The Picks of the Week of 2012 – By The Numbers!

Before 2012 becomes too much of a distant memory it’s time for my annual look at a year’s worth of iFanboy Picks of the Week! Let’s get started!

The Numbers

There are 52 weeks in a year but, because of the Diamond skip week at end of the year, there were only 51 Picks of the Week in 2012. They were chosen on a weekly rotating basis by myself and fellow iFanboy editors in chief, Josh Flanagan and Ron Richards.

Here is how the Picks of the Week (POWs) broke down. You will find the number followed by the percent of the total (rounded off).

Total POWs: 51

by Josh: 18 (35.3%)
by Conor: 17 (33.3%)
by Ron: 16 (31.4%)

2012 was an unbalanced year. Clearly, Ron needed us to cover him once this year.

People who are particularly partisan about their comic book purchases are always complaining that their preferred company isn’t getting enough Pick of the Week attention. It’s an inevitable and lamentable fact of life when you run a website like this one.

How did the Picks of the Week break down by company? Thusly:

Marvel Comics_LogoMarvel Comics – 20 (39.2%)
DC Comics – 13 (25.4%)
Image Comics – 12 (23.5%)
Dark Horse Comics – 3 (5.8%)
IDW Publishing – 2 (3.9%)
BOOM! Studios – 1 (1.9%)

After four straight years at the top publisher spot, DC Comics gives way to Marvel Comics whose books were decisively selected as Pick of the Week more than any other company. Not only did DC fall to second place, but it was almost overtaken by Image Comics. That says a lot about how far off the quality cliff we think DC fell in 2012. The resurgence of Image Comics also helped the number of Picks of the Week from non-Big Two publishers (rising at a shockingly steady pace for the third year in a row from 6 in 2010, to 12 in 2011, to 18 in 2012) which was 35.2% of all the Picks for 2012. On the other hand, 2012 saw the number of different publishers who received Picks of the Week dip down to 6 after a high of 8 in 2011.

When people like to describe the iFanboys in a lazy shorthand they say that I am the “DC Guy”, Ron is the “Marvel Zombie” and Josh is the “Indie Guy.” Did our POWs prove those labels correct?

Marvel Comics – 6 (33.3%)
DC Comics – 4 (22.2%)
Image Comics – 3 (16.6%)
Dark Horse Comics – 3 (16.6%)
BOOM! Studios – 1 (5.5%)
IDW Publishing – 1 (5.5%)

Marvel Comics – 8 (47%)
DC Comics – 7 (41.1%)
Image Comics – 1 (5.8%)
IDW Publishing – 1 (5.8%)

Image Comics – 8 (50%)
Marvel Comics – 6 (37.5%)
DC Comics – 2 (12.5%)

The rise of Marvel NOW!, the reemergence of Image Comics, and the fall of DC’s The New 52 really affected the numbers this year. We’ve all been down on most of DC’s output for most of the year and it really showed–last year DC took the top spot from two out of three of us. This year, no one selected DC more than any other company. In 2012, Josh’s Picks had the most balance and also the most variety amongst publishers, whereas my transition to trades and collections for non-DC and Marvel books continues to affect my POW numbers. Ron was laser-focused on the top three companies, and for the first time, had the most Picks from a company not called Marvel. As far as imprints go, of the above Picks of the Week, 4 were from Marvel’s Icon line (2 by me and 2 by Josh), 3 were from the DC’s Vertigo line (2 by Josh and 1 by me), 1 from Marvel’s Ultimate line (by me), and 1 from BOOM!’s KABOOM! line (by Josh).

The Writers

Comic books remain a primarily writer-driven medium and while we here at iFanboy love good art, we usually look for a good story more than anything else. Which writers received the high honor of Pick of the Week most often — either on their own or part of a writing team?

Jonathan Hickman_Experience CreativityJonathan Hickman – 5
Brian K. Vaughan / Jason Aaron – 4
Garth Ennis / Mark Waid / Scott Snyder – 3

These six writers accounted for 23.5% of all of the Picks of the Week in 2012, which is an improvement over 2011 where the top 6 writers accounted for half of all the Picks. There was a lot more diversity this year!

Writers who scored Pick of the Week honors twice:

Brian Michael Bendis, Darwyn Cooke, Matt Fraction, Mike Mignola, Rick Remender, Robert Kirkman

And those writers with one Pick of the Week award for 2012:

Adam Beechen, Amanda Conner, Brian Wood, Brandon Graham, Brian Buniak, Brian Posehn, Cameron Stewart, Charles Schultz, Christopher Golden, Damon Lindelof, Derek Fridolfs, Dustin Nguyen, Ed Brubaker, Gerry Duggan, Giannis Milonogiannis, Howard Chaykin, James Robinson, James Tynion IV, Jeff Lemire, Joe Kubert, Jonathan Ross, Jonathan Larsen, J.T. Krul, Kurtis J. Wiebe, Mike Carey, Mike Costa, S. Stevens Struble, Sam Glanzmen, Sam Humphries, Shane Houghton, Simon Roy, Tom Taylor, Vicki Scott

The Artists

Without artists, comics are just prose and 2012 was possibly the best year for comic book art since we started keeping these stats. Which artist received the high honor of Pick of the Week most often — either on their own or part of a writing team?

Goran Parlov art from Fury MAX #1

Goran Parlov art from Fury MAX #1

Fiona Staples – 4
Goran Parlov – 3

These two artists accounted for 13.7% of all of the Picks of the Week in 2012!

Artists who scored Pick of the Week honors twice:

Chris Samnee, Darwyn Cooke, David Aja, Greg Capullo, R.M. Guera, Steve Epting

And those artists with one Pick of the Week award for 2012:

Amanda Conner, Antonio Fuso, Ben Stenbeck, Barry Kitson, Brian Buniak, Bryan Hitch, Cameron Stewart, Charles Schultz, Charlie Adlard, Declan Shalvey, Dustin Nguyen, Esad Ribic, Giannis Milonogiannis, Howard Chayken, Howard Porter, Jeff Lemire, Jerome Opena, J.G. Jones, Joe Kubert, John Cassaday, John Paul Leon, John Romita JR, Marco Checchetto, Matt Whitlock, Mike Choi, Mike McKone, Nick Dragotta, Nick Pitarra, Nicola Scott, Norm Breyfogle, Peter Gross, Rafael Albuquerque, Ramon Perez, Ryan Ottley, Sam Glanzman, Sara Pichelli, Sina Grace, Steve Dillon, Tony Moore, Travel Foreman, Tyler Jenkins, Vicki Scott, Yanick Paquette

The Number Ones

We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again and again (and again and again): we here at iFanboy love number one issues! This year we chose 13 number one issues as Pick of the Week, which is down from 14 in 2011. Which ones were chosen?

Pick of the Week for October 3, 2012

Pick of the Week for October 3, 2012

Avengers #1
Avengers vs. X-Men #1
Baltimore: The Play #1
Black Kiss II #1
Deadpool #1
Joe Kubert Presents #1
John Carter: The Gods of Mars #1
Legends of the Dark Knight #1
Peanuts #1
Peter Panzerfaust #1
Saga #1
Thor: God of Thunder #1
Uncanny Avengers #1

What were we excited about in 2012? New books from Marvel NOW! (4) and Image Comics (3), apparently.

The Series

When you do the Pick of the Week every week for nearly 12 years integrity is always paramount, but you also worry about choosing the same books over and over. Perhaps not consciously, but in the back of your mind, it’s a worry. You don’t want to become stagnant as a reviewer and you don’t want to bore your audience. You never want to get to the point where the audience can predict the Pick of the Week before it is chosen, but at the same time when your mandate is to choose the best book that you read that week you have to stick by that, no matter what. You can’t think about how many times a book or a creative team has been chosen in the past, you just have to go with what you liked the best that week. I take that responsibility very seriously and I know that Ron and Josh do, too. And that is why I always look forward to the following statistic:

Out of 52 Pick of the Weeks, there were 41 separate titles chosen, down slightly one from 44 in 2011. There weren’t very many repeat Picks of the Week.


Pick of the Week for March 14, 2012

This year we had a first, which is always exciting! For the first time since I’ve been keeping these statistics, we had one series that was selected as Pick of the Week more often than any other:

Saga – 4

But it was close! Here are the other series that were selected as Pick of the Week more than one time each:

Fury MAX – 3
Batman / Daredevil / Fantastic Four / Hawkeye / Scalped – 2

Congratulations to Brian K. Vaughan, Fiona Staples, and Image Comics for Saga, the Pick of the Week Champion of 2012!

And there you have it — the Picks of the Week of 2012 by the numbers. I hope you found this all as interesting as I did.


For a full list of all of the Picks of the Week click here.


  1. Comprehensive stuff. Saga #4 was an exceptional issue

  2. I’m curious to how DC’s sales are right now compared to before the “New 52” relaunch.

  3. Another interesting factoid: Of the 13 DC books picked, only 4 of them were “New 52” books, and 3 of those were written by Snyder.

    • If true, Saga matched the entire New 52. Wow.

      This article along with Ron listing DC’s follow up to the New 52 as one of his “worst things in comics”, it’s highlighting a fact that been evident for some time now. Besides Scott Snyder, DC has some serious problems on it’s hands right now. Hopefully they can get things turned around in 2013. But sadly, I am not too optimistic until there is a major change up top. Editorial is stifling creativity, IMO. That, and the overall talent pool isn’t the strongest right now. When Scott Lobdell is the answer to half of your questions, I can’t see much reason for optimism. Come on, DC. Get it together!!

    • New 52: Batman (twice), Swamp Thing, Animal Man

      Not New 52: Scalped (twice), The Unwritten, The Shade, Minutemen, Silk Spectre, Joe Kubert Presents, Legends of the Dark Knight, Batman Beyond Unlimited

    • Interesting find HolidayHaley. It’s funny how the POW is consistent with my thoughts on the New 52… Scott Synder is the only good thing going there. I’ve been so underwhelmed by the writing talent at DC.

  4. Always enjoy this recap, Conor. Thanks for doing the work.

  5. Ah, my love of stats is sated for another iFanboy year!

    I do find this absolutely fascinating. Did it with my own POTWs for a couple of years, but totally fell behind in 2012…

  6. I would be very interested to see how this little microcosm compares to the rest of the comic-reading world. Do other sites do breakdowns like this? How do these correspond to sales in the real world? How are company revenues?

  7. Oh, and what about the reader POTW? How did those break down, compared to the triumvirate?

  8. That picture just reminded me that Kyle xy existed. R.I.P 8(

  9. Way to go Image. It’s becoming bigger and bigger every year, and maybe already has more quality than DC or Marvel…

  10. What about the top 5 picks by the community per week?

  11. Interesting. As you guys are fond of saying about the community POTW’s; “good spread”.

    What a great year to be a comics fan.

  12. I always look forward to seeing the breakdown at the end of the year. I think the most interesting thing about BKV writing the POTW four times this year is that all of the picks were from a single title, and that tile oly had 7 issues for the year. So over half the omits he wrote in 2012 were POTWs. Very impressive!

  13. I love these summaries for the year and you do a great job with them Conor.

    My breakdown for the year included:

    -Jonathan Hickman: 10
    -Scott Snyder: 6
    -John Layman:5
    -Various: 5 (Various includes titles from OMAC, All-Star Western, Batman, and Deadpool)

    -Greg Capullo/Nick Pitarra: 5
    -Patrick Gleason/Rob Guillory/Chris Samnee: 4
    -Nick Dragotta: 3
    -Various: 3 (Various includes titles from All-Star Western, Nightwing, and Batman)

    -DC: 21
    -Marvel: 16
    -Image: 12
    -Dark Horse: 2

  14. I decided to do mine as well not that anyone cares. I trade wait on Ult. Spidy, Walking Dead, and Invincible until recently.

    Marvel: 28
    Image: 10
    DC: 7
    Valiant: 6* (didn’t start releasing books until the summer)

    Remender: 10
    Hickman: 6
    Brubaker: 4
    Struble: 4
    Bendis: 3

    Noto: 4
    Grace: 4
    Pitarra: 3

    Uncanny X-Force: 6
    Lil’ Depressed Boy 4
    Venom: 4
    Winter Solider: 3
    Manhattan Projects: 3

    • Also I had 19 different writers, 33 different artist teams get POW. I made 25 of 39 titles I bought at least 1 issue of POW which is nearly 2/3rds.

      All my DC books were in the Bat family (B,BR, Bat Inc, Red Hood) even though I pull 11 total DC titles.

      5-6 Image books I pull have been POW, and 3-4 Valiant books have as well.

      13-18 Marvel titles I pulled have been POW. 3 of the 5 I didnt make pick of the week I started pulling during Marvel now (Avengers, Deadpool which I dropped, and Uncanny Avengers).

      Yeah this is mostly for me and not for anyone else. Its really fun to do. I would recommend everyone look back on their buying tendencies of last year.

  15. I may be a pretty big DC guy, but I can’t deny I’ve dropped a lot of titles over the past year. Way too many mediocre to outright bad titles. And some that I’ve enjoyed that have been cancelled out from under me.

    Whereas Marvel has actually been giving me some interesting jumping on points with things like Hulk (for example). DC needs to clear their heads and start focusing on good old fashioned good comics across the line.

  16. I love this article ever since I started coming to this site and I began to take account of my own picks.


    DC – 24
    Marvel – 10
    Image – 9
    Dark Horse – 3
    Oni – 3
    IDW – 1

    The main reason I would think DC won (IMO) is because of 1 person and that is….


    Scott Snyder – 9
    Greg Rucka – 6
    BKV – 6
    Jeff Lemire – 5
    James Robinson, Mark Waid – 4
    Darwyn Cooke, John Layman, Jason Aaron – 3
    Brian Wood – 2
    Damon Lindelof, Ed Brubaker, JH Williams III, Johnathon Larsen, Tom Taylor, Gene Luen Yang, Peter Tomasi – 1


    Batman – 7
    Saga – 6
    Animal Man – 4
    Chew, Justice League Dark, Stumptown – 3
    Before Watchmen: Silk Spectre, Conan the Barbarian, Daredevil, Earth 2, Punisher, The Shade, Wolverine & the X-Men 2
    Batwoman, Before Watchmen: Minutemen, Indestrucible Hulk, Legends of the Dark Knight, Punisher: War Zone, Rocketeer: Cargo of Doom, Winter Soldier, Punisher: MAX, Avatar: The Last Airbender – The Promise Pt 1, Green Lantern Corps – 1

    I really believe if Saga hadnt taken their mini-break, both BKV and Saga would be #1 on my list. But that doesn’t really suprise anyone does it?

  17. Always love these stats. Another fine year guys, all the best upcoming.

  18. It seems nobody is reading DC’s best books; Wonder woman and Flash.