Last week, as most Americans geared up for their annual turkey-themed face-stuffing holiday, we asked ComicsAlliance readers to tell us what they were thankful for this year, particularly in relationship to the world of comic books. The winner of our Thanksgiving contest is CA reader Ben, who had a very personal Thanksgiving message to share.

What am I thankful for, especially in comics? I am thankful for the comics that saved my life. This year has been an intense struggle. I have struggled with a close death in the family, as well as developing a severe eating disorder, which of course came with depression. I can say that if not for my girlfriend and the satisfaction of being able to transport myself at any time to Gotham City or Avengers Mansion, and seek the comfort of my masked friends, I know that I would not be here today. It's amazing that comic book wisdom can actually be used in real life. I am thankful that comics saved my life, and comforted me (alongside the beautiful Carol) through rehab and the re-feeding stages of treatment. Thank you Bruce, Dick, Clark, Peter, Damien, Hal, Tony, Logan, and Steve. Though you all may be imaginary, you are very real and have helped save a very real life.

Congratulations Ben, not only for winning the contest but for your far more important personal victory, and thank you for sharing your story with us. Drop us an e-mail for your prize! Now, we've got more Thanksgiving notes from readers and the ComicsAlliance staff.

Our runner-up was Danicus Decimus Meridius, who composed a Thanksgiving poem:

On this the day of Thanksgiving

I have many reasons to be glad I'm living.

from family, friends, the fact I'm sane,

to Batman Inc. and Bruce Wayne.

The Walking Dead now on the air,

and Ramona Flowers with her blue hair.

Spider-Man's the best he's been in years,

and Harry Dresden's new book is here!

Doctor Who's new season was pretty great,

and the end of Smallville (I can hardly wait)

Its been a great year for nerds, I say,

So say thanks for it all this Turkey Day!

Ian Struckoff:

This year was my first full year working on comics, and during 2010 I released my first full issue and my first anthology. I'm thankful for all of my supportive friends, including the new ones I have made in the comics community, for the people who have contributed to our Kickstarter, and most importantly for the 20 or so artists who have had enough faith in my to spend their time making my scripts into actual comics. It's an amazing medium, and a more amazing community.

Jon Cormier

Well, it's simple and current for me. Jeff Lemire's Essex County being picked as one of the five finalists in the Canada Reads contest/debate... I've been pretty bored with Can-Lit for a long time but reading his series really showed me the power and potential of comics, and seeing this one in particular cross over to a more mainstream audience just feels so much better to my beliefs on the medium than the countless comic movies and TV shows (although The Walking Dead's success is a pretty dang close second for me). I'm really thankful that a deserving young artist is getting this attention for a very deserving work. I think this will help bridge the divide between comics and novels as valid mediums for all readers. Anything that chips away at the ghettoization of comics is something to be thankful for. I'm really interested in seeing how far his book goes in the competition. Still, other than Watchmen being in Time's 100, list I can't remember the last time a graphic novel was simply placed on a list of fiction as an equal.

And a few Thanksgiving messages from the ComicsAlliance staff:

CA Senior Editor Caleb Goellner:

I'm thankful for Photoshop and my increasingly overflowing file cabinet drawers full of action figures, which help me evoke eye-rolling, sighs and groans from our visitors on daily basis.

CA Senior Writer Chris Sims

I'm thankful that the best Batman stories that have ever come out are coming out while it is literally my job to read Batman comics.

CA Writer and Video Editor Chris Murphy

I'm thankful that Fred Van Lente continues to take under-used, barely noticed Marvel characters and tell great stories with them (I would be even more thankful if the next one is a Taskmaster/Howard the Duck team-up mini.) I am thankful every time I see Volstagg, provided he is not present at my Thanksgiving dinner table. I'm thankful that there's yet to be an official Harry Potter tie-in comic, leaving open the slim possibility that there could one day be a Harry Potter tie-in comic written by either Warren Ellis or Grant Morrison. And I'm thankful that the positive buzz for Walking Dead hasn't reached the point where an enormous floating zombie balloon was added to this year's Macy's Thanksgiving Day parade and, subsequently, to my nightmares for the rest of my life.

CA Writer David Uzumeri:

I'm thankful for every single comic I don't have to go to the store to buy, and can download digitally reasonably close to its release. LEGALLY.

CA Writer David Brothers

1. I'm thankful that 2010 was a better comics year than 2009, which was also a great comics year. Almost every month this year featured some fantastic new graphic novel or comic series that just knocked my socks off... I'm hoping that, as time goes on, each new year is a brand new "best year" for comics as a whole. This is the best possible time to be a comics fan.

2. I'm thankful that Jim Rugg and Brian Maruca's Afrodisiac exists. It blends two of my favorite things, blaxploitation cinema and '70s-era Marvel comics, and ends up with something fantastic, respectful, and amazingly entertaining.

3. I'm thankful for Takehiko Inoue's Vagabond Vizbig Volume 9. It's a collection of previously printed material, but seeing a six hundred page fight scene in the large format of the Vizbigs is the sort of thing that rekindles your love for comics and strengthens your resolve to only ever pay attention to the good stuff.

4. I'm thankful for Felipe Smith's Peepo Choo. If you've ever wanted to put nerd fights in their place and learn some perspective, this scathingly mean, affectionate, and brutal comic is where you need to go.

CA Writer Esther Inglis-Arkell

I'm thankful for the Paul Cornell invasion. He's writing up a series on Knight and Squire. He's made Lex Luthor a fantastic character who I basically want to see take over Action Comics. He's taking over the Batman and Robin title. If he were getting off a plane at JFK airport, I would totally be on the tarmac screaming.

CA Writer John Parker:

I'm thankful for: The Venture Bros. season finale. The reality of a lack of Ventures for another year does give this one a nice pukey aftertaste though. True Grit. I let movie news come to me, so I had no idea this was even going to exist. I'm so excited I want to blow someone's face off. Jason Aaron. Writing half of the best books on the shelf, and his best book Scalped just keeps getting better. What Aaron's building is going to last a very long time. Also, Jason Aaron's beard. Godland. My proggiest prog rock isn't prog enough to be this book's soundtrack. I swear, these last few issues leading to the series conclusion, they practically vibrate in your hand. Bruce Wayne's return. Not only has he been through the veil and back, but he has a vision as well. Is he planning for something to do with Grant Morrison's forthcoming Multiversity?

CA Writer Jason Michelitch

I'm thankful that comics are respectable now, but not so respectable that they've lost all the dumb, gross, weird, nonsensical qualities that have always marked them as a marginal, trash culture. I can read a stately hardcover tome full of Chris Ware's finely crafted insights on the human condition via an exploration of one man's life from cradle to grave, or I can click over to Josh Simmons' website and read about an elf from a magical kingdom that gets aroused by violence into a hypermasculine rage and skullf**ks an evil wizard to death, via In a Land of Magic. I am thankful that I get to have both. Oh, wait! I'm totally thankful for grilled cheese sandwiches and "Kittens Inspired by Kittens." Put that, not all the lame comics stuff. Okay, thanks, cool.

CA Editor-in-Chief Laura Hudson:

I find it difficult to express just how much I appreciate the support, attention, and generosity that ComicsAlliance and I have received from so many people in the year and a half since we launched. Thank you so much to our readers, to my staff, to the industry professionals, creators, friends and total strangers who have given us their encouragement, time, and support. I learned today that CA just had its 2nd best month of traffic in our history (after Comic-Con) and it's all because of you. As we head towards 2010, I want you all to know how profoundly grateful I am to everyone who keeps coming back to the site, commenting on our posts, and sharing our articles with their friends. I wanted to make the kind of comic book site that *I* wanted to read, and I feel so, so lucky that I found so many amazing writers and readers who felt the same way. Without your support, this site would be nothing. And it has meant the world to me.

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