Horror and Action Give Way to Comedy as Readers Select Best Comics Writers of 2020: Todd Livingston and Nick Capetanakis

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Todd Livingston, Sonya Devereaux, and Nick Capetanakis

During a year where people were forced to huddle in their homes, sequestered from the populace in order to stave off the Zombie Apocalypse / Andromeda Strain pandemic, comic books -- especially small press and crowdfunded comics -- too off in a big way. And while people still loved to be scared and thrilled by an ever ready stream of horror and superhero titles, ultimately people wanted to laugh this year, and they showed it in their votes.

While the "big two" of DC and Marvel made a far more impressive showing than they did in the Best Comic and Best Comic Artist categories, there was still the undeniable presence of the upstart, bellying up to the bar and shouldering the giants aside to sit among them as equals.

As with the Best Comic Artist category, the write-in category saw a number of entries, and taking in all the one-offs and lumping them together as Other, we get an astonishing 13.49% of all votes cast -- a clear sign that people had several ideas of who the best writer in the comics industry was in 2020 other than the ones we had listed as nominees. (We always allow for the write-in category, because our awards are decided ultimately and solely by our readers, regardless of the nominee list.)

With sizeable showings, the Best Writer category saw the likes of Mark Poulton (USAssassin, Graveyard Shift) and Eric Hawkins (The Zombieful World of Oz) take the first noticeable slices of the pie, overtaken by Brian Ball (Rags) and Tonic Mole (Saving the World, Lilly and Wepwawet) before you begin to see names more in line with mainstream comics fans' expectations. Donny Cates (Venom) came in with 6.35% of all votes cast, led by James Tynion IV (Batman) with 7.14%. In an upset, however, comics newcomer Clint Stoker (Downcast) grabbed 8.73% to give Alterna Comics some decent representation, with Bill Willams (Punchline) doing the same for Antarctic Press with 9.52%.

Discounting the large segment of votes for Other, the third place vote getter is Tom Taylor, raking in 10.32% of the votes for his work on DC Comics' DCeased: Dead Planet.  Passing him is his DC alum, Scott Snyder -- who took the category last year -- with 13.49% for his work on Justice League.

It was by less than a percentage point, however, that Snyder lands second place this year, being barely beaten out of the top spot by a pair of stand-up comedians, Todd Livingston and Nick Capetanakis, and their bubble-headed bleached-blonde creation, Starring Sonya Devereaux. One might expect that the book -- which took this year's Best Comic award, and which saw artists Brian and Brendon Fraim grab Best Comics Artist by a blowout -- that the writing team would be a shoe-in as well. Surprisingly, this is only the second time in the history of our awards that a book and its team have swept all three categories, the last time being in 2018 when Hero Tomorrow did it with Tap Dance Killer. What's even more surprising is that neither Todd nor Nick were on the list of nominees, making them the first in any category in our history to win the top spot by virtue of write-in -- truly a fan-driven effort!

Congratulations to publisher American Mythology for achieving this triple crown comics event.