ComicsAlliance’s Best Of 2016: Outstanding Writer Of 2016
Our writers and editors have made their picks of the best comics and creators of the past year, and you, the readers of ComicsAlliance, have voted for your favorites.
Check out the best comic book writers of 2016, including our critics’ picks, listed in alphabetical order, and the comics you voted the runners up and winner in this category! This is the very best of 2016!
Chelsea Cain is new to comics in 2016, and she arrived with a bang. I can only hope against hope that she sticks around despite the way she's been treated. The structure of her first Mockingbird arc was complex and intricate in a way I've never seen in comics before, while still being engaging on a human level. Her stories manage to be light-hearted, high stakes, and socially aware all at once, and she makes that balance look far easier than it can possibly be. [Elle Collins]
Al Ewing is — whisper it — very possibly the best Avengers writer of all time. Mushing all your favourite heroes together in one book sounds like an easy job, but many have failed to make it sing. Not Ewing. Over the course of three years and five different titles, he's delivered big action, bigger ideas, and character arcs that span multiple books. New Avengers and Ultimates may be the 'B' titles of the Avengers line, but in Ewing's hands they never feel like it. [Alex Spencer]
Steve Orlando is a fresh voice in comics, which makes his mainstream success exciting. He's done more with Midnighter (and for that matter, Apollo) than any other writer has before. He's also launched the best Supergirl series in at least twenty years, giving the character a much-needed soft reboot along the way. Orlando's stories mix emotional realism with outlandish superheroics and easy humor in a way few writers can match. I can't help being excited to read his Justice League of America in 2017. [Elle Collins]
Kelly Thompson's written several books that have just been an absolute joy to read this year. Her strong character work on Jem and the Holograms elevated a toy line into an unmistakably authentic story about charismatic rockstar sisters. She's also spearheading the private eye adventures of Kate Bishop, a hero that couldn’t be a better fit for Thompson's skills for characterization and wry dialogue. After a few pages of any Thompson story, she doesn't just make you care about the characters, she makes you feel like you've known them your whole life. [Luke Brown]
One of Scott Snyder's first DC proteges, James Tynion IV is one of the most exciting comic writers out there. His comics cover every age range and genre; no matter who you are, there's a Tynion book out there for you. From Backstagers to Detective Comics, Tynion brings a sense of humanity and family to his characters, by writing some of the most fun, most interesting, and most engaging comics around. [Tara Marie]
Gerard Way is the head of the Young Animals line, co-writer of Cave Carson Has a Cybernetic Eye, and solo writer of the new, revitalized Doom Patrol. He began in comics as an intern at DC before taking a small break to front the incredibly successful and theatrical My Chemical Romance, a band that dealt brilliantly with serialized storytelling and comics-worthy themes. He returned to comics a few years ago with the Eisner-award winning Umbrella Academy, but has now become one of DC's star writers. [Tara Marie]
Between DC's amazingly queer Bombshells, sneaking a gay couple through Marvel’s guidelines in Angela: Queen of Hel, and subverting gender roles and biological norms with Insexts, Marguerite Bennett has had an amazing year, and is poised to have an even brighter 2017. Bennett’s stories soar; they sing; they are full of poetry and delicate turns of phrase, and a joy at life that never shies away from the darkness, but always stands up to it. [Charlotte Finn]
In a just world, G. Willow Wilson would be the writer shaping the next phase of the Marvel universe. After expertly skewering the stupidity of hero vs. hero crossovers with one issue, Wilson used Ms. Marvel’s Civil War II tie-ins to show how Carol Danvers' forced fall from grace impacted the girl who looked up to her more than anyone else. As Kamala Khan expands into the broader 616 in the hands of other writers, it's clear that Wilson, her co-creator, knows her better than anyone. Here’s hoping she sticks around. [Tom Speelman]
For years, Ryan North has staked his claim as a king of enthusiastic wordplay and metafiction. With his collaborators, he's brought new life to clip art dinosaurs, underappreciated superheroes, and Shakespearean ephemera. His ability to create hilarious stories while also providing simultaneous commentary on them helps make books like Jughead or Unbeatable Squirrel Girl Beats Up the Marvel Universe fantastic and enlivening reads. Plus, those footnotes are real fun. [James Leask]
It's been Tom King's year. All three parts of his Trilogy of Good Intentions — The Vision, Omega Men and Sheriff of Babylon — wrapped up this year, establishing him as an aggressively smart writer who is unusually willing to challenge readers. With Batman he also showed he could do big, fun superhero comics, while staying true to his preoccupation with the opportunities that the form offers — especially that nine-panel grid. [Alex Spencer]