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!
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:
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).
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?
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
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?
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?
Avengers vs. X-Men #1
Baltimore: The Play #1
Black Kiss II #1
Joe Kubert Presents #1
John Carter: The Gods of Mars #1
Legends of the Dark Knight #1
Peter Panzerfaust #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.
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.
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.