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It’s time for our annual look at what’s happening in comics and where creators see things going and what impacted them in the past year. This time as always we have a wide range swath of creators, publishers and retailers, with all kinds of opinions. And if you look closely you’ll see lots of news about projects for  2016.

Thanks to all who participated and especially for taking time out from the busy holiday schedule to answer our survey.


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Chris Ryall Editor in chief IDW

2016 Projects: Rom Spaceknight and many more

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What was the biggest story in comics in 2015? DKIII

What will be the biggest story in comics in 2016? The return of Rom the Space Knight to comics, of course.

What guilty pleasure (of any kind) are you looking forward to in 2016? I’ve gotten over feeling guilty over anything I like. If I like it, I feel no shame about liking it. That said, seeing Duran Duran live next summer probably does still qualify here…


rick-lowell.jpgRick Lowell, owner Casablanca Comics

What was the biggest story in comics in 2015? DC Comics is an ongoing story, including their move to the west coast, the retirement of Bob Wayne, and the numerous editorial mis-steps of the past 12 months.

What will be the biggest story in comics in 2016? I expect to see some major adjustments at the top periodical publishers, including line reductions and staff reductions. Although I feel the market is strong, the top publishers are bloated with their excessive title output.

What guilty pleasure (of any kind) are you looking forward to in 2016? Not comic related, but I can’t wait to see Bruce Springsteen on “The River” tour in 2016. For comics, I look forward to dealing with more vintage back-issues.


Cliff Biggers, editor Comic Shop News

What was the biggest story in comics in 2015? DC falls to 22% market share.

What will be the biggest story in comics in 2016? DC gets a new publisher.

What guilty pleasure (of any kind) are you looking forward to in 2016? The return of Rom.


trina-robbins.jpgTrina Robbins, cartoonist, herstorian

2016 Projects: My memoir, and maybe later, Mine totes buch (my father’s book).

What was the biggest story in comics in 2015? More women creating comics than ever before — and more to come. And the Big Two (Especially Marvel) getting hip to the fact that when you give girls comics that they like, girls will read comics.

What will be the biggest story in comics in 2016? Even more women creating comics! And even more girl friendly comics!

What guilty pleasure (of any kind) are you looking forward to in 2016? Traveling to conventions in exotic places (like Israel in 2016, and maybe Brazil again) but not so many that I get sick, as I did flying back from Russia in October, 2015.


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Anne Ishii, publisher

2016 Projects: We’ll be producing more manga by Gengoroh Tagame, including a hardcover deluxe re-issue of the now out-of-print “The Passion of Tagame” as well as other forthcoming announcements to be made about his non-erotic work. Also working with Koyama Press to bring ROKUDENASHIKO (vagina manga artist) to TCAF and the anglophone universe in 2016.

What was the biggest story in comics in 2015? A lot of 2015 was really crappy crappy news, so for me the biggest story was that at least a lot of mega dope women cartoonists were finally recognized through critical accolades and crucial awards that (let’s be honest) are specifically dope because they represent important financial windfalls. Jillian Tamaki’s Caldecott, Roz Chast’s Heinz Award, and of course Alison Bechdel’s MacArthur Grant. All really great news in the general crap of msm.

What will be the biggest story in comics in 2016? Ta-Nehisi Coates’ Black Panther for Marvel.

What guilty pleasure (of any kind) are you looking forward to in 2016? Hard-core 2016 Election fanfic, preferably involving non-con male impreg of the GOP starring Trump.


kwanzaa-Johnson.jpgKwanza Johnson, author

2016 Projects:I guess you can call this a Comics Beat exclusive announcement. In February 2016, I’m launching a Kickstarter for my graphic novel, BLACK. Check out http://black superpowers.com for updates and follow our social media handles.

What was the biggest story in comics in 2015? I’d say DC Entertainment moving all operations to Los Angeles. I’m certain it’s had an impact on a publishing dynamic that’s existed in New York before most of us were alive. A lot of staffers now have to figure where they are in a striking and hobbled North Eastern industry and just the idea of not being able to pop in anywhere except Marvel… Times change.

What will be the biggest story in comics in 2016? I think the continued shift to digital. The rise of mobile already has creators flocking to platforms like Web Toons. An American platform could find some legs if they follow suit or at least adopt a more open content model like Comixology.

What guilty pleasure (of any kind) are you looking forward to in 2016? Playing more DCUO Online… For all the smack I talk about comics, many licensed products that come out of them are fun. Gotta get my controller’s combat rating up. Captain America: Civil War because, Black Panther ΓÇô and Ta-Nehisi Coates’s take on Black Panther. Milestone 2.0


kelly fitzpatrick.jpgKelly Fitzpatrick, colorist

2016 Projects: DC Bombshells, Black Hood, The Hangman, The Shield, The Web, Bitch Planet, Snowfall and a couple unannounced projects.

What was the biggest story in comics in 2015? Ms. Marvel!

What will be the biggest story in comics in 2016? I’m hoping Bitch Planet!

What guilty pleasure (of any kind) are you looking forward to in 2016? I’m looking forward to the new Umbrella Academy!


sarah winfred searle.jpgSarah Winifred Searle, cartoonist

2016 Projects: Writing/drawing Sparks (Filthy Figments), drawing Ruined (Fresh Romance), plus lots of small projects and maybes!

What was the biggest story in comics in 2015? Treatment of marginalized people/voices in our industry, both behind the scenes and within the kinds of stories we tell.

What will be the biggest story in comics in 2016? Really just looking forward to having even more great creators and comics to celebrate!

What guilty pleasure (of any kind) are you looking forward to in 2016? Sleep.


kelly bw headshot.jpgKelly Thompson, writer

2016 Projects: Jem & The Holograms (IDW), A-Force (Marvel), Ghostbusters: Deviations (IDW), Boom Box Mix Tape Anthology (Boom), and more to come!

What was the biggest story in comics in 2015? I think diversity in comics continues to be the biggest story we see in comics – raising its head in a variety of announcements and controversies over and over again…some more significant than others.

What will be the biggest story in comics in 2016? Diversity will continue to be the biggest story in comics until we see a real and lasting change in our books and especially in the creators behind them. Comics are going through awkward and sometimes embarrassing growing pains but I believe we’ll come out the other side better and stronger than ever.


anna_biongiovanni.jpgAnna Bongiovanni, cartoonist

2016 Projects: Writing more Everyday Feminism comics, getting my Autostraddle comic (Grease Bats) released in a graphic novel.

What was the biggest story in comics in 2015? The amount of work published by queer and trans artists. The Black Art Matters panel at SPX, the queer artist panel at SPX was great too.

What guilty pleasure (of any kind) are you looking forward to in 2016? Excited to read small-press and indie artists work which is/was considered too radical too angry too radiant too faggy too sexual in their critique of the dominate culture


JeffreyBrownphotoSMALLER.jpgJeffrey Brown, cartoonist

2016 Projects: Mostly my new middle grade series, “Lucy & Andy Neanderthal”, the first book of which will come out late summer.

What was the biggest story in comics in 2015? The Charlie Hebdo attack brought comics into discussion out in the wider world, even if the bigger cultural questions surrounding the event obscure the demonstration of the kind of power and effect comics can have on people.

What will be the biggest story in comics in 2016? Hopefully the biggest story is some stupid major comic company crossover event, I’ll take that as the biggest story every year if it means people don’t have to die.

What guilty pleasure (of any kind) are you looking forward to in 2016? Now that I’ve turned 40, I no longer feel guilt. Unfortunately, now I can’t eat doughnuts in the same quantities without ill effects to my health, so there’s less pleasure too. Enh, whatever, I’m going to eat a bunch of doughnuts next year anyway.


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Eric Reynolds, associate publisher, Fantagraphics

2016 Projects: At the moment: Patience by Daniel Clowes, Love & Rockets by Gilbert and Jaime Hernandez, 5,000 km Per Second by Manuele Fior, Megg & Mogg in Amsterdam by Simon Hanselmann, Underworld by Kaz, the monthly Hip Hop Family Tree series by Ed Piskor, Nod Away by Josh Cotter, Uptight by Jordan Crane, Kramer’s Ergot No. 9 by Sammy Harkham & friends, Boy’s Club by Matt Furie, the Meat Cake Bible by Dame Darcy, Real Deal Comix by Lawrence Hubbard, Jessica Farm by Josh Simmons, Disquiet by Noah Van Sciver, and finishing my lunch.

What was the biggest story in comics in 2015? For the first year since they became a thing, digital sales dipped while print grew.

What will be the biggest story in comics in 2016? The first new Daniel Clowes book — PATIENCE — in over half a decade, and the launch of an all-new LOVE & ROCKETS series…

What guilty pleasure (of any kind) are you looking forward to in 2016? Watching the Seahawks go back to the Superbowl for the third year in a row.


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MariNaomi, cartoonist

2016 Projects: My book TURNING JAPANESE, a comics memoir about working at Japanese hostess bars, comes out in May via 2dcloud. Yay!

What was the biggest story in comics in 2015? The passing of Seth Kushner was a pretty big deal. His daily superhero drawings for his son while he was separated from him/in the hospital really tugged at the heartstrings, and I know we were all pulling for him. When Dennis Eichhorn died, it was more sudden and got less press. But his passing really affected me personally, as I was hugely influenced by his autobio comics in the ’90s and was excited about his recent comeback to the world of comics publishing. I still can’t believe he’s gone, and that I never got to meet him. I wonder what stories of his never made it to print. His stories were incredible.

What will be the biggest story in comics in 2016? Hopefully not anyone dying! I think the biggest deal, book-wise, will be Tom Hart’s ROSALIE LIGHTNING. I got an advance peek and it was beautiful and devastating. It really raises the bar.

What guilty pleasure (of any kind) are you looking forward to in 2016? I’ve been working on saying “no” to things more often, and TBH it feels like a guilty pleasure. I’m looking forward to saying more no’s!


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Andrew Farago, writer, curator

2016 Projects: Totally Awesome: The Greatest Television Cartoons of the 1980s is scheduled for a fall 2016 release, published by Insight Editions. I’ve also got an Adventure Time Bowling kit coming out in the spring. We also expect the Cartoon Art Museum to be up and running in a new location in San Francisco in the months ahead.

What was the biggest story in comics in 2015? Did I say something about women becoming the driving force of the non-superhero comics world last year? Because that’s what I’m thinking every time I visit my local comic shop these days. That’s been an ongoing shift for the past several years, but it’s been much more pronounced in 2015.

What will be the biggest story in comics in 2016? I think we’re starting to see some convention burnout from creators, and we’ll see more alternatives to traditional comic conventions spring up as a result. Maybe more shows in the U.S. following the European festival model, and pro-only symposia and workshops instead of the standard marketplace model.

What guilty pleasure (of any kind) are you looking forward to in 2016? I’ve got a toddler at home, so there’s no such thing as a “guilty pleasure” right now. Any goofy thing we want to do with him is entirely appropriate, and generally encouraged.


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Ed Catto, marketing maven

2016 Projects: At Bonfire Agency, we’re working to help both new and long-time clients connect with passionate, revenue-driving fans in authentic ways. We just moved our offices back into NYC, and it’s been an invigorating change. On the Captain Action side of things, I’m excited to celebrate Captain Action’s 50th Anniversary in 2016. We’re prepping a ton of new things for release: new action figures, a Lady Action one-shot from Dynamite, two 1/6 scale costume sets (for licensed heroes), a new prose thriller, a new Captain Action comic from Dynamite, a card game (evocative of the 1960’s Kool Pop premium) and three recorded books. We’re also diligently developing the Captain Action Animated Series and look forward to making some big announcements in mid-2016.

What was the biggest story in comics in 2015? The biggest 2015 story is the phenomenal, non-stop growth of comic conventions nationwide. During 2015, Geek Culture pitched a bigger tent than ever, and has the ability to attract many different types of passionate and casual fans in unprecedented numbers. And not’s only in big North American cities, but in smaller markets domestically and internationally. And these conventions are routinely shatter previous attendance records. It’s nothing short of astounding and it’s not slowing down.

What will be the biggest story in comics in 2016? The continuing growth of Geek Culture ΓÇôand the continued impact on Pop Culture in general. We could see that by the end of 2015, Star Wars dominated the entertainment and retail landscape, and we expect more Geek Culture dominance in the upcoming year.

What guilty pleasure (of any kind) are you looking forward to in 2016? More classic reprints from Craig Yoe and IDW!


tumblr_inline_mlw9raWkmN1rkpwi9.jpgMike Dawson, cartoonist

2016 Projects: Rules For Dating My Daughter: The Modern Father’s Guide to Good Parenting, published by Uncivilized Books

What was the biggest story in comics in 2015? So many comics festivals and conventions, that no festival or convention feels absolutely vital anymore. There’s no one *this is the show* of the year.tumblr_nxz4qssC2i1soutgdo1_500

What will be the biggest story in comics in 2016?Everything about comics creatively is firing on all cylinders, there are a ton of great shows, comics are taken seriously by “civilians” (or, at least not rejected out of hand), comic stores are closing to become publishers, crowdfunding evens the publishing playing field, there are almost no barriers to putting work into print, but still the distribution system is garbage, and there’s no great answer to that. People say conventions are the defacto distribution system for most small presses, but what a crummy system that is. Talk about pay to play, all that tabling and traveling. I hope in 2016 the big story is that someone finally figures out something better.

What guilty pleasure (of any kind) are you looking forward to in 2016? THE ELECTION


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Lara Antal, cartoonist

2016 Projects:“Tales of the Night Watchman” Issue Five by Dave Kelly, Lara Antal, Victoria Lau, Robin Ha, and Simon Fraser will be out this spring!

What was the biggest story in comics in 2015? The closing of stores like Bergen St. Comics and Locust Moon. That’s pretty significant.

What will be the biggest story in comics in 2016? Whatever it is, I hope it’s positive. There will probably be more conversations about how little money there is to be made in comics. People are finally starting to talk honestly about that stuff. That’s a positive thing.

What guilty pleasure (of any kind) are you looking forward to in 2016? I’m looking forward to seeing new comics from our studiomate Tim Hamilton in Dark Horse Presents. He’s been making too many kid’s books, not enough comics. Kids get all the good stuff already!


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Van Jensen, writer

2016 Projects: I’m really excited to return to creator-owned with two new series from Dark Horse Comics. Cryptocracy with Pete Woods is a massive adventure delving into conspiracies and secret societies. And Two Dead with Nate Powell is a true-crime story set in the 1940s South. I’m also continuing cowriting The Flash (DC Comics), and I have two other big projects that will be announced soon.

What was the biggest story in comics in 2015? DC moving to Burbank, and a lot of great folks in comics having their lives uprooted, one way or another.

What will be the biggest story in comics in 2016? There are a lot of alternative publishing models being tested right now. If one of them manages to take off, that’ll be a big deal. Otherwise, it’ll probably be the growing strength of creator-owned comics, challenging licensed and work-for-hire properties. That shift has a ton of implications, for good and for bad.

What guilty pleasure (of any kind) are you looking forward to in 2016? New ROM: Spaceknight. The pressure is on, Chris Ryall.


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John.Patrick.Green_byEllenB.Wright.jpgJohn P. Green, cartoonist

2016 Projects:My next book is an early reader graphic novel called “Hippopotamister”, about a hippo who leaves the zoo with his friend the red panda to get jobs amongst the humans. It comes out in May from First Second Books.

What was the biggest story in comics in 2015? The successes of Daredevil and Jessica Jones on Netflix. Sony and Marvel working out a deal with Spider-Man.

What will be the biggest story in comics in 2016? I’m sure it will be a long time until people stop talking about the Batman v Superman movie.

What guilty pleasure (of any kind) are you looking forward to in 2016? No Man’s Sky.


Check back tomorrow for more of the survey!

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