Axel-In-Charge: "Secret Wars" Jam Session Talking "A-Force," "Ultimate End" and More
And here we are with our final round of responses from comic industry folks, after I asked them what they were looking forward to in 2010. You can find part one here and part two here. My thanks to everyone who took the time to respond to Tim O’Shea or myself.
A couple of quick thoughts from the old year and the new one:
1. I’m delighted a new YA novel in Gerald Morris ‘The Squire’s Tales’ series came out in September. ‘The Squire’s Quest’ is his first new novel in the series about Camelot and the Arthurian legends in several years. I’ve enjoyed the books immensely. I know. I know. It came out this year. Tough. I still couldn’t be more pleased.
2. I’ve been working on a long graphic novel for DC for awhile now (96 pages), should wrap it up in 2010 and really, I can’t wait! Catch me again in April or May and I’ll fill you in with some detail.
Walt Simonson’s work spans decades; he’s worked on comics like Thor, Fantastic Four, Avengers, X-Factor, Orion, Manhunter, Hawkgirl, World of Warcraft and his own Star Slammers, just to name a few. Earlier this year he donated this really awesome piece of original artwork for the auctions we did for our own Carla Hoffman, for which we will always be grateful.
1. Excited for a few things. The new Doctor (Who), Iron Man 2, and really excited for Justice League: Crisis on Two Earths. I’m not sure if Darwyn Cooke’s next Parker GN is going to be out next year, but I will be all over that the second it’s announced.
2. Excited for a few things of my own: Popgun 4, a secret project that I can’t announce at all, my new comic, STRAY, and getting FCHS Volume 1 out there in print.
Vito Delsante is the writer of FCHS, which he spoke to Tim about last year before we learned it had hit a roadbump, order-wise. When he isn’t making comics, he’s selling them at Jim Hanley’s Universe, located in New York near the Empire State Building. Also, I believe that Stray cover up above is the first time it’s been shown anywhere, so thanks to Vito for sharing it!
In 2010 one of the things I’m most looking forward to is the Boston Comic Con. New England is lucky to play host to a wide range of small one day shows. From Bangor, Maine, to New Haven, Connecticut, there’s a smörgåsbord of comic book awesome. My own LCS, Double Midnight, puts on the excellent GraniteCon. But the Boston ComiCon has always been a little special to me, because right around the time I was getting back into comics they put on their first show, and I’ve been to every con since.
In 2009 BCC made that huge transition from one-day show to weekend-long geekfest. And in 2010 they are moving to an all new, much larger venue. It’s just awesome to see a show that’s really well put together grow and expand. I mean, damn! Just look at the guest list for next April. And I get to sit next to some of these guys! Crazy.
Plus, it’s in Boston, which is my favorite city on, or below, the Earth’s delicious and flaky crust.
As far as personal projects are concerned, I’m just psyched that Atomic Robo: Revenge of The Vampire Dimension, (which was supposed to be Atomic Robo & Other Strangeness, but my beloved co-creator is a donkey, so it’s not called that), is hitting shelves in February 2010. Unless, of course, Diamond gets sucked into a singularity, or our printer forgets to buy toner -either occurrence would not surprise me. In which case, it might be June 2011, and not February 2010. With Vol.4 coming out (probably), the reprinting of the Vol.1 TPB, and the recent release of the Vol.3 TPB, it’s going to be a virtual robot orgy out there.
And who doesn’t love robot orgies?
Scott Wegener draws Atomic Robo and also drew the Killer of Demons mini-series that came out from Image last year. He also pitched in last year during Robot Love week, writing a post titled “I ♥ Second Chances.“
Jamie S. Rich
I would say the top of my list for books I am looking forward to is Lucky in Love volume 1. George Chiefett is writing, and Stephen DeStefano is drawing. I love Stephen’s stuff, have since the days of ‘Mazing Man, and we worked together here and there during the Oni years (and hope to again). It’s been a while since he has drawn anything of any great length, and the teaser’s he’s posted to his blog are phenomenal: http://stephendestefano.blogspot.com/2009/11/long-time-no-post-or-lucky-in-love-vol.html
Fantagraphics is publishing Lucky in Love, and the current release date is June.
In April, my next book will come out, the first volume of a little thing called Spell Checkers. It was co-created by myself and Joëlle Jones, and it’s being drawn by Nicolas Hitori de, with the occasional page by Joëlle, as well. It’s kind of a rude high school comedy about three teenaged witches who use their power for bad, because seriously, what teenager would want to use it for good? With great power comes great irresponsibility, I say!
Oni should be soliciting the book shortly. Anybody want to see three pages?
Jamie S. Rich is the writer of You Have Killed Me, which Oni released this past year. He guest blogged with us last year around the time the book was released. You can see his Shelf Porn here, and Tim interviewed him here. He also writes novels and film reviews, and has a blog here.
Mark Andrew Smith
In 2010 I’m the most excited about the Apple Reader. I hope that they’ll keep it in a magazine size so that we can use it to read comics and it’s not a size that comic books have to adjust to because I feel like it’s mutilation to squeeze them onto the IPhone right now from what I’ve seen and I’m really looking forward to having a natural reading experience. Having the ability to put all of the books you read, such as you have in your “shelf porn” segments, onto one single device and carry it around with you is going to be liberating. The bad news? It might mean the end of your “shelf porn” segments. I hope it will cut a lot of production costs and change the way comic books are distributed and read.
For Comic books, I’m the most excited about Battling Boy. For next year, above all else, I want to be surprised because the best books are complete surprises where you’re not looking for them and they suddenly appear and are new. I’m looking forward to that book that no one has seen or known about yet. I want something new in comics for next year and for some new people to rule the roost and produce innovative work.
For films I really worry because a lot of film production companies have been shifting the profits from high grossing films into other areas to recoup but they’re not reinvesting more money into films or taking chances. I feel like next year or the year after that the number of films that come out are going to be significantly less.
I am looking forward to a slew of upcoming fantasy films for better or for worse such as The Lightening Thief, Clash of the Titans, Legion, the Sorcerer’s Apprentice which doesn’t look perfect but it could be great in the same way that I really enjoyed a film like Jumper. I am also looking forward to Kick-Ass and everything that I’ve seen for it looks like a lot of fun.
This next year I have Sullivan’s Sluggers coming out as an original graphic novel from Image Comics. It’s drawn by Eisner Nominated Artist James Stokoe and it’s a horror baseball comic about a team of washed up has beens who have got to battle their way out of a town with a terrible curse on it using all of the baseball skills they have to survive. We’ve been working very hard around the clock to bring you this book for its Spring release.
I feel very excited about Sullivan’s Sluggers because it is both a sports and horror graphic novel which I haven’t done before. I think there is a huge marketing potential for the book in that comic books haven’t been marketed to the MLB, ESPN, and the Sports Illustrated crowds, in addition to the comic, horror, and cult film crowds. It feels exciting and like there is a lot of potential to draw a new audience into graphic novels because of the nature of this book.
Mark Andrew Smith has written a great number of comics, including Kill All Parents, Aqua Leung, Amazing Joy Buzzards, The New Brighton Archeological Society and lots of stuff for Image’s Popgun anthologies, which he also edited. You can see more preview pages for Sullivan’s Sluggers here.
Two things I’m excited about in 2010:
TCAF. aka the Toronto Comics Arts Festival. I love Toronto. I love Comics. Put the two together, and it’s pretty daggon cool. They just decided to make the festival happen every year, instead of every OTHER year, so I guess that makes it and 2010 special.
http://www.torontocomics.com/tcaf/ for more info.
AFRODISIAC and the Southern Tour. Well, Afrodisiac by Jim Rugg and Brian Maruca was suppose to be a December book, but like most things printed overseas, it will be arriving a month late (January). So, I’m excited for people to finally see the book. I’m also excited to go on a southern tour of sorts with Jim. Right now we’re scheduled to hit Richmond, Chapel Hill and Charlotte in early March. I’ve never really been on a “tour” so I guess that’s why I’m excited. More details to come.
Chris Pitzer is the publisher of AdHouse Books. In addition to Afrodisiac, he’s also published Driven by Lemons, Johnny Hiro, Ace-Face, Skyscrapers of the Midwest, Pulphope and many other comics and graphic novels.
Comic-wise, I’m most excited at reading the just-released GO GO MONSTER by Taiyo Matsumoto; I’m in Brasil at the moment and not sure when I’ll be able to get my hands on one, but Matsumoto is one of my very favorite creators on the planet and anything that gets translated into English for me to read is a major treat.
Personally, I’m launching my new series RED LIGHT PROPERTIES online at Tor.com this Tuesday, Jan 5th. It’s a tropical horror-drama series about a family-run real estate agency that exorcizes and sells “previously-haunted homes” to foreclosure victims in the post-mortgage South Florida housing market.
Heroes Convention 2010. In my mind Heroes is the number one convention that’s still about comics. The rapidly growing Indie Island section has become the highlight of the show for me. An up and comer gets the same love as a seasoned professional (well, maybe they’re getting sandwiches, I don’t know).
Their good attitude and well run show have made them my number one destination every convention season.
I’m also looking forward to getting new Party Bear out into the world in 2010. The on and off again webcomic is my neglected bastard love child. For fans of the book, I have some closure for the current events in the story coming up right around the corner. As soon as my cat stops sitting on my pages. My new years resolution was to have a new book in stores this year, so maybe it will be Milsap and company? Read what’s online here.
Paul Maybury has contributed to several of Image anthologies over the last few years, including Comic Book Tattoo and Popgun. He also drew Aqua Leung and has a fun livejournal where he sometimes posts stories about Aliens and Conan. (Not in the same story).
I’m sure everyone else is thinking the same thing, but I can’t wait to see the Scott Pilgrim movie! Edgar Wright is so fantastic and the mix of music, video game geekery, possible dance numbers and lots of fighting should make for an extremely fun movie. Plus, you know, Scott Pilgrim is just a great story.
I’m excited about doing the next Weird Fishes book, I’m working on the new pages right now and I’m going to start posting them at weirdfishescomic.com in January. I got to show some of the new artwork at my gallery show over at Mission: Comics and Art this month, and that adds another layer of connection and exposure long before the comic hits the internet, let alone the printed page. The new comic follows Dee and the Bunny Boy in their college years.
Here’s a snapshot of some of the new pages, from my gallery
Jamaica Dyer is the creator of the webcomic Weird Fishes, which was collected by SLG last year into book form.
Kelly Sue DeConnick
Name something that you aren’t personally involved with that has you excited.
Iron Man 2.
Name something you are personally working on that has you excited.
Longbox Digital (I’m not deeply involved; I’m on the “advisory board.”)
Kelly Sue DeConnick has contributed to several Image anthologies as well, including Comic Book Tattoo and 24seven. She also adapts English translations of manga for the American market, and wrote the upcoming Marvel one-shot about Sif.
When it comes to comics I’m very much looking forward Grant Morrison and Sean Murphy’s Joe the Barbarian. It looks like Grant Morrison is tackling the subject of imagination itself, something he’s clearly an expert in! Seeing pages posted on-line it reminds me of the Crazy Jane parts of DOOM PATROL and the reality bending ending of ANIMAL MAN but also clearly something new and original. Murphy is a tremendous artist, someone who infuses every drawing with personality and intensity. I know he’s up to the task of drawing everything Morrison throws at him. I hope this book makes him a marquee name, he certainly deserves to be.
In the world outside of comics, I have to own up to my particular nerd obsession already renowned around the office and say I’m looking forward to series five of Doctor Who. With his Doctor Who episodes Steven Moffat is responsible for some of the most thrilling and emotional television I have ever seen. Now they’ve given him the keys to the kingdom! Any man who has a love of the Peter Davison Doctor is a man I trust running DW.
In the comics I’m editing, there is going to be a big addition to the Farscape line of comics that I think fans will be excited for. We’re really turning up the heat in the Farscape universe, led by the creativity of show creator Rockne S. O’Bannon. BOOM! Studios as a whole will have announcements that I think will shock, surprise and delight. Big names and big ideas, that’s all I can say.
Ian Brill is an editor at BOOM! Studios, where he works on the Farscape and Philip K. Dick’s Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?, among many other comics. Before doing that, he used to write for Publishers Weekly Comic Week and Newsarama, among other outlets.
I spent all of 2009 not reading superhero comics (except for Peter David’s always great X-Factor), and I’m excited to get back into the genre. There aren’t any particular books or events drawing me in as much as the ridiculously talented creators pumping out books. At the head of that is Marvel’s Girl Comics, which promises to be an unforgettable showcase for top-notch talent. I’m also looking forward to whatever’s next in The Unwritten, the best Vertigo book I’ve ever read. And of course, 2010 promises to be a big year for Robert Venditti, who has two big non-Surrogates books in store in the thriller Homeland Directive and an adaptation of The Lightning Thief.
After having my first graphic novel come out last year, I’m looking forward to releasing the Pinocchio, Vampire Slayer sequel in 2010, as well as hopefully getting some other projects on shelves. I have two other graphic novel scripts written, the crime noir Two Dead and the pulp adventure The Leg. I’m currently developing a children’s superhero book and plan to also finish a novel this year. I also am self-publishing my second Nebraska mini comic, which I’ll have at conventions and online.
Van Jensen is a journalist who wrote last year’s Pinocchio, Vampire Slayer, published by SLG. I spoke to him about the book back in July, and he did a guest post for us about vampires around Halloween.
Anyone that isn’t excited about IRON MAN 2 is either lying or crazy. Robert Downey Jr. is just spectacular as Tony Stark. Perfect casting. Downey holds a special place in my heart, as my first entertainment gig was driving him around for a week back in ’92. I’ll have to dig up those pictures some day… (on second thought, maybe not! )
2009 was a banner year for BOOM! Studios. And 2010 will be even bigger! With all the stuff we having coming out this year like…. well, I can’t talk about that. But, we also have a mind-blowing new series from… oooh, dang, can’t talk about that either. And then, to top it off we are doing a long-term… oh, forgot, that’s off limits, too. Really, what I can say, is that every day I come in to work at BOOM! is a great day as we are cooking up some great comics and I am just generally excited about everything we are doing next year… and can’t wait to do some big reveals later down the road.
Chip Mosher, as you might have guessed, is the head of marketing at BOOM! Studios. He’s also a comic writer in his own right, having written Left on Mission, and he told us what he was reading a couple months back.
I’m most excited about distribution. 2010 is a year of converging windows of opportunity in the direct market, the bookstore market, and digital distribution. It’s going to be a remarkable, once-in-a-generation moment for the whole industry. Some smart people in the room have already stepped up to grab the brass ring. I can’t wait to see how it all shakes out.
In terms of things I am personally involved it, I am most excited about the projects that I can’t talk about yet, which are all of them. Happy new year!
Sam Humphries used to run MySpace Comic Books and, as he notes, is now working on top secret stuff. He’s a good guy who helped us out with a guest blogging stint earlier this year while I was out getting sick on vacation.
Your question made me realize what I bad job I do of following comic news nowadays as I honestly can’t think of what’s supposed to come out in 2010. I’d love it if First Second (or anyone else!) released some more work by Joann Sfar or Christophe Blain, but I don’t know how likely that is. And speaking of First Second, isn’t Paul Pope’s Battling Boy supposed to come out in 2010? That looked like it could be fun.
Other than that, I look forward to reading the latest installments of all my favorite manga series (Slam Dunk, Real, Kekkaishi, 20th Century Boys, etc.); discovering new favorites via the library; and catching up on all the comics I purchased in 2009!