The Beat’s Annual Year End Survey, 2013 Edition, Part One

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It’s here! Our look forward and back with the most eclectic group of industry pros on the web, from creators to publishers, editors, librarians, even a journo or two. 2012 was a year bursting with news and accomplishments on many many fronts and no clear consensus emerged as to what the big story was…or will be.

As usual, scattered among the 2013 projects you’ll find news tidbits and previews. So keep a sharp eye on the answers!

Bryan Talbot The Beats Annual Year End Survey, 2013 Edition, Part One
Bryan Talbot
Award winning cartoonist, http://www.bryan-talbot.com
2013 Projects: Currently drawing Grandville NÙel, scripting a fantasy graphic novel webcomic and providing the lettering, page layouts and panel compositions for Sally Heathcoat: Suffragette, written by Mary Talbot and being drawn by Kate Charlesworth

What was the biggest story in comics in 2012? The last issue of The Dandy (1938 – 2012)

What will be the biggest story in comics in 2013? The widespread public acceptance of the graphic novel as a legitimate art form (I wish)

What guilty pleasure (of any kind) are you looking forward to in 2013? Sunshine (if the UK gets any next year)


andy diggle The Beats Annual Year End Survey, 2013 Edition, Part One
Andy Diggle
writer, andydiggle.com
2013 Projects: Action Comics (DC Comics), Thief of Thieves (Image/Skybound), Doctor Who (IDW), Snapshot (Image), crime line (Dynamite)
What was the biggest story in comics in 2012? The rise in digital comics sales.

What will be the biggest story in comics in 2013? The even bigger rise in digital comics sales.

What guilty pleasure (of any kind) are you looking forward to in 2013? Sleep.


rushkoff The Beats Annual Year End Survey, 2013 Edition, Part One
Douglas Rushkoff
Writer, media theorist. http://rushkoff.com
2013 Projects: Aleister & Adolf – with Dean Haspiel for Dark Horse
What was the biggest story in comics in 2012? Slow death of Vertigo.
What will be the biggest story in comics in 2013? e comics outselling print
What guilty pleasure (of any kind) are you looking forward to in 2013? weird sex


fredvanlente The Beats Annual Year End Survey, 2013 Edition, Part One
Fred Van Lente
writer, http://www.fredvanlente.com

2013 Projects:  Action Presidents (Evil Twin), Archer & Armstrong (Valiant), GI Joe (IDW), et al
What was the biggest story in comics in 2012? The resurgence, led by SAGA, of the indy market as a viable alternative to Marvel and DC. At the Valiant meetings I attended in September of this year, the interesting point was made that much to the executives’ surprise, they weren’t competing with other indy companies as they assumed, but rather for the same dollar as Marvel and DC. I’m not seeing any kind of a dethroning on the horizon, but no one would argue that a diversity of product in our marketplace isn’t good.
What will be the biggest story in comics in 2013? Whether or not the boomlet in indy comics can be sustained or it is just yet another fleeting industry trend.

What guilty pleasure (of any kind) are you looking forward to in 2013? Deep-fried non-potato vegetables. Green beans, zucchini, pickles, and, if it doesn’t get too slimy, okra.


callista brill The Beats Annual Year End Survey, 2013 Edition, Part One
Calista Brill
editor, First Second
2013 Projects: We just got advance books in for Lucy Knisley’s new project, Relish! It’s a food-inflected memoir, and it’s lovely and funny and surprising, just like Lucy herself. And check out Faith Erin Hicks and Prudence Shen’s Nothing Can Possibly Go Wrong, which is serializing right now online but will be available as a gorgeous graphic novel this spring. Finally, I can’t wait for Fairy Tale Comics, our follow-up to 2011’s Nursery Rhyme Comics, also edited by Chris Duffy. 

What was the biggest story in comics in 2012? Love and Rockets 30th anniversary!

What will be the biggest story in comics in 2013? Love and Rockets 31st anniversary!

What guilty pleasure (of any kind) are you looking forward to in 2013? TEEN WOLF SEASON 3, NOT EVEN KIDDING.


james Romberger The Beats Annual Year End Survey, 2013 Edition, Part One
James Romberger
artist, critic,
2013 Projects:   “Post York” w/Crosby, published by Uncivilized Books and “7 Miles a Second” w/David Wojnarowicz & Marguerite Van Cook, published by Fantagraphics
What was the biggest story in comics in 2012?   A cluster of deaths of important artists, unfortunately: Jean Giraud, John Severin, Joe Kubert, Tony de Zuñiga, Spain Rodriguez
What will be the biggest story in comics in 2013?   The further deterioration of the mainstream with its anti-literary emphasis on character/property, due to their suicidal transition to collector-unfriendly digital formats; contrasted by the continued ascendancy of literate alternative print comics to new heights of accomplishment and respect.
What guilty pleasure (of any kind) are you looking forward to in 2013?  The second volume of the Alex Toth biography from IDW, hopefully better than the first volume.


dave macho 3 2 576 The Beats Annual Year End Survey, 2013 Edition, Part One
David Macho
agent, translator, www.spanishinq.com

2013 Projects: A LOT, from Beowulf to LOSH to Disney, to lots of (still) secret projects! :)

What was the biggest story in comics in 2012? Before Watchmen.

What will be the biggest story in comics in 2013? The raise of creator-owned projects by big names in the industry.

What guilty pleasure (of any kind) are you looking forward to in 2013? Food!


Adams Ted headshot01 The Beats Annual Year End Survey, 2013 Edition, Part One
Ted Adams
CEO/Publisher, IDW Publishing and IDW Limited
2013 Projects: The first part of 2013 will see the release of two new Artist Edtions: Gil Kane’s Spider-Man and MAD.

The big January titles from IDW are the Mars Attacks the IDW universe books (which includes some amazing covers by artists like Dave Sim & Terry Moore) and Star Trek: Countdown to Darkness, the prequel to the new Star Trek movie.
What was the biggest story in comics in 2012? The mainstream acceptance of Chris Ware’s Building Stories. It’s old news that graphic novels can be accepted as serious literature but I haven’t seen a graphic novel receive this level of media attention and critical response since Maus and I’d argue that Building Stories is a significantly more complicated piece of work, one that requires the reader to really understand the comic medium.

What will be the biggest story in comics in 2013? Significant comic book (periodical, not graphic novel) expansion to eBook readers beyond the iPad/iPhone Apps. IDW’s My Little Pony comic books have had a dominate position in iBooks (both in the general book bestseller list and comic book/graphic novel bestseller list), proving that we can reach casual readers with well known properties.

What guilty pleasure (of any kind) are you looking forward to in 2013? I don’t have any guilt about it but I’m looking forward to seeing Star Trek Into Darkness and Pacific Rim.


john green comics The Beats Annual Year End Survey, 2013 Edition, Part One
John Green
artist, www.johngreenart.com
2013 Projects: TEEN BOAT 2! The first volume of TEEN BOAT! came out in early 2012 from Clarion Books and collected all the minicomics, plus some new material, in full color. The second book will be an all new story delving deeper (by leagues, even!) into the Teen Boat mythos! I am hard at work with co-creator Dave Roman.
What was the biggest story in comics in 2012? Not entirely comics, but I’d have to go with “Disney Buys Star Wars.” The industry (and geekdom) has yet to see what this tremor in the Force holds, so I think it will be a big story for awhile to come, but there’s no doubt it will have a huge impact on comics and nerd culture.

Runner up I’d go with The Avengers movie. Marvel’s gamble with the separate origin movies not only paid off, but better than anyone anticipated, and I think it brought super heroes back to form in the eyes of the general public.
What will be the biggest story in comics in 2013? I’m horrible at predicting these. Usually it seems the biggest stories are the ones that also get mainstream recognition, like “film based on comic book wins Best Movie Oscar”, but often they don’t have much impact on the actual industry. Perhaps it will be Superman’s off again/on again underpants?

What guilty pleasure (of any kind) are you looking forward to in 2013? The next wave of Marvel movies.


Charles ForsmanForsman The Beats Annual Year End Survey, 2013 Edition, Part One
artist, distributor/publisher, charlesforsman.com,  oilycomics.com

2013 Projects: Continuing to publish 5 mini comics per month by my favorite cartoonists as Oily Comics. Also looking forward the release of 2 of my comics this year, The End of the Fucking World and Celebrated Summer. Both coming out from Fantagraphics.
What was the biggest story in comics in 2012? To me the biggest story was the continued appearance of new micro-publishers publishing stapled comics. Publishers such as Space Face, Domino, Ryan Sands, Retrofit, Hic & Hoc put out a wealth of new comics this year. It’s good to be into weirdo comics right now.CS Cover.web  The Beats Annual Year End Survey, 2013 Edition, Part OneTEOTFW.blocky.cvr  The Beats Annual Year End Survey, 2013 Edition, Part One

What will be the biggest story in comics in 2013? I want the big story to be movement of the small-press into digital comics. This year I read some comics on a tablet and discovered that I like it. I want to see more of the cartoonists I like in this format.
What guilty pleasure (of any kind) are you looking forward to in 2013? Continuing to read Matt Fraction and David Aja’s Hawkeye. I hope they continue with the awesome guest artists as well. I want more from Javier Pulido. If I had it my way, Pulido and Marcos Martin would be the only ones allowed to draw Marvel comic books.


karenGreen The Beats Annual Year End Survey, 2013 Edition, Part One
Karen Green
librarian, journalist
2013 Projects: I’m moving into high gear on working with Columbia’s Rare Book and Manuscript Library to solicit major archives of comics creators and affiliated authors.  We just acquired the research materials Larry Tye used for Superman: the high-flying history of America’s most enduring superhero, and I have two other incredibly cool collections in the pipeline that I can’t talk about (drat!) until the deed of gift is formally signed.  With these acquisitions, and the overwhelming success in Fall 2012 of the inaugural American Graphic Novels course at Columbia (80 students!), I’m seeing a wonderful payoff for the graphic novels collection we started seven years ago.  So, creators!  Start thinking about your legacy now!
What was the biggest story in comics in 2012? You mean besides the Fake Geek Girl kerfuffle?  I’d say the slow drip of talent leaving DC, most notably–in the last two weeks!–Karen Berger and Gail Simone.  I don’t know what this will mean–heck, maybe it’ll be for the best, in the end–but it has made for some riveting soap opera.

What will be the biggest story in comics in 2013? Can I say what I HOPE it will be? The perfection of a delivery and distribution system for digital comics in libraries not just for individuals. These digiral downloads are killing my collection–I can’t circulate them!
What guilty pleasure (of any kind) are you looking forward to in 2013?  Now that I’m no longer writing my column for ComiXology (*sniffle*), I’m looking forward to reading comics for sheer unadulterated pleasure.


mas11 The Beats Annual Year End Survey, 2013 Edition, Part One
Mark Andrew Smith
writer, http://markandrewsmith.tumblr.com/ 
2013 Projects:  I’m working on Gladstone’s School for World Conquerors 2 and 3 to make next year the year of Gladstone’s School.  

What was the biggest story in comics in 2012?  There isn’t any single story that jumps to mind this year.  That said, it was a good year for comics and quality material.  I’ve enjoyed most of the books that I’ve been reading.  That said, there isn’t a single story that’s the headline stealer, but it’s about the actual comics themselves and the quality.  You couldn’t ask for anything better than that.

What will be the biggest story in comics in 2013?  Paul Pope’s Battling Boy.
What guilty pleasure (of any kind) are you looking forward to in 2013? There are a lot of things to enjoy next year but nothing I feel guilty at all about.  2013 will be a solid year for films and for comic books.


andrewfarrago The Beats Annual Year End Survey, 2013 Edition, Part One
Andrew Farago
Museum curator, Cartoon Art Museum
2013 Projects:  Exhibitions featuring Sam Kieth, Chuck Jones, Ronald Searle and contemporary children’s book illustrators for the Cartoon Art Museum; plus Radical Mutations, a complete history of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles for Insight Editions.
What was the biggest story in comics in 2012? Diversity.  We haven’t reached the point yet where every great cartoonist is making a living at it, but not a week goes by where I’m not learning about some artist I’ve never heard of before who’s doing incredible work in print or online.  Lots of new faces are turning up at conventions, on both sides of the table.  Kickstarter’s become the go-to publisher for cool books that the larger companies wouldn’t or couldn’t bankroll.  More and more people left the Big Two to pursue their own creator-owned projects, and they haven’t looked back.  Comics has reached the point that no one can keep track of all the great stuff that’s being made (not that some of us won’t try).
What will be the biggest story in comics in 2013? A graphic novel will sell enough copies that it should be on the regular New York Times Best Sellers List.  Whether they include it or not, it’s hard to say, but I think we’ll see at least one really big mainstream graphic novel hit it really big next year.
What guilty pleasure (of any kind) are you looking forward to in 2013? I don’t feel guilty about it, but it’s going to be hard to wait half a year to find out how Breaking Bad wraps up.


leelacorman The Beats Annual Year End Survey, 2013 Edition, Part One
Leela Corman
cartoonist, http://www.leelacorman.com
[Photo by © Seth Kushner]

2013 Projects: An adaptation of some Isaac Bashevis Singer short stories, and beginning research on my next graphic novel, a 3-part proect about different time periods; I’m currently beginning to work on the part set during the time of the Black Death.
What was the biggest story in comics in 2012? That we’re losing the semantic battle over application of the term “graphic novel”
What will be the biggest story in comics in 2013? That this battle will turn out not to be lost after all. Editors, critics, and the general public will finally realize that calling a journalistic piece or a memoir a novel simply because it’s got word bubbles is wrong. And you’ll all thank me and become my willing and obedient serv-I mean readers.
What guilty pleasure (of any kind) are you looking forward to in 2013? Buying more bellydance costumes.


tony lee The Beats Annual Year End Survey, 2013 Edition, Part One
Tony Lee
writer, www.tonylee.co.uk

2013 Projects: MacGyver: Fugitive Gauntlet, currently coming out at Image comics, The Chronicles of Vladimir Tod GN adaptations, starting January at Penguin US, The Mild Bunch, a movie filming in 2013.

What was the biggest story in comics in 2012? I think it has to be Before Watchmen, doesn’t it? I’ve never seen such a polarising series. Creators hate it, creators love it, people think it’s bad form on DC’s part, people think it’s great to see more of the characters, everyone has an opinion. DC are legally in the right for publishing it, whether or not fans / creators feel they’re morally bankrupt for doing it or not. Has it done well? I think it’ll sell, if only on a long term basis to the people who read Watchmen, saw the film and don’t read comics that much.

What will be the biggest story in comics in 2013? In my opinion, it’s Spider Man. Dan Slott is a deranged genius and (at the time of writing) #698 and #699 have come out and I’ve never been more invested in a comic outcome. I know it’ll take a while to resolve and because of that I expect MASSIVE! NEWS! ANNOUNCEMENTS! over the year as slowly things change, people cotton on to whats going on, maybe there’s a fight. Maybe people will burn effigies of Dan. Maybe he’ll be hailed as a Messiah. Exciting times.

What guilty pleasure (of any kind) are you looking forward to in 2013? Seeing where Spider Man goes over the year. And the 50th Anniversary of Doctor Who on the television.

Comments

  1. I guess that 2013 will be another year that The Beat ignores TRIPWIRE and the fact that we’ll be doing a 21st anniversary book through Kickstarter starting sometime in January…
    have a good New Year

  2. Fred Van Lente makes a valid point. The landscape and competition for dollars has been changing and that is seen most evident in the creator-owned titles. We’ve seen a lot of this already, but it seemed that 2012 really put it to the test — and won.

  3. Micah says:

    I was shocked when a regular issue of the Walking Dead cracked the Top 10 in DM sales.
    Next year? Marvel & DC lose more marketshare to other publishers. And I’m wondering what happens to Dark Horse when they Star Wars licensing goes away. Do they replace it with something else? Lord of the Rings? Harry Potter?

  4. 2013 could be the year that cafes allow you to buy an espresso, then log onto the cafe’s digital comic subscription and read/rent all the new comics for free. Or maybe that is already happening.

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