Continuing our roll-out of picks, prognostications and previews from the comics industry. Part one can be read here.
First off — something we forgot to post yesterday: pages from Charles Vess’s projects for the year:
A 16 page full color graphic narrative about Istanbul, Turkey. 50 paintings for ‘The Cats of Tanglewood Forest’ written by Charles de Lint and to be published by Little Brown & Co. And my on-going work on my own book, ‘The Greenwood’ which use a combination of pure text, illustration and hundreds of pages of graphic narrative content to tell its story.
How many can I list? I Will Destroy You is expanding to publish lots more stuff this year. And Sparkplug Books is going to continue with a few new books as well.
1) Henry & Glenn Forever & Ever comic book mini-series will launch with issue #1 featuring new stories by Ed Luce, Benjamin Marra, Tom Neely and the Igloo Tornado. Hopefully debuting at Stumptown Comics Festival.
2) Levon Jihanian’ Danger Country – IWDY is going to be co-publishing these comics with Teenage Dinosaur so look to find issue’s #1 and 2 in wider circulation soon, and #3 will be out by late Summer/Fall.
3) Too Much Horror – a metal/horror movie art zine that I’m working on with a whole bunch of awesome people.
4) I just Figured It All Out by Tom Neely – an ongoing project I’ve been working on that I hope to turn into a book this year.
5) Dick of the Month Club – Don’t you wanna know what that is? More details soon.
1) Katie Skelly’s Nurse Nurse graphic novel should be out this Spring
2) Elijah Brubaker’s Reich series has 4 issues left to go, and we hope to get the next installment out soon.
3) New Free Comic Book Day comic book!
Probably more stuff than that… I’ve got a flood of ideas. You’re all gonna be sick of me by the end of 2012.
What was the biggest story in comics in 2011? The biggest story in my world was the loss of my best friend, Dylan Williams.
What will be the biggest story in comics in 2012? Who knows… maybe I’ll finally lose it and stab someone in the head during a panel. That almost happened a couple of times this past year.
What guilty pleasure are you looking forward to in 2012? My East Coast I Will Destroy You Book Tour that I’m planning right now.
Gary Tyrell, webcomics journalist
Got a very interesting one that I can’t mention now, but will in February or so.
What was the biggest story in comics in 2011? Kate Beaton, no doubt. Broke out into every form of mass media.
What will be the biggest story in comics in 2012? I think that the Dave Kellett/Fred Schroeder documentary, “Stripped”, could be a defining piece of scholarship for comics.
What was the biggest story in comics in 2011? The passing of Dylan Williams of Sparkplug Comic Books. He was a great man, with a huge impact on small-press comics and so many cartoonists that the internet was flooded with love for him. He was definitely cut down in his prime, and it was a shock for us all.
What will be the biggest story in comics in 2012? Aren’t we supposed to have an apocalypse or something…again? It would be interesting to see post-apocalyptic autobio comics, if that were the case.
What guilty pleasure are you looking forward to in 2012? See my last answer re: post-apocalyptic autobio comics.
Some of the IDW Projects I’m most excited about for 2012 are:
Every issue of Locke & Key by Joe Hill and Gabe Rodriguez.
Infestation 2, our company wide cross-over that includes Transformers, Dungeons & Dragons, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, GI Joe, & 30 Days of Night.
Memorial by Chris Roberson & Rich Ellis.
The relaunch of our Transformers titles with two new ongoing series: More than Meets the Eye by James Roberts and Alex Milne & Robots in Disguise by John Barber and Andrew Griffith.
New Next Men stories from John Byrne.
Smoke & Mirrors by Mike Costa, Jon Armstrong, & Ryan Browne.
Road Rage by Stephen King, Joe Hill, Richard Matheson, Chris Ryall, and Nelson Daniel.
Frankenstein Alive, Alive by Steve Niles & Bernie Wrightson
The John Romita Spider-Man Artist’s Edition and Wally Wood Artist’s Edition.
The new Parker graphic novel, The Score, by Darwyn Cooke.
The Comic Book Comics collection by Fred VanLente & Ryan Dunlavey.
Genius, Illustrated: The Life and Art of Alex Toth, edited by Dean Mullaney & Bruce Canwell.
The second Rocketeer Adventures anthology with covers by Darwyn Cooke and stories by some amazing creators including Stan Sakai’s first work for IDW.
And I’m co-editing our Popeye comic with Craig Yoe. It’s been a long time since I directly edited a book and I’m having a lot of fun with it. We’ll be announcing the creative team soon and I think Popeye fans will like what we’re doing.
I could go on and on — 2012 is going to be a great year for IDW.
What was the biggest story in comics in 2011? DC’s relaunch.
What guilty pleasure are you looking forward to in 2012? I’m planning to start P90X2 in mid-January. If I could figure out a way to make money with a Tony Horton graphic novel, I’d do it.
1. Graphic novel continuation of Nickelodeon’s Avatar: The Last Airbender for Dark Horse. I’m doing the writing, Gurihiru is doing the art.
2. Asian American superhero story set in the 1940’s for First Second Books. I’m doing the writing, Sonny Liew is doing the art, and Janice Chiang is lettering.
2. Two volume historical fiction story about the Boxer Rebellion for First Second Books. I’m writing and drawing, Lark Pien is doing the colors.
What was the biggest story in comics in 2011? DC Comics’ New 52
What will be the biggest story in comics in 2012? Your guess is as good as mine. No, your guess is better than mine.
What guilty pleasure are you looking forward to in 2012? Whatever Bruce Timm DCAU cartoon shows up on Netflix Instant Play next.
B. Clay Moore, writer
The Further Adventures of the Whistling Skull (DC) (Art by Tony Harris)
Hawaiian Dick (Image), (Art by Jacob Wyatt)
Billy Smoke (Oni), a cool DC thing I can’t talk about.
What was the biggest story in comics in 2011? The biggest story in 2011 was the probing of other markets by established creators. I don’t think we’ll realize how important this was for a while, but seeing people like Skottie Young, and Mike Norton and Tim Seeley and Five Star Studios start rolling pebbles down the hill is inspiring. Comic book creators are more committed to telling their stories than they are to any market considerations, so it’s heartening to see people react to the stratified, shrinking direct market by trying to get their stories into more people’s hands. It’s also encouraging that people are doing so without forgetting the current market. Retailers should be elated that publishers are trying to get comic book stories into more people’s hands through any means necessary. The industry barely registers this, but comics are very much on the mind of the mainstream, and often treated with more respect outside the walls of Team Comics Castle than within.
What will be the biggest story in comics in 2012? The continuing efforts of a wider array of creators attempting to redefine the methods of distribution for comics. I also think creators will start to really push content boundaries as they climb out of the wading pool that is the current market and discover the ocean that exists beyond single issues sales through Diamond.
What guilty pleasure are you looking forward to in 2012? Avengers vs. X-Men. Five of the smartest writers in comics writing a gigantic fight scene? Sign me up.
Mark Coale, journalist
2012 projects: Russian Flag Burial, Summer 2012
What was the biggest story in comics in 2011? DC Reheat
What will be the biggest story in comics in 2012? DC sales returning to pre-reheat sales levels
What guilty pleasure are you looking forward to in 2012? WWE Network, assuming they show classic footage
Todd Klein, letterer
My series of alphabetical signed prints, now up to letter H, with letter I coming in January. Current prints available here.
What was the biggest story in comics in 2011? The New 52 at DC. I was skeptical that this would be the case, but I’ve been impressed with the roll-out and the issues I’ve read so far. And I’ve even tried reading one on my phone with surprisingly good results.
What will be the biggest story in comics in 2012? Wishful thinking, perhaps, but…readership increasing due to digital comics being available everywhere.
What guilty pleasure are you looking forward to in 2012? I have nothing to feel guilty about! (Really.) Looking forward to moments when I can get out and enjoy the real world, as well as the imaginary ones I spend much of my time with.
Currently deep into drawing the final Nikolai Dante story, which will end the 15 year saga in 2000AD and comprise Volume 11 of the Collected Nikolai Dante. Volume 1 is now available in the US from Simon & Schuster.
Also in my spare moments working on “Knives of Glory” for First Second Books. A globetrotting, madcap, culinary adventure tale written by Gabe Soria & St.John Frizell.
I’m rewriting ‘Lilly Mackenzie & the Treasure of Paros’ which I plan to start posting on ACTIVATEcomix.com again this summer.
Planning the ACTIVATEcomix.com 7th anniversary celebrations for February 2012.
What was the biggest story in comics in 2011? The Amazon Kindle Fire. This thing is going to be the Model-T Ford of Tablet computing. Regardless of it’s technical strengths or weaknesses, EVERYONE will have one, so EVERYONE will be able to read digital comics.
What will be the biggest story in comics in 2012? After years of abortive and half-arsed efforts , the digital comics market will start to be meaningful. See Kindle Fire above.
What guilty pleasure are you looking forward to in 2012? Buying more deluxe, clothbound, hardcover, slipcase editions of my favourite comics. Hmmmm, so niiiice.
Benjamin Marra, cartoonist, publisher
2012 projects: Several anthology stories, a few graphic novel proposals, a new comic from TRADITIONAL COMICS.
What was the biggest story in comics in 2011? The DC Fifty-Two
What will be the biggest story in comics in 2012? The collapse of the Direct Market and sudden desperate turn to Digital Distribution
What guilty pleasure are you looking forward to in 2012? A new issue of Tim Vigil’s Faust, or the re-launch of Rob Liefeld, Extreme/Awesome, comic book properties from Image
Russell Lissau, writer
2012 projects: Two of my stories will appear in Ape Entertainment’s STRAWBERRY SHORTCAKE DIGEST books, including “The Blueberry Flu,” which I wrote with my 9-year-old daughter, Meredith. Additionally, I will self-publish a pair of comics, ONE LAST THING (with artist mpMann) and SWEET DREAMS (with artist Chrstine Larsen). I’m optimistic the original graphic novel OLD WOUNDS (with artist John Bivens) will see print in 2012. And a funny short story called DOWN TIME (with artist Justin Castaneda) will appear in OMEGA COMICS PRESENTS. (Art for Down Time is attached.)
What was the biggest story in comics in 2011? The revitalization of DC Comics with the Nu52. My personal favorite story may have been the Rob Granito art fraud investigation, however. The comics community really came together to expose the fraud.
What will be the biggest story in comics in 2012? I’m hopeful THE AVENGERS movie will be a blockbuster hit, one that will move Joss Whedon from cult filmmaking hero to Hollywood star.
F.J. DeSanto, writer
Just wrapped up a STAR WARS project for Lucasfilm as well as my first creator owned project for DC Comics, both of which should be out next year. Currently writing an original graphic novel for Archaia while developing a television series for Syfy Channel, a DOC SAVAGE movie, and a feature film based on a legendary manga series. Also, I was fortunate to contribute a story in Archaia’s excellent graphic novel prequel to the film IMMORTALS.
What was the biggest story in comics in 2011? The biggest story was easily The New 52, not just for what it did for DC and it’s characters, but it’s impact on the industry as a whole. DC was successful in getting their core characters to where they need to be, delivered some genuine surprises, some controversy, and pushed some talented creators, like Scott Snyder, to a new level. Also, going day and date digital with the entire line is a game changer; the effects of which will become more clear a few years from now. It’s easy to play armchair quarterback and nitpick, but to actually pull this off as well as they have is incredibly impressive. The New 52 got people buzzing about comics and made their line accessible to new and younger readers. Even if a year from now sales are back to what they were, this was a ballsy step forward and should have a ripple effect that stretches many years.
What will be the biggest story in comics in 2012? Hard to predict but if the rumors are actually true, I’m hoping it will be WATCHMEN prequels.
What guilty pleasure are you looking forward to in 2012? Having a Summer where I will see both Batman and The Avengers on the big screen and also ABSOLUTE BATMAN AND ROBIN by Grant Morrison.
James Sturm, cartoonist, educator
I’m working on a sequel to Market Day. It’s about 15-20 years later.
Also working on more Adventures in Cartooning books (with Andrew Arnold and Alexis Frederick-Frost). This one will come out next year:
And the Cartoon Crier, a newspaper supplement (co-edited by R. Sikoryak and Cole Closser), that will feature work by CCSers and members of the NCS and debut at MoCCA.
What was the biggest story in comics in 2011? The stomach churning court ruling on Marvel/Disney’s assertion that Jack Kirby was merely a work-for-hire cartoonist and not the man who laid the foundation for the several billion dollar Marvel empire.
What guilty pleasure are you looking forward to in 2012? It would have been The Avengers movie but I can’t bring myself to go see it (see above answer).
Peter Bagge, cartoonist
2012 projects: A 4 part mini-series for Dark Horse called RESET. First issue due out Apr, ’12.
What was the biggest story in comics in 2011? I can’t think of ANY stories!
What will be the biggest story in comics in 2012? Nothing grim, I hope.
What guilty pleasure are you looking forward to in 2012? Does “paying my bills” count as a guilty pleasure?
Ian Boothby, writer
2012 projects: Simpsons Comics and Futurama for Bongo. My Deadbeat Dad and Double Crossed both with Nina Matsumoto for the web.
What was the biggest story in comics in 2011? The DC Universe rebooting again but this time in the digital age.
What will be the biggest story in comics in 2012? When digital comic books stop charging the same price as print copies. Right now they seem to be doing so out of respect for the comic stores but once they start pricing for the new medium they’re in, it’ll be interesting to see if that opens things up to a new audience.
What guilty pleasure are you looking forward to in 2012? It seems the current time for any superhero to stay dead after a big event is now one issue. Can they make that time any shorter? Maybe Iron Man comes back to life in the middle of the letters page at the end of the issue?
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.