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. Maybe more as we get going.
71. Eddie Ibrahim – Director of Programming of San Diego Comic-Con. The kind of show that people pay to be at rather than have to be paid to be at. These decisions set publishing decisions more than many comic book editors.
72. William Christensen – Publisher and owner of Avatar Press – and of Bleeding Cool. There aren’t many publishers still owned by one man, let along prominent comic book reporting websites, but Christensen has both – and the goodwill of Alan Moore. If anyone will get more comic book projects published from the magus, it’s this guy.
73. Mags Visaggio – An incredible burst of creative energy has seen her work recognised by the great and the good. As well as her creator owned work, she has a voice that is recognised and travels far across the industry. Her initial work for the Big Two will likely see her place higher next year.
74. Margot Atwell – Kickstarter head of publishing, and a strong influence on what gets well placed, what gets promoted and what gets pushed on the crowdfunding medium that has proved so important in funding so many comics projects, from both smaller and bigger publishers and comic creators.
75. Mark Chiarello – Senior Art Director at DC Comics. A strongly entrenched position, he has used it to push forward innovative approaches to design within the publisher, and is primarily responsible for a sharper, more iconic look for the publisher on the comic book shelves.