Yep it’s the return of an annual Beat tradition that goes back nearly a decade, as comic folk from every level of the industry — creators, reporters, retailers, publshers—talk about the issues of the year past and look at the issues of the year to come. There are always a lot of thoughtful answers in this survey, but this year a LOT of very important and thought-provoking topics are looked at from crowdfunding to harassment.
And as always, there are previews and news scattered in the 2014 projects. So settle in and enjoy—there is so much more to come.
Dylan Horrocks, cartoonist
2014 Projects: The Magic Pen.
What was the biggest story in comics in 2013? Here in New Zealand, the biggest story was Adrian Kinnaird’s book FROM EARTH’S END: THE BEST OF NEW ZEALAND COMICS, published by Random House (NZ) last month. nearly 450 pages of the history and current landscape of NZ’s comics scene. Turns out we had a thriving comics industry in the 1940s-50s that died out partly due to censorship. Plus: stories (or excerpts) from 35 contemporary NZ cartoonists, chapters on the influence of comics on NZ art, writing and film-making – and more! Here’s the book: http://www.randomhouse.co.nz/books/adrian-kinnaird/from-earths-end-the-best-of-new-zealand-comics-9781869799953.aspx and here’s Adrian’s blog: http://fromearthsend.blogspot.co.nz/
What will be the biggest story in comics in 2014? No idea, but it sure as hell won’t be supehero movies. Maybe crowdfunding? Already seems to have made a huge impact, but the recent Fantagraphics Kickstarter drive suggest to me it will only become more significant to comics publishing.
What guilty pleasure (of any kind) are you looking forward to in 2014? It will almost certainly involve food. And definitely *won’t* involve superhero movies.
Heidi MacDonald is the founder and editor in chief of The Beat. In the past, she worked for Disney, DC Comics, Fox and Publishers Weekly. She can be heard regularly on the More To Come Podcast. She likes coffee, cats and noble struggle.