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.
61. Jason Aaron – Co-creator of Southern Bastards and Goddamned from Image, the re-creator of Thor as Jane Foster that changed the face of Marvel, and looking like he’ll be heading up a big Avengers relaunch in 2018, alongside the new movie.
62. Jeff Lemire – The writer/artist who excels in all fields, with work from all major publishers, his own universe at Dark Horse and with multi-media adaptations of his creator-owned comics in the way. He gets published a lot.
63. Sana Amanat – Marvel Content Development Director and co-creator and editor of the current Ms Marvel, she is a very strong voice internally and Marvel and a face for the publisher to the rest of the world. She did much to counter criticism of Marvel’s new EIC recently as well.
64. Jeph Loeb – where the TV series go, Marvel comics series will follow. How else would we now have a new Runaways comic book? Heading up Marvel’s TV division and even working with Fox on one or two projects. The Disney/Fox buyout will likely make his influence in the comics felt even more.
65. Ariell R Johnson – owner and operator of Amalgam Comics & Coffee in Philadelphia, the only black woman comic store owner on the East Coast, she has made herself as much a brand as the store she operates, as a voice, an opinion that the comics industry listens to. And an inspiration to other stores that have taken her advice and followed her example.