Yes, like The Lord of the Rings, this had to come out in THREE EPIC PARTS! Before we finish up, a special thank you to everyone who sent very kind personal words to me. And another thanks to those who sent their own head shots. It is very time-consuming to add all the pictures here, but we think it makes it look a little special. And if you are tired of reading predictions for the New Year…don’t be! Stick with it to the end for some of the most interesting comments and perspectives of all.
UPDATE: Oops, we FORGOT a few people, and have added them in, but the poll is now closed. HOWEVER, if you want to add in your thoughts in comments, please do so. Happy New Year, y’all.
Dash Shaw, In 2006: “The Mother’s Mouth” cautionary tale. Upcoming in 2007: “The Bottomless Belly-Button” 720 page mystery/comedy about a family.
What was the biggest story in comics in 2006? Dan Nadel. Every book he’s edited/published has been a Best Book of The Year. “Art Out of Time” is a textbook to me. “Ninja” is surprisingly easy to read, sized to make any other comic a bookmark, and it’s great to finally see some of this stuff (I’d only seen 2 issues of “Paper Rodeo.”) Not to mention his Mark Newgarden book and the monthly (!!) “Cold Heat.” Makes you think: Why can’t “The Secret Voice” and “Uptight” be monthly? Let’s all get off our butts. My only complaint with Nadel’s projects this year is
that they’re all pricey and I’m poor. Still, I couldn’t bring myself to buy the “Dick Tracy”
collection or “Fun Home,” but I spent 8 bucks on 24 pages of Taylor McKimens’ “The Drips” without flinching.
What will be the biggest story in comics in 2007? I don’t know. Maybe some of the cartoonists behind “Critical Citadel” (Jon Vermilyea, Koren Shadmi, Eamon Espy, Matt Bernier and others) are going to explode. Matt Furie has a book coming out from Teenage Dinosaur Press that’s probably going to be awesome. Brandon Graham’s TokyoPop book is probably going to be fun and sexy.
What guilty pleasure (of any kind) are you looking forward to in 2007? More and more Shojou Manga. A lot of those books are awesomely entertaining and addictive. Also: “Spiderman 3” movie, Paul Pope’s blog and 80’s “Zelda” cartoons on youtube. Link’s a real prick in that show.
Shaenon K. Garrity, I’m a webcartoonist, best known for the daily strip Narbonic, which ends very soon. I also write the weekly comics Li’l Mell, currently drawn by Neil Babra, and Smithson, drawn by Brian Moore and Roger Langridge. I’m the editor of the webcomics site ModernTales.com. Sometimes I write for Marvel Comics (check out the 2006 Marvel Holiday Special, in stores now!). To actually earn a living, I work as a freelance manga editor for Viz Media.
What was the biggest story in comics in 2006? Graphic novels moved into the literary mainstream in a big way. Between Gene Yang’s “American Born Chinese” scoring a National Book Award nomination, Alison Bechdel’s “Fun Home” being named Time magazine’s #1 book of the year, and various manga titles (particularly Masashi Kishimoto’s “Naruto” and Natsuki Takaya’s “Fruits Basket”) repeatedly scaling the bestseller lists, this was the year comics came into their own. The change isn’t just in high-profile stories like these; all over the media, comics are being discussed as legitimate works of art and entertainment, with none (okay, almost none) of the old biff-bam-pow asides. Fortunately, enough good, interesting work was published this year to meet the unexpected demand for good, interesting work. I can’t even keep up with all the amazing new comics, and that’s not even getting into all the excellent reprints of older material, especially newspaper strips and classic manga, that keep coming out.
The catch: thanks to the continuing Diamond monopoly and glacial rate of adaptation at traditional comic-book publishers (and this includes a lot of the smaller guys as well as Marvel and DC), much of this revolution is taking place outside the established comics industry and its fandom. Dudes don’t seem to know what hit them.
In other news, webcomics are now officially huge, and are probably going to just keep getting huge-er.
What will be the biggest story in comics in 2007? Joey Manley’s death at the hands of a dark rider from the north. This will presage the End Times.
What guilty pleasure (of any kind) are you looking forward to in 2007? Oh, it’s always the John Byrne forum.
Lea Hernandez, Cathedral Child and Clockwork Angels are going to be out online in their entirety, for free, in January, at several lcoations including GirlAMatic.com and webcomicsnation.com/divalea. This is my gift to the comics community, and the many people beyond it, that helped me and my family after we lost our house to fire in September 2006. Other than that, graphic novelist and court jester.
What was the biggest story in comics in 2006? This is such a gimmie for me. The biggest story is how sexual inequity/harassment/Silly Drillers are OKAY! in comics stopped being comics’ dirty little secret (in spite of the fact that it was tap-dancing like Hinton Battle through every family gathering), and female readers and creators of comics really began to talk loudly about the tap-dancing and how it is ever so naked.
What will be the biggest story in comics in 2007? It’s never what I think it might be! (And it’s never what I hope will be worth pulling out the lawnchairs and popcorn and s’mores
ingredients for.) But how about this: more comics self-published (via print-on-demand) than in the heyday of the black and white speculator boom of the ’80’s. How we/they’ll manage distro to bookstores and libraries with on distro already taking a dive might be 2007’s OTHER big story.
What guilty pleasure (of any kind) are you looking forward to in 2007? Getting back into my house and going for that first soak in the new tub. My mom is a professional potter and thinks I oughta be one too and she bought me a kiln and is giving me a wheel for the new house (for OUTSIDE), so maybe one of my guilty pleasures will be playing like Demi Moore and Patrick Swayze in Ghost.
Michel Fiffe, creator of teen psychedelic horror comic PANORAMA, member of online comix anthology ACT-I-VATE and CHEMISTRY SET, and regular contributor to NEGATIVE BURN by Desperado/Image Comics.
1) What was the biggest story in comics in 2006?
TMI: Too Much Information. I don’t think this was ever an actual headline in any comix blog or news site, but I remember when comics used to just appear in the racks week after week. We were lucky if a magazine mentioned comics, or if a comics zine had an in depth expose for upcoming projects. It seems to me that now we are all being bombarded with useless information. I realize that I’m talking about our culture at large, and I certainly exercise the right to “not look,” but this information is mostly utilized to paint a glamorous picture with tabloid sensibilities of creators and events, never with the intent of putting artistic demands on comics. As a for instance, how is something like Bryan Hitch completing an issue of THE ULTIMATES “news?” Also, as a fan of the form, I don’t need to know industry “in” fighting and personal hyperbole in order to enjoy a comic like NEXTWAVE or 100 BULLETS. However, it’s kinda cool that NEXUS will be coming back next year and for that I appreciate the heads up.
2) What will be the biggest story in 2007?
One of the biggest stories of 2007 will be not only the web comix of ACT-I-VATE, but how the world of webcomix may very well affect the industry the way IMAGE did in the 90’s. Content aside, IMAGE represented a sort of independence from franchise, corporate comics and it yielded success. The web comics that stand above the rest as opposed to the glut or amateurish video game strips, will prove to be bigger hits. With a virtual built in audience, web comix cut out the middle man and connect the creation with the reader. Indy comix of the 80’s could only dream of having this kind of audience. The only thing remaining a mystery is how to make money off of web comix… but getting paid for comics? Sez who??
3) What is a guilty pleasure (of any kind) you look forward to in 2007?
I feel like everyhting I like is a guilty pleasure, but the stuff I’ll be dorking out over in 2007 is Steve Ditko’s “Action Heroes Archives #2 : BLUE BEETLE” by DC. I’m afraid that may turn into a bible for me. OK, I got one for you– ALL-STAR BATMAN. It’s not that I buy and glorify every single Frank Miller project, no matter what it is, but this one is especially… special. Unlike the majority of the world, I actually LOVED DK2 since day one, based on the fact that it’s so retarded, but ALL-STAR BATMAN continues to test my faith in comics and its audience. Personal favorite: six page foldout of the Batcave. I await the 12 page fold out of Alfred’s broom closet. Rumor has it that Frank Miller is going to actually start writing the comic with issue #5.
Tim Leong, editor of www.ComicFoundry.com and the upcoming Comic Foundry Magazine
Biggest story in 2006: Gene Yang’s nomination for a National Book Award. It really encapsulates
what a strong year it’s been for graphic novels in the mainstream press and how big a role bookstores are playing. And we’re not talking a Wizard award or some other cheeseball plaque. A National Book Award? Wow. And they didn’t even have to create a special category for it.
Biggest story in 2007? The Minx line launching. Now that they’ve got everyone’s attention, will the books be a hit? DC is putting up a lot of support and if successful, Minx could pay dividends for them and in turn, the industry. Or, maybe it’ll blow up in everyone’s faces. Doubt it, but we’ll see.
We started to see signs of it in ’06, but next year we’ll really see superhero movie burnout. I don’t mean the instant blockbusters like Spider-Man, but the movies with smaller characters that don’t provide as much across-the-board appeal. Ticket sales will drop and fewer and fewer projects will be picked up for the big screen. It’ll all start with Ghost Rider becoming the new Elektra.
Guilty pleasure in 07? The next issue of All-Star Batman and Robin. Wait, you said 2008, right? Also, printing the first issue of Comic Foundry Magazine and doing more video work.
David Lloyd, Kickback. A 96-page graphic novel. A crime thriller that I am the sole creator of, and of which I am extremely proud. Was released in August by Dark Horse – but droves of comic stores missed it’s solicitation in the June edition of Previews. I’d calculate roughly 50% of stores. Since becoming aware of this situation and the shortfall of awareness of Kickback’s existence, I’ve tried as much as I can to promote it personally, and I will continue to do so in 2007. This book has no disadvantages as a sales product. It’s a $12.95 hardback with a striking cover. It’s has a great story and art by the illustrator of one of the best-selling graphic novels of all time – V For Vendetta – which has recently been adapted to a successful movie and dvd. It hasn’t had a bad review – and has been described as one of the best original graphic novels of the year. Whether you’re a reader or retailer, it’s quite possible this may be the only place you’ll have heard about it, so please take advantage of this knowledge and check it out. You won’t be disappointed. There’s lots on Kickback at my new website -www.lforlloyd.com.
What was the biggest story in comics in 2006? : The introduction of variant covers, again. Unless I missed that happening in ‘ 05. What are you? Crazy? ‘ Hey, let’s start the insane collectors market up again, and have a re-run of that bubble-bursting in the 90’s that closed all those comic stores! ‘ some lunatic must be thinking. Maybe he’s one of those guys who wants to turn them all into computer games stores…
What will be the biggest story in comics in 2007?: My suicide if I don’t get my due. You’ll be sorry. I’ll fix it so it looks like murder and I’ll make sure the evidence convicts all those who’ve driven me to it…
What guilty pleasure (of any kind) are you looking forward to in 2007? : Well, maybe cooking up all that evidence…
Al Nickerson, Inker for DC Comics and Archie Comic Publications. I’m also self-publishing NIHILIST-MAN AND HIS AMAZING FRIENDS #1 with Joe Staton, Greg Hyland, and John Gallagher.
What was the biggest story in comics in 2006? I think most people will mention silly stuff like the multi-crossovers CIVIL WAR, INFINITE CRISIS, or 52. However, I believe that the biggest stories of 2006 were the overwhelming support for the 2006 New York ComiCon and the passing of Dave Cockrum.
What will be the biggest story in comics in 2007? This certainly wont be “the biggest” for most comic book fans, but, for me, the biggest story in comics in 2007 will be the end of Terry Moores STRANGERS IN PARADISE. Cmon, Terry, theres still time to change your mind.
What guilty pleasure (of any kind) are you looking forward to in 2007? I am so lovin the television series HEROES! I cant wait for new episodes to begin at the end of January. “Save the cheerleader, save the world!”
Ed Brubaker, Criminal, Daredevil, Captain America, Uncanny X-Men, Iron Fist, hopefully soon a new printing of the Fall.
What was the biggest story in comics in 2006? I think there were a lot of big comic stories this year, so it’s hard to choose. The Library banning Craig Thompson’s Blanket’s story was big to me, and maybe bigger than people think it was, even, but on the glass is half full side of the year’s comics stories, I think the biggest story may be Brian Vaughan getting hired for the staff of Lost. The migration moving from comics to Hollywood isn’t new, and it’s no secret that the writing staff of Lost are comics people, but for a POPULAR show to hire a comics writer who didn’t start out in Hollywood was a big step towards showing how accepted our medium has become.
What will be the biggest story in comics in 2007? The rebirth of major interest in creator-owned non-universe spanning comics in the American Market. Yeah, after two years of crossovers and events, readers decide they just want to read the ones they like, and miss the days of Preacher and Sandman and Transmet… which leads to a surge in sales for non-superhero stuff. At least, that’s what I hope is the big story.
What guilty pleasure (of any kind) are you looking forward to in 2007? Grindhouse. Not that I feel guilty, but because it seems like the most guilty pleasure kind of filmmaking I can imagine.
Tony Isabella, Black Lightning, Comics Buyer’s Guide, Ghost Rider, “Tony’s Online Tips”, Uncle Scrooge
What was the biggest story in comics in 2006? I can’t narrow it down to one. In no particular order…
The resurrgence of the super-heroes in standard comics format (Civil War, 52, etc.).
The domination of manga in the bookstore chains just as American comics publishers are making hardcovers and trade paperbacks the most promising part of the industry.
Hollywood continuing to use the comics industry as cheap R&D with comics getting the short share of the profits.
The growing presence/acceptance/popularity of comics in public libraries.
What will be the biggest story in comics in 2007? Much as I love manga, I’m hoping it will be a balancing of shelf space between manga and American material in the bookstores.
I fear it will be the inevitable clash between the misconception of what comics are (i.e., strictly for kids) and the actual range of stories and themes to be found in modern comics. I fear someone will go to jail in the course of this clash.
What guilty pleasure (of any kind) are you looking forward to in 2007? I never feel guilty about my pleasures! I’m looking forward to not just returning to full-time writing but writing some things that will be very different from what my readers might expect from me. Alongside the kind of things they’ve enjoyed from me in the past.
A. David Lewis, THE LONE AND LEVEL SANDS graphic novel from Archaia Studios Press, EMPTY
CHAMBER mini-series from Silent Devil, a contribution to the upcoming POSTCARDS collection from Eximious Press.
What was the biggest story in comics in 2006? I think LOST GIRLS, really, is the one that’ll have the most long-term impact. That is, it had been rumored, delayed, and made into a sort of myth. Then, not only does it come out here in the U.S. as a three-volume, hardcover, slipcase edition, but it sells out! It’s Alan Moore, it’s pornography (said without judgment), it’s children’s tales, and it’s the biggest smash hit *not* being talked about. On top of that, it’s a major coup for Top Shelf after their continuing success with big ticket items like BLANKETS and Moore’s post-V FOR VENDETTA scuffle with DC. Other things may have gotten more press, but this is going to be the milestone in years to come, methinks.
What will be the biggest story in comics in 2007? I’m thinking/hoping that 2007 will provide mainstream America with the first break-though webcomic success. The amount of work being done there is astounding, and while several titles have been collected for print, I’m waiting for folks outside of comics to get hooked on something that pulls them on to the web. The popular media will treat it as something new and novel, but we all know how long webcomics have been pushing for this emergence. It’s reaching a critical mass that I hope to see finally grab the mob in a big way.
Also — and this is said with concern, not hope — I fear this is the year we’ll lose Stan Lee. I wish Stan nothing but good health, of course, but with Dave Cockrum, Mart Nodell, and many others passing on this year, there’s a morbid mood in the air.
What guilty pleasure (of any kind) are you looking forward to in 2007? FANTASTIC FOUR: RISE OF THE SILVER SURFER. I mean, it’s not going to be THE GODFATHER, y’know?
David Macho, agent (“The Spanish Inquisition”) The artist’s, in fact. Do you really want them all? :) Martian Manhunter, with art by Al Barrionuevo, Bit, and Marta Martínez; Uncle Sam & Freedom Fighters by Daniel Acuña, Catwoman drawn by David Lopez, 28 days later (and more) by Diego Olmos, Army of Darkness and a top secret project by Fernando Blanco, Black Panther drawn by Francis Portela, Red Sonja by Homs, Manhunter by Javier Pina, Checkmate by Jesus Saiz and Santi Arcas, Marvel Adventures Avengers by Juan Santacruz and Raul Fernandez, Wisdom by Manuel García, Savage Tales “Elder things thaat fell to earth” by Pere Perez, Sensational Spider-Man by Ramon Bachs, and of course, other things I can’t talk about yet!
What was the biggest story in comics in 2006? Here I must say two, Civil War and 52.
What will be the biggest story in comics in 2007? “The aftermath of…”
What guilty pleasure (of any kind) are you looking forward to in 2007? Finally having the “Spanish Inquisition Website”!
Stuart Immonen, Nextwave, Ultimate Spider-Man the collected Never As Bad As You Think.
What was the biggest story in comics in 2006? Brian K. Vaughan writing for the television show LOST. Although there have been other comics people who have worked for Hollywood and other media prior to this, I think this represents the beginning of a mass exodus for established mainstreamers, leaving a void to possibly be filled by established indie creators. I suppose there will still be weirdos from other media who, for some reason, still want to stunt-write for comics.
What will be the biggest story in comics in 2007? For-profit digital comics from the top four companies, which will probably be a wretched failure.
What guilty pleasure (of any kind) are you looking forward to in 2007? More White Star, and more self-publishing.
Mike Manley, *Editor Draw! Magazine, 20+ year vet, penciling, inking comics, and storyboard artist. Just boarded a sequence on the upcoming New Frontier cartoon.*
What was the biggest story in comics in 2006? *Hmm, I guess graphic novels and the continuing build out, back into the public arena of comics through the graphic novel format and the continued success of manga.*
What will be the biggest story in comics in 2007? Well there won’t be a big story for the direct market, but maybe for the marketing depts of Marvel, otherwise I think it will be another chapter in the same story that has been unfolding in the stagnet direct market. A huge film like Spider-man 3 will open and be a block-buster, yet almost none of the spin will effect the direct market, nor will it float the bottom 2/3 of the books in the direct market. I think it will still be a struggle for anything outside of the top 20 babymen comics.
What guilty pleasure (of any kind) are you looking forward to in 2007? * guess industry wise not much honestly, personally it’s going back to art school to finish my degree in painting.
Marisa Acocella Marchetto, Author, Cancer Vixen and Glamour and The New Yorker cartoonist (in that order)
What was the biggest story in comics in 2006? That not just graphic novels, but cartoonists book are really hot, and getting hotter! It’s great for EVERY cartoonist–not just graphic novelists!
What will be the biggest story in comics in 2007? I predict Britney will get over her slutfest with Paris and shack up with R. Crumb. You heard it from me, first.
What guilty pleasure (of any kind) are you looking forward to in 2007? I’m Catholic, so every pleasure is guilty and look forward to enjoying all of it!
What was the biggest story in comics in 2006? That a weekly comic can be well-produced, ship on-time and maintain consistent sales.
What will be the biggest story in comics in 2007? Oprah features a graphic novel on her show.
Also, that a weekly comic can continue to be well-produced, ship on-time and maintain consistent sales.
What guilty pleasure (of any kind) are you looking forward to in 2007?
Free Comic Book Day
Saturday May 5th 2007
Cómico Verdes del Cerebro
Día Cómico Libre del Libro
Cinco de Mayo 2007
Christos Gage, Out now: UNION JACK #1-4; IRON MAN/CAPTAIN AMERICA: CASUALTIES OF WAR. Ongoing: STORMWATCH: PHD. Upcoming: BATMAN: LEGENDS OF THE DARK KNIGHT #214; HERALDS OF GALACTUS: TERRAX; QUASAR miniseries; WORLD WAR HULK: X-MEN.
What was the biggest story in comics in 2006? The crossing over of talent — in both directions — between comics and other media such as film, TV, novels, etc.
What will be the biggest story in comics in 2007? Hopefully an audience that continues to grow, both in size and diversity.
What guilty pleasure (of any kind) are you looking forward to in 2007? Chocolate pecan pie and long afternoon naps with my cats.
Cheese Hasselberger, Publisher, House of Twelve, Ho12 Goes To War (#4) Q3 2007
What was the biggest story in comics in 2006? Spidey coming out!
What will be the biggest story in comics in 2007? Spidey going back in! More mainstream book publishers printing GN’s, but continue losing money to Manga.
What guilty pleasure (of any kind) are you looking forward to in 2007? What’s gonna happen between Lee and Starbuck!?! Is Gaius a cylon or humanities greatest loon? What secret did Dr. Girlfriend lay on the Monarch!?! Has the Metalocolypse actually begun, and will it be, like coffee, BRUTAL??? Maakies on Adult Swim.
Comicswise: Buffy season eight. Also looking forward to Red Eye, Black Eye from K.Thor Jensen (Alternative) and Escape From ‘Special’ from Miss Lasko-Gross (Fantagraphics) both out in January.
Steve Rolston, The Escapists, Tales of the TMNT #28, Degrassi: Extra Credit vol. 4 (due Summer 2007)
What was the biggest story in comics in 2006? I think the biggest story, in terms of what interests ME, was the announcement of DC’s Minx line. One of the ol’ big two publishers putting proper money and effort into graphic novels aimed at teenage girls? A decent marketing plan? Good “indie” talent on non-superhero stories? Yeah, you’ve got my interest. Sure, there are other publishers already putting out content in the same realm, but this venture sounds like it will have considerably more muscle behind it. And it has the potential to be that demographic’s bridge from manga to North American comics.
What will be the biggest story in comics in 2007? Whether or not Minx will succeed.
What guilty pleasure (of any kind) are you looking forward to in 2007? New season of 24. Joss Whedon on Runaways and BKV on Buffy. More Scott Pilgrim would be awesome too.
Rick Veitch, Army@Love new monthly series from Vertigo in March and Shiny Beasts tpb from King Hell in April
What was the biggest story in comics in 2006? Steve Geppi’s financial problems
What will be the biggest story in comics in 2007? Borders’ financial problems
What guilty pleasure (of any kind) are you looking forward to in 2007? “Theme Time Radio” on XM
Tintin Pantoja, HAMLET , John Wiley and Sons (2007), PRIDE AND PREJUDICE, Tokyopop (2008) ,SEVENPLAINS , Girlamatic.com (2004-2006)
What was the biggest story in comics in 2006? More of a trend: The continued rise of the graphic novel- this was a year of graphic novel hits that made headlines outside of comic shops: Marijane Satrapi’s books, Fun Home, Babysitters Club, Global/OEL manga. Emphasis: Manga Manga Manga! And on a sad note, the death of Dave Cockrum, creator of my favorite characters and designer extraordinaire.
What will be the biggest story in comics in 2007? Prediction: It’ll center around a smash hit book created by a woman ;) Probably more manga. And Philippine creators’ comics being sold internationally.
What guilty pleasure (of any kind) are you looking forward to in 2007? Hopefully, news about the third series of UK cult tv show The Mighty Boosh. Also, more Boy’s Love/ Girls’ Love/Yaoi/Yuri products entering the english-language market. 2007 New York Chocolate Fair in Chelsea (if I can spring a flight to NYC)
Chip Zdarsky, ComicsTrip for the National Post, ZDARSKYVERSE for act-i-vate, New Prison Funnies
What was the biggest story in comics in 2006? Aw geez, I don’t know. Personally, I discovered that EVERYONE LOVES COMICS. There’s a great push within newspapers and magazines to incorporate more “graphic reporting,” from standard stock charts to full-on comic-book content, that I’ve been taking full advantage of that and urging other cartoonists to do so as well. With the internet making “breaking stories” less relevant to print publications, they need to look elsewhere for content that will make people take notice. And it’s going to be about how you tell the story, whether it be as a narrative or as a visual.
What will be the biggest story in comics in 2007? A continuation of the above. Mark Millar has made mention of the poaching of comic book folk (he also made mention of Civil War numbers, Ultimate Fantastic Four numbers and Wolverine numbers), and to a degree he’s right. A proper comic book writer/artist is an immensely valuable, creative individual, and is perfectly adaptable to a number of different visual-based media. I don’t think it will harm the industry though, as it will just spread the knowledge that comic books are made up of talent.
What guilty pleasure (of any kind) are you looking forward to in 2007? All my pleasures are guilty, your honour. GUILTY.
Mike Dawson,Project: Superior, Gabagool!, ACT-I-VATE, Freddie & Me
What was the biggest story in comics in 2006?: For aspiring cartoonists, putting your work on the web completely replaced going to Kinkos and assembling a mini-comic, as the cheapest and most effective way to get the word out about a project direly in need of a little bit more exposure.
However, in 2006, almost all comics that were created EXCLUSIVELY for viewing on the web continued to have no impact whatsoever on my consciousness, and aside from PVP (which I know about because my friend buys the print collections) I couldnt name you more than five web-comics that Ive ever heard of, thus making this year the year that it was PROVED that comics are really meant to be read holding in your hand turning the pages, and not sitting in front of a keyboard and a monitor (unless its a pleasant four panel strip about James Kochalka and his son and something cute that one of them said or did, which is something I do enjoy).
What will be the biggest story in comics in 2007?: There will be a National Summit where all the leading thinkers in the cartooning world will formally declare that the label mainstream in reference to comics that are about superheroes is to be officially retired. Itll be like when all the scientists got together to demote Pluto in 2006.
Its silly to call The Fantastic Four a mainstream comic when its not being read by the mainstream public. I read lots of comics, but Ive got no idea whats going on the lives of characters like Reed Richards, Hank Pym, and Norrin Radd from month to month (or if there are even still comics coming out that feature them regularly). The average member of the reading public is realistically only interested in those characters to the extent that theres a movie coming out in the summer thats based on one of their origin stories (Ghost Rider! Iron Man! 2007!!).
What guilty pleasure (of any kind) are you looking forward to in 2007?: I have a feeling Im not going to get a chance to go and see Rocky Balboa until January at the earliest.
Ian Feller, President of 813 Services & Solutions, Inc., a multi purpose media consulting firm that specializes in providing business solutions for new and existing publishers.
What was the biggest story in comics in 2006? The little comic that could: the Zoom Suit mini-series surprising everyone and selling 20,000 copies of its first issue and keeping up with good sales for issues #2-4. Zoom Suit was easily the best selling independent comic of the year and likely one of the best selling independent comics of the past five years.
What will be the biggest story in comics in 2007? I have a feeling that a new publisher will launch and make a nice splash in the marketplace.
What guilty pleasure (of any kind) are you looking forward to in 2007? There is a Joe Jusko art book on the horizon that should be out in time for San Diego. Since there’s never been one and I’m a huge fan of Joe’s paintings, I’m really looking forward to it.
Neil Kleid, Xeric Grant Winning Cartoonist: NINETY CANDLES (Rant Comics); Writer, BROWNSVILLE (NBM), URSA MINORS! (Slave Labor Graphics), TODT HILL(The Chemistry Set) and the upcoming STAR*STRUCK
The biggest stories in comics in 2006? Who can choose one? Continuing the trend from last year of graphic novels-as-novels rather than graphic novels-as-comics. LOST GIRLS, AMERICAN BORN CHINESE, the success of FirstSecond, the Graphix line and the introduction of DC’s book market savvy MINX line. Hell, Alison Bechdel’s FUN HOME caps most “Best of” lists, so I say comics are graphic novels are here to stay, book industry, and thanks for noticing. And with the book industry being centered in NYC where better to show that off than the year’s other big story, the New York Comic-Con which made such a splash it left us drowning for air in a packed and cordoned off convention hall. Finally, where did all these webcomics come from? Shooting War, ACT-I-VATE, the Chemistry Set, etc. Bring on the digital pallete.
2007? More comics in the media, particularly Jeff Smith’s upcoming SHAZAM mini, Stephen King’s DARK TOWER series and Oni’s licensed Stephen Colbert book. More graphic novel gold from major players including Random House/Villard’s collected ELK’S RUN and the POSTCARDS anthology and webcomics bust out with the upcoming ROCKET PIRATES collective and, to toss in a small plug, this summer’s web graphic novel STAR*STRUCK which will be given major media attention.
Guilty Pleasure for 2007: Anything Jason Aaron writes, though I’d hardly call it “guilty.”
Stuart Moore, FIRESTORM REBORN tpb, re-presenting issues #23-27, art by Jamal lgle and Keith Champagne. DC, February 2007. PARA tpb, collecting the sci-fi/paranormal miniseries, art by Pablo Villalobos and Federico Zumel. Penny-Farthing Press, February 2007. DETECTIVE COMICS #829-830: Batman: “The Siege,” art by Andy Clarke. DC, March 2007.
EARTHLIGHT volume 2, art by Christopher Schons. Tokyopop, July 2007.
What was the biggest story in comics in 2006? I think it’s a whole bunch of little stories. Comics completely crashed the mainstream-respectability barrier this year; there are reviews and stories about them in major newspapers everywhere. The direct market maintains a focus on superheroes, but it’s still going strong. A new breed of creators, including a lot of women, are writing and drawing original manga-format books for a variety of publishers. And webcomics seem to me to have reached a critical mass, now, where there’s some really excellent stuff (buried in everything else, as always) that in earlier eras would have appeared as struggling black-and-white paper comics.
What will be the biggest story in comics in 2007? I think you’ll hear more from the new foreign publishers who are making inroads into the U.S. market.
What guilty pleasure (of any kind) are you looking forward to in 2007? TORCHWOOD.
John Green, Teen Boat, Quicken Forbidden, etc.
Biggest story in comics in 2006: weddings! So many “up and coming” comic creators got married in 2006!
That’s all I can really think of. Not sure if that will mean a baby boom in comics babies is on it’s way, though.
Chris Ryall, Publisher/Editor-in-Chief, IDW Publishing
What was the biggest story in comics in 2006? Joe Quesada talkin’ comics on The Colbert Report
What will be the biggest story in comics in 2007? Using Colbert’s own Truthiness definition (“concepts or facts one wishes to be true, rather than concepts or facts known to be true”), the biggest story will be the four-part Transformers Movie Prequel comics we’re publishing, starting in February, followed closely by the smash-hit 30 Days of Night movie in the Fall. At a distant third is that little Stephen King thing that Marvel is doing–I expect that might attract a bit of attention as well.
What guilty pleasure (of any kind) are you looking forward to in 2007? As much as the first Fantastic Four movie wasn’t for me, I’m intrigued by the idea of seeing Galactus and the Silver Surfer on the big screen. And that aforementioned Stephen King Dark Tower project, too.
Ben Templesmith, Wormwood: Gentleman Corpse, the book with the guts to make the title character pregnant, and then have him kill it the very next issue..errr… Fell, with the amazing Warren Ellis, Conluvio: Assorted Scum and Villains, my new artbook in April
What was the biggest story in comics in 2006? For me, it was finding out that Fell was indeed not cancelled. Having Civil War stall, scheduling wise, would be up there too I guess.
What will be the biggest story in comics in 2007? Well, apart from ” Comicbook artist Ben Templesmith found: dead and dismembered in gutter” I think something nice like the hopeful huge number of books Frank Miller will be selling thanks to the movie 300 would be good. Get some good sales and exposure or the actual work of the medium, same as with Sin City. Hopefully the same too will be said for 30 Days of Night later in the year.
What guilty pleasure (of any kind) are you looking forward to in 2007? For me it’ll be writing as well as drawing a 30 Days of Night Miniseries. Sort of a full circle thing for me. Also, perhaps some regular sleep. I’ve taken a vow to slow down a little this year, in the interests of health, and basically having a “life”. We’ll see how that goes though.
Steven Knight Weissman (Ribs), Chewing Gum In Church (2006), Mean (2007).
What was the biggest story in comics in 2006? Who’s funnier: Denmark or Iran?
What will be the biggest story in comics in 2007? Who’s funnier: Johnny Ryan or the Jews?
What guilty pleasure (of any kind) are you looking forward to in 2007? Drawing comics counts, right?
Ty Templeton, Batman Adventures, American Splendor, Spider-Man Human Torch, Planet of the Apes, The Simpsons.
Upcoming in the new year, I’ll have a Simpsons comic or two on the stands. One features a look at “unlicensed” Simpsons knock off comics from around the world. Chuck Dixon and I wrote this one, and I got to draw the Belgian Simpsons. I didn’t know it was a lifelong dream until I started doing it. Then I have another Bartman issue in the works. Bartman is always GREAT fun.
ALSO: I’m doing art for the wonderfully disgusting Vertigo series EXTERMINATORS for a couple of issues.
On top of THAT, I’d love to plug the release of the REVOLUTION ON THE PLANET OF THE APES Graphic Novel by Mr. Comics in the spring. It collects up the six issue series that was recently called one of the top ten comics of 2006 by Howard Scripps News Service. (Yeah, yeah, I know, it’s hardly Wizard Magazine’s top ten, but what the hey, I’ll take anyone’s top ten list I can quote!)
And on top of THAT…I’m working on writing a secret project for one of the big publishers, featuring one of my FAVORITE FAVORITE FAVORITE characters in the history of comics, but if I tell you before I’m allowed to, I get kicked around a concrete parking lot by nasty men.
Still, I can’t believe I get paid to do this stuff.
What was the biggest story in comics in 2006? In terms of sales and attention, it’s that Civil War thing, no? Didn’t that pay for Marvel’s space station or something? I’ll include the passing of Dave Cockrum and (was Will Eisner this year or last?). And of course, the creation of the plucky little comic company …MR comics! When don’t I plug!?! But you know what I think the “story of the year” is? It’s just that we get SO MANY DAMN GOOD COMICS nowadays. Has there ever been a time where there were so many comics that you actually looked FORWARD to every month?!? I actually buy comics that I enjoy reading nowadays, and not just buy out of addiction. That’s the story for me. That the medium is in the hands of so many talented guys and gals. It’s an embarassment of riches every Wednesday.
What will be the biggest story in comics in 2007? If that kind of embarrassment of riches continues. And anyway, since the biggest story of next year is the collapse of western civilization, comics are hardly a concern.
What guilty pleasure (of any kind) are you looking forward to in 2007? As a consumer of comics? It’s probably to continue reading Captain America month after month. I haven’t missed an issue of Cap for about thirty years (the only character I can say that about) and we’re currently going through a run on the book that’s just gorgeous to look at and actually fun to read. On TV, my guilty pleasures are the Simpsons, and 30 Rock, although for some reason, I find myself constantly having to defend the Simpsons to people in conversation. I actually find this season pretty good, but maybe I can’t be impartial, I work at the comics division of the Vast Empire.
Valerie D’Orazio, Well, I have a blog called “Occasional Superheroine,” a wonderful agent, and a few projects under consideration. Also, I would like to launch an all-female comic book anthology that would — as well as showcasing work from established creators — give first-time women writers, artists, and editors a chance to get something in print. Anybody that could help with the anthology or give advice, please e-mail me through my blog.
Biggest Story of 06: I suppose “2006” was the year of the woman in comics. You had “When Fangirls Attack” kick in in January, followed by Ronée Garcia Bourgeois’s series of articles for Buzzscope, and then Girl-Wonder.org launched. Gail Simone’s “Women in Refrigerators” was dusted off and heavily added-to with a whole list of new stiffs and sexual assaults. And, especially with the surge in Manga and original graphic novels like “Fun Home” and “Cancer Vixen,” the spotlight was planted firmly on female readers and comic creators. Then I sort of stumbled in at the final hour with “Goodbye To Comics,” I guess.
Biggest Story of 07: Three things, all of which will cause a seismic shift in the future of the industry: 1) A huge push to court female comic readers, 2) A big increase in book publishers and mainstream magazines printing original comic material, 3) The digital revolution: webcomics & comic publishers releasing backlists on DVD and (legal) downloadable formats.
Guilty Pleasure I’m looking forward to: Peter Fonda as “Mephisto” in the upcoming Ghost Rider movie. Or simply Nick Cage’s hair in that movie. Actually, I’m just going to see the movie for Nick’s hair.
Brian Hibbs, Head Cheese, Comix Experience; The Savage Critic(s); and Tilting at Windmills, both in print and on-line
What was the biggest story in comics in 2006? They Like Us, They Really Like Us.
It seems like you couldn’t swing a dead cat in ’06 without finding a story about comics and how good they are – and believe me, I’ve tried.
In the Direct Market, it was also the Year of The Event Comic. Between Marvel’s Civil War and DC’s 52, there really wasn’t much room on the racks for anything else. While we’ve seen excellent sales on those projects, they’ve continued to have a depressive effect on anything that wasn’t tied to a Big Event.
What will be the biggest story in comics in 2007? Much like last year, I think Distribution is a major topic for concern – 2007 should bring Diamond’s new Terms of Sale (it’s really surprising to me that they’ve kept the DM in a “holding pattern” as long as they have in ’06), and we’ll get to see if they’re really in the game or not. My list of books to buy Anywhere But Diamond grows every week, and Diamond needs to decide if they want to be “North America’s largest distributor of comics” or “…of pop culture”. The two are (often) diametrically opposed.
2007 will probably also be the year where we cement, one way or another, just what we’re going to do about The Periodical. With virtually every periodical publisher under-cutting their core product with too-rapid, too-cheap TP releases, “waiting For The Trade” is reaching epic proportions. But, of course, “Waiting For The Trade” is usually code for “I’ll skip it when it finally comes out, because I have too many other things to buy”, which is pretty much the opposite reaction that everyone is hoping for.
Related to the above, 2007 better be the year DC & Marvel get their schedules under control. There have been a veritable fuck-ton of epically late periodical comics in 2006, and it has really shaken consumer confidence in our core product at exactly the same time the Assumption of a TP has risen. The problem is, if you can’t satisfy demand when it is fresh and new and exciting, that demand will do nothing but diminish from there on. Look how many people cited Jim Lee and Frank Miller’s All-Star Batman as the potential big story of 2006 in last year’s poll. That really worked out well, didn’t it? With just one issue shipping in 2006, its average sales per month are less than something like Firestorm.
As Larry Marder coined it, the Direct Market is really about Habitual Serial Fiction. What happens when the suppliers, themselves, are the ones breaking those Habits?
Eric Wight. Creator, My Dead Girlfriend (Tokyopop); Artist, The O.C. (WB Television), Justice League of America, Action Comics (DC Comics)
What was the biggest story in comics in 2006? The loss of Alex Toth.
What will be the biggest story in comics in 2007? Graphic novels dominating the NY Times Bestseller List.
What guilty pleasure (of any kind) are you looking forward to in 2007? Finding the time to not just make comics, but actually READ them. And Dippin’ Dots. Love me some Dippin’ Dots.
Andrew Wickliffe, Blogger, www.thestopbutton.com; failed indie anthology publisher, www.saddlestich.org
What was the biggest story in comics in 2006? In terms of media exposure, obviously DC’s announcement of the Minx line, but it’s actually serious and concrete, which the online (and in-store) comics community tends not to talk about. Also, there’s not much to talk about it as of yet. So, the biggest–in terms of hoopla–has got to be the run-up to “Lost Girls,” back when only a couple people had read it in its entirety and it seemed like lawsuits were going to swarm Top Shelf’s offices and consume them. The timing of the Peter Pan lawsuit made it seem like it wouldn’t show–and some stores got it and some didn’t those first weeks, after Top Shelf had been selling them at the cons all summer and my retailer was getting frustrated–but then it showed and everything… stopped. When the news of a settlement came, it was a non-starter. “Lost Girls” was supposed to cause a fantastic ruckus and it did not. Once it was out and people had it, the most interesting conversation I had about it was where to put it. One of my fellow shoppers was terrified he’d have it on his desk, die, and then his family would find it with no context. While the book did sell, it didn’t get read.
What will be the biggest story in comics in 2007? I just read Graeme McMillian talking about a DC vs. Peter David & IDW lawsuit re: Fallen Angel. But if that doesn’t happen, what about the Rich Johnston-rumored Harry Potter series? I’m sure it’ll get the non-comic readers into the stores, just like Stephen King’s series or the Joss Whedon Buffy season eight… Maybe All-Star Batman #5, coming out New Year’s Eve 2007 at the stroke of midnight. In the near term, however, I’m sure if Civil War #7 is late, it’ll make some news.
What guilty pleasure (of any kind) are you looking forward to in 2007? The new Pynchon. Pleasure to read, but I’m already feeling guilty because I was supposed to have it read already. After January, who knows? The Transformers movie maybe? I’m really holding out for a “Ned and Stacey” season two DVD next summer with “Spider-Man 3.”
Buzz Dixon, Co-founder/President – Realbuzz Studios, Inc.
Marlon Schulman, Co-founder/Executive VP – Realbuzz Studios, Inc. Serenity; Goofyfoot Gurl; Hits & Misses
Biggest Story of 2006: Creation of a new publishing genre: “Inspirational Manga” – Lead by Realbuzz Studios, over 60 announced titles from multiple publishers have been announced for 2007 and beyond!
What will be the biggest story in comics in 2007: Mainstream crossover acceptance of that new publishing genre: Inspirational Manga
What guilty pleasure (of any kind) are you looking forward to in 2007?
Marlon: I’m getting married and moving into a newly renovated home – the rest/best of my life begins!
John Lind, Kitchen, Lind & Associates
What was the biggest story in comics in 2006? I’ve got three individual choices…
1] Lost Girls getting so much positive feedback and exposure (with so few negative repercussions).
2] Gene Yang’s National Book Award nomination (and First Second’s launch in general being well received).
3] Alison Bechdel’s Fun Home being named the best book of the year by Time magazine.
In general, the story just seemed to be that everybody I talked with was working on something new or exciting. I’ve seen some really outstanding work over the last year… The prospect of getting a deal from a major publisher that would allow you to actually create comics (and not just during spare time away from your day job) is going to inspire some of the best work in the medium in years.
What will be the biggest story in comics in 2007? Short, quick answer…
Continuing the trend, more publishers will be looking toward graphic novels for children. There will be expansion of current programs and new publishers entering the fray. Some great projects are being worked on in this area and should keep the momentum going strong for the next year (and beyond).
What guilty pleasure (of any kind) are you looking forward to in 2007? A proper vacation in a warm climate (not just a couple days off, timed to coincide with BEA, Comic-con or SPX).
Patricia Jeres, Prism
What was the biggest story in comics in 2006? — the creative, critical and commercial success of Fun Home, perhaps the most important work in comics since Maus
What will be the biggest story in comics in 2007? continuing transitions at the Big Two
What guilty pleasure (of any kind) are you looking forward to in 2007? another Girls Night Out in San Diego!
Frank Cammuso, Max Hamm Fairy Tale Detective, Knights of the Lunch Table (coming out from Scholastic 2008), Misadventures of Salem Hyde (coming out from Scholastic 2009)
What was the biggest story in comics in 2006? The continual love affair the NYT has with comics. Nothing like positive reinforcement to prod an insecure industry. Also, American Born Chinese receiving a National Book Award nod.
What will be the biggest story in comics in 2007? Oprah selects a graphic novel for her book club and every housewife in america suddenly cannot get enough of Walking Dead.
What guilty pleasure (of any kind) are you looking forward to in 2007? I can’t wait to read Jeff Smith’s Shazam. It looks awesome! For movies, I want to see “Pan’s Labyrinth” and “The Golden Compass”.
Colleen Doran, The Book of Lost Souls, A Distant Soil, Draw This Way, Sandman
What was the biggest story in comics in 2006? The Danish Cartoons. The contrast between the horrific reactions to the rather innocuous content of the supposedly horrid Danish cartoons, and the absolute absence of any reaction whatsoever to Iran’s anti-Jewish Holocaust Cartoon contest said it all as far as I was concerned.
What will be the biggest story in comics in 2007? Cash flow at distributors. More than one major player is having problems just now.
What guilty pleasure (of any kind) are you looking forward to in 2007? On a purely personal level, I am looking foward to re-inking a story for Absolute Sandman volume II. This is not an Earth shattering event, but it is immensely satisfying to me on so many levels I cannot adequately articulate my happiness. Also, Spiderman III.
Svetlana Chmakova, Dramacon 1 and 2, The Adventures of CG!, Night Silver, Chasing Rainbows.
What was the biggest story in comics in 2006? It’s hard to single out just one, the whole year was one big rollecoaster ride, to me. But I’d have to go with the Women of Comics symposium(http://www.womenofcomics.com/) in Toronto–a very important event, I think. Between this, book publishers opening up GN imprints, and the GN section in the bookstores continuing to grow… It’s very exciting to watch how the industry is changing.
What will be the biggest story in comics in 2007? Warren Ellis gets his name engraved on the Moon. The world sinks into panic!
What guilty pleasure (of any kind) are you looking forward to in 2007? None of my pleasures are guilty …Unless I count running off to see the new MARVEL movies and Shrek 3 instead of working. But that’s closer to a ‘well-deserved break’, right? Right.
Matteo Casali, writer, Catwoman, Bonerest, Silent Dance, the upcoming Justice League Unlimited and Batman: Europa (and at east three other interesting projects I can’t yet name.
– Graphic novels on the rise. Anything else is just gossip.
– The challenge of creating appealing stories for a new readership (see above) –same it’s been happening in the Old World since the very early days of comic history.
– Who needs a new one? Eh.
Dave Glanzer, Director of Marketing and Public Relations for San Diego Comic-Con
What was the biggest story in comics in 2006? Wow too many to list, but two that impacted us greatly was the first ever Comic-Con Icon award for Frank Miller televised on Spike TV and the one that I had the most questions about: Comic-Con moving to another city.
What will be the biggest story in comics in 2007? Hmm, great question. Again, I think there are probably too many to list, but for me, I think it will be that Comic-Con DIDN’T move to another city in 2007. :)
What guilty pleasure (of any kind) are you looking forward to in 2007? More time relaxing which means reading comics, watching my favorite shows and spending more time with friends.
C.B. Cebulski, Marvel writer and consulting editor at large, writer of Image Comics’ Drain and Wonderlost
What was the biggest story in comics in 2006? There’s one story that comes to mind, but it has two parts…
1. Comic creators getting more respect and opportunities in “mainstream” entertainment industries…
I don’t think I can remember a year where we’ve seen more artists getting offers to work on production design in feature films and TV, provide promotional artwork and posters for these movies and shows, or have their properties optioned for development. The same holds true with writers, who have been continually breaking out of the comic fold and writing, consulting and contributing more than ever to all aspects of popular culture, from hit TV shows to novels to video games, and being dully recognized for it by the mainstream press.
2. …and these creators refusing to abandon the field they got their start in and continuing to work in comics.
The lure of big money and fame is there in Hollywood and in video games, but almost all of the writers and artists who we’ve seen go over to work on projects there have always kept a strong footfold in comics, not giving up the medium that they love. And for me, that’s the best thing to see.
What will be the biggest story in comics in 2007? Since I’m here now, I’m going to turn to Japan for my answers to this question. I think we’ll be seeing some major influence on comics from the Japanese side of things, but not in the way that people think.
2006 was a tough year for a few of the once-proud anime and manga companies. I think this has to do with a number of reasons beyond the strictly financial; an increasing number of exclusive deals, lack of care and quality, deteriorating reputations and relationships with artists and companies in Japan, and a misunderstanding of the needs of manga and anime fans. However, I unfortunately think this is going to continue in 2007 and we will see it affect one or two other established companies in major ways. The signs are already there and I can see it coming. I just hope they see them too and can get things back on track so that this won’t deal a big blow to the publishers and creators they work with.
Additionally, I think we’re going to see a lot more direct involvement from Japanese creators and editors in the international comic scene. It’s already happening. The more manga-ka I talk to, the more I see them looking for additional creative outlets they can’t find in Japan, be it working in full color, having 100% creative ownership and control over their own properties, or working on licensed characters. I think we’ll be seeing more established Japanese creators doing original work outside Japan. And I think you’ll see a growing number of these artists, as well as their Japanese editors and publishers, taking an even more active interest in the marketing, sales and promotion of their own titles in foreign markets. Their relationships with the publishers in America are growing ever stronger and I think we’re already starting to see their influence here, which has been a positive development for everyone. This can only help improve the quality and releases of manga in the States and the rest of the world.
What guilty pleasure (of any kind) are you looking forward to in 2007? Any new combination of peanut butter and chocolate that Reese’s can come up with.
My annual Chesterfest NYC bash, which will be during New York Comic Con again this year. Date and location still being decided.
Dan Goldman, SHOOTING WAR, “KELLY”
What was the biggest story in comics in 2006? The broadening of the medium in America, hands down. I spent the whole year watching non-fans’ ideas about “what a comics is” change and change and change again. So many people who would never pick up a “superhero comic” have become avid comic readers this year thanks to “graphic novels” and “webcomix” and “manga” hitting all the high notes in bookstores and reading lists this year; seeing something as smart and perfectly-executed as FUN HOME sitting at the top of heap as TIME’s “Book of the Year” was like Plato himself put the cherry on top of Comics in 2006.
What will be the biggest story in comics in 2007? All the new graphic novels everyone has been secretly working on this past year are going to start dropping like carpet bombs from book publishers… and cartoonists will be rock stars. The most result of that will be the public attempts to top each other, everyone trying to outdo SGT PEPPER with SMILE or VILLAGE GREEN PRESERVATION SOCIETY or AT HER MAJESTY’S SATANIC REQUEST, etc. Collective creativity and experimentation is going to speed up across the board, and comics will be even cooler-looking/reading by the year’s end.
What guilty pleasure (of any kind) are you looking forward to in 2007? Right now I’m closing my eyes and mooning over travel plans on my calendar: well-earned honeymoon in Europe, partying with new family in Saõ Paulo, book tour in UK, Thanksgiving in Rocky Mountains. Getting out of my zone makes me love coming home to New York City even more upon my return.