This is a list of the Criteria by which I based the selection of comic book companies and artists for the Comic Bandit Editor’s Choice Top Ten.
Note: It is important to note that while some people may not completely understand why I did this, I felt it was necessary given the current state of the Nigerian comic industry to create some kind of rating system for entities and people who consider themselves publishers or comic book creators.
This is not a judgement on other Nigerian comic publishers, it’s just that the people and companies on this list meet more of the requirements needed to make the rankings. A ranking I hope will change over time as newly formed comic creators continue to create and grow within Nigeria.
TOP TEN NIGERIAN COMIC BOOK ARTISTS
1. Content: As always, content is key. There are many Nigerians out there who call themselves comic book Artists simply because they can draw comic book art. Many of them, over the years, have managed to draw a single comic book in a title for single or multiple titles that never really went anywhere and were never continued. And while some of these people (at least in my mind) still qualify as comic book creators, it’s the ones who have managed to create more content for their readers and fans (and do so consistently) that take precedence in this list.
2. Art: I’m afraid art is secondary here. Due to the nature of the Nigerian comic book scene (and the problem is the same as the first) art takes a back seat to content, but comes in a close second. I couldn’t very well put an Artist who has only ever drawn two actual comic books in ten years (which they may only have published on their fan page) above Artists who had several issues under their belt is less time.
3. Issues in a Single Comic Title: This is a factor. And it might sound like I’m repeating myself, but I considered this when placing some artists above others. Some of the Artists on this list hold their position not just based on the amount of content they’ve drawn but also on how much of it they’ve done in a single title.
4. Availability: This is also a rather important consideration and while it might be a minor criteria in making my decision, as it’s placement here may suggest, I found that I spent a lot of time looking for comics from certain comics creators and publishers who just don’t seem to have much of an online presence or any information available on where to find their titles. This made including some people in the rankings kinda pointless, irrespective of how good their art is or their comics were. I can’t recommend titles and work no one will be able to find.
TOP TEN NIGERIAN PUBLISHING COMPANIES
1. Content: Once again, content is key. How much they have of it and how consistently they put it out. So, I will just repeat myself again by saying that “while some people not mentioned in the ranking (at least in my mind still) still qualify as comic book creators, it’s the ones who’ve gone farther in their efforts in creating content for readers and fans (and doing so consistently) that take precedence in this list.”
2. Availability: Yes, while this was a minor criteria in the “Artists section”, it just so happens to be a major one here and for good reason. The Top Ten is for publishers, which means you have to have something published. Self-published or otherwise, it doesn’t matter and like I said before, no one wants to spend too much time looking for comic creators and publishers that just don’t seem to have much information available on where to find their titles. I can’t recommend titles and work no one will be able to find.
3. Marketing: This may seem like a silly consideration, but in the Nigerian comic industry, I assure you it is not. Visibility is just as important as Availability, and getting your brand out there and how well some of these people have done that is very important for the Nigerian comic industry. And it’s not just good for the companies in question, but for all aspiring comic book creators and publishers in the country.
4. Issues in a Single Comic Title: While this is a far lesser concern here, it was still an important factor when making my selection, especially in the Nigerian comic book industry. The problem is much the same, and that is some publishers seem to spend most of their time coming up with new characters and titles faster than they’re putting out issues of the characters they already have. This has inevitably led to a lot of single issue comic books floating around with no real history to them or the characters they’ve created. So we end up with cool looking single issue comics or teasers with no knowledge of what they’re really about or what’s going on. Building a history around your characters is part of that, and you do that by turning out great story arcs for your characters and not just reasons for them to show off their cool powers.
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