Here’s Part Two of our annual survey of creators with LOTS of news on tap for what’s coming in 2018. Also a special shout out to Eleanor Davis for being one of the most inspiring people in comics, as you’ll see from the responses below.
PS: I nominate MariNaomi’s guilty pleasure as the best of all.
You can check out Part One of the survey here.
Julia Wertz, cartoonist
2018 Projects: A graphic novel for Koyama Press about my last five years in NYC. It’ll be an expansion of this piece I did years ago.
What was the biggest story of 2017? Edith Zimmerman starting Spiralbound on Medium. Edith recently entered the world of comics, and she’s doing a great job at giving creators a voice, good pay, and support.
Guilty Pleasure of 2018: more of anything from Gina Wynbrandt!
Who or what inspires you? Nicole Georges. Her passion for helping younger people express themselves and their identities, and find their voice through creativity. She also toured relentlessly for Fetch, which I think takes a lot of stamina and love for comics.
Karen Green, librarian/historian
2018 Projects: I wish I could provide preview pages, but my 2018 projects have to do with archival acquisitions, and I can’t talk about them in public just yet.
What was the biggest story of 2017? Man, I’d love to say it was something positive, like, say, the steady increase in the number of women winning comics awards, but I feel as if the Eddie Berganza story–not necessarily in itself, but in the rocks it ended up overturning–has to take the prize for sheer impact and ongoing repercussions.
What will be the biggest story of 2018? Gosh, I hope it will be something positive, like, say, the steady increase in the number of women winning comics awards.
Guilty Pleasure of 2018: I don’t know how guilty it is, but I’m looking forward to some nice European travel in the first couple months of the year, where with any luck I won’t hear any news about the continuing destruction of everything I believed my country stood for.
Who or what inspires you? Does it have to be someone current? Because I’ve been going back through Art Young’s work–both what we have here in Rare Books and what’s in Glenn Bray’s new book about him--and I’m blown away by his continued relevance. You could publish damn near any of his cartoons on today’s editorial page, and it would fit right in.
Kieron Gillen, writer
2018 Projects: Star Wars, The Wicked + The Divine, Uber Invasion, Doctor Aphra and hopefully Ludocrats and Codename: SPANGLY NEW THING! will drop. Perhaps some other things.
What was the biggest story of 2017? Brian heading to DC seemed like real end of an era stuff.
What will be the biggest story of 2018? I normally say something outside the Direct Market. This time, I think it IS the Direct Market. There’s many things intersecting there, and whatever happens, for better or worse, is going to define how comics feels in 2018.
Guilty Pleasure of 2018: Finding out whatever they’re going to do with the new LoTR TV stuff. This is the definition of guilty.
Who or what inspires you? The Wild Storm
Ryan Sands, publisher, Youth in Decline
2018 Projects: Frontier is back in 2018 with 4 new issues of our ongoing artist spotlight series. New issues from Tatsuro Kiuchi, Ako Castuera, Lauren Weinstein, and Tiffany Ford.
What was the biggest story of 2017? Wonderful, creative people continuing to make work in the face of another dark year on our stupid planet.
What will be the biggest story of 2018? Wonderful, creative people continuing to make work in the face of an even darker year on our stupid planet.
Who or what inspires you? Sex Fantasy by Sophia Foster-Dimino
Ted Adams, CEO, IDW Publishing
2018 Projects: Diablo House — my first creator-owned project, with art by Santiperez. I’ve been having a lot of fun doing one-and-done horror stories in the vein of House of Mystery and House of Secrets.
Full Bleed — the quarterly magazine I’m co-editing with Dirk Wood. This is a real passion project for us and I’m happy with the way the first issue turned out.
Wynonna Earp Season Three
Locke & Key TV show
Developing a new line of prose books for IDW.
Exploring new retail opportunities for comics and graphic novels.
What was the biggest story of 2017? Declining sales in the Direct Market
What will be the biggest story of 2018? New retail opportunities for comics and graphic novels
Guilty Pleasure of 2018: Joe Ide’s next novel and the fourth season of Bosch
Who or what inspires you? Hal Foster. Fantagraphic’s artist’s edition of his Prince Valiant work blew my mind. Foster’s work ethic and artistic ability is truly inspiring.
Jeffrey Brown, cartoonist
2018 Projects: I’m just wrapping up the third book in my Lucy & Andy Neanderthal series, due out in the fall.
What was the biggest story of 2017? Some people with alleged histories of misconduct finally being removed from their positions at various publishers.
What will be the biggest story of 2018? One of the big publishers actually considers hiring a woman as editor-in-chief. Baby steps, comics, baby steps.
Guilty Pleasure of 2018: I’m going to try and draw something that I don’t have publishing plans for, just something for fun for myself.
Who or what inspires you? Emil Ferris, My Favorite Thing Is Monsters
Sarah Stern, colorist/artist
2018 Projects: Cindersong, Zodiac Starforce 2, Breaklands
What was the biggest story of 2017? Discussion around women and minorities working in comics, gamergate-like harrassment from people like Richard C. Meyer & his followers
What will be the biggest story of 2018? All publishers start offering competitive pagerates, royalties, and benefits to freelancers, sky rains candy, etc.
John Patrick Green, cartoonist
2018 Projects: The first book in my new series KITTEN CONSTRUCTION COMPANY comes out from First Second in September! I’m currently drawing the second book.
What was the biggest story of 2017? The C.B. Cebulski/Akira Yoshida story is a pretty big deal, and I think there’s more to it that has yet to be revealed.
What will be the biggest story of 2018? Aside from more fallout from Akira Yoshida, I think Disney now controlling (almost) all of the media rights for Marvel’s properties means we’ll see a renewed focus on some of the comics (that were rumored to have been sabotaged by Marvel Comics so that the film versions from other studios wouldn’t get cross-promotional support.) Now with just about everything back under one roof, some comics (Fantastic Four) might get more attention.
Guilty Pleasure of 2018: Not sure if it will be out in 2018, but whatever that new Lord of the Rings TV show is going to be. I guess I could also say the next Avengers film or Star Wars film, but those are annual events now, and I should probably diversify my guilty pleasures a bit.
Who or what inspires you? This is really an inspiration from my youth, but because of the new feline-focused series I’m doing has kinda come back this past year: Garfield/Jim Davis. And I can’t attribute inspiration to the Garfield of 2017, but to my memories of Garfield from the early ’80s.
Eric Reynolds, Associate publisher, Fantagraphics
2018 Projects: Ellen Forney’s ROCK STEADY, Broadbent & Dix’s DULL MARGARET, the ongoing NOW anthology, the ongoing LOVE AND ROCKETS series by the Hernandez Brothers, Anne Simon’s SONG OF AGLAIA, Jim Woodring’s POOCHYTOWN, Johnny Ryan’s PRISON PIT, Crockett Johnson’s BARNABY Vol. 4, Walt Kelly’s COMPLETE POGO Vol. 5, Olivier Schrauwen’s PARALLEL LIVES, amongst other surprises not yet announced.
What was the biggest story of 2017? Beginning to confront our industry’s chronic problems with sexual harassment and gender imbalance.
What will be the biggest story of 2018? Probably something that has nothing to do with the art form, unfortunately.
Guilty Pleasure of 2018: Seeing how Lions Forge’s influence affects the Beat.
Who or what inspires you? Eleanor Davis. As a cartoonist, a human, a citizen, and a woman, she is a gold standard across the board and the biggest badass in comics right now.
Calista Brill, editor, First Second
2018 Projects: The Adventure Zone: Here There Be Gerblins
What was the biggest story of 2017? Sexual harassment.
What will be the biggest story of 2018? Hopefully not also sexual harassment.
Guilty Pleasure of 2018: Finally watching some goddamn superhero movies
Who or what inspires you? Eleanor Davis, for her activism, bravery, and kick-ass cartooning.
Andrew Farago, Curator, Cartoon Art Museum
2018 Projects: Curating a full year’s worth of exhibitions at the Cartoon Art Museum; co-writing The Zombie Gnome Defense Guide with Shaenon K. Garrity for Running Press; writing Voltron: The Ultimate Visual History for Insight Editions.
What was the biggest story of 2017? It feels like a cheat to say “continued acceptance of graphic novels as a legitimate form of literature for children and young readers,” but the impact and the reach of kids’ graphic novels is growing exponentially, and it’s having greater and greater impact on all other fields of comics publishing.
What will be the biggest story of 2018? If Net Neutrality and proper funding for the ACA go away, legions of self-employed cartoonists will, too. I hope that’s not the case, and that we’re all fondly looking back on the Aquaman movie instead, but it’s shaping up to be an even rougher year than normal for freelancers.
Guilty Pleasure of 2018: Getting a babysitter so I can see that big gigantic Avengers movie in the spring.
Who or what inspires you? How about B. Kliban? The fact that I’d gone my whole life without seeing this, possibly the greatest cartoon in human history, reminds me that there will always be undiscovered comics out there, new and old.
Kwanza Osajyefo, writer
2018 Projects: The next tentpole book after BLACK, more BLACK [AF] interstitials, and… secrets.
What was the biggest story of 2017? Disney buying Fox assets containing X-Men, FF, and Star Wars: A New Hope
What will be the biggest story of 2018? The Black Panther film
Guilty Pleasure of 2018: More Nickelodeon’s TMNT â€“ there’s more right?
Who or what inspires you? So many, the launch of Catalyst Prime, 1000, Bingo Love, and The LAAB
2018 Projects: I have two books coming out in 2018: Losing the Girl (part one in a trilogy) published by Graphic Universe in May, then Carnivore (tentative title) published by 2dcloud in the Fall. I also have a comic strip that runs in Razorcake (and online on Patreon.com/marinaomi) called Asian Goth Punks Rule the World!
What was the biggest story in comics in 2017? Nick Gazin’s demoralizing “top-8-comics-of-2017-because-I-couldn’t-be-bothered-to-read-ten-comics” article in Vice, therefore rendering Vice completely irrelevant in the world of comics. All eight of the comics were by dudes, of course.
What will be the biggest story in comics in 2018? Hm…new comics editor hired at Vice?
Guilty Pleasure: Using my Gudetama suitcase to go on book tour!
What inspires you: I am constantly inspired by my friendships with cartoonists, including (but not limited to) Yumi Sakugawa, Rob Kirby and Mary Fleener for their amazing work and wonderful attitudes toward the craft and life in general. This past year, Emil Ferris’s My Favorite Thing is Monsters and Dominique Goblet’s Pretending is Lying really woke up my creative spirit.
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.