Yep it’s part three of our annual look at the year coming and going. My trip to Angouleme in 2014 enabled me to add more international participants to the survey, so look for some perspective the global comics business and even a wee Joann Sfar preview in the answers below. Part One and Part Two of the survey can be found here.
Dean Haspiel, cartoonist
2015 Projects: The Fox, Billy Dogma
What was the biggest story in comics in 2014? Print Is Dead? Long Live Too Much Information.
I remember back when comic books spoke for themselves and recommended each other. Nowadays? Nowadays we know WAY too much about our process and each other and less about the comix. TMI fosters empty hype and unnecessary scandal that kills the magic of creativity. Sure there will always be industry problems that need to be addressed and changed but it seems like the majority of the people I talk to know more ABOUT comix than actually buy and indulge them. We might as well be debating the pros and cons of astronaut diapers. And, how many more armchair philosophers are going to sprout like moss and negatively attack any given comix topic? When did our hard work get boiled down to a sensational headline scribbled by Tom, Dick and Jane? Sure, it’s nice that our friends and family basically replaced the Roger Ebert’s of the world but I miss Roger Ebert. I count on my progenitors of cool to keep it considered and qualified. Otherwise, we’re only advertising to each other and hardly anyone is buying.
I’m as guilty as the next clown of teasing my action while sharing others in some kind of desperate survival instinct to sincerely spark a kernel of honest interest via social networking. I hate that I have to trend well in order to be let into the party when I’m just trying to show up to my own party. It makes my projects seem less a priority and it’s becoming a futile exercise competing with his lunchtime pix, her subway ride rant, and the pop culture gossip that seems to trump anything significant. At the end of the day, I’m producing less artistic content just so I can appear to stay relevant to a mass attention-deficit disorder populace that can’t focus for more than 30-seconds.
It’s becoming evident that movies and TV have picked up where mainstream superhero comics left off. Eventually, franchise publishers are going to wholly abandon print for digital. Fine. I get it. So, let’s rally the troops and take advantage of the handful of brick and mortar stores that are still standing tall and line the shelves with comix that mean something more than just perpetuating revamped dinosaurs. Do yourself a favor the next time you pick up your next haul of comfort comix, try something new and independent and think about what it took to get that into your hands. I make comix because I have to. Not because they’re cool.
What will be the biggest story in comics in 2015? Franchise comic book characters will be wholly redefined by their movie and television counterparts and the comic book (proper) will be redefined by creator-owned comics.
What guilty pleasure (of any kind) are you looking forward to in 2015? Adding jelly to my peanut butter sandwich.
Jen Vaughn, gal friday of comics
2015 Project: Cartozia Tales in my free time (ha!)
What was the biggest story in comics in 2014? Jaime and Gilbert Hernandez (Love and Rockets) winning Eisners FINALLY!
What will be the biggest story in comics in 2015? Women taking over ascending the ranks comics company (and the trickle-down) and maybe seeing if DC’s line of comics changes at all due to moving coasts.
What guilty pleasure (of any kind) are you looking forward to in 2015? Bitch Planet/Lumberjanes crossover. We can make that happen just by saying it, right?
Jude Killory, cartoonist
2015 Projects: BEK -9th Art Ink.
What was the biggest story in comics in 2014? The Kirby family settling with Marvel/Disney.
What will be the biggest story in comics in 2015? Probably some horrible sexual harassment controversy, but it will more than likely be the complete overtaking of Hollywood by all the superhero content that is coming out.
What guilty pleasure (of any kind) are you looking forward to in 2015? Not guilty but I like that the Billy Ireland Museum and Tom Spurgeon are working together.
Ryan Sands, publisher Youth in Decline
2015 Projects: Thickness collection for TCAF 2015, and another year of Frontier issues featuring Jillian Tamaki, Anna Deflorian, Becca Tobin, and Michael DeForge
What was the biggest story in comics in 2014? Cartoonists moving to LA for animation
What will be the biggest story in comics in 2015? For indie comics: the year of the subscriber and patron model’s full embrace.
What guilty pleasure (of any kind) are you looking forward to in 2015? Taking the summer off from endless comics shows.
Stuart Moore, writer, editor
2015 Projects: EGOs: Comic book series from Image Comics, with artist Gus Storms. Resumes in February 2015 with issue #5, which begins a new storyline: CRUNCHED.
CONVERGENCE: SUPERBOY AND THE LEGION OF SUPERHEROES. Two issues from DC, April/May 2015, featuring my favorite comics team.
What was the biggest story in comics in 2014? I’d have to say the sheer number of comics-derived TV series, mostly from DC, that made it onto the air.
What will be the biggest story in comics in 2015? My guess: There won’t be one big story, but a continued push into the public consciousness by comics creators and characters. The other day I linked to a story about the casting of Krysten Ritter as Bendis’s P.I. character Jessica Jones, and the thumbnail that popped up was a photo of John Constantine! That’s two characters I myself have worked on, and neither one is a super hero. This a phenomenal time for comics.
What guilty pleasure (of any kind) are you looking forward to in 2015? New issues of DELL LOGIC LOVER’S LOGIC PROBLEMS. A man’s got to keep his mind sharp.
2015 Projects: an annual american version of SCARCE composed only of in-depth interviews, an exhibit on Ernie Colon in France.
What was the biggest story in comics in 2014? The purchase of the Gold Key super-heroes characters from Dynamite. It seemed that, after Dark Horse, they failed too (all of the series will end with issue 12? For something coming out from Dynamite (usually more focused on covers than interior story and art), the product wasn’t bad. Who’s next?
What will be the biggest story in comics in 2015? In my cristal ball, I see more and more good stuff coming from Archie Comics. I’m really eager to see what they will do with their new Dark Circle superhero line.
What guilty pleasure (of any kind) are you looking forward to in 2015? Jem and the Holograms drawn by Ross campbell from IDW.
2015 Projects: Apocypha Now: a sequel to the bible
What was the biggest story in comics in 2014? DC Comics moving to LA. It’s the end of an era.
Amazon buying ComiXology. It shows a serious shift of taking digital comics seriously.
What will be the biggest story in comics in 2015? DC Comics actually moving to LA.
What guilty pleasure (of any kind) are you looking forward to in 2015? IDW doing Garbage Pail Kids. I love the card series. Nice to see a relaunch. I’m super stoked to be a part of it.
Lora Fountain, Managing Director, AGENCE LITTERAIRE LORA FOUNTAIN & ASSOCIATES, Paris
2015 Projects: JHERONIMUS, a graphic novel about Bosch by Dutch artist Marcel Ruijters which is being prepared to come out for 500th anniversary of Bosch’s death in 2016. And, JERUSALEM, a massive novel (not graphic, but print) by Alan Moore to be published in the UK by Knockabout and for which I am currently selling world rights
What was the biggest story in comics in 2014? For me, it was THIS ONE SUMMER by Jillian Tamaki and Mariko Tamaki. Not only has this lovely coming of age story been sold in many different translations, but it has also been picking up prizes right left and centre, including the very prestigious Governor General’s prize for illustration in Canada, and is on a bunch of “best books of 2014” lists. (Yes, I worked on selling translation rights, but that was my only involvement.)
What will be the biggest story in comics in 2015? THE SCULPTOR by Scott McCloud, which will be published in February by First Second and by a bunch of international publishers throughout the year.
What guilty pleasure (of any kind) are you looking forward to in 2015? Simply being able to sit here reading and not feel at all guilty because I’m still working! (It is made even better if there’s a box of chocolate and a glass of nice wine on the side, of course.)
2015 Projects: Author of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: The Ultimate Visual History (2014), working on a couple of animation books and comic books that will be announced soon.
What was the biggest story in comics in 2014? Shaenon Garrity and I had a baby, which for us was the biggest story and also explains why I have no idea what else happened this year. It seems like every major publisher had at least one really huge book, though, so good for them.
What will be the biggest story in comics in 2015? Star Wars looks like the one to beat for 2015, with the million-selling comic book from Marvel and the first movie with the original cast in thirty-something years. I’m hoping that will serve as a nice reminder to the general public that people are still making comic books, and that comic shops, other publishers, and cartoonists in general will benefit from that.
What guilty pleasure (of any kind) are you looking forward to in 2015? Seeing a movie in a theater, or maybe sleeping in until 9am. Maybe going to a bar.
2015 Projects: Teen Boat 2: The Race for Boatlantis (with writer Dave Roman, comes out Fall 2015 from Clarion Books) and Hippopotamister, my first young readers graphic novel as both writer and artist, coming out Spring 2016 from First Second Books.
What was the biggest story in comics in 2014? I’m sure there were probably more exciting stories, but the Milo Manara Spider-Woman variant cover certainly seemed to take over the comics blogosphere for quite some time.
What will be the biggest story in comics in 2015? Most likely another controversial image or storyline. But Avengers 2 will probably be a big deal, and Star Wars will likely have a big impact on the pop-culture scene, even if that’s still a full year off.
What guilty pleasure (of any kind) are you looking forward to in 2015? I’d be lying if I didn’t say Star Wars. But Avengers: Age of Ultron comes out well before it, so I’ll go with that.
- “The Rabbi’s Cat” by Joann Sfar, the first new book in the series since 2006, which just goes to show that Joann realized how much he loves his characters.
- “Glenn Gould, une vie à contretemps” by Sandrine Revel. It narrates the life of a true genius, and toys with ways of representing ‘music’ through comics storytelling.
- Blutch’s next book.
- The next Thierry Smolderen & Alexandre Clérisse book, l’Eté Diabolik
- Two projects with US artists.
What was the biggest story in comics in 2014? • First of all, French authors uniting and going public about the economical and social issues they encounter. It’s a mess, and there’s a lot of confusion on all sides (and it’s not only a artist/publisher thing). It’s about time certain issues were finally addressed.
- The various studies showing that comic book stores here are not doing so badly. In fact, most of them are even in good shape.
- Globalization (or, to avoid such a connoted word: increased international exchange) of comics going from strength to strength. We’re now selling books to Japan and lots of other new countries. More and more American artists and publishers seem to be taking an interest what we Europeans are doing.
What will be the biggest story in comics in 2015? Bill Watterson coming back to comics ?
The fact that there is no real market for digital comics in France?
An English-speaking writer having a hit on the French market with a local publisher ? Let’s talk, we’re cool…
What guilty pleasure (of any kind) are you looking forward to in 2015? A guilty pleasure…staying naive and carefree. Sadly this is already a lost cause, so let’s say spending more time in Italy. That’s my true guilty pleasure.
2015 Projects: SANDMAN: OVERTURE, FABLES, BATWOMAN, MIRACLEMAN
What was the biggest story in comics in 2014? I can only report on the biggest news to me, which is the success of the oversized “artist edition” hardcovers reprinting comics art at original size, spearheaded by Scott Dunbier at IDW, and now being imitated by many other publishers. It didn’t start this year, but it seems to have grown tremendously and been welcomed by more general comics fans in the past 12 months.
What will be the biggest story in comics in 2015? I have no idea, but it will be interesting to see what changes result from the final DC Comics staff moving out of New York, and all their comics being produced from Los Angeles.
What guilty pleasure (of any kind) are you looking forward to in 2015? I’m still kind of enjoying “Comic Book Men,” Kevin Smith’s TV series, though it gets farther from reality every year.
2015 Projects: Newest season of War of the Woods. It starts off with a 20 page spread of one continuous battle. It’s insane.
What was the biggest story in comics in 2014? I think it continues to be the resurgence and creative domination of creator owned comics. From Action Lab to Z2, the most interesting and inspiring stuff is happening within that space.
What will be the biggest story in comics in 2015? It’s hard to tell, I hope the mobile and digital comics world continues to expand and improve itself. I hope it’s not “Another universe shattering reboot that changes everything forever!!!”
What guilty pleasure (of any kind) are you looking forward to in 2015? I don’t know if it’s a guilty pleasure—but I literally dream about the new Star Wars movie. I need to see it now.
Ward Sutton, cartoonist
2015 Projects: As always, freelance – please follow on Tumblr, Twitter or Facebook!
What was the biggest story in comics in 2014? I think the biggest story was about gender conflicts within the comics realm – from controversies surrounding creators as well as depictions of women in comics (i.e. Milo Manara Spiderwoman).
What will be the biggest story in comics in 2015? I think there will be a fatigue with regard to the unending stream of overblown superhero movies.
What guilty pleasure (of any kind) are you looking forward to in 2015? The JJ Abrams Star Wars movie.
Christian Beranek, writer
2015 Projects: Continually writing my webcomic Validation featuring art by Kelci Crawford and co-writing comics with Tony DiGerolamo over at The Webcomic Factory
Also have some graphic novel and series proposals in development and selective work for hire assignments.
What was the biggest story in comics in 2014? Conventions are now a massive business all over the country and not everyone is adjusting/adapting to the changes in demographics very well. Comic creators are sadly no longer the main draw at these events and we’re all going to have to figure out how to deal with it and succeed in this brave new world.
What will be the biggest story in comics in 2015? Comics that truly cater to women and LGBT readers.
What guilty pleasure (of any kind) are you looking forward to in 2015? Furious 7. I celebrate the entire Fast & Furious franchise.
Simon Fraser, cartoonist
2015 Projects: Dr Who for Titan
What was the biggest story in comics in 2014? TV shows based on comics are now a thing. I imagine that we’re going to get more and more of this.
What guilty pleasure (of any kind) are you looking forward to in 2015? The Flash TV show.
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.