Every year, we send out a survey to some of our favorite creators and ask them questions about the year in comics. We had an incredible response this year, and got creators from all corners of the comics world to weigh in one what they loved about comics in 2015. Every day this week, we will be sharing a different question from our questionnaire.
Hopefully these inspire you to check out some new books, and to give some other books a second look.
Our final question: what are you most hoping to see from comics in 2016?
Andrea Sorrentino (Artist: Old Man Logan, Green Arrow): It’s not a comic, but i can’t wait to see Captain America: Civil War! Also, i hope seeing Frank Castle in the second season of Daredevil will make for a stylish, crude, awesome Punisher new series next year (I’ve really got a soft spot for the man with the skull..).
Apart of this, I’m sure we’ll be all amazed by all the unpredictable creator-owned things that will be announced in next months.
As I’m often saying lately, it’s such a GREAT moment to be a comic fan. Between the Disney/Warner/Fox superhero movies, the recent new launches from the Big Two and the insane quality of a lot of creator-owned titles, it’s like we’re in a new, comic-related, Renaissance.
Robert Hack (Artist: The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina, Archie Vs. Predator): We’ve been on this amazing path toward more diversity, both in creators, fans and content of books. It’s a great time to be in comics and fandom. So, more of that for the coming year, and all the years ahead.
Rebekah Isaacs (Buffy the Vampire Slayer Season 10, Angel and Faith): I’m hoping to see more fun, social-type, hugs-and-laughs times in comics this year, and less dark, creepy, vindictive, internet-type drama action.
Paul Allor (Writer: Tet, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles): Same answer from the last two years: I’d love to see way more diversity of genres; more fact-based comics, more slice of life, more romance and westerns and crime and historical fiction. Tied in to that, I’d also love to see more efforts to broaden the comics audience, beyond just bringing back lapsed readers.
Also, a Short Circuit comic, preferably written by me. Johnny 5 is alive!
Jacob Semahn (Writer: Goners, Marvel Universe Ultimate Spider Man): I love this slow trend to more diversity, which I’m amped to see more of. Also, I would hope to see the downward trend of company-wide events. I am definitely a victim of event fatigue and it has caused me to abandon books that I dug, whole swath. I’d love to come back to those individual books and live with those characters again month to month.
Curt Pires (Writer: The Tomorrows, The Fiction): I’d like to see mainstream comics get a little weirder.
Michael Moreci (Writer: Roche Limit, Burning Fields): Honestly, I hope that 2016 is the year we learn to be a little more respectful of each other’s business. I love our industry, I do, but I keep seeing, more and more, the conversation surrounding comics dragged down by bickering, in-fighting, and social media aggression. These past few years have been a golden age for comics, with arguably some of the best writing, art, colors, and lettering in the history of the medium. And instead of reveling in that, we fight. Without question, we have a problem with diversity and equality, same as much as our entire country is facing. This is a real thing, though I sincerely believe in comics it’s getting better and will continue to get better. But sometimes, we let the tail of cultural agendas wag the dog of comics business. I’d like to see publishers, creators, and fans focus on the business side of things as well—finding new delivery methods, cultivating new readership, and capitalizing on all this great content that’s available on the shelves every single week. The more robust the industry becomes, the more diverse it will also be. That, to me, is the best of both worlds—improving the business and social aspects at the same time and ensure comics thrive for the next ten, twenty, fifty years. And while it thrives, become more inclusive as well.Continued below
Steve Orlando (Writer: Midnighter, Batman and Robin Eternal): For 2016 I want to see comics build on the work they’ve done in 2015 when it comes to representation and voices in the medium. There was some great work in showing a diversity of stories, faces, and opinions in 2015, but the work is not yet done and there is a long way to go. The end result is always so that there are not “diversity” books, so to speak, but that a varied, diverse setting becomes so normal that they’re all just “books.” They’re all just comics, a story world where everyone can find their own personal icon and a hero that looks like them. A place where they know they can be mythic and awesome.
Chad Bowers (Writer: X-Men ‘92, Deadpool: Bad Blood): I’ve really enjoyed seeing Archie and IDW take chances with their big name properties, so I’d like to see more of that from other publishers, and I think we will. Longer, uninterrupted runs of ongoing mainstream comics titles. And I’d like to see greater recognition and praise for inkers, colorists, letterers, and editors in general.
Laurence Campbell (Artist: B.P.R.D. Hell on Earth, Punisher MAX): In many ways I think comics are in a really good shape. I’m loving the diversity we are seeing.
Personally I like to see a year without relaunches, I’d like to see some comics given the time to develop and grow.
Kate Leth (Writer: Power Up, Fresh Romance): You could probably guess this answer, but I’ll say it anyway: More women, POC and LGBTQ+ creators and characters. A queer, headlining superhero book. Or two. Or five. Comics actively making strides to reflect the real world, not just for PR, but because it’s way overdue. This industry needs so many changes, and it’s getting there by degrees, but we have a long way to go.
Michael Walsh (Artist: Secret Avengers, Hank Johnson: Agent of Hydra): Last year I said ” A continuing trend towards diversity (in every way)” I would reinforce that again.
I also really like that we are moving away from ‘House Styles’ at the big two. It would be nice to keep seeing weird art on big books.
I’d also like to see smaller creator owned publishers growing, we need more comics.
Skottie Young (Artist: I Hate Fairyland, Rocket Raccoon): The continued interest in humor comics and all ages comics. Those are two areas I feel have been pushed aside for awhile and they’re starting to reclaim their place on the shelves. that’s good for everyone and i hope to see more.
Ryan Browne (Writer/Artist: God Hates Astronauts, Blast Furnace): More humor and experimentation with the medium. I pretty much say that every year. I would love to see comics move away from “This is my movie pitch” and more into “This is my comic. It does things you can only do in sequential art.”. I mean, maybe I’m stupid, but that seems to make sense to me.
Sanford Greene (Artist: Power Man and Iron Fist, Ame-Comi Girls): Outstanding series from outstanding creators!
Chris Ryall (Editor in Chief, IDW Publishing): Beyond things like continued diversification of the types of creators being hired and material being offered…a new “Rom: Space Knight” series. And luckily, those hopes will be realized on FCBD and beyond.
Mike Norton (Artist: Battlepug, Revival): More varied and interesting voices and projects. I’m not necessarily one of the people banging the drum about diversity and all that, but I want new and different stuff. That’s part of how you get that new stuff. It’s exciting to see that our industry is at a place creatively that I didn’t think would actually happen 15 years ago. So that’s a great sign to me.
James Tynion IV (Writer: Batman and Robin Eternal, The Woods): I want to see people push the limits and break some more rules. I think we’re at a pretty happy moment in the medium, and it’s an exciting moment with so much good content on the shelves. But I also feel like we’re slipping a bit on exploring the possibilities of comics in the modern age. Too many books feel like cousins to one-another, and decide to explore pretty much the same thing from the same angle. I want to see more daring, dangerous ideas in the comics industry. Those are the ideas that will chart a path to the next few decades of comics. I hope I’m going to be one of the people pushing hard to do work that nobody else is doing, that nobody but me could write, both in the superhero sphere, and also in my creator owned titles. I want the industry to keep pushing the boundaries, and most of all I hope I’m one of the people doing that to the full extent of my abilities. I’m sure as hell going to try.Continued below
Marguerite Bennett (Writer: DC Comics Bombshells, A Force): The obvious answer is a diversity of creators from rich and different backgrounds, with particular emphasis on people of color, women, queer creators, and other marginalized voices. Because I hope this is obvious and a universal desire, I’m gonna skip it. My answer is that I want to see fearless comics. I want intense stories full of gray areas and protagonists who are messy, complicated people – especially characters who are not straight white dudes and STILL not aspirational. I want stories that don’t make me feel safe. I want stories with something to say, that upset me, that push me, that show me in form and function just how lucky we are to be working in a medium this unique. I want to come out feeling shaken and thrilled, like I’ve experienced something beautiful and meaningful. I want comics that fuck me up in the best possible way. FEARLESS.
Rob Williams (Writer: Martian Manhunter, Unfollow): More good comics to get excited about.
Robin Herrera (Editor: The Bunker, Letter 44): As always, more inclusivity. More anthologies like “Beyond,” more great Kickstarters and webcomics going to print, and a whole lot more of people creating something they love. Specifically I would like another food comic or manga to fill in the gaps between releases of Food Wars! And maybe something that can fill the void that Gravity Falls will leave behind for me.
Ryan K. Lindsay (Writer: Negative Space, Headspace): Some happiness. I’d like to see less online biff, less muckraking, less chest puffing, and more just doing the damn stuff we say we wanna see, and doing it so damn good it cannot be ignored. Let 2016 be the year making comics with diversity embedded, where new characters are accepted, in a happy digital/print dual world becomes the unquestioned norm.
Fabian Rangel Jr (Writer: Space Riders, The Storyteller: Dragons): My answer will forever be more original, creator-owned comics. I love seeing what new ideas talented creators bring to life. My hope for 2016 is for readers to be more open to reading new stories they’re not familiar with. Also, for publishers to put out amazing comics regardless of what they think sales might be (this one is a stretch). Overall, just more wild, fun comics that make people laugh out loud, make readers stare at the page wondering how an artist could draw what he/she just did, more readers putting down a book, knowing the story they just read will stay with them.
Frank Barbiere (Writer: Five Ghosts, Howling Commandos of S.H.I.E.L.D.): I think comics are in a truly great place right now. There’s always drama going back and forth, but for the most part work across the board has been getting better and better, at every company. I just hope to continue to see work of this quality coming from every which direction in the industry, as well as some general growth amongst non-comics readers. We all need to work hard to convert new readers, not just fight over the ones we have already. I think there’s more than enough material for everyone, and it’s up to the people in the industry to bang the drum and get the good word out.
Erik Burnham (Writer: Ghostbusters: Get Real, Galaxy Quest: The Journey Continues): The same thing every other creator wants: a ton more work! But seriously, I’m already seeing a lot of what I want to see: more genres, more stories, and more voices. I’m hoping for more optimism. More hope… and less equating negativity with sophistication, please.
Sebastian Girner (Editor: Tokyo Ghost, The Goddamned): I’d really like Bruce Timm to do a long-format B&W Barbarella comic. And I think Joyce Carol Oates should be pegged to write “The Punisher.”
Kieron Gillen (Writer: The Wicked + The Divine, Phonogram): Same as every year: more everything. I want the medium to include more things, more people, more things to surprise me.