Robot 6

Creators weigh in on 2013 and 2014 (Part 4)

Our annual “Looking Forward, Looking Back” feature continues, as we ask various comics folks what they liked in 2013, what they’re looking forward to in 2014 and what projects they have planned for the coming year. In this round, see what Van Jensen, Faith Erin Hicks, Thom Zahler, Andrew MacLean, Tyler Kirkham, Ian Harker, Ryan Ferrier, Jay Faerber, Matt Silady and Matthew Petz had to say.

And if you missed them, be sure to check out Part 1, Part 2 and Part 3, where we heard from Jimmy Palmiotti, Tim Seeley, Chris Roberson and many more. And we still have plenty to go, so check back Wednesday to hear from more creators!


Van Jensen

Green Lantern Corps, Pinocchio, Vampire Slayer
Twitter | Tumblr

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What was your favorite comic of 2013?

This is a cheat, but although The Nao of Brown came out in late 2012, it wasn’t until early 2013 that I tracked down a copy. It is absurdly beautiful both in art and in story, the kind of book that is inspires me as a creator and also fills me with dread — I can’t fathom ever making something so perfect.

Comic-wise, what are you most excited about for 2014?

There’s a very cool event coming to the Valiant universe next year. I’ve only heard the broad strokes concept, and it is just comics at its best, big and crazy and completely story-driven.

What personal project are you working on for 2014 that you’re especially pumped about?

I’m writing Green Lantern Corps for DC, and there are some very dark days ahead for John Stewart and the Corps in the coming year. I’ll also be co-writing another superhero monthly book (more to come on that soon). On the creator-owned side, Dusty Higgins and I are releasing an omnibus of Pinocchio, Vampire Slayer through Top Shelf. And then I’ll be self-publishing the very first graphic novel I ever wrote, The Leg, which is illustrated by Jose Pimienta. It’s the story of Santa Anna’s disembodied leg adventuring in Mexico. No, really.


Tyler Kirkham

Teen Titans, Green Lantern Corps, Green Lantern: New Guardians, Screwed: Project Frankenstein
Website | Twitter

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What was your favorite comic of 2013?

“Forever Evil” event, DC Comics

Comic-wise, what are you most excited about for 2014?

Hopefully the return of Joe Mad’s Battle Chasers!

What personal project are you working on for 2014 that you’re especially pumped about?

I’d really love to share the news of the release of the trade paperback of my creator-owned series — Screwed: Project Frankenstein in January. Would also love people to check out my run on Teen Titans issues 25-29 — the origin of Kid Flash!

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Faith Erin Hicks

Nothing Can Possibly Go Wrong, Friends With Boys, The Last of Us
Website | Twitter | Tumblr | deviantART

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What was your favorite comic of 2013?

Yikes, just one? Nope, can’t do it. Here’s the master list of Great Stuff I read in 2013: Nausicaa of the Valley of Wind, the wrap-up of 20th Century Boys, RASL, A Bride’s Story, Vinland Saga and Bad Houses. I’d include Boxers & Saints as well, but everyone’s going to say that comic. OK, Boxers & Saints, too.

Comic-wise, what are you most excited about for 2014?

I am super-excited to read Seconds by Bryan O’Malley. I think his work is incredible, and Scott Pilgrim was not my thing, so I’m excited to see something new and different by him. The snippets of art I’ve seen from the book have been gorgeous.

What personal project are you working on for 2014 that you’re especially pumped about?

I’m really, really excited to be starting a new graphic novel trilogy, something I’ll be both drawing and writing. It’s called The Nameless City, and it’s a middle-grade series about two kids from different social castes in a sprawling city inspired by historical China. I’ve been drawing other people’s comics for the past three years, and I’m really looking forward to getting back to my own stories. The Nameless City is going to take up the next few years of my life; it’s a large project that I’ve been working on since 2010 or so, and it’s wonderful to see it finally come to fruition. The first book in the trilogy will be out in 2016.

I’m also planning to take a vacation in 2014, something I haven’t done since I was unemployed in 2010. If anyone has any awesome vacation spots to recommend, send ‘em my way! P.S. I am very pasty, so maybe something not especially beach-centric. My boyfriend and I were contemplating Disneyland … where do people go to relax? I have no idea.

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Ryan Ferrier

D4VE, The Brothers James, Tiger Lawyer
Twitter | Tumblr

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What was your favorite comic of 2013?

For me, that goes to Lost Cat by Jason. I adore all of Jason’s work, and his latest–a sweet, sometimes haunting noir story–fits right in with best of Jason’s, and Fantagraphics’, catalog.

Comic-wise, what are you most excited about for 2014?

Definitely the Stray Bullets at Image announcement has me excited for the new year, as does Matt Fraction’s continuing creator-owned collaborations. I also hope we keep seeing new creators break out and get the chance to tell some really original stories.

What personal project are you working on for 2014 that you’re especially pumped about?

My series with Valentin Ramon, D4VE, continues at Monkeybrain into 2014, which I’m really excited for. I’ve also got new issues of Tiger Lawyer and The Brothers James – with Matt McCray, Vic Malhora and Brian Level, respectively — releasing soon.

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Ian Harker

Sacred Prism
Twitter | Tumblr | Storenvy

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What was your favorite comic of 2013?

Probably I Can Do Anything I Want You To and John’s War by Jonathan Chandler. Chandler is the third member of the famiconexpress.co.uk crew along with the Sadler brothers. These comics are odd, stark and brutally straightforward artsy sci-fi/fantasy. The perfectly minimalist B&W design of the books themselves keeps me coming back to these otherwise unassumingly simple pamphlets.

Comic-wise, what are you most excited about for 2014?

I’m really excited about Mould Map 3. I thought the Kickstarter campaign was audacious, and I was over the moon when it was finally funded. With PictureBox pulling up stakes the entire landscape for avant-garde comix has experienced a seismic shift. Mould Map 3 looks to be maybe the first comprehensive statement of the post-Kramers generation.

What personal project are you working on for 2014 that you’re especially pumped about?

I’m continuing Sacred Prism for 2014 with eight new titles releasing on a roughly bimonthly schedule. The official line-up is still a secret (subscription drive coming soon) but I can confirm that there will be follow-ups to Benjamin Marra’s “Blades & Lazers” as well as Maré Odomo’s “Internet Comics.”


Jay Faerber

Anti-Hero, Point of Impact, Near Death
Twitter | Facebook

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What was your favorite comic of 2013?

Daredevil, by Mark Waid and Chris Samnee. I cannot get enough of this book. I love that Waid’s approach to DD is almost a complete 180 from the dark, crime/noir approach that’s been used for the past decade or so, and yet it’s still completely true to the character AND what’s come before. Waid managed to reinvigorate the series without retconning anything that’s come before. That’s a rarity these days. It’s suspenseful, funny, endearing and exciting — sometimes all at once! And Samnee’s become one of the few artists I’ll follow onto any book. I’m just glad he’s drawing one that I enjoy reading so much.

Comic-wise, what are you most excited about for 2014?

I can’t think of any one series I’m looking forward to, so I’ll have to cop out and say: creator-owned comics in general. It’s great to see so many Big Names in comics taking the plunge into the creator-owned waters, and if I can continue with the water-based cliches: a rising tide lifts all ships. And it’s also great that these creators aren’t just doing their versions of Batman or Spider-Man or whatever, but instead we’re getting truly great, original concepts. Stuff like Sex Criminals and Krampus and Chew and The Saviors and The Sixth Gun and High Crimes.

It’s a great time to be both a comic fan and a comic creator.

What personal project are you working on for 2014 that you’re especially pumped about?

I’ve got a bunch of stuff coming out in 2014, a lot of which hasn’t been formally announced yet. But since June I’ve been working on a monthly digital series from Monkeybrain, available exclusively through comiXology. It’s called Anti-Hero and it’s drawn by Nate Stockman, with colors by Paul Little and letters by Charles Pritchett. It’s about a small-time crook who discovers the secret identity of a superhero and uses that information to his own advantage. It’s equal parts super-hero book and crime book, and the first five issues are currently available for 99 cents each. Here’s a peek at Issue 6, which goes on sale either the first or second week in January:

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Thom Zahler

Love & Capes, My Little Pony
Website | Twitter

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What was your favorite comic of 2013?

That’d have to be The Thrilling Adventure Hour graphic novel from Archaia (now BOOM!). I’m fortunate enough to have seen the show performed live in LA more than a few times (and man, if you ever get a chance, go go GO!) and have become a huge fan. The show does a new take on old retro-stytle podcasts and the comic takes those characters and puts them on the page. The book is written by the series’ creators Ben Acker and Ben Blacker, and it features a wide election of artists illustrating the stories. Tom Fowler’s “Beyond Belief” story in particular is note-for-note perfect. I can’t recommend it enough. And check out the podcast on iTunes, too.

Also, I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention Hey Kids, Comics! from Rob Kelly and Section 8 Press. Full disclosure, Rob is a friend and we went to Kubert together, but this collection of essays from comics pros, fans and pundits is a really satisfying read, capturing the excitement of being introduced to comics.

Comic-wise, what are you most excited about for 2014?

IDW’s artist editions (and the accompanying bookcase purchase) are on my list. There’s going to be a Watchmen volume, a Kirby New Gods one, a Steranko Agents of Shield one and a Peanuts one. They will be mine, Oh yes, they will be. I’ll buy them all … except for the Agent of S.H.I.E.L.D. edition which, in Steranko’s honor, I intend to get by breaking into IDW’s offices like a great escape while tweeting all the way. And yes, I know I’ve just announced my intentions to them here. That’s how good I am.

It’s hard to explain how awesome these books are. You have to see one in person to really get it. I wasn’t a fan at first when I heard them described, but then I saw one and wham, that was it. Now I’ve got a bunch with so many more to come in 2014.

What personal project are you working on for 2014 that you’re especially pumped about?

I’ve got two or three things coming out. I am working on a couple issues of the new My Little Pony Friends Forever series, so I will again be back in the Ponyverse. Being part of that was a real treat in 2013, and I’m glad to see it’s continuing. I’m also going to be in Issue 11 of Art and Franco’s Aw Yeah Comics. I did a fun little “Cell Phone Guy” story.

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I’ve also got a couple of other new things I’m planning, including a kids’ comic that isn’t set up anywhere yet. But I’m excited about it and want to share, so here’s a page of it.

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There’s more than that, but it’s in that typical “can’t talk about it” cloaking device stage right now. But I can say that 2014 is looking to be a pretty exciting year.


Andrew MacLean

Head Lopper, Department O, Mars: Space Barbarian
Twitter | Tumblr | Storenvy | deviantART

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What was your favorite comic of 2013?

In hindsight I did more collecting of comics than reading them in 2013. A couple favorites though were Five Ghosts, The Creep and Sabertooth Swordsman.

Comic-wise, what are you most excited about for 2014?

As difficult as it’s been, I’ve been anxiously awaiting the trade of Hellboy in Hell. So that’s definitely what I am most excited for in 2014. Apart from that, I’ve been really looking forward to White Suits from Dark Horse with Toby Cypress drawing Frank Barbiere. Both of whom I am a big fan of.

What personal project are you working on for 2014 that you’re especially pumped about?

Most of my work from 2013 won’t be available until 2014, so I will have a bunch of new stuff available. But the release I am most pumped for, and still working on, is Head Lopper 2. Its a big 40-page chapter and really digs deeper into the Head Lopper universe.

I’ve shared a very early version of Page 12 from HL2, where we get to know two of our less-savory characters a little better.

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Matt Silady

The Homeless Channel, associate chair for comics at the California College of the Arts
Twitter | CCA

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What was your favorite comic of 2013?

Rutu Modan again showed that she’s one of the best cartoonists working in the industry with the release of The Property. A wonderful book from cover to cover.

Comic-wise, what are you most excited about for 2014?

Based on his work in 2013, I’m excited about whatever Dash Shaw comes up with next. The real highlight of 2014 for me is the return of Stray Bullets! It’s been too long!

What personal project are you working on for 2014 that you’re especially pumped about?

All my attention right now is channeled into preparations for our second MFA in Comics summer session at CCA. To get an idea what we are up to, here’s a comic about last year’s session by graduate cartoonist, Shane McDermott!

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Matthew Petz

War of the Woods, Lordless
Website | Twitter | Tumblr

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What was your favorite comic of 2013?

I think my favorite book this year was Hellboy in Hell. Everything about the book is fantastic. It’s a master class in storytelling. Other books that continued to kill it were Saga and Hawkeye. Another book I just read which was awesome was East of West. Gorgeous all around!

Comic-wise, what are you most excited about for 2014?

Looking forward to 2014, I’m more and more excited about digital distribution and the opportunities they offer. It’s so easy to make and get your story out there. I can’t wait to see what crazy new book pops up because it’s so easy to make comics now!

What personal project are you working on for 2014 that you’re especially pumped about?

As for my own stuff. I’m writing the next chapter of War of the Woods now, and hope to start drawing that soon. I’m also really excited to start promoting a comic I worked on with my friend Ron Perazza. It’s called Lordless, and it’s a fun and bloody introduction to a characters and world I really love. It’ll be available at www.lordlesscomic.com on or about New Year’s Day.

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