Vaughan & Chiang's "Paper Girls" Builds a Familiar Yet Disconcerting World
[Note: this post was assembled by both Tim O’Shea and JK Parkin]
This is our final post for our big birthday bash, and what a post it is. No matter how much stuff we line up, people we interview, etc., there are still tons of folks we like to hear from and include in our giant New Year’s/anniversary/birthday activities. So, as we have in past years, we have asked various comics folks what they are excited about for 2012 in comics–something they aren’t working on and something they are.
There’s a lot of great stuff here–hints at new projects and even some downright announcements. Our thanks to everyone this year who responded!
I’m most anticipating the 30th Anniversary of HEROES CON (June 22-24, Charlotte, NC) . For any convention 30 years is an amazing run, but the fact that Shelton Drum and his extended family have put this show together every year with nothing but blood, sweat and tears is flat out super heroic.
On the personal front, the challenging and exhilarating ride that’s been Loose Ends will come to a close with issue 4. It’ll be bittersweet to send our child off to into the real world but I can’t wait for you guys to see the work Brunner & Renzi are doing.
I’m also super excited to dip my own toes into the Mignola-verse with the BPRD: The Pickens County Horror [March 28, 2012] and to read the end of Jason Aaron & RM Guera’s Scalped, which is my favorite series in years.
This sounds politic, but it’s genuine: what excites me about comics in 2012 is what’s exciting every year, the work of the talent. Seeing what the best are up to and how the up-n-comers have grown as artists and writers. In the new year, I’m also excited about illustrating several books and covers that feature my favorite Avengers.
Bryan Q. Miller
Happy a Birthday as this is, Robot 6, let’s not get so lost in the celebration that we forget the sacrifices made by Robots 2, 4 and 5 to get you where you are today.
Now that THAT’s out of the way… AVENGERSavengersAVENGERSavengersAVENGERS #Hobbit
Also looking forward (very much) to the end-run on Locke and Key, as well as the next year’s worth of Morning Glories.
And, hopefully, DC will finally announce my secret project. Then there’s that other secret project I’ve done for a secret company. #Secrets
Bryan Q. Miller is a writer for television and comics, most recently of the Batgirl series featuring Stephanie Brown, which Tim O’Shea ranked among his favorite series of 2011. He spoke with Tim O’Shea about Batgirl in March.
I’m quite interested in what the Image Expo will be like in February. The platform is based on Image Comic’s 20 years in the industry, but in my opinion it represents the emergence of the independent creator and publishers and self-publishers of this generation. I’m old enough to have lived through the change of a dependent system where the market was primarily two companies and three distributors. That changed in the late 1980s and early 1990s. I’m not sure if the Image Expo will be a one-time celebratory event or the basis for a yearly gathering but I am excited about it. It’s different from the likes of Stumptown, or APE or SPX, because the independent spirit exists on several layers and I’m not sure publishers on this level have had a real convention just for them.
As for myself personally…
I’m looking forward to seeing the end of the Bomb Queen story arc. In 2012, Vol. 7 *might* be my last run with the character… except for some annual specials and crossovers. I’m not ending it forever, but I might be slowing her down so I can do other books. I’m thinking more how Robert Kirkman handled, Battle Pope. He keeps it in print and brings the character out every now and then to retain control.. but it’s no longer his main focus. By the way… that’s a crossover I would like to see. Battle Pope and Bomb Queen.
In terms of projects I am not personally involved in, I know this is going to sound all touchy feel-y and hippy dippy but I am super excited for all the opportunity that 2012 will bring for creator owned and newbies in the comic field. Between projects like Womanthology that show the untapped/underused talent out there and the creator-owned push from people like Niles and Kirkman I have a feeling that 2012 will open up many doors for people. Whether it is acceptance on to an anthology, a chance to work for a favorite company, or getting a bit of spotlight at a convention. There was way too much fire in 2011 about getting new creators out there for that excitement to burn out in 2012, and I am overly excited about that for everyone.
In terms of projects I am personally involved in, this is going to be kind of a “duh” but I’m excited about Womanthology. I can’t wait to see this book in print. I’m also now the events coordinator for Womanthology so any conventions going on in 2012 that want a Womanthology event feel free to contact me. Shameless self promotion, I know. Hooray 2012!
I’m really looking forward to the Valiant relaunch. I’ve heard just a little about what’s in store, and it’s going to be some high quality comics. It’ll also be interesting to see how it shakes up the market. We’ll learn if DC’s Nu 52 thing has any legs and if Marvel can capitalize on the Avengers. All in all, should be a tumultuous year for the Wednesday crowd.
The big thing I have coming up for 2012 is Pinocchio, Vampire Slayer: Of Wood and Blood, the third book in the trilogy with artist Dusty Higgins. I’m excited to see it wrap up. And then I also have Snow White: Through a Glass, Darkly coming out with artist Robin Holstein. It reimagines the classic fairy tale with the twist that the stepmother isn’t evil. The mirror is.
Johanna Draper Carlson
I’m very much anticipating new work by favorite creators. Alison Bechdel’s Are You My Mother?: A Comic Drama should be one of the books of the year, exploring the (sadly neglected in comic) mother/daughter relationship in a companion volume to her Fun Home. I can’t wait to read Faith Erin Hicks’ Friends With Boys, about a home-schooled girl making friends outside her family for the first time. And one of my favorite manga series, Ooku: The Inner Chambers by Fumi Yoshinaga, will have a seventh volume out. I’m sure there are many more coming I have yet to know about, and that’s what I am most excited by — the continual discovery of excellent work by talented creators.
For myself, I’m eager to keep on as I have been, reading and writing about good comics and sharing recommendations.
I can’t wait to get my hands on Alabaster: Wolves, a miniseries from Dark Horse written by Caitlin R. Kiernan with art by Steve Lieber. I only wish I didn’t have to wait until April!
For personal projects I have to say it’s a tie. I’m really excited about Exile on the Planet of the Apes, the second Planet of the Apes miniseries that Gabriel Hardman and I are writing. Marc Laming has already finished inking the first couple of pages and they look fantastic! But Gabriel and I are also deep into writing a creator owned sci-fi project called Station to Station which I’m thrilled to say will finally be completed in 2012.
Corinna Bechko is a writer (with a zoology background) and frequent collaborator with husband artist Gabriel Hardman. She and Hardman talked with Tim O’Shea about Betrayal of the Planet of the Apes in December.
Most excited about for 2012? Image Comics. Not sure what their secret sauce is lately but they are on fire and have me buying single issues for the first time in years.
Most excited about personally for 2012? Thwipster Version 2 (with added detergent).
Comics writer/artist/publisher, Jimmy Palmiotti, recently Tweeted, “Publish or perish.” Maybe it was end-of-the-year blues but I was feeling particularly bleak about my career and was struck by Jimmy’s charge and asked if we could discuss the origin behind those three ominous words and what I got was a pep talk for a lifetime.
Securing work from franchise publishers is harder than ever before and very few other publishers pay livable advance wages anymore. Most deals are made for royalties and back end rewards based on sales. Print is competing with digital and profits are questionable. Readers want archives and new stories but making money at publishing has become a challenging and schizophrenic mess. The risk for a corporation to launch something new has become greater and all the bean counters what to know before they gamble on your idea is the sales of your last three books and whether or not your comic book idea has multimedia legs and if you have a strong fan base. In other words, publishers hardly publish what they “like” and franchise publishers would rather update 75-year old icons every five years [which they’ve worked hard to maintain] than build and grow new ideas that inspire writers and artists today. I understand why that is but it’s paranoid, lazy, and shortsighted.
Frankly, pitching proposals sucks right now. What if you don’t have three books and your new idea doesn’t translate to a movie or toy? Worse, what if you do have three books and the numbers didn’t inform the zeitgeist and thrill Hollywood? Why does one thing need to yield the other in order to make a cool comic book? Because comic books don’t sell like they used to. I get it. While the internet leveled the playing field it also made everything a niche. However, the comix industry does have a strong fanbase. I’ve seen them and they are us.
Now is the perfect time for a cartoonist to manifest his or her own industry. We have the DIY tools. We have the social networks and viral know how. We have proof that crowd funding works and community is key. We have a cranky comedian like Marc Maron rise from the ashes of every bridge he ever burned and make his own rules with his WTF podcast, and popular acts like Radiohead and Louis C.K. making affordable, direct deposit products; offers no one in their right mind could refuse, and venues like Etsy and Kickstarter changing the ways we consume by supporting work with our wallets BEFORE it’s made so that it can BE made sans corporate fear and scrutiny.
But, what about us? Viva la Michel Fiffe for self-publishing ZEGAS, a print-only experience that reminds us why magical efforts like Los Bros Hernandez’ Love & Rockets were punk yet vital and stand the test of time. All hail Alex De Campi for recognizing the virtues of the old self-publishing model while implementing new rules with the understanding that in order to hawk your wares you must show up to the party and build sound relationships with the people who produce, distribute, and purchase your wares. Rock out with your cock out Jimmy Palmiotti for having the talent and acumen to keep your feet firmly planted in all ponds while knowing how important it is to be different.
Bottom line: I’m sharing these thoughts to rally myself, too. I count myself lucky to have been paid to make comix and I owe a lot of people my perpetual gratitude. I would love to continue to get hired and occasionally play with the toys I grew up with but I can’t let over-worked editors ignore me or my talented friends, anymore. It doesn’t champion creativity and it doesn’t pay the bills. Indifference only engenders ill-will and I won’t be banished to that bitter cabal of disgruntled cartoonists. “Publish or perish?” So, to answer your question about what am I “most excited about for 2012?” I’m most excited to see comix auteurs bring their A-game and step up to the plate with a hit in their mind and a home run in their heart.
Dean Haspiel is an Emmy award winning artist and a native New Yorker who created the Eisner Award nominated BILLY DOGMA, and launched the webcomics pioneering site, ACT-I-VATE.com. In December, Haspiel joined Seth Kushner & Chris Miskiewicz to talk with Tim O’Shea about Trip City, a Brooklyn-filtered literary arts salon.
I’ll admit I’m not super well-versed on what’s specifically coming up comic-wise in 2012, but I’ll continue to pick up and be excited about anything my favorite creators work on: Roger Langridge, Colleen Coover, Jeff Parker, Fred Van Lente, Greg Pak, Katie Cook, Jennifer Meyer, Ron Marz, Mark Waid, Becky Cloonan, Andy Diggle, J.M. DeMatteis, Mitch Gerads, Declan Shalvey, Jordie Bellaire, Jock, Mike Maihack, David Gallaher, Phil Hester, Evan Shaner, Marjorie Liu, Brian Clevinger, Scott Wegener, Paul Tobin, Chris Samnee, Chris Eliopoulos…and dozens more creators I’d name if I were allowed 30,000 more words. There’s fun in anticipation of a known quantity, but there’s also a joy in walking into a comic shop or surfing a digital app with a totally open mind, and finding something great you never knew existed.
Of all the things I’m cooking up in 2012, Cow Boy has me the most excited. It’s coming out in hardcover in March from Archaia, but we’re putting it online for FREE starting in January. It’s my favorite thing that I’ve written, and I tailor-made it for Chris Eliopoulos to draw. This book is Chris’ artistic coming-out party. I’ve been a fan of his art for a long time, but this really is the best work he’s ever done. The subtlety of emotion and cinematic scope he’s brought to Cow Boy has blown me away. I hope my story is half as good as his amazing art…but if not, at least you’ll have a gorgeous book to look at.
I’m excited about the advent of The Phoenix, a new kids’ comic magazine launching here in the UK. There’s so much enthusiasm among kids around comic-book characters and ideas, anything that works to convert that enthusiasm into a lasting love of the medium is A Good Thing in my book.
Of my own projects, I’m particularly excited to have a story in the first issue of Journeymen, a new quarterly designed to showcase work by new creators. Having seen the calibre of some of the artists signed up, this looks set to be a very slick book and I’m thrilled to be a part of it.
In 2012 I am most looking forward to the new Chicago Alternative Comics Expo. It’s been ages since Chicago has had an alternative comics show and I’m quite thrilled that CAKE is happening.
Personally, writer JD Glass and I are ramping up the publishing company we founded in 2011 – Outlines Press. One of the books will be the print collection of my web comic she said. It will be available in late spring.
Kris Dresen is a Chicago-based artist and writer.
I’m really looking forward to Legend of Korra, the spinoff of Avatar: the Last Airbender. Based on the trailer, it looks to be an imaginative follow up to what I consider the most perfect animated action/adventure series ever. I also can’t wait to read Avatar: The Last Airbender: The Promise, the new comic series by Gene Luen Yang and Gurihiru being published by Dark Horse, that will act as a bridge between the two TV series.
In the world of original graphic novels, I’m excited about a lot of what First Second has coming out in 2012. Especially Broxo by Zack Giallongo, which looks like a fresh take on sword and sorcery. And also, the sequel to Zita the Spacegirl by Ben Hatke, which was one of the most fun and visually exciting books of this past year.
As far as stuff I have a direct connection to in 2012…
I collaborated with my wife, Raina Telgemeier, on a story for Explorer: The Mystery Boxes (Amulet books). Edited by Kazu Kibuishi, it’s an all-ages anthology with a fantastic mix of scary, mysterious, funny, and action-packed short stories that reminds me of the classic Amazing Stories TV series.
I wrote a book called Teen Boat! (Clarion Books), the comedic tale of a boy who can transform into a yacht, and the jocks and pirates who seek to exploit his boat-tastic powers. Illustrated by longtime friend and collaborator, John Green, Teen Boat! started out as a series of mini-comics that kept growing more ambitious and absurd with each issue. The book will be hardcover and full-color, collecting and expanding on previous material in ways that I think will blow people out of the water (pun intended).
And, Drama (Scholastic Graphix) is Raina ’s follow up to Smile. It’s a similar coming of age story, set in the behind-the-scenes world of stage crew kids producing a middle school play. I think this book will really connect with a lot people (especially teenagers) the same way Smile has, but also showcase a new emotional side to Raina’s work.
Dave Roman is the creator of Astronaut Academy: Zero Gravity and Agnes Quill: An Anthology of Mystery. He lives in New York City with his wife, Raina Telgemeier. He spoke with CBR’s Alex Dueben about Astronaut Academy in June.
I’m excited about Scott Snyder’s ongoing work in the new DC universe, including Swamp Thing and Batman. He’s been the absolute breakout talent of 2011, not just successful with the audience, but also artistic and stylish. His closing run of Detective Comics was a tremendous thing to behold.
In terms of my own work, it’s Saucer Country that I have to mention. This is the story I’ve been working on in the back of my head for decades. Ryan Kelly’s art is a joy. It’s The West Wing does The X-Files, and it lets me use all the UFO mythology that I’ve been researching as a hobby since I was eight. I like to think we’ve done something original and truthful with it, and that we’ll scare you witless.
One of my favorite reads of 2011 was Charles Soule’s horror/rock comic 27 with Image, so I’m very much looking forward to his Strange Attractors from Archaia, which promises to be weird and intriguing in all the best ways.
As far as my stuff goes, I’m very excited about doing The Spider with Dynamite. I love pulp, and it’s been such an interesting experience re-working one of the great pulp characters into a contemporary setting. Plus, Colton Worley’s art is absolutely breathtaking.
I’m incredibly excited for Saga, Brian K. Vaughan‘s return to comics. Also really looking forward to the conclusion of Locke & Key (I think that’s supposed to finish up in 2012), seeing how digital develops, Dark Knight Rises and the amazing, out-of-nowhere creator-owned stuff that always shows up to blow everyone’s mind EVERY year.
As far as my own work, I have a beautiful graphic novel entitled Strange Attractors, to be published by Archaia later this year. It’s about people who have figured out how to use New York City as a sort of engine, and an ensuing fight over the key. I’ve lived in NYC for more than fifteen years, and it’s my love letter to the city. Pencils/inks are from Greg Scott, with Art Lyon on colors. It’s looking amazing, and should be on shelves around summer or fall.
The other big project I’ve got in the hopper is called Letter 44. It was just picked up by a fantastic publisher, literally this week, so I can’t quite give all the details yet, but it’s a real-world political sci-fi thing. Sort of 24 meets 2001. The art is from a newcomer named Matthew Childers, and it’s going to be a real humdinger. We’re planning it as a mini-series, and it will probably be out around Q4 2012.
There are other things in the works, but we’ll see if and when they appear. Go comics!
Barnaby!!! I’m really excited that finally there’s going to be a complete collection of Crockett Johnson’s amazing newspaper strip Barnaby. I’d be stoked about pretty much any collected Barnaby, but I’m ecstatic that Fantagraphics is publishing it and that Dan Clowes (!) is doing art direction. There’s no way this can’t be great.
I’m pretty excited that I’ll be passing the half-way point with my webcomic Oyster War sometime in 2012, but event-wise I’d have to say I’m most excited about SPX this year. I had to miss SPX 2011 because of a wedding–the first time I’ve missed an SPX in around a decade–but I’m for sure going this year. I’m considering trying to organize some sort of “Alphabet Collective” table to sell A-Z minicomics by folks who’ve completed full alphabets from our Animal Alphabet and AlphaBeasts projects.
I’m really looking forward to the new Adventure Time comics that BOOM! is doing with Ryan North and Shelli Paroline. My seven-year-old daughter and I watch every new episode of that cartoon together, usually more than once, and we can’t wait to check out the comic. And on a personal level, my wife Allison and I are looking forward to finally making our long discussed move to Portland this coming summer, where we’re told that sometimes water falls from the sky; having lived for so long in a place where it gets hot enough in the summer to LITERALLY burst into flames, some water falling from the sky sounds pretty awesome to us.
Hey, I just found something I’m excited about for 2012- the newly announced Courtney Crumrin color ongoing! CC was one of my favorite comics series of the last decade, and I hope it gives Ted Naifeh the spotlight his work deserves.
Sadly, I am working on nothing that has me excited. C’est La Vie.
Johnny Bacardi is a comics and pop culture critic.
I’m psyched to see comics continue their move into a digital medium; an idea I’ve been championing that damn near got myself and artist Eric Jones laughed off a panel just 6 or 7 years ago is finally on the verge of being properly embraced.
In regards to art rather than industry evolution, I’m looking forward to seeing if Tom Neely has anything new coming out; the diversity in his work continually impresses me. I hear Ted Naifeh has some more Courtney Crumrin coming up, which is something I always look forward to.
Outside of stuff being produced by my friends, I’m interested in seeing how Watchmen 2 develops. I don’t know if it will be good or bad, but I find the challenge fascinating and I’m curious to see the end result.
As for myself, I’m working on several book projects with Disney/Marvel that I’m looking forward to seeing in print. Most of all though, I’m excited to see Danger Club released. Eric and I have been working on this book for a couple of years now, and it’s finally ready (with Image Comics in April 2012). The basic concept is kind of like Teen Titans meets Lord of the Flies. All the world’s adult heroes leave the Earth to battle an unimaginable evil and never return, leaving the sidekicks behind with the looming threat of impending doom for the entire planet.
There’s also the cartoon adaptation of my and Eric’s comic horror movie inspired series known as Little Gloomy – now known as Scary Larry. I believe we will see that airing this year. I’ve seen a couple of episodes and am very happy with how the material has translated.
For me, this year is a bit of “everything old is new again!” With so many major comic book projects personally disappointing lately (I’m finding much more pleasure in smaller, well-told stories, but publishers seldom advance-promote those, no?) I’m mostly looking backwards for good stuff, with all the new and continuing comic strip collections and creator-focused archival works. I’m also really into animals this year. I’m excited about getting regular doses of Carl Barks’ ducks (haven’t read any in over 25 years), Walt Kelly’s possums and gators (very little prior exposure for me, except for collections checked out of the library as a kid), Floyd Gottfredson’s mice (never before read), and Berkeley Breathed’s penguin (gave up reading them at the time, as our local paper reduced it to the size of an index card). For (little) people, there’s Crocket Johnson’s Barnaby (never read), Charles Schultz’ Peanuts (entering into an era I’ve never read), and the slightly older teens of Bob Montana’s Archie gang (never seen these –now in color with the first collection of Sunday strips!). I’m also hopeful that sales were great on Sheldon Mayer’s Sugar and Spike Archives, so we can get a second volume sometime soon (because I only started reading this great series much later)!
It also looks like a great year for comic book films. I think many moviegoers are most interested in Batman: The Dark Knight Rises, but I’m a big fan of the ensemble structure, so I am very interested in this summer’s The Avengers. Of course, I’ll be seeing both.
KC Carlson, former comic book retailer, distributor, and editor, contributes to the Westfield Blog and Comics Worth Reading “while participating in various behind-the-scenes plotting to either save the industry — or destroy it.”
I was blown away by the success of so many comics projects on Kickstarter in 2011 — I’m hopeful that 2012 may be a watershed year for diverse projects finding and growing comics-reading audiences via crowdfunding venues like Kickstarter and IndieGoGo.
On a personal front, I’m thrilled to be writing Doctor Strange Season One, which Emma Rios is pencilling. Strange is one of those characters I’ve been dying to write as a lead for ages, and I couldn’t be happier.
What I’m Not Involved In: I’m extremely excited for Corey Lewis’ Sharknife Double Z from Oni Press. Its been in the works for a very long time, but from what I’ve seen I’m very confident it will be worth the wait. I was lucky to get a sneak peak at some unseen pages and it’s definitely the best work of his career. Furthermore, I’m excited to see where he goes next after scaling this artistic Everest.
What I’m Involved In: I’ve got a number of books coming out, like HELL YEAH and GLORY and a couple that aren’t announced yet, but I have to say I’m way excited about attending this year’s Angouleme Festival of Bande Dessinee. It’s what replenishes my creative juices every year. Always a damn good time. You get exposed to so much you never see state side. Can’t wait to be there.
Janet K. Lee
Comic-wise, what are you most excited about for 2012?
I’ve only seen a few images from Blue, which will be published by Top Shelf in March, but they are amazing. And that’s my fault since the entire comic is available online! Blue is the debut graphic novel from an Australian creator named Pat Grant; it sounds like a magical Huckleberry Finn tale. I’m sold!
I also cannot wait until April for Mind the Gap by Jim McCann/Rodin Esquejo/Sonja Oback. The concept, of course, has me completely hooked: girl tries to solve her own attempted murder while hospitalized in a coma. But Jim keeps showing me art as well, and oh-my-god is it beautiful. An absolute must-buy.
Then there’s Dark Crystal: Creation Myths from Archaia: it just came out this week, but I haven’t gotten my hands on a copy yet. But I will! Dark Crystal has been one of my favorite films since I was old enough to appreciate film, and I’m positively giddy with anticipation.
Comic-wise, what are you most excited about for 2012?
Personally, I’m probably most excited that Time of the Dapper Men will be coming out next year. I was proud of the work Jim and I did for Return of the Dapper Men, but after a year of working on the adaptations of Jane Austen’s Emma and Northanger Abbey for Marvel, I feel my own art has really grown and evolved. And then the scope of Jim’s story is epic and grand. Every day I work on it is a day filled with joy.
I’m also thrilled to be a contributor to Womanthology: Herioc which will arrive in stores next February. I got to collaborate with two wildly talented writers, Jenna Busch and Rachel Pandich, on our short story, and the book is simply chock-full of truly legendary talent. I can’t wait to get my copy.
Janet K. Lee is the artist of Return of the Dapper Men, the upcoming Time of the Dapper Men, Jane Austen’s Emma and Northanger Abbey, and more. She also makes rad Christmas ornaments.
Comic-wise, what am I most excited about for 2012? Seeing creators and publishers continue to work towards figuring this whole digital thing out. Would it be too much to hope for a shift towards a common file format and pricing enticing enough to attract an even broader swath of readers? Oh, and if I can sneak one more in here: Tom Fowler on Hulk: Season One.
Andy Hirsch is the creator of Varmints and illustrator of SLG’s The Royal Historian of Oz.
Faith Erin Hicks
Comics by others: I believe the English publication of Naoki Urasawa’s 20th Century Boys will wrap up in 2012. There are six volumes left and they come out every other month, so it should be finishing at the end of 2012. I’ve been enjoying the insanity of this series, and am really curious to see how Urasawa will wrap things up. Will it be a satisfying ending, or a house of cards collapse? I can’t wait to find out. On the North American side of comic making, I’m really looking forward to Raina Telgemeier’s new graphic novel, Drama, which is about a school stage tech crew. One of my few fond memories of high school was being on the stage crew for a couple of plays, and I’m looking forward to see what Raina does with the set up. If it’s half as good as her last comic, Smile, it’ll still be a pretty great book.
As for my comic-related contributions to 2012, I have a couple of things I’m looking forward to. My graphic novel Friends With Boys will be published by First Second Books in February 2012, so please pick up a copy! It’s a sort of but not really autobiographical story of a homeschooled girl following her three older brothers into public high school (I was homeschooled and have three brothers, so I have some experience with this scenario). Friends With Boys has been running online since August as a part of First Second’s webcomic initiative, and the reader response has been a lot of fun. If you’re interested in the comic, you can check it out here: http://www.friendswithboys.com
I think I also have a second graphic novel coming out, although I’m not sure of the publication date. I’ve been drawing a young readers graphic novel called Bigfoot Boy (written by J.Torres), which I think will be out from Kids Can Press in the fall. It’s really cute and fun, and I think a lot of kids will like it, so do get it for the eager young comic reader in your life.
I’m excited about Marvel.com as a whole. A bit of a cheat to answer, but it’s legitimate. There are so many great comic book resources (see what I did there?) out there on the Internet these days that I’m proud we’ve been able to do what we do as a corporate site. Being part of Marvel has never hindered our creativity, it’s only helped. That comes down to our editorial staff, from Ryan Penagos to Marc Strom to Janna O’Shea to all our great freelancers; to our amazing video team of Jason Harvey, Ramon Olivo and Todd Wahnish; to the folks within the other departments at Marvel like Arune Singh, James Viscardi and all the tremendous editors who help us out; and the rest of the Digital Media Group who actually understand how to make a web page work (I do not). With all this work and support, we’ve been able to, in addition to our extensive editorial work, do things like our live streaming coverage of conventions, our new This Week in Marvel podcast, the recent event where we announced AvX and the audio version of Daredevil #1. I’m excited to keep going with all of this stuff as well as expanding our reach and variety of projects. Marvel digital is a very exciting place to work and I’m fortunate to be a part of it.
On a more personal level, my favorite thing to do is produce the Marvel Super Heroes: What The–?! stop motion series with the brilliant Alex Kropinak and very handsome Jesse Falcon, so I’m pretty pumped to get back to a regular schedule on those, particularly with the Oscars coming up in a few months as we always have fun with that.
I’ll cheat once again as far as what I’m looking forward to from others (I’m terrible) as while I didn’t work directly on Secret Avengers or Scarlet Spider, I got to be in on the ground floor with Rick Remender, Chris Yost, Ryan Stegman, et al as far as promoting them, and from what I’ve seen there are few books I’m more excited for coming out the gate in 2012. Remender can do no wrong right now and the Scarlet Spider boys are enthusiastic as all get out.
From my buddies, I’m looking forward to Sean T. Collins hopefully doing more mainstream work, Phil Jimenez’s gorgeous art on Fairest, and seeing what exactly Alex Segura has in mind as a next step after teaming Archie with KISS. I’ve got my fingers crossed for Archie/Motley Crue in 2012.
A fixture at Marvel’s booth and panels during conventions, Ben Morse is associate editor of Marvel.com, future heavyweight champion of the world and has even written a comic for Marvel on occasion. When he isn’t working, he likes to hang out at the Cool Kids Table with CBR’s Kiel Phegley.
I’m obsessed with everything about The Dark Knight Rises, and I can’t wait to see that on the screen. Beyond that I’m really excited to see what happens in digital. I think 2011 will be seen as the year digital broke through in a real and substantial way, and 2012 will be even more innovation and acceptance.
One of the reasons digital is so interesting to me is my own book, War of the Woods, is coming out that way. Season One is done and available through Comixology. So what I’m MOST excited about in 2012 is getting Season Two going. If you’re interested, you can to warofthewoodscomic.com for news and to follow along as I make the comic!
I am most excited about the growth of fascinating small press work is experiencing. Conventions like BCGF and TCAF are showing just how diverse the market is and that young new readers are looking for options beyond what can be found in the average brick and mortar stores that make themselves solely dependent on the archaic offerings of Diamond distro.
As far as particular comics go, Brandon Graham’s Multiple Warheads and Prophet are both looking to be great offerings that show a remarkably different direction that mainstream markets have a potential to go in. Fantagraphics is doing some amazing archival projects that I can’t wait to sink my teeth in, like the EC collections of Wally Wood and Harvey Kurtzman.
2012 is going to be a busy year for me. I have started doing video interviews with my friend Daniel Giantomaso. We have done two videos so far, the first with Brandon Graham and the more recent with Anders Nilsen.
Daniel and I will be posting video’s early on in the new year with David Lasky and Peter Bagge and much more to come.
I am also doing a couple of small press publishing projects. After a lot of talk and dares among friends, I am putting together an anthology of comics that take place in the Gossip Girl universe. So far, the interest has been great, with folks like Michael Deforge, Benjamin Marra, Corey Lewis and much more wanting to take part.
My other collection will be tied into my art selling website, www.mcconnellart.com. I am putting together a 100 page sketchbook of the work of Brandon Graham. He has stacks of these great sketchbooks which will serve as nice compliment for fans. All work that I am publishing will be done on the cheap, to keep costs for consumers to a minimum. I am pretty excited about these new projects.
On top of this, inkstuds will continue as strong as ever with new audio interview every week.
Robin McConnell is the host of the awesome interview series Inkstuds.
Like many on the East Coast I’m still riding the wave of excitement that was the Brooklyn Comics & Graphics Fest. That show is as good an indicator of our “state of the art” as anything, so looking forward to 2012 I’ll take my tips from what I saw. For starters it seems as though the art comix landscape may finally be turning the corner on the Fort Thunder aesthetic. The hot ticket at BCGF was everything post-manga. “Post-Manga” is a term I’ve heard thrown around lately and I think it’s appropriate. It’s a demographic inevitability that many close observers saw coming, the post-art school echo of the early-2000’s manga boom. The kids who were snatching up Pokemon cards by the hundreds 10+ years ago are making the sickest art comix on the scene now. Artists like Jonny Negron, Michael DeForge, Mickey Z, Zach Hazard Vaupen, etc. The current standard bearer for the style is Ryan Sand’s Thickness anthology, which sets the new bar. What I’m looking forward to most in 2012 is seeing how this decade continues to develop it’s own aesthetic identity.
In Philly we’re hitting the ground running in 2012, first with our Rub the Blood art show opening at Brave New Worlds comics gallery in Old City, Philadelphia on January 6th. The show will feature art by Victor “Bald Eagles” Cayro, Keenan Marshall Keller, Josh Bayer, Box Brown and more. Up next is Secret Prison #666 which will be co-edited by Pat Aulisio of Yeah Dude fame. It’s the last free tabloid-format issue of the series and will feature 100% crazy collaborations with artist pairs teamed up by me and Pat as though we were Ted DiBiase and King Haku picking Survivor Series teams. If you want in on it hit me up! Closing out the year we’re taking Secret Prison in a new direction with our most ambitious format to date. SP7 will be published by Retrofit Comics and will comment on the aforementioned post-manga wave churning in alternative comics.
It’s a little unspecific, but the thing I’m looking for the most in 2012 is probably getting to the end of it, and seeing how many amazing manga, comics, graphic novels, classic reprints, art books, and more we’ll have seen published in the medium. I look back at 2011… the past few years really… and they’re filled with wave after wave of excellent comics. There always has been and always will be the crap, but 2011 was a constant struggle to keep my weekly purchases from getting completely out of control. As 2012 sees my favourites continue and brand new works rise to take their place? Well, it’s a great time to love comics. Special shout-outs to some of my favourite series and books including Criminal: Last of the Innocents by Brubaker and Phillips, Cross Game by Adachi, Love & Rockets by the Hernandez Bros., Walking Dead by Kirkman and Adlard, and Zoo In Winter by Taniguchi, amongst dozens of others I enjoyed and dozens still yet to be read.
In 2012 I hope to meaningfully contribute to the enjoyment of readers and the enrichment of the medium with TCAF 2012 – The 2012 Toronto Comic Arts Festival. I’m the Festival Director (in addition to my other responsibilities) and I can say that this will easily be the biggest Festival yet, and one of the most diverse and unique ones as well. I think people are going to be really happy with it. TCAF 2011 featured a lot of amazing cartoonists who had a great year as exhbitors– Kate Beaton (Hark A Vagrant), Michael DeForge (Lose), Ray Fawkes (One Soul, Possessions), Stuart & Kathryn Immonen (Fear Itself), and Jeff Lemire (Animal Man) for example–and I think 2012 is going to be another stellar year that’s really going to set the tone for the year’s great comics.
In all of the stuff I do, blogging, at TCAF, or at The Beguiling, I’m glad to be able to work with such great creators, to support and promote the work that’s important to them, and I’m hoping that 2012 is more of the same.
I’m most excited for Rich Tommaso’s The Cavalier Mr. Thompson, Prophet, and for the love of Pete would someone translate Ulli Lust’s Today is the Last Day of the Rest of Your Life into English already!
On the work side of things, I’m excited to work with some awesome artists this year on a few different projects, least secret of which being aboutabull.com.
MK Reed is the writer of Americus and creator of Cross Country.
What I am excited for in 2012: Fantagraphics’ EC Comics reprints. I have a great fondness for these comics. For one, they’re the greatest realization of the sci-fi/horror/war anthology, a format we’ve by and large lost. Also, these comics offer a snapshot of a fascinating time for both the comics industry and the United States as a whole. I was very pleased to hear that Fantagraphics will collect these stories by artist. To have an entire tome that’s Wallace Wood from cover to cover is irresistible.
What I’m excited for myself for 2012: I am going to destroy the world and re-create it. In a comic book that is. I’m working with some amazing artists on an original project that is equally challenging and exciting. But isn’t that how creating your own book should be? More info as we get closer to publication.
Ian Brill is a former editor at BOOM! Studios and writer of such comics as Darkwing Duck and Chip ‘n Dale Rescue Rangers.
I think 2012 is going to be a landmark year for creator-owned comics…I’m pretty sure all of my favorite creators have creator-owned titles coming out this year! I’m especially looking forward to Brian K. Vaughan and Fiona Staples on Saga, plus whatever Mike Mignola and company are cooking up for the BPRD next year, and The Sixth Gun from Cullen Bunn and Brian Hurtt continues to be one of my favorite monthly comics. There’s so much exciting stuff out there that’s not superheroes, and I say that as an enormous superhero fanboy. (Oh, and The Avengers movie should be pretty cool, too.)
As for personal projects, I know it’s annoying when people say “It’s too early to talk about so and so,” but it’s enormous enough news for me that I’ve even got something that it’s too early to talk about. Something is coming, and it’s very exciting. Other than that mystery, I’m in the early stages of working on a new project with my Hero House artist Mike Dimayuga, who is always fantastic to collaborate with.
Justin Aclin is a former editor of ToyFare magazine and is also the writer of such comics as Hero House and S.H.O.O.T. First.
Comic-wise I’m really excited about Image Comics’ 20th anniversary as they keep on rolling with a great slate of new creator-owned books and their Image Comic Expo coming up in February to really kick-off the 2012 convention season. This industry is powered by new ideas and creator-owned concepts are leading that charge,
As far as personal projects go, I’m incredibly excited about releasing the third arc of Skullkickers from Image starting in April and Makeshift Miracle book 1 from UDON Comics in May.
Jim Zub is the co-creator and writer of Skullkickers from Image Comics and the creator of Makeshift Miracle, UDON’s online graphic novel serializing with new pages every week at www.makeshiftmiracle.com.
NOT PERSONALLY INVOLVED: I really want to see what happens in the digital space this year. I have a feeling we’re going to start seeing original, creator-owned comics released in a variety of new ways.
PERSONALLY INVOLVED: I’m extremely proud and happy to be writing the first new Marvel Comics prose novel, an expanded and updated adaptation of Civil War. And I’ll be editing the subsequent novels, too, so it’s a whole exciting new version of the Marvel U that I’ll be playing with all year.
In addition to working Marvel’s prose project, Stuart Moore is also a former Vertigo and Marvel editor. He has written comics like Namor, Shadrach Stone, Wolverine, Firestorm and many more.
Jamie S. Rich
1. I am excited for the publication of Baby’s in Black: The Story of Astrid Kirchherr & Stuart Sutcliffe, written and drawn by Arne Bellstorf, in the United States. I have a copy of the UK edition I borrowed from Mike Allred, the ultimate Beatles fanatic, but I want to get my own and I also want others to read it. First:Second has picked up the rights.
I’m also stoked for Joëlle Jones’ to have two new books next year. The Girl who Owned a City is out in April from Graphic Universe, and her art on the comic is phenomenal. Dan Jolley wrote the script, adapting the classic young adult novel by O.T. Nelson. It’s set in a future where all the adults have died, and Joëlle’s inks have a gritty feel to them we haven’t really seen from her before. It should also carry over nicely into a project she has that I can’t talk about yet, but is due in the fall, that will really knock some people for a loop. If you think you know what she’s capable of, you have no idea!
And are those spiffy Paul Pope THB reprints happening in 2012?
2. Most of my stuff is still hush hush and under embargo and the like, but I have my comic with Natalie Nourigat coming, and it looks like it’s going to be in the autumn. She finished drawing it in early December. (By the way, can I also add Natalie’s Between Gears collection that Image is putting out?)
In addition to that, I have something cooking with Mike Norton that should be out by the end of the year, but we’re just in the middle of him drawing the first issue, so I don’t know, we have a publisher but we haven’t pushed it onto the schedule yet.
Most immediate in terms of release, the Madman 20th Anniversary Monster is coming out on Jan. 18. I helped Mike Allred compile it, and also contributed the script for a two-page framing sequence that Jim Valentino pencilled and Mike finished. There is a new Allred story and also 20 new one or two-page comics by guys like Pat McEown, Dave Cooper, Darwyn Cooke, Peter Milligan and Philip Bond, Matt Wagner, Steven T. Seagle and Teddy Kristiansen, and all three Hernandez Bros. Plus, every Madman-related pin-up we could fit in, including some you’ve never seen before. It’s 11 X 17, hardcover, HUGE!
Finally, I’m going have a short story with Megan Levens coming up in Tim Seeley and Mike Norton’s Double Feature early in the year. I am excited to be a part of their crazy digital adventure, and Megan and I have been wanting to work together for a while. Hopefully this is just the start!
Jamie S. Rich is a writer who regularly publishes through Oni Press, and quite often with the likes of Joëlle Jones, Nicolas Hitori de, and soon Natalie Nourigat and Dan Christensen. His most recent comic book release was Spell Checkers, vol. 2: Sons of a Preacher Man. You can read his sort-of kind-of frequently updated blog at http://www.confessions123.com.
The thing I’m most excited for in 2012 is Image Comics. With 2012 being their 20th anniversary, it looks like it’s going to be a huge year for the publisher. In February we’ve got the Image Expo, which will kick off the con season of 2012. In terms of books, I can’t wait for Fatale from Brubaker and Phillips, Saga from BKV and Staples, and a new series from Hickman and Pitarra. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, the real innovation and “new” in comics is coming from Image Comics and I can’t wait to see what else they deliver in 2012. Lucky for me, I get to talk about all these great comics at iFanboy.com as well as get to help Image Comics by being one of their digital comics solution partners through my gig at Graphicly.com – But even if I wasn’t in a spot to work directly with Image, I’d be as big of a fan as I was back in 1992 when they first started. They are by far, the most exciting thing going on in comics right now and hopefully for all of 2012.
Ron Richards is one of your hosts at iFanboy.com, and is also vice president of external relations for digital comics providers Graphicly.
I’m extremely excited to finally get my hands on Avatar: The Last Airbender—The Promise by Gene Luen Yang and Gurihuru, who are working alongside series creators Michael Dante DiMartino and Bryan Konietzko. I’m an enormous fan of the animated series and I’m so psyched they’re continuing the story in comics. After rewatching the series a few times, it’s going to be nice to finally see what happens with Aang and the rest of the crew after the end of Season 3. The fact that Dark Horse is publishing it is a nice perk, as well.
I’m wildly jealous that BOOM! Studios will be publishing Adventure Time comics in 2012. I think Ryan North is going to do a great job on them and I’m really looking forward to reading them!
I’m looking forward to finally reading Joe Keatinge’s Glory and Hell Yeah! The guy won’t shut the fuck up about them, so I’m curious to actually read the fucking things. (I’m giving Joe Keats a hard time here as he’s been hyping these books like nobody’s business—and more power to him for that! You know I love ya, Joe! And, comics-savvy person reading this article, I am legitimately looking forward to these bad boys. You should be too!)
I think BKV and Fiona Staples’ Saga is going to be the bee’s knees and I’m excited to see Nate Cosby and “Doc” Shaner’s Buddy Cops premiere in Dark Horse Presents, as well! I’m also real curious to read Keith Giffen’s Superman—love that guy’s writing!
As for stuff that I’m working on in 2012 that I’m excited about, I really can’t stress enough how insanely great Brian Wood’s The Massive is going to be! It kicks off in January’s Dark Horse Presents #8 and that is really just the tip of the iceberg. The issue #1 script blew me away and the Kristian Donaldson art I’ve seen so far has been staggering. This will be your new favorite series of 2012, folks. Make a note!
Speaking of Mr. Wood, I’m also jazzed to be working on the complete collection of his first series Channel Zero. This is going to be a beautiful comics tome, a necessity for your bookshelf. Keep an eye out for it this summer!
David Lapham and Mike Huddleston are absolutely killing it on Guillermo del Toro and Chuck Hogan’s The Strain. This book kicks it up about 25 notches in 2012, so buckle up!
And then there’s… aw, crap! I can’t talk about those yet… Get excited though, folks! Lots more good stuff from Dark Horse headed your way this year!
At this point, the comics project I’m most excited about for the upcoming year is Doctor Who–specifically, Joshua Hale Fialkov’s debut as the new writer on the series. Former writer Tony Lee did an absolutely brilliant job of capturing the show’s appeal during his run on the comic, so Fialkov has some big shoes to fill. The fact that he’s not British has some fans concerned, but I had a long chat with him during New York Comic Con and I’m not worried at all. He has some great stuff planned for The Doctor, and I’m looking forward to seeing where he and artist Matthew Dow Smith take the series in 2012.
Outside of print, in addition to the obvious, big-budget movie events like The Avengers and The Dark Knight Rises, I’m also really excited about the premiere of the Powers television series. Brian Michael Bendis has been talking about this project for years now, and after seeing it hop around Hollywood for so long, it’s great to see it finally come together. It feels like the time is right for this one, so here’s hoping it lives up to the high quality of its source material.
Rick Marshall is a full-time journalist, professional geek, occasional photographer, indentured servant to incestuous cats, unwilling party host, speedy talker and obsessive story collector. I stole that description from his blog. Professionally you can find over at IFC Fix.
Well I am a big fan of Brian K Vaughan so I cannot wait for his return to comics with Saga. I’m also very excited about Ann Nocenti’s upcoming run on one of my favorite DC heroes, Green Arrow and I want to see more of my new favorite comic, Wolverine And The X-Men. Last but not least I love it that after decades of waiting I’ll have the opportunity to buy a collection of one of the best comics of the 80s, Strikeforce Morituri. I’ve only had my dog-eared Greek reprints and it’s a story that deserves to be in a nice trade paperback.
And that’s strictly about comics, there’s also that Avengers movie…
On a more personal level I’m hoping to find a publisher for my new sci-fi/horror/drama comic, Elysium Online. And maybe do more with my characters from The Dragon And The Ghost.
Ilias Kyriazis is creator of the comics Blood Opera and Manifesto in his home country of Greece and, on this side of the Atlantic, Ghostbusters: Displaced Aggression and Falling for Lionheart from IDW. He also draws a lot of fun things I like to link to.
One of the things I am most looking forward to is some of the BPRD projects coming out. Scott Allie and Mike Mignola have picked some great artists to add to their roster. I’m excited for books by James Harren and Jason Latour. I am also really looking forward to Punk Rock Jesus from Sean Murphy. I hope that makes it out in 2012, it’s probably the book I am most looking forward to right now. Sean’s work is always amazing and I think it’ll go up another level working on his own book. Polly and the Pirates Vol.2 I have been waiting on for a long time. My kids and I love the character and Robbi Rodriguez’s art on it looks fantastic. Other than that, I tend to follow artists so I jump around a bit. Give me a solid story with great art and I’ll read it regardless of publisher or character. One thing I hope to see is more diversity in the type of art showcased by the Big 2. There are a lot of energetic, exciting and very talented artists just on the fringe right now, and I’d like to see them pushed forward instead of much of the bland, boring art that is at the forefront in most high profile books.
For me in 2012, the only thing I have that I can announce is a Sparrow short story I am doing for Red 5 comics as part of their Atomic Robo anthology. My story takes place in 1944 and is written by Brian Clevinger. It’ll be a full 24 page story, broken up throughout the six issues. I am currently working on a five issue series that has not been announced that should be out in 2012 as well, hopefully sometime around summer. I’ll be relaunching my creator book ICARUS as a webcomic as well, sometime in late spring. As always, you can see what I am up to by going to http://super75comics.wordpress.com/
Ryan Cody is an artist and writer whose past credits include ICARUS, Jesus Christ: In the Name of the Gun V2 and Villains. See more of his work at http://super75comics.wordpress.com/
2012 is gonna be pretty fun, particularly from us at Marvel. We’ve got plenty of unannounced stuff, all across the board, hitting in 2012 that’ll be killer. I’m involved with some of those projects on a few levels, but for stuff that I’m implicitly involved in at Marvel, I’d have to say I’m most excited for a few video projects on the way. Our Marvel LIVE shows and experiences were a blast—from the Avengers vs. X-Men kickoff event to our live convention coverage and red carpet events—and we have some cool stuff planned for the new year. There’s some more original video content from Marvel Digital Media, but more about that in the coming months. Also, from Marvel, don’t forget Marvel’s The Avengers and Avengers vs. X-Men.
As for stuff I’m not quite so involved with, I’m really psyched for convention season 2012, especially WonderCon. I love San Francisco, but Anaheim has Disneyland and tacos. Oh, also, that Prometheus movie. That looks rad!
Social media megastar Ryan Penagos, aka Marvel’s Agent M on Twitter, is executive editorial director of the Marvel Digital Media Group Marvel.com. He also loves tacos.
Something that I’m not personally involved with that has me excited for 2012 is the launch of Viz’s Shonen Jump Alpha. For those who haven’t heard, it’s a digital serialization of some of Shonen Jump’s top titles in English, and only a couple weeks behind their release in Japan. I’m looking forward to seeing how this experiment develops and its effect on the international comic world.
As for personal projects in 2012, I’m very, very excited about something that will be announced later this year. But since it hasn’t been announced I can’t say anything about it yet! Something that I can talk about though, which I’m also looking forward to, is that at this moment I’m working on a brand new Mermin mini-comic, which should see publication this Spring. It will have a couple short stories, including one that I had started a long time ago for Flight and never completed, a totally new story that I’m in the middle of drawing right now, and maybe a few more odds and ends. We’ll just have to see! So keep an eye out for a new Mermin mini-comic and an announcement about… something later this year!
Joey Weiser is the creator of Cavemen in Space, Monster Isle, The Ride Home and Mermin. He also writes the Spongebob Squarepants comic.
I’m really into IDW’s new Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles series by Kevin Eastman, Tom Waltz, Dan Duncan, and a few other various artists. I can’t wait for more, especially after the awesome issue #5 and the great Raphael one-shot.
2012 has a few things for me, the new Glory relaunch for Extreme Studios/Image I’m doing with Joe Keatinge kicks off in February, the long-delayed 6th volume of my Wet Moon series finally comes out in October which is a big deal for me, but I’ll keep this all Ninja Turtles: I’m drawing the upcoming Leonardo one-shot for IDW which drops in April I believe, and I’m super pumped!! The old Eastman and Laird comics are what set me on the comics path, and I’ve had a few close brushes with drawing TMNT comics over the years and I’ve done a few covers when they were still with Mirage, but Leonardo will be my first actual TMNT comic.