Home Culture General The Beat’s Annual Survey, 2007 Edition, Part 1

The Beat’s Annual Survey, 2007 Edition, Part 1

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Every year we invite a selection of creators, publishers, retailers, commentators and other comics observers to give us a quick look at the year that was, and a hint of the year that may be. This year we had a huge response, so we’ll be breaking it up in two parts. Our format is simple, we ask but three questions:

What was the biggest story in comics in 2006?
What will be the biggest story in comics in 2007?
What guilty pleasure (of any kind) are you looking forward to in 2007?

So without any further ado, here’s the survey. And keep your eyes peeled throughout for some news hints, as well.


David Mack. The current KABUKI: THE ALCHEMY series from Marvel’s ICON. And writing some other Marvel stuff soon to be announced.

What was the biggest story in comics in 2006? All the behind the scenes stuff that no one will ever know.

What will be the biggest story in comics in 2007? I’m putting something in the ink of my books that will make you smarter when you read them.

What guilty pleasure (of any kind) are you looking forward to in 2007? That’s between me and my girlfriend! But it’s good. Real good.


Nick Bertozzi, ACT-I-VATE, THE SALON Coming April ’07, HOUDINI: THE HANDCUFF KING Coming April ’07

What was the biggest story in comics in 2006?
TWO:

Cartoons that kill: people using pictures of Muhammad to whip up hysteria.

The Gordon Lee Case

What will be the biggest story in comics in 2007?What will be the biggest story in comics in 2007?

The CBLDF will wipe the floor with the Floyd County DA.

What guilty pleasure (of any kind) are you looking forward to in 2007? More Battlestar Galactica Slashfic


Kuo-Yu Liang, VP Sales & Marketing, Diamond Book Distributors

Biggest stories in 2006: – Viz’ dominance in bookstores
– Kurt Hassler leaving BGI to join Hachette
– Lost Girl’s sales velocity

Biggest stories in 2007: – Stephen King
– Amazon becoming the #1 retailer
– Kids Love Comics
– Massive growth for GN and manga in bookstores. Compared to Asia and
Europe, most English speakers still do not read comics so we have much
room to grow. I think we will see another 50% increase or more as an
industry

Guilty pleasures: – 300
– Gunsmith Cats: Burst
– Selling Stephen King


Jimmy Palmiotti, PAINKILLER JANE, the series, on sci if Friday nights starting in april. TERRA, JONAH HEX, UNCLE SAM AND THE FREEDOM FIGHTERS, FRIDAY THE 13TH, SHANNA, THE HILLS HAVE EYES PREQUEL AND THE GHOST RIDER VIDEO GAME.

What was the biggest story in comics in 2006? Me getting a 22 one hour t.v series for a character I co created with Joe Quesada.

What will be the biggest story in comics in 2007? PAINKILLER JANE getting a second season, me directing a feature film.

What guilty pleasure (of any kind) are you looking forward to in 2007?
SIN CITY 2, touring Europe and watching things explode.


Trina Robbins, writer, GoGirl! “It just came out in November, and I think it’s the best yet.”

What was the biggest story in comics in 2006? Alison Bechdel’s Fun Home being called the #1 book of the year by Time magazine. So great to see her get the credit she deserves, and so great to see recognition for graphic novels.

What will be the biggest story in comics in 2007? More great graphic novels, I hope, including the next GoGirl!

What guilty pleasure (of any kind) are you looking forward to in 2007?
Hardly guilty, none of my pleasures are guilty, but writing the book I’m currently working on will certainly be a pleasure. Traveling’s another pleasure that isn’t guilty; I may be flown out to Sweden and Denmark to lecture and I love going to new countries.


Tom Devlin, D+Q editor and designer

What was the biggest story in comics in 2006? Drawn & Quarterly’s unearthing one of the best and most popular international strips of the last century for the first time in North America–Moomin by Tove Jansson, of course. And that it sold really well. And that D&Q didn’t lie about how well it sold.

What will be the biggest story in comics in 2007? D+Q’s announcement of a career retrospective of one of the greatest living cartoonists. But I can’t say who it is yet.

What guilty pleasure (of any kind) are you looking forward to in 2007?
The rest of the issues of Cold Heat (Picture Box) by Ben Jones, Frankie Santoro, and Aaron Cometbus, which is far from the least professional comic ever made, in fact it might be the most professional comic ever made. It’s my favorite superhero title since Nexus.


Mark Askwith, producer, SPACE (Canada’s national SF/Fantasy channel)(www.spacecast.com) Hypacomics, writer- Silencers

What was the biggest story in comics in 2006? There were two big stories for me.

The first was inside the comic book industry- the success of 52. This opens up a potential new model for serialized comics. The fact that it is working on a production level, and it’s a sales success is nothing short of remarkable. Kudos to the team.

The second story for me was the continuing development of the GN market in the mainstream. This story has been building since the mid-eighties, but things heated up this year. Main stream press paid a great deal of critical attention on GN’s, and we now see regular columns in major papers about new comic book material. Big chain bookstores also pushed a wide range of GN’s with Jeff Smith’s Bone, the Absolute collections, and Alison Bechdel’s Fun Home: A Family Tragicomic being displayed prominently. It was also great to see Jaime and Seth do a weekly in the New York Times magazine. A watershed year for Graphic Novels.

What will be the biggest story in comics in 2007? I think the big story in 2007 might be the continuing success of comic book creators in film and television. Frank Miller and Neil Gaiman will have big years due to their respective movies. Jeph Loeb, Mark Verheiden Jimmy Palmiotti and others are all bringing comic book storytelling to the small screen.

What guilty pleasure (of any kind) are you looking forward to in 2007?

– Pan’s Labyrinth being nominated for an Oscar
– Seeing 300 the night it opens with a frenzied audience.
– Re-reading the wonderful Fantagraphics Peanuts collections.
– Re-reading The Hitch-hiker’s Guide to the Galaxy.
– watching the continuing adventures of the new Spirit by Darwyn Cooke, J. Bone and dave Stewart.



Jim McLauchlin, President of the Hero Initiative; editor-in-chief at Platinum Studios Comics

What was the biggest story in comics in 2006? Civil War, and Marvel’s ability to roll with the punches—and there were many—as regards its shipping schedule.

What will be the biggest story in comics in 2007? Comics are part of media, and the biggest macro- story—of which comics are a part—will be the continuing chnging face of media. I think the rubber starts to meet the road in ’07 as regards delivery, and monetization. Print is changing, electronic delivery is changing. Three times as many people read ESPN.com DAILY as read ESPN: The Magazine biweekly, yet the ad CPMs are 3:1 in favor of the magazine. That will start to change in 2007, and the effect will be felt in comics as well, as creators and publishers will have a wider field of options for delivery, and different monetary models to choose from.

What guilty pleasure (of any kind) are you looking forward to in 2007?
I truly don’t believe in the “guilty pleasure.” If I like something, why should I fell guilty about it? That said, I am SO looking forward to more of the Nat Turner books from Kyle Baker. I don’ think I’ve ever seen a writer or artist convey so much emotion without words. It’s truly inspired stuff.


Jimmie Robinson, Bomb Queen, Wolverine What If?, Avigon, Evil & Malice…

What was the biggest story in comics in 2006? Minx line, Civil War, ComicSpace…

What will be the biggest story in comics in 2007? Graphic Novels pushing out singles, Online comic distribution models…

What guilty pleasure (of any kind) are you looking forward to in 2007?
PS3 availability, Frank Miller’s 300, Hilary Clinton’s official announcement for President…


Kat Kan, Graphic Novel Consultant for Brodart Company’s Collection Development Department and for HW Wilson (library reference publisher), writer/reviewer for Voice of Youth Advocates and Diamond Book Distributors’ Bookshelf

What was the biggest story in comics in 2006?
Actually, several things that are interrelated. Mainstream book publishers became even more gung-ho about publishing graphic novels, which received lots of attention from the mainstream press and National Public Radio. Fun Home by Alison Bechdel made a whole bunch of “best” lists, including Time’s Top 10 books of the year. American Born Chinese by Gene Luen Yang was nominated for Best Young People’s Literature in the National Book Awards. And the Young Adult Library Services Association, a division of the American Library Association, created the Great Graphic Novels for Teens List and the committee worked throughout the year to select titles for the inaugural list, which will be announced in January 2007. All of these things and other events around the country point to what Terry Nantier of NBM called the vindication of comics and I called the legitimization of the form at the first ICv2 Graphic Novel Conference the day before the first New York Comic Con in February.

What will be the biggest story in comics in 2007?
With the success of Fun Home, Cancer Vixen, and other titles from the mainstream book publishers, I think we’ll see more such graphic novels. The book form sells better in bookstores, and I think sales will continue to increase in bookstores, possibly overtaking the direct market. This is bolstered by the fact that the two top manga publishers in the US, Tokyopop and Viz, are now distributed to the book market by mainstream book publishers, who will market them even more aggressively in bookstores and libraries.

Guilty Pleasure
Travel simply for the sake of going to someplace cool. All of my travel for the past five years has been for a specific purpose: attending conferences, conducting workshops, reconnecting with relatives in our home state more than 4,000 miles away from us (an entire continent and half an ocean away – we live in Florida and home is in Hawaii). I’m looking forward to visiting Charleston and Savannah this summer, just for fun.


Anne Timmons. Pencils and inks for: * GoGirl! Robots Gone Wild (Dark Horse) * Northanger Abbey (collected in Gothic Classics by Graphics Classics) * Florence Nightingale (Graphic Library/Capstone Press) * Haseena Ross: Girl Detective (collected in Sexy Chix by Dark Horse) * Tick Goes Shopping (collected in The Tick 20th Anniversary by New England Comics)
Inks for: * Hedy Lamarr, Jane Goodall, Elizabeth Blackwell, “Adventures in Sound With Max Axiom, Super Scientist” (all by Graphic Library/Capstone Press)

What was the biggest story in comics in 2006? This has been a very good year for me, so to me, it is a big story. I’ve had the opportunity to work with a variety of different publishers and I hope to keep on working and learning new techniques. Also, I was pleased to see the triumphant return of GoGirl!

What will be the biggest story in comics in 2007? Disney’s return to 2D animation.

What guilty pleasure (of any kind) are you looking forward to in 2007?
Getting a video iPod!


Lovern Kindzierski, Writer of “Code” and Genesis 5″
What was the biggest story in comics in 2006?“52” The success of which is incredible purely on the basis of logistics. GIFFEN RULES!

What will be the biggest story in comics in 2007? The success of comics/graphic novels outside of the comic shops.

What guilty pleasure (of any kind) are you looking forward to in 2007?
“300”


Rory D. Root, owner, Comic Relief: THE Comic Bookstore had its best year ever, as we continued to sell Graphic Novels to an increasing number of new readers. Who knew?

What was the biggest story in comics in 2006? More and more new readers entered the world of comic books through Graphic Novels, culminating in Time Magazine making Fun Home its Book of the Year.

What will be the biggest story in comics in 2007? The continued growth of categories underrepresented in the US market. In addition to the genres traditionally favored by the direct market (superheroes) and bookstores (art comics), we will see growing interest in historical fiction, mystery, and especially Non-Fiction, as well as other categories. However it is possible manga will break the shelves of the bookstores of America before that even happens.

What guilty pleasure (of any kind) are you looking forward to in 2007?
Harry Potter 7 (I hope) and George R. Martin’s next ASOIAF, A DANCE WITH DRAGONS; and of course another installment of my favorite time machine, a new Legion Archive.


Jeffrey Brown, Clumsy, Unlikely, Bighead, Incredible Change-Bots, way too many anthologies

What was the biggest story in comics in 2006? Was it the numerous ‘Best of Comics’ anthologies that appeared this year? Was it Alison Bechdel’s ‘Fun Home’, gaining more mainstream attention and praise for the graphic novel format? Was it the ever growning number of alternative cartoonists getting book deals from ‘big’ publishers? Was it mainstream comics’ entrenchment in crossover worlds like ‘Civil War’? Could it be the proliferation of comic art shows like ‘Masters of American Comics’? First Second’s successful launch of its new graphic novel imprint? I don’t know. I just don’t know.

What guilty pleasure (of any kind) are you looking forward to in 2007?
My first trip to the UK in May.


Dylan Meconis, On the web, writer/artist for historical drama Family Man,
comedy Bite Me! In print, artist for the upcoming book “Wire Mothers”, by Jim Ottaviani.

What was the biggest story in comics in 2006? The strong critical and awards interest in graphic novels “Fun Home”, “American Born Chinese”, and, I suppose, “Lost Girls”. Bam! Zap! Pow! Comics Aren’t Just For Kids Anymore!

What will be the biggest story in comics in 2007? Original English Language manga will really start to take off, and graphic novels financed by mainstream publishers won’t be far behind. In short, more of the same, unless Alan Moore actually devours a child whole. Which I would pay to see.

What guilty pleasure (of any kind) are you looking forward to in 2007?
Going to the Comic-Con again, after three years away. Will there be tired-looking blonde actresses stroking tentacles while encased in plexiglass to promote Species 7? Will I get hit on by a Hello Kitty storm trooper? Will somebody actually be selling comics? The fact that I can’t wait shows that absence really does make the heart grow fonder. Or induces dementia.


Jeff Parker, writer: Agents of Atlas, X-Men First Class, Walk-In

What was the biggest story in comics in 2006? Virgin Comics entering the market as an alternative publisher and bridge between cultures is pretty interesting I think. But that’s just what I’m familiar with, there were so many neat developments this year.

What guilty pleasure (of any kind) are you looking forward to in 2007?
Reading Spider-Man Loves Mary Jane and drinking the sweet evil drink known as the Horchata.


Ali T. Kokmen. Marketing Manager, Del Rey Manga

2006’s Biggest Story: I’m going to have to answer this one on a personal level. Although there were stories that got more attention, that were more portentious for the overall industry, and that were, frankly, more interesting, no industry story was more important to me than Central Park Media’s financial crisis of early-to-mid 2006. I’m happy to say that after the layoffs, I and many of my ex-CPM friends and colleagues have landed well, transitioning to the next stage of our lives and careers–and I’m also pleased to hear the industry indications that CPM is going to get through its rough patch, since that company has a great deal to offer the industry and the community–but, yeah, for me, there wasn’t any bigger story in 2006.

2007’s Biggest Story: Well, answering the question from a purely self-interested point-of-view, surely it’ll be the awesome growth Del Rey Manga enjoys over 2007! Look–here’s the thing–I can think of two, no…maybe three major things that’re going to come down the pike from Del Rey Manga in 2007 (to say nothing of other exciting comics-related projects coming from other Random House Publishing Group imprints…) I’m just not allowed to say anything about any of them right now… But they’ll be huge, I tell ya! Maybe I can just drop a hint and say… no, no. It’s not time. Just keep watching the skies, OK?

So if I can’t really talk about Del Rey Manga’s 2007 as 2007’s biggest story, let me just guess that 2007’s biggest stories will be:
– DC’s Minx line hitting the shelves;
– Hachette’s Yen Press’s first announcements or publications.
– Some other major player either gets into comics/graphic novels; or some
major player now in comics/graphic novels gets out. (I have no guesses as to
which or who these might be, but it just seems the safe way to bet…)

What am I looking forward to in 2007: – The hope that more seasons of the original MISSION: IMPOSSIBLE series will be released on DVD. Peter Graves! Martin Landau! Barbara Bain! Greg Morris! Peter Lupus!–that’s the IMF I want on DVD!


Bill Rosemann, Editor of Ms. Marvel (starting with issue #11), Nova (launching in April), Loners (also hitting in April), and a pile o’ fun after that!

What was the biggest story in comics in 2006? For me personally, it was finally joining the (smart, passionate and hard-working) editorial gang at The House of Ideas. It makes me want to travel back in time and tell that little kid in a hammock in his backyard in Tennessee that he’s not crazy and to keep reading those comics!

What will be the biggest story in comics in 2007? The acceptance of graphic novels as just another entry on the New York Times bestseller list. Fingers crossed!

What guilty pleasure (of any kind) are you looking forward to in 2007?
Not that I feel guilty about it, but it’s got to be 12 more months of quality professional wrestling entertainment. Is this the year Ric Flair retires after winning the strap one more time? A fan can only dream…


Kieron Gillen, I write Image Comics’ Phonogram, illustrated by the talented, tattooed and long-suffering Jamie “Kitten” McKelvie. And that’s it. I am small and weak with tiny arms, and will be easily crushed by the thundering, magnificent creatures which surround me if they but notice my presence. I will hide in the undergrowth until they pass.

Remember: Mammals may eventually have taken over the earth, but a lot of us were eaten first. Bastard dinosaurs.

What was the biggest story in comics in 2006? We were excited to hear that the age of the starving comics creator is over, as announced by Mark Millar’s proclamation that everyone who has done a six-issue mini-series has a film deal ($800,000 outright, $200,000 two-year option). Clearly, we were highly chuffed, as were our bank managers, accountants and dealers. McKelvie has bought a vintage 50s car with an extravagant flame design along one side while I purchased a small mountain of cocaine. Now, every day, we sit by the door, looking at the letter-box, waiting for the cheque to pop through.

Any day now, I’m sure.

Alternatively, DC’s Minx. Forget the usual matters we’ve all debated about the initial line up, as important as they clearly are. One of the Big Two finding a way to do an all original-material graphic-novel line aimed at an entirely new audience? It doesn’t really matter how it turns out. As a single gesture, there’s been nothing as big in ages.

And I want to read more Andi Watson. Call me selfish.

What will be the biggest story in comics in 2007? If our enormous cheque doesn’t arrive, me going on a coke-crazed Scarface-esque rampage as I attempt to fight off massed debt-collectors attacking my hovel. Meanwhile, McKitten going on a one-man Thelma-and-Louise-esque run across the cultural desert of North London before driving straight into the Thames.

I dunno.

Really, dunno. Hopefully won’t be any one of the million people who could sue us for something we wrote into Phonogram doing exactly that. That said, even if they do, “Indie Comics Creators Die in Debtors Prison” isn’t exactly an unusual (i.e. Big) story anyway.

What guilty pleasure (of any kind) are you looking forward to in 2007?
Too many options. As a lapsed Roman Catholic hedonist, I’m big on both guilt and pleasure. Let’s narrow it down to the illicit thrill of opening the box of Phonogram trades and realising that someone actually /did/ publish this stuff. And then licking the covers, sniffing the binding and tearing out all the pages to construct a rudimentary nest (In which I’ll curl up and hibernate until an idea for something else strikes).


James Kochalka, “My most important work in 2006 was my ongoing diary comic at AmericanElf.com, for which I was thrilled to win a Harvey Award this year.”

It was also very good year for my music. My song Hockey Monkey was used by Fox as the theme song to their new sitcom The Loop, which will come back with a second season of 13 episodes this spring. This summer, Hockey Monkey was played over 200 times on the Sirius satellite networks AltNation station, becoming their #1 most requested song. I’m told it was SO the number one most requested, that the #2 wasn’t even close. (#2 was either by Panic at the Disco or Gnarls Barkley, I forget which). Then I had a new album come out this fall titled Spread Your Evil Wings and Fly, and from that one, Britney’s Silver Can was named one of the best 100 songs of the year by Rolling Stone.

I’m still not really making any money from music, but it’s an awesomely fun hobby.

On the comics front in 2007, American Elf book Two comes out in February. It collects all the diary strips from 2004 and 2005, printed in full color.

SuperF*ckers #4 comes out in May, bringing the series to it’s searing conclusion for the time being. After spending several years now drawing a comic about druggy potty-mouthed super jerks, I’m ready to switch gears and concentrate on children’s books for a little while.

Squirrelly Gray, my first children’s book, is coming from Random House in August 2007:

It’s about a gray squirrel living in a gray, rainy forest who accidentally introduces color to the world with the help of the tooth fairy and a hungry fox. It’s sort of a comic book / children’s book cross-breed, I guess, because it alternates a page of verse with a page of comics throughout the book.

I’ve got a couple other children’s books in progress right now, rough drafts of which are sitting on the publisher’s desk, waiting for the green light. One is pure comics, the other is illustrated prose.

What was the biggest story in comics in 2006? The mohammed cartoons, of course. It’s not often that cartoon drawings start world-wide rioting. It certainly proves the power of the medium.

What will be the biggest story in comics in 2007? I’m hoping it’s something nicer than rioting.

What guilty pleasure (of any kind) are you looking forward to in 2007?
Playing with my Wii.


Jackie Estrada, Administrator, Will Eisner Comic Industry Awards; co-publisher and editor of Batton Lash’s Supernatural Law comics, tpbs, and online strip; consultant to ForeWord magazine’s graphic novel supplement, Comique, to be published in January

What was the biggest story in comics in 2006? The continuing acceptance and legitimacy of graphic novels in the mainstream media, in bookstores, and by libraries, as evidenced by the accolades given to Alison Bechdel’s Fun Home and Gene Yang’s American Born Chinese, the publicity for books like Cancer Vixen and Lost Girls, the bestseller status of Jacobson and Colan’s 9/11 Report, and all the activity at big publishing houses to sign graphic novels or set up separate GN imprints.

What will be the biggest story in comics in 2007? The continued marginalization of the comics direct market as a hobby/collector/fanboy domain, which will also mean the continued decline of the periodical format for comics. Let’s face it: Very few new stores are opening, and the number of existing stores is dwindling. The stores that cater to the hobbyists order very little that isn’t Marvel, DC, or superhero, and they will be in trouble as their audience continues to age and as the more casual readers are able to simply download the comics they want to read from the Internet. The successful stores will be those that reach out past the hardcore fans to bring in both readers and pop culture mavens, such as Brooklyn’s Rocket Ship, Salt Lake City’s Night Flight, San Francisco’s Isotope, and Los Angeles’s Meltdown and Golden Apple. These stores emphasize graphic novels and carry full lines of indie and alternative material to appeal to a wider audience that includes kids and females. Unfortunately, those stores are so few that self-published comics will be an endangered species, especially with Strangers in Paradise coming to an end.

What guilty pleasure (of any kind) are you looking forward to in 2007?
The return of all the TV shows that I am now addicted to, from Battlestar Galactica, 24, Lost, and Veronica Mars to American Idol and Entourage.



Jake Forbes, Writer for Return to Labyrinth (Tokyopop) and the MMORPG Gods and Heroes: Rome Rising.

What was the biggest story in comics in 2006? More maturity in comics publishing, both in the business of comics and how they are perceived. Seeing graphic novels like American Born Chinese and Fun Home lauded not just as comics, but as books, is inspiring for anyone working in comics. While there is always talent deserving of greater recognition in any industry, I think its getting pretty hard to make a case that comics as a whole aren’t getting the attention they deserve. It is also encouraging to see publishers and readers realizing that one needn’t classify or judge comics based on how inspired by manga they may or may not be.

What will be the biggest story in comics in 2007? Conventions will collapse under their own weight, ala E3, and the gears will be put in motion for smaller, leaner, less corporate conventions in ’08. I’d like to think that the thousands of kids who pay $40 to stand in line 6 hours to watch a 3 minute clip of next summer’s big movie — a clip that will be available on youtube hours later — will collectively come to their senses, but maybe I’m giving them too much credit.

What guilty pleasure (of any kind) are you looking forward to in 2007?
More Rome and Extras on HBO! Watching Pam and Jim get together at last. Seeing Tek Jansen in comic form.


Joe Field, Owner of Flying Colors Comics & Other Cool Stuff in Concord CA, columnist for Comics & Games Retailer
magazine, founder of Free Comic Book Day.

What was the biggest story in comics in 2006? So far largely uncovered, I believe the biggest story is five years in a row of growth in the Direct Market and the robust business of not just trade paperbacks, comic compilations and graphic novels, but of the often-castigated comic book.

What will be the biggest story in comics in 2007? My hope is that 2007 will see the galvanizing of direct market retailers, speaking with a concerted voice through ComicsPRO (http://ComicsPRO.org), the retailer trade organization. The first annual ComicsPRO meeting is coming in April in Las Vegas—and we will elect new members to our board and set an ambitious agenda, while working with our industry partners in publishing and distribution.

What guilty pleasure (of any kind) are you looking forward to in 2007?

1) A vacation that doesn’t take me to an industry convention.
2) More fun in the sun with my wife Libby at Oakland A’s and San Francisco Giants’ games.
3) More time to read all the great stuff I have in stacks at home.


Reginald Hudlin, writer, THE BLACK PANTHER, President of Entertainment, BET Networks

What was the biggest story in comics in 2006? When the name of a comic book writer/artist becomes an integral part of the marketing campaign of a major motion picture (Frank Miller’s 300) that is a benchmark of success for the entire comics industry.

What will be the biggest story in comics in 2007? I don’t know what the biggest story will be, but the biggest non-story will be that no publisher figures how to make mainstream comics accessible to first time readers.

What guilty pleasure (of any kind) are you looking forward to in 2007?
The teaser trailers for RISE OF THE SILVER SURFER and TRANSFORMERS are very promising. I don’t know when Christopher Nolan will release his next BATMAN movie, but it can’t come soon enough. In comics, I can’t wait to read Dwayne McDuffie’s FANTASTIC FOUR.


Shane McCarthy, Previously written Detective Comics, Legends of the Dark Knight etc. Currently HIDEOUSLY lazy…er…busy. Big things are a comin’ next year, oh yes (rubs hands gleefully), however the voices in my head (planted there by DC and Marvel) prevent me from listing them. Stay tuned!

What was the biggest story in comics in 2006? It’s a dead tie between CIVIL WAR, INFINITE CRISIS and the fact I swapped from PC to Mac (White is the new beige). My money’s on the PC/Mac thing but I’ve been wrong before…

What will be the biggest story in comics in 2007? Some enormous crossover dealing with strong people hitting things to be written by Mark Millar, or indeed anything written by Mark Millar, or quite possibly that Mark has purchased yet ANOTHER piece of Superman memorabilia from Ebay. That or the surprise release of a new SUPERMAN RETURNS that didn’t suck.

What guilty pleasure (of any kind) are you looking forward to in 2007?
Hmmm, if I had my way? Another new album from the Shins. But in reality: More shiny Mac products to pack into my already overflowing life and rediscovering Naruto as, thankfully, the “real” episodes begin again in Feb (once again, rubs hands gleefully).


Matthew S. Bernier, Authored and illustrated Out of Water and Potato Autopsy, both praised highly by the likes of Scott McCloud and Kazu Kibuishi, among many others, Sole proprietor of www.Matthew-Bernier.com, contributor to the anthology Critical Citadel, featured on the Drawn blog and right here in the Beat, and illustrator for First Second Books, currently working on a project slated for a fall 2007 release

What was the biggest story in comics in 2006? I’m so stuck in my small press world I don’t know. In terms of people and dollars probably 52 or Civil War, or Wizard going down. But in the long term, I’m gonna say that First Second Books is the biggest shit that went down. I think they are going to be part of a seizmic change in how americans approach and read comics, and I couldn’t be prouder or more excited to be a part of it. Marvel and DC are for people who read comics. First Second books are for people who read period.

What will be the biggest story in comics in 2007? First motherfucking Second, again. Seriously, watch.

What guilty pleasure (of any kind) are you looking forward to in 2007?
Bullet Points, and, er, crap…whatever that superman series is with Tim Sale drawing it right now. Both have had really enjoyable first issues. And All Star Superman, if another issue ever comes out again ever.


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