in a way they never could have before.
Next year's position depends upon: Replying to his e-mails more.
5. Axel Alonso (UP)
Editor-In-Chief at Marvel Comics, Axel Alonso has continued to refresh and reinvent Marvel Comics titles, despite the pulls and pushes of a wider corporation with other priorities. He's also managed to push his own brand a little more of late, with weekly Q&As, shows, and social media. He also retains the respect of his creators and he has been instrumental in bringing in the kind of talent that did well on creator owned books at other companies, and pinning the future of the comic book publisher on them. Alonso has continued to seek out and champion the people who now write some the best-selling superhero comics in the industry while still supporting their work on the books that brought them to his attention in the first place. There has also been a clear push for diversity amongst the titles being published – and a greater diversity of creators is also starting to play catch up. He also signed off some of the bigger Marvel names on Star Wars, when he could have gotten away with a lot less – and has reaped the benefit. Marvel has dominated marketshare in the direct market of comic stores as a result, until it's the norm for them to have an almost monopolistic share.
Next year's position depends upon: Can he keep interference from studios o his editors and creators to a minimum?
#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
#22-#20 – Ted Adams, David Steinberger, Kelly Sue DeConnick & Matt Fraction
#19-#17 – Brian Bendis, Brian K Vaughan, Bob Harras
#16-#14 – Kevin Feige, Jim Lee, Tom Brevoort
#13-#11 – Jeph Loeb, David Gabriel, Scott Snyder
#10-#8 – Mike Richardson, Robert Kirkman, Diane Nelson
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.