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Image via Goodreads

UPDATE: Okay, I think I’ve discovered where all this is coming from. But PLEASE NO ROBOT VOTING.  

For the last few years, we’ve been running a Person of the Year voting as part of our annual Year-End survey of creators. In the past there was a very clear cut winner from the voters, but this time, there is no clear consensus.

To be honest, I kind of expected this; 2015 was a year of some upheaval in the comics industry as millennial readers become the primary audience for the medium, and boomer/Bronze Age icons faded. If there was a one word thing of the year it would be “diversity” and that would win hands down. I’ve resisted having a “Concept/Thing of the Year” however because the comics internet, in particular, doesn’t really prioritize the nitty gritty behind the scenes of the industry. There are so many people who do important work to make the good comics come out, and this honor was set up specifically to spotlight them.

That said, this year I’m opening the voting up to everyone, with the nominees chosen by the survey respondents. These six people had the most support, although not enough to make them clear cut winners. In the past PotY was a creator chosen honor, but this time the creators picked the nominees, and the wider audience will pick the winners. TBH, all six of the people mentioned below are already the People of the Year. The comics industry is too big and sprawling to boil down to one person any more.

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As for the definition of Person of the Year here it is:

This can be the most important person, someone who had the biggest impact, an innovator, someone who set the pace, or had a banner year creatively. 

You can vote for one of the six nominees or do a write in if we missed someone. If you have any comments on your choice you can leave them on the Poll Daddy site by clicking through.  I encourage this.
Voting will remain open until noon, EST, January 6th.
For reference, the previous winners:

 

Oh and one more thing: Happy New Year everyone!

59 COMMENTS

  1. “2015 was a year of some upheaval in the comics industry as millennial readers become the primary audience for the medium, and boomer/Bronze Age icons faded.”

    This was the year Marvel and DC realized they had to reach beyond the same bunch of middle-aged male fans they’ve had for decades. I’m one of those middle-aged guys and I won’t be reading many of the new youth- and female-targeted comics. But I’m glad they’re being published. It’s something the Big Two should have been doing for decades.

  2. I’m voting for Dinesh Shamdasani who, in my opinion, has done more the benefit the industry this year than most people realize.

  3. My vote is for Dinesh Shamdasani. He not only runs Valiant but he is also a fan like us. Valiant is the only super hero universe where one can, reasonably, follow the entire line. And the books Valiant publishes are top notch, with many of their titles being consistently among my favorites month to month.

  4. I am voting for Dinesh Shamdasani. He has given those who crave truly great art and stories something to hang our collective hats on.

  5. Dinesh Shamdasani deserves this for sure. Not just overseeing, but orchestrating the greatest shared universe in comics, maintaining consistent quality in every title, and focusing on the fans with a personal touch puts him head and shoulders above anyone else considered for this award.

  6. It’s very sad to see just how one-sided your editorial is on whom should be the comics person of the year. Write in for Dinesh Shamdasani

  7. “Dinesh Shamdasani. How many people can rebuild an comic empire in less than a decade that wins Publisher of the Year?”

    You nailed it on the head, DBS!

    Dinesh is as big a Valiant fan as ANY of us, but through (continued) hard work and dedication brought back those characters and then some for ALL of us.

    There has got to be a way to recognize D for standing not only on, but ABOVE his peers. He’s definitely got my vote!

    -BloodShot @ VF.com

  8. Dinesh Shamdasani Gets my write in vote. What he has done with Valiant comics has been amazing and awesome! If any upstart Indy comic publisher needs a mold to go off of… It would be this man. Heck the big two could take notes from him also.

  9. Dinesh Shamdasani. He has been the constant force behind Valiant returning to print. This man is as big of a fan as anyone and has stuck behind the belief of putting the story first. If not for all his work the last decade we wouldn’t have all the great stories that Valiant has put out the last 3 years.

  10. Dinesh Shamdasani all the way! Valiant’s return has brought me back to comics. He not only has a passion for comics, but also the fans. You’ll find Dinesh at cons introducing new readers to Valiant because HE has a passion for the Valiant characters and wants to share that passion with others.

    He helped lead Valiant to Publisher of the year and continually pushes quality over quantity.

    Intrepidxc @ VF.com

  11. Make mine Dinesh. From a dead universe to the absolute best books coming out on a monthly basis. Valiant has proven all the doubters wrong. Dino for the win!

  12. Dinesh Shamdasai, because I cave to peer pressure. Also, what’s been going on at Valiant since it’s rebirth (especially this past year) has been nothing short of brilliant. As a super fan himself, he has overseen a line of books with some of the best creators in the industry,

  13. “This can be the most important person, someone who had the biggest impact, an innovator, someone who set the pace, or had a banner year creatively”

    Dinesh has my vote.

  14. Dinesh Shamdasani resurrected Valiant like no other publisher. Proof is in the movie picture and licensing deals. In just 18 months, we should be seeing their first movie. I vote for Dinesh.

  15. Dinesh, he attends more cons and meets more fans face to face than any exec in the industry. He is the driving force behind all things VALIANT! The hardest working exec in the industry.

  16. Dinesh Shamdasani is my write in. When you stop and consider the odds he faced and what he’s accomplished with VEI, it’s amazing.

  17. Dinesh Shamdasani is my choice. Because of his drive and determination Valiant comics are back. It is because of the groundwork he laid that we have had a 3rd cohesive universe since 2012.

  18. Dinesh Shamdasani is an absolute genius. The quality of books that Valiant is putting out currently under his supervision rival the best in the industry and beat most.

  19. It’s been said a few times but I don’t think that saying it once more will hurt. I defy anybody to spend 10 minutes with Dinesh Shamdasani and not become a Valiant fan. His enthusiasm and love of this company are transparent to everybody who speaks to him. He cares about the people he works with and about bringing the best comics to the stand that he can. As you can see by all the comments it seems that valiant has a very bright future with this man at the helm. Can they really be any question as to who should win this pole?

  20. I would also like to say I don’t believe it is robot voting. I think what you’ve got is a lot of people who are fans and the word about this poll is spreading. I think that would be a good day don’t you? So I hope you take into consideration that this is a company with a lot of fans and it is growing. And unlike Marvel and DC fans who were lamenting the direction of their company, valiant fans for very vocal and supportive.

  21. I’ve never really read much from the Comics Beat, but like a lot of people, I heard about this poll through the Valiant facebook group. Now, personally, I feel like it’s completely understandable for Dino to get left off of the poll – after all, Valiant has been consistently ignored for a lot of the “Of the Year” type lists lately (Just see CBR’s “100 Best Books of 2015” list for the most egregious example).

    However, accusing the most passionate, welcoming, and friendly comics community I’ve ever had the pleasure to be a part of of ballot-stuffing simply because we care about Valiant and the man at it’s head, and know how to mobilize (one Facebook post – one Facebook post was all this took guys), makes me feel like I won’t be coming back real often.

  22. Maybe Dinesh is good, maybe not, but I’m not convinced of this by someone writing that the comics are great because of “movie picture and licensing deals”. What happened to comics just being good comics on their own merits?

  23. Man, I’d like to not come across as super-defensive, because my last post was definitely WAY harsh, and I want to apologize for it (Sorry Heidi – I got a little frustrated after seeing all the positive comments supporting Dino that there was a “ballot-stuffing” issue. But I’m sure you can see the back-end of all this, and there’s probably some who feel a little too fervently that he should win).

    However, that being said – James, you have 25 different commenters above espousing how great Dino and the work he’s doing are, and you have a 26th commenter who mentions the movie deal in addition to that. Yes, the movie deal exists – a big firm thought highly enough of the work and characters Valiant’s been putting out to invest a nine-figure sum in bringing it to a wider audience. But of all companies, Valiant has (so far, at least) been able to avoid the feeling of corporatization and movie-driven comics that has plagued DC, Marvel, and Image, and that’s largely down to Dino’s influence, keeping the focus squarely on the comics where it belongs, and letting everything else flow naturally out of that.

  24. Robot voting, eh? Sounds like a job for Magnus Robot Fighter!!!!!!!

    …if only that were still a title published by Valiant.

    I voted for Dinesh and I am not a robot. I read about your poll on ValiantFans.com because I am a fan of Valiant comics. Valiant comics are the best books on the shelves right now and the main reason for that is the hard work and total dedication of Dinesh Shamdasani.

    If bringing an entire Universe from obscurity to what it is now doesn’t warrant a spot on your poll, what does?

  25. Hey guys, thanks for explaining where all this came from, as I haven’t seen a single mention of it on my social media.

    I agree that Dinesh is one of the best executives in the business, and I’m very impressed by his passionate supporters!

  26. All worthy creators on the list but I’m going to vote for D&Q founder Chris Oliveros. He stepped down in 2015 after being instrumental in helping to create and facilitating the current diverse marketplace for comics.

  27. I think the very fact that us Valiant Fans mobilized to support our favorite comic industry person and no one else on this list inspires that much passion, speaks volumes.

  28. No one has quite hit the zeitgeist of the bookstore crowd quite like BKV, the man is basically omnipresent. He gets my vote!

  29. Mizuki Shigeru arguably added more to the world of manga and graphic novels during his lifetime than anyone on this list. Since he passed late last year, it seems like an opportune time to honour his contributions.

  30. Dinesh Shamdasani for sure. Even though I’ve never heard of him until clicking in here, I really like to be on the winning side.

    Go Dinesh!

  31. I don’t drink, but my write in was Chip Zdarsky. He’s one of those that worked 10 years to become an “overnight” sensation. First Sex Criminals (started last year but continued strong this year), then Howard the Duck, then Jughead. He won an Eisner and a Harvey Award (but turned down the latter for not awarding/crediting his co-writer). Now he’s doing Kaptara at Image as well. Then there is all the variant covers he and Matt did for Sex Criminals, plus that silly variant that Marvel made available at 1: 5000. He auctioned one off to help Syrian refugees too. This was a super big year for him and he’s very popular at conventions now. He might be a funny guy, but his success is no joke.

  32. My vote goes to Dinesh Shamdasani. Why wouldn’t it? He has been the visionary that has felt passionately about Valiant comics and has made them the publisher of the year for many of us hands down!

  33. Dinesh for sure he is saving super hero comics itself from the corporate clutches of Disney and Time Warner, Viva Valiant!

  34. Hello Heidi Macdonald, I see a few other people have already answered your question as to how so many Valiant fans found out about this poll. I know Dinesh is getting a lot of love from us commenters (and rightly so! Seek him out at a local con Valiant is at and you will see why!) but it would be remise not to mention that he has a great group of people working with him. Just as a journalist/reporter/blogger or even comics fan I would say reach out and see for yourself why we are so passionate about the characters and the people who bring them to us every month. We just wanted you to know we are real people and someone trying to mess with you or your poll. Have a great day!

  35. Another write-in for Mizuki Shigeru. He contributed more to the comics world in his 60 year career than most, and topped it off with an Eisner Award before passing away late 2015. It feels like a fitting time to honor his accomplishments.

  36. I’d say Dinesh for his stellar work with Valiant or Raina Telgemeier. She’s one of the most successful and best selling comic book creators working today, crossing into mainstream audiences and selling at national chain stores, despite being ignored by 99.999% of comic shops.

    Respectfully, I feel the other choices aren’t much more than a usual suspect, popularity contest.

  37. Add my write-in vote to the Dinesh Shamdasani pile – in addition to everything already said above, how many CEO/CCO’s so you know who are so passionate about publishing comics that they are willing to work anonymously in a comic shop for a day just to be one-on-one with fans & help create some new ones? If you have ever had an opportunity to speak to him about their books, his level of passion & enthusiasm are infectious in the best possible way. #StayValiant

  38. I am voting for Dinesh Shamdasani because he has that rocking name! Dinesh! Dinesh! Dinesh! It sounds like something soft you’d lay your head on as you drift off to sleep. It sounds like the favorite plush toy of a newborn infant. Who gives a flying fuck and a half about his accomplishments? Dinesh! Dinesh!

    Plus, he gave me five bucks.

  39. Wrote in Eric Stephenson again. The amount of Image Comic Books I read last year was staggering. While he didn’t create them, he brought them to my attention.

    I was also considering any of the Boom Studios! guys/gals as they’ve also just been killing it lately.

    Raina Telgemeier though with her bookstore sales is a force to be reckoned with and feel maybe she should win it for that influence alone?

  40. The Comics Industry Person of the Year should be ‘the Indian’, since most jobs are out-sourced to India, and oxycontin comes from India -we all know how oxy use has quadrupled since 2000 -yaaay, I live in a fake country that enables and perpetuates copious amounts of drug use so that place like INDIA, and Central and South America can have economies that ‘thrive’….(?). I cant wait for people at Marvel and DC get their job out-sourced to India, just like my tech support work has been out-sourced to India three times in the past fifteen years. So, here’s to keeping ‘Americans’ dumb, and only able to recognize brand labels….

  41. My vote is for Nathan Edmonson! For someone who did what he’s done and still get regular work in the industry is something of an achievement for sure!

  42. I vote Dinesh Shamdasani too. It may not be the popular choice YET (because Valiant is so new and small), but anyone reading Valiant knows they are putting out the best body of work of any publisher. I don’t know Dinesh, yet I can tell it’s due to him working his tail off. He’s at all the Cons and so friendly to fans. You guys really need to give him deep consideration.

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