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 fourth question: what creator do you think we’ll see make a huge leap in 2016?
Marguerite Bennett (Writer: DC Comics Bombshells, A Force): Jody Houser, Amy Chu, Rachel Deering, Brittany Williams, Jorge Coelho, Varga Tomi, and Mirka Andolfo. Them I’ve gotten to work with, I’ve adored, and them I haven’t gotten to, I am gunning to do so. Every single one of them has a crystal-clear and strikingly unique voice and style and–I mean this sincerely–no one could duplicate. High hopes and much excitement all around.
Fabian Rangel Jr (Writer: Space Riders, The Storyteller: Dragons): If comic companies are smart, writers Ryan Ferrier, Ed Brisson, and Frank Barbiere will continue to get work and continue to tell awesome original stories. Artists Alexis Ziritt, Jason Copland, Andrew Maclean, Toby Cypress, and Chris Visions will be making amazing, gorgeous comics.
Kate Leth (Writer: Power Up, Fresh Romance): I can’t predict, but I know who I’d LOVE to see on a big book or original project: Brooke Allen. Girl is mad talented and deserves to be even more of a household name.
Frank Barbiere (Writer: Five Ghosts, Howling Commandos of S.H.I.E.L.D.): I’m excited to see Matthew Rosenberg and Fabian Rangel Jr. really doing fantastic work and having publishers take note. Both of them are close friends and they really showed us what they’re capable of. I think in 2016 both of them are going to turn a lot of heads.
Paul Allor (Writer: Tet, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles): Leaving out people I’m currently working with: Adam Gorham. Irene Koh. Cory Smith. Atum.
Robin Herrera (Editor: The Bunker, Letter 44): It’s almost impossible to predict these days! I’ll tell you some creators I’ve been watching who really know what they’re doing and who I think are going to get a lot more recognition next year: Amy Chu, Ryan Ferrier, Katy Farina, Taneka Stotts, Paulina Ganucheau, and Paul Tobin (especially with his middle grade series coming out!).
Chris Ross (Digital Director for Top Shelf): I think David Walker will be more streets ahead. I predict a Raina Telgemeier sweep at the 2015 Eisners, shortly after the announcement of Telgemeierland.
Rob Williams (Writer: Martian Manhunter, Unfollow): Si Spurrier and Al Ewing are smart boys on the verge of a bit of conquering. Very impressed by Steve Orlando’s work this year. Tom King too. Robert Venditti’s a writer who could have a big year. Keep an eye on Ollie Masters and Alex Paknadel – two definite up and comers with a load of talent. Art-wise, I’ve seen some of Laurence Campbell’s upcoming work and it’s stellar. Bengal seems set for a major step forward. Aco’s been killing it on “Midnighter.” Again, I’m forgetting people. It’s late and I’m tired. Oh, forgive the plug but Mike Dowling on “Unfollow” is doing work that is REALLY going to get him noticed in the industry.
Steve Orlando (Writer: Midnighter, Batman and Robin Eternal): As for people making a huge leap, I have to look at some people I mentioned above. Jody Hauser is poised to blow people’s faces off with “Faith” at Valiant, and I’ve followed her work since we were both part of “Vertigo Quarterly: CMYK.” I am eagerly awaiting the next project from Genevieve Valentine, who is also going to show even more people the amazing story work she brings to the medium. And this is where I would also love to point out my “Midnighter” collaborator ACO, who made an amazing ongoing series debut this year and whose work gets bold and more amazing each page I get from him.
Michael Walsh (Artist: Secret Avengers, Hank Johnson: Agent of Hydra): Dylan Burnett a young Toronto based artist has Interceptor and another comic debuting next year. He is a star in the making so watch his name rise.Continued below
Dee Cunniffe is an Irish colorist that is really starting to break through and I think you are going to start seeing his name pop up a lot more in the next year.
Jamal Campbell is another Toronto kid who is insanely talented. Just check out the art in his webcomic here.
Is it a strange to say Ed Brisson? I mean, hes “broken in” and has a bunch of published work from the big two, among pretty much every other publisher but I just read the first issue of “The Violent” and his other new creator owned series and seriously. They are going to blow people away.
With the success of “We Can Never Go Home” I wouldn’t be surprised to see Matt Rosenbergs name EVERYWHERE next year.
Skottie Young (Artist: I Hate Fairyland, Rocket Raccoon): I’ll keep saying James Harren. He’s already making people take notice but I think he’s going to shine brighter and brighter. Can’t get enough of him.
There’s an artist who’s been doing a webcomic called “Space Mullet” and some other comics for Dark Horse that is going to really make the industry take notice soon. Daniel Warren Johnson.
Rebekah Isaacs (Artist: Buffy the Vampire Slayer Season 10, Angel and Faith): Kelly Thompson is a damned genius and I’m randomly also lucky to call her a friend and collaborator. Please let me ride your coattails when you blast off into superstardom!
Laurence Campbell (Artist: B.P.R.D. Hell on Earth, Punisher MAX): Well I’ve backed a graphic novel called “Grenade” on Kickstarter which looks great. It’s by an artist called Will Kirkby it was the first time I had seen his work and I was blown away by his work. One to Watch.
Mike Norton (Artist: Battlepug, Revival): God, I hope it’s me if you want a perfectly selfish-yet-honest answer!
But if I think about it, it think the upward trajectory of these younger writers (or maybe just newer) like Tom King, James Tynion, Marguerite Bennet, and my studiomate Tim Seeley is only gonna rise. I hope to see a lot of my friends like Sean Dove, Daniel Warren Johnson gain more notoriety, because I know they’re working hard on it.
Ryan Browne (Writer/Artist: God Hates Astronauts, Blast Furnace): I’m not sure on that one. Most of the hidden gems in comics that I was aware of have broken in over the last couple of years. I would love to see Stephen Greene kick a lot of ass in 2015. He can draw like a monster (well, a monster that is good at drawing comics).
Jacob Semahn (Writer: Goners, Marvel Universe Ultimate Spider Man): I’m really pulling for James Maddox (“Clown,” “The Dead”) as he’s a creator that has some really raw and undiscovered mass appeal. I think he’s definitely gonna be making some waves soon. Also, the aforementioned Adam Smith. I’ll read whatever this guy’s writing.
Erik Burnham (Writer: Ghostbusters: Get Real, Galaxy Quest: The Journey Continues): I just read the first issue of “The Sheriff of Babylon;” as it came out so late in the year, I couldn’t mention it in my faves of the year answer – but it was fantastic (and this is coming from someone who doesn’t gravitate to anything in the realm of military fiction.) I think this book – if the rest of the first series arc matches the quality of
the first issue – is going to be a huge, to-the-next-level leap for both writer Tom King and artist Mitch Gerads. This feels like one of those kinds of books that expands the audience of comics.
Sanford Greene (Artist: Power Man and Iron Fist, Ame-Comi Girls): I think Afua Richardson is on the brink. Keep and eye out!
Kyle Strahm (Artist: Spread, We Will Bury You): I think 2016 will be a big year for Daniel Warren Johnson. I was lucky enough to snag a copy of his Star Wars fan comic, Green Leader, at C2E2 and it’s really great. And his awesome web comic “Space Mullet” is heading to Dark Horse. Another guy to look out for is Juan Gedeon, who drew “Ghost Racers!”Continued below
James Tynion IV (Writer: Batman and Robin Eternal, The Woods): Tom King. I don’t even have to really think about it. Tom’s been doing incredible work on “Grayson” with Tim Seeley for a while now, and obviously “The Omega Men” has gotten so much love and attention that it was saved from the cancellation bin… But I think the one-two punch of “The Vision” and “The Sheriff of Babylon” just announced the presence of somebody who could become one of the all-time greats in the industry, in a way we haven’t seen in a while. The biggest thing about Tom is that he has a coherent voice that is PURELY his own. When he picks up a book, he isn’t trying to write something on anybody else’s terms but his own, and so there’s no predicting what he might do next. It really feels like we’re about to watch the rise of the next comic book writer A-Lister, and I hope we all get some really great comics out of it!
Andrea Sorrentino (Artist: Old Man Logan, Green Arrow): Joshua Hale Fialkov! I’ve worked with him on “I,Vampire” and he has written some of the more original things I’ve recently read, like “The Bunker” and “Punks.” I’m sure he’s about to prepare a big hit for 2016.
Kieron Gillen (Writer: The Wicked + The Divine, Phonogram): “Supreme: Blue Rose” with Warren was one thing, but I think “Heartless” is going to take Tula Lotay to a whole new level. Now that my partner in crime on “Angela,” Marguerite Bennett, is free from me, I’m sure she’ll tear the whole place up. “InSEXt” is showing how utterly horrific she is, which is a joy. Kate Leth being unleashed on the Marvel Universe is going to probably destroy time and space. Sarah Gordon did a brilliant, explosive book called “Stripped” in the British Small press, and I think she’s going to do fascinating things. I think Al [Ewing] and Tom [King] are going to move to being definitive voices in the MU. Oh – and there’s this cool British writer I have a lot of time for, who I think is going to do some really interesting things in 2016. He’s pretty obscure. It’s a guy from Northampton called Alan Moore, and I think you’re going to love him.
Robert Hack (Artist: The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina, Archie Vs. Predator): All of my friends- group hug, everybody!
Chris Ryall (Editor in Chief, IDW Publishing): Like, off a building? Or a huge leap forward? Hopefully you mean the latter, even if the other meaning could lead to some interesting replies. What I like about thinking about this is that it’s the people whop take the world by surprise. Like, Troy Little blew minds with his “Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas” adaptation. And while those of us who know his work could reasonably expect to see him nail this book, the industry at large, who either read Troy’s earlier works or saw him on “Powerpuff Girls,” didn’t necessarily expect what he delivered here. So that’s what I like here, that this industry continually surprises, especially in those moments where the exact right creator is paired with the exact right material. From what I’ve read from them this year, really think Tom King, Lauren Beukes, and Marjorie Liu will only continue to impress next year and beyond, too.
Chad Bowers (Writer: X-Men ‘92, Deadpool: Bad Blood): Jason Latour’s already on his way. Ming Doyle, Paul Allor, and Joshua Williamson are all super talented folks, and I expect we’ll see them do lots more next year.
Ryan K. Lindsay (Writer: Negative Space, Headspace): I know what Paul Allor has cooking and it’s got me excited on many levels. Daniel Warren Johnson will no doubt make the leap to the very big leagues because his art is just too damn fine. Tristan Jones is going to melt faces with his “Aliens” work at Dark Horse. I want to know what Elsa Charettier and PK Colinet do next after their great IDW book “The Infinite Loop.” Ricardo Mo’s Comixology Submit book “Propeller” was great and bodes well for his future moves.Continued below
Sebastian Girner (Editor: Tokyo Ghost, The Goddamned): I’m looking forward to seeing what Artyom Trakhanov’s gets up to, that’s one I would keep an eye on. And if everyone isn’t going gaga for Marguerite Sauvage’s art yet then it’s high time.
Michael Moreci (Writer: Roche Limit, Burning Fields): That’s a good question. I think Frank Barbiere is poised to take that next step, as is Stephen Orlando and Ryan Ferrier. Matt Rosenberg is up there. On art, Tristan Jones is great–his “Aliens,” I think, is going to kill. Brent Schoonover, I always love him. There’s so much talent out there – it’s hard to sift through and single anyone out as it could be any number of people who make that leap.