I'll start with a capsule summary of the blog:Â I went kind of crazy a couple of times and posted up a storm and yet still onlyÂ contributed 1/100th of what Cronin put up; we sold out; the Gregs were prolific and one of them made an enemy of Tom Beland for life; then Joe came back. That'sÂ the Reader's Digest version.Now it's that time of year whenÂ everyone feels compelled toÂ beÂ all reflective and what not, which is where this post comes in, as I summarize theÂ year in the world of comics beyond this blog. Or at least my hazy, half assedÂ recollections of it.
Marvel and DC- There were some big events that were supposed to make the internet implode. They both seemed to spike sales, at least for awhile, which is impressive, considering no one seemed to like any of them. Both lost momentum and things went pretty much back to normal. Some titles still existed on the fringes. Ultimate Spider-Man hit 100 issues, causing Brian Hibbs to eat a bug. That seems worth mentioning.
Dark Horse- Dark Horse turned 20. And celebrated byÂ reprinting the single greatest pin-up ever, by my reckoning. They also published some comics.
Image- Published Casanova and Fell, which area manna from heaven for people who leave cheap but awesome single issue comics. Because these were some awesome cheap comics. I think they also published other things, but if they weren't $1.99, I didn't have any of them.
CrossGen- CrossGen continued to be dead. But I did see some Abadazad trades at Target, so that was interesting. Remember any CrossGen comic? Ever? Me either.
Fantagraphics- Fantagraphics published a lot of comics. They were all supposed to be great. I read a couple. I also read an OGN published byÂ Vertigo, and created byÂ one of the best cartoonists in their stable. I also insulted Tales Designed to Thrizzle for having a dumb name in a post I am not proud of (so much so that I'm not linking to it), especially since I read some samples of it Fanta's Free Comics sampler and really enjoyed them.
Drawn and Quarterly- I put this up mostly to wonder what names they rejected before deciding on this one. Anyway, they also published great comics I didn't get around to reading this year but may yet one day when I become less interested in absurdist superhero comics and branch out a little. That may be awhile.
Oni Press- Published Scott Pilgrim. For that, I love them.First Second- Had a pretty impressive debut, from all accounts. I didn't read any of their books, either. This is a running theme.Houghton Mifflin- Published Fun Home, which did okay for itself.
Everyone else- Published comics of varying quality.
These things always make me realize how narrow myÂ field of interest in comics is. I mean, more so than usual. In all seriousness, this year seemed to be a pretty logical continuation of last years. DC and Marvel warred over the Direct Market while alt comics continued to madeÂ big strides in book stores, and manga continued to... well, it doesn't seem toÂ getting any bigger, really, but it's atÂ monolithic proportions of saturation. I just like typing that phrase more than anything.Â
Things seem to be changing, but it's not the tempestuous revolution that everyone who ever wrote a manifesto about comics expected or wanted. There are so many good to great comics out there that I can't possibly read them all, which is the kind of double edged sword I can live with falling on when it comes to the state of the medium. Even if I am ignorant of at least 50% of it, I'm still confident that comics head in to 2007 in pretty damn good shape, thank you very much. If you'll excuse me, I now have to figure out why I'm making proclamations of a medium's health whenÂ I'm completely unqualified for that, on New Year's Eve no less. Have a good one, folks.