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As Brigid pointed out on Monday, Penny Arcade creators Jerry Holkins and Mike Krahulik are among the finalists on Time magazine’s list of the 100 most influential people in the world (they’ve slipped two spots to No. 11 since yesterday). However, they’re not the only comics-industry figures in the poll: Just six spots behind the duo is writer Neil Gaiman, followed way down the list is DC Entertainment President Diane Nelson (No. 156, as of this post).
It’s an online poll, so it probably shouldn’t be surprising that the creators of a popular webcomic and a comics writer-turned-bestselling author, both with a substantial web presence, rank high on the list, rubbing virtual elbows with the likes of actors Neil Patrick Harris and Robert Pattinson, and U.S. Rep. Ron Paul. They all have dedicated, and plugged-in, fan bases, after all (though none can touch Lady Gaga, who sits comfortably at No. 1).
But the inclusion of Nelson, who now hovers toward the bottom of the list just behind legendary singer-songwriter Patti Smith, is (pleasantly) unexpected.
“As comic books have rapidly emerged as the most bankable mainstream movie properties,” Time‘s description for Nelson reads, “a vast gulf has grown between the big-screen Marvel universe (Iron Man, Hulk) and that of DC Comics. Besides Christopher Nolan’s Batman chapters, DC has faced a drought at the multiplex. Nelson is charged with altering that course. As the head of the newly-created DC Entertainment, she’s been handed a sprawling comic book universe and tasked with adapting it for the mainstream. Millions of fans — and plenty of movie studio execs — are hoping she’s up to the task.”
To the best of my knowledge, there’s no Diane Nelson Fan Site, so it’s unlikely she’ll rocket into the upper echelons currently inhabited by Beyonce, Apolo Ohno, Stephen Colbert and President Obama. We’ll know for sure on April 29. Until then, the voting is open.