Welcome to 2024 – and welcome to the Beat’s annual survey of creators for what they’ve got coming up and what’s on their mind. For the last 18 years or so we’ve run this survey to ask creators for a look back and look forward and maybe even throw in a few previews here and there. We’ll be running answers the next our days as well as the Comics Industry Person of the Year for 2023 on Friday.

As for the general tone of answers….it’s uncertainty and unrest. #ComicsBrokeMe was the biggest story of the year for creators, as as AI becomes a bigger part of our lives each day, concerns about fair treatment and fair page rates are just growing, as you’ll see below. There’s also a fair bit of news sprinkled throughout.

Thanks to everyone who took some time out of their day to respond to this survey. And Happy New Year all!


Wertz-author-pic-scaled-e1683077071698.jpegJulia Wertz, Cartoonist

2024 Projects: I’m working on a book about having a baby during the pandemic. (It’s not as grim as that sounds, I promise!) A sample (and above)

Biggest story of ’23: Certain graphic novels being put on the banned books list for absolutely ridiculous reasons (like showing characters kissing, or bad language, drug use, etc) simply because they show (vs describe) a situation.

What do you want to see change the most in the comics industry in 2024? Maybe this is more about the book industry overall, but I’d love it if bookstores and online outlets would stop putting all graphic novels under just the graphic novel banner, and instead start categorizing them by content- like, memoir, history, non-fiction, etc- so they’re not hidden away in the back of the store anymore.


Josh Bayer, Graphic novelist, educator
2024 Projects: I have too many
Biggest story of ’23: Young people taking over
What will be the biggest story of 2024? Even younger people taking over
What is your guilty pleasure for 2024? Johnny Ryan’s incredibly problematic but compelling Patreon comic
What do you want to see change the most in the comics industry in 2024? I just hope all the paper I use and pens I like stay in production. If you stick around long enough you’ll see a good percentage of your favorite tools become obsolete.


Mel Gillman, Cartoonist
Biggest story of ’23: #comicsbrokeme

Brian Garside, Software Provider, Manage Comics
2024 Projects: Manage Comics is constantly building on our connections with Shopify. We’re going deeper into our connections with Universal Distribution who will be distributing in the USA and Canada in 2024, and we will be building out an entire back-issue catalogue system in the 2nd half of 2024.

Biggest story of ’23: The Death of The Comics Industry, which has been the biggest story in the industry since I first started retailing in 1989!

What will be the biggest story of 2024? COMET – the Comics Metadata Standard

What is your guilty pleasure for 2024? I feel like the industry is on the precipice of a big revolution, we’re due for a new group of exciting creators, a new publishing paradigm, or something else revolutionary. We will continue to see the industry consolidate, as large businesses swallow up smaller stores and chains like Coliseum of Comics, Newbury Comics, New Dimension Comics and others grow.

What do you want to see change the most in the comics industry in 2024? Metadata needs to be reliable, truthful, and describe the products that retailers are trying to sell. If we can solve the metadata issues, then building on that will be much easier!


Rob Clough, Publisher, freelance editor, critic, educator
2024 Projects: Editing multiple books for Fieldmouse Press. I’m especially proud to publish a collection from November Garcia, as well as a brand-new book from John Hankiewicz, and many more from new and familiar voices in comics. My true love is my editing service, Rent-A-Critic, where I’ve helped several dozen cartoonists work through structural, conceptual, and logistical issues with regard to storytelling and publishing.
Biggest story of ’23: #comicsbrokeme and a reaction against grind culture in general. This also dovetails with unions associated with production for various publishers as well as the beginning stages of cartoonist co-ops.
What will be the biggest story of 2024? Trying to get a foothold in a market that continues to shrink in terms of paying jobs outside of middle grade and kids’ books, along with the emergence of new small press publishers to continue to fill the void along the margins.
What is your guilty pleasure for 2024? All bake-off shows.
What do you want to see change the most in the comics industry in 2024? Better and more widespread promotion that circumvents a dependence on social media.


Joe Casey, writer, partner/founder: Man Of Action Entertainment
2024 Projects: Comics: JUNIOR BAKER THE RIGHTEOUS FAKER (with Ryan Quackenbush, Image Comics), KNEEL BEFORE ZOD (with Dan McDaid, DC Comics), DUTCH (with Simon Gane, Image Comics)
Biggest story of ’23: The comic book retailer crisis: real or not? I say it’s 100% real. Retailers are — as always — on the front lines of a war where, more and more, the deck seems totally stacked against them. The LCS is the epicenter of our corner of pop culture and, sadly, some of them didn’t make it through the year.
What will be the biggest story of 2024? Solving the comic book retailer crisis (hey, we gotta think positive).
What is your guilty pleasure for 2024? Believe it or not, it’s writing more superhero comics. I’ve recently rediscovered my love, rekindled my passion and re-engaged with the particular narrative eccentricities of the masks-n-capes set. So bring on more of the greatest job in the world.
What do you want to see change the most in the comics industry in 2024? I just want 1) to see quality content rewarded with larger sales figures, and 2) greater and more in-depth audience engagement with said content. Comic books are much more than a spectator sport… at their best, they’re truly an interactive medium. That interaction keeps the whole thing alive.

 David Harper, Writer/Podcaster
2024 Projects: My subscription comic site SKTCHD and weekly comics interview podcast Off Panel continue onwards, and I’ll have a new print annual – SKTCHD BOOK 2023 – going up for order at some point in the first quarter.
Biggest story of ’23: The painful stretch for comics retail, and how every connected part of the direct market is feeling the pain (to varying degrees).
What will be the biggest story of 2024? Either whatever comes next in the direct market, or something we don’t know about quite yet.
What is your guilty pleasure for 2024? It’s going to be so dumb, but I can’t wait for Godzilla x Kong: The New Empire. Big monsters!
What do you want to see change the most in the comics industry in 2024? Better pay for creators, across the board.

favorite thing is monsters volume 2.jpg

Eric Reynolds, Publisher / Editor
2024 Projects: My Favorite Thing is Monsters Book 2 by Emil Ferris, Search & Destroy Vol. 1 by Atsushi Kaneko, Hogbook and Lazer Eyes by Maria Bamford & Scott Marvel Cassidy, Braba: A Brazilian Comics Anthology (curated by Rafael Grampa), Kommix by Charles Burns, Love and Rockets by Gilbert & Jaime Hernandez, J & K by John Pham, Schtick Figures by Drew Friedman, NOW: The New Comics Anthology, Sunday by Olivier Schrauwen, Tell Me A Story Where the Bad Girl Wins: The Art of Barbara Shermund by Caitlin McGurk, What We Mean By Yesterday by Ben Marra, plus lots of other fun stuff…

Biggest story of ’23: Systemic failures in the distribution infrastructure and in mainstream periodical comics publishing that are exacting death by a thousand cuts to the direct comic book store market and pushing the periodical comic book model and retail network (that many graphic novel publishers still rely on) to the precipice. It’s something that gets said so often it sounds like cliched and pessimistic doomsaying, but it doesn’t mean it”s wrong; there is a tipping point somewhere and we’re at about Defcon 2 right now with all signs pointing to some kind of mutually assured destruction (perhaps even before the AI robots completely devalue human creativity), whether in 2024 or some point later. The big comics publishers continue to cannibalize the winnowing customer base by pumping variant covers into the marketplace like ExxonMobil pumps carbon emissions. Distribution exclusives continue to cost retailers a greater percentage of every dollar sold. Amazon continues to tighten their grip on consumer spending, further marginalizing any publishing that isn’t algorithm-friendly. An increasingly fallow media landscape and looming election shitshow will make getting any national publicity for comics increasingly difficult. The medium of comics storytelling is healthier than ever in the mainstream book world, but the comic book market from which is sprung has never faced more adversity.

What will be the biggest story of 2024? My Favorite Thing is Monsters Book 2 by Emil Ferris, which concludes the most inspiring comics story of the previous decade and is the most eagerly anticipated graphic novel of this decade.

What is your guilty pleasure for 2024? I don’t really wish ill will on anyone but the ongoing struggles of the MCU box office goes a bit beyond schadenfreude and towards a glimmer of hope that we are collectively ready to move the fuck on to some new ideas.

What do you want to see change the most in the comics industry in 2024? Fewer exclusive distribution deals and less consolidation of the marketplace. That and a Fantagraphics wall of books in every comic book shop would be good.

matt bors

Matt Bors, Writer and Cartoonist

2024 Projects: I am working on more Justice Warriors with Ben Clarkson and three unannounced books—some that I write, some that I draw, some creator-owned and some licensed comics. I’ll be writing and drawing comics full time through 2024.
Biggest story of ’23: Social media and the direct market are in serious trouble, but we will persevere.
What will be the biggest story of 2024? Social media and the direct market are in serious trouble, but we will persevere.
What do you want to see change the most in the comics industry in 2024? Less of our brief lives getting worked up on social media.


Maia Kobabe, cartoonist

2024 Projects: I am looking forward to publishing Breathe, my second full length comic in May 2024! Here’s the publisher’s page.

Biggest story of ’23: For me the big two were: the ongoing wave of book bans now extending into state legislation effecting classroom pedagogy, state library funding, and threats of fines or legal action against teachers and librarians providing books to young people; and the Comics Broke Me hashtag which spun out into many particles of heartbreaking stories of creator’s mistreatment in the comics industry.

What will be the biggest story of 2024? I think book bans and book challenges will only become a bigger issue through the 2024 election cycle. Several republicans (including Virginia governor Glenn Youngkin) ran successful campaigns with book bans as a major talking point. Florida Attorney General Ashley Moody wrote that public school libraries are a forum for government speech, not a forum for free expression. This was in response to the two lawsuits brought by authors and PEN America against the school boards in Escambia and Lake counties for the removal of queer and diverse books.

What is your guilty pleasure for 2024? Listening to hundreds of hours of podcasts and audiobooks while I ink my next book.

What do you want to see change the most in the comics industry in 2024? I would love to see conversations about unionization in the comics industry move forward in a significant way.


Sebastian Girner, Editor/Writer/Publisher
2024 Projects: Goats Flying Press debut series The Dead and the Damned #1; in addition also working on an as-yet unannounced first OGN by Goats Flying Press

What is your guilty pleasure for 2024? Making comics

What do you want to see change the most in the comics industry in 2024? Seize the means of production. Less discourse. Say what you have to say with the work you do.


Melissa Meszaros, Owner/Publicist

Biggest story of ’23: GlobalComix app launch

What will be the biggest story of 2024?  Changes in distribution for the better

What is your guilty pleasure for 2024? Bloodbath aftermaths because those are the those folks who always end up making the industry better

What do you want to see change the most in the comics industry in 2024? Distribution channels creating new avenues for wider reach and change in demographic without the ubiquitous IP option


John Patrick Green, cartoonist

2024 Projects: Agents of S.U.I.T.: From Badger to Worse comes out in February; InvestiGATORS: Class Action comes out in September. There is also a FCBD preview of Class Action in May, and an all-new 50-page InvestiGATORS special called High-Rise Hijinks for World Book Day in March. Plus planning the next books in the series.

Biggest story of ’23: Sadly, the final demise of Comixology at the end of 2023, though that began its slow decline almost two years ago. This MAYBE could lead into a big story for 2024 with something rising from the ashes? On a more local scale, Jim Hanley’s Universe closing its Manhattan location was pretty big news. And on a positive note, Dan Santat’s A First Time for Everything being the second graphic novel to win the National Book Award for Young People’s Literature is pretty big deal.


What will be the biggest story of 2024? I don’t know, I just hope it’s a POSITIVE story. There have been plenty of positives in the industry, but it seems the stories that are biggest are the ones where people are complaining about things! Let’s have some PRAISING RANTS AND RAVES :) Let’s celebrate comics, people!

What is your guilty pleasure for 2024? Does sleep count? Maybe some time to play some video games?

What do you want to see change the most in the comics industry in 2024? A union for comic creators, and better pay rates. More salaried positions for editors at book publishers. More outreach and promotion of comics and graphic novels beyond just industry-level events and audiences.


Jeffrey Brown, cartoonist

2024 Projects: As usual, a bunch of licensed things I can’t talk about, but also a new Kids Are Weird book – Kids Are Still Weird, coming from NBM fall 2024

Biggest story of ’23: The end of Comixology, I guess?

What will be the biggest story of 2024? Someone will create an entirely AI graphic novel and gets tons of press and attention and it will get optioned to be a Netflix series but it will also be a horrible book that no one reads

What is your guilty pleasure for 2024? Yelling at kids to get off my lawn.

What do you want to see change the most in the comics industry in 2024? Disney to give royalties on translation rights and ancillary merchandise using cartoonists’ artwork

jamila rowser

Jamila Rowser, writer, publisher, editor

2024 Projects: NDAs!

Biggest story of ’23: #comicsbrokeme

What will be the biggest story of 2024? Hopefully, more unions for creative fields.

What do you want to see change the most in the comics industry in 2024? Creators getting paid a living wage, bare minimum. And healthy and realistic timelines.


  1. Johnny Ryan is best comic artist living today. No one comes close to his mastery of line; simple yet complex. His artistic ‘channel’ is wholly free from any constraint; he is willing to entertain his darkest impulses. Yes, it is utterly offensive material, but not, I’d argue, “problematic”. It’s art.

  2. I get the impression that the American comics industry is in a similar one to what the British one was twenty years ago. The current status quo is unsustainable. What happened in the UK was that most British comics ceased publication leaving only 2000ad, the Beano and the Commando library comics to continue. Since then indie creators have continued to self publish graphic novels and Rebellion comics have started to published comics with the characters they have acquired the publishing rights to from the many of the comics that were cancelled when the market crashed.

    The future of American comics may follow a similar trajectory. I can see a time when Marvel and DC stop publishing monthly floppies and instead focus on printing graphic novel reprints. The popular characters then could be licensed out to smaller publishers. I don’t think this is likely to happen in 2024 but it will happen eventually unless the Big Two can turn things around significantly.

    What I do think will happen in 2024 is that a lot more comic retailers will go out of business or pivot to just selling Manga which is incredibly popular in the USA as it is here in the UK.

    If you are an American comics industry professional the chances are you are going to struggle in the coming years much in the way a lot of British creators did after our industry collapsed. Many of you may need to diversify in the way they did. Gary Leach for example once was a very popular comic artist who eventually made a career in graphic design because it wasn’t possible to make a decent living out of comics.

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