We’re still rolling out our titanic 2012 survey with looks back and ahead from every level of the comics industry. And lots of news buried in the 2012 projects, too if you want to find it. Previous parts; One, Two.
Shaenon K. Garrity, cartoonist/editor/journalist
Still cranking out my daily webstrip Skin Horse (www.skin-horse.com) with my glamorous cowriter Jeffrey C. Wells. Skin Horse Volume 3 will be out next year. Editing my first yaoi manga for Viz’s SuBLime imprint, which means writing lots of saucy dialogue. Working on a comic project with Bay Area muralist Sirron Norris. Collecting tiki heads.
What was the biggest story in comics in 2011?: The move to ebooks and other digital media. It’s shaken all areas of publishing, and this year comics publishers scrambled to get on board, with mixed results.
What will be the biggest story in comics in 2012?: Herbie the Fat Fury finally getting the respect it deserves.
What guilty pleasure are you looking forward to in 2012?: Smutty comics and rum cocktails.
Chris Eliopoulos, cartoonist
2012 Projects: Cow Boy, Avengers vs. X-Men
What was the biggest story in comics in 2011?: DC made a bold move by relaunching their entire line. It was a big chance that seemed to pay off so far, but we’ll see in the long run. Sadly there wasn’t a big push to extend the market with genres and subjects appealing to other demographics. But the fact they went day-and-date digitally was a good move even if the price point still seems out of whack. But the fact that people were crying the death knell for DC by doing this, people bought into the relaunch and for the first time in a while DC was front page news.
What will be the biggest story in comics in 2012?: Digital vs. Print. It seems like that’s been a underlying story for a couple years now, but I think with the cutbacks, the economy, people will be looking for cheaper alternatives. Right now, the industry is scared of digital and taking that leap of faith, but if someone gets out there and pulls a win like Louis CK did with his $5 stand up video, we may see a paradigm shift. Lower cost digital comics and hard copy trades are going to be the future, hopefully someone leads and shows us the way.
What guilty pleasure are you looking forward to in 2012?: I’m really looking forward to some of the projects I’m secretly working on to see the light of day. The past year has been super busy for me with a lot of work not ever seen. I’m hoping to make it a big year.
Jim Ottaviani, author/editor
Primates, with Maris Wicks (First Second)
The Imitation Game, with Leland Purvis (Tor.com)
… and a few others in early stages.
What was the biggest story in comics in 2011?:
Day and date digital.
What will be the biggest story in comics in 2012?:
Phil Yeh, cartoonist/editor
My “auto-biography” as a graphic novel starring my alter-ego Cazco. It’s a 300+ page book due this summer 2012 called “Cazco; What a long strange trip it’s been” celebrating 40 years since Cazco first appeared in the school newspaper in the fall of 1972. We are also publishing Uncle Jam on a quarterly basis!
What was the biggest story in comics in 2011?: We have been very impressed by the work that we have seen in the rest of the world which tends to read a lot ,ore than the United States. One can hope that this changes here but if not, then the market should just continue to grow in the rest of the world.
What will be the biggest story in comics in 2012?: Always hard to say but I really have high hopes for the respect of the graphic novel form as seen recently in Art News. We must continue our fight to have real graphic novels noticed.
What guilty pleasure are you looking forward to in 2012?: More travel! I find that this increases my inspiration and my love of humankind.
Kieron Gillen, writer
I was writing Uncanny X-men and Journey Into Mystery for Marvel in 2011. I will be continuing to do so in 2012. Alongside that, there’s a bunch of indie stuff that should be dropping, none of which I’m going to mention in fear of jinxing it.
What was the biggest story in comics in 2011?: Oh, it’s the 52, innit? Biggest, but so big it’s almost pointless seeing anything about it. For all the opinions that people have said, the only two worth having are…
1) “Let’s see how the land lies 6-12 months on”.
2) “I’m glad it didn’t fall on its face, as that would have been horrifically bad for the whole industry”.
If you ignore “biggest” and focus on the more-interesting “interesting”, then I’d nod towards the rise of alternative funding models in comic circles (kickstarter, indiegogo, etc) which is absolutely wild-west in its current craziness but rapidly developing to a more mature state and is something else that creators are looking at and going “Hmm”.
What will be the biggest story in comics in 2012? The last few years’ big stories seem to be company lead. I get the feeling from talking to my peers (and general runic precognition) that this years’ will be creator lead. Which is vague, I know, but should be fun to watch.
What guilty pleasure are you looking forward to in 2012?: I don’t really believe in the concept, as I believe I’ve bored everyone with by saying before. The only guilty pleasure I have is writing in my kitchen, standing up, eating a packet of chocolate hob-nobs, in my dressing gown, wearing a cowboy hat whilst dancing.
Ted Rall, cartoonist
The Book of O(bama): How We Went From Hope and Change to the Age of Revolt (Seven Stories Press, Spring 2012) – cartoons and columns ;
Untitled book about Afghanistan for Hill & Wang
What was the biggest story in comics in 2011?: Too busy working to pay attention.
What will be the biggest story in comics in 2012?: Cartoons about and from the Occupy movement.
What guilty pleasure are you looking forward to in 2012?: No time for pleasure; just working
Renee Witterstaetter, artist manage/editor
2012 Projects: “Joe Jusko: Maelstrom” sketchbook, “Michael Golden: Dangerous Curves” Sketchbook, “Nick Cardy: Wit-Lash… the timeless humor of Nick Cardy,” artbook. Plus a new sketchbook on artist Mark Texeira.
What was the biggest story in comics in 2011?: I’d have to say the biggest story was the New 52, and the restructuring of DC Comics. Regardless of how it ultimately works out,it created a huge buzz. Hand in hand with that, the ongoing changes in Marvel are always a point of interest, at the Disney helm. All of these stories combined, also lead to the subtext of how changes at the Big Two affect the rise of the Independent, and begs one to redefine just what one means by “independent” anymore, anyway.
What will be the biggest story in comics in 2012?: The continuing trend of amazing work springing up in what once were considered unusual places. While we are always needing to fight the possibility of the Internet homogenizing our world, the incredible tool that it is to get our work there, will continue to take the forefront.
What guilty pleasure are you looking forward to in 2012?: I don’t know if it’s a pleasure, but it may make me feel guilty. As a big supporter of printed books (in addition to Digital), I’m getting a Kindle for Christmas, I know. And I suppose I’m going to valiantly see if I can enjoy reading a book on a screen, and see just how different it is from holding an actual volume in my hands. Is it still going to have that tactile emotional feel on those long flights or train rides? I like collecting books. Always have, especially vintage art books by illustrators like Arthur Rackham and Edmund Dulac. Having a digital book is not going to replace that for me. However, since someone else is buying it (Mom), I’ll see if I like that Kindle on my overseas trips. Books can get heavy after all.
2012 Projects: Working on my webcomic Legendary Beings Ara & Celi.
What was the biggest story in comics in 2011?: Most likely the DC Comics reboot. Was it necessary? I’m not really sure. If anything, it just made the goal of new readers getting into their comics harder. Of course, I have to mention Womanthology becoming one of the highest successful Kickstarter projects of all time. Also, the reprint and retranslation of the Sailor Moon manga, one of the most important and beloved manga in the world, made it to the US after many years.
What will be the biggest story in comics in 2012?: Well, we can only hope that Marvel’s comics will be good enough to hook potential new readers who come in after watching the Avengers movie. The increase in readership across all divides that comes afterwards would greatly benefit the comics industry.
What guilty pleasure are you looking forward to in 2012?: Anything involving bringing more of Osamu Tezuka’s works to the U.S.!
Infestation 2 Team-Up (Feb. 29, 2012)
Road Rage #1-4 with Stephen King, Joe Hill, & Richard Matheson (starts Feb. ’12)
Zombies vs Robots: Seasons of War (May ’12)
Zombies vs Robots miniseries with Sam Kieth (TBD 2012)
Zombies vs Robots novella (TBD 2012)
What was the biggest story in comics in 2011?: The DC Comics relaunch
What will be the biggest story in comics in 2012?: The next DC Comics relaunch. No, just kidding. I’ll say in my biased way that it’ll be the relaunches of our Mars Attacks, Kiss and The Crow series.
What guilty pleasure are you looking forward to in 2012?: Expendables 2!
Joshua Frankel, Publisher ZIP Comics
2012 Projects: I am currently publishing Harvey Pekar’s Cleveland in conjunction with the wonderful people at Top Shelf Productions. I am a also writing a new comic called Super Salaryman Robot with artist Chris Hunt. There is a preview of the former on Top Shelf’s website and you can see some images from the latter on Chris’s Flickr.
What was the biggest story in comics in 2011?: The biggest story I think is Marvel and D.C going same day digital. They account for the majority of the direct market so while digital may not be king yet it is gaining steam.
What will be the biggest story in comics in 2012?: I think it will be a rise in sales across the board as the economy starts improving modestly. Well at least this is what I tell myself.
What guilty pleasure are you looking forward to in 2012?: Probably the conclusion of The Boys by Garth Ennis ( I think it ends next year). I have been following that series since issue 1 and it is probably my favorite guilty pleasure comics or otherwise.
Michel Fiffe, cartoonist/historian
2012 projects: Zegas #2
Biggest Story 2011 – Jaime Hernandez gave us a masterpiece with Love and Rockets: New Stories 4. Jaime set a new standard that we’re all have gonna have to try and meet for a long time to come.
Biggest Story 2012 – Marcos Martin’s creator owned project.
Guilty Pleasure 2012 – I usually stay away from modern Dr. Strange comics, but I’m curious about the upcoming Emma Rios drawn series.
Ross Richie, Chief Executive Officer and Founder of BOOM! Studios
2012 Projects: VALEN THE OUTCAST #1 is out in-stores right now — full issue only $1. I’ll quote iZombie writer Chris Roberson: “Undead Conan? I’m in!”
What was the biggest story in comics in 2011?: DC’s new 52. Hats off to Dan DiDio, Geoff Johns, and Jim Lee for killing it and congrats to retailers for taking a chance on a lot of titles and succeeding with them. The DC team showed a lot of courage taking this risk and kudos to them for pulling it off in a very big way. When the comic book store is an exciting place to go we all win!
What will be the biggest story in comics in 2012?: Marvel’s response.
What guilty pleasure are you looking forward to in 2012?: Nachos, nachos, nachos. I really need to lose weight.
Van Jensen, writer
The third (and final!) volume of Pinocchio, Vampire Slayer will be serialized digitally starting in January, and a print edition will come over the summer. It’s called Pinocchio, Vampire Slayer: Of Wood and Blood, and I can honestly say it’s the best thing I’ve written (and with amazing art from Dusty Higgins). Also from SLG will be Snow White: Through a Glass, Darkly (with artist Robin Holstein), which is also coming out digitally first. There are three other books I have lined up for either 2012 or 2013 that I can’t publicize yet. I am planning to launch a web comic in the early spring, so stay tuned for that. Beyond that, in my “real” job as editor of the Georgia Tech Alumni Magazine, I’m prepping a relaunch of the magazine. Not comics, but it’s something that I’m very excited about and was where the bulk of my creative energy went this past year.
What was the biggest story in comics in 2011?: Had to be the revitalization of the market for single issues, which really owes almost entirely to DC’s huge gamble on the relaunch. And with Valiant coming back strong in 2012, it could be a sustained effort. I’m not completely sold, but at least we have a solid sign that the “fantasy” economy is recovering. Beyond that, 2011 was the year that comics moved whole hog into the digital market, with every publisher big and small putting content on tablets and e-readers. In the long run, we’ll probably remember that paradigm shift longer than we remember the Nu 52.
What will be the biggest story in comics in 2012?: The things that I’ve heard about the Valiant relaunch make it clear they’re committed to putting out quality books. With Marvel reeling a bit, they could come in and claim some major market share. I’m also really curious to see what happens with the Kindle Fire. With its price point, the Fire could expand the e-reader audience quite significantly. And who knows, maybe people will actually start revealing digital sales figures!
What guilty pleasure are you looking forward to in 2012?: I hated that first G.I. Joe movie, but that sequel looks kind of amazing. Ninjas fighting on the side of a mountain!
2012 Projects: ComicMix: A site upgrade and redesign, and we’re increasing the number of columnists– it’s taken a while to come up with people as good as Michael Davis, Marc Fishman, Mindy Newell, Denny O’Neil, John Ostrander, and Martha Thomases, but we think people will be pleased.
Crazy 8 Press: Peter David’s long awaited next book in the Hidden Earth Chronicles, “Heights Of The Depths”.
What was the biggest story in comics in 2011?: DC takes the lead from Marvel with a line-wide relaunch combined with a heavy push to help retailers keep their heads above water. Ironically, taking books off the non-returnable standard has helped DC push a lot of product and still help their retailers.
More, DC is starting to establish serious brand identities, and is deploying it cross-platform– while Marvel seems to be acting in a penny wise and pound foolish manner, with parent company Disney throwing out large dividends rather than finding a use for their cash on hand.
What will be the biggest story in comics in 2012?: “The Amazing Spider-Man” and “The Man Of Steel”, while still very profitable, do not make as much money as anticipated. Zack Snyder gets lots of grief for not using the John Williams “Superman” theme.
Barnes & Noble opens up the Nook to comics and graphic novels from small publishers and individuals, becoming an important venue for independent comics. Amazon eventually follows suit by dropping their fees charging publishers for large files sizes, but has to make up ground with content providers…
And a new photograph of Steve Ditko is found.
What guilty pleasure are you looking forward to in 2012?: New episodes of “Sherlock”, and seeing who does more box office next year, DC or Marvel.
Kuo-Yu Liang, VP Sales & Marketing, Diamond Book Distributors
2012 Projects: My wife’s first novel, UNRULY HEARTS, just got published on Kindle and Nook (more devices to come)
What was the biggest story in comics in 2011?: For me, in the book trade
only, the closing of Borders.
What will be the biggest story in comics in 2012?: I would like to think the independent, brick & mortar retailers (comic shops & bookstores) have an opportunity to ride the wave of public anger against Too Big To Fail retailers (Occupy WS) and sentiment (Locavesting, locavore, shop local) to shop local.
Joey Manley, webcomicker
Snake-Boy Loves Sky Prince, a gay superhero teen romance
What was the biggest story in comics in 2011?: The new 52! Got me reading mainstream comics on a weekly basis again — for a month or two, anyway. I’m still hooked on OMAC and Action Comics, of all things.
What will be the biggest story in comics in 2012?: One of the smaller commercial publishers — IDW or Boom! or Dynamite — will be picked up by a major entertainment conglomerate.
What guilty pleasure are you looking forward to in 2012?: The return of the Mayans from outer space.
well, hell; i’m currently pimping the first collection of my Sammy The Mouse collection, which was originally released as part of the Ignatz line from Fantagraphics. in an act of total insanity on my part, i did a Kickstarter thing for a 104 page trade collecting the first 3 issues, and then completed every single element of the thing (except for the binding) in house, including sourcing and transporting the paper, getting plates made etc etc etc ad nauseum, and printed the entire book on my own printing press and then am publishing it as well. hits stores mid-Marchish. there will be a second volume (also 80-100 pages) released in 2012 (and then hopefully one a year for the next 3 years til the damn thing is done). also rebooting the La Mano site, and a ton of other stuff while i apparently attempt to DIY myself into an early grave.
What was the biggest story in comics in 2011?:
the continuation of Jaime Hernandez’ “the Love Bunglers” in Love and Rockets. Jaime’s place as one of the greats was cemented long, long ago, but to see someone hit it that hard was just awe-inspiring… i feel like for a number of years both he and Gilbert were not forgotten, but sort of taken for granted/ seen as old guard types who just did what they did and nobody’s ears pricked up much. but Jaime absolutely decimated in “Browntown”, only to follow it up with (somehow) a story even more astounding in L&R vol 4. it gave me great faith to see that someone could do such powerful work that just about everyone HAD to take notice– and they did. and let’s be honest: Jaime would have every right to coast after 30 years of high quality work. instead he hit the gas so hard that the pavement ripped. you want to know how good comics can be? they can be this good. one of the single most powerful and affecting pieces of art i’ve ever seen in my life, period. i cried like a baby.
What will be the biggest story in comics in 2012?:
my printing press will crush my hands and i’ll start drawing with MY BRAIN. no, really? hell if i know.
there will be a kissing booth/ cake walk at comicon.
there will be a Pizza Island reality show on MTV.
What guilty pleasure are you looking forward to in 2012?:
PX90 part 2.
Mike Dawson, cartoonist
2012 Projects: The Ink Panthers Show! and TCJ Talkies podcasts. A new graphic novel in progress, title TBA.
What was the biggest story in comics in 2011?: I think the fact that I know lots of people with iPads Kindles and tablets and nobody who actually uses them to download graphic novels. I would have thought by now we’d be living in the Digital Comics Age. I’ve also never met anyone who exclusively reads their Marvel and DC floppies on a device. Presumably they exist? I don’t know.
What will be the biggest story in comics in 2012?: I feel like one of the other stories of the past year has been the return of the Alt Comics pamphlets. Hopefully this trend will continue. I’m hoping 2012 is the “Year of the Floppy”.
What guilty pleasure are you looking forward to in 2012?: The Iron Lady
J.T. Yost, cartoonist
A food/eating themed anthology featuring contributions from James Kochalka, Box Brown, Renee French, Tom Neely, Sam Henderson, Alex Robinson, Kevin Cannon, Jeremy Tinder and many many more!
What was the biggest story in comics in 2011?: I don’t know about the biggest story, but the two that affected me the greatest were the passing of Dylan Williams and Tom Hart & Leela Corman’s daughter Rosalie.
What will be the biggest story in comics in 2012?: Frank Miller & Alan Moore team up to write a romantic comedy.
What guilty pleasure are you looking forward to in 2012?: The third season of “The Pick-Up Artist”?
Josh Elder, writer/crusader
RWP 2.0 – Our big relaunch coming in February of 2012! The focus will be on creating a central hub of online dialogue and resources for educators, publishers, academics, cartoonists and parents. This includes:
– Developing a discussion board hosted on RWP’s website
– Building online databases that aggregate white papers and academic research abstracts as well as lesson plans and curriculum guides, book reviews, recommended reading lists and links to external resources.
– Taking what we did in the Reading With Pictures Anthology to the next level and laying the groundwork for a game-changing study conducted by researchers at Northwestern University.
We’re also very proud to announce our formal partnership with Chris Wilson of The Graphic Classroom, Chris will be bringing his energy, expertise and
enthusiasm to Reading With Pictures where he will be tasked with overseeing all our educator resources. We couldn’t be more excited to have Chris on the team, and we know you’re going to feel the same once you see him in action!
What was the biggest story in comics in 2011?: Borders going bankrupt and comiXology being the #1 app in the app store. Those are technically two separate events, but I think they’re both signals that the digital tipping point has indeed been reached. We should expect further disruptive changes in print outlets and exponential growth for digital purveyors.
What will be the biggest story in comics in 2012?: The digital ecosystem evolving into something more than just the “iTunes of comics.”
What guilty pleasure are you looking forward to in 2012?: Buying the Smaug action figure when “The Hobbit” drops in 2012 and then having him fight my Marvel Universe Masterworks Galactus.
A. David Lewis, writer
Co-editing the Muqtatafaht anthology for FCBD 2012 and overseeing The Tome of Chain World experimental comics project. Oh, and my Ph.D. dissertation: The Superhero Afterlife Subgenre and Its Hermeneutics for Selfhood through Narrative Character
What was the biggest story in comics in 2011?: “Flashpoint” and the ensuing New 52 for DC Comics proved to be huge even if its artistic or creative payoff is still uncertain. This is a pretty major shift in the direction of the publisher, especially when redesigns and incorporations of alternate imprints (i.e. Vertigo, Wildstorm) are being called for by the corporate biggies upstairs. Bob Harras has had a lot to handle as he’s come in and, thus far, has managed it deftly.
What will be the biggest story in comics in 2012?: Last year, I predicted it would be Habibi and Holy Terror! on the 10th anniversary of the September 11th attacks, but they didn’t resonate the way I foresaw. (Who knew there would be an Arab Spring and an Occupy Movement going on, eh?) I think I will go with something a little safer this time and say that The Dark Knight Rises and the Avengers movie are going to have the most impact on comcs in 2012, positively (a few new or returned readers) and negatively (fan nit-picking, mainstream media co-opting superheroes willy-nilly).
What guilty pleasure are you looking forward to in 2012?:
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.