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

Wow, we had SO many responses there WILL BE A PART FOUR. And maybe a part five. Although there’s a perhaps not-so-surpsiing consensus on the biggest stories of ’09 and ’10, keep checking for the exclusive art previews, news of new projects and, of course, charming headshots. Thanks to everyone who participated! Below the cut, everyone from Keith Giffen to Jillian Tamaki.

Icbtwocoverwebres

Amd JeffreybrownJeffrey Brown, cartoonist

2010 projects: Illustrating the latest in the zombie book craze – “Paul Is Undead”, zombies meet the Beatles, and working on Incredible Change-Bots Two (above). I also just finished the second cat book, “Cats Are Weird”
 
What was the biggest story in comics in 2009? I would say the changes at the big two comics publishers – DC with its corporate restructuring or whatever, and Marvel being acquired by Disney. A slight edge to the Marvel/Disney deal, since that seems to me the potentially more impacting event.

What will be the biggest story in comics in 2010? The Independent Film Channel will acquire Top Shelf, and shortly thereafter announces film adaptations of Blankets and Lost Girls. Win-win for everyone involved.

What guilty pleasure (of any kind) are you looking forward to in 2010? I probably won’t have time for any guilty pleasures next year. Only well reasoned, legitimate pleasure for me.

When I think of comics in the 00s I think of: The rise of literary/alternative comics, the rise of webcomics, the rise of comic art shows, and the rise of super company wide crossover events.

Fred Van Lente, writer

2010 projects Comic Book Comics, Iron Man: Legacy, Amazing Spider-Man, Hercules, and all the secret crap I can’t mention.
 
What was the biggest story in comics in 2009? Disney/Marvel merger (albeit unfinalized). It’ll be interesting to see how (and if) these two giants can use each other’s strengths to expand the market.

What will be the biggest story in comics in 2010? Digital comics market collapses after comics now come in more convenient pill form. 

When I think of comics in the 00s I think of: It holds the year “I broke in,” 2005, with both Marvel and the premiere of ACTION PHILOSOPHERS. Ergo, it’s one of my favorite decades, in a close tie with the 1870s.

Jeff Webber, Director of ePublishing IDW

2010 Projects: IDW digital publishing

What was the biggest story in comics in 2009? Sure, Marvel and DC corporate changes are huge. But aside from business news coverage, the average comic reader hasn’t really been affected. 

As far as readers, it’s all about how digital is finally taking off. The iPhone has become the default handheld device, but with the PSP Digital Comics launch this week, Kindle, Nook, etc., digital comics are integral part of the comics world. One of the most important parts is bringing comics to whole new audiences … yes, that is really happening, I’d argue that actual readership has expanded in more in the past year than any year in the past decade.

What will be the biggest story in comics in 2010? 1. Digital comics on tablets and TV screens.
2. Marvel movies.

What guilty pleasure (of any kind) are you looking forward to in 2010? Iron Man at the movies
Matt Fraction’s Thor

Img 4475Vasilis Lolos, artist

2010 Projects:The Last Call vol2, finishing Pirates of Coney island and a satan-loving nymph-chashing printbook.
 
What was the biggest story in comics in 2009? I guess no news are good news? I think 09 was a pretty stable year and that is always good with comics.

What will be the biggest story in comics in 2010? Hopefully a weekly-monthly anthology that pulls no punches and lasts more than 2010, that would be a really good thing.

What guilty pleasure (of any kind) are you looking forward to in 2010? Dude, Twilight. I wanna play superhuman baseball in the rain with Muse blasting.

GiffenKeith Giffen, cartoonist

2010 Projects: Kind of awkward here.  I can mention Doom Patrol (which DC will have to crow bar me off of) but not the other two projects I’m heading into.
 
What was the biggest story in comics in 2009? I guess it’s that whole Marvel / Disney thing.  Am I the only one sees a red flag flying? 

What will be the biggest story in comics in 2010? Probably that red flag.

What guilty pleasure (of any kind) are you looking forward to in 2010? Since I’m well into my 50′s, that’d be the release of Bioshock II.

When I think of comics in the 00s I think of: Root canals.
 
David Gallaher, writer

2010 Projects: I’m currently writing the fourth season of the Harvey Award-winning webseries HIGH MOON for DC/Zuda Comics. I’m also writing the serialized digital series BOX 13 for comiXology. And I just completed HULK: WINTER GUARD for Marvel, which is in stores now.  

What was the biggest story in comics in 2009? “Disney Buys Marvel!” – When I worked a Marvel ten years ago, we were barely keeping our heads above water. What a difference a decade has made. It’s an amazing thing, really – and something that I truly feel will be better for Marvel and comics as a whole. 

What will be the biggest story in comics in 2010? “Meet The New Publisher of DC Comics”. I believe this event will bring with it a renewed vision and focus. I also believe you will finally see DC unveil their ‘digital comics’ strategy across a broad spectrum of platforms.   

What guilty pleasure (of any kind) are you looking forward to in 2010? I’m tempted to say IRON MAN 2, but I think I’m actually more excited for the THOR trailer that I’m positive will leak onto the internet right around ComicCon.

When I think of comics in the 00s I think of: How much worse the 90s were. 

Pvs New Orleans SmallVan Jensen, writer

2010 Projects: Artist Dustin Higgins is currently illustrating my script to Pinocchio, Vampire Slayer 2, due out in 2010. I have three other graphic novels in development: the crime noir Two Dead, the children’s superhero story A Planet Without Heroes, and The Leg, about the adventures of the disembodied leg of Santa Anna in 1930s Mexico.
 
What was the biggest story in comics in 2009? The obvious answer is that this was the year Marvel and DC became BIG business, as opposed to Big business. And that likely could end up being the biggest thing we remember from 2009 when looking back a decade from now. But if we’re looking for a potential industry-wide paradigm shift, the more important story going forward will be the first organized efforts from most publishers to enter the digital world. As comics and graphic novels exploded in growth over the past decade, we learned the existing distribution system wasn’t built to handle what the industry was becoming. We’re still a long way from where we’re going as an industry. But 2009 struck me as the year that essentially everyone realized we needed to start making that future. Comics on the iPhone exploded, Longbox came along, books started to appear on Amazon’s Kindle. One of the most telling signs of the tectonic shift was Marvel announcing it didn’t give a crap about comics on the iPhone, and then within months sending out a press release to celebrate the launch of its comic-as-app initiative. As I’ve written before, digital publishing offers some interesting possibilities as a potential savior for the monthly comic. It also holds the potential to level the playing field. Just look at the success of independent game design studios in this new, digital arena. Maybe just as importantly, this year saw the beginning of publishers large and small moving away from single issues and toward immediate trades or stand-alone graphic novels. I suspect come 2019, we’ll see an industry that would be hard to recognize now, but would have been unimaginable last year.

What will be the biggest story in comics in 2010? E-readers. Most likely, we’ll see whatever Apple is working on (the Tablet?), and I expect Amazon to release a fourth iteration of the Kindle. Possibly with color (those Amazon folks are coy). We’re approaching a moment of choice between all these devices, and the one that wins out is going to be an important outlet for comics (particularly the more literary ones). Cartoonist Andy Runton is also a Georgia Institute of Technology grad, and he made the astute point that we also need to adopt a predominant digital book file format. In other words, digital books will be able to become much bigger when we find the e-book equivalent of the mp3. Right now, there are a dozen or more formats, each with plenty of drawbacks.

When I think of comics in the 00s I think of: Adolescence. The medium stagnated in America for a very long time, with only rare scattered bursts of exceptional creation. After the doldrums of the 1990s, we finally saw comics become accepted critically, commercially, academically and socially in the past decade. The 2000s saw a substantial amount of quality material produced, too much to begin listing. But when I look back on those books, I see a lot of room for growth for comics as an art form. I’m not sure a true American comics masterpiece yet exists. In the next decade, as the next generation of creators seek to outdo the current one, we’ll see material that has moved far beyond what is currently on shelves. I hope.

Tune CoverDerek Kirk Kim, cartoonist

2010 Projects: The first book of “TUNE,” my most ambitious project to date. Currently being serialized online every weekday at lowbright.com. Book version comes out from First Second Books probably in 2011.

What will be the biggest story in comics in 2010? The release of “Meanwhile” by Jason Shiga from Abrams Books.
 
When I think of comics in the 00s I think of: The Silver Age of Comics. Probably the most significant decade in terms of long-form comics of all varieties, not just super hero comics, finally seeping into the eye and mind of the general art-appreciating public. This decade also brought the long-awaited and long-predicted paradigm shift in format to the graphic novel, deep penetration into mainstream book store chains, libraries, and academia, and opened the flood gates to an unending stream of earnest major adaptations into other media. The 90′s (and the late 80′s) were the Golden Age of comics creativity, and the 00′s reaped the rewards of all the kids that grew up in that revolution. Just like the 10′s will reap the rewards of all the kids that grew up on manga.

Oh, and Spider-Man killing Mary Jane with his jizz.

Jim Ottaviani, writer

2010 Projects: The Imitation Game (with Leland Purvis, for Tor.com; it’s about Alan Turing).
Primates (with Maris Wicks, from First Second; it’s about Jane Goodall, Dian Fossey, and Birute Galdikas).
Feynman (with Leland Myrick, also from First Second; it’s about Richard Feynman, of course).
An undisclosed work of not-non-fiction.

What was the biggest story in comics in 2009? Far more people want to get four-day passes to Comic-con in San Diego than are buying copies of the big two’s core ongoing titles in any given month. So something was recession-proof, at least!

What guilty pleasure (of any kind) are you looking forward to in 2010? Shazam: The Monster Society of Evil (DC Comics Classics Library), which I will not feel guilty about buying or reading.

When I think of comics in the 00s I think of: More great graphic novels to read than I had time for. A good decade.

Danielle Corsetto, cartoonist
2010 Projects: Website re-design for Girls With Slingshots! And a graphic novel I’m planning to finish by 2012 (’cause I’m being realistic).
 
What was the biggest story in comics in 2009? I’m sure if I’d read The Beat more often, I would know the answer to this!

What will be the biggest story in comics in 2010? Erika Moen is working on a new project! Zach Weiner’s SMBC Theater becomes A HUGE DEAL!! Okay, those would be big news in MY book. :)

What guilty pleasure (of any kind) are you looking forward to in 2010? More Baby-Sitters Club books from Raina Telgemeier! (Assuming she’s not finished yet – they’re spectacular and they make me cry every time I read them!)

Braveplay

AdlA. David Lewis, writer

2010 Projects: Brave Play (mid-2010) (Above), Graven Images: Religion in Comic Books & Graphic Novels essay collection (Fall 2010)

What was the biggest story in comics in 2009? Disney buying Marvel was the biggest story of 2009. It fills me with both wonder and dread. In some ways, it affirms what most of us have long known about comics, particularly the superhero books: They are a major, legitimate venue for American entertainment and storytelling. At the same time, by becoming part of Disney, any maverick or fringe status once enjoyed (or, rather, enjoyed because it couldn’t be shaken) by Stan’s old bullpen is dead and buried. Warner Brothers didn’t wreck DC — in fact, it gave them a bit of muscle for the book and licensing markets — so I am not seeing this as some harbinger of the end. But it does change Marvel corporately and, perhaps, creatively.

What will be the biggest story in comics in 2010? Besides witnessing the first fruits of Disney’s Marvel acquisition, I’m thinking that the potential release of Craig Thompson’s Habibi is going to be huge. Reportedly, he was already two-thirds of the way through it in May of this year; if he brings as nuanced, emotional, and piercing an eye to either Arabic or Muslim concerns as he did to Evangelical Christianity with Blankets, it’s going to be sensational. Combine Jeff Smith’s Rasl with R. Crumb’s The Book of Genesis Illustrated and Joann Sfar’s The Rabbi’s Cat, with a dash of geopolitical anxieties thrown in for good measure. He’s remained tight-lipped about the story’s content, but that just makes it whet my appetite all the more!

When I think of comics in the 00s I think of: The chain-lightning Big Two events. Identity Crisis…52…Infinite Crisis…Countdown…Final Crisis. Secret War…”Avengers Disassembled”…House of M…Civil War…Secret Invasion…Dark Reign…The Siege. Before 2004, it used to be that company’s “events” were jagged, disconnected free-for-alls, usually resulting in the launch of one or more new (short-lived) characters. I’m thinking “Underworld Unleashed” or “Evolutionary War” or “Genesis.” The 00s redefined the cross-over event as the cross-over chapter, only previously tried (and in a much smaller scale) with “The Fall of the Mutants,” Crisis on Infinite Earths, and Secret Wars. And, while names like Claremont, Wolfman, or Shooter headlined those, the big papa of this evolved event-string has to be Brian Michael Bendis. For all the participation of a Grant Morrison, a Brad Meltzer, or a Mark Waid, it’s Bendis’s Disassembled-to-Siege multi-epic, for better or for worse, that has redefined the role of storyteller and shaped the last decade of comics for me.

Atk ImageAli T. Kokmen, mild-mannered Marketing Manager for Random House Publishing Group/Del Rey

2010 Projects: THE SPLENDID MAGIC OF PENNY ARCADE book (a 11 1/2 anniversary celebration of the awesome webcomic); the ongoing comic book adaptation of Stephen King and Peter Straub’s THE TALISMAN, and, later on in 2010, some pretty cool new graphic novels from some best-selling authors of note. But we’ll leave that until later.
 
What was the biggest story in comics in 2009?  Kinda a lot to choose from, aren’t there? Warner Bros. restructuring DC Comics, Kodansha bringing manga directly to North America, the ongoing consequences of the matured manga market, etc., etc.  But I’m going to go, predictably, with Disney buying Marvel as 2009′s biggest story, or at least the 2009 event most potentially resonant to our comics community.

What will be the biggest story in comics in 2010?  The “real” book publishing industry ended 2009 with a lot of commentary about electronic/new media publishing–what’s reasonable pricing & timing for e-book publication, how should creators be compensated for e-book publication, who should control e-book rights, etc., etc., etc.. I imagine that in 2010 these e-publishing issues will arise significantly for comics as well, and that there may be something–some new killer platform, some promising new device, some bold move by a proprietor, some something–that raises the e-publishing stakes for comics as well.

Or if not that, it’ll be that shortly after IRON MAN 2, they’ll announce that in the third movie, James Rhodes will no longer be played by Don Cheadle but by a desperate-to-change-the-subject Tiger Woods.

What guilty pleasure (of any kind) are you looking forward to in 2010? I think it’s the CLASH OF THE TITANS remake. I know in my heart that it won’t have the stop-motion glory of the Ray Harryhausen original, but I hope that whatever they do, they do right by their creatures.

When I think of comics in the 00s I think of:  Manga.  Truly, was there anything in comics in the 00s of such profound and lasting impact as the popularity and growth of Japanese comics in the North American market?
 
Mdabaie NinjagaidenMarguerite Dabaie, cartoonist

2010 Projects: I’m currently developing a new graphic novel, untitled as of yet. Silk Road-era historical fiction!

What was the biggest story in comics in 2009? The biggest story that comes to my mind is, unfortunately, the implosion of the print industry and the repercussions cartoonists and illustrators will most likely continue to feel in the foreseeable future.

What will be the biggest story in comics in 2010? More affirmation that comics are rad!

What guilty pleasure (of any kind) are you looking forward to in 2010? Oh man, just one? I think I have to go with buying a Mr. Softee ice cream from the first truck I see on the first day it’s warm enough for them to be out. Their ice cream is so blah (and it doesn’t even melt! Creepy.), but nothing shouts, “Yay, it’s spring!” like seeing those guys en masse in Manhattan.

A Man And His DogDan Nadel, publisher PictureBox

2010 Projects: Art in Time: Unknown Comic Book Adventures, 1940-1980 (Abrams, 2010)
If ‘n’ Oof (PictureBox 2010)
Powr Mastrs 3 (PictureBox 2010)

What was the biggest story in comics in 2009? For me: A difficult, beautifully executed graphic  novel finds a broad audience (Asterios Polyp)

What will be the biggest story in comics in 2010? Will the economy catch up with comics? Seems like it.

What guilty pleasure (of any kind) are you looking forward to in 2010? Iron Man 2! Psyched.

When I think of comics in the 00s I think of: Jimmy Corrigan. Still the definitive book of the decade. And a masterpiece.

Spx06D1Ff01Jillian Tamaki, cartoonist/illustrator
2010 Projects: “Indoor Voice”, a small book of short comics (and maybe other stuff), published by D&Q.
 
What was the biggest story in comics in 2009?: Some women made or may not have made some comics or attended comic conventions or been portrayed in comics.

What will be the biggest story in comics in 2010?: Hellen Jo.

What guilty pleasure (of any kind) are you looking forward to in 2010?: The renaissance of Jon Gosselin.

Swto Cv8 Bw-2

Jeff Lemire
2010 Projects: The continuing adventures of Sweet Tooth (issue #8 cover, above) at Vertigo, a new graphic novel for Top Shelf and a new graphic novel with Josh Dysart for Vertigo

What was the biggest story in comics in 2009? Disney and Marvel, DC and Warner were the biggest “stories”, but I think the glut of AMAZING comics was the best story: Asterios Polyp, 3 Story, The Hunter, George Sprott, A Drifting Life, The Lagoon, Alec Omnibus and on and on…

What will be the biggest story in comics in 2010? The apocalypse is coming in April, but comics will survive as our last form of mass communication. Trained rats will travel from survivor camp to survivor camp carrying news and information in the form of crudely scrawled comics.

What guilty pleasure (of any kind) are you looking forward to in 2010? The new edition of DC’s Who’s Who!

When I think of comics in the 00s I think of: Great comics by GREAT talents: Jeffrey Brown, Matt Kindt, Jason Aarron, Frank Quitely, Nate Powell, JH Williams,  Lilli Carre,  R. Kikuo Johnson,  Darwyn Cooke, Renee French and so many more!

Meta4

Img 3566Ted McKeever, cartoonist

2010 Projects: Re-plastering the walls with the freedom to indulge in what the last decade has kept me too busy from doing. 

Meta 4 – Five issues of black & white story and art, all from the ground up and nary a “genetically-gifted” character in site.  Be out around July from Shadowline-Image. Cover preview above.
 
What was the biggest story in comics in 2009? Personally, that the printed comic survived another year to the promise of its “online-digital” format demise. But actually it was The Mouse buying The Spider.

What will be the biggest story in comics in 2010?That the black & white comic will return to the glory it so muchly deserves. And this time actually stay the course and not inundate the market with tons of crap like it did in the early 90′s.

Oh, wait, you said “will”, as in certainty.

In that case, probably some kind of massive fifteen-issue crossover to the levels of heaven and hell with limited covers made of cheese and shiny logos.

What guilty pleasure (of any kind) are you looking forward to in 2010? The return of the comic that actually gets read so many times the staples fall out, and never sees a friggin’ mylar bag.

When I think of comics in the 00s I think of: All the money I saved.

ScottchristinsavaScott Christian Sava, Owner of Blue Dream Studios (Imprint of IDW). Creator of The Dreamland Chronicles (graphic novel series and online comic) as well as several “kids graphic novels”.

2010 Projects: Just finished up The Dreamland Chronicles Book 4. Also…we have 3 more Kids Graphic Novels coming out in 2010. Magic Carpet with artist Tracy Bailey. The Luckiest Boy with artist Joseph Bergin III. And Animal Crackers again with artist Tracy Bailey. All books are through IDW. Oh. We’re also launching a kids comic book website in early February. Free comics for kids to read online! Should be fun.
 
What was the biggest story in comics in 2009? Gotta be the Marvel buyout. Wow. Will Disney close down publishing? Merge them with Hyperion? Who knows.

What will be the biggest story in comics in 2010? God. I HOPE it’ll be the “Kindle Killer” color tablet by Apple. I just picked up several Marvel Omnibuses. Those things are freakin’ HUGE!

Then I think…”wouldn’t it be great to have EVERY COMIC BOOK EVER on one beautiful tablet?” Yeah…it would. Can’t wait.

When I think of comics in the 00s I think of: Going digital. Seeing new readers from around the world get into comics online. It’s amazing how popular webcomics have become.

Castellucci Author PhotoCecil Castellucci, writer

2010 Projects: Non Comics: 
Grandma’s Gloves (picture book) Candlewick 2010
Rose Sees Red (YA novel) Scholastic 2010

Comics-like:
Geektatstic (with comics drawn by Bryan Lee O’Malley & Hope Larson) Little Brown 2009
Odd Duck (hybrid early chapter book with Sara Varon)  First Second TBD! (I think 2011) 
 
What was the biggest story in comics in 2009? I’d say the DC Entertainment / Paul Levitz leaving.  Also, Disney buying Marvel. 

What will be the biggest story in comics in 2010? I don’t have any crystal balls, but I think that with the coming of the apple tablet and also more robust iphone apps, kindle, nooks, etc.  I think that digital comics will start to really come of age for a much wider audience. 

What guilty pleasure (of any kind) are you looking forward to in 2010? Well besides all cookies all the time, I’m looking forward to the Scott Pilgrim movie and Iron Man 2.  What can I say, I like reading them.  And I like watching them.    

When I think of comics in the 00s I think of: I think of kids / YA comics really coming of age and into the mainstream.   Really marked by American Born Chinese getting the nod from the National Book Awards.  Also I think of teen girls invading comics.  Yeah! (reading, writing, getting them)

Pub Photo 300Ben Towle, cartoonist
 
2010 Projects: In February Disney/Hyperion will release Amelia Earhart: This Broad Ocean, the latest of the Center for Cartoon Studies series that also includes Houdini – The Handcuff King and Satchel Paige – Striking out Jim Crow.  Like the others, it’s geared at the young adult audience, but I think older folks will enjoy it as well.  I did the artwork, Jason Lutes handled breakdowns and Sarah Stewart Taylor wrote the story. (SAMPLE PAGES ABOVE)

In 2010 I’ll be working on Oyster War, (See two pages, below) a historical fantasy set on the Chesapeake Bay in the early 1900s and maybe on a graphic novel adaptation of The Count of Monte Cristo.  I have no idea what will become of either of these as far as eventual publication goes, but that’s never stopped me before!
 

Towle 01 Towle 02

What was the biggest story in comics in 2009? I thought the biggest story of 2009 was actually sort of a non-story.  There was a point around mid-2009 where it seemed like the stars were finally aligning such that we might actually, finally have seen a workable “iTunes for comics” in the near future.  There had been steady trickles of information about Longbox for a while and then, at places like SPX and Heroes Con, there were at least two different parties (Comixology being one) walking the floor showing off pretty slick comics apps for the iPhone.   When I heard (it turns out erroneously) through the grapevine rumblings that at least one of the “big three” were going to sign on for one of these third party digital distribution systems, I thought that 2009 might have been the year that we’d reach the tipping point where comics publishers would abandon all the various company-specific mutually incompatible digital systems and all do what even the notoriously-clueless music biz managed to eventually do: sell their wares through a single, central, platform-independent “iTunes for comics.”  Alas, it was not to be…
 
What will be the biggest story in comics in 2010? Maybe this is more wishful thinking than prediction, but I think the big story for 2010 is going to be the thawing of the publishing biz.  Comics-specific publishers seemed to have weathered the recession fairly well, but it seems like trade publishers’ flirtation with graphic novels slowed to a near crawl in 2009.  I think that the continued general improvement in the economy coupled with the end-of-year (somewhat) surprise success of R. Crumb’s Genesis will conspire to grease the wheels of comics-publishing book publishers in the coming year.
 
When I think of comics in the 00s I think of: Graphic novels!  After Maus/Watchmen/Dark Knight in the 80s, we were told that “comics aren’t just for kids anymore,” but the actual books to back up this claim didn’t seem to arrive until pretty recently.  During the 00s was the first time I think that you could walk into just about any decent book store in the U.S. choose from a  selection of actual, good graphic novels–not just Maus and/or a trade collection of Spider-man issues, but actual long-form comics.

Kat Kan, librarian

2010 Projects: ongoing comics-related project – I’m the selector for the Graphic Novels Core Collection, an online subscription database for libraries and schools published by H.W. Wilson.  I read and evaluate every title I add to the collection every week.
 
What was the biggest story in comics in 2009?  Probably the sale of Marvel to Disney; it will have an impact on comics publishing, whether good or bad.

What will be the biggest story in comics in 2010?  Maybe not a story so much as a growing trend:  more comics going digital.  It doesn’t bode well for old-fashioned readers like myself, but I see my older son and daughter-in-law using their cell phones for practically everything.

When I think of comics in the 00s I think of:  libraries really buying into the idea that comics have a place in their collections; from about 2001 I saw more libraries accept comics, usually in trade book format, as a legitimate form of literature.  It was a long slog getting there.  I also think of titles such as Blankets, The Rabbi’s Cat, the color editions of Bone, the launch of First Second Books.

FaragoAndrew Farago, author, curator

2010 Projects:  Curator at San Francisco’s Cartoon Art Museum ; author of the upcoming Looney Tunes Treasury from Palace Press ; member of the San Francisco-based Couscous Collective
 
What was the biggest story in comics in 2009?  The economy. I think that’s the short answer from everyone in comics when you ask them what they thought about the most in 2009.  Publishers folded, companies announced new initiatives and formats, there were false starts and cancellations, major newspapers went under…but the comics industry hung on all the same.  

What will be the biggest story in comics in 2010?  Disney takes control of Marvel next year, and Paul Levitz’s successor take charge at DC.  I’m really hoping that this will lead to greater distribution and stronger all-ages comics imprints from both publishers, but who knows what the new guard will have in mind?  

When I think of comics in the 00s I think of:  Reprints.  Want a Little Nemo book that reproduces the Sunday comics at their original publication size?  Want to replace the 20 different formats of Peanuts books you’ve got with a single, definitive hardcover set?  How about all of Bill Mauldin’s Willie & Joe cartoons?  Dick Tracy, Gasoline Alley, Krazy Kat, Moomins, Dykes to Watch Out For, Jack Kirby’s Fourth World, Jack Kirby’s everything else, E.C. Segar’s Popeye, box sets of The Far Side, Calvin & Hobbes and Don Martin’s work on Mad…there really was an embarrassment of riches.  

And that’s not even getting into the fact that just about every monthly comic gets collected into a trade paperback eventually.  When the Batman movie came out in 1989, I started collecting all of the available trades…which added up to about five books.  I’m sure that Robin starred in at least five times that many over the past decade. 

Rachel Edidin, editor Dark Horse

2010 Projects: The Marquis and the Midwife (Guy Davis) This will be the first new volume of the series, and it’s going to be brilliant.

The Last Dragon (Jane Yolen and Rebecca Guay) Won’t be out for a while yet, but editing this is a constant reminder of why I love comics as a medium and an industry–it’s the book I wish I’d had when I was ten.

Mogworld (Yahtzee Croshaw) Mogworld isn’t a comic, but I’m hoping that it still qualifies, given that it’s coming from a primarily comics publisher. It’s a wickedly funny fantasy novel by a fantastically versatile writer.

…And there’s at least one other prose project that I want to mention but really oughtn’t, so I’ll wrap it up there.
 
What was the biggest story in comics in 2009? I’m thinking the Marvel / Disney merge, but that may be because it’s relatively recent and so still fresh in my mind.

What will be the biggest story in comics in 2010? When someone figures out how to crack the e-book market for comics–or, alternately, how hard the Scott Pilgrim movie is going to rock.

What guilty pleasure (of any kind) are you looking forward to in 2010? None that I can mention without incriminating other parties. Oh, and Twitter, which I’ve recently discovered, and which fulfills all my fantasies of having access to a delete key in casual conversation.

When I think of comics in the 00s I think of: Douglas Wolk, who’d sum it up better than I could.

TorstenTorsten Adair, researcher/bookseller

2010 Projects:  I just finished a crazy idea…  playing Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon, but using only movies which appeal to geeks.  It’s on my blog at torstenadair.blogspot.com.
 
What was the biggest story in comics in 2009?  The corporate restructuring of Marvel and DC, as well as mainstream corporate publishers such as HarperCollins and Random House adding more graphic novels to their catalogs.

What will be the biggest story in comics in 2010?  Digital comics are still in their infancy, but with new e-readers, platforms, and storefronts, the format could mature and thrive in 2010.  Just as there once were few graphic novels or comics-related books in libraries and bookstores, so too are there few digital comics now available to the general public.  We just need a “Pokemon” to blow that segment wide open!

What guilty pleasure (of any kind) are you looking forward to in 2010?
Oh, geez…  I feel very fortunate…  I used to hate the question, “What’s your favorite comic?” which is like asking a parent, “Who’s your favorite child?”   Now, in 2010, there are a huge number of incredible books due to be published, so I can’t even answer “What book are you most looking forward to?”  There’s one title from Abrams which will knock everyone’s socks off…  Scholastic Graphix is publishing titles which will be a pleasure to hand-sell and recommend…  DC has their Earth One series…  Marvel is reprinting classic stories and trying different things…publishers are strip-mining the literary landfills finding titles which have been forgotten…  but I don’t feel guilty about this pleasure!  Matter of fact, I revel in it, sharing it with anyone who will listen (like my nieces and nephews)!  

When I think of comics in the 00s I think of:  Manga and graphic novels.  That’s the biggest Story of the Decade (which you didn’t ask…), the mainstreaming of graphic novels into bookstores and libraries; publishers following the money generated, publishing new titles and imprints; seeing GNs nominated for the National Book Award, listed in the New York Times Bestseller lists, recommended in library magazine and websites; Hollywood blockbusters (and quiet independent movies); young children and teens reading comics again, sometimes encouraged by a teacher or librarian.  
 
03-3Dean Haspiel, cartoonist

2010 Projects: My 2010 projects include: STREET CODE – Season 2 [Zuda], BORED TO DEATH – Season 2 [HBO], BILLY DOGMA in “As Big As Earth” [ACT-I-VATE.com], WOODGOD for STRANGE TALES [Marvel], and the fall release of CUBA – MY REVOLUTION, an original graphic novel collaboration with writer/painter, Inverna Lockpez [Vertigo].

What was the biggest story in comics in 2009? Sadly, serialized comic books became too expensive and franchise publishing took the fun out of reading a random issue, confirming the dawn and desire for the digital age of comix. Marvel got it right with THE PUNISHER and DAREDEVIL, and kept it compelling with CAPTAIN AMERICA, GHOST RIDER, and SPIDER-MAN, while DC/Vertigo kicked butt with JONAH HEX and SCALPED, and gets a silver star for WEDNESDAY COMICS. But, DC and MARVEL need more comics like ALL-STAR SUPERMAN and THE INCREDIBLE HERCULES to make their perennials less event-driven and off-putting while expanding their missions for new concepts and reminding us what makes for good escapism. Marvel gets a gold star for their accessible ‘Marvel Adventures’ imprint. Meanwhile, the likes of Pantheon, First Second, Fantagraphics, and IDW, made a good show with great new works from home and abroad. Otherwise, webcomix collectives like ACT-I-VATE and TRANSMISSION X are still the best free alternative fare to the subscription bases of COMIXOLOGY and the upcoming deluge of LONGBOX DIGITAL. Besides, you can’t gift a gif and I predict $20 of digital comix will buy three times what print has to offer breaking the $4 bad of glacial 22-page chapters, forever. On a personal note: it was an honor to watch a butterfly emerge from its cocoon when Michel Fiffe manifested ZEGAS, and brought a bold, new vision to the game at ACT-I-VATE.

What will be the biggest story in comics in 2010? The death of the serialized comic book pamphlet will ultimately be reborn as the cost-effective digital download and/or original graphic novel. What’s old is new again as all the dead franchises [whether by continuity or by low sales] get resuscitated and given yet another chance to entice the film-goer/new comix reader who discovered that the movie adaptation was better realized than most comic book source material. The creative playing field will continue to widen as savvy publishers reevaluate their marketing strategies to celebrate the art and history of the form in print while brandishing new and exciting ways to show stories whether we like reading and seeing them on a phone or not.

What guilty pleasure (of any kind) are you looking forward to in 2010? Come 2010, I’m looking forward to Brad Bird’s reexamination of THE FANTASTIC FOUR for Pixar, and Kat Roberts and Becky Cloonan’s revamp of DAZZLER for Marvel. I’m also looking forward to Vito Delsante’s 52-week run of BOY WONDER for DC Comics, where Robin grows from embryo to Nightwing in a year of intensive continuity destroying and rebuilding, featuring a new artist every four issues, and Frank Miller’s hard-boiled MATTER-EATER LAD mini-series. Roger Langridge’s blasphemous revamp of THE ADDAMS FAMILY for Boom! will happily surprise long time readers of THE NEW YORKER and finally bridge the gap between comix and the literati, while Ang Lee’s flawless adaptation of Mike Dawson’s FREDDY AND ME, with Sacha Baron Cohen playing Freddy Mercury, will garner Oscar Award nominations.

All kidding aside, I’m looking forward to Jane Yolen and Mike Cavallaro’s FOILED, Glenn Eichler and Joe Infurnari’s SLED DOGS, and George O’Connor’s launch to his 12-part OLYMPIANS series, all from First Second books. Also, PARIAH, Bob Fingerman’s prose novel from Tor Books, plus, FROM THE ASHES, Bob’s graphic novel collection from IDW. And, last but not least, I’m itching for Dan Goldman’s RED LIGHT PROPERTIES from Tor.com, Nathan Schreiber’s Xeric award powered POWER OUT, and Walter Simonson’s THE JUDAS COIN [DC Comics].

20090228-132502-1Matt Maxwell, writer

2010 Projects: Writing STRANGEWAYS: THE THIRSTY and herding it through various hoops for 2010 publication.

What was the biggest story in comics in 2009? Corporate assumption of comics publishers, by a mile.

What will be the biggest story in comics in 2010? Continuing developments from that. Will superhero comics be anything other than movie and merchandise fodder in the eyes of the mainstream? Only the Shadow knows…

What guilty pleasure (of any kind) are you looking forward to in 2010? I’m not big on guilty pleasures. But I’d happily read more AMBUSH BUG or HOWARD THE DUCK.

When I think of comics in the 00s I think of: Trade double-dipping, exclusivity wars, the rise of the minimum and how good ALL-STAR SUPERMAN was and that I wish there were more comics like it.

Sa Profile Pic - BeatLeon Avelino/Secret Acres

2010 Projects: We were lucky enough to have Theo Ellsworth’s Sleeper Car as a make-up for the delayed Joseph Lambert book, I Will Bite You! but we swear Joe will bite ya’ll soon enough. If you caught him in Kramer’s or found your way to his minis, you’ll understand why we’re sweating John Brodowski’s Curio Cabinet so much. And if that’s not enough, Edie Fake’s Gaylord Phoenix is indeed rising.

What was the biggest story in comics in 2009? The Death of Print was greatly exaggerated, but the death of the direct market was mad real. You know Diamond is in trouble when the best case scenario is that DC will pull the trigger on their purchase option before it expires. Whatever happened to their supposedly Evil Empire style monopoly? There are several players stepping in to fill the void, but the game will be forever changed – except for us snobby literary folks who could really care less about those Diamond minimums.

What will be the biggest story in comics in 2010? With Disney’s Marvel division and DC Entertainment pouring cash into digital development, and with the Tablet looming, how long will it be before mainstream chapbooks (along with pretty much every other kind of periodical) head straight for iTunes? They won’t get there next year, but the migration will begin – except for us snobby literary folks who like those hand-made minis, and black diamond production-value books on our shelves very much, thank you.

What guilty pleasure (of any kind) are you looking forward to in 2010? Oscar pools. We never lose.

When I think of comics in the 00s, I think of: Event fatigue, sexism, a return to that horrid Image style of meaningless splash pages of twisted anatomy and inks that look like split-ends on a burnt-out bowling alley waitress, the Golden Age of Reprints, critical respect and, finally, the end of the Comics Aren’t Just for Kids Anymore puff piece bullshit.

EvienagyEvie Nagy (podcaster/blogger at Awesomed By Comics, PWCW contributor, editor at Billboard magazine)

2010 Projects: Main comics-related project is the continuation of the Awesomed By Comics Podcast that I co-host with my husband Aaron McQuade, which grew hugely in 2009 thanks to the support of a number of creators and industry people. (Most notable non-comics-related project is that I co-wrote the afterword for the Sept. 2010 release of an anthology of the rock writing of the late Ellen Willis, who was the New Yorker’s first pop music critic and a pioneering feminist. Very excited for this, but comics people will only care if they’re also music nerds :) ).

What was the biggest story in comics in 2009? Hmm… I guess I’ll go with Disney buying Marvel, because I think it has a lot of potential long-term effects that we haven’t seen yet.

What will be the biggest story in comics in 2010? Digital comics. No question. Or rather, it better be the biggest story, or else the industry is slacking on this worse than we thought.

What guilty pleasure (of any kind) are you looking forward to in 2010? Going to see Iron Man 2 for my second wedding anniversary (since I took my wedding reception to see the first one).

423863570 77Dbb4F703Erika Moen, cartoonist
 
2010 Projects: Preparing for the second print volume of DAR!, coincidentally titled “DAR! Volume Two”.

Drawing several not-yet-announce-able comics written by some incredibly talented authors that I admire greatly. They’ll be debuting online in early 2010 with much ballyho on my website erikamoen.com
 
What was the biggest story in comics in 2009? It’s hard to pick! The debut of Underground by Jeff Parker and Steve Lieber (Image) was a pretty big deal and got a TON of good press. The debacle and over-reaction to Keenspot revising their business model. Meredith Gran getting her webcomic, Octopus Pie, picked up by Random House. Dylan Meconis self-publishing her cult classic webcomic Bite Me! Everything that Lucy Knisley, Raina Telgemeier, Hope Larson and Shaenon Garrity have been working on has been worthy of attention and adoration.
 
What will be the biggest story in comics in 2010? I’m looking forward to seeing what originally-online comics are going to get picked up by publishing houses. Oo, I can’t wait to see how the public reacts to Marvel’s Girl Comics once they’ve had a chance to actually *read* it. I’m pretty sure Periscope Studio will finally conquer the world sometime in 2010 as well.
 
What guilty pleasure (of any kind) are you looking forward to in 2010? PARIS HILTON’S MY NEW BFF (season three). Oh yesssssssss.
 
When I think of comics in the 00s I think of: Comics Pioneers. People completely re-inventing how the “model of business” is done. Putting comics on the internet has broadened the audience of who reads comics like nothing else.

Xmas09

BONUS! Celebrate the 12th day of Christmas with this card from Noel Tuazon that we never got to post.

Trackbacks

  1. [...] I participated in this year’s end-of-year survey over at Publishers Weekly’s The Beat.  My comments are in part three, which you can find here. [...]

  2. [...] Jump to Comments Heidi MacDonald over at PW’s The Beat asked me to contribute to her survey of the year thatwas and the year that will be. My way-too-lengthy response is in the recently posted Part Three. [...]

  3. [...] • Heidi MacDonald continues her annual year-end survey of comics professionals. [...]

  4. [...] IT’s the biggest year-end survey ever! We’re going to keep going until it’s all done though. People from EVERY walk of the comics industry sounds off on what they hope for in the new year, and along the way there’s lots of news, and a few previews, too. Previous installments: one, two and three. [...]

  5. [...] Dean “the Deenie Weenie” Haspiel was kind enough to give me a shout out over at The Beat: “On a personal note: it was an honor to watch a butterfly emerge from its cocoon when Michel Fiffe manifested ZEGAS, and brought a bold, new vision to the game at ACT-I-VATE.” Read the rest of Dean’s (and others) shout outs. [...]

Speak Your Mind

*