The Picks of the Week of 2009 – By The Numbers!

Before 2009 becomes too much of a distant memory, I thought I'd take my annual look at a year's worth of Picks of the Week.

(As a point of comparison, you can check out the Pick of the Week numbers from 2008 and 2007)

There are 52 weeks in a year and despite the one week at the end of the year when there were no new comics, there were 52 Picks of the Week in 2009.

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

Total POWs: 52

by Conor: 19 (36.5%)
by Ron: 17 (32.6%)
by Josh: 16 (30.7%)

This ended up being more unbalanced that we thought it would. Josh was stuck in the internet and comic book-free wilds of Maine during the holidays and thus had to hand off the final Pick of the Week to me.

In years past we have received a lot of e-mails and seen some comments on the website that we were skewing way too much to the Marvel Comics "side" of things with the POW. This year we didn't hear that very much. People either lightened up or this wasn't too good of a year for Marvel Comics. How did it break down by company? Thusly:

DC Comics – 22 (42.3%)
Marvel Comics – 15 (28.8%)
Image Comics – 7 (13.4%)
Dark Horse Comics – 3 (5.7%)
IDW Publishing – 3 (5.7%)
BOOM! Studios – 1 (1.9%)
Dynamite Entertainment – 1 (1.9%)

For the second year in a row since we began keeping records that we chose more DC books than Marvel. But while we definitely chose more DC books — I think on the whole, DC had a stronger year, creatively — but I would say that it wasn't as lopsided as some people thought. Unless you take into account books from anyone not Marvel or DC, and then yes, the POW is still terribly lopsided.

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?

DC Comics – 12 (63.1%)
Marvel Comics – 4 (21.0%)
IDW Publishing –
1 (5.2%)
Image Comics – 1 (5.2%)
BOOM! Studios –
1 (5.2%)

Marvel Comics – 7 (41.1%)
Image Comics – 5 (29.4%)
DC Comics – 4 (28.5%)
Dark Horse Comics – 1 (5.8%)

DC Comics – 6 (37.5%)
Marvel Comics – 4 (25.0%)
Dark Horse Comics – 2 (12.5%)
IDW Publishing – 2 (12.5%)
Image Comics –  1 (6.2%)
Dynamite Entertainment – 1 (6.2%)

Like the tides and your taxes, some things can always be counted on. Ron is still an unabashed Marvel Zombie (see: previous years' numbers) and the fact that this year his Picks of the Week weren't overwhelmingly Marvel books should tell you something about the creative year that we thought Marvel Comics had.

Comic books are primarily a 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?

Geoff Johns – 5
Greg Rucka – 4
Ed Brubaker – 3
Mike Costa – 3
Grant Morrison – 3

These five writers accounted for more than 30% of the Picks of the Week all by themselves.

Writers who scored Pick of the Week honors twice:

Jason Aaron, Dan Abnett, Christos Gage, Andy Lanning, Mike Mignola and Peter J. Tomasi

And those writers with one Pick of the Week award for 2009:

Gabriel Ba, Brian Michael Bendis, Keith Champagne, Chris Claremont, Paul Cornell, Tony Daniel, Joshua Dysart, Garth Ennis, Matt Fraction, Kieron Gillen, Marc Guggenheim, Bill Hader, Jonathan Hickman, Gregg Hurwitz, Scott Ian, Joe Kelly, Robert Kirkman, Erik Larsen, John Layman, Jeff Lemire, Mark Millar, Fabio Moon, Seth Myers, James Robinson, Dan Slott, Nick Spencer, Mark Waid, Daniel Way and Christopher Yost

Congratulations to all the writers. You all have bright careers ahead!

We've said it before and we'll say it again: we here at iFanboy love number one issues. This year we chose a whopping 15 number one issues as Pick of the Week! That's almost 29% of all of the Picks! Which ones were chosen?

Batman and Robin #1
Battlefields: Dear Billy #1
Dark Avengers #1
Daytripper #1
The Flash: Rebirth #1
Forgetless #1
G.I. Joe: Cobra #1
Lobo: Highway to Hell #1
The Marvels Project #1
Red Robin #1
Spider-Man: The Short Halloween #1
Superman: World of New Krypton #1
Sweet Tooth #1
Vengeance of The Moon Knight #1
Wednesday Comics #1

Granted, one of the above was a special, but it was listed as a number one so we're counting it.

When you do the Pick of the Week every week for nine(!) years you live in 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. 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 find the following statistic to be the most interesting:

Out of 52 Pick of the Weeks, there were 42 separate titles chosen. There weren't very many repeat Picks. Although that number is down slightly from the previous two years which, in an odd coincidence, both yielded 47 separate titles. This number being down slightly might be explained by the following statistic:

We had a three way tie for the book that was chosen most often in 2009 as the Pick of the Week:

Batman and Robin – 3 (5.7%)
Detective Comics – 3 (5.7%)
G.I. Joe: Cobra – 3 (5.7%)

Batman and Robin and Detective Comics were selected once each by Josh and twice each by me. G.I. Joe Cobra was selected twice by Josh and once by me. This is the first time in the last three years that a non-DC or Marvel book made the top of the list.

And there you have it – the Picks of the Week of 2009 by the numbers. I hope you found this all as interesting as I did.

See you back here in a year for 2010!


  1. I love seeing this stuff, but I have no idea why.  Thank you, Conor, for taking the time to tabulate it for us.

  2. I like these breakdowns.  It explains much and puts some of the over generalizations of iFanboy to rest.

  3. I’m also a fan with these year-end breakdowns – must be that stats class I never took in college.

    The fact that DC had more picks than Marvel really does attest to the 2009 the company and its creators had across the board – from the main DCU to Vertigo to (yeah, I’ll say it) Wildstorm, the publisher was firing on all cylinders last year. Good comics are good comics, it doesn’t matter where they come from.

    And because you guys can get taken for granted sometimes, thanks for the past year.

  4. kudos to Conor for compiling this list, it’s alway a really interesting read every year!

  5. Nice work.

    It’s good to see IDW competing with the big two. DC has also had a great year with an event that puts the whole Norman Osbourne omnipotence thing to shame. Forget allegiances, the stats don’t lie. Just good writing from the writers and good reviews from the reviewers.

    Roll on 2010’s POW battle.

  6. You know IDW would be a lot higher of you guys were reading Lock & Key in issues. Of course, you don’t have to wait a month to know what happens next, so you win I guess.

  7. I did some POW Math as well





    My Most picked book was GL but also GLC & Blackest Night main/minis were picked alot as well. Marvel mostly got Amazing Spider-man as picks. The 2 Avatar picks were one of my favorite discoveries this year Absolution.  

  8. This is always one of my favorite posts of the year.

    How about seeing the numbers for user POWs?

  9. This was a fun article to read….

  10. I have a strange affinity for statistics.  Humorously, this is one of my favorite articles.

  11. Great stats. It would be pretty cool (but something no one expects, needs, or besides me probably wants) to see how the iFanbase’s picks of the weeks shaped out. Probably something of a pain in the ass to do though.

  12. How many of Josh’s DC picks were Vertigo though?

  13. 2. Scalped and Sweet Tooth.

    Scalped was the infamous one the week  Blackest Night #1 came out. I stand by it!

  14. Nice to see some of the smaller publishers get the nod last year.  Most of my pulls are by the "big two" empires so it has opened my eyes to some good, new stuff.

  15. As you should Josh, Scalped #30 was a tremendous issue.

  16. What does it say when BMB and Chris Claremont had the same number of POW’s? 

    I love these stats.  Thanks for doing this again Conor.

  17. Josh, Scalped #30 was one of the best single issues of the year. Blackest Night #1 was good and all, but I don’t think it held a candle to the first part of The Gnawing.

  18. Cool stats. It sure felt like Detective Comics was PoTW more than three times… Maybe it just feels that way to me because every issue felt so damn special.

    Looking forward to Batman & Robin getting another 3-in-a-row streak going starting with issue #7 in a few weeks. 😉

  19. @ato220 Bendis had the worst year of his life, creatively speaking. Powers is back though, so I can’t complain.

  20. I got to get my numbers in order. Cause I’ve been following the POTW stats just as much as conor.

    I think josh had the most balance of the three. Sure he had a bit more DC, but he had some great picks last year. But great picks all around for the site! Can’t wait for the first pick this wednesday.

  21. Hmmm, I should tabulate my own…

  22. I didn’t do official numbers on my own POWs but scanning back I found that I almost always pick Avengers The Initiative.  That book consistently knocks my feet out.  Adding the also pretty huge number of times I picked Mighty Avengers and the couple of times for Absolution, it’s clear that if Christos Gage has a credit in any given week, that is an odds-on favorite for my pick!

  23. Alright I got my numbers all ready.

    In terms of writers I have:

    8 for Geoff Johns

    6 for Fred Van Lente

    5 for Various (anthologies, etc) and Greg Pak,

    4 for Morrison,

    3 for Duane Swiercyznki/Peter Tomasi/Daniel Way,

    2 for Jason Aaron/Dan Abnett/Warren Ellis/Andy Lanning/Fabian Nicizea/JMS

    1 for  Tony Daniel/Paul Dini/Neil Gaiman/Kieron Gillen/Jeff Lemire/Damon Lindelof/Mike Mignola/Roger Stern/Scotty Synder

    My top artist were: Patrick Gleason (3), Michel Lacombe (3), Doug Mahnke (3), Paco Medina (3), Frank Quitely (3), Ivan Reis (3

    Company wise it was: DC (25), Marvel (22), Vertigo (3), and Dark Horse (1)

  24. If you don’t count Vertigo, I had 2 DC and 2 Marvel. Yes, you can call me indie girl.

  25. Is there a list somewhere of all of the picks of the month?  I think that’d be interesting to look back on (particularly for trade shopping).

  26. @cubsmodano: They’re all listed here and here.

  27. hey, we get comics up here in maine… it just takes a while…

  28. Book of the year went to Amazing Spiderman with 4 POTW, followed closely by Adventure Comics, Chew, Daredevil, Detective Comics, and Green Lantern all getting 3 picks respectfully.

     Writer of the Year went to Geoff Johns with an outstanding 10 POTW followed by Greg Rucka and James Robinson with 4 each.

    Publisher of the Year went to DC with 27 POTW, Marvel did have 19.

  29. Every new year I look forward to this.  It’s always so interesting to look at these stats in hindsight.  

  30. It would be silly to run my numbers, since everything would be Marvel…except for that weird week when the best book was Green Lantern and the four time I chose Echo because it’s *awesome*.


  31. I love seeing the numbers behind the picks.  Great stuff.  I would LOVE to see the fan data compiled as well…

  32. I love these breakdowns. It’s a good thing Conor is actually a "stats guy" and not a "DC Guy"

  33. Love this roundup, thanks Conner.  Surprise for me was the prominence of Brubaker who’d I thought had had an off year compared to his dominance in the past.