This Weeks Finest Year Two

ThunderworldLast year, Cosmo looked at our first year of This Weeks Finest picks by the numbers. He examined the data on the creators, publishers and titles chosen by the NBC staff for each week of our first year. Based on his numerical analysis, we were able to see our very eclectic taste in comics based on our combined choices for This Weeks Finest. I decided to do something similar this year and looking at the numbers, there’s far less parity in our second year then the first. Grant Morrison came back, Scott Snyder did a horror comic with Jock, all those books announced at the Image Expo’s started coming out regularly and the Nothing But Comics staff went crazy for all that. 

Wytches 1 Sean MurphyTitles: In our second year, five separate books repeated as This Weeks Finest. Out of those five titles, Multiversity & Wytches were picked three times, while Deadly Class, Copra & Gotham Academy were picked twice. Wytches, Deadly Class & Copra were all repeat picks from one issue to the next with Copra being picked by the same writer each month (that would be me) Out of 51 weeks of comics, the Nothing But Comics squad picked 39 separate titles, less then the 48 different titles we picked last year but still a fair amount of parity overall. Out of last year repeat winners, only The Massive managed to get chosen again this time around, with Daredevil & Moon Knight receiving no This Weeks Finest honors.  Other repeat selections from the year prior were Batman, The Wicked + The Divine, Shuttered, Black Science, Deadly Class, Southern Bastards & Action Comics.

cWriters: Did you know we like Grant Morrison here at NBC? Well after year two, that’s pretty undeniable as we picked the writer five times for this weeks finest. As mentioned above, three of those were for his parallel reality DC Comics epic Multiversity, in addition to his Image series Nameless with artist Chris Burnham & Legendary’s Annihilator with Frazier Irving. Interestingly enough, four separate NBC writers selected those five Morrison comics with the only repeat coming from Reed Bebe for Multiversity: Thunderworld & Nameless #1. Scott Snyder came close to catching Morrison with four This Weeks Finest picks, three of those for the Image series Wytches & once for the finale of his Endgame arc of Batman. Like Morrison, Snyder’s work was picked by four separate NBC writers. Rick Remender was the third most selected writer with two picks for Deadly Class & one for Black Science, twice being picked by Dean and once by Tyler. Ales Kot, Michel Fiffe, Brian Wood, Ed Brubaker, Jonathan Hickman, Geg Pak, Kieron Gillen, Brendan Fletcher & Becky Cloonen were all picked twice, with Kot getting multiple picks by Cosmo, Fiffe getting picked twice by myself & Wood getting multiple picks from Alex. Of this weeks finest writers Fiffe, Brendan Fletcher, Becky Cloonen, Grant Morrison, Michael Moreci, Dan Abnett, Garth Ennis, Joe Casey, Joshua Williamson, Nick Spencer, Skottie Young, Ed Brisson, Gabriel Hardman, James Robinson, Len Wein, Stan Lee, Brian Michael Bendis, Tom Defalco, Corina Bechko, Sean Kittelsen, Ryan North, Shuan Simon, Chuck Palahnuick, Bradon Graham, Simon Roy, Ludroe & Emma Rios were all honored for the first time with This Weeks Finest as writers in our second year. Meanwhile, year one repeating writers Jeff Lemire, Matt Kindt, Jason Aaron, Charles Soule, Joe Keatinge & Frank Barbiere failed to have the same success in our second year but still managed to get picked once, while Mark Waid, Warren Ellis & Gregg Hurwitz did not get chosen at all for This Weeks Finest in our second year despite getting repeat picks last year. Weirdly, Brian K Vaughan failed to be picked for This Weeks Finest in our second year as well despite being one of the best and most consistent writers in comics. I think we might be taking him for granted.

cArtist: Probably where we saw the most parity in our picks, which is natural due to the limitations most artist have in the amount of titles they can work on. In terms of repeat artist, Jock & Michel Fiffe managed to be picked three times with Jock getting selected each time for Wytches and Fiffe going twice with Copra and once for a guest illustration in Captain Victory & The Galactic Rangers #2. While Jock’s work was selected by three different NBC writers, each Michel Fiffe pick was from myself because, I love Michel Fiffe. Artist Wes Craig, Sean Phillips & Cameron Stewart also managed to be picked twice. Phillips and Stewart were interesting in that, both artist got multiple selections for This Weeks Finest for separate comics, with Phillips getting selected for The Fade Out #2 & Criminal One Shot Special along with Cameron Stewart for Multiversity Thunderworld & Fight Club 2 #3. Jock, Fiffe & Stewart all were first time This Weeks Finest honoree’s in addition to Nathan Fox, Chris Sprouse,  Vic Malhorta, I.N.J Culbard, Andrei Bresan, Adrian Syf, Steve Lieber, Keith Burns, Dexter Soy, Stefano Caseli, Filipe Andrade, Karl Kerschel, Chris Burnham, Michael Gaydos, Bruce Timm, Francesco Francavilla, Bill Sienkeiwicz, Paul Gulacy, Goldberg Hanna, Salvador Larocca, Matias Bergera, Gabriel Hardman, Doug Manhke, Steve McNiven, Langdon Foss, Erica Henderson, Tyler Jenkins, Christopher Peterson, Minghue Helen Chen, Jason Latour, Frazer Irving, David Aja, Will Tempest, Kagan McLeod, Daniel Zezelj, Will Kirby, Brandon Graham, Ludroe, Simon Roy,Emma Rios & Emi Lenox. Basically, there are a lot of great comics artist these days and we liked a whole bunch of them. Repeat winners from last year like Declan Shalvey, Marco Rudy & Sean Murphy did not get picked at all for this weeks finest this time around in spite of some excellent work for that very same reason. Because of that, I’d expect the same list to be as large for year three.

cPublishers: Last year, either Marvel or DC Comics had the most picks for This Weeks Finest depending on how you counted Vertigo. For our second year, both publishers were tied for a distant second place at nine a piece while Image Comics dominated, being picked twenty one separate times for This Weeks Finest. While some may make the argument that we are biased towards Image based on that number, I find that lacking merit since each Image Comics series is radically different from one another. Consider the This Weeks Finest picks from July 29th to September 2nd where out of the six weeks, five of those were Image books. While Material, Kaptara, Starve, Island & Plutona are all published by Image Comics, each book is highly distinct form one another in tone, story and style. In fact, that is probably partially why we at NBC liked Image Comics so much, in that they have the most unique line of series out of any comics publisher. Combine that with the freedom given to it’s creators, the tremendous amount of talent and the sheer volume of material, it’s not hard to see why Image ascended in 2015 for us. Out of all our writers, Dean picked Image Comics the most at a total of seven separate times, followed by Cosmo with four separate picks while Alex & myself picked Image books three different times each. Josh was the one with the least picks for Image comics having only given the publisher This Weeks Finest once for the first issue of Scott Snyder & Jocks Wytches, followed by Reed who picked Namless #1 & Invisible Republic #1 for a total of two This Weeks Finest. Tyler participated once in picking This Weeks Finest which was also for an Image book, Deadly Class #14. While Marvel & DC both tied for second place with nine picks a piece, there is an interesting contrast with what titles were actually chosen. Out of the nine selections for DC, five of those were for either Multiversity or Gotham Academy in addition to Batman/Superman #16, Action Comics #40, Mortal Kombat X #1 & Batman #40. Josh & Dean picked the most DC books at three each, while Reed, Cosmo & Alex each made one selection for DC as This Weeks Finest, all for different issues of Multiversity. I was the only writer that did not pick any DC books because I’m a hating ass hater mostly because Multiversity or Omega Men never came out on weeks it was my selection. For Marvel, all nine issues selected were from different series with Marvel’s 75th Anniversary Celebration, Superior Foes Of Spiderman #17, Avengers #40, Rocket Raccoon #17, Darth Vader #1, Uncanny Inhumans #0, The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl #4, Secret Wars #2 & Hawkeye #22. The only creator to have repeat picks with Marvel was Jonathan Hickman, who was picked twice. Cosmo led the pack choosing three different Marvel issues, with myself & Alex following behind having each picked Marvel books twice. Dean did not pick any Marvel series for This Weeks Finest while Reed & Josh each picked one. With that covering 39 of the 51 weeks, there wasn’t a lot of room for everybody else. Dark Horse led the rest with four picks for The Massive #30, Neverboy #3, Fight Club 2 #3 & New MGMT #1, followed by Boom! Studios getting three selections for Wilds End #2, Sons of Anarchy #17 & Broken World #1. Michel Fiffe’s DIY publisher Copra Press got picked twice for his Copra series while Dynamite Comics, Avatar Press & Legendary each got picked once for This Weeks Finest.

cIn some ways, our selections were certainly less diverse then our first year. While I do think the proliferation of Image Comics in our selections points to a more diverse taste from our writers, there’s no doubt that we pretty in the tank for Grant Morrison, Scott Snyder, Michel Fiffe (ok I was in that tank all by myself) Jock & Rick Remender respectively, in addition to other repeat winners and favorites like Ed Brubaker, Sean Phillips, Wes Craig, Ales Kot, Cameron Stewart, Kieron Gillen, Becky Cloonen, Brian Wood, Jonathan Hickman, Greg Pak ect. Still, with the massive list of new artists & writers getting their first This Weeks Finest honors, there is no doubt that we are still engaged with a wide variety of talented creators and exciting series here at NBC. I hope you’ll join us for another 51  going forward.

List Of Weeks Finest Selections:

cCaptain Victory & The Galactic Rangers #2 by Joe Casey, Nathan Fox, Michel Fiffe & Dynamite Comics (Patrick)

Multiversity: Society Of Superheros #1 by Grant Morrison, Chris Sprouse & DC Comics (Cosmo)

Roche Limit #1 by Michael Moreci, Vic Malhotra & Image Comics (Dean)

The Fade Out #2 by Ed Brubaker, Sean Phillips & Image Comics (Alex)

Wytches #1 by Scott Snyder, Jock & Image Comics (Josh)

cWilds End #2 by Dan Abnett, I.N.J Culbard & Boom! Studios (Cosmo)

The Wicked + The Divine #5 by Kieron Gillen, Jamie McKelvie & Image Comics (Patrick)

Marvels 75th Anniversary Celebration by James Robinson, Chris Samnee, Stan Lee, Bruce Timm, Brian Michael Bendis, Michael Gaydos, Francesco Francavilla, Bill Sienkeiwicz, Tom DeFalco, Goldberg Hanna, Len Wein, Paul Gulacy & Marvel Comics (Reed)

Birthright #2 by Joshua Williamson, Andrei Bressan, Skybound & Image Comics (Dean)

Wytches #2 by Scott Snyder, Jock & Image Comics (Alex)

Batman/Superman #16 by Greg Pak, Adrian Syf & DC Comics (Josh)

Superior Foes Of Spiderman #17 by Nick Spencer, Steve Lieber & Marvel Comics (Cosmo)

War Stories #3 by Garth Ennis, Keith Burns & Avatar Press (Patrick)

Shutter #7 by Joe Keatinge, Leila Del Duca & Image Comics (Dean)

Multiversity: Thunderworld Adventures #1 by Grant Morrison, Cameron Stewart & DC Comics (Reed)

The Massive #30 by Brian Wood, Garry Brown & Dark Horse Comics (Alex)

Mortal Kombat X #1 Digital Edition by Sean Kittelsen, Dexter Soy & DC Comics (Josh)

Avengers #40 by Jonathan Hickman, Stefano Caselli & Marvel Comics (Patrick)

cRocket Raccoon #7 by Skottie Young, Filipe Andrade & Marvel Comics (Cosmo)

Gotham Academy #4 by Becky Cloonan, Brenden Fletcher, Karl Kerschel & DC Comics (Dean)

Nameless #1 by Grant Morrison, Chris Burnham & Image Comics (Reed)

Darth Vader #1 by Kieron Gillen, Salvador Larocca & Marvel Comics (Alex)

Sons Of Anarchy #17 by Ed Brisson, Matias Bergera & Boom! Studios (Josh)

Criminal Special Edition by Ed Brubaker, Sean Phillips & Image Comics (Cosmo)

Copra #20 by Michel Fiffe (Patrick)

cAction Comics #40 by Greg Pak, Aaron Kuder & DC Comics (Dean)

Invisible Republic #1 by Gabriel Hardman, Corinna Bechko & Image Comics (Reed)

Multiversity: Ultra Comics #1 by Grant Morrison, Doug Mahnke & DC Comics (Alex)

Uncanny Inhumans #0 by Charles Soule, Steve McNiven & Marvel Comics (Josh)

The Surface #2 by Ales Kot, Langdon Foss & Image Comics (Cosmo)

Copra #21 by Michel Fiffe (Patrick)

cThe Unbeatable Squirrel Girl #4 by Ryan North, Erica Henderson & Marvel Comics (Alex)

Batman #40 by Scott Snyder, Greg Capullo & DC Comics (Dean)

Neverboy #3 by Shaun Simon, Tyler Jenkins & Dark Horse Comics (Josh)

Secret Wars #2 by Jonathan Hickman, Esad Ribic & Marvel Comics (Cosmo)

Wytches #6 by Scott Snyder, Jock & Image Comics (Patrick)

Deadly Class #13 by Rick Remender, Wes Craig & Image Comic (Dean)

Broken World #1 by Frank Barbiere, Chris Peterson & Boom! Studios (Alex)

Gotham Academy #7 by Becky Cloonan, Brenden Fletcher, Minghue Helen Chen & DC Comics (Josh)

cSouthern Bastards #9 by Jason Aaron, Jason Latour & Image Comics (Cosmo)

Annihilator #6 by Grant Morrison, Frazer Irving & Legendary (Patrick)

Deadly Class #14 by Rick Remender, Wes Craig & Image Comics (Tyler)

Black Science #16 by Rick Remender, Matteo Scalera & Image Comics (Dean)

Hawkeye #22 by Matt Fraction, David Aja & Marvel Comics (Patrick)

Fight CLud 2 #3 David MackFight Club 2 #3 by Chuch Palahniuk, Cameron Stewart & Dark Horse Comics (Josh)

Material #3 by Ales Kot, Will Tempest & Image Comics (Cosmo)

Kaptara #4 by Chip Zdarsky, Kagan McLeod & Image Comics (Dean)

Starve #3 by Brian Wood, Danijel Zezelj & Image Comics (Alex)

Island #2 by Will Kirby, Brandon Graham, Ludroe, Simon Roy, Emma Rios, Miguel Alberte Woodward MD, Claire Gibson, Robin Bougie & Image Comics (Patrick)

New MGMT #1 by Matt Kindt & Dark Horse Comics (Cosmo)

Plutonia #1 by Jeff Lemire, Emi Lenox & Image Comics (Dean)

16 thoughts on “This Weeks Finest Year Two”

  1. Wytches 3 times and I wasn’t one of them? I would like to go back and take a look at my pull list for all my finest weeks. I bet Wytches never came out.

    7 Image picks this year for me and no Marvel. I buy 6-8 Marvel books a week. Shocker! Guess I like Image, double shocker!

    1. What I always found surprising was how many times you picked DC because ever since you’ve started on the podcast, you’ve always been like “whatever” about them.

      1. Yeah I know that was shocking. I don’t read many DC books but the ones I do I love. One of my finest picks isn’t even a book I read regularly and then you know I pick Batman every single time it lines up with my week.

    2. Yeah, Finest numbers never quite work out the way you think they will It;s been two years and Saga only got picked once? What up with that?

      I do think that a lot of this is the happenstance of what comes out a particular week you have Finest. I can think of more than one time a favorite series of mine came very close to being Finest only to lose out because something else struck me more that particular go around. Proving that as much as we may joke about it, we’re not that predictable in our selections.

      OK, except for Pat and Michel Fiffe . . . 🙂

      1. Yeah, Fiffe speaks to me. True story, I usually get copies of Copra before Wensday but I consider them as part of that week. I had one issue that I was so sure was going to be TWF, that I wrote out the entire review of it on Tuesday night thinking I was being slick and then, I picked something else. In hindsight, that issue of Copra might have been better

        1. I actually considered doing that once with a book we had an advance copy of — figured that even if it wasn’t Finest I could change it into a regular review with minor editing. I didn’t though, which I think was for the best.

          And yes that same book ended being Finest . . .

  2. Also, I think another thing you notice in the picks is an acknowledgement of when we really like a specific run. Ellis/Shalvey scored high last year as we were all reading and loving their Moon Knight. opinion on Trees/Injection has been more mixed, and so they have slipped a bit this year.

    On a similar note, will Morrison turn out something for Year Three as exciting as Multiversity? Guess, we’ll just need to wait and see (aka is that Wonder Woman graphic novel ever actually coming out?).

      1. Well, I don’t read Heavy Metal, and given my difficulty keeping up with Island,am not likely to add another anthology to my pull list just because Morrison is editing it.

        So in that sense, it hinders . . .

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