Robot 6

Creators weigh in on 2013 and 2014 (Part 7)

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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 final round, we hear from Vito Delsante, Jacq Cohen, Mark Sable, Dean Haspiel, Joshua Williamson, Jordie Bellaire, Paul Allor, Adam P. Knave, Tim Gibson, Bryan Q. Miller, Nathan Edmondson, Ann Nocenti, Jason Latour, Paul Tobin, Ming Doyle, Jeff Parker, Francesco Francavilla and Gabriel Hardman.

And if you missed them, be sure to check out Part 1Part 2Part 3Part 4Part 5 and Part 6 where we heard from Jimmy Palmiotti, Tim Seeley, Chris Roberson, Kurt Busiek, Faith Erin Hicks, Tyler Kirkham, G. Willow Wilson and many more.


Gabriel Hardman

Kinski, Station to Station
Website | Twitter

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What was your favorite comic of 2013?

I’m a big fan of Garth Ennis’ Battlefields from Dynamite. These are generally dark, tough war stories but they’re on a human scale which I very much appreciate. It’s not a black and white world of heroes and villains, it’s about the people in painfully difficult circumstances viewed through an unsentimental lens. What can I say? That’s the kind of stuff I like! My favorite arc of the current series was The Fall and Rise of Anna Kharkova with art by Russ Braun.

I also have to mention Cameron Stewart’s Sin Titulo collected by Dark Horse and Joe Kubert Presents from DC Comics.

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

Comic-wise, what are you most excited about for 2014? (It could be a new comic coming out, something in the digital space, a convention or whatever you can think of) — something you aren’t personally involved in.

I can’t wait for Charles Burns’ Sugar Skull published by Pantheon Books, the follow-up to X’ed Out and The Hive. I loved Burns’ Black Hole which I bought in (very infrequent) issues and I’ve been thrilled with his work on this series of OGNs. There are few treats better than seeing the bizarre worlds he creates.

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

I’ll be finishing Kinski, the digital first series that I write and draw which is available from Monkeybrain through comiXology. It’s a quirky crime story about a guy who believes he’s doing the right thing when he steals a cute puppy but must deal with the escalating complications of his crime. The first three issues are available here. (Hardman provided ROBOT 6 with preview pages from Kinski #4).

I also look forward to continuing Station to Station at Dark Horse. It’s a modern day sci-fi story about scientists grappling with a god-like, mind controlling interdimensional creature which started as a serial in Dark Horse Presents. I co-write it with my frequent collaborator (and wife) Corinna Bechko and well as providing the art.

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Vito Delsante

Stray, World War Mob
Website | Twitter | Tumblr

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What was your favorite comic of 2013?

Too many. Dean Trippe’s Something Terrible and Waid/Samnee and Co.’s Daredevil were the must-reads of the year. Velvet and Lazarus were two solid debuts, and Hawkeye, The Fox and Archer & Armstrong were solid monthly reads too. Battling Boy was … it was a fun read, but it felt incomplete. I’ll say this much for it: I wanted more when it was over.

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

Daredevil relaunch (which is probably obvious after my last answer). It’ll be interesting to see the character in California. And whatever Marvel does with Miracle/Marvelman. I’ll be first in line.

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

The new year will see two creator-owned series by me: World War Mob (with Giancarlo Caracuzzo on art) and, in the summer, thanks to 332 generous people, we will finally see Stray (with Sean Izaakse, Ross A. Campbell and Simon Gough on art duties). January will also see the return of my webcomic with David Bednarski, Prisoner of None, and we’re going to slow build it like last time with character intros and then the next chapter. That seemed to go over well with the readers. More things are in the works, and those are exciting too, but I’m still working on those.

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Jacq Cohen

Publicist, Fantagraphics
Website | Twitter

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What was your favorite comic of 2013?

My two favorite comics this year (that were not published by Fantagraphics) were Grump Toast by Center for Cartoon Studies graduate Ben Horak, and a webcomic on Study Group by Seattle cartoonist Tom Van Duesen, Eat Eat Eat. Both of these comics are alternative cartoonists’ answer to autobio memoir. Gritty and dark, Horak manages to be upbeat and self-depricating at the same time. Evoking horror rather than pity, Grump Toast examines the funny side of depression. Eat Eat Eat uses gross satire to make a commentary on American culture. From dating, to obesity, to complete ignorance, Van Duesen delivers a character easy to hate, but from which it’s hard to look away. One of the most striking evolution of illustrative style that I’ve seen in a long time, Eat Eat Eat starts a with a very scratching thin line and grows to a lovely heavy dark crosshatching. Reading this comic is like watching an artist realize his talent. Plus, it’ll make the reader really rethink picking up the next greasy snack.

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

2014 has a lot of exciting things going on. Recently Zack Soto and François Vigneault announced a new small press comics fest in Portland, Oregon,called Linework NW. The organizers state that the “goal is to focus attention on the creators who continue to inject new energy and vitality into these venerable mediums that share so much in common, whether their work is to be found in comic books, original art, graphic novels, prints, or other forms.” This seems really great to me. There are a bunch of new festivals popping up around the country that celebrate small press. The more frequent like-minded people can gather and together and sell their hand-made books directly to interested fans, the better.

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

This past year I’ve helped a few of my independent cartoonist pals by creating detailed publicity plans for their self-published comics. One of the many hard parts about producing and distributing self-made comics is knowing the whos, whats, whens, and wheres of comics publicity. Some of the greatest alternative comics get overlooked due to lack of promotion. In 2014, I look foreword to sitting down with several more of my friends and helping them figure out the best way to spread the word about their personal projects.


Mark Sable

Dracula: Son of the Dragon
Twitter | Tumblr

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What was your favorite comic of 2013?

This is tough … there was a lot of great work this year. BKV and Fiona Staples Saga may be everyone’s favorite but still stands out.  So does Jai Nitz and Greg Small’s superheroic noir Dream Thief and Kieron Gillen and Canaan Whiate’s Uber, which is one of the most interesting war comics I’ve read in a while and really shows off Kieron’s range. Under the radar, Alejandro Bruzzese‘s minicomics like Proxy, Leave This Bright World and THRST showcase a rising star’s incredibly unique voice, and the Kickstarter anthology Bad Karma by Alex Grecian, Jeremy Haun, B. Clay Moore and Seth Peck was chock full of comics goodness.

But if I had to pick one book, it would be Ryan Browne’s God Hates Astronauts. I guess nominally it’s a superhero book, but really that was just an excuse for Ryan to write, draw, color and letter what is literally the funniest comic I’ve ever read.  It started out as a Kickstarter phenomenon and now looks to be one of Image’s “next big things.”

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

I’m intrigued by what Chuck BB, Daniel Krall, Eric Canete and others are creating for Ivan Brandon’s OFFSET COMICS imprint.

And I’m begrudgingly excited to see Paul Azaceta’s work on Outcast with Robert Kirkman. I only say “begrudgingly” because I’ve been lucky to have worked on multiple books with Paul, and I’ll have to wait a while before I get to do so again because this is Paul’s first ongoing.  But Paul is a transcendent talent and I think Outcast is going to take him to the next level in terms of a mainstream audience appreciating his work.

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

I’ve got a book coming out from Image that I can’t speak about yet, and my fingers are crossed for Howard Gordon and Ben Queen’s TV adaptation of my BOOM! Studios book Unthinkable for Fox.  I’m looking forward to continuing to teach for The School of Visual Arts MFA in Visual Narrative program for chair Nathan Fox with my colleague, artist Jim Rugg — it’s the first Master’s program of its kind and we’ve got an incredibly talented group of students.

But I’m most excited about Dracula: Son of the Dragon, the Kickstarter backed book I’m doing with Salgood Sam. It’s a prequel to Bram Stoker’s Dracula and it’s been my passion project that will finally see the light of day in 2014.

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Dean Haspiel

The Fox, Fear My Dear
Website | Twitter

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What was your favorite comic of 2013?

I couldn’t keep it to just one so I have four comix that I equally enjoyed and would like to laud: Hand-Drying in America by Ben Katchor, My Dirty Dumb Eyes by Lisa Hanawalt, TEOTFW by Charles Forsman, and The Rise by David Trustman.

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

I miss Warren Ellis writing monthly comic books, so I’m excited to read his new Moon Knight series with Declan Shalvey and Jordie Bellaire. Plus, Dan Slott and Mike Allred’s new Silver Surfer series and more Daredevil, Hulk and Hawkeye, from Mark Waid, Matt Fraction and their respective collaborators. Image Comics may be the most interesting comic book publisher around but Marvel is bringing back the “pop” they once preached in the late 1960s within their non-team/non-event titles.

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

I’m excited to learn what comix readers will think of the next three-issues of The Fox miniseries I’m doing for Archie/Red Circle in contrast to my personal graphic novel, Fear, My Dear: A Billy Dogma Experience, published by Z2 Comics (due April 2014).

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Joshua Williamson

Captain MidnightGhostedPredator
Website | Twitter  | Tumblr

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What was your favorite comic of 2013?

2013 was a great year for comics. Pretty Deadly, Revival, Fatale, Uncanny Avengers, Black Science, Velvet, Superior Spider-Man, Daredevil, Locke and Key, Hawkeye, Saga, Chew, Hellboy in Hell, Private Eye, Fury, Wonder Woman, The Wake, All New X-Men … it can go on and on. So many awesome comics that it’s nearly impossible but two comics really stuck with me. Sex Criminals is a lot of great comics fun, and it uses the comics medium in different ways than what we’ve normally seen. One of the first Grant Morrison comics I ever read when I was an impressionable youth was Kill Your Boyfriend. And I liked the subversive sort of sex and crime combo. And Sex Criminals reminds me of the best parts of that.

But then there was East of West. Cleary my favorite comics of 2013. Something about it has just gotten under my skin as a reader and a writer. I look at the issues over and over again. Hickman and Dragotta have a created an amazing series that might seem a bit on the crazy side, but is an awesome tragic story of love … and death.

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

Right now it’s the Image Expo in January, but otherwise… and I’m sure this is an answer that you’re going to get a lot…  Easily I want to see more creator owned work from my peers. Books that don’t ft the norm. That challenge the medium and make the rest of us want to do better. That’s always my favorite kind of comic. The one that I read and it unlocks the desire and motivation to make more comics.

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

Oh that is a tough one. So much. More Captain Midnight, Ghosted, Predator, along few other new creator-owned series. This year I’ll be releasing more creator-owned books then I’ve ever done. It’ll seem like one for every season. But there is one that is way too early to talk about that’ll launch in the summer. But it’s going to be a doozy. Easily my most difficult project yet. Can’t wait to start sharing it with people. 2013 was a great year for me, and so of course 2014 looks terrifying but also extremely exciting.

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Jordie Bellaire

Moon KnightZeroPretty Deadly, Nowhere Men
TwitterTumblr

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What was your favorite comic of 2013?

It’s hard to choose but the first few that come to my mind are Fatale, Young Avengers and Locke & Key.

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

Oh, man! Ghost Rider with Tradd Moore is a huge deal to me. I’m over the moon about it. Black Widow with Phil Noto and Nathan. Southern Bastards with Jason Latour and Jason Aaron.

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

Moon Knight! Zero! Pretty Deadly!

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Paul Allor

Past the Last Mountain, GI Joe, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles
Website | Twitter | Tumblr

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What was your favorite comic of 2013?

Boy, I can’t really think of an immediate standout, because so many comics are operating at such a high level right now. But as I thought about my (many) options, my brain kept coming back to Jeff Stokely and Si Spurrier’s Six-Gun Gorilla. Granted, I’m a pretty easy mark for a sci-fi/Western mashup starring a gorilla. But still. It was a fiercely inventive story with a meta-commentary on storytelling itself, that could have easily gone so, so wrong but never did. And Stokely’s art managed to be incredibly dynamic and exciting, while always providing crystal-clear storytelling to a very complex story.

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

There are so many things to be excited about in comics right now. But I think that what I’m always most excited for are the comics that I don’t see coming; the stories that blindside me with their brilliance and immediacy.

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

2014 is the first year that I’m going to have comics coming out pretty steadily, starting with new GI Joe and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles projects in January. But later in the year, I’m launching a new book with Orc Girl artist Thomas Boatwright, called Past the Last Mountain. We’re putting it out through the awesome Th3rd World Studios, and there will be a preview of it in their Free Comic Book Day book.

It’s basically a geopolitical fantasy, set in modern times and starring a dragon, faun and troll on the run. The first script is, I think, one of the best things I’ve ever written. I’m incredibly proud of this book, and Thomas is going to absolutely rock it. I’m excited.

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Adam P. Knave

Amelia Cole, Dong Patrol
Website | Twitter | Tumblr

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What was your favorite comic of 2013?

Oh, lord. 2013 was such an amazing year for comics! There are so many things ot choose from! Bandette, Edison Rex, High Crimes, The Secret History of D.B. Cooper, Saga … ack! This question has been keeping me up at night, I tell you. But I think the book I had the most fun with this year is an old standby. Savage Dragon. Larsen is just killing it this year, taking the book places no one thought he would, or possibly could. I always look forward to a new issue and am honestly just excited to dig in. Been a fan for years but this year Larsen made me an even bigger fan.

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

Right now I’m excited to see where digital continues to go, in how it pushes the medium forward, sideways and every other way possible. There is still tons of untapped potential out there and I think we’re gonna see even more of it get explored as we go. My most “excited for” is that thing on the horizon I can’t quite see yet – that I won’t expect, and that just leaps out at me and screams “Look at ME!” in the right way. I love that feeling, and this year I think it will come digitally.

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

I have a webcomic starting in the first quarter of 2014, with Chris Peterson, called Dong Patrol. On the one hand it’s a funny thing about some superheroes who are, mostly, kinda uhhh adult-oriented. But really it is a sex-positive, gender-positive comic about acceptance. And big superhero fights. Chris and I are just making each other laugh and trying to one-up each other with the fun of it all. It’s not raunchy, mind, just silly fun. while also being a perfectly good super hero type comic. Best of all — it’ll be free.

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