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…
10. Mike Richardson (UP)
Mike Richardson is the sole owner of Dark Horse Comics, the original independent multi-media success story in comics. In the last thirty years as publisher, he's had more properties turned into films than any other. From The Mask to Hellboy to Sin City to 300 and now with The Legend Of Tarzan, he is making them as well. . Richardson has championed that rare creature in comics, the commercial auteur, in Mike Mignola, Sergio Aragones, Stan Sakai, Frank Miller and more, who return to him with loyalty. All while turned the comics license into a commercial backbone that many try to copy. The biggest comics publishing company solely owned by one man, it suits that he is also the tallest man in comics. And this year has seen Dark Horse deal with the loss of the Star Wars license by expanding their product base, licensing more games, TV shows and movies and move more into production themselves. All the time while creating genuine hits like Fight Club 2, continuing their ahead-of-the-TV-show comic The Strain and bringing out new creator owned projects. Sales are up and Richardson has become more hands on. He also owns the comic store Things From Another World and Dark Horse are the only big publisher now with their very own digital app store.
Next year's position depends upon: Not selling up, despite the offers.
9. Robert Kirkman (UP)
The only non-founder partner on the board at Image Comics, Robert Kirkman has established his Skybound studio with several ongoing comic books, has two Walking Dead TV shows and the upcoming Outcast in his pocket, with a spinoff on the way, and others in development. The Walking Dead volumes alone own the bookstore charts month in, month out, and have all but single handedly saved Diamond Book Distributors, making up half the books they sell. And he has a keen eye for new talent and new books for other creators that Skybound takes a stake in. He is also involved financially with entertainment reps and producers Creative Circle, as they are involved with Skybound. The only American creator whose new work is being published in France and the USA simultaneously, claiming one of the largest comics market in the world for his own.
Next year's position depends upon: A Fear The Walking Dead comic book to run alongside the original.
8. Diane Nelson (DOWN)
President of DC Entertainment, Diane Nelson topped the chart last year as she announced the decision to move DC Comcis from New York to Burbank, upending the shape of the comic book industry in America, and the after effects have not just been felt in Burbank but also with plenty of other publishers losing staff, gaining staff or having to pay them more to keep them on board. The publisher has also been affected by new staff not being as experienced, leading to recent lateness and surprise changes on comics. And while Diane is still heavily involved in the way DC Comics appears across other media, and with events such as Dark Knight and Sandman Overture, this year she has taken on other priorities at Warners, shifting her focus. But she still won't let Geoff Johns write more than two comics…
Next year's position depends upon: Focusing more on the comic books again. And finding a way to care more.
#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
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.