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

The yearly wrap up continues as folks from every area of the industry look back and forward and tell you what’s coming up in 2013. Who will live? Who will die? Who will publish a comic book? Read on! Part one can be read here.

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Chris Ryall,
Editor in chief, IDW
2013 Projects:

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-The Hollows, with artist Sam Kieth. Four issues, #1 launches this week

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-Mars Attacks IDW: I wrote the Mars Attacks Kiss and Mars Attacks Zombies vs Robots issues shipping in January as part of our 5-week event
-Kiss Solo, launching in March. I’m writing issues 1 (The Demon, with Angel Medina art) and 3 (Celestial, with Alan Robinson art)

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-The Colonized, with artist Drew Moss. Launches in April, and features covers by Dave Sim, John Byrne, and others

What will be the biggest story in comics in 2013? I don’t know if it’ll be the biggest story of the year, but appreciating and honoring Karen Berger’s amazing legacy as she departs DC/Vertigo next year is important. Her contributions to this business over the last three decades are pretty unmatched, and while this is a huge loss for DC, it’s exciting to see what Karen might do next.

What guilty pleasure (of any kind) are you looking forward to in 2013? All of it. Everything I do that takes me away from writing in the limited amount of spare time I have makes me feel guilty…


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Photo by and © Seth Kushner

Tom Hart
Cartoonist, educator, www.sequentialartistsworkshop.org

2013 Projects: Diary of the worst year of my life, losing my daughter. Also making SAW (The Sequential Artists Workshop) a serious and great place to study comics.

What was the biggest story in comics in 2012? Losing the battle over the term Graphic Novel. See Leela Corman’s explanation.

What will be the biggest story in comics in 2013? Disney buying L’Association.

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

Reading early Joe Sacco comics


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Mark Verheiden

writer, producer, verheiden.blogspot.com

2013 Projects:  Writer/executive producer on “Hemlock Grove”, a 13 episode televisionseries for Netflix, based on the novel by Brian McGreevy.  Starring Famke Janssen, Dougray Scott, Landon Liboiron,Bill Skaarsgard, Lili Taylor, Aaron Douglas and Kandyse McClure.  Look for it 2013!

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

What will be the biggest story in comics in 2013?   Comics continuing to evolve into download-only formats.

What guilty pleasure (of any kind) are you looking forward to in 2013?   I’m getting too old for guilty pleasures, if something gives me pleasure I accept it guilt free!  But… EXPENDABLES 3.


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Stephen Christy
Editor in Chief, Archaia Entertainment
2013 Projects: Just sent to press volume 2 of our DARK CRYSTAL prequel trilogy, CREATION MYTHS. An honor to work with original Dark Crystal conceptual designer Brian Froud on an official expansion of Jim Henson’s universe. Working on two big graphic novels for 2013, the first being a modern-day interpretation of Shotaro Ishimori’s classic manga CYBORG 009, which is getting a North American re-imagining by the brilliant Marcus To, FJ DeSanto, and Bradley Cramp. Marcus is a huge talent and I’m sure a year from now he’ll be drawing one of your favorite superhero comics, and I’m honored I get to work with him now on a book that I think will blow him up in a big way. Also working on THE JOYNERS IN 3D, a new creator-owned graphic novel by ULTIMATE SPIDER-MAN and ALL-NEW X-MEN artist Dave Marquez and writer Josh Ryan. A tribute to both classic sci-fi and 3D comics of old, we hope to make red and blue 3D glasses the trendiest comics accessory of 2013.
What was the biggest story in comics in 2012? The rise of Image Comics to arguably its most influential position in the industry since the ‘90s. Image is publishing over 50 books a month now, powered by Walking Dead cash flow, driven by consumer demand for more unique, original creator-owned content, and produced by a growing number of creators who want to create and own their own work. I remember the early ‘00s when there were so many talented creators at Image and so many great creator-owned works being produced, yet most of those creators abandoned creator ownership for the chance to work with the “big boys.” Now the trend is reversing. Across the board, whether it’s Image, Archaia, Oni, Dark Horse, First Second, Top Shelf, or any of the other indie companies, we are truly living in a new golden age of great (non-superhero) comic book storytelling.
What will be the biggest story in comics in 2013? Big changes at DC no doubt, as they continue to restructure and manage their editorial line. The continuing trend of high-profile creators moving into creator-owned comics. Perhaps 2013 is the year that we see smaller publishers lose there relevance, as creators build audiences on their own and figure out new ways of getting their content out there. Publishers are always important both for production and distribution, but as much as I hate to say it I think that self-starting creators need us less and less. But as much as people like to talk doom and gloom, the comics being produced now outside of the “big two” are the best in decades. The future is bright for the comic book medium.
What guilty pleasure (of any kind) are you looking forward to in 2013? Getting our first movie or tv show into production :)


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Brandon Graham

cartoonist, http://royalboiler.wordpress.com/
2013 Projects:  I’m working on Prophet (with Simon Roy, giannis milonogiannis, Farel Darymple and Joseph Bergin III) and Multiple Warheads, both through Image and I have a fancy sketchbook called Walrus coming out through PictureBox.
What was the biggest story in comics in 2012?   Man, it was a severe year. Marvel was awful, DC was fucking awful, some amazing cartoonists died, Moebius, Spain Rodriguez.
It was a big line in the sand year for me, I felt really grossed out by a lot of the industry I work in.
But at the same time a lot of people in comics impressed me with how they acted.
I liked seeing what Chris Roberson & Roger Langridge did by no longer working for companies they felt didn’t treat creators well.
And Tucker Stone and Bergen Street comics choosing not to carry Before Watchmen was cool.
along with how outspoken about it guys like  David Brothers, Tom Spurgeon and Eric Stephenson were.
It certainly solidified how lucky I am to have Image backing me.
Also some amazing books came out, I really liked Wimberly’s Prince of Cats, the new Adam Warren Empowered, Stokoe’s Godzilla and Herpich’s White clay. And for me this is the year I finally got into reading Dungeon and Nausicaa (even though they aren’t new)

What will be the biggest story in comics in 2013? My crystal ball sayssss.. never mind my crystal ball is a jerk and just wants to talk about movie and tv tie ins. hate my crystal ball,,
really I’m looking forward to Aaron Conley and Damon P. Gentry’s Sabertooth Swordsman, Emma Rios & Kelly Sue DeConnick’s Pretty Deadly,
Emily Carroll’s new book and The Natasha Allegri Adventure Time With Fionna & Cake series. More of Stokoe’s Orc Stain, more Empowered, more Finder, more BPRD–  It should be a good year for comics.

What guilty pleasure (of any kind) are you looking forward to in 2013? jeeze, I sit around drawing Dirty pair fan art all day, I don’t think I have any guilt in me.


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Jeffrey Brown
cartoonist, www.jeffreybrowncomics.com

2013 Projects:   Vader’s little princess (spring 2013), A Matter Of Life (summer 2013), Jedi Academy (fall 2013)

What was the biggest story in comics in 2012? Chris Ware and Building Stories. A book that blurs the lines between comics, art and literature and has not only gotten the mainstream critical and popular attention it deserves, but has also gave occasion for Chris to come out and do a lot of interviews and events, probably the most since Jimmy Corrigan came out. The book is a complex and moving work that managed to surprise, even all the parts that had been published previously.

What will be the biggest story in comics in 2013? The success of Before Watchmen will bring about a whole series of new ‘Before’ books. They’ll be all the rage, with Marvel and Image getting in on the trend with Before The Avengers Versus The X-Men and Before Darker Image,respectively. I’m looking forward to Before From Hell, still undecided about the Jack Kirby spin-off Third World Omnibus.

What guilty pleasure (of any kind) are you looking forward to in 2013? Shamelessly crawling back to watch the NHL when the lockout ends, even if it isn’t until next October.


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Todd Allen
educator, writer, www.comicsbeat.com
2013 Projects: The Beat, Economics of Digital Comics, finishing The Cult of Low Self-Esteem
What was the biggest story in comics in 2012? “Name” creators returning to independent comics.

Alternately, Marvel seeing itself on the same path DC was on in early 2011 and opting for a relaunch.
What will be the biggest story in comics in 2013? It’s starting to look like digital comics are going to escape the walled garden of specialty apps.

Alternately, creator flight from DC and Marvel, if the current trends continue.
What guilty pleasure (of any kind) are you looking forward to in 2013? Buck Rogers by Howard Chaykin
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Atom! Freeman
sales, www.valiantentertainment.com

2013 Projects: Selling the Valiant Universe with both hands.
What was the biggest story in comics in 2012?  You said I wasn’t suppose to promote, but to my mind the return of Valiant brought by fans to fans has been the story of 2012. In a year where we saw Avengers (a fan directed film) explode into film, Valiant (a company founded by fans) has shown that passion and commercial success don’t have to negate each other.
What will be the biggest story in comics in 2013? I’m excited to see how comics (both print and digital) change and still retain their comics essence in 2013. It seems like we’re entering a new age that has been promised for awhile and books like Anomaly are showing the way.
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Tom Kaczynski
cartoonist, publisher. http://www.uncivilizedbooks.comhttp://www.transatlantis.net/blog

2013 Projects:  Beta Testing the Apocalypse (Fantagraphics) should be out anytime now from Fantagraphics. I’m putting on the finishing touches on Trans Terra: Towards A Cartoon Philosophy (Feb 2013, Uncivilized Books) and a short Noir comic for Twin Cities Noir (Aug 2013, Akashic Books). As publisher of Uncivilized Books, I’m working on our next season:Incidents in the Night by David B. (April 2013), Amazing Facts and Beyond by Kevin Huizenga & Dan Zettwoch (May 2013), Sammy the Mouse, Book 2 by Zak Sally (June 2013) and Over the Wall by Peter Wartman (July 2013).

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What was the biggest story in comics in 2012? The proliferation and increased profile of comics small presses (Koyama Press, Yam Books, Oily Comics, Domino Books, Rebus Books, 2D Cloud, Floating World, Desert Island, etc., etc.). There’s a real creative ferment under way. Who knows where it will lead?
What will be the biggest story in comics in 2013? Something big/interesting/unexpected will come out of the small press boom (which will continue unabated in 2013).
What guilty pleasure (of any kind) are you looking forward to in 2013? Star Trek 2


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Christos Gage
writer, @christosgage
2013 Projects: ANGEL & FAITH, WILLOW, ABSOLUTION, AVENGERS ASSEMBLE ANNUAL, SUPERIOR SPIDER-MAN AGE OF ULTRON
What was the biggest story in comics in 2012? An improving market, especially for creator-owned books.
What will be the biggest story in comics in 2013? Hopefully more general audiences seeking out the comics that movies and TV shows are based on.
What guilty pleasure (of any kind) are you looking forward to in 2013? IDW Artist’s Editions. They’re too big to conveniently store, I’ve already read the stories, and I shouldn’t be spending the money, but they are just SO PRETTY.


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Mike Dawson
cartoonist, www.mikedawsoncomics.com

2013 Projects: Graphic novels, “Troop 142”, available now from Secret Acres. “Angie Bongiolatti” available hopefully in 2014 from Secret Acres. “Freddie & Me”, available on amazon and maybe if you’re lucky in a bookstore somewhere, maybe.
What was the biggest story in comics in 2012? The comic conventions were amazing, especially on the small-press/indie circuit. Incredible guests, and apparently, decent-to-strong sales. I heard more than once how smaller publishers look to shows like TCAF or SPX to make a big chunk of money, and don’t rely on traditional distribution methods in the same way.

Also in 2012, I heard a lot of people talking about Kickstarter. My bet is that this will be something I hear a lot about in 2013 too.
What will be the biggest story in comics in 2013? I hope it’s the continued rise of the micro-publisher.
What guilty pleasure (of any kind) are you looking forward to in 2013? Rewatching and rewatching Les Miserables when it comes out on DVD.


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Van Jensen
writer, editor, vandotjensen.tumblr.com

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2013 Projects: The indefatigable Dusty Higgins is currently illustrating a graphic novel I wrote that’s called RUT vs. THE PLANET WITHOUT HEROES, which is a sci fi/superhero story for kids/teens/anyone who is sick of grim ‘n’ gritty superheroes. Jose Pimienta (an artist who will soon be a big name, I’d wager) is illustrating THE LEG, the graphic novel I wrote several years back that’s about the disembodied leg of Mexican President Santa Anna. Neal Obermeyer (the legendary editorial cartoonist) is finishing up the final three issues of SNOW WHITE: THROUGH A GLASS, DARKLY, which is coming in 2013 from SLG Publishing. I’m also working on the usual assortment of other projects that may eventually come to fruition, plus still editing a magazine full time.
What was the biggest story in comics in 2012? I was kind of out of touch this year, but it sounds like the market for single issues had a nice recovery. That’s in part because DC had a great year, but it also has to help that some other publishers were pumping out great comics. Image had a huge output of quality books, and the Valiant relaunch was every bit as successful as I presciently predicted a year ago in this space. Honorable mention to Kickstarter bringing about a new era of self publishing.
What will be the biggest story in comics in 2013? I don’t expect Vertigo to disappear, but I don’t think it’s going to be a place that ushers in new talent the way that it once did. That leaves a pretty big void in the industry. There’s a market for smart books that exist at the intersection of reality and fantasy, and there are a lot of young creators working on stunning projects. Is an existing publisher going to swoop in and take over that section of the market? Is a new publisher going to appear? Or are creators going to continue to eschew the traditional publishing model and forge their own trail? Sorry, no answers from me, only questions.
What guilty pleasure (of any kind) are you looking forward to in 2013? I need to pick up a growler now that the craft beer movement has really taken off in Atlanta.


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Joe Field
owner, Flying Colors, http://FlyingColorsComics.com

2013 Projects:  2013 is the 25th anniversary of Flying Colors, so I’m working on a number of promotions and events to make it a very memorable year. Also, ComicsPRO’s Annual Members Meeting will be in Atlanta in February, and since it is the industry’s only retailer-driven business-centric event, it will be an important meeting early in the year. 

What was the biggest story in comics in 2012?  Another stellar year for comics and the retailers that sell them. We’re an obstinate bunch, so I expect to say the same thing next year! 

What will be the biggest story in comics in 2013?  Can I say Flying Colors’ 25th Anniversary? OK, that’ll be the biggest story for family, friends and fans of Flying Colors, anyway…

What guilty pleasure (of any kind) are you looking forward to in 2013?  The Steve Hackett Genesis Revisited live concert on April 1 in La Mirada CA… that and the new Spock’s Beard CD in March. No guilt in either of those, but it is a chance for me to plug music I love.


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Jay Lynch
cartoonist
2013 Projects:  Bazooka Joe book for Abrams Comic Arts

What was the biggest story in comics in 2012?   Spain’s demise, I guess.  I don’t recall any other comics related news events this year.  

What will be the biggest story in comics in 2013?    We enter Dimension 5 and realize we are all one.  At this point, there will be no need for comics or content media of any kind.
What guilty pleasure (of any kind) are you looking forward to in 2013?   Truffles?  World peace?  The upcoming Kurtzman documentary film, I guess.


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Todd Klein
letterer, historian kleinletters.com

2013 Projects: I’ve just put a new signed print on sale, JOYRIDE in collaboration with artist Gene Ha, info on my website.

What was the biggest story in comics in 2012? Karen Berger leaves DC.

What guilty pleasure (of any kind) are you looking forward to in 2013? Watching more of “Comic Book Men” on TV if there are some.


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Mariah Huehner
writer, editor, SquidyGirl.blogspot.commonstrousproject.blogspot.com

2013 Projects: Emily & The Strangers for Dark Horse Comics and Monstrous Parts (an anthology I’m putting together of prose, comics, poetry & art on body image).
What was the biggest story in comics in 2012? I think I’ll have to go with a trifecta here, and all stuff that happened in just the last few months. 1. The whole “fake” geek girl fiasco was, from my perspective, a HUGE story that went viral and drew attention to an ongoing problem with sexism and elitism within comics specifically, and nerdom/geekdom generally. While there was plenty of unpleasantness, the amount of support and criticism of the the whole idea of “fake” geek girls gives me a lot of hope. 2. Karen Berger leaving Vertigo. That’s so huge it was trending on Twitter. 3. Gail Simone being taken off Batgirl. That happened just before I got this survey and most people are pretty baffled/upset.
What will be the biggest story in comics in 2013? I always wish I had a crystal ball on this one because it’s never what you think it’ll be. So maybe I’ll just go with: creator owned comics like Saga continuing to change the landscape of the industry and making work creators have complete control over more viable. Because I’d really -like- for that to be the biggest (not to mention ongoing) news story.
What guilty pleasure (of any kind) are you looking forward to in 2013? You know, I don’t have “guilty” pleasures anymore, I don’t think. Just things I enjoy and no longer feel weird about because feeling guiltyfor liking stuff seems like a waste of energy now that I’m old. I’m currently spending a year living in Europe, so I plan on enjoying that as much as possible and writing until my hands fall off or my brain leaks out. The fact that I know I spend too much time writing about Tolkien on Twitter is about as close to feeling guilty as I think I want to get.


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Jeff Trexler
lawyer, journalist, www.comicsbeat.com
2013 Projects: Watch this space.
What was the biggest story in comics in 2012? In law, it was a story no one covered: the panel of Ninth Circuit judges selected to decide the appeal in the Siegel Superman lawsuit. At least two of the judges are more likely than others to be disposed to upholding creators versus a large corporation, significantly increasing the chances that the lower court’s more creative reasoning might be upheld. If certain other judges had been chosen for the panel the case could have a been a lock for reversal.
Runners up:

–the October decision shutting down the Shuster termination claim. Assuming it’s upheld, which seems likely, DC will remain co-owner of Superman for years to come.
–the end of MoCCA as a self-standing nonprofit.
–the success of the Avengers and the departure of Karen Berger, both of which underscore the extent to which mainstream comics has become a post-creator economy. Producers rule, and they write the contracts.
What will be the biggest story in comics in 2013? In law, the 2008 Siegel ruling gets upheld. Or it doesn’t. Either way, headlines.
Runners up:
–the copyright termination claims that aren’t being filed. The arrival of the first thirty-five year effective date for reclaiming transferred copyrights should call attention to the relative lack of filings and viable claims. This stands in sharp contrast to the music industry, where termination has been a significant issue for reasons that go beyond one or two high profile cases.
–the Pacific Pictures case will continue to have interesting developments.
–things do not look good for the Kirby heirs.

–a work of graphic-novel journalism will have a substantial impact on a high profile issue. Perhaps not in 2013, but it’s likely to happen at some point.
–obscenity prosecution continues to be an issue, with the free-speech community winning occasional small but expensive skirmishes while continuing to be on the defensive.

What guilty pleasure (of any kind) are you looking forward to in 2013? The success of H’el on Earth leads DC to introduce the S’amsara, an interstellar cabal of apostrophed apotheosized supervillains, including P’urgatory, V’al Halla, G’henna, J’hannam and their flying monkey mascot, Lord H’numan.


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Simon Fraser
cartoonist, http://simonfraser.net, http://activatecomix.com

2013 Projects:
Dr Who: The Prisoner of Time Part 1 for IDW
Rocket De La Revolucion , written by Monty Nero for 2000AD
Prison Ship Antares for Alex DeCampi’s GRINDHOUSE at Dark Horse
Lilly Mackenzie & the Treasure of Paros for ACTIVATEcomix.com

What was the biggest story in comics in 2012? The increasing talent flight from Marvel & DC is making Image comics particularly a serious player. The audiences will benefit if they are willing to shake off their childhood habits and invest in the future of comics. Old habits die hard though.

What will be the biggest story in comics in 2013? The same old story, that comics will persist and grow regardless of the economy and the prevailing fashions. The truth of the matter is that comics is a peculiarly accessible medium and that in good times of bad it will be the creators that keep it growing and developing. The readership will catch up eventually…or not. It doesn’t even matter, we’re having fun regardless.

What guilty pleasure (of any kind) are you looking forward to in 2013? Iron Man 3

Comments

  1. Nice to see Simon Fraaser have a full workload despite the end of his magnificent 15 year series Nikola Dante. THAT should have been on everyone elses list as ‘Comics of the Year’.

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