Every year, Bleeding Cool 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 new batches every day.
6. Dan Buckley – Marvel Publisher. The connecting glue of Marvel Comics, where TV meets games meets comics meets merchandise. It all goes through him, as long as he gets his Rocket Raccoon toys.
7. Joe Quesada – Marvel Chief Creative Officer. Stepping back into Marvel Comics day-to-day in a more prominent role from October, it was only through him that C.B. Cebulski was made the new Editor-in-Chief. And expect all sorts of other reader-friendly approaches in 2018 in attempt to turn the tanker around.
8. Robert Kirkman – Owner of The Walking Dead, Chairman of Skybound, and partner at Image Comics with new series to debut in 2018, Robert Kirkman continues to dominate the comics scene and enjoy the dizzying heights of Walking Dead popularity.
9. Mike Richardson – Owner and President of Dark Horse Comics, the largest comic book publisher owned by one man. They survived the fall of Star Wars, but the Disney buyout of one of their largest licensor, Fox, is worrisome. But Hellboy is on the rise, and they continue to benefit from their pioneering of gaming art tie-in titles, as well as discovering the future of comic book creators.
10. C.B. Cebulski – The new Editor-in-Chief of Marvel Comics, stepping into the role in controversy over his past, he has the expectations of the industry upon him, beset by falling sales, departing creators, and a resurgent DC Comics. No pressure…