2018 creator survey 2018 person of the year annie koyama Dav Pilkey Games ginga gagliano jarrett j krosoczka lauren weinstien liana finck lisa hanawalt Luke Pearson ngozi ukazo olivia jaimes person of the year Stan Lee Tom King Top News

And the Comics Industry Person(s) of the Year are: Stan Lee and Olivia Jaimes


As soon as once more, as we ran our annual Creator Survey, we requested individuals to select the Comics Industry Individual of the Year — somebody who made a distinction and moved the needle. This yr there was no query about who it might be, however a number of different creators had an influence on voters in 2018 – and you’ll proceed to listen to from them in years to return.


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The overwhelming selection was the one and solely Stan Lee. Though Stan’s passing on November 12th 2018 was recent on everybody’s thoughts, his historic stature ensured that his achievements can be honored.

And as controversial a determine as Lee was, he deserves our respect for a quite simple cause: he helped hundreds, if not hundreds of thousands, of individuals to like comedian books for greater than 70 years. He was the biggest marketer comics has ever seen, or in all probability ever will see, and an editor who helped some of the medium’s greats make their signature work.

And the voters agreed:

  • Stan Lee- I imply he didn’t do a lot in 2018 however he simply died and was one of the final unique titans of the business so it must be acknowledged.
  • Stan Lee, for a lot of causes, the first and foremost being I’d favor to punt on the query. However his passing signifies an enormous milestone in comics – a B.C. and an A.D., and we should always award him one remaining no-prize.
  • Stan Lee. Seeing how individuals have been acknowledged right here posthumously, I can solely assume Stan Lee will probably be one who many individuals will identify right here. Lee’s legacy is definitely difficult however his affect and identify recognition as the “face” of comics for many individuals can’t be denied. Although he embraced this position, he was, of course, the quintessential “company man” for Marvel. As I discussed in a evaluate of Marvel Comics: The Untold Story, although he guided Marvel’s artistic and editorial path in the early years, for the most half he appeared in any other case beholden to the publishers and the house owners he reported to, typically uncomfortably straddling a grey space between administration and worker. However of course he took nice satisfaction (and credit score) in what Marvel turned, and it’s telling that he remained the face of the firm whilst he directly level sued it to obtain what he felt was contractually owed to him from the films. For higher or worse, he was nice at fantasy making, himself included; although, I do really feel, it finally was to assist “brand” the firm, earlier than anybody even thought that was a factor!
  • From elder neglect and authorship controversies to the mainstreaming of comics historical past and shift to comics as the springboard for multi-platform media empires, this was the singularity yr for Stan Lee as a comics icon. Whether or not one likes it or not, Lee turned the surrogate for comics as the grandparent of American Popular culture — and I capitalize that intentionally, since the Pop motion gave fashionable tradition the distinct ethos it continues to exhibit at present.
  • Stan Lee. He actually is one of the nice fathers of mainstream American comics.
  • Stan Lee. With out studying one of the final X-Males comics he wrote in the 60’s I’d by no means have picked up one other comedian.
  • Yeah, Stan’s obtained a checkered previous so far as creator credit score goes and yeah, he’s clearly a huckster extraordinaire, however comics as we all know it wouldn’t be the similar if not for Stan Lee. If–like me–you grew up studying Marvel comics, Lee was the public face of one thing you actually liked and felt captivated with. You have been half of an unique membership and Stan Lee was that membership’s chief and spokesperson. I’m older now (additionally: jaded and grumpy!) however even I acquired a bit choked up once I heard the information of his demise.
  • Stan Lee. Nuff stated.

It ought to be famous that Lee is the second posthumous recipient of the Comics Industry Individual of the Year, after Kim Thompson in 2013.



Olivia Jaimes self-portrait

Though Stan was the overwhelming decide, one different determine garnered sufficient help to earn the Comics Industry Individual of the Year, Newcomer Version: Olivia Jaimes. The pseudonym of an individual nonetheless unidentified, Jaimes trod boldly onto comedian e-book scripture with a re-imagining of the Nancy cartoon that was not simply up to date however related, well timed and insightful. She redefined the which means of legacy comedian strips and gave the world of webcomics a jolt as nicely.

And after almost a yr, she nonetheless hasn’t been outed– maybe the biggest achievement of the yr in a world with none privateness!

Reached for remark, Jaimes famous “I’m touched and honored— thank you. Please continue to give me many awards.”

And by way of her syndicate we’ve got the first Olivia Jaimes self portrait, above!


As our voters wrote:

  • Olivia Jaimes, for making an previous newspaper caricature fascinating and getting quite a bit of good press whereas doing it.
  • Olivia Jaimes, no query. At the begin of 2018, who would have anticipated that somebody might get me to deeply spend money on a syndicated comics strip when I’ve virtually solely been studying GNs and floppies for years? NANCY is one of the most incisive and insightful comics of our time and the narrative surrounding Jaimes herself is simply as fascinating as the run on NANCY she has been creating.
  • Olivia Jaimes, whoever she is
  • Olivia Jaimes. Who knew we’d get alt-Nancy?
  • Olivia Jaimes proved that little youngsters are nonetheless the truest mirror of grownup idiosyncrasies.

However we’ve a number of extra awards to provide out!



Annie Koyama, photograph by Robin Nishio

Though she is all the time talked about many occasions on this survey (and final yr gained the Icon Award), there was extra help than ever for the one and solely Annie Koyama. She introduced that she can be shutting down her publishing firm in a number of years (heartache!), however Koyama continues to be placing out some of the best possible comics round, together with this yr Chlorine Backyard, Area Academy 123, XTC69 and many extra. We’re happy to announce that the Writer of the Year for 2018 is Annie Koyama.

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“I am extremely honoured to have been named Publisher of the Year,” Koyama informed The Beat when contacted wwith the information.  “It’s bittersweet information, as Koyama Press enters our final couple of years of enterprise.

“Whereas I didn’t take the conventional street to turning into a writer by any means, I’m so proud of the multiple hundred titles we’ve revealed since 2007. 

“Nobody succeeds alone, so I’m grateful for the assist from my nice workforce: Ed Kanerva, Helen Koyama and Daniel Nishio in addition to all of the artists that we have now been lucky to symbolize, and to the greatest publishing friends.

“Thanks to everyone who voted. It means a lot.”

And our voters spoke:

  • Annie Koyama. In mild of her introduced pending exit from comics publishing, it is very important acknowledge her unimaginable affect and contribution to comics.
  • Annie Koyama. She’s retiring from publishing after having helped creators and the medium for years.
  • There isn’t a yet one more beloved or extra deserving of that love in comics than Annie Koyama.



Lastly, Tom King as soon as once more garnered sufficient votes for us to call him the Comics Author of the Year. Though controversial, his work on Batman, Mister Miracle and Heroes in Disaster had everybody speaking.

  • Tom King. Significantly, anybody who survived 2018 will get my respect. However proper now: Tom King is the man to beat, whereas Bendis makes the DC Universe really feel homier than it has in a very long time.
  • Tom King. That is robust, however I’ll say Tom King. He had an ideal yr each creatively and commercially, and in a talent-heavy DC universe, he continues to face out.



A number of cartoonists garnered a number of mentions, all of them ladies, sufficient to level to the era of creators who’re going to form how the medium is seen: Liana Finck, Lisa Hanawalt, Ngozi Ukazu and Lauren Weinstein. Weinstein has been by means of a number of generations of this, however her work is extra insightful and well timed than ever.

  • Lauren Weinstein is on a roll! Look out!
  • Lauren Weinstein is on hearth!
  • Liana Finck. Her every day output to 1 / 4 million Instagram followers, prime drawer standing at the New Yorker, and exceptional new memoir is a trifecta. She’s laid artistic and authorial declare to the legacies of Saul Steinberg and Artwork Spiegelman and continues to be so younger. A brand new commonplace for the subsequent era of expertise.
  • Liana Finck. Nobody else has lowered the cartoon vocabulary to its essence the means she has. She has so many various frequencies to discover inside that spare framework and has captured the broadest viewers. Its an enormous feat.
  • Lisa Hanawalt, who launched a ebook (Coyote Doggirl) and additionally received and made her personal animated TV present for Netflix, Tuca & Bertie, which premieres in 2019, whereas persevering with to work on Bojack. Her output is astounding.
  • Ngozi Ukazu! Did you see the photographs of her signing strains for the print model of Examine, Please!? She’s a creator who may have a huge effect on the long-term readership of comics, and encourage a brand new era of cartoonists.
  • Ngozi Ukazu — the largest success of comics that nobody IN comics appears to be speaking about.



Comics for younger readers have been THE development in comics for the final 5 years, and many authors recognized primarily for teenagers comics have been talked about.

  • Dav Pilkey. The DOG MAN books are being devoured by youngsters simply as quick as Dav can (admittedly, actually quick!) put them out.
  • Dav Pilkey… a 5 million copy first printing of Canine Man V6 is spectacular and unprecedented.
  • Gina Gagliano, who’s my pal and peer, might be my decide. That is somebody who deeply loves comics, who got here up by means of interning at publishers, working her approach up the meals chain at a serious writer and contributing to its monumental success, contributing to a number of comics festivals and worldwide e-book festivals, and then being hand-picked to start out a model new line at one other main writer…. all whereas working nights and weekends to get her Grasp’s diploma this yr! She’s an unimaginable success story in comics, a tremendous particular person, and I really like her to bits.
  • Gina Gagliano. First Second had an incredible yr, and given how far out they should plan, she performed an element in that earlier than her departure. Her main an imprint at a serious writer is each a boon for the business creatively and an underlining of the perceived well being of the medium. Plus, hey, she began a podcast! Good for Gina!
  • Gina Gagliano. The just about every day information of the creators she’s acquired signed to her new imprint signifies that 2020 goes to be the greatest yr in comics for a minimum of a decade.
  • Jarrett J. Krosoczka. He began out with youngsters’ comics, together with his Lunch Woman collection, however in 2018 he wrote and illustrated an incredible gut-punch of a memoir, Hey, Kiddo, which garnered so many starred critiques and was a Nationwide Guide Award finalist in the youth class. Individuals who solely learn comics from comics publishers might not know him, however tens of millions of youngsters do.
  • Luke Pearson! I’ve been a fan of the Hilda comics for years, however seeing it make the bounce to a Netflix collection that by some means managed to seize the quiet, charming, and deeply humane scope of the books was a thrill. We don’t see that mild spirit a lot in youngsters’ TV, however each child I’ve talked to LOVED it.

Lastly many individuals have been talked about solely as soon as, however with such shifting testimonials that they’re all value noting. This can be a collaborative business and although comics aren’t good, and have quite a bit of issues, these are the individuals working to make it higher.

  • Avi Ehrlich of Silver Sprocket Bicycle Membership. Avi has created a comics & music collective that boils over with expertise and vitality. He works tirelessly behind the scenes to churn out one nice title after one other whereas concurrently fostering the least dysfunctional household of punks and anti-establishment heroes I might think about. His “rising tide lifts all boats” mentality makes positive he’s all the time fast with recommendation and encouraging phrases, whereas a lesser individual may withhold towards these they seen as “competition”. The world wants extra like him!
  • Invoice Sienkiewicz – as a result of nobody champions causes and these in want like him.
  • Camilla Zhang. Kickstarter comics is bizarre bastard baby of comics. Individuals like to hate it. Nevertheless it’s the greatest place to publish and not using a security internet. Zhang has helped indie creators (full disclosure: myself included) work round the publishing tape. Kickstarter made the proper transfer hiring somebody like Zhang for the comics division.
  • Eleanor Davis. She’s the greatest cartoonist in the world proper now. She by no means does the similar factor twice, and few cartoonists assume their approach by means of a challenge the method she does.
  • Ezra Claytan Daniels, who actually broke floor in comics storytelling.
  • My vote’s for Taneka Stotts, Amy Reeder, and Leila del Duca
  • Gail Simone
  • He’s going to assume I’m simply gassing him up, however Hassan Otsmane-Elhaou had an astounding yr. PxP continues to fill a distinct segment that nothing else does, he’s a continuing supply of positivity and humor, and his personal lettering work has impressed extra and extra with every new title.
  • Jason Lutes, for ending up Berlin
  • Jay Edidin, for pushing for and getting actual change for marginalized creators at a prime firm.
  • Jody Houser
  • Julian Glander
  • Ken Loyd, proprietor of Keness, a digital print store in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania which has develop into a cornerstone of self-published comics. He’s legendarily type and accommodating to frazzled cartoonists, and deserves all the greatest issues on this world.
  • Kieron Gillen – his output and devotion to the business and his readers is simply unimaginable for starters, but in addition his selection of what to place out is inspiring. WicDiv is coming to the finish of its final arc and, along with Jamie, Kieron has proved that a new title can nonetheless explode in reputation when dealt with proper and hitting the proper notes. Kieron is a grasp at studying the waves and creating simply the proper title for the time. See the launch of DIE this week – at a time when the geeksphere goes tabletop-RPG mad, he’s there together with his finger on the button. Whether or not he’s writing for an enormous franchise like Star Wars or compiling and modifying a charity anthology, Kieron by no means loses reference to readers, buddies or why this all issues. He embodies the ardour and pleasure all of us need to really feel about comics and he’s elevated the business.
  • Marjorie Liu for being the first lady to win an Eisner Award for greatest author.
  • Mark Waid – A robust creator entangled in the bitterness of C***csgate, and working arduous to rise above it and proceed to supply robust work
  • Nick Drnaso, Liana Finck, and Michael Kupperman, all of whose fantastic books acquired the recognition they deserved.
  • Pornsak Picheshote (Infidel is one of the greatest horror comics of all time)
  • Eve Ewing (Black woman magic on  -full show, on the web page and behind it)
  • Chris Sebela (persistently placing out superb, inclusive work – and going arduous for LGBTQ+ points).
  • Ryan Coogler. I feel the bolt out of the blue this yr was the Black Panther movie. If anybody tells you they have been anticipating it to be nearly as good because it was or for it to be the mainstream phenomenon that it was, they’re mendacity. Let’s cut up the award between Ryan Coogler and Chadwick Boseman. Pity they will’t make an accessible Panther comedian, as a result of it positive doesn’t promote in the DM.
  • Shing Yin Khor. Shing does superb comics work and can also be an excellent interdisciplinary artist. She is persistently shocking and delighting me together with her latest creations. She can also be such an advocate for creators, notably marginalized creators of shade. She has created a number of scholarships and grants to help creators of their careers, does Resistance Cranes to boost cash for immigrants and refugees, and helps others in numerous methods each single day. I might not be the place I’m in the present day with out Shing Yin Khor and I’m not the just one.
  • Whit Taylor. The SPX 11–or, in the event you choose, Whit Taylor, who’s at the middle of all of it.
  • Zainab Akhtar

And lastly the intangible:

  • China. Not the wrestler, the nation. Quickly, they may personal all of us.

And that’s a wrap for 2018! Many thanks as soon as once more to the individuals who participated in the survey for his or her ardour and perception.

Earlier winners:

2017: Emil Ferris
2016: Gene Luen Yang and the March Trilogy Staff
2015: Noelle Stevenson
2014: Raina Telgemeier
2013: Kim Thompson
2012: Eric Stephenson
2011: Kate Beaton/Jim Lee & Dan DiDio
2010: Robert Kirkman

Heidi MacDonald is the founder and editor in chief of The Beat. In the previous, she labored for Disney, DC Comics, Fox and Publishers Weekly. She could be heard often on the Extra To Come Podcast. She likes espresso, cats and noble wrestle.