This Weeks Finest Year Three

Power Man & Iron Fist 1 Theotis Jones(resize)As we’ve done in years past, I’ve decided to do a numerical analysis on our This Week’s Finest picks at Nothing But Comics for the sites third year. This writing will focus on the writers, artist and publishers who were selected for This Weeks Finest. That said, though it will be similar to the last two posts, there have been some changes to take note of. For the majority of the year, picking This Week’s Finest has been done by three different writers as opposed to years past where there where as many as seven of us picking books. Alex & Dean were still participating in This Week’s Finest at the beginning of the year so the numbers will be skewed a bit in terms of who chose what. Another change is our disclosure policy that we implemented shortly into the start of our third year. Nothing But Comics continues to grow and as such, more publishers are giving us comics for review. In the publisher section, I’ll address this further in the context of the section. Lastly, we all at Nothing But Comics have done a bad job in the past of crediting colorist and the work they did. We’ve made an effort to rectify that in the past year but initially, some of our This Week’s Finest posts still weren’t crediting colorist. As such, I won’t be covering it in this years post but plan on doing so for future postings. Now on to the data, where one publisher came back strong, a few creators made their This Weeks Finest debut’s on multiple occasions and one writer went from being honored zero times last time around to having tied for the most in year three.

Saga36Titles: In our third year, six different titles were repeat This Weeks Finest honoree’s with Saga being the only comic that repeated more then once having been picked three times. Interestingly enough, Saga was picked by three separate writers from myself, Josh and Creighton respectively and all from the same story arc. This probably isn’t much of a surprise as Saga is the defacto best ongoing comic right now, but it still says a lot about the book in 2016 that it could have made that big of an impression on us, especially considering that it hadn’t been chosen once the year prior. Other repeat winners were Shutter which was picked both times by Cosmo, Paper Girls which was picked by Alex & Dean, Powerman & Iron First which was picked by myself and Josh, Omega Men which was picked by Cosmo and I along Wrath of The Eternal Warrior which was picked twice by Josh. Overall, that makes for another year where 39 separate titles were picked out of 51 weeks in the year. Repeats from last year were few and far between as well with only Shutter, The Fade Out, Unbeatable Squirrel Girl, Action Comics, Copra and Secret Wars repeating from year two. Action Comics & Shutter are the only title to be picked in all three years of NBC’s existence while East of West, Thor & Saga were also comics that got picked in year one and year three but not year two. The amount of new titles being chosen this year is probably more a function of industry trends then anything else. Where as comics series in the past would often go at bare minimum 20+ issues, in 2016, titles generally don’t last as long due to the way the business model has changed. Number one issues sell and every major publisher knows this. The upside of this is variety, a book like We Are Robin had a very finite existence but for one single issue, it was excellent enough to be considered the best comic of the week. Valiant’s original Eternal Warrior re-launch was a good comic that was probably never going to stand out enough for it to be honored but by having Raul Allen’s unique style of visual storytelling and composition, Wrath of The Eternal Warrior was chosen twice. That’s mostly why there were so many new titles this year chosen as This Week’s Finest, there were more new comics then ever before and major publisher’s continue to be more daring in their creative choices.

OmegaMen9Publishers: In terms of publishers becoming more daring, nowhere was this more apparent then DC Comics who was picked eleven times for This Week’s Finest; more then they ever had before and for the first time, more then Marvel Comics. Josh picked the most DC titles at four followed by myself picking three separate books with Cosmo picking two while Dean and Alex each picked one when they were still active. Out of those picks, only one DC series repeated in Omega Men being selected twice while series writer Tom Kings DC work comprised four of our selections overall. Writer Tim Seely also had two of his DC books selected, though one of those, Grayson Annual #2, was co-written by King. Overall, less then half of all DC books were from the same creators, a stark different from last year where out of the nine DC Comics chosen for This Weeks Finest, three were for Grant Morrison titles and two were for the Gotham Academy comic. While they might have fallen behind their main competitor in terms of our selections, Marvel actually improved on their number last year with ten picks overall to last years nine. I picked the most Marvel titles (shocker I know) with four in total while Josh & Cosmo each picked three. Marvel has less parity then last year with writer David Walker being selected three times; twice for his Powerman & Iron Fist series with Sanford Greene and once for Nighthawk while Jason Aaron was selected twice for Weird World & Thor; effectively making 50% of our Marvel picks from two separate writers. Dark Horse also increased their total picks this year from four to five. Valiant increased from none in year two to match it’s year one total of three. Meanwhile, Black Mask made it’s This Week’s Finest debut with one selection in total and IDW managed to match their year one total with two selections. It’s important to note that those last three companies are all publishers that provide us with review copies and as such, naturally got our attention. As readers, you should always consider this in our This Week’s Finest selections or reviews and content in general. Not having to pay for a comic gives us better incentive to try the book so it’s entirely possible that in a week where Dark Horse, Valiant or Black Mask was chosen, there could have easily been a superior single issue that we didn’t consider because of the choice to read a comic that was ostensibly free as opposed to one we had to buy. Furthermore, having a relationship with the publisher is going to affect how we the reviewers engage with the material. Though we all try to be objective, it’s impossible for that not to affect our selections on some level. On the other hand, giving us a review copies is in no way a guarantee of coverage, favorable or otherwise. What you probably don’t know is that Titan Comics also sends us review copies and they’ve yet to be chosen for This Week’s Finest once. In terms of individual choices, Josh had selected the most review copies for This Week’s Finest with a total of five; three times for Valiant, twice for Dark Horse and once for Black Mask. Cosmo was the second most with picking two Dark Horse titles and Alex picked one single issue from Dark Horse.

While DC Comics, Marvel, IDW and the aforementioned publishers that work directly with NBC all increased their total selections from year two,  several publishers decreased in contrast. Image still dominated, leading all publishers with seventeen selections overall though it was five less then last years twenty one picks. I had picked the most Image titles at seven in total followed by Cosmo who chose six. Josh and Dean each picked two and Alex picked one. Out of the Image books chosen, five of those were for Brian K Vaughan books, three for Saga and two Paper Girls. The only other Image book to get picked twice in year three was Shutter. Creators Ed Brubaker, Sean Phillips, Kelly Sue DeConnick, Jonathan Hickman and Emma Rios each repeated on separate Image books. Boom! was only chosen once in year three for Mighty Morphin Power Rangers #0 by Josh while Copra Press was chosen by myself for the debut (and so far only) issue of Copra Vs

Paper Girls 1 Cliff ChiangWriters: Year three of This Week’s Finest saw several writers repeat, some for the very first time. Leading the pack was the aforementioned Brian K Vaughan and newcomer Tom King. While the Brian K Vaughan picks were spread out with one each from myself, Cosmo, Josh, Alex & Dean for Tom King, Cosmo and I each picked the writer twice while Dean picked him once. King’s Omega Men was chosen twice, once by me and the other by Cosmo, while the other King written series chosen were Batman by Cosmo, Grayson by Dean and The Vision by myself. Another newcomer to make a big impact on This Weeks Finest in year three was David Walker getting three picks, twice for Powerman & Ironfist by myself and Josh and another one by me for Nighthawk. The only other writer to get three was Jonathan Hickman who was chosen for This Weeks Finest twice by Cosmo for Secret Wars and The Black Monday Murders and once by me for East of West.  In addition, Jason Aaron, Ed Burbaker, Joe Keatinge, Brian Wood, Kelly Sue DeConnick, Greg Rucka, Robert Vendetti & Tim Seely all repeated as This Week’s Finest honoree’s. The last four mentions are significant for being first time This Week’s Finest picks. Out of all the repeat selections, only Joe Keatinge and Robert Vendetti repeated on the same book with Shutter and Wrath of The Eternal Warrior being selected twice by Cosmo and Josh respectively. Other writers being selected for the first time were John Ostrander, John Layman, Mark Russell, Erik Burnham, Evan Dorkin,  Kyle Higgins, Steve Orlando, Max Landis, Amancay Nahuelpan and Lee Bermejo. Meanwhile; Grant Morrison, Scott Snyder, Rick Remender, Kieron Gillen, Ales Kot, Becky Cloonen & Brendan Fletcher were all repeat picks last year that did not have any of their books chosen for This Week’s Finest in year three while Ed Brubaker, Jonathan Hickman, Brian Wood & Greg Pak were all repeat selections from year two that also had This Week’s Finest selections in year three.

Wonder Woman 2 Nicola ScottArtist: As has been typical of the last two years, the most parity in This Weeks Finest selections comes from artists but even with that said, year three saw less parity than years prior. While last year saw Jock & Michel Fiffe each get three selections, this year the only three timer was Fiona Staples. Yet the amount of artist with multiple selections went from five in year two to eleven in year three. Artist with two This Week’s Finest selections were Sean Phillips, Leila Del Duca, Emma Rios, Nick Dragotta, Cliff Chiang, Nicola Scott, Raul Allen, Sanford Greene, Barnaby Bagenda & Gus Vazquez. Of the aforementioned artists, the last seven were all first time This Weeks Finest selections. Also of interest; Sean PhillipsEmma Rios, Nick Dragotta, Nicola Scott & Gus Vazquez were all repeat winners on separate books, atypical of comics artists that generally work on one series at a time. While two time year two selection Sean Phillips managed to repeat his selection number and last year’s co-leader Michel Fiffe also got selected once more in year three, other repeat winners Jock, Cameron Stewart & Wes Craig were not selected in year three. Other first time selections for year three included Ramon Villalobos, David Finch, Mack Chater, Tomm Coker, Chris Mooneyham, Steve Pugh, Tom Fowler, Brandon Lamb, Dan Shoneing, Michael Walsh, Jill Thompson, Hwei Lim, Gerado Zafino, Nico Leon, Marighread Scott, Daniel Bayliss, Taki Soma, David LaFuente, Mike Del Mundo, Amancay Nahuelpan, James Harvey and Andrea Mutti.

Every year we’ve analyzed the data behind This Week’s Finest, I’m always surprised and that’s no exception this time around. Who’d have thought one year ago that Image would get picked less and DC Comics would not only increase, but surpass Marvel even as their selections increased as well? And that they would do so essentially out of two reboot initiatives? Comics are nut’s and in my three years at NBC, I’ve seen all manner of changes and evolutions in the medium. When we started Nothing But Comics, Tom King had never published a comic, in our third year he tied with Brian K Vaughan for the most writer selections. Moving forward, NBC will continue to use This Weeks Finest to honor excellence in weekly comics releases as we look forward to another 51 This Week’s Finest selections for year four.

List of This Week’s Finest Year Three Selections

Rebels #6 by Brian Wood, Adrea Mutti, Jordie Bellaire and Dark Horse Comics. Picked by Alex

Ivar, Time Walker #9 by Fred Van Lente, Pere Perez, Andrew Dalhouse, Dave Sharpe, Carolina Bonita Soler & Valiant Comics. Picked by Josh

We Are Robin #4 by by Lee Bermejo, James Harvey, Diana Egea, Alex Jaffe & DC Comics. Picked by Patrick

Grayson Annual #2 by  Tim Seely, Tom King, Alvaro Martinez & DC Comics. Picked by Dean

Paper Girls #1 by Brian K Vaughan, Cliff Chiang, Matt Wilson & Image Comics. Picked by Alex

Clandestino #1 by Amancay Nahuelpan & Black Mask. Picked by Josh

Weirdworld #5 by Jason Aaron, Mike Del Mundo & Marvel Comics. Picked by Cosmo

Black Magick #1 by Greg Rucka, Nicola Scott, Jodi Wynne, Eric Trautmann & Image Comics. Picked by Patrick

Paper Girls #2 by Brian K Vaughan, Cliff Chiang, Matt Wilson & Image Comics. Picked by Dean

4903546-01-variantSuperman American Alien #1 by Max Landis, Nick Dragotta, Matthew Clark & DC Comics. Picked by Alex

Wrath of The Eternal Warrior #1 by Robert Venditti, Raul Allen, Patricia Martin, David Astruga & Valiant Comics. Picked by Josh

The Fade Out #11 by Ed Brubaker, Sean Phillips, Elizabeth Breitweiser & Image Comics. Picked by Dean

East of West #22 by Jonathan Hickman, Nick Dragotta, Frank Martin & Image Comics. Picked by Patrick

Secret Wars #8 by Jonathan Hickman, Esad Ribic, Ive Svorcina & Marvel Comics. Picked by Cosmo

WotEW2CoverWrath of The Eternal Warrior #2 by Robert Vendetti, Raul Allen, David LaFuente & Valiant Comics. Picked by Josh

Saga #32 by Brian K Vaughan, Fiona Staples & Image Comics. Picked by Cosmo

Bitch Planet #6 by Kelly Sue DeConnick, Taki Soma, Kelly Fitzpatrick & Image Comics. Picked by Patrick Hess

Mighty Morphin Power Rangers #0 by Kyle Higgins, Steve Orlando, Mairghread Scott, Daniel Bayliss, Corin Howell, Hendry Prasetya, Matt Herms, Ed Dukeshire & Boom! Studio. Picked by Josh

I Hate Fairyland #4 by Skottie Young, Jean-Francois Beaulieu & Image Comics. Picked by Cosmo

Omega Men #8 by  Tom King, Barnaby Bagenda, Romulo Fajardo Jr & DC Comics. Picked by Patrick

ActionComics49Action Comics #49 by Greg Pak, Aaron Kuder, Adriam Syaf, Johnathan Glapion, Sandra hope, Scott Hanna, Tomeu Morey & DC Comics. Picked by Josh

Ms. Marvel #4 by G. Willow Wilson, Nico Leon, Ian Herring & Marvel Comics. Picked by Cosmo

Powerman & Iron Fist #1 by David Walker, Sanford Greene, Lee Loughridge & Marvel Comics. Picked by Patrick

Karnak #2 by Warren Ellis, Gerado Zaffino, Antonio Fuso, Dan Brown & Marvel Comics. Picked by Josh

Omega Men #9 by Tom King, Barnaby Bagenda, Romulo Fajardo Jr & DC Comics. Picked by Cosmo

340818._SX640_QL80_TTD_Thor #5 by Jason Aaron, Russell Dauterman, Matthew Wilson & Marvel Comics. Picked by Patrick

Powerman & Iron Fist #2 by David Walker, Sanford Greene, Lee Loughridge & Marvel Comics. Picked by Josh

Mirror #2 by Emma Rios, Hwei Lim & Image Comics. Picked by Cosmo

Saga #35 by Brian K Vaughan, Fiona Staples & Image Comics. Picked by Patrick

TheFixFeaturedThe Fix #1 by Nick Spencer, Steve Lieber, Ryan Hill & Image Comics. Picked by Josh

Shutter #20 by  Joe Keatinge, Leila Del Duca, Owen Gieni & Image Comics. Picked by Cosmo

Cry Havoc #4 by Si Spurrier, Ryan Kelly, Matt Wilson, Lee Loughridge, Nick Firaldi & Image Comics. Picked by Patrick

Saga #36 by Brian K Vaughan, Fiona Staples & Image Comics. Picked by Josh

Beat of Burden: What The Cat Dragged In by Evan Dorkin, Sarah Dyer, Jill Thompson & Dark Horse Comics. Picked by Cosmo

The Vision #7 by Tom King, Michael Walsh, Jordie Bellaire & Marvel Comics. Picked by Patrick

Dept. H #2 by Matt Kindt, Sharlene Kindt & Dark Horse Comics. Picked by Cosmo

Ghostbusters International #5 by Erik Burnham, Dan Schoening, Luis Antonio Delgado & IDW Comics. Picked by Josh

Corpa Versus #1 by Michel Fiffe & Corpa Press. Picked by Patrick

Shutter 22 Lelia Del DucaShutter #22 by Joe Keatinge, Leila Del Duca, Owen Gieni & Image Comics. Picked by Josh

New Suicide Squad #21 by Tim Seely, Juan Ferreya, Gus Vasquez & DC Comics. Picked by Josh

Pretty Deadly #10 by Kelly Sue DeConick, Emma Rios, Jordie Bellaire & Image Comics. Picked by Patrick

The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl #9 by Ryan North, Erica Henderson, Tom Fowler, Brandon Lamb, David Malki, Ricco Renzi & Marvel Comics. Picked by Cosmo

The Flinstones #1 by Mark Russell, Steve Pugh, Chris Chuckry & DC Comics. Picked by Josh

Wonder Woman #2 by Greg Rucka, Nicola Scott, Romulo Fajardo Jr & DC Comics. Picked by Patrick

Batman 3 Tim SaleBatman #3 by Tom King, David Finch, Danny Miki, Jordie Bellaire & DC Comics. Picked by Cosmo

Predator vs Judge Dredd vs Aliens #1 by Jonathan Layman, Chris Mooneyham, Michael Atiyeh, Dark Horse Comics & IDW Comics. Picked by Josh

Kill or Be Killed #1 by Ed Brubaker, Sean Phillips, Elizabeth Breitweiser & Image Comics. Picked by Patrick

The Black Monday Murders #1 by Jonathan Hickman, Tomm Coker, Michael Garland & Image Comics. Picked by Cosmo

Briggs Land #1 by Brian Wood, Mack Chater, Lee Loughridge & Dark Horse Comics. Picked by Josh

382538._SX640_QL80_TTD_Nighthawk #4 by David Walker, Ramon Villalobos, Tamra Bonvillain & Marvel Comics. Picked by Patrick

Suicide Squad War Crimes #1 by Gus Vazquez, Carlos Rodriguez, Gabe Eltaeb & DC Comics. Picked by Josh

5 thoughts on “This Weeks Finest Year Three”

  1. Somehow the little white fluffy seal thing can chop a dude’s fingers off and still maintain cuteness.

    I keep on thinking that I gotta pick Saga back up so that I can find out what that little guy’s deal is. Maybe, eventually.

    I once tried to pick up a Glia Monster because it was so darn cool looking and because I was 12 years old and stupid. Luckily it escaped under a prickly bush otherwise I would have been partying with one of the world’s few poisonous lizards.

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