And so we wrap up this year’s with the last round of replies, and if one thing is clear it’s that a lot of people are looking forward to a new Star Wars movie. Once again, thanks to everyone who took the time from their busy schedules to respond. Previous parts can be read here: Part One, Part Two, Part Three, Part Four.
Greg Pak, writer
2015 Projects: ACTION COMICS, BATMAN/SUPERMAN, STORM, and my new online store,gregpakshop.com, where you can buy signed copies of my books!
What was the biggest story in comics in 2014? Diversity. After the success of MS. MARVEL, there’s no going back. We’re going to continue seeing more and more diversity of casts and genres and art styles in mainstream and independent comics, and that’s a fantastic thing that’s healthy for the entire industry in every way.
What will be the biggest story in comics in 2015? Diversity. Not just among casts, genre, and art style, but among actual creators. I think there was a time not too long ago when I was the only person of color writing for the big two. That’s going to change. And we’re going to see more and more women writing and drawing, and comics will continue to tap into new audiences as a result, which will be better for the entire industry.
What guilty pleasure (of any kind) are you looking forward to in 2015? I got one of those fancy blenders, and it’s gonna be fruit smoothies 24/7, y’all.
Richard Starkings, writer/lettering guru
2015 Projects: ELEPHANTMEN — 60 issues and still counting! THE BEEF with Tyler Shainline and Shaky Kane! This years comicbookfonts.com New Year’s Day sale… we’ve been posting Lettering Q&A videos everyday on the Comicraft YOUTUBE channel
What was the biggest story in comics in 2014? GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY becoming such a huge hit.
What will be the biggest story in comics in 2015? Probably STAR WARS comics, toys and the movie!
What guilty pleasure (of any kind) are you looking forward to in 2015? THOUGHT BUBBLE 2015. Best comic festival IN THE GALAXY!
2015 Projects: Harley Quinn, The Con Job, Abbadon, G.I.Zombie.
What was the biggest story in comics in 2014?
I think getting more women in the business and hearing from different voices with many different ethnic backgrounds as well as mainstream comics becoming more global. With this, I hope we get to a place where we look at the work with a better eye and less about the person that created it. I am hoping traditional superheroes mature a bit in the process.
What will be the biggest story in comics in 2015?
Hopefully it will be the direction of certain creators getting behind their own creations and the audiences out there supporting them. I also think IMAGE comics will finally beat out one of the big two companies and cause them to rethink they way they share profits and creator owned ideas.
What guilty pleasure (of any kind) are you looking forward to in 2015? For me, the guilty pleasure I am now enjoying is moving a lot of what I do out of my house and into a studio surrounding and making our Paperfilms website the place to find my own future projects. That, and a couple of movies on my radar that are not franchises or part 30 of something that has already been beaten to death.
J.T. Yost, publisher/creator
2015 Projects: As a publisher (Birdcage Bottom Books):
- A collection of short stories by Dakota McFadzean (probably a risograph printing)
- “LOUD COMIX #5” by Jamie Vayda (featuring stories written by various southern punk-rock musicians and other riff-raff)
- “On The Other Hand” anthology (comics drawn using the artist’s non-dominant hand)
- “Bottoms Up!” anthology (stories of hitting rock-bottom and recovery)
As a distributor:
Birdcage Bottom Books continues to expand its roster of indie-comic artists and micro-press publishers with a focus on limited-edition hand-made mini comics. Our mission is to make comics without barcodes easier to find and own while allowing comic artists to focus more time on creating and less on marketing & promotion.
As an artist:
Finishing up several short comics for various anthologies (including “Not My Small Diary #18 (pets)”) and hopefully working on finishing the final issue of my “Losers Weepers” series.
What was the biggest story in comics in 2014? I don’t know that it’s the biggest story, but I found it interesting that several of the larger indie-comics publishers (Fantagraphics, Last Gasp, Sparkplug, etc.) have turned to Kickstarter to help fund their publishing endeavors.
My own publishing company has used it for two anthologies (“Digestate: a food & eating themed anthology” and “Cringe: an anthology of embarrassment”) with great success. Kickstarter is a great way to reach a broader audience and offer additional incentives to “pre-order” a book.
What will be the biggest story in comics in 2015? The success or failure of The Peanuts movie will probably make some headlines.
What guilty pleasure (of any kind) are you looking forward to in 2015? Visiting one of the “cat cafés” opening in NYC this year. My cats died a few years ago, and my wife is allergic (plus we have a chihuahua who hates cats). I actually don’t feel guilty about this at all, but there are some who would insist that I should be.
Josh Elder, writer and Comics Ambassador for the US State Department (Yes, that’s really a thing.)
2015 Projects: The trade paperback for Scribblenauts Unmasked by myself, Adam Archer, Ian Hering and Saida Temofonte (with edits by Alex Antone) drops in February from the fine folks at DC Comics. I’ve got a couple additional unannounced projects from DC on the docket in 2015, the relaunch of my Mail Oder Ninja series from Andrews McMeel Publishing and about a half-dozen personal projects that have been long in the works. I’m also continuing in my role as Executive Director of Reading With Pictures and Comics Ambassador for the US State Department to promote the use of comics in the classroom all around the world.
What was the biggest story in comics in 2014? Amazon’s acquisition of comiXology. The world’s biggest and most influential e-retailer just bet big on comics. ComiXology itself is obviously the big winner here, but the Amazon acquisition is a clear sign that the big boys of digital content distribution think that comics could well be the next big thing. And that is very exciting indeed.
What will be the biggest story in comics in 2015? I know of a certain something that, should it come to pass, would be a major contender for the top spot (How’s that for a tease?), but since I cannot yet speak of such matters, I’ll instead go with all the ch-ch-changes at DC Comics due to the Great Western Migration. Jobs will live, jobs will die and nothing will ever be the same again!
What guilty pleasure (of any kind) are you looking forward to in 2015? Against all reason and better judgment, I am getting crazy excited for Star Wars. The movie, the comics, even that kooky, cross-guard lightsaber. I’ve been burned so many times before, yet I still think I’ll be waiting in line opening night to return to a galaxy far, far away…
2015 Projects: Revenger
What was the biggest story in comics in 2014? Conversation of gender around comics.
Guilty Pleasure: New Star Wars!
2015 Projects: The Late Child and Other Animals with Marguerite Van Cook, a graphic novel just out from Fantagraphics Books; plus I am currently working on the second issue of Post York for Uncivilized Books and also finishing my critical book about Jim Steranko.
What was the biggest story in comics in 2014? The Jack Kirby estate’s settlement with Marvel Comics/Disney that ensures Kirby’s creative credit and gives the family substantial financial compensation.
What will be the biggest story in comics in 2015? I’d like to think it would be an epiphany in America regarding the superior quality of Hugo Pratt’s work, due to IDW/EuroComics’ new Corto Maltese reprint series.
What guilty pleasure (of any kind) are you looking forward to in 2015? Now having the option to read a Marvel Comic or watch a Marvel movie without feeling like I am helping a corporation rip the Kirbys off.
2015 Projects: Chris is busy scripting funny books like ALIENS and DOC SAVAGE (and a whole list of other projects he can’t talk about yet), while Allison is the Director of Operations for IDW.
What was the biggest story in comics in 2014? Our perspective is a little skewed because of personal involvement, perhaps, but one of the most interesting things about comics in 2014 was more about the influence of comics on another medium than about comics as a medium in itself: namely, television. Comics being adapted into successful movies is nothing new, as a quick glance at the box office results for any recent year will attest. But successful television adaptations of comics have been pretty thin on the ground in the past, with occasional standouts. But the success of THE WALKING DEAD may have signaled a changing landscape. Marvel’s AGENTS OF SHIELD will soon be joined by an AGENT CARTER spinoff. And it was announced that DC’s ARROW will be joined by FIVE new series that will air on various networks based on their comics, including one that is near and dear to our hearts, Rob Thomas and Diane Ruggiero-Wright’s adaptation of Chris and Mike Allred’s iZOMBIE. Recently, Sony’s Playstation Network announced plans to adapt Brian Michael Bendis and Michael Avon Oeming’s POWERS. And there were probably more that we’re forgetting. In the short term, we’re sure that many of us hope that the increased exposure these kinds of adaptations bring will mean for increased sales for the titles that are being adapted themselves (that’s what WE’RE very much hoping for, anyway). But on another level, it might suggest that there is a far larger potential audience for the kinds of stories these comics are telling than the comics themselves are reaching.
What will be the biggest story in comics in 2015? There were some really interesting trends the last couple of years, with independent publishers taking increasingly large market shares and retail sales in direct market shops rebounding, in addition to more and more creator-owned titles ending up on mainstream bestseller lists. We’re still in a transitionary period, with the ground continuing to shift underneath our feet, and the biggest story in comics next year could be what the landscape ends up looking like when the dust has settled.
2015 Projects: GOTHAM ACADEMY (DC) SOUTHERN CROSS (IMAGE)
What was the biggest story in comics in 2014? Comics are for everyone! Diversity took the spotlight this year, diversity in creators, characters and fans. Yes there was a lot of ugly stuff, but I like to remember the positives and there was a lot of good discussions and progress made too. Publishers are paying more attention to how they are hiring and marketing, and who is reading. I love comics and looking back on this year it makes me really happy and proud to be a part of this community. Serious feels.
What will be the biggest story in comics in 2015? Creator owned books are going to own 2015. Like how they owned 2014 except even more.
What guilty pleasure (of any kind) are you looking forward to in 2015? I am going to learn all the lyrics to Journey’s Separate Ways specifically to rock at karaoke.
Tom Hart, cartoonist, educator
2015 Projects: Rosalie Lightning, due hopefully in 2015, from St Martins Press
Continued running of The Sequential Artists Workshop with guest workshops in 2015 by Ed Piskor (Hip Hop Family Tree) and Aidan Koch (q, The Blonde Woman, etc.)
What was the biggest story in comics in 2014? Oversized archive books
What will be the biggest story in comics in 2015? The decline of ink as medium of choice
What guilty pleasure (of any kind) are you looking forward to in 2015? Reading Amanda Palmer’s book, the Art of Asking. That probably doesn’t count, does it?
Adam Koford, writer/cartoonist
2015 Projects: I just hit #2600 with the Laugh-Out-Loud Cats at HOBOTOPIA.com with no end in sight (though I am sending them underground for a while), and I wrote the Spider-Man Play Set for Disney Infinity 2.0.
What was the biggest story in comics in 2014? The success of the Guardians of the Galaxy film and the subsequent ubiquitousness of Rocket and Groot.
What will be the biggest story in comics in 2015? DC’s move west will be fun to watch.
What guilty pleasure (of any kind) are you looking forward to in 2015? My kids have got me hooked on HeroClix, so I’m a little too excited for the upcoming Spider-Man Symbiotes figures.
Alex Segura, writer/editor
2015 Projects: Writer of crime novels and comics, Archie Comics PR guy and Editor of Dark Circle Comics
What was the biggest story in comics in 2014? Comics are everywhere. It isn’t just movies – but TV, video games and more. Selfishly, I also felt like the ARCHIE #1 news caught a lot of people by surprise. I also feel like Image continues to defy preconceptions about what a “big publisher” is in comics, dovetailing nicely with what cable TV seems to be doing.
What will be the biggest story in comics in 2015? For me, it’s the launch of Archie’s superhero imprint, Dark Circle Comics with THE BLACK HOOD, THE FOX and THE SHIELD. Overall, I think it’ll be a continuation of what we’ve seen over the last few years – creators getting to tell their own, personal stories/creating their own characters as their livelihoods, as opposed to something done between work-for-hire gigs. I think you’ll also see that influencing how IP-owning companies approach their own characters and promote them. Los Bros Hernandez
What guilty pleasure (of any kind) are you looking forward to in 2015? I don’t believe in guilty pleasure – but I’m always happy when there’s more Achewood!
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.