Robot 6

Looking Forward, Looking Back | Creators weigh in on 2012 and 2013 (Part 2)

Uncanny X-Force #1

It’s become an annual tradition during our birthday bash: No matter how much stuff we line up, people we interview, etc., there are still tons of people 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 liked in 2012 and what they are excited about for 2013.

Check out Part One, and keep reading to see more of what people shared with us, including details on their upcoming projects. Our thanks to everyone who responded this year. Also, thanks again to Tim O’Shea, Michael May and Chris Arrant, who helped collect responses.

SAM HUMPHRIES (The Ultimates, Sacrifice, Uncanny X-Force)

What was your favorite comic of 2012?

Two webcomics:

Comic-wise, what are you most excited about for 2013?

Dang, I’m suddenly blank on this one? I can’t even remember what all is coming out. I guess I’ll say I’m excited for Emerald City Comic Con, because it’s the first convention on my calendar, and in many ways, my favorite. See you in Seattle?

What’s one project you’re personally working on for 2013 that you’re especially pumped about?

I’m really psyched for Uncanny X-Force…mutant ninja noir…and Sacrifice is near and dear to my heart, so I’m excited about finishing that up. New issues of both on Jan. 16!

But that only takes us through January, and everyone already knows about those books anyway. So I guess I’ll say…Ultimates: Infinity.

RAFER ROBERTS (Plastic Farm, Wild Women of the Kitty-Kat Galaxy)

Wild Women of the Kitty-Kat Galaxy

What was your favorite comic of 2012?

There was way too much good stuff that came out this year. Prophet has been amazing, and I loved Tom Scioli’s American Barbarian, but if anyone chooses something other than Michael DeForge’s Lose #4 as best of the year then that person is wrong.

Comic-wise, what are you most excited about for 2013?

I’m expecting to see even greater number of awesome creator-owned and driven comics dominating the marketplace. It will be more stuff like Luther Strode, Ed Piskor’s Hip Hop Family Tree, Box Brown’s Andre the Giant book, or the output of Koyami, AdHouse, Secret Acres or any of the dozens of independent publishers producing comics for comics sake. I don’t know if it was Kickstarter or digital distribution that helped to reach and excite a new audience, but the 2012 convention scene was more positive and energetic than I can recall and I am stoked to see how it gets even better in the coming year.

What’s one project you’re personally working on for 2013 that you’re especially pumped about?

I’ve got a historical story about the Salem witch trials coming up, some new Nightmare the Rat comics, a bunch of short anthology pieces, and these next few issues of Plastic Farm is stuff I’ve been dreaming about working on for years. I think the thing I’m most excited about is Wild Women of the Kitty-Kat Galaxy, which is currently being colored and prepped for release relatively soon.

Plastic Farm

CHRIS GAGE (Absolution, Avengers Academy, Angel & Faith)

What was your favorite comic of 2012?

Locke & Key. I want to know how it ends desperately, but I also don’t want it to end. Ever.

Comic-wise, what are you most excited about for 2013?

I realize it’s still early, but from what I understand it seems that digital comic sales are proving to be additive–in other words, not cannibalizing sales from brick-and-mortar shops, but adding to them. I hope that continues and grows much, much bigger. The success of comic book properties in other media proves they have appeal to a mass audience.

What’s one project you’re personally working on for 2013 that you’re especially pumped about?

I’m pretty excited about all of them…but I am definitely pumped for the return of Absolution from Avatar Press. People ask me about it all the time and I’m glad to be able to tell them a new series is coming in 2013, including a special one-shot origin story for the breakout fan-favorite character of the first series, Happy Kitty, as drawn by Freakangels artist Paul Duffield!

NATHAN EDMONDSON (Where is Jake Ellis?, The Activity, Splinter Cell: Echoes)

What was your favorite comic of 2012?

I really enjoyed The Massive.

Comic-wise, what are you most excited about for 2013?

Working more with Mitch Gerads, Tonci Zonjic, and other fantastic artists. Emerald City Comic Con should be fun–I always look forward to it.

What’s one project you’re personally working on for 2013 that you’re especially pumped about?

I can’t name names yet. But I have two very big launches in the creator-owned world: one in space, one about … dreams. Oh, and Splinter Cell: Echoes!

COLLEEN COOVER (Bandette, Gingerbread Girl)

What was your favorite comic of 2012?

My favorite comic-related publication was A) a novel not related to any existing comics, and B) written by my husband, so any pretense of me not having a biased preference is ridiculous. But it *was* honestly my favorite thing, so here it is:

Prepare to Die! by Paul Tobin.

It’s a superhero-themed novel that follows its first-person protagonist through his worst days–a time when a man has hit rock bottom, prompting him to revisit the life he left behind when fate saddled him with super powers. It’s a genre novel that never falls into camp; it’s funny at times and suspenseful at others; it acknowledges that sex is a thing that people think about a lot. And it’s full of genuinely thrilling action. I really can’t recommend it highly enough.

Comic-wise, what are you most excited about for 2013?

I look forward to the further evolution of comics in digital media in the coming year, particularly original comics that debut in the digital comics market. I’m curious to see how those comics perform on their own, and how successful they are if and when they transition to print. My hope is that physical shops will begin to carry more and more print collections of comics that debuted digitally, and that the online exposure will help stimulate sales for books that may not have had a chance to get off the ground otherwise.

I am actually looking forward to some specific titles very much, but they are books that have yet to be announced, so I can’t say anything!

What’s one project you’re personally working on for 2013 that you’re especially pumped about?

Right now, the only comics project I’m focused on is Bandette. Paul and I are living the dream with her, and it’s truly a delight to put out comics that are unapologetically fun. There is a possibility that I may be tapped to work on a side project here and there throughout the year, as there always is, but Bandette is my main priority!

RYAN FERRIER (Tiger Lawyer)

Ultranova

What was your favorite comic of 2012?

Favorite comic of the year for me is an indie book called Bad Cat Comics #1, written and drawn by Nakatomi Inc. founder Tim Doyle, with greytones by Paul Maybury. If you’re familiar with Tim Doyle’s work–which you really ought to be–it comes as no surprise that a comic book by him is nothing short of brilliant madness. Without giving too much away, it’s about a team of cats that commandeer an el caminoin order to rescue a shark. It’s hilarious, action-packed, and just the right size for a feel-good read. Bad Cat Comics #1 is also beautifully made with a hand-printed silkscreen cover; it was created and printed with the utmost pride and respect for the art and medium. The first printing of 500 sold out, but I believe there may be a couple second printings available through Tim’s Nakatomi Inc. store.

Favorite comic runners up include Hawkeye, Prophet, Manhattan Projects and LP, another indie comic from Curt Pires and Ramon Villalobos (which I was fortunate enough to letter).

Comic-wise, what are you most excited about for 2013?

I’m really excited for Comeback from Ed Brisson, Michael Walsh and Jordie Ballaire. Talk about a killer team. I’m so thrilled and excited for Ed and Michael; they’ve both worked unbelievably hard, and deserve every good word said about their Image debut.

What’s one project you’re personally working on for 2013 that you’re especially pumped about?

I’ve been lucky enough to keep really busy in 2012, and have quite a few things coming out early 2013; one in particular is a one-shot called Ultranova, a Kubrick-inspired sci-fi horror Chris Peterson and I have teamed up on. That will be released through my self-publishing imprint, Challenger Comics.

JIMMY PALMIOTTI (All-Star Western, Retrovirus, Creator-Owned Heroes, Monolith)

What was your favorite comic of 2012?

It had to be Silk Spectre for me because I think it was Amanda’s best art and storytelling to date, and it was so exciting for me to watch her and Darwyn write the books and them come to life. I never cared much for the character, but after they were done with her, well…I just want to see more.

Comic-wise, what are you most excited about for 2013?

I am most excited about the prospect of doing more Kickstarter projects like Retrovirus and Sex and Violence vol. 1 in 2013, and being able to directly connect with my audience and having the actual fans being able to vote and support a project with their own money. It’s the next best thing to being there in the room with them and a great way to continue my relationship with the fans of the material, no matter how off the wall it may be.

What’s one project you’re personally working on for 2013 that you’re especially pumped about?

There are a couple, and both have to do with Amanda Conner and I working together. The first is Captain Brooklyn with Frank Tieri, and the second is for one of the big two companies that will be announced when we have the books in the drawer. My constant flame is All-Star Western. That book is such a blast to work on.

Sex and Violence

Captain Brooklyn
MIKE CAREY (The Unwritten, X-Men: Legacy)

What was your favorite comic of 2012?

Has to be Joe Hill’s Locke and Key. It didn’t open as a series in 2012, but it continued to reach new heights throughout the year. Best horror fantasy comic since… well, since Sandman, probably. You look at that central premise, and you’re just in awe. But like all Hill’s stuff, it’s not just conceptually clever–it’s also full of vivid characters who he makes you care about. That’s a hard trick to pull off in horror, and he manages to get it right every time.

Comic-wise, what are you most excited about for 2013?

Sort of inevitable, really, but I have to say the new Sandman miniseries that Neil is writing. It’s not like Sandman needs any extra chapters, but it’s very cool that there are going to be some – and that they’re going to explain how Dream was so easily taken by Roderick Burgess way back in Sandman #1.

What’s one project you’re personally working on for 2013 that you’re especially pumped about?

I’m writing another superhero book (the first since I left X-Men) for a publisher I’ve never worked with before. It’s continuity-free, high concept, and finite. And I’m really, really happy with how it’s coming along. The announcement is a while away yet, so I can’t really say any more than that. But it plays off a situation where people are starting to be given superpowers for the first time, in a way that’s both unlikely and a little bit suspect. And it’s about a guy who chooses to go down this road, and what it means for him and his family. Which, to be blunt, is nothing good.

THOM ZAHLER (Love and Capes, My Little Pony)

My Little Pony

What was your favorite comic of 2012?

I admittedly work for them, but the IDW Artist’s Series just floors me every time I see one. It’s so amazing getting to see art as it was produced, lean up close, and just drink it in. The drawing, the brushwork, the everything. It’s going to leave a large and worthy hole in my budget, unless I get some of them for Christmas. Hint hint.

Comic-wise, what are you most excited about for 2013?

I think Mark Waid’s Hulk could rock. I really want to see the big guy handled with respect and a touch of humor.

I also continue to follow the digital publishing model, Thrillbent and Monkeybrain in particular, as they try to carve out a new market. It’s a new frontier, and these guys are taking the arrows for us. I love physical comics and comic shops, but for some of us smaller guys, the idea of being able to get work out with as few obstacles and hoops is very exciting.

Next year will be my first time at the Denver Comic Con, too. I’m very much looking forward to that.

What’s one project you’re personally working on for 2013 that you’re especially pumped about?

I’m looking forward to my issue of My Little Pony starring Twilight Sparkle. I think it’s going to get my work noticed by a section of people who would probably enjoy it quite a bit, they just haven’t been exposed to it. Plus, it’s going to be so much fun to stretch and do something that’s not Love and Capes for a bit.

Speaking of which, January 2013 will see the release of the last issue of the current Love and Capes miniseries. There may or may not be a baby born in it, and I think it’s some of my best work so far.

JAMIE S. RICH (It Girl and the Atomics, A Boy and a Girl)

What was your favorite comic of 2012?

I am going to go with the return of John Arcudi’s The Creep. He and Jonathan Case have been building an unassuming, yet wholly engrossing crime comic that more people should be reading and talking about. The level of craft going into the miniseries has been exceptional.

For me it probably ties with Teddy Kristiansen and Steve Seagle teaming up again, and their experiment The Red Diary/The Re[a]d Diary. Two books in one, both though-provoking and emotionally evocative.

Comic-wise, what are you most excited about for 2013?

I am really stoked for Helheim by Cullen Bunn and Joëlle Jones. The art I’ve seen is astounding, the best work of Joëlle’s career so far. Oni Press published the first issue as a black-and-white preview for New York Comic Con, and it was a great tease. Really extraordinary reading. I’ve gotten to peek at some of Nathan Fairbairn’s colors, too, and he’s a great fit for Joëlle’s dark, intricate inks. I have to wait for this project to be done for her and I to start our next book together, so I’m glad she’s put me on the back burner for something so good!

What’s one project you’re personally working on for 2013 that you’re especially pumped about?

Oni Press has plans to start serializing A Boy and a Girl, the book I collaborated on with Natalie Nourigat, at the onipress.com site this month. I’m really stoked for people to finally see this book and see what Natalie can do. Her artwork is beautiful, and we had a lot of fun coming up with the story. It’s a “date night” kind of plot, set in a future where robots are serving all manner of human function, and we look at how bonds are formed in this kind of world. It’s got lots of romance and a healthy amount of action, and I hope readers dig it. I’ve been digging being on the stands monthly for most of 2012, with It Girl and the Atomics, and I am excited to go into next year with another new project already starting and several more to follow right behind, all the while continuing on in Snap City.

CHIP MOSHER (comiXology’s vice president of marketing, PR, and business development)

What was your favorite comic of 2012?

That’s tough. But I am going to have to say My Friend Dahmer by Derf Backderf. It was a highlight to add Abrams ComicArts to comiXology’s offerings during Comic-Con International this year, and doubly so they debuted with this title as part of the line up. It’s an incredible graphic novel and a fantastic to read in Guided View on comiXology!

Comic-wise, what are you most excited about for 2013?

One word: expansion. After digital and print both killing it this year, I’m looking forward to the market expanding even more in 2013!

What’s one project you’re personally working on for 2013 that you’re especially pumped about?

That… would be telling. (Laughs!)

FAITH ERIN HICKS (Nothing Can Possibly Go Wrong, The Last of Us, The Adventures of Superhero Girl)

The Last of Us

What was your favorite comic of 2012?

I don’t think I had an absolute favourite, but there was a lot of good stuff this year. I really enjoyed the end of Cross Game by Mitsu Adachi, and The Nao of Brown by Glyn Dillon. Both I found really moving, though for different reasons. And like everyone else in the world, I’m enjoying the heck out of Saga. I’m really thrilled that there’s a science fiction comic for adults being published, something with a positive attitude and wide scope of imagination, and drawn by Fiona Staples, whose artwork I just absolutely love.

Comic-wise, what are you most excited about for 2013?

I’m really excited for the English translation of Vinland Saga by Makoto Yukimura, which I believe is starting in the fall, published by Kodansha. I really liked Plantes and am excited to read a new series by Yukimura, one about vikings. I hope it will fill the hole in my heart over the upcoming end of 20th Century Boys (only two volumes left!), which will leave me without a regular dose of Naoki Urasawa, one of my most favourite creators ever. Actually, I’m also looking forward to the end of 20th Century Boys. Urasawa has a few dozen plot threads to wrap up … wow, was that a great series.

What’s one project you’re personally working on for 2013 that you’re especially pumped about?

Oh man, I have FIVE projects coming out next year, can you believe that? And there’s no way I can pick just one, that’d be like picking a favourite kid. The (colour!) collection of my webcomic The Adventures of Superhero Girl is out in February from Dark Horse Comics, then in May First Second publishes my next graphic novel, Nothing Can Possibly Go Wrong, and the comic prequel to the video game The Last of Us that I’m drawing and co-writing starts in the spring. And then in the fall there’s the next book in the kids graphic novel series I’m doing with J.Torres, Bigfoot Boy, and I’m also contributing a new Superhero Girl comic to J’s True Patriot comic anthology, which was recently funded on Indiegogo. Yikes. That’s a lot of comics! I hope people don’t get sick of me!

… but I’m so, so excited for every one of these comics. I’m so proud of Superhero Girl, and I think The Last of Us and Nothing Can Possibly Go Wrong will show how much my art has grown and changed as even in the last year or so. Next year’s gonna be a great year.

The Adventures of Superhero Girl

JIM ZUBKAVICH (Skullkickers, Birds of Prey)

What was your favorite comic of 2012?

Locke and Key continues to lead the pack in terms of consistency and quality. It has phenomenal writing and artwork that can’t be stopped. Every time I read a new issue it makes me want to do more and do it better. I’ll be sad when the series comes to a close, as satisfying as I’m sure it will be.

Comic-wise, what are you most excited about for 2013?

In 2013 I want to see more top notch creator-owned comics, especially from new creative voices. I’m excited about comics I’ve never heard of before coming out of nowhere and rocking my face off. This industry is at its best when it’s innovating and building new ideas.

What’s one project you’re personally working on for 2013 that you’re especially pumped about?

My creator –owned series returns in February with Uncanny Skullkickers #1 and I’m the new ongoing writer on DC’s Birds of Prey starting with issue #18 arriving in March, so this Spring is going to be really exciting. It feels like I’m on a creative roll and I want to keep that momentum going.

JAY FAERBER (Near Death, Point of Impact)

What was your favorite comic of 2012?

Such a tough question… Saga is already such a monster hit and gets so much promotion that I feel like I should try to shine a light on something that needs more attention. But the fact is that Saga is the book I’ve enjoyed the most over the past year. I’m not a big fantasy or space opera guy, but I love the approach Vaughan has taken and the world he and Fiona are building. It’s equal parts familiar and totally foreign and the way they walk that line is incredible. They make it look easy, even though I know it isn’t.

Comic-wise, what are you most excited about for 2013?

I remain excited about Image Comics in 2013. 2012 was a fantastic year for them, and 2013 looks like it’s gonna blow 2012 away. We’ve already got books like Jupiter’s Legacy (from Millar & Quitely) and Lazarus (from Rucka & Lark), and there’s even more cool stuff that hasn’t been announced yet. I love seeing how many people–pros and fans alike–are talking about creator-owned comics these days.

What’s one project you’re personally working on for 2013 that you’re especially pumped about?

I’m working on a small handful of projects, but none of them are solid enough to talk about in any kind of specifics. I’m working on reviving one of my existing creator-owned series, and I’m working on two more new projects with new collaborators. I can’t wait to be able to go into more detail. And we’ll have the Point of Impact trade paperback on sale in the Spring.

MATT KINDT (Mind MGMT, Red Handed, Frankenstein)

Red Handed

What was your favorite comic of 2012?

I have a lot of favorite comics this year (Sixth Gun, Underwater Welder) so I randomly pick one of my faves–Double Barreled by Kevin and Zander Cannon, 99 cents via Comixology–you can’t get better comics and only 99 cents!? It also has some great in-between essay material on how to make comics that is spot on. Inspiring.

Comic-wise, what are you most excited about for 2013?

I’m looking forward to Emerald City Comic Con — haven’t been for a couple years and can’t wait! Great city, great comic fans and fun show!

What’s one project you’re personally working on for 2013 that you’re especially pumped about?

Mind MGMT as always but also I have a new crime book Red Handed from First Second that will be out in May!

MATT SILADY (The Homeless Channel, chair of the comics program at the California College Of The Arts)

What was your favorite comic of 2012?

It seems each year a book comes along that changes the way I look at comics. This year it had to be The Making Of by Brecht Evens. Page after page after page, it’s one heck of a beautiful book. Honorable mention goes to Lilli Carre’s Heads or Tails. I’m a total sucker for Lilli’s work.

Comic-wise, what are you most excited about for 2013?

I’m really looking forward to new books by Rutu Modan and Dash Shaw. And it looks like we’re getting new comics by Tom Gauld, Cathy Malkasian and Sara Varon, too. Should be another great year for comics!

What’s one project you’re personally working on for 2013 that you’re especially pumped about?

This year’s project was a big one. I was tasked with putting together the new MFA in Comics Program at the California College of the Arts. With our first cohort of writers and artists arriving on campus in July of 2013, everything’s really starting to fall into place. I’m excited to report that we’ve confirmed our first guest workshop instructor (the fantastically talented MariNaomi, author of Kiss and Tell). It’s been a lot of work, but I’m thrilled with how everything is coming along. We’re in the process of accepting applications right now. For more information, please stop by our website!

MATTHEW PETZ (War of the Woods)

War of the Woods

What was your favorite comic of 2012?

It’s gotta be a toss up between Hawkeye and Saga. I don’t read anywhere near as much I wish I could, but those books are so great. Hawkeye is the perfect non-superhero/superhero book. I hope it NEVER has to cross over with anything or become a real superhero comic. I could read about “Hawkguy” hanging out with his dog forever. Saga is just –it’s scary how creative it is. A forest of rocket ships?! Too awesome.

Comic-wise, what are you most excited about for 2013?

I think the “normalcy” of digital is exciting. Maybe in 2013 we can kill the term “day and date” and just say comics. As far as an actual book? Gotta be Battling Boy by Paul Pope. I’ve wanted to read that since I first heard about it!

What’s one project you’re personally working on for 2013 that you’re especially pumped about?

I’m finishing the second season/volume/book of War Of The Woods. I’m coloring and lettering it now. It’ll be another 85-90 pages or so. I’m super excited to get it out and start working on the next chapter. I also helped color Charles Soule’s Strange Attractors that’s coming out through Archaia. Everyone needs to pick it up. It’s awesome.

CHRIS ROBERSON (Edison Rex, Reign, Memorial, co-publisher of Monkeybrain)

The Strangers

What was your favorite comic of 2012?

I honestly don’t know if I can narrow it down to just one. I can MAYBE narrow it down to three, though if you asked me again in 15 minutes my answer would probably change. So at this very moment, my three favorite comics of 2012 were Multiple Warheads by Brandon Graham, Hawkeye by Matt Fraction and David Aja, and Bandette by Paul Tobin and Colleen Coover. But it should be noted that those were my three favorite comics from a year FILLED with fantastic comics, and I could list dozens and dozens of other first-rate offerings that blew the top of my head off.

Comic-wise, what are you most excited about for 2013?

I’m probably most excited about the impending release of Nemo: Heart of Ice, the latest installment in the irregular League of Extraordinary Gentlemen sequence by Alan Moore and Kevin O’Neill. I’m a huge fan of Moore and O’Neill in general, and of their League stories in particular, and I’ve been looking forward to this next one ever since I finished the final page of the LAST one.

What’s one project you’re personally working on for 2013 that you’re especially pumped about?

It sounds like a pat answer, but honestly I’m excited about all of the stuff I’m working on at the moment. But I guess the things I’m most excited about that people haven’t really seen yet are Reign, the epic fantasy that Paul Maybury and I are publishing through Image, and The Strangers, the super-spy series that Scott Kowalchuk and I are doing with Oni. The release date for Reign hasn’t been set yet, since we’re still getting ducks in a row (and anyone who has ever tried to line up ducks can tell you, those things are TRICKY), but the first issue of The Strangers will be one of Oni’s offerings for Free Comic Book Day, so everyone will have a chance to check it out and see for themselves the kind of thing we’ll be doing.

And, of course, I’m SUPER excited about the new projects that are coming in the new year from Monkeybrain Comics, the digital comics imprint that my wife Allison Baker and I run. We’ve got some really great new comics in the pipeline that I think will make fantastic additions to our lineup. And, of course, new installments of our current titles, too! (I know that’s more than “one project,” but I can’t help it. I’m just too excited about comics!)

MARK SABLE (War Toys, Dracula: Son of the Dragon, Graveyard of Empires, Duplicate)

War Toys

What was your favorite comic of 2012?

I’m going to cop out with a three-way tie. I love Fatale–Brubaker and Phillips are an amazing team and they know how to make buying single issues essential. I’m thrilled BKV is back to comics with Saga, although the real thrill might be watching a brilliant new talent emerge in Fiona Staples. Finally, I’m loving Fury Max: My War Gone By from Garth Ennis and Goran Parlov. It’s like a comic book version of James’ Ellroy’s American Tabloid, and it’s restored my faith you can still do an adult comic for the big two.

Comic-wise, what are you most excited about for 2013?

I’m stoked for two creator-owned ventures: Bad Karma, a graphic novel from the comics collective of Alex Grecian, Jeremy Haun, B. Clay Moore and Seth Peck. It’s a hardcover of independent but interlocking creator-owned comics stories. They’ve already exceeded their Kickstarter goals, but it’s still worth getting in on the ground floor.

I’m also excited for Ivan Brandon’s Offset Comics label. He’s got a bunch of boundary pushing projects that all look great, but the standout to me is Deathface with Chuck BB and Ryan Browne. They had me at the tagline, which is “In 1987 you trapped him and LEFT HIM FOR DEAD. 30 years later the world has changed, but VENGEANCE HASN’T. Today DEATHFACE has escaped… and he’s coming… FOR YOU.”

What’s one project you’re personally working on for 2013 that you’re especially pumped about?

Dracula: Son of the Dragon

I’m going to cheat again and pick two things. I’m co-writing and editing a book tentatively titled War Toys coming from Image, which is drawn by the great Leandro Fernandez (Queen & Country, Punisher) and created by Jonathan Betuel, who created one of my all-time favorite movies, The Last Starfighter. It’s modern in that it’s got a ripped from the headlines story about vigilantes using drones, but it will have an 80s Robocop kind of sensibility that I think will be really fun.

For years my dream project has been something called Dracula: Son of the Dragon with artist Salgood Sam, that tells the story of how the historical Vlad The Impaler became Bram Stoker’s vampire. It looks like we’ll finally be crowdfunding it in early 2013 and have it out by mid year. I wish there was a Kickstarter link ready, but you can look for updates on marksable.tumblr.com or follow me on Twitter at @marksable.

DAN VADO (Publisher, SLG Publishing)

What was your favorite comic of 2012?

My favorite comic of 2012 was something we published called Grubby Little Pieces of Filth. It is a beautiful comic and the three years creator Daniel Reed spent working on it really shows.

Comic-wise, what are you most excited about for 2013?
What’s one project you’re personally working on for 2013 that you’re especially pumped about?

Question #2 and 3 cover the same thing. Our biggest challenge is going to be moving to a new location. We were politley asked to leave our current location. Our current space is more than just a warehouse, we host art shows, live music, conduct classes and seminars and lots of other stuff. If we can’t find a space that works for us (read big and cheap) then SLG is going to be a very different kind of business in 2013.

KERRY CALLEN (Dirtnap, Halo & Sprocket)

2012 was a solid year for comics! Dan Slott’s Spider-Man always kept me interested and entertained. I also enjoyed Geoff Jones’s Aquaman. I just felt like a good popcorn movie to me. I consistently buy Previews every month and pick random things to order from smaller publishers. It’s how I discovered such things as Hope Larson’s adaptation of A Wrinkle in Time, which I enjoyed very much. I’m looking forward to discovering new work from unexpected sources in 2013! The main project I’m currently working on is (tentatively) called Dirtnap. It will be my foray into web comics. I’m creating a monster story in the same vein that I do superhero parodies on my blog, and what I basically did with everyday life in Halo & Sprocket. It’s cannon approached from a slightly different angle. It’ll run about 160 pages, so I’m trying to get about half finished before launching. I want to post two pages a week. Hopefully I’ll be launching around Halloween 2013 (crosses fingers).

Dirtnap, page 2
JEREMY BASTION (Cursed Pirate Girl)

What was your favorite comic of 2012?

Well it started quite a while ago but I didn’t discover it until this year. Locke and Key. A friend introduced it to me by loaning me the first two volumes, which I quickly devoured, and then went out and bought all the rest of the volumes that are out.

Comic-wise, what are you most excited about for 2013?

I am really excited to go to the London Supershow in Feb. I’ve never been over the big pond and I can’t wait to be a tourist on a different continent. My wife and I are looking forward to comics, castles, fog and Irish breakfast.

What’s one project you’re personally working on for 2013 that you’re especially pumped about?

Well, it won’t be out in 2013, but I will have finished issue 1 of vol. 2 of Cursed Pirate Girl. Which means I will be one step closer to finishing this first story arc. You can catch a glimpse or two of some of the new CPG work at jeremybastian.blogspot.com.

CHRIS RYALL (Chief Creative Officer/Editor-in-Chief, IDW Publishing)

What was your favorite comic of 2012?

In another end-of-year survey, I mentioned how much I loved Saga and also Chris Ware’s Building Stories, along with the rest of the comic-reading universe. So rather than be repetitive and talk about those books again, I’ll try to be a bit different here: I just loved Sean Murphy’s Punk Rock Jesus. His art has long amazed me, but who knew he was also such a good writer? I had a lot of fun with The Manhattan Projects, too. I really dig left-of-field projects that work well, and these definitely did.

Comic-wise, what are you most excited about for 2013?

I’m really excited to see what people think about our Mars Attacks IDW weekly event in January. We had a blast putting it together, both the variant covers with such great talents playing with their own creations, but also the stories themselves. Pairing Martians attacking Popeye, Kiss and others led to some really fun, ridiculous stories. I’m also excited to relaunch T.H.U.N.D.E.R. Agents in a big way, and announce some other big revival we’ve been working toward. Add to that a big G.I. Joe refocusing, multiple new John Byrne projects (including one that hearkens back to his earliest days in comics), a lot of great new Artist’s Editions, the final of a Locke and Key story that’s been building for five years, more of a chance to dig into things like My Little Pony and Judge Dredd, great original projects like Jinnrise, Fever Ridge, Wild Blue Yonder and Half Past Danger… there’s a lot I’m excited about. Can’t wait to keep our momentum going.

What’s one project you’re personally working on for 2013 that you’re especially pumped about?

I’m having a lot of fun working on this series called The Colonized, coming in April. I’m writing, with Drew Moss drawing, and Dave Sim, John Byrne, Zach Howard, Gabriel Rodriguez and others doing covers for it. Zombies, aliens, and militiamen–at least two of those are right in my sweet spot, although this one’s a bit different and less overtly ridiculous than other similarly themed things I’ve done.

ColonizedColonized
TOM SCIOLI (Godland, American Barbarian)

What was your favorite comic of 2012?

League of Extraordinary Gentlemen: 2009. When I showed it to people they expressed regret having not followed the series all this time. It pays off in a big way. With League and the revelation that is Neonomicon Alan Moore has quietly been doing his best work.

Comic-wise, what are you most excited about for 2013?

In the Days of the Mob hardcover, by Jack Kirby. The Mike Royer-inked half of this book was never released, except in the low print run Amazing World of DC Comics magazine. These are hard-boiled crime stories by the King at his peak. If DC would publish Kirby’s On the Road to Armaghetto as well, all my wildest dreams would come true.

What’s one project you’re personally working on for 2013 that you’re especially pumped about?

The last issue of Godland. I’m finishing a series I spent a big chunk of my life on. By the time I’m done with it, I’m going to do a Forest Gump-style victory run across the country.

ALES KOT (Change, Wild Children, The Surface)

What was your favorite comic of 2012?

There are so many likely fantastic ones I still need to read: The Nao of Brown, My Friend Dahmer, The Hypo…so, picking just one? No, I can’t. I love too many comics that came out this year. Chris Ware’s Building Stories is a structural achievement like no other this year and I don’t think people give Ware enough attention when it comes to his empathy, tenderness and willingness to contrast both with their often heart-wrenching opposites. The Prince of Cats is Ron Wimberly’s best work so far, sharp and youthful and literate–it bounces off the page. I’m currently reading Underwater Welder by Jeff Lemire, and I love how haunting and heartfelt it is. The collected edition of Brandon Graham’s King City feels alive in all the right ways. Hawkeye and Saga are both strong–Hawkeye is one of the most formally inventive, playful comics out there, and Saga is just plain great storytelling.

Comic-wise, what are you most excited about for 2013?

Making comics. It’s as simple as that. Finding that place where imagination and reality cooperate, staying in it and playing with the possibilities.

What’s one project you’re personally working on for 2013 that you’re especially pumped about?

I can’t say because I don’t make distinctions like that. Every single comic book I’m currently working on is something I’m completely excited about. It’s a cliche and it’s true. Change, Zero, The Surface and some unannounced projects–they live inside me side by side. I’m just wrapping up the script for Change #4, so that’s on my mind today. Seeing the pages come back to me, beautifully reinvented by Morgan Jeske and then Sloane Leong’s colors, then working with the pages and adjusting and changing and adding and cutting the words…that’s going to be happening in early 2013, still, and it’s fascinating. The entire process, the creative back-and-forth. It’s intensely charged.

Change #4The SurfaceZero
KRISTIAN DONALDSON (The Massive, Unknown Fields)

What was your favorite comic of 2012?

Saga!

Comic-wise, what are you most excited about for 2013?

Offset titles. Looking forward to good digital offerings.

What’s one project you’re personally working on for 2013 that you’re especially pumped about?

Unknown Fields. It’s my writing debut. I’m working in conjunction with my friends from the Unknown Fields Division, based in London, at The Architectural Association. I travelled the West in a school bus with them for a month, and I’ve been in London for 2 months doing some writing, pre-pro work, and learning more 3d modeling. It’s going to be a unique project with a number of collaborators from other creative disciplines like architecture and robotics.

This is a peek at some new style work. This is the character Exten Delta from Unknown Fields. I’m doing character studies in Zbrush, and am figuring out ways to color the renders, and combine multiple render types to create illustrations. In the game biz, this is kind of common, and is referred to as 2.5d but I’m bringing it in to my comics.

VAN JENSEN (Pinocchio, Vampire Slayer; Rut vs. The Planet Without Heroes)

Rut vs. The Planet Without Heroes

What was your favorite comic of 2012?

I’m going to cop out and say it was a tie between Matt Kindt’s Mind Mgmt and the X-O Manowar relaunch by Rob Venditti. Two extremely skilled creators who are both at the top of their game.

Comic-wise, what are you most excited about for 2013?

I always look forward to Heroes Con in Charlotte, N.C. It’s a family friendly show that’s the highlight of my year. Great organizers, great crowds, great pros in attendance.

What’s one project you’re personally working on for 2013 that you’re especially pumped about?

I don’t know when it’ll be published, since we don’t have a publisher lined up, but my Pinocchio, Vampire Slayer collaborator Dusty Higgins and I are teaming up on a new graphic novel that’s called Rut vs. The Planet Without Heroes. It’s a big, fun adventure story that sort of combines the sci fi and superhero genres. It’s also the first time Dusty is coloring his own work, and you can see from the preview image that he’s a stunningly good colorist.

ROSS CAMPBELL (Wet Moon, Glory)

What was your favorite comic of 2012?

I can’t pick just one book so here’s a six-way tie between “Remake 3xtra” by Lamar Abrams, “The Infinite Wait” by Julia Wertz, “O Human Star” by Blue Delliquanti, “Halloween Eve” by Brandon Montclare & Amy Reeder, “Night Of 1000 Wolves” by Bobby Curnow & Dave Wachter, and “Alpha Princess Garou Shoujo” by Sloane Leong.

Comic-wise, what are you most excited about for 2013?

More “Vacant” by Heather Nunnelly, more of Blue Delliquanti’s aforementioned “O Human Star,” and “Buzz!” by Ananth Panagariya & Tessa Stone. I’m also hoping Amanda Lafrenais will get going on a print edition of her comic “Love Me Nice.”

What’s one project you’re personally working on for 2013 that you’re especially pumped about?

Wet Moon volume 7.

IAN BRILL (Dracula World Order, Freelancers)

Dracula World Order

What was your favorite comic of 2012?

The comic I enjoyed the most this year was Bandette by Paul Tobin and Colleen Coover. The entire Monkeybrain Inc. endeavor is admirable and one of the best things to happen to comics in 2012, and Bandette exemplifies all the best aspects of it. Not only do Tobin and Coover brilliantly mash up American and European aesthetics, they also pick and choose the best bits of various pop culture eras to tell the story of a truly original heroine and her world. The stories and especially the artwork are so good I actually feel a bit guilty only paying 99 cents an issue. I love the accessibility and immediacy of having the book available digitally but I hope to see a nice, perhaps over-sized, print collection.

Comic-wise, what are you most excited about for 2013?

Can I commandeer this question and make it about what I would LIKE to see in 2013? Here goes. I’d like to see an easy, user-friendly, and modern way to pre-order books in the direct market. If people can use apps to access their bank accounts or locate any point on Earth, surely there must be a way pre-ordering a comic can become a part of this smart-phone culture. I understand it requires bringing together many disparate elements (the distributor, an app developer, and the many independent retailers) but I hold out hope that all those parties can indeed come together to make pre-ordering easier not only for existing direct market customers but also for those not in the habit of pre-ordering but who still have an interest in comics. Is there something like this that I’m not seeing? What I’m seeing now is many creators and publishers explaining to potential customers how important pre-ordering is, especially for independent creator-owned books. Imagine this: someone reads an interview with a creator or sees a tweet about a book they’d like to purchase, then with a few clicks (and without ever having to change devices, let alone location) puts in a pre-order for that book at their preferred retailer or a mail-order service. There would be a lot of effort happening behind the scenes to make things that easy for a customer, but it is effort worth exerting.

What’s one project you’re personally working on for 2013 that you’re especially pumped about?

I’m putting together a few things. It’s hard to choose one I am especially more pumped about than any other. I have an enthusiasm for all of them else I would not be working so hard on every one. But I am happy that Dracula World Order will continue. Still working on the “what, when, where, and how” of it but I can tell give you a little bit of the “who.” Here’s a page by Antonio Fuso.

KEVIN COLDEN (The Crow, Fishtown)

from The Crow

What was your favorite comic of 2012?

This is always a tough one for me to answer, as I usually have a to-read pile about three feet high that’s a mix of new stuff and reprints. And I rarely dislike a book! But, if I narrow the field a little bit, Image’s output has been great of late, the two biggest standouts in my mind being The Strange Talent of Luther Strode and Wild Children. Luther Strode is a lot of fun, pushing extremes while still being very accessible, and Wild Children is a great think piece of the type that we desperately need to see more of in American comics. 2012 also saw the larger comics community finally starting to embrace digital comics distribution (which is long, long overdue in my opinion), and seeing projects like Thrillbent, Monkeybrain and Comic Book Think Tank making progressive moves for digital comics is aces.

Comic-wise, what are you most excited about for 2013?

I’ve been really stoked about the Jacques Tardi translations that Fantagraphics has been releasing over the last few years, and it looks like they have a bunch in the pipe for 2013. Fanta is also reissuing 7 Miles a Second, a brilliant but largely overlooked Vertigo graphic novel from the mid-90′s which I hope will finally get the attention it deserves. I’ve gotten to see a lot of advance bits from Strange Attractors, and it’s a mind-blowing piece of work. I’m sure there’s at least a few more that I’m forgetting.

What’s one project you’re personally working on for 2013 that you’re especially pumped about?

Here’s four: The Crow collection comes out in early ’13, and I’m providing some new artwork for that; at the other end of the spectrum, I’m doing a few stories for Dan Fogler’s Moon Lake 2 book, and they’re hella fun. On top of all that, I’m writing two new creator-owned GN’s and drawing another. That’ll likely spill over into 2014. Or ’15.

JOSH HECHINGER (R+M, Bear Beater Bunyan)

What was your favorite comic of 2012?

I can’t pick between Prophet and Hawkeye, so I’m gonna go with Alien: The Illustrated Story getting re-published. I’d hyped that book like crazy in my head and tried to hunt down a copy for yeeeears, so having it A. easily available and B. totally as good as I expected (if not better!) was pretty great.

Comic-wise, what are you most excited about for 2013?

Just a bunch of Image books, basically. Five Weapons, Sex Criminals, Pretty Deadly, I think Howard Chaykin’s doing new books, One Trick Rip-Off‘s getting republished, etc. I’m sure there’s other ones I’m blanking on. I’m pumped on Phonogram Avengers at Marvel, but Image takes the prize on sheer volume of incoming stuff that seems up my alley.

That said: if I had the room/money, my answer would totally be “those not-Lego G.I. Joe toys coming out.” Those things look great.

What’s one project you’re personally working on for 2013 that you’re especially pumped about?

Jorge and I are re-doing our webcomic R+M for…something. Print, digital, we’re not wholly sure yet, we’re open to suggestions and/or contracts. Best way I can put it is that the webcomic’s sorta been the demos/live shows, and now we’re working on the album?

And the album’s turning out really, really good. I think.

Like, all we’ve got is inks and words right now, but I’m still super jazzed when I work on the scripts or get even a doodle from Jorge. I feel like we’ve got that our-first-comic anything-goes creativity, but with not-our-first-comic experience helping us nail it, if that makes sense.

JUSTIN ACLIN (S.H.O.O.T. First, Defenders of the Lost Temple)

What was your favorite comic of 2012?

Rick Remender’s Uncanny X-Force has been fantastic from the get-go, and he brought his run to a great end this year. Speaking of great endings, Cameron Stewart brought it all home for Sin TituloI’m really looking forward to the collected edition in 2013.

Comic-wise, what are you most excited about for 2013?

Are we getting more Astro City in 2013? That automatically makes the list if so. I’ve been enjoying Mark Waid’s Insufferable on Thrillbent, so I’m really looking forward to John Rogers’ Arcanum, which I believe we’re getting this year. I loved his Dungeons & Dragons series. Plus, more incredible creator-owned comics from the world’s greatest creators –what a time to be alive!

What’s one project you’re personally working on for 2013 that you’re especially pumped about?

I’ve got a few things hitting in 2013, but the only one that’s been announced so far also happens to be one I’m very pumped about. Star Wars – The Clone Wars: Defenders of the Lost Temple is an OGN that hits in March from Dark Horse. It’s great for everyone — young and old, casual or dedicated Star Wars fans. Just check out these Robot 6-exclusive pages from artist Ben Bates (TMNT) and colorist Michael Atiyeh. I think it’s got the most exciting art I’ve ever seen in a Star Wars comic. Plus, the cover features a Clone Trooper with a lightsaber facing off with a Madalorian with a Darksaber…don’t you want to see how that happens?

LEIGH WALTON (Top Shelf marketing director)

What was your favorite comic of 2012?

We put out a lot of great material this year – like the Cannons’ digital magazine Double Barrel, Ed Piskor’s Wizzywig, Diana Thung’s August Moon, Harvey Pekar’s Cleveland, the final part of League: Century, etc- but reader response seems to have been most passionate (and often very very personal) for Jeff Lemire’s The Underwater Welder. Jeff’s built up a huge and diverse fanbase over the last few years, setting them up just in time to tear their hearts out with this elegant and powerful story. We got into this business to support comics that really touch people, and The Underwater Welder is a quintessential example.

As for the world outside Top Shelf, which I constantly regret not devouring more of, it’s been wonderful to see Kaboom! editor Shannon Watters pull in such amazing talent for the Adventure Time, Marceline, and Bravest Warriors comics. And I have to save a special shoutout for Steve Wolfhard’s minicomic Turtie Needs Work from Koyama Press. Turtie can come work with me anytime!

Comic-wise, what are you most excited about for 2013?

Can I rattle off a whole bunch? I can’t wait for the Double Barrel books (Crater XV by Kevin Cannon and Heck by Zander Cannon) to come out as snazzy hardcovers, or for the rip-roaring new League of Extraordinary Gentlemen graphic novel Nemo: Heart of Ice Eddie Campbell and Alan Moore will share an incredible hoard of behind-the-scenes material on maybe the greatest graphic novel of all time (including plenty of Alan’s scripts) in The From Hell Companion… Jess Fink will be back with my favorite project of hers to date, the time-travel autobiography We Can Fix It!… it’ll be great to have more Top Shelf Kids Club books like Johnny Boo Does Something! and Owly: A Fishy Situation… plus ambitious projects from amazing new talent, like the full-color all-ages saga Monster on the Hill by Rob Harrell and the witty Bible abridgment God Is Disappointed in You by Mark Russell & Shannon Wheeler! And that’s not even mentioning Jeffrey Brown’s new book, his most ambitious yet — to borrow a phrase from Sean T. Collins, if you were wondering when the next time Jeffrey would “level up,” the answer is: here.

What’s one project you’re personally working on for 2013 that you’re especially pumped about?

Even after all that, one more project in particular is really shaping up to be a landmark: March, the graphic novel memoir of civil rights legend, U.S. Representative, and Medal of Freedom winner John Lewis, co-written with Andrew Aydin and drawn by Nate Powell. As the first comic created by a member of Congress, it’s a book that would be historic no matter what was printed between the covers, but I’m proud to say this team is doing full literary and artistic justice to Mr. Lewis’ incredible life story, and we’re working to make it something that will be read for years to come. Working for my favorite publishing company, I’ve had a lot of dream-come-true moments over the years, but this project is an honor above & beyond.

FRANK MARRAFFINO (War.com, Marvel Zombies Destroy)

What was your favorite comic of 2012?

My favorite comic of the year was Halloween Eve by Brandon Monctclare and Amy Reeder. The whimsical personal confection celebrates the magic of the Halloween season – and also the magic of comics themselves. Full of the wonderful possibilities available when you allow yourself a tumble through the looking glass, where a little make-believe can lead to discoveries about yourself.

Comic-wise, what are you most excited about for 2013?

For 2013, I’m most excited about the upcoming issues of The Manhattan Projects by Jonathan Hickman and Nick Pitarra. Deep within the contested space between applied and theoretical physics, the series reveals the mad majesty and corrupting entropy found in the power of science. The surprising paths it is unfolding along is a joyous dark reflection of scientific discovery itself.

What’s one project you’re personally working on for 2013 that you’re especially pumped about?

I’m stoked about my own War.com in which the executives of two rival defense contractor firms play out the most elite (and vile) massive multiplayer: in a foreign war zone they send their personal security teams against each other to rack up actual kills, and profit from the resulting on-line betting on their exclusive and secret social media site. It’s up to the woman who works at one firm and whose lover is a member of the other side’s ground forces to stop this very dangerous game.

IAN HARKER (Secret Prison)

What was your favorite comic of 2012?

Chuck Forsman’s The End of the Fucking World, or TEOTFW. I found the format really inspiring. In a scene dominated by extravagant art objects it’s great to see the the austere mini-comic can still be a powerful vehicle. Oily Comics, and Micropresses such as Retrofit Comics, Hic & Hoc Publications, and SpaceFace Books were to me the most exciting thing about 2012 in art comics.

Comic-wise, what are you most excited about for 2013?

I’m really excited about Michel Fiffe’s new series Copra. It’s sorta mid-80′s Frank Miller gone art comic. Michel’s banging these out monthly, which is unheard of for a full color, self-pub comic. I’m also really excited to see Josh Bayer’s Raw Power 2 coming from Retrofit Comics.

What’s one project you’re personally working on for 2013 that you’re especially pumped about?

I’m launching my own Micropress imprint called Sacred Prism. I’m hoping to release 6 issues in 2013, one every other month, each featuring a different artist. Each book is going to be 2-Color Risograph throughout so they will look beautiful. The first book is going to feature Box Brown and should be out in February, title TBD. Also looking to put out Secret Prison 8 in the fall.

DOUGLAS DABBS (Holliday)

What was your favorite comic of 2012?

There have been a lot of great material that’s come out in 2012. However, I do think that there are two releases that were not only my favorite of 2012, but are among my favorites in my entire library. The first is IDW’s Artist Edition of David Mazzucchelli’s Daredevil: Born Again. Mazzucchelli is one of my favorite all-time artists, so seeing his original pages was an amazing experience. His work has never looked as gorgeous as what IDW reproduce. It is something every artist should study.

The second favorite is Juan Diaz Canales and Juanjo Guarnido’s newest volume in the Blacksad saga, A Silent Hell. These are hands down my favorite comics. Ever. I know there are several years between the release of volumes, but the final product is absolutely worth it. Very few stories in any medium have influenced me the way that Blacksad has, in large part to Guarnido’s perfect artwork and storytelling. Just in case you can’t tell, I kinda liked it.

Comic-wise, what are you most excited about for 2013?

There are a lot things that I am excited about for 2013, but what I’m most excited about about is Archaia Entertainment’s release of several graphic novels by Sergio Toppi. So many artists have been influenced by Toppi’s work, now even more people will be able to read his stories in English for the very first time. Not only will reading his books in English be a great experience, but it will be so nice to finally be able to purchase his work with ease. No more overseas shipping shipping rates! A lot of studying will be done when I get my hands on those books instant inspiration and depression. Ha!

What’s one project you’re personally working on for 2013 that you’re especially pumped about?

There are a few projects that I am in talks about developing. I would be absolutely ecstatic about working on either of them, and for very different reasons. If it seems I am being a bit vague, well… I am. Yes, I am doing the lame thing of not giving any information, it’s just not my place to announce a project. However, once it’s announce you’ll see plenty of artwork. Until then, you can check out my progress at dougdabbs.deviantart.com.

CHRIS SCHWEIZER (Crogan Adventures)

­­What was your favorite comic of 2012?

I got really into the Sixth Gun this year, written by Cullen Bunn and drawn by Brian Hurtt, with wonderful colors by Bill Crabtree.  I’ve reread the whole thing numerous times at this point, and it gets better with each new pass.  Brian’s art is amazing, and Cullen’s story is so rich.  For anyone not familiar with it, it’s a Western fantasy, sometimes scary, often action packed.  I’d say the spirit of the thing is in line with the good parts of the Pirates of the Caribbean movies, only with cowboy tropes instead of buccaneer ones.  I could not recommend this series more highly.

Comic-wise, what are you most excited about for 2013?

At Comic-Con 2009, the incredibly kind, incredibly talented Gene Yang gave me a copy of the first chapter of a story he was working on set during the Boxer Uprising.  I read it, and was immediately sucked in.  Not since Bone has the opening of a story so attached me to the characters, and I asked Gene when the rest of it was coming out.  “Three or four years,” he told me.  I wanted to kill him.

Well, three or four years have now passed, and Boxers and Saints is finally on the horizon!  I’m a little downtrodden in that I’ve got a book coming out this year also set in early twentieth-century China, and Gene’s is bound to be much better than mine.  That low feeling as a cartoonist, however, is more than compensated for by my excitement as a reader.

What’s one project you’re personally working on for 2013 that you’re especially pumped about?

While I love doing the Crogan Adventures as graphic novels, I’ve always liked the idea of exploring additional storytelling mediums through which to tell the tales of the Crogan family, and now I’ve had my first opportunity to do so.  Starting in March, Decoder Ring Theatre will air six half-hour Crogan Adventures radio dramas, each featuring a different member of the Crogan family.  The shows will see the return of the pirate Catfoot and the French Foreign Legionnaire Peter, and will also feature gunslinger Pyjama Ben, smuggler David, escape artist Daniel, and diamond miner Joseph.  One of the episodes is a locked room mystery, another is a lost world-style pulp adventure.  Each one will be something different.  The cast did a fantastic job bringing the characters to life.  The scripts will eventually be collected in book form, heavily illustrated.  There are a lot of things that I’m doing this year, but this one has me the most excited.

SALGOOD SAM (Dream Life, Revolver)

Happy Fourth anniversary, Robot 6. Right about now you should be growing out of your first style sheets and sprouting a new set of CSS. Congratulations!

I always kind of hate the “what’s your favourite” question, I’m too fickle and erratic to answer that truthfully. Like a cat.

You know where you can see a cat? On the Flexi disk in Post York, by James Rodenberger.

My copy just came in the mail a little while ago. Curses my turntable is mothballed though. This is a very cool comic book. It’s not quite my new favourite but I rate it very highly. I really hope James returns to this setting to tell more of the story. There’s a scene in the middle of the book that’s one of the most magical moments I think you could imagine in a flooded apocalyptic New York.

I think for the year, my favourite book is Jerusalem? By Guy Delisle.

A tale of sand was more ostentatiously spectacular but Jerusalem as a story stuck with me longer, I have a personal interest in outsider accounts of Israel, so that’s my bias. I read it intently.

It rewarded me with much more than just an insight into place–a great telling of his own avatars story and his experience of other peoples. Excellent book.
You know where else there will be a cat? My friend Sherwin Tjia showed me some amazing pages for his next graphic novel. It has a cat. Not sure if that comes out on 2013(?), but it will be good when it falls out of the sky. And Nina Bunevich has been showing some really beautiful pages from her upcoming autobiographical book too. You should look for that. Just two of what I’m sure will be too many good books to name.

To be honest, 2013 is going to be a bit crazy for me. Trying to make a bit of an impression. I’m most hyped about the Toronto Comics Art Festival in May when I launch Dream Life book one, and Revolver Three.

The plan is to follow that with a little book touring/travel which I look forward to. I don’t get to do often enough. It’s going to be hectic. And Leading up to that I have to get a Dracula comic started along with a chunk of Dream Life book two as well. My work slate for the new year is quite full.

I’m still just in the midst of a soft launching of Revolver Quarterly now, issue one went live a little while ago. Been looking for comic shops interested in stocking it and finding creative ways to sell it from my own site while I wrap up the art for Dream Life book one.

Revolver Two is just about to be “sent to the printers,” for its final proofing. That will probably drop a week or two later than expected, in early January 2013. Made some last minute changes to enhance the awesome, I hope.

JOEY WEISER (Mermin, SpongeBob Comics)

Mermin V.1

What was your favorite comic (or graphic novel, or webcomic, or whatever) of 2012?

A lot of great work came out in 2012, but I’d have to say that my favorite comic of the year was Patrick Dean’s Big Deal Comics & Stories mini-comics.  Patrick’s art is loose and lively and just gorgeous.  Where most Big Deal issues have been collections of strips, the two issues that came out in 2012 were full-length stories.  I think he really was able to harness the insane goofiness of his previous work and pull it together to make some fantastic, poignant tales.

Issue 11,’Sometimes I Think About You At Night,’ came out earlier in the year, and is about sleeping by yourself after growing accustomed to sharing a bed. This, plus it features things like rain monsters, haunted mattresses, and giants.  Issue 12, ‘A Weekend at the Atwood,’ just came out in December.  It’s about a ghost convention – need I say more?

Big Deal Comics & Stories can be purchased directly from Patrick Dean at his website http://patrickdeancomics.blogspot.com/p/store.html

Comic-wise, what are you most excited about for 2013? (It could be a new comic coming out, something in the digital space, a convention or whatever you can think of).

Hands down, with out a doubt, the comic I’m most excited about for 2013 is Drawn & Quarterly’s Kitaro collection by Shigeru Mizuki.  Mizuki’s autobiographical manga Nonnonba was definitely one of my favorites of 2012 as well.  But when I heard that D&Q was going to publish his most iconic series Gegege no Kitaro in English, I lost my mind.  To have this classic series in print, in English, and handled by such a great publisher, it is a dream come true!

I’m not positive what is in this collection, but I have read some Kitaro comics by tracking down the out of print bilingual Kodansha editions.  The title character, Kitaro, is a boy who is actually a yokai, or Japanese spirit, that goes between the human world and the yokai world, sometimes helping humans being terrorized by yokai, and sometimes defending yokai and teaching rotten humans a lesson!  Nonnonba touched on yokai as a Japanese belief, and they come in and out of the reality-based story.  However, Kitaro is just full of all sorts of these creatures, ghosts, and goblins.  Kitaro’s father is an eyeball with a tiny body who spends most of his time bathing in tea cups, there is a Rat Man who often causes trouble for Kitaro due to dirty deals he makes with both humans and yokai, and even things like giant stone walls or what appears to be a cloth floating through the air become characters.  These comics are a strange mixture of creepy and light hearted, a blend I really enjoy.  I guess that’s something that this choice shares with my pick for 2012!

What’s one project you’re personally working on for 2013 that you’re especially pumped about?

2013 is the year of Mermin for me!  In late February the first volume of the Oni Press graphic novel series is coming out, Mermin Book 1: Out of Water.  This collects the story originally serialized in mini-comic form, about a fish-boy who washes up on the beach and is found by some human kids.  I’ve added some new scenes and tweaked some existing pages, to get everything just right, and the book is a full-color hardcover!  So, I’m very excited.

Chris Schweizer and I just put the finishing touches on our stories for Oni’s Rated FREE For Everyone! Free Comic Book Day issue, which is going to be a split issue featuring new Mermin and Crogan Adventure comics.  We also did two jam-covers for it, which was a ton of fun!

RENEE FRENCH (H Day, The Ticking)

Hagelbarger

What was your favorite comic of 2012?

my favorite things from 2012 were the comics on studygroupcomics.com. david king’s crime world, zack Soto’s the secret voice, levon jihanian’s danger country, and Jennifer parks’s the lone wolf etc

Comic-wise, what are you most excited about for 2013?

looking forward to angouleme in February.

What’s one project you’re personally working on for 2013 that you’re especially pumped about?

yam books is going to publish my book Hagelbarger about the little monster from the sea.

WOODROW PHOENIX (Nelson, Orson Welles-Special Agent)

What was your favorite comic of 2012?

God and Science – Return of the Ti-Girls by Jaime Hernandez. I read the two part story in L&R with the biggest grin on my face and then waited impatiently for the collection with its extra 30 pages.Totally worth waiting for. I like superhero comics but I have lost any desire to read them done the Marvel/DC way; joyless, grimly misogynist, fetishistic, astonishingly violent and generally depressing.

What I really enjoy about the way Jaime crafts this story is that if you recognise all the characters from previous LOCAS episodes they have an extra resonance but if you don’t, it’s still a very entertaining, sweeping, dramatic, funny and beautifully modulated exploration of what superheroes are and what they do. Beautifully drawn, intelligently presented and full of great moments.

Plus, I LOVE Cheeta Torpeda!

Comic-wise, what are you most excited about for 2013?

I hope to finally read parts 2 and 3 of Bruce Canwell’s Alex Toth biography from IDW. The first volume kinda just got the ball rolling and I am itching for more.

What’s one project you’re personally working on for 2013 that you’re especially pumped about?

Fifteen years ago, writer Gordon Rennie and I were halfway through a two-issue miniseries set in 1944 called Orson Welles-Special Agent when our publisher folded. I had completed 35 pages out of 50, but resigned myself to it never being seen. Anyone who’s been working in comics for more than a few years probably has a drawerful of projects that didn’t make it for one reason or another. Early last year I was digging out original art for an exhibition and I unearthed a double page spread from OWSA that I liked, so it went on the wall. The big response to it made me wonder if anyone would be interested in publishing it now. Long story short, Blank Slate Books said yes, Gordon and I got together to look at the pages and tweak them a bit, I am drawing what remains for release as a one-shot in Autumn 2013. We’re both pleased and a little excited that our lost tale is finally going to see the light of day!

JIM GIBBONS (Editor at Dark Horse Comics)

What was your favorite comic of 2012?

It seems slightly self-serving to select a book I worked on here (Though The Strain, The Massive, Dark Horse Presents and The Black Beetle are easily among my favorite titles and I’m psyched to work on those bad boys on a regular basis.) (Oh snap! Just worked in that self-serving shizzle like whoa! So sneaky, right?!), so I’ll give a big shout out to BOOM!’s Adventure Time and their other Pen Ward-related books. I’m a gigantic AT fan and there is no book I’m more jealous of than that one-—I want to work in that world so badly! Editor Shannon Watters, writer Ryan North, writer/artist Meredith Gran and their bevy of other awesome artists and creators are totally killing it on those books. Truly incredible work and stupendously fun! Jealousy-inducing fun, one might say. Thankfully, I get to join in at least once a month as a reader!

Really enjoyed Josh Tierney’s Spera, too! Whimsi-fantas-tical!

Comic-wise, what are you most excited about for 2013?

When I came to Dark Horse, it seemed I’d have the chance to work on just about any kid of comic… except superheroes. I grew up on a steady diet of cape and cowl comics, so leaving those types of comics behind was a bit of a bummer. But, lo and behold, DH is getting back in the superhero game. Working with Joshua Williamson on Captain Midnight so far has been a blast and I can’t wait to see more of his Cap work hit comic shops and get readers psyched. And we just started the process on Brain… well, more on that later. Long story short, between The Black Beetle and Captain Midnight, I am just jazzed to be working on some superhero stuff!

Also, I can’t wait for Emerald City Comicon this year. Last year’s show was overflowing with camaraderie and positive vibes, not to mention good times and great people! It was just an incredible show, an uplifting show. Very excited for this year’s!

What’s one project you’re personally working on for 2013 that you’re especially pumped about?

I can’t sing the praises of Francesco Francavilla’s The Black Beetle enough. The man is a modern master and this is the book he was born to draw. January’s issue #1 is his best work to date, I think, and it’s only gonna get better. I’m biased, but I really think it’s gonna be one of the big books of 2013. Don’t miss out!

Also, it’s been coming out in DHP with it’s final chapter hitting in 2013, but look out for Ulises Farinas’ GAMMA! Post-apocalyptic Pokémon meets kaiju meets Power Rangers meets… you get the idea! It’s madness! It’s pure fun! Find it and read it!

Speaking of pure fun, keep an eye out for Nate Cosby and Evan Shaner’s Buddy Cops one-shot. You’ll laugh, you’ll cry, you’ll… Ok, you’ll probably just laugh. But hey, laughter is the best medicine, so this book should basically take care of all your spring allergy issues when it hits in March.

Black Beetle

Black Beetle

Captain Midnight

Buddy Cops

GAMMA

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Comments

4 Comments

Orson Welles-Special Agent??? Seriously?????????

There better be at least one “Rosebud Frozen Peas” joke in the one-shot. Come on, you know what I’m talking about:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IH1PJTY9AVA

“Orson Welles-Special Agent??? Seriously?????????”

Well, if Abraham Lincoln can be a vampire hunter…

What is Ultimates: Infinity?

The link back to the first part of the series is dead.

Great assemblage of stuff in these two articles, though. A little exhausting, to be sure.

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