The Picks of the Week of 2008 – By The Numbers!

Before 2008 becomes too much of a distant memory, I thought that — as I did last year — I would take a look at a year’s worth of Picks of the Week.

The Numbers

There are 52 weeks in a year and as luck would have it, there were also 52 Picks of the Week in 2008.

Here is how the Picks broke down. You will find the number followed by the percent of the total.

Total POWs: 52

by Josh: 18 (34.6%)
by Conor: 17 (32.7%)
by Ron: 17 (32.7%)

That is about as evenly split between three people as you can possibly have.

This was the first year since we’ve been doing the podcast that we haven’t received a steady stream of missives complaining about a Marvel “bias” at iFanboy, which made me doubly interested to see how the breakdown by company went this year. How did the Pick of the Week break down? Thusly:

DC Comics – 23 (44.2%)
Marvel Comics – 16 (30.7%)
Image Comics – 6 (11.5%)
Dark Horse Comics – 2 (3.8%)
Dynamite Entertainment – 2 (3.8%)
Aardvark-Vanheim – 1 (1.9%)
Abstract Studios – 1 (1.9%)
Oni Press – 1 (1.9%)

This was quite an interesting year. Marvel dropped 18%, which I would probably attribute to Secret Invasion dominating a lot of the Marvel books that iFanboy reads. I think you can probably attribute the 8% increase in DC to Geoff Johns, Final Crisis and Vertigo.

When people like to describe the iFanboys in shorthand they say that I am the “DC Guy”, Ron is the “Marvel Zombie” and Josh is… still the indie guy? Did our POWs prove those labels correct in 2008?

DC Comics – 10 (55.5%)
Marvel Comics – 5 (27.7%)
Image Comics – 2 (11.1%)
Dark Horse Comics – 1 (5.5%)

DC Comics – 9 (52.9%)
Marvel Comics – 4 (23.5%)
Dynamite Entertainment – 2 (11.7%)
Abstract Studios – 1
Dark Horse Comics – 1 (5.8%)

Marvel Comics – 7 (41.1%)
DC Comics – 4 (23.5%)
Image Comics – 4 (23.5%)
Aardvark-Vanheim – 1 (5.8%)
Oni Press – 1 (5.8%)

I was really surprised by Josh’s numbers as 2008 felt like the year that Josh let is inner Marvel Zombie off the leash. Perhaps we won’t see the effect on the Pick of the Week until 2009. I feel like, on the whole and despite all the turmoil on the “flagship” books, DC had a much stronger year, creatively, than Marvel did. This would be the reverse of how I felt in 2007.

The Writers

These days comic books are primarily a writer-driven and here at iFanboy we are primarily writer-centric readers. We love good art but we love a good story even more. Which writers received the high honor of Pick of the Week most often — either on their own or part of a writing team? Brace yourself, the top guys are going to be a bit of a shock!

Geoff Johns – 5 (9.6%)
Mark Millar – 4 (7.6%)
Brian Michael Bendis – 3 (5.7%)
Ed Brubaker – 3 (5.7%)

While in 2007, Ed Brubaker was the clear POW leader, this year finds a pretty tight grouping at the top. Combined, these four guys had more than a quarter of all the Picks of the Week. I actually am a bit surprised, I would have thought that Geoff Johns would have had more.

These fine writers scored Pick of the Week honors twice:

• Jason Aaron
• Andy Diggle
• Robert Kirkman
• Grant Morrison
• Greg Rucka
• Brian K. Vaughan

And those writers with one Pick of the Week selection for 2008:

Dan Abnett, Zander Cannon, Wayne Chinsing, Darwyn Cooke, Paul Cornell, Paul Dini, Warren Ellis, Garth Ennis, Matt Fraction, Sterling Gates, Drew Goddard, Justin Grey, Andy Lanning, David Lapham, Joshua Luna, Dwayne McDuffie, Terry Moore, Fabian Nicieza, Jimmy Palmiotti, Rick Remender, James Robinson, Dave Sim, Dan Slott, Peter J. Tomasi, Eric Trautmann, Fred Van Lente, Matt Wagner, Clark Westerman, Joss Whedon, Judd Winick, Brian Wood, Amy Wolfram 

Congratulations to all 42 writers. We will keep an eye out for all you, I’m sure you have bright futures ahead!

The Number Ones

Looking at all the Picks of the Week one thing is perfectly clear. We love first issues. There were 13 of them chosen, which is 25% of all the Picks of the Week:

• Battlefields: The Night Witches #1
• Captain Britain and MI:13 #1
• Final Crisis: Resist #1
• Kick-Ass #1
• Logan #1
• Giant Size Astonishing X-Men #1
• Glamourpuss #1
• Pretty Baby Machine #1
• Superman: New Krypton Special #1
• The Roberts #1
• Top Ten: Season 2 #1
• X-Men: Noir #1
• Zorro #1

Granted, three of those are specials and not series, but they were marked with a number one, so just go with me on this one.

The Series

When you do the Pick of the Week every week for eight years like we have here at iFanboy there is a constant fear of choosing the same books over and over. You don’t want to become stagnant as a reviewer and you don’t want to bore your audience. The last thing that you want to become is predictable, but at the same time when your mandate is to pick the best book you read that week you have to stick by that rule no matter what. You can’t think about how many times a book or a creative team has been chosen, or how popular a book may or may not be, you just have to go with what was best that week. I take that responsibility very seriously and I know that Ron and Josh do as well. And that is why I found the following statistic to be pretty shocking:

Out of 52 Picks of the Week, there were 47 separate titles chosen. I did not expect that at all especially since there were 47 different titles chosen in 2007 as well. Now that’s downright freaky.

In 2008, there was no one book chosen as Pick of the Week more than any other. And there were only five books that were the Pick of the Week more than once, and they were each selected twice:

• Action Comics
• Final Crisis
• Hellblazer
• Invincible
• Scalped

The only way you find a clear winner is if you look at Final Crisis and Final Crisis-related books and you come up with five of those selected as the Pick of the Week in 2008.

And there you have it — the Pick of the Weeks of 2008 by the numbers. I hope you found this all as interesting as I did.

See you back here in a year for 2009!



  1. I can’t believe how DC biased you guys are…(sorry I couldn’t resist)

  2. I love these number crunched posts.  It’s always so interesting to see it broken down this way.  Thanks Conor.

  3. I always find these interesting – don’t go changing.

    13 out of 52 picks weren’t DC or Marvel – that’s pretty good. The funny thing is it’s almost broken down like the sales charts, with DC and Marvel switching places.

    I’m surprised Kirkman didn’t have more – he’s released books at an amazing rate this past year, particularly in the last few months, and there hasn’t been a bad one in the mix IMO. The four Millar books is a shocker, also, given how much shit you guys can give him sometimes. He did have a great year, though.

  4. I thought that Geoff Johons had more picks.

    But it was not a good year for marvel with all the secret invasion tie in

  5. So the labels were correct, Ron is Marvel, Conor is DC, and Josh is Indy (I assume many of those DC were Vertigo?). I love these types of posts as well.

  6. Not that you’re looking for more work, but any chance we could get a breakdown of the ifanbase’s picks?  You know, from post ifanboy 3.0.1?

  7. Great breakdown. Now that the iFanbase can do their own picks, I would be interested to see those numbers broken down as well.

  8. lol everyone loves DC for some reason haha. but those first issues WERE definately the best ones!!

  9. @s1lentslayer: Actually, only three of Josh’s DC Picks were Vertigo.

  10. How come there is no list of all 52 picks?  I figured that would’ve been the first thing you’d display in an article like this.

  11. Those are always available:

  12. these articles are also an interesting read. thanks for the stats guys. it looks to me that Josh is no longer the Indy king, perhaps the community should rethink the whole Ron/Marvel, Conor/DC and Josh/Indy dynamic? prediction for 2009: Josh/Marvel, Ron/DC and Conor/Indy

  13. Wow, I would’ve never realised you did more DC titles for POTW then anything else. If anything, I would think Image or other Indy brands would’ve been the top spot for most picks. But great article conor, I’m sure getting all of these numbers together must’ve been hell.

    But let me ask you guys something though. Out of all the issues you made as POTW, which series didnt turn out well as you hoped? I remember two years ago you guys had Civil War: Frontlines #1 as pick and you guys thought the rest of that series stunk. So anything like that from the year of 2008?

  14. I would be curious to see how the iFanbase compared with staff’s picks.  If I didn’t get it already, I make it a point to buy every pick of the week if only to expose myself to something new (now I’m hooked on JSA, thanks guys).

    And now for something totally unrelated:  Connor and Josh, are you going to be at the NYCC?  

  15. Logan by Brian K Vaughan didn’t turn out as well as my POW for issue #1 would have indicated.

    Pretty Baby Machine never had a second issue after they sold the film rights.

    Top Ten Season 2 has been…OK…

    The thing is, these are the Picks of the Week.  We obviously read lots of other books, and it’s only a sample of what one of us read every third week.  But the labels were always flawed from the start.  I’m not an indie guy.  I’m a variety guy.  I like all sorts of different kinds of comics.

  16. Dynamite Entertainment are creeping up my stats as well Conner they are putting out some amazing titles right now!

  17. Cool info.  Great to have it all laid out like that.

  18. Went back in time and did some stats on the iFanbase picks…what I could find of them anyway.  Around February things start to get fuzzy.  All this is what I could tell from the website weekly comics pages.

    Out of 47 weeks here is what I got.

    DC was picked 23 times or 48.9%.  Final Crisis and its tie ins made up 9 picks here.

    Marvel was picked 19 times or 40.4%  Captain America had the lead with 4 picks here.

    Image was picked 3 times or 6.4%.  Walking Dead had 2 here.

    Dark Horse was picked 2 times or 4.2%.  All Buffy.


    Going thru the year in reverse one thing is certain.  DC is ruling the roost at the moment with 17 of the last 22 picks. 

  19. I did a little look at my picks which I’ve been doing since 7/10….so I’ve had 25 picks so far.

     Marvel 14, DC 10, Image 1

    Geoff Johns and Matt Fraction tied for writer with 4

    Captain America, Amazing Spiderman, and Secret Invasion: Thor each had 2 picks.

    And because of the SI: Thor picks, Secret Invasion won the storyline award with 4 picks. But Superman won the family award with 4 picks.

  20. correction – that should be Dark Horse 1 not Image

  21. Thanks much for sharing this, this is great stuff.  Vertigo probably shouldn’t be counted as DC for next year’s analysis, imho.  As a DC zombie, its nice to see them getting the iFanboy approval, because they certainly don’t have it in the sales world.

  22. @Aeopile – Vertigo is DC just as Icon is Marvel.  They are all books published under the same company umbrella and part of the richness of each company.  It would be a disservice to each compeny to seperate them.

  23. I like them stats. 2009 will be interesting.

  24. I think it would be hard to say any one of you is biased.  You like what you like and you don’t really fawn over a particular creator or book.  I can’t say that I’ve listened to any POTW podcast or read a review and thought "Wow, this guy’s really in so and so’s bag; he should be getting free book he’s such a shill."  You each give good reasons for why you thought what you did and also mention when it’s a hard week or a mediocre week and other books you might have thought could have been in that position.

    Btw, @connor, how can you afford to buy between $60 and $80 worth of books?  I feel guilty buying $25 or $30 worth on a heavy week.  Daaamn, that’s dedication.

  25. Someone else already started doing the fanboy base analysis, and I did oct through dec, and am blown away – of those 14 picks – 12 of them are DC.  1 of which is vertigo.

     Conor, yeah I understand what you mean about counting vertigo with them, but I look at Vertigo as being a seperate universe, so I’d look at a pick for a vertigo title being more like a indy pick than a DC pick, hence the suggestion of isolating them in some way. 

  26. @BC1: Because it’s my job.

  27. I was bored at lunch, so here’s my breakdown going back to summer:

    Marvel 14
    DC 6
    Indie 6
    Dark Horse 3
    Image 3

    I read a lot in trades which would definitely mix these numbers all up.

  28. A quick survey suggests that I picked about 3 Dark Horse books and then whatever issue of Spider-Man was out that week. "Haphazard" might be the word.

  29. My predictions for 2009:

    Josh = the "Ultraverse guy"
    Conor = the "Valiant guy"
    Ron = the "Archie guy" 

  30. Paul Montgomery (@fuzzytypewriter) says:

    Since last June I have picked:  

    12 DC (including one Hellblazer from Vertigo)

    11 Dark Horse

    5 Marvel

    3 Image 

  31. Conor, are you auditioning for the Tim Russert spot in 2009? Should we donate a dry-erase board to iFanboy?

  32. I have an entire wall that’s one big dry erase board for this stuff.

    (I don’t, but I wish I did)

  33. Paul, what do you have against Image?  Jerk.

  34. DC- 28

    Marvel- 16 

    Dark Horse- 1

    I buy 99% of my indie stuff in trades so that’ll skewer the POW a bit.

    There was a tie for 5 picks between Captain America and Green Lantern, not suprisingly.  There was four for JSA, and three for Batman, Iron Man DOS, Action Comics, All-Star Superman, and Green Lantern Corps. 

  35. I’m always surprised by the variety in the POWs, you’d think there would be more repeats.

  36. With in all these statistics, was there a Pick of the year? Or is that even possible?


    …Lets just say Action Comics.

  37. This was a very interesting post. Number crunching usually interests me and this was no exception. I thought you guys had a really good mix between Marvel/DCC books and indy books as POW and this post proves that. Unless it’s a week where some instant classic issue come out, I generally have no clue what is going to be the POW. What I think will be interesting in 2009, since it’ll be the first full year with the User POW option, is how often Josh, Ron and Conor pick the same book as the iFanbase.

  38. @Ben: Going purely on numbers, last year the book chosen the most was CAPTAIN AMERICA, so in that sense you could say it was the Pick of the Year.  This year, as I say in the article, it was a tie between five books.

  39. @BC1- Why would you feel guilty about buying comic books?  You come to this site so you obviously enjoy them.  I think that you are implying that you have some sort of deep seeded guilt about comics.  I routinely spend $45-60 each week and while that is a benifit of having a real job and being able to pay my other bills, I in know way shape or form feel any sort of guilt.  Regrets, I have a few, but no guilt.

  40. Everyone has different spending priorities.  Whatever works for you…

    I think if you asked us to each pick a book of the year, we’d all have different answers.  My favorite issue of the year was probably my last pick, Ex Machina #40.  My favorite series is a toss up, with Scalped, Fear Agent, Powers, Invincible, and Walking Dead all up there.  And while it was a fantastic year for Hellblazer, I wouldn’t call it my favorite series of the year.  It happened that on those weeks I picked it, it was the best book.

  41. Kinda surprised we didn’t see more JSA in the top spot last year (granted they got it this week.)  Here’s to a great 2009!

  42. @Conor: I love these satistical breakdowns. The math junkie in me cheers.

  43. I am shocked that Mark Millar had so many picks.  I think we have 1985 to thank for that.

  44. Impressive as it was last year, Conor, good job sir!

  45. By the way, not that anyone’s probably interested, but my personal pick for most consistant book of 2008 (in terms of quality and regularity of release) is Buffy. Hasn’t really been a single issue that wasn’t fantastic, and it’s always on time. Just my two pence.

  46. If blaming you of favoring DC or Marvel or the mainstream isn’t possible, we can always blame you for not reading anything without violence in it. Does Glamourpuss contain violence?

  47. Stats!

  48. Zander Cannon, Wayne Chinsing, Drew Goddard, Joshua Luna, Clark Westerman, and Amy Wolfram.

    These names I have never heard before, nor do I believe Zander is the person’s real name. I’m guessing these are indy writers, but what issues/titles did these guys work for?

  49. Zandor Cannon – Top Ten: Season 2

    Wayne Chinsing – The Roberts

    Drew Goddard – Buffy the Vampire Slayer

    Joshua Luna – The Sword

    Clark Westerman – Pretty Baby Machine

    Amy Wolfram – Teen Titans: Year One

  50. Paul Montgomery (@fuzzytypewriter) says:

    Drew Goddard is also a popular writer for television and wrote the feature scripts for Cloverfield and the forthcoming Cabin in the Woods (with Joss Whedon).  

  51. @Conor, Sweet, well deserved.


    I mean "wicked" sweet, I’m trying to expand that word into the west coast vocabulary. Brubaker’s done a great job on Cap. It’ll be a sad day when he leaves that book.

  52. @conor: Ah okay, I actually remember Zander cause the Top Ten pick was the most recent. But I would’ve never guessed who the others were since, I was right, they are all indy writers.

    Hopefully I get a chance to read their other work or current work for this new year.

  53. Teen Titans is indie?

  54. Doh! Did I mention I’m illiterate?

  55. Conor was, is and always will be the DC Guy. 

  56. @jmsnyder: Except for 2007 when I Picked more Marvel books than DC.  🙂

  57. Conor is the Ladykilla Guy. We all have to get over it!

  58. @Conor

     It all stems from the Batman over Spider-man.  Thats how you tell a DC Guy from a Marvel Guy.!

  59. Clearly, Ron is the indie guy.

    I’m not going to do it again, but I went through my POW’s since the site started recording them and it was something like 80 percent Matt Fraction titles, with the balance being either Ex Machina, Buffy, or (for some reason) Superman.

  60. Wow… Well, keeping in mind I haven’t done 12/17 or 12/31… from 7/30 through 12/24 I have:

     DC Books: 18

     Marvel: 3

    My most picked book was Final Crisis (3+Resist), followed by Batman (3+ 1 ish of Detective), JSA (Annual, Magog and Kingdom Specials) and Rouges Revenge (2).

    My Marvel picks were Captain Britain, Captain America and the Twelve.

    Oddly enough, my two favorite character books Green Lantern and Iron Man, are no where to be found. (Though, FC: Rage of the Red Lanterns got a nod.)

    While I’m not a big independent buyer, I’m shocked that no IDW, Image, or Dark Horse book snuck in once. I’m not surprised by Marvel’s terrible performance, but I thought I gave Captain America more respect than one time.

    I’ll update my stats on here once I get all the books.


    Great article guys! I love stats work! 

  61. Forgot to add… only one book I POWed was a major disappointment and I have since stopped reading. And that was Secret Six #1.

  62. For anyone who wants to ponder. Here are my POTW stats from 6/25/08 (when I joined) to 12/24/08 (the last day comics came out in america for 08).

    Out of 27 weeks:

    12 DC (44.4%)

    12 Marvel (44.4%)

    3 Indy (11.2%) (With 1 IDW pick and 2 Dark Horse.


    For characters there were:

    5 for Batman

    3 for Deadpool and Superman

    Two for Green Lantern Corps Members, Hellboy, and Captain America

    1 for Doctor Who, Spider-Man, Punisher, Hercules, Sub Mariner, Black Panther, and Wolverine


    Only 2 picks this year were for events (and both were for Final Crisis


    Finally for writers

    8 for Grant Morrison

    3 for Daniel Way and Geoff Johns (Only time those two names will be together in anything)

    2 for Peter Tomasi, Mike Mignola, Ed Brubaker

    1 for Brian Michael Bendis, Greg Hurwitz, Greg Pak, Fred Van Lente, Peter Milligan, Robert Saccsa, Jason Aaron, and Mark Miller

    Went for the big names in 2008.

  63. 52 picks and not once did I see an Archie comic get the honor, jerks! 😛

  64. You and Archie lovers like you can just go on and get the hell out!  Go on now!  Git!

  65. Thanks for doing this!  That’s really interesting.