Oh gods, we’re going this again.
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… and condemning us for being either infested with SJW virtue signalling or providing platforms for fascists – and sometimes simultaneously. Man, I don’t know how Time Magazine manages.
But that’s part of the process. 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 several individuals, may drop down or drop out altogether.
It does not measure talent or likeability, respect or fairness, and it does not intend to represent diversity or balance. All it does is note power, used for betterment — or detriment — in the English speaking comic book world.
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.
If you really hate this list, then do the obvious thing. Write your own. Otherwise, watch for new batches every day…
96. Eddie Ibrahim
Director of Programming at San Diego Comic-Con – it may come but once a year but Eddie holds the fortunes and plans of many comic book publishers and creators in his hands. His whim can see a publisher given the chance to expose the world to what they are working on. Or denied the chance and remain in relative obscurity. Also, it may be down to him to see if the panel you have arranged will be full of your fans or people waiting to see Critical Role.
97. Mark Waid
A major comic book writer, editor and publisher, he is currently the ongoing writer on Doctor Strange. Being sued by Richard Meyer over his involvement, or not, in the decision of Antarctic Press to cancel the Jawbreakers graphic novella, whatever the merits of that suit, demonstrates that some, certainly, see his actions as impactful. Reducing his social media interactions, no longer co-owing a comic store and the mothballing of his Thrillbent digital publisher has seen his listing number drop, but he was able to wrangle a significant portion of the comics industry to back his legal defence.
98. Gahl Buslov
The public face of Midtown Comics, the comic book chain in New York City that also runs Marvel and DC Comics’ subscription departments. Comic book publishers still make media announcements here, the big signings happen here, it shows the way with the grey market, such as sending folk out to buy all the Walmart DC Comics it can find, and for much of the media, Midtown is the model for comic book stores – its Times Square location is probably the most seen comic store in America. And Gahl Buslov is the face smiling out of it.
99. Sebastian Girner
Editor-in-chief of TKO Studios. launching a new comic book publisher with an innovative approach to formats and pricing, undercutting the majors, and lining up creators they would envy too, including an award-heavy selection of Garth Ennis, Steve Epting, Jeff Lemire, Joshua Dysart, Alberto Ponticelli, Roxane Gay, Ming Doyle and Gabriel Hernández Walta. And also in a position where he can include his own name on the cover, along with writer, artist, colourist, letterer and editor.
100. Axel Alonso
He used to rule the roost. Well, top ten at least. But his sudden departure from Marvel Comics at EIC saw him drop off last year’s chart. This year, however, he is EIC of Writers, Artists & Artisans, which should make the acronym WAAA but isn’t. Not even WAAALLC. But, with Bill Jemas’ venture capital millions behind him, he has been able to use his Marvel and DC Vertigo contact list to line up a truly impressive creator list for when the publisher launches, including Grant Morrison, Garth Ennis, JMS and Frank Cho. Look to see him rise for 2019’s list – and maybe bring Jemas onto the chart as well.
More later today… and keep up with this handy-dandy Top 100 Power List tag.