The Beat’s Annual Year-End Survey, 2012 edition — Part One

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The world may be ending in 2012, but that doesn’t mean that people don’t have some things to keep them busy until then. In our annual year-start tradition, we asked comics industry professionals — creators, publishers, librarians, retailers, journalists — about the year past and the year to come. While a few huge stories seemed to dominate last year — reboots and digital — there was much more to it. And 2012 is wide open.

Along the way, we have some previews and news tucked away in those “2012 project” descriptions. Before the end, well all have something to read.

Many thanks to all who took time from the busy holiday season to answer our survey. And here’s to a great 2012 for all!

cover front The Beat’s Annual Year End Survey, 2012 edition — Part One
Vasilis Lolos, artist, www.vasilislolos.com

2012 Projects: The delayed but very good Last Call 2 is ready for liftoff and my cosmic horror sci-fi Electronomicon is coming to completion.

What was the biggest story in comics in 2011? The reshape of the comics industry? That was the talk of the town at least, I wish the story was “comics make MILLIONS! everyone gets gold Rolls Royces” or something along those lines.

What will be the biggest story in comics in 2012? Hopefully last call vol3 and the Electronomicon

Bonus question:

What guilty pleasure are you looking forward to in 2012? Akira, the tron guy is in it so is Kristen Stewart, can’t wait to hate with love. I am entitled to ,i have all the versions of the comic, some to read and some to archive even laserdisks too. Neo Tokyo is about to N.E.R.D.

201201021524 The Beat’s Annual Year End Survey, 2012 edition — Part One
Matthew Bernier, artist

2012 Projects: not yet

What was the biggest story in comics in 2011? Hellboy dies, Mignola to follow with years of crazy Alice in Wonderland in hell comics whenever he feels like it. Or Habibi being released. Or Hark, a Vagrant! being crazy successful. So many great things this year, it’s hard to figure out why “2 companies known for making mostly crappy comics continue making mostly crappy comics” was such a big story. It felt like this year Michelangelo was unveiling David while we were talking about the two vagrants on the corner who earn wine money by crudely carving filthy bas relief scenes into walking sticks.

What will be the biggest story in comics in 2012? DC will double down and hire Frank Miller as head editor, to be followed by another relaunch where all female characters are whores and all male characters punch Islamofascists in the face. No, really, it’ll be how many cartoonists are working at Cartoon Network these days because they pay actual money.

What guilty pleasure are you looking forward to in 2012? The Avengers.

head shot by Ann The Beat’s Annual Year End Survey, 2012 edition — Part One
Trina Robbins, author/herstorian

2012 Projects: Book number 4 in my all-ages graphic novel series, The Chicagoland Detective Agency, will be out in 2012, and I’m currently plotting book #5. And after coming out with my graphic novel about Golden Age cartoonist Lily Renee in 2011, I’m now working on putting together a book compiling her comic art. After that, I’ll either be revising and rewriting my history of women cartoonists for Fantagraphics, OR I’ll be putting together a compilation of Wimmen’s Comix and other work by underground women cartoonists of the 70s (also for Fantagraphics), OR I’ll be writing my memoirs (Also for Fantagraphics) — one of the above!

What was the biggest story in comics in 2011?
For me, the further emergence of women into the field of comics, with fabulous events like GeekGirlCon in Seattle.

What will be the biggest story in comics in 2012?
Again for me, the publication of Womanthology. I’ve seen the pages, and they are beautiful. So much good art and storytelling by women!

What guilty pleasure are you looking forward to in 2012? None of my pleasures are guilty. I’ll continue to write books and graphic novels because I love to write, and as before, I want to spend more time in someplace warm, like Hawaii or Tahiti.

JeffreyBrown The Beat’s Annual Year End Survey, 2012 edition — Part One
Jeffrey Brown, cartoonist

2012 Projects:
Save The Date – the movie I co-wrote and created artwork for, premiering at Sundance 2012
Darth Vader and son – Darth Vader raising a four year old Luke Skywalker, coming in May from Chronicle Books
A Matter Of Life – an autobiographical meditation on fatherhood and religion, coming from Top Shelf sometime depending on when I finish it

What was the biggest story in comics in 2011? The internet continues to level the playing field, and so there are no ‘big’ stories anymore. As a result, the biggest stories was a tie between DC’s new 52 or whatever, Marvel firing people left and right, Shonen Jump planning a switch to digital and Kickstarter making its first steps toward becoming a comics publisher.

What will be the biggest story in comics in 2012? Alan Moore and Frank Miller will have an escalating feud and end up planning a mixed martial arts match against each other, but fail to follow through after someone tweets a comparison to Dave Sim and Jeff Smith. Comicsdom will have to anxiously wait another year for any actual fisticuffs.

What guilty pleasure are you looking forward to in 2012? I’m going to sleep more than six hours at least one night next year. Maybe two, even.
Charles Vess, artist

2012 Projects: A 16 page full color graphic narrative about Istanbul, Turkey. 50 paintings for ‘The Cats of Tanglewood Forest’ written by Charles de Lint and to be published by Little Brown & Co. And my on-going work on my own book, ‘The Greenwood’ which use a combination of pure text, illustration and hundreds of pages of graphic narrative content to tell its story.

What was the biggest story in comics in 2011? Finally reprinting Roy Crane’s run on Captain Easy with its sublime cartooning and totally insane coloring. Followed closely by the collection of Johnny Gruelle’s Mr. Twee Deedle comic strips.

What will be the biggest story in comics in 2012?Writers, artists, editors, etc. will wake up and tell the stories that THEY want to tell (not some giant corporation) and use digital technology to publish and distribute it.

What guilty pleasure are you looking forward to in 2012? Nothing guilty about it! More reprints of classic comic strips with craft, vision and excellent writing: Pogo, Prince Valiant, Captain Easy, Gasoline Alley, etc.

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Jeff Newelt AKA JahFurry, editor/networker

2012 Projects:
Excited for Harvey Pekar’s CLEVELAND to come out in March from Top Shelf & ZIP Comics. Illustrated by soon-to-be-adored-by-all Joseph Remnant with an intro by Alan Moore (what a thrill to get first peep at that!) I was editor on the book after it was initially developed with Harvey by editor Jonathan Vankin. First time I ever helped see a graphic novel through from soup to nuts. It’s half history of Cleveland, half autiobio, 100% Harvey.

I’ll be doing some writing, interviews, debut’n some rubadub music for Trip City.  More writing for Royal Flush, SMITH & Heeb magazines.

I’m helping Erika Pope-Gusev (sister of Paul Pope) launch an incredible construction/building toy FORT MAGIC.

What was the biggest story in comics in 2011? The adoption of the Twitter/Facebook one-two punch as the comics hive mind.

What guilty pleasure are you looking forward to in 2012? Looking forward to doing more JahFurry / Kochie Banton duet ditties  like http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iVEF0ozRh-E

brandon graham The Beat’s Annual Year End Survey, 2012 edition — Part One
Brandon Graham, cartoonist

2012 Projects:
I’m about to have my collected catmaster epic- King city come out in February from Image comics as a fat 224 $20 thing.
I’ve been working on Multiple warheads that’ll hopefully be out this year from (Oni press)

also I’m writing and sometimes drawing Image comic’s Prophet. Along with Simon Roy (Jan’s Atomic heart), Farel Dalrymple (pop gun war, Omega the Unknown), Giannis Milonogianni (Old city blues) and Richard Ballermann
It’s a big space war, sci-fi barbarian thing that’ll start coming out monthly in January.

What was the biggest story in comics in 2011? For me it was Craig Thompson (Habibi) and Patrick McEown (Hair Shirt) both having great new books out.

What will be the biggest story in comics in 2012? I have a lot of hopes, Maybe Carla Speed Mcneil will do a Sherlock Holmes in Oz comic with Charles Vess. Maybe Adam Warren will put out an adaption of Neuromancer.

Really the most I can hope for is some amazing new creators doing something new.

What guilty pleasure are you looking forward to in 2012? I’d like to have some new tv science fiction thing to watch. I’ve been all broken up since the Sarah Connor Chronicles ended. Or maybe some really good new trashy comic about the lives of anthropomorphic characters working in a brothel.

marc tyler nobleman The Beat’s Annual Year End Survey, 2012 edition — Part One
Marc Tyler Nobleman, author

2012 Projects: After five years of work, my picture book Bill the Boy Wonder: The Secret Co-Creator of Batman will come out in July.

What was the biggest story in comics in 2011? DC’s New 52.

What will be the biggest story in comics in 2012? The Dark Knight Rises.

What guilty pleasure are you looking forward to in 2012? DC Nation shorts.

tony lee The Beat’s Annual Year End Survey, 2012 edition — Part One
Tony Lee, writer, vest-wearer

2012 Projects:
2012 is going to be an interesting year for me as it looks like I’m going to be splitting my time between comics and other media – the movie of Hope Falls is going to be gaining momentum now the 2nd draft script is in, so I expect to be working a lot there, for example and I have a couple of radio plays coming out – but that said, I still have a ton of things in comics. 2012 sees my adaptations of Heather Brewer’s Vladimir Tod books start to come out from Penguin, Department PULP with MTV will be beginning, Lockbox with 1821 Comics, I have a yet unannounced Doctor Who project being plotted out and of course I have the MacGyver miniseries coming out in July with Lee Zlotoff.

What was the biggest story in comics in 2011? It has to be the Nu52 without question. Whether you love it or hate it, DC’s bold move to reboot every single book and wipe out 25 years of post-crisis continuity got them a ton of press and massive sales. Whether it’ll last, or whether the story will turn into unhappy creators leaving books, we have to see, but for story value, I’d say this trumps everything else

What will be the biggest story in comics in 2012? DC un-rebooting the DCU! No, seriously, I think it’ll be digital. Publishers are going day and date now, I’d expect to start seeing ‘new’ things to bring people to the digital side – exclusive digital only books, DVD extras, these are already starting to appear – whatever it is, it’ll be big and ground-breaking and probably related to a yet unseen device.

What guilty pleasure are you looking forward to in 2012? The Avengers and Dark Knight Rises. In comics, Saucer County by Paul Cornell and Josh Fialkov’s run on Doctor Who – for the first time in years I can read it as a fan!

Mutawa5 The Beat’s Annual Year End Survey, 2012 edition — Part One
Naif Al-Mutawa, publisher, Teshkeel

2012 Projects:
THE 99 Animated Series, based on the comic books, is launching globally in 2012.

What was the biggest story in comics in 2011? The untimely death of the incredible Dwayne McDuffie, may he rest in peace.

What will be the biggest story in comics in 2012? Comics will irreversibly push the envelope on defeating racism through the content.

What guilty pleasure are you looking forward to in 2012? Downtime with my children!

Jim Starlin The Beat’s Annual Year End Survey, 2012 edition — Part One
Jim Starlin, cartoonist

2012 Projects:
Just finished off ‘Breed III for Image and am now working on an illustrated novel entitled Mindgames.

What was the biggest story in comics in 2011?: I guess it was DC Comics’ reboot

What will be the biggest story in comics in 2012?: Probably Marvel Comic’s reboot.

What guilty pleasure are you looking forward to in 2012? : Seeing Thanos show up at the end of the Avengers movie.

P1030008 The Beat’s Annual Year End Survey, 2012 edition — Part One
David Macho, agent, editor, translator

2012 Projects: Birds of Prey, Avengers, Resurrection Man, X-Men, Legion of Super-Heroes, Blackhawks, Stormwatch… Also a big top secret project I cannot mention. :)

What was the biggest story in comics in 2011? DC the New-52, I think that’s an obvious one, and a turning point for the industry as a whole, I hope, that helps raise sales, bring back lapsed readers, and get new ones, for EVERY single company, not just DC.

What will be the biggest story in comics in 2012? Diversification in Comics! We get historical dramas! Space opera! Romance! Teen stories! Slice of life! And in the major companies! Nah, it’ll be probably Avengers Vs. X-Men, but a man can dream, right? :)

What guilty pleasure are you looking forward to in 2012? Food, I’m a foodie, my guilty pleasures use to involve food and nice restaurants or something… :)

2new mike 1 The Beat’s Annual Year End Survey, 2012 edition — Part One
Michael Manley, cartoonist, http://www.michaelcolemanley.blogspot.com

2012 Projects: Judge Parker for King features, Draw! Magazine

What was the biggest story in comics in 2011? I suppose DC’s relaunch and the digital initiative

What will be the biggest story in comics in 2012? The death of Barnes and Nobles leaving us without a national brick and mortar book store.

What guilty pleasure are you looking forward to in 2012? I don’t know if it’s guilty, more of a natural progression– but I am looking forward to graduating from the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Art with my Certificate and then entering the Master Program and having my first one-man show of my paintings in March.

tomthedancingbug The Beat’s Annual Year End Survey, 2012 edition — Part One
Ruben Bolling, cartoonist

2012 Projects:
Tom the Dancing Bug, weekly comic strip in newspapers, and boingboing.net and gocomics.com

What was the biggest story in comics in 2011? DC’s New 52 project

What will be the biggest story in comics in 2012?The prophesied arrival of Bolon Yokte, the Mayan god of war and creation, and the resulting seas of fire and lava storms, will cause many mint and near-mint comic books to be degraded in condition.

What guilty pleasure are you looking forward to in 2012? More paperback Marvel Masterworks

TLE.head  The Beat’s Annual Year End Survey, 2012 edition — Part One
Tommy Lee Edwards, cartoonist, designer

2012 Projects:
GOLDEN AGE with writer Jonathan Ross (Image Comics)

What was the biggest story in comics in 2011? The number of incredible comic creators attempting to publish independently.

What will be the biggest story in comics in 2012? The implosion of Marvel Comics.

Shahrabani The Beat’s Annual Year End Survey, 2012 edition — Part OneBenjamin Shahrabani, publisher Com.x Comics

2012 Projects:
Babble, Monster Myths, Average Joe, Bushido Wasabi, Duppy ’78, Passions Requiem, and continuing with the ’45’ trilogy.

What was the biggest story in comics in 2011? Marvel & DC relaunches

What will be the biggest story in comics in 2012? I really shouldn’t (because its potentially just a rumor) but it has something to do with retail distribution.

What guilty pleasure are you looking forward to in 2012? I work in comics. Isn’t everything a guilty pleasure?

Comments

  1. I know Starlin might just be joking about Thanos popping up at the end of the Avengers movie… BUT I HOPE HE’S NOT!!!

  2. brian h says:

    I thought the same thing. I read that and wondered how long it will take for rich to put that up on his site with the headline “what does jim starlin know that we don’t?”

    I was also surprised that no one put Watchmen 2 under guilty pleasures.

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