The Beat’s Annual Year-End Survey, 2010 edition — Part Five

If you’ve stuck with us this far, you’ve got to go all the way, as the last batch of comics writers, artists, editors, marketers and chroniclers weigh in. If there’s one takeaway from reading all these responses? WE WON! WE WON! WE WON! Seriously, there is no way I could have ever imagined in 1999 that in 10 years I would witness this level of confidence and strength from member of the comics industry. We’ve come a long, long way. Together.

Great thanks to all who time out from their holidays to participate and here’s to a fantastic year ahead–I have a feeling it might just be another big one.

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Stuart Moore, writer

2010 projects: CLOAK & DAGGER, with Mark Brooks: one-shot from Marvel, March 2010 SHADRACH STONE, with Jon Proctor: original graphic novel from Penny-Farthing Press, Spring 2010 DEADPOOL TEAM-UP #896, featuring U.S. Ace (formerly U.S. 1), with Shawn Crystal: Marvel, February 2010
X-MEN ORIGINS: CYCLOPS, with Jesse Delperdang: one-shot from Marvel, January 2010
THE 99, with John McCrea and others: monthly from Teshkeel
A pretty cool TRANSFORMERS story

And other Things as yet Unnameable

What was the biggest story in comics in 2009? I think it was the remarkable resilience of comics in a down economy. Sales are solid and the range of formats continues to grow. There are a lot of challenges to face, but many industries are in much worse shape.

What will be the biggest story in comics in 2010? I’ll say this is the year that actual digital purchasing of traditionally paper comics comes into its own. Of course, that depends on a lot of factors like the evolution of tablet computers and/or full-color dedicated readers; it might take another year. In which case, I’ll just be happy if a new issue of MAGIC WHISTLE comes out.

When I think of comics in the 00s I think of: For me personally, the 00s were an amazing, rocky, wonderful time. I started out having just left DC Comics, after nine years; had a whirlwind stint at Marvel Knights (thank you, Joe and Nanci, in case I haven’t said it enough); and wound up writing a wider variety of material than I could ever have dreamed. Cheers to everyone who keeps the sails on this crazy industry lashed against the currents; let’s keep doing it for another ten years. At least.

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livepool tm The Beats Annual Year End Survey, 2010 edition    Part Five

elephantme The Beats Annual Year End Survey, 2010 edition    Part FiveBrandon Graham, artist
2010 Projects:Today I’m on my King city issues coming out monthly through Tokyopop and Image and soon my Russian werewolf epic Multiple warheads from Oni press.

What was the biggest story in comics in 2009? For me, it was the publication of Marian
Churchland’s book Beast. My girlfriend makes damn good comics. Also reading the newer Urasawa books (20th century boys, Pluto) in english was really exciting for me.

What will be the biggest story in comics in 2010? I’m sure empires will rise and fall but
I’m mostly excited about my pal James stokoe’s Orc stain. His monthly sword and orcary from Image.

When I think of comics in the 00s I think of: Part of me wants to say that I think of it as comics recovering from the 90’s but in a more personal level for me the first half of the 00’s was the Meathaus gang with my NYC pals– Farel Darymple, Tomer Hanuka and the like. And the 2nd half was moving back to the west coast to live with Corey Lewis, Stokoe and the Dicecat/Yosh gang. It was my decade of comic book gangs.

winterming The Beats Annual Year End Survey, 2010 edition    Part FiveMing Doyle, cartoonist

2010 projects: The only project that I believe I’m allowed to mention is “Girl Comics” from Marvel, and though I’ll only be contributing a very small amount of art to the endeavor I’m quite excited to see the end result! I’m also handling the art for an ongoing weekly webcomic called “The Loneliest Astronauts” written by my pal Kevin Church. There’ll be enough asteroids and ennui to suit anyone’s taste in 2010!
 
What was the biggest story in comics in 2009? For me, it was all about Bruce Wayne’s strange fantastic voyage.

What will be the biggest story in comics in 2010? Oh, that’s tough to predict. But I’ll definitely be keeping my eye on Action and Detective Comics!

When I think of comics in the 00s I think of: Superhero movies, of course, and the ensuing saturation of comics in everything from fashion to music and literature. The explosion of unique and diverse art styles across all genres of comics, especially in the past few years, has also been a great side effect. Even if it’s only on their own blogs or in other informal venues, artists who previously wouldn’t have stopped to consider a superhero are playing around with mainstream comics characters and really widening the scope of what I think “professional” writers and artists feel comfortable saying in the medium, and that’s all to the good. I’ve also appreciated the “nostalgia” turn some comics have taken this decade. There’s a lot of new stuff to say within the old stories that everybody already knows.

Tom Neely The Beats Annual Year End Survey, 2010 edition    Part FiveTom Neely, cartoonist

2010 projects: The Wolf –  My next graphic novel is a collaboration of comics and music and will be published in 2010 along with an album by Aaron Turner.

The popular mini comics Henry & Glenn 4-Ever by my art fraternity Igloo Tornado (me, Levon Jihanian, Scot Nobles and Gin Stevens) will see a proper release (with new material) as a book sometime in the Spring.

Curating a big comics art show for Secret Headquarters in L.A. (I think it’s in September?)

Possibly a self indulgent collection of my non-comics art and early attempts at making comics to celebrate 10 years of trying to be an artist/cartoonist/publisher.

What was the biggest story in comics in 2009? I dunno… I don’t really pay attention to that stuff…  These are a few of the things that made the year for me:
In Tongues Illustrated by J.T. Dockery
Zak Sally’s amazing collection Like a Dog
The R. Crumb Genesis show at the Hammer museum in LA
Map of My Heart by John Porcellino
Sleepercar by Theo Ellsworth
Prince Valiant volume 1
And many more that I’m forgetting right now…

What will be the biggest story in comics in 2010? Someone should translate and publish Vers Les Mondes Lointains by Grégoire Bouchard. Levon Jihanian should finish that graphic novel he’s been working on.

What guilty pleasure (of any kind) are you looking forward to in 2010? There is no guilt involved with any of my pleasures. Sometimes I can’t stop listening to the song “I’m not in love” by 10CC. Does that count?

When I think of comics in the 00s I think of: My first 10 years of making and publishing comics.

15807 The Beats Annual Year End Survey, 2010 edition    Part FiveLarry Marder, cartoonist
 
2010 projects: Larry Marder’s Beanworld: Book Four  “Something More”
Short story for MySpace Dark Horse Presents #33 in April
 
What was the biggest story in comics in 2009? On the business side: Disney acquiring Marvel Comics. As of this writing, as far as I can see, no one has any accurate idea of what it means yet but for better or worse it’s going to mean something and something big. And at this time next year, it will have all seemed so obvious!
 
On the art form side: The astoundingly diverse array of original graphic novels that came successfully into the marketplace in all genres, sizes, page lengths, and price points.  And the return of creators who had been away for a while from Crumb to Mazzucchelli to Marder.
 
What will be the biggest story in comics in 2010? On the business side: The inevitable realignments of institutional power at the Big Two. It’s naive to think that the rumbling of centers of gravity won’t tug on everyone in the industry in some way big or small.
 
On the art form side: Hopefully something or someone, today unknown. will blow in from nowhere and turn everything (and everyone) upside-down!
What guilty pleasure (of any kind) are you looking forward to in 2010? LOST final season, FRINGE, FLASHFORWARD, WAREHOUSE 13
 
When I think of comics in the 00s I think of: Having sat out most of the decade hopelessly submerged in an alternate reality called the toy business, I didn’t have much direct contact with the comics industry except going to Comic-Con. I’m still reading things as fast as I can trying to catch up.It was definitey a decade of excellent work.
 
As far as trends go? That’s simple. The Internet.

From web comics to web sales to blogs and social networking the Internet changed everything in every way forever and ever.

 G7I0707 The Beats Annual Year End Survey, 2010 edition    Part FiveBen McCool, writer

2010 Projects: CHOKER, my debut creator-owned series, illustrated by Ben Templesmith. Also, a fun little SUPERMAN story out in March. Beyond that, other 2010 work still unannounced, but there’s another creator-owned series in there.
 
What was the biggest story in comics in 2009? Though Paul Levitz leaving DC was huge, I think Disney’s acquisition of Marvel trumps it.

What will be the biggest story in comics in 2010? Hmm. Likely the advance of the digital revolution. With devices like the Apple tablet en route, I’m intrigued to see how much of a game changer this new technology will be in 2010.

What guilty pleasure (of any kind) are you looking forward to in 2010? Guilty pleasure? Well, there’s my first ever signing tour, which initially sees New York, Florida, Seattle, Arizona and Las Vegas host me and Mr. Templesmith. Also, there’s LOST; looking forward to seeing how it wraps up. And then there’s the small matter of that A-TEAM trailer… Face shooting down a plane from inside a tank that’s floating to the ground via parachute? Now THAT’S guilty.

lea%20facebook The Beats Annual Year End Survey, 2010 edition    Part FiveLea Ada Franco AKA Lea Hernandez, cartoonist

2010 projects: The Moon is Mine, with Josh Hechinger, COMIC BOOK TATTOO contributor and Zuda competitor, the second volume of RUMBLE GIRLS: Runaway Lightning Ohmry for NBM is ongoing (and in color), more comics painted on the iPod Touch (I made the first-ever all-iPod touch 24 Hour Comic on one this year on 24HCD), and a couple other nice things I hope to announce this year.
 
What was the biggest story in comics in 2009? Disney paying 4 billion for Marvel. When I heard that price, I made a face like a girl on a Greg Horn cover. I mean, COME on, 4 BILLION?

What will be the biggest story in comics in 2010? I don’t know! I’d have never guessed about the Marvel sale, so I can’t even muster a ridiculous, impossible answer for 2010.  

What guilty pleasure (of any kind) are you looking forward to in 2010? I work in comics, all my guilty pleasures are home-made. Unless there’s an iPod touch this year with a camera and microphone. (How this relates to comics: I draw them on my iPod.)

When I think of comics in the 00s I think of: Comics on the web in a BIG way!

Print publishers moved from contempt and ignorance of webcomics, to wailing about dropping sales, to being dragged kicking and screaming to 2000 as the calendar read 2009.  And I’m raking in the smug money for being right about that.

This is such a HUGE difference from 2000, when I was told “there’s only 25 people on the Internet” (I swear to god that is true) to 2001, when independents including myself (ever the innovators!) starting moving print books online to drive GN sales, to now, when the big publishers can’t get online fast enough. This is exciting because it changes who can publish and who can read. (The answer to both of those is “anyone with a computer.) How great is that?!

newpic The Beats Annual Year End Survey, 2010 edition    Part FiveTony Lee, writer

Projects for 2010: More Doctor Who for IDW with hopefully the changeover from Ten to Eleven, the adaptation of Pride & Prejudice & Zombies from Del Rey, The Gloom finally being finished and released as a trade by Arcana, Excalibur: The Legend Of King Arthur coming out from Walker Books / Candlewick, and a whole load more. 2010 is a busy year.
 
What was the biggest story in comics in 2009?: I think it has to be Disney’s acquisition of Marvel – and the fact that simultaneously, Warner discovered that they owned a comics publisher.

What will be the biggest story in comics in 2010?: Where Disney buy Warner, and Dan Didio and Joe Quesada fight for the unified EiC title in a cage match on PPV.

What guilty pleasure (of any kind) are you looking forward to in 2010?: Iron Man 2. Without a doubt the one movie I really really REALLY want to see. Also, if the rumours are true, I can’t wait to see a new JLI title.

1398494433 d8221a76b9 o The Beats Annual Year End Survey, 2010 edition    Part FiveChip Mosher, marketing, Boom! Studios

2010 projects: IRREDEEMABLE, INCORRUPTIBLE, THE ANCHOR, though my biggest project right now is trying to figure out more “MARK WAID IS… ” slogans for 2010!

What was the biggest story in comics in 2009? There are tons of big stories for 2010, but this one is my favorite. Conventional wisdom said comics for kids were done in the direct market, and as part of the team that brought a whole line of viable kids comics to the direct market, I was proud to help prove that conventional wisdom wrong. I never get tired of hearing people talking about taking their children into the comic stores with them and finally have something to buy with their kid that they can enjoy together. I look forward to the continued success of our BOOM Kids! line of comics creating more competition in this space, and help usher in the next generation of comic book readers. The fact that one of our BOOM Kids! comic books could be the first comic a kid ever reads, brings joy to my heart, and a spring to my step everyday I walk into the office.

What will be the biggest story in comics in 2010? One word: Expansion. The comic book medium is primed to expand it’s audience like never before. I still hear people bitch and moan about acceptance of the medium. That battle is over. The next battle is expansion of the audience… and the industry is primed for that like more now than ever!  Direct Market Comic Retailers are mobilizing to help create a better industry with ComicsPro. Diamond is taking a more activist promotional stance – check out the update Comicshoplocator.com – and keeps building traction with FCBD. Publishers across the board are doing more and more to attract a wider audience to comics. Graphic novels are selling great in the mass market. Digital distribution is poised to make a big impact in reaching a broader market.  Hardly a week goes by when a mass market news outlet doesn’t have some story about comic books. Movies adaptations have driven mass market book sales for years, and as more and more comic book based movies come out, this too will drive more and more comic sales ala Watchmen. The whole comic book publishing ecosystem is primed and ready to roll. In 2020, we’ll look back at 2010 is going to be the year the dam broke!

When I think of comics in the 00s I think of: When I think of comics in the I always think of the people I have met over the years of being involved in this industry. When I think about the last ten years, I think about all the really great people I have had the pleasure of meeting, hanging out with, gabbing with, drinking a beer with, making friends with. I love the medium with a passion, but I equally love the people involved. I’ve worked in several different industries in my life, and I have to say the nicest, best, most consistently decent people are the ones that work in comics and are fans of comics. On my wall next to me I have BOOM’s convention schedule taped up so I see it everyday. And while that schedule makes my head spin, I know that at one of those conventions, I will meet another pro or fan or both that will make the journey all the more worth it. I’m definitely looking forward to the next 10 years!

rolston The Beats Annual Year End Survey, 2010 edition    Part FiveSteve Rolston, Artist

2010 projects: Ghost Projekt, a 5-issue supernatural thriller with writer Joe Harris, launching in March from Oni Press.
 
What was the biggest story in comics in 2009? The revelation that almost no one is above using President Obama to sell more comics.

What will be the biggest story in comics in 2010? I reckon the safe bet is to say it’ll involve the digitization of comics–whether it be the public reception of Longbox, creators making comics that are specifically designed for handheld devices like the iPhone, or the Google Book Search Settlement and its impact on fair use and the digital book market.

When I think of comics in the 00s I think of: “Oh, we can find these in real book stores now?”

21o7l8l The Beats Annual Year End Survey, 2010 edition    Part FiveJim McCann, writer, marketing maven

2010 projects: THE RETURN OF THE DAPPER MEN (an OGN with Janet Lee, coming in October from Archaia), and a super secret project from Marvel I REALLY wish I could mention here but can’t…yet.
 
What was the biggest story in comics in 2009? Everyone is going to say either the Disney/Marvel deal or the Paul Levitz story.  I’d have to say, though, that the biggest story is that comics remained afloat in the worst economic year in recent history.  People want escapism, and comics continued to provide that and I am thankful to the fans that continued to support the industry when so many other industries and print media went under in 2009.

What will be the biggest story in comics in 2010?  I think the continued success of the individual issue format (I refuse to join those ringing the death knell of the paper comic) is something we will keep seeing from an industry standpoint.  From a personal standpoint, I think the HEROIC AGE at Marvel is going to surprise a lot of people in a lot of ways, month after month.

What guilty pleasure (of any kind) are you looking forward to in 2010? Tim Burton’s ALICE IN WONDERLAND in IMAX 3D.  Can I please just see that NOW?!

When I think of comics in the 00s I think of: the honor it has been to become a part of the industry I have grown up loving and dreaming of one day joining.  

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4231029604 4410af301f The Beats Annual Year End Survey, 2010 edition    Part Five

DG 09 The Beats Annual Year End Survey, 2010 edition    Part FiveDan Goldman, cartoonist

2010 Projects: I’m launching my new series RED LIGHT PROPERTIES online at Tor.com this Tuesday, Jan 5th.  It’s a tropical horror-drama series about a family-run real estate agency that exorcizes and sells “previously-haunted homes” to foreclosure victims in the post-mortgage South Florida housing market.
 
What was the biggest story in comics in 2009? Digital distribution, no question about it.  The beginnings of a new marketplace cartoonists can use to get themselves paid only just begun to clicked, with Comixology’s Comics application and AVE! Comics/Trondheim’s Bludzee being standouts to me.  Things are going to be in flux for a while, but the beginning of comics’ evolution in this part of the century started this year.

What will be the biggest story in comics in 2010? As the book publishing industry scrambles to transition to digital distribution, creators are going to start crafting serialized comics experiences instead of “single-use” graphic novels and control the publishing/distribution themselves.  Veteran webcomickers with business models have already figured that out, but as I said, infrastructures are forming that allow cartoonists to craft an ongoing ride for their readers.

What guilty pleasure (of any kind) are you looking forward to in 2010? I’m hoping to do lots of traveling once RLP is in the can; my lady and I just got back last night from a week in the Pantanál region of Brasil and we’ve got the trudging-around-in-nature bug worse than ever.  I’m also hoping to finally get to Japan in 2010 after a life of longing and wistful sighs.

Of The Spheres page 7 The Beats Annual Year End Survey, 2010 edition    Part Five

Gerry Giovinco, writer artist publisher CO2 Comics

2010 Projects: Bill Cucinotta and I are building on the success of our web-comic publishing site www.co2comics.com and gearing up for our first print Projects: a collaboration with David Anthony Kraft that is sure to generate a lot of conversation when it is formally announced. Artwork above: BEM WORKS Presents OF THE SPHERES by Bernie Mireault

What was the biggest story in comics in 2009? The biggest comic industry story in 2009 is also the biggest story of the millennium.

The sale of Marvel to Disney stopped us all in our tracks and left us to ponder what this means for the future of the characters and a brand that most of us grew up idolizing. The fall-out is sure to extend well into the next decade but one thing is made clear by the four billion dollar acquisition, corporate America appreciates the value of superheroes and is willing to put up the money.

If America would value the comics medium as much as the genre that has been specific to it for so long, comic creators and publishers would all be sitting pretty.

What will be the biggest story in comics in 2010? 2010 will redefine direct distribution of comics. Direct to comic shops will be replaced by direct to consumer as more publishers are forced by higher benchmarks to reach their market in more aggressive and creative ways.

Digital Content, Print on Demand, Internet Marketing and Social Networking will continue to establish a new culture of comic readers whose generation appreciates, celebrates and collects comics electronically and in print from the comfort of their home.

Comic conventions will continue to grow, becoming the major place for comic enthusiasts to gather  for an experience of personal camaraderie that will be far more exciting and memorable than a weekly trip to the comic shop and will be another primary avenue for publishers and creators to directly reach the consumer.

On a side note, the Kick Ass movie will ignite a phenomenon of vigilantes running the streets of America enforcing masked justice.

What guilty pleasure (of any kind) are you looking forward to in 2010? My guilty pleasure will be the publication of CO2 Comics’ first print project which I promise will stake a claim for a place in comics history. Hell, that boast, alone, was guilty pleasure enough for me. I can’t wait!

When I think of comics in the 00s I think of: When I think of comics in the 00’s I can’t help but be impressed by the emergence of the graphic novel as the premier product of the industry.

However, I continue to find the coining of the term “floppy,” in regards to comic books, insulting and derogatory, both to the industry that supported itself for more than half a century with the 32 page, saddle-stiched product and to the creators that generated great stories and art guided by this format.

When we witness the final passing of the comic book it will be the blame of industry insiders who embraced the “floppy” mentality for having fatally degraded a core product of a medium that has struggled for decades to achieve a modicum of respect.

Ghost%20Projekt%20%231%20Cover The Beats Annual Year End Survey, 2010 edition    Part Five

Joe Harris, writer

2010 Projects: My first creator-owned books are coming from Oni Press.  The first of which, GHOST PROJEKT #1 (with Steve Rolston drawing) will be released in March.  After a stint working as a screenwriter in Hollywood, I’ve worked my tail off re-investing and re-ingratiating myself within the comics industry and I’ll be launching a slew of new projects like THE HASHISHIAN graphic novel at Oni Press, as well as original collaborations with Adam Pollina, Ethan Van Sciver and other talented people and wonderful publishers I *wish* I could tell you more about now.

Also, more CREEPY stories coming from Dark Horse.

What was the biggest story in comics in 2009? Disney buying Marvel, easy.  I feel like I’ve seen that coming for the past decade.

What will be the biggest story in comics in 2010? Advances in companies’ digital delivery strategies, and more properties both picked up by Hollywood studios and production companies, as well as those grown as “transmedia” projects from the outset spanning different media platforms (comics, movies, video games, etc.) at once from conception.

What guilty pleasure (of any kind) are you looking forward to in 2010? Waiting for this trainwreck of a Knicks season to end so we can sign LeBron James.  It’s going to happen, New York.  Preparing to watch the Yankees defend their World Series Championship is always a pleasure of mine, guilt-free.

J.T. Yost, cartoonist

2010 Projects: My biggest (or littlest, actually) project is a new baby! Her name is Lulu, and she was born during the great blizzard of ’09 on the winter solstice (12/21), which pretty much guarantees she’ll have psychic abilities. As far as comics go, I’m working on the second chapter of my ‘Losers Weepers’ series which constructs a narrative around journals, letters, notes and other detritus I’ve found on the streets over the years.
 
What was the biggest story in comics in 2009? It turns out that Garfield hates Mondays.

What will be the biggest story in comics in 2010? In Garfield’s 50th book, “Garfield Faces Reality”, Dr. Liz advises him to undergo gastric bypass surgery to alleviate his morbid obesity. Also, Garfield throws two eggs and a piece of bacon at John’s face.

What guilty pleasure (of any kind) are you looking forward to in 2010? I’m hoping that “The Pick-up Artist” gets another season, but I seriously doubt that will happen.  I love that a dude taking fashion cues from the 4 Non Blondes singer is giving advice on how to pick up women.

hd6alt The Beats Annual Year End Survey, 2010 edition    Part Five

clayhead The Beats Annual Year End Survey, 2010 edition    Part Five
B. Clay Moore, writer

2010 Projects: A new creator-owned project with Tony Harris to finally debut in 2010, a new WildStorm project, Billy Smoke (Oni), Great Big Hawaiian Dick (Image) (above), and assorted unmentionables at this time, including work in other media.

What was the biggest story in comics in 2009? The pursuit of digital distribution and the great strides taken toward making it work.

What will be the biggest story in comics in 2010? The mining of comic books for Hollywood gold.

When I think of comics in the 00s I think of: Joe Quesada and Dan Didio

Charles Brownstein, Executive director, Comic Book Legal Defense Fund

2010 Projects: The Oddly Compelling Art of Denis Kitchen, a comprehensive retrospective of his cartooning will be published by Dark Horse.  I contributed the biographical essay.
 
What was the biggest story in comics in 2009? The 10 Days That Shook The World

What will be the biggest story in comics in 2010? The 10 Days That Shook The World

What guilty pleasure (of any kind) are you looking forward to in 2010? Iron Maiden is rumored to be releasing a new album, which I will listen to while reading the second volume of Prison Pit!

When I think of comics in the 00s I think of: When comics became part of the entertainment mainstream.

lacy2qg0 The Beats Annual Year End Survey, 2010 edition    Part FiveRick Lacy, artist
 
2010 Projects:  Actually, 2009 was a year of wrapping up projects, so I have a slew of new one’s to look forward to in 2010.  I just put the finishing touches on character design for the fourth season of the Venture Bros. and should be back there in early ’10 for additional finale artwork.  I’m always working on my original GN, Labor Days, which wrapped up it’s first arc this year.  My creative partner, Phil Gelatt and I have roughed out another arc for that book, but it might get shelved for a while as we chase a child friendly tome-ology idea instead.  Most recently though I’ve been putting pencil to paper on a miniseries with writer Frank Beaton which Image is interested in publishing. 

What was the biggest story in comics in 2009?  I suppose with my feet in both animation and comics, the Disney/Marvel merger was the most note worthy.  I recall not being too surprised by this though.  A sort of “oh, huh.  Howdya like that” attitude towards it.  Two big companies going into business together to become bigger and richer.

What will be the biggest story in comics in 2010? The messy breakup of Disneyman and Marvelgirl.  Who gets too keep the castle?

When I think of comics in the 00s I think of: Swarm! Swarm! Swarm! Everyone and anyone blew this industry up.  Everywhere you look comic books had made their imprint as an undeniable industry and brand.  The indie comics scene continued to fight out from under the saturating foot of the capes to be noticed. The capes continued to enlist “indie” artists into their fold.  Titles were optioned, made and forgotten.  Celebrities tried writing.  Artist tried living.  And everything stayed the same.

bwcul The Beats Annual Year End Survey, 2010 edition    Part FiveCully Hamner, artist
2010 Projects:  Currently and for the foreseeable future I’m doing the Question feature with Greg Rucka running in DETECTIVE COMICS every month, and the film version of Warren Ellis’ and my comic RED, hits theaters in October!
 
What was the biggest story in comics in 2009?  Oh, Disney buying Marvel, no question, followed by the changing of the guard at DC.  Actually, the fact that it all came out within about a week of one another makes it all one big, seismic story to me.


What will be the biggest story in comics in 2010?  I think some things are going to happen on the digital side that are going to have far-reaching implications.  Also, I think someone somewhere will do or say something that enrages the professional community, and we will come together en masse and shout at that person online.  Just a guess.

What guilty pleasure (of any kind) are you looking forward to in 2010?  I assure you that any pleasure I have reason to feel guilty about, I’ll keep to myself…

When I think of comics in the 00s I think of:  …An industry uncertain and in flux at the beginning and humming along just fine at the end.  I think of the several times the community came together in the face of adversity or an injustice.  I also think of the loss of a dear, dear friend, Mike Wieringo. 

Paul Kaminski, Assistant Editor at Archie Comics

2010 Projects: The craziest and subsequently the greatest project has to be “Sonic Who’s Who: The Way Past Cool Guide to Sonic the Hedgehog.” It’s the first definitive companion to the Sonic comic universe including everything that’s ever happened to Sonic since his license with Archie Comics began in the nineties. Just as exciting is the conclusion to the “Iron Dominion Saga” which began last year. It will introduce a new line of way cool super villains and the first ever crossover between “Sonic: The Hedgehog” and its sister title “Sonic Universe.” Lastly, for new fans and true fans alike, 2010’s Sonic Free Comic Book Day issue resurrects a Robotnik badnik as never seen before.

What was the biggest story in comics in 2009? Disney purchasing Marvel completely changes the face of the comics industry. The two biggest titans are now both owned by big big companies, huge even! The corporatism of comics is now complete. It’s the end of the comic industry’s age of innocents. It’s like Thor and Locke fighting through Donald Blake and a hobo. Also, it must be mentioned because you can’t ignore it, the Archie Wedding Story Arc was big news; it actually outsold Sonic for a while for cryin’ out loud!

What will be the biggest story in comics in 2010?
I’ll be watching to see if Vertigo’s grit can make the translation from comic movement to television gold. I’m interested in “Fables” in particular because–aside from Sonic–it’s the greatest ongoing ensemble cast book currently in publication. I’m also hoping “Y the Last Man” will find a home in an HBO mini-series, a movie is too limited to do the series the justice it deserves.

When I think of comics in the 00s I think of: ..the renaissance of comics. Is that too corny? I don’t care. I really believe that the decade has seen the triumphant struggle of comics finally adapting into the digital era. Even so we’ve only just touched the surface of what’s possible.

Fernando Ruiz, Writer/Artist at Archie Comics

2010 Projects: I’m currently working on a super top-secret project that’s the most fun I’ve had in my entire career. The storyline is the most thrilling and action-packed adventure Riverdale has ever seen!

What was the biggest story in comics in 2009? A lot of people were reading DC’s Blackest Night and Marvel’s Dark Reign, but I was following Archie’s Archie Marries Veronica storyline. Everywhere I went, this is what people were talking to me about.

What will be the biggest story in comics in 2010? I’m looking for more and more comics to move online and be available on iTunes.

What guilty pleasure (of any kind) are you looking forward to in 2010? I’m looking forward to more episodes of GLEE on TV.

 The Beats Annual Year End Survey, 2010 edition    Part FiveNina Kester, Director of New Media, Archie Comics

2010 Projects: “Jughead #200” is the absolute greatest Archie Comics script I have ever read! Tom Root of Robot Chicken fame and Rex Lindsey’s artwork is to drool for. Also the Archie Free Comic Book Day issue is looking super hot with all of Riverdale ready to kick up sand in the summer themed feature. Most recently, I’ve gotten to dip my toes in Stephen Oswald’s “Adventures in the Wonder Realm.”  Stephen’s writing paired with the legendary Joe Staton absolutely gets the high score.

What was the biggest story in comics in 2009? So there’s the Archie Wedding twist and all the fan art of Mickey as Wolverine, but for me the biggest event in comics this year was Grant Morrison and Frank Quitely’s premier of the “Batman and Robin” series. I know it’s not international news or a corporate takeover but I had been waiting for this ever since they first did “All-Star Superman” three years ago. It’s really a girls dream come true. Speaking of which, the biggest story of 2009, “Asterios Polyp,” was the most phenomenal comic work I’ve seen in ages. After his interview at MoCCA I spent the whole train ride, every subsequent step home, and the following hours/days/weeks/months—I don’t know because I lost track—examining it and confirming my staunch belief that David Mazzucchelli is an absolute genius, no ifs, ands or buts!

What will be the biggest story in comics in 2010? I think the rise of new comic events like King-Con and other conventions in Brooklyn will be an exciting development to keep track of in the year to come. I’m really curious how they will find their “nitch” in the culture of comics amongst the monoliths of NYCC, SDCC and others.

When I think of comics in the 00s I think of……the rise of Indy. Comics have become the new “Book” and there’s more freedom than ever before because of that. Someday there’s going to be a Comic book “Barnes & Noble” and that will be quite the day.

amd mkreed The Beats Annual Year End Survey, 2010 edition    Part FiveMK Reed, cartoonist

2010 Projects: An adaptation of the Tain Bo Cuailgne.

What was the biggest story in comics in 2009? The adaptation to the new comics distribution rules.

What will be the biggest story in comics in 2010? The abandonment of print for the autonomy of web comics by even those cartoonists that were also the last holdouts to get cell phones.

MarcHempel MundensBarTPB CMYK 450 The Beats Annual Year End Survey, 2010 edition    Part Five

Glenn%20Hauman%202009 The Beats Annual Year End Survey, 2010 edition    Part FiveGlenn Hauman, VP Production/utility infielder, ComicMix.

2010 Projects: A graphic novel and two comics a month for IDW for the foreseeable future. In the pipeline: Simone & Ajax by Andrew Pepoy, Lone Justice by Robert Tinnell and Mark Wheatley, The Pilgrim by Mark Ryan and Mike Grell, a new Munden’s Bar anthology and an upcoming project by Timothy Truman. For starters.

What was the biggest story in comics in 2009? The ownership of over two-thirds of the comics publishers changed hands in under two weeks. Anybody who says otherwise is clinically insane.

What will be the biggest story in comics in 2010? There are a bunch of stories that I can predict, but I’ll leave out all the bad news forecasts and just concentrate on the good ones.

* The tablet computer will arrive, particularly one from a company whose CEO is  the single largest shareholder in Marvel’s new owner. At that point, the entire industry changes.

* IRON MAN 2.0 will have an opening weekend of $120 million+. KICK ASS will open with about $50 million.

What guilty pleasure (of any kind) are you looking forward to in 2010? Being proven right, and having the world recognize my genius! Mwahahahahah! And you shall all bow down and tremble before m– ahem. Just watching certain long-term plans come to fruition. Why, what have you heard?

Oh, all right. It’s a toss-up between finding the time to color the next Jon Sable project and impersonating Torsten Adair.

WonderWoman 1 The Beats Annual Year End Survey, 2010 edition    Part Five
Charles Kochman, Executive Editor, Abrams ComicArts

2010 Projects: Along with the other editors on the Abrams ComicArts team, Sofia Gutiérrez and Sheila Keenan, and contributing editors from Amulet Books, Maggie Lehrman and Tamar Brazis, in 2010 we will publish the following titles starting this Spring: Art in Time: Unknown Comic Book Adventures, 1940-1980 (Dan Nadel); The Art of Jaime Hernandez: Secrets of Life and Death (Todd Hignite); The Simpsons Futurama Crossover Crisis (Matt Groening); Wacky Packages New New New (Topps); Meanwhile (Jason Shiga); The Wimpy Kid Movie Diary (Jeff Kinney); and in the Fall: SHAZAM! The Golden Age of the World’s Mightiest Mortal (Chip Kidd); Hereville: How Mirka Got Her Sword (Barry Deutsch); The Night Bookmobile (Audrey Niffenegger); Jerry Robinson: Ambassador of Comics (Chris Couch); Krazy Kat and the World of George Herriman (Craig Yoe); The Horror! The Horror! Comic Books the Government Didn’t Want You to Read (Jim Trombetta); and a HUGE title still to be announced. (Hint: They lived happily ever after.)
 
What was the biggest story in comics in 2009? 2009 was like 1986 all over again, only instead of watershed super hero comics, this was a fertile period of graphic novels by mainstream publishers, either autobiographical or non-fiction, all of which were easily relatable. David Mazzucchelli’s Asterios Polyp (Pantheon); David Small’s Stitches (Norton); Logicomix: An Epic Search for Truth by Apostolos Doxiadis and Christos Papadimitriou (Bloomsbury); Robert Crumb’s Genesis (Norton); and (although I’m biased) Brian Fies’s Whatever Happened to the World of Tomorrow? (Abrams ComicArts). Sure Watchmen sold and sold and sold (even a mediocre movie will drive book sales), but in 2009 mainstream book publishers emerged from the shadows of the comic book companies and pushed the boundaries of the medium and broke new ground for the acceptance of comics.

What will be the biggest story in comics in 2010? A DC Comics and MAD Magazine without Paul Levitz as President and Publisher. To quote Donald Rumsfeld, “There are known knowns. These are things we know that we know. There are known unknowns. That is to say, there are things that we know we don’t know. But there are also unknown unknowns. There are things we don’t know we don’t know.”

What guilty pleasure (of any kind) are you looking forward to in 2010? Books: Backing Into Forward, a memoir by Jules Feiffer (Knopf Doubleday) and Al Jaffee’s Mad Life, a biography by Mary-Lou Weisman (HarperCollins). Comics: Market Day by James Strum (Drawn & Quarterly); the Wednesday Comics collection (DC Comics); the long-awaited Superman vs. Muhammad Ali reprint (DC Comics); and Krazy Kat by Peter Maresca. Movies: Tim Burton’s Alice in Wonderland (3/5); Diary of a Wimpy Kid (4/2); Iron Man 2 (5/7); and Toy Story 3 (6/18). Theatre: A View From the Bridge with Scarlett Johansson (1/24) and The Addams Family (4/8).

pps18+19 tm The Beats Annual Year End Survey, 2010 edition    Part Five

pic5 The Beats Annual Year End Survey, 2010 edition    Part FiveJock, artist

2010 Projects: Right now, DETECTIVE COMICS with Greg Rucka, SNAPSHOT with Andy Diggle and covers for the wonderful SCALPED by Jason Aaron and R M Guera. Also working on art for THE LOSERS movie (out April 9th) alongside concept art for the new JUDGE DREDD movie adaptation and the BATTLESHIP movie too. Already completed, but out Feb is HELLBLAZER PANDEMONIUM – a 124pp hc OGN with Jamie Delano.
 
What was the biggest story in comics in 2009? the coming together of Marvel, DC and Guinness in a bar in NYC.

What will be the biggest story in comics in 2010? i’m not great with news… maybe the evolution of digital vs print?

What guilty pleasure (of any kind) are you looking forward to in 2010? a personal one, but going to the premiere of THE LOSERS!

Steve Ellis, artist

2010 projects: Drawing and co-creating HIGH MOON for Zuda/DC and Box13 for Comixology. I’m looking forward to a few new things along the way that are in the works as well

What was the biggest story in comics in 2009? For Superhero Comics:Probably the Disney buys Marvel Deal, although the DC shifts might have more of an effect in the long run. Disney has said they’d leave Marvel alone, but no one at Warner has said the same about DC.

For everybody else? It’s probably that more publishers and readers are interested in new types of projects really stretching the tights of what the word “comics” mean. New platforms like the iphone, and older platforms like the internet have really started to come of age. the quality of the comics you can find online is astounding.Maybe we’ll start really getting some new readers and finding a wider, more attentive audience.

What will be the biggest story in comics in 2010? New Platforms coming up, tablet PCs( Hello Mac tablet!) Droid, will really open up the medium for new readers. It’s time for creators to try new things and reinvent the medium once again!

What guilty pleasure (of any kind) are you looking forward to in 2010? More Duncan Fegredo on Hellboy I hope

When I think of comics in the 00s I think of: Comics finally starting to get over their image problem with audiences finding that they have a lot more to say than”POW BOOM SMASH!” (Not that I don’t like that kind of stuff)

masseffectredemption1 The Beats Annual Year End Survey, 2010 edition    Part FiveJohn Jackson Miller, writer, chronicler

2010 Projects: I’m scripter on one of the first new series out of the gate in 2010: MASS EFFECT: REDEMPTION, which is set in the world of the popular MASS EFFECT video game franchise. Our first issue ships from Dark Horse Jan. 6, in advance of the release of the MASS EFFECT 2 game. My STAR WARS: KNIGHTS OF THE OLD REPUBLIC series finishes its run with the climactic 50th issue later this winter, and my STAR WARS: LOST TRIBE OF THE SITH series continues from Del Rey, as well as some other projects I can’t mention yet. My webcomic with Chuck Fiala, SWORD & SARCASM (www.swordandsarcasm.com) enters its third year — and, of course, I continue to post more of my historical research on The Comics Chronicles website (www.comichron.com), where we’ve got some interesting things planned for 2010.

What was the biggest story in comics in 2009? Viewed from the perspective of today, there’s really no contest — it’s the resilience of the comics market in the face of broader economic chaos. Dollarwise, the performance of the industry in 2009 will wind up pretty close to 2008 and 2007 — that’s a performance most industries would take in a heartbeat. Through a combination of accident and design, comics have wound up with one of the healthiest distribution models in all print publishing. That’s news to cheer.

However, when we look back from further down the road — which is what I do in my research — I’m guessing the more telling feature of 2009 will be the increase in cover prices. The gap between the $2.99 and $3.99 price points is large in historical standards; when we went from 15 to 20 cents in the early 1970s, both Marvel and DC altered the comics package in response, concerned that fans couldn’t handle such a jump. There are efforts at adding value again now, which may help — but the critical factor has to be that the periodical-to-trade dynamic continues to work financially. An OGN-only model is, at present, something the industry isn’t set up for. Nothing guarantees the permanent existence of the current model, but we do want to make sure that whatever we move to in the future brings as many of the industry’s participants along as possible, while reaching more readers.

What will be the biggest story in comics in 2010? The health of the major mass-market bookstore chains continues to be a concern. As I’ve written before, the thing that gets us out of the last crisis in comics usually gets us into the next one: the mass TPB market has brought many new dollars and readers to comics, but it’s also subject to other pressures that are outside our control. A general economic recovery in 2010 might help put those outlets on a surer footing, but it’s something to watch out for in any case.

What guilty pleasure (of any kind) are you looking forward to in 2010? Cheering on our Olympic curling team as they try to get the gold this year. Very strange sport, but very big up here in my neck of the woods. Any sport where a bunch of guys running a pizza place in Bemidji, Minnesota can medal in the Olympics is a sport I can get behind!

When I think of comics in the 00s I think of: A period we don’t have a name for — we’ve run out of metals to use for Ages! But we shouldn’t feel bad — no one else has figured out what to call the decade anyway. I always favored the “double-naughties,” but I guess Jethro Bodine’s endoresement only goes so far!

 The Beats Annual Year End Survey, 2010 edition    Part FiveAnne Ishii, writer, translator

2010 Projects: Detroit Metal City

What was the biggest story in comics in 2009? I was too busy paying attention only to myself and DMC so I’m no doubt missing real “comics news” (like marvel wedding disney), but I do objectively think death/black metal made good waves in comics this year. Dethlok on The Goon was awesome, and DMC cross-promoting the movie ‘Anvil’ was apt. But until Ramstein ritually slaughters 3 virgins (or Canadians) in the next Scott Pilgrim, I won’t consider the dawn of metal to have truly risen on the comics horizon.

What will be the biggest story in comics in 2010? Whichever 3 virgins/Canadians are chosen for ritual slaughter in Scott Pilgrim.

What guilty pleasure (of any kind) are you looking forward to in 2010? Kind of just answered that, but in all seriousness, I’m disgusted with publishing/marketing, so I’m looking forward to seeing the grass roots comics festival market completely take over the trade publishing exhibition circuit. I can count at least six comics or manga festivals that took place in New York City alone (and to great success). Meanwhile trade pub festivals don’t have two nickels to start a fire.

When I think of comics in the 00s I think of: Manga epistemology in America. Low-brow and high-brow manga, its very dichotomy, its complexity, its history, its sociology, its economy, its exoticism, its market-richness, all set foot in America in the 00s. And with the advent of Manga in America came my career. Thank you, Buddha for making wonderful manga fodder. Thank you Tezuka, for being the “god/godfather/grandfather of manga” or however we translated your greatness. Thank you, America, for questioning every single move we manga publishers made: it legitimated our self-importance. Thank you, Naruto. With nothing but a plated-headband and a Jersey Shore hairdo, you’ve tripled enrollment in Japanese language classes. Thank you fellow publishers, for coining the term “flipped.” Now no one will ever know if I’m talking about manga format or giving the finger.

Comments

  1. WE WON! WE WON!

  2. pirouette says:

    Hey, the guy from Abrams ComicArts spills some juicy beans, and further googling reveals this:

    http://www.middlebury.edu/administration/middmag/class_notes/summer_2009/60s.htm

    Jim Trombetta reports that his writing seems to be bearing some fruit. “My book The Horror! The Horror! The Comic Books Your Government Didn’t Want You to Read will be published by Harry N. Abrams, the distinguished art publisher, this fall. It is a definitive all-color collection of horror comics from the early ’50s, of which there were hundreds, and which were banned (all but literally) in Senate hearings. Some of them haven’t been seen since about 1954. The book will contain material from the comics in my own collection, including many, many covers in a wide range of styles and at least sixteen interior stories. Fortunately, my wife Cornelia invented a system by which 300 fragile comic books could be cataloged and shipped to Abrams and thence to China to be scanned. Many of the comics are truly outrageous, even for today. I’ve written a text in which I argue that these pariah works communicate the unspoken (and unspeakable) inner history of the early ’50s with its Red scares, Korean War, nuclear threat, and post-traumatic stress from WWII.”

  3. Anne Ishii’s responses had me laughing out loud, particularly the last.

  4. Torsten Adair says:

    What do we title the current “age” of comics? I prefer: “The Renaissance”. American comics found new methods and inspiration from foreign comics. Old masters inspired new creativity. Classics were rediscovered and published, and these books which were once obscure are now readily available at bookstores, schools, and libraries. New technology allows for wider and easier distribution and collaboration and information.

    Or we can dub it “the electronic age”, c.1984 with the first comic drawn on a Macintosh. Malibu color, Comicraft lettering, Dysfunctional Family Circus via FTP, Compuserve, rec.arts.comics, CrossGen…

  5. I’ve always thought of this is being the “Information Age” of comics and I mark its beginning with the publication of Overstreet #1. Before that I think comics were collected mostly because the person saving them loved them for the pure joy of re-reading them.

    Since the advent of widely distributed price lists, the rise of comic book conventions, comic books stores and the direct sales market, and all the books and articles written about the history of comics, for better or for worse, comics have increasingly been regarded something worth investing in.

    The negative end of this is that so many vintage comics are eternally entombed in slabs and have become fetishes that no longer have anything to do with why they came into existence in the first place. They are now objects to be bought, sold, and traded like gold bullion.

    The positive end of this is that so many classic comics still exist so can be restored, remastered, and otherwise rejiggered and go back into print in collections, archives, and omnibuses. The great old stories are out there, alive, ready to be devoured by new generations of comics fans.

    I will be the first to agree that by my own argument you can peg the “Information Age” on other events: the first fanzines and apas like Alter Ego & RBCC, Lupoff & Thompson’s “All In Color For A Dime” Jules Feiffer’s “The Great Comic Book Heroes,” etc, etc. (Well, those are the examples that made a difference in MY life.)

    What binds all of those events together is that all triggered the ever wider dissemination of information and awareness that comics weren’t junk. That lovers of comics weren’t alone in their love of the medium.

    (Geeez, I really do sound like a geezer, don’t I?)

Trackbacks

  1. […] • Likewise, Heidi MacDonald winds down her year-end survey of industry professionals here and here. […]

  2. […] the goodly Mr. Hibbs, like maybe Erik Larsen, I was reading the Beat’s Annual End of the Year survey– the word tablet was used by the all-professional respondents 23 separate times. […]

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