Creators weigh in on 2013 and 2014 (Part 1)

It's almost that time again -- time for ROBOT 6's annual takeover of the Comic Book Resources home page to celebrate our anniversary. With this year bringing our big fifth anniversary, we thought we'd get a head start with one of our annual features, "Looking Forward, Looking Back," where we ask comics folks what they liked in 2013, what they're looking forward to in 2014 and what projects they have planned for the coming year.

In this post, you'll hear from Jimmy Palmiotti, Brandon Montclare, Joe Keatinge, Caanan Grall, Rafer Roberts, Josh Hechinger, Jim Gibbons, Scott Fogg, Evan "Doc" Shaner and Kyle Stevens from Kirby Krackle! Then come back later today and on Tuesday to read from more of your favorite creators.

Jimmy Palmiotti

Batwing, All-Star Western, Harley Quinn, Painkiller JaneWebsite | Twitter

What was your favorite comic of 2013?

That is an easy one: Solo: The Deluxe Edition, by Darwyn Cooke, Jeph Loeb, Brian Azzarello, Richard Corben, Tim Sale, John Arcudi, Allred, Neil Gaiman, Steven T. Seagle and others (DC Comics).

This hardcover collection is amazing on so many levels and more personal and telling about the artists featured than anything else they have done.

Comic-wise, what are you most excited about for 2014?

I am most excited about the idea that Kickstarter is opening up a lot of doors that most publishers have closed on a number of projects. I love that they now have a place to be sold without a middleman involved. As well, it’s an extra bonus that they get to keep all the rights and no longer have to share ownership with certain publishers. 2014 will be an interesting year for this.

What personal project are you working on for 2014 that you're especially pumped about?

I think I am most excited about is being able to work with Amanda on Harley Quinn and finally get our creator-owned projects out to the public. I am also looking forward to what we have planned for Batwing and Jonah in the next year. Last, I am looking forward to getting our website Paperfilms.com out to a bigger audience and people coming to us for our comics and digital downloads.

Brandon Montclare

Rocket Girl, Halloween EveTumblr | Twitter

What was your favorite comic of 2013?

I have to pick just one? Miniature Jesus by Ted McKeever, published by Image Comics. I've always been a big fan, and the last couple years also saw some great stuff with Mondo and Meta 4.

Comic-wise, what are you most excited about for 2014?

I'm very much looking forward to All-New Ghost Rider by Felipe Smith and Tradd Moore. Felipe is one of the most talented creators I know, and I am interested to see how he handles writing for an artist that's not him!

What personal project are you working on for 2014 that you're especially pumped about?

Rocket Girl! It's still pretty new and picking up a lot of readers, so it's all about me and Amy Reeder spreading the word in 2014.

Joe Keatinge

Glory, Marvel Knights: Hulk, Morbius: The Living VampireTwitter | Tumblr

What was your favorite comic of 2013?

That’s a tough one. Graphic novel-wise, the PictureBox-published So Long Silver Screen by Blutch is the one I keep thinking of whenever this question comes up. It’s him ruminating on movies, storytelling, thinly veiled autobiography ... it really hit me hard. Movies are a close second to comics in my heart, so having someone like Blutch ruminate on them — well, yeah, it’s a good book.

However, Andrew Robinson’s art on The Fifth Beatle is some of the most astounding work I’ve seen in comics, period. That guy deserves all sorts of accolades, awards, whatever for what he’s accomplished there.

My stack of single-issue comics has been extremely Image-heavy this year, so much so picking a favorite out of that stack is impossible. Been loving Satellite Sam, Prophet, Age of Bronze, Savage Dragon, Nowhere Men, Pretty Deadly, Black Science, Saga, Fatale, Zero, Ghosted, Five Ghosts — pretty much all the ghost-related books they’re doing.

Lots of great stuff coming out digitally. I was just blown away by Richard Sala’s digital-first Violenzia from Fantagraphics. Ibrahim Moustafa and Chris Sebela’s High Crimes is real damn good. These continuity-less DC digital anthologies are interesting.

Comic-wise, what are you most excited about for 2014?

I was happy to see the interest in creator-owned, diverse material rise in 2013, so I’m hoping there will be even more of that in 2014. I love superheroes, but my preferred stack of comics has those among many other different types of books. I think Image’s continued rise and success over the last year inspires more people to do the same. I know I’m definitely all in, as both reader and creator.

What personal project are you working on for 2014 that you're especially pumped about?

Stay tuned.

Rafer Roberts

Plastic Farm, Nightmare the RatWebsite | Twitter | Tumblr

What was your favorite comic of 2013?

I’ve really been enjoying Prophet. It’s such a weird and beautiful comic on its own, but that it also completely deconstructs all the early Liefeld Image characters in unexpected ways just makes me smile. The writing is great, and the rotating group of artists bring so much to the table. A joy to read.

Comic-wise, what are you most excited about for 2014?

The return of Stray Bullets is tops. David Lapham’s brilliant comic is a huge influence on my own storytelling. The series pretty much broke my mind in half when I first read it. I’m very glad to see that the book is returning with all new stories and that all of the back issues are going back into print. I envy people who've never read Stray Bullets as I would love to once again enjoy the sensation of reading it for the first time.

There is also Tom Scioli’s Transformers vs. G.I. Joe comic that’ll be coming out. I don’t think I’ve bought or read a Transformers or a G.I. Joe comic since I was 15 years old, but seeing early promo stuff from Tom has me chomping at the bit to jump back in. The comic looks insane.

What personal project are you working on for 2014 that you're especially pumped about?

I’m still working on Plastic Farm and plan to release at least four issues in 2014. I’ve also contributed a page to Locust Moon’s Little Nemo: Dream Another Dream book, which I believe is planned for a 2014 release.

I will be bringing Nightmare the Rat to the Internet as a weekly webcomic beginning Jan. 1. For those who are unfamiliar, Nightmare the Rat is a little monster that torments the populace of Hell City by sneaking into their bedrooms at night and ripping out their teeth. His enemies include the inept Hell City police force, dentists and Morningbreath the Owl, who is an adorable little fluffball that poops in people’s mouths. I’ve been drawing Nightmare the Rat strips for the Magic Bullet newspaper for a few years and have gotten a pretty positive reaction from folks. The first online episodes will be comics that have already appeared in print, but sometime around April we'll make the switch to all new strips drawn specifically for the web. I’ve never really done a webcomic before so this is all very new and exciting.

Folks can read the Nightmare the Rat comic at NightmaretheRat.com, or see more of my other comics at PlasticFarm.com.

Jim Gibbons

Mars: Space Barbarian, editor at Dark HorseWebsite | Twitter | Tumblr

What was your favorite comic of 2013?

Working on and, therefore, reading comics that won't come out for many months always, I think, puts me behind when it comes to reading stuff that recently came out, so … I always have a hard time with end of the year "Best of" stuff. That said, and removing projects I worked on as I can't choose a favorite amongst my babies (I love you all, my comics babies!), I really enjoyed Christopher Sebela and Ibrahim Moustafa's High Crimes, Andrew MacLean's Head Lopper, Fred Van Lente and Ryan Dunlavey's Action Presidents: Washington, Joshua Hale Fialkov and Joe Infurnari's The Bunker, Caleb Goellner and Buster Moody's Task Force Rad Squad, and Tim Seeley and Mike Norton's Revival. I presume you meant favorites, not favorite, right?

Comic-wise, what are you most excited about for 2014?

I think the impending release of Task Force Rad Squad #2 and Head Lopper #2 should be awesome (insert joke about dropping number twos here). Curt Pires and Ben Sears teased a project on Tumblr that I am super-curious about. Volume two of Ed Piskor's Hip Hop Family Tree is due in 2014 too, isn't it? That should be great! Jake Wyatt has steadily been posting amazing pages on Tumblr from a project called Necropolis that I can't wait to read! I think Douglas Wolk, Ulises Farinas and Ryan Hill's Judge Dredd comic Mega City Two: City of Courts should be fantastic! And, not sure this really counts, but I think in January I'll actually be able to catch up on my "To Read" pile that's chock-full of 2013 stuff, so … I'm pretty excited about that!

What personal project are you working on for 2014 that you're especially pumped about?

I'm incredibly excited about two fantastic new creator-owned series launching in January: David Lapham's Juice Squeezers and Bryan J.L. Glass and Victor Santos' Furious. Squeezers is an all-ages gross-out action-adventure story with scrawny kids fighting giant bugs, and Furious is bloody superhero action with a focus on celebrity-obsessed culture. Speaking of superheroes, Joshua Williamson has big plans for Captain Midnight next year! There'll be more awesome and hilarious Brain Boy from Fred Van Lente and Freddie Williams II, and Joshua Hale Fialkov's Skyman mini is gonna be pretty killer. Keep an eye out for Christopher Sebela, Brian Churilla, and Dave Stewart's fantastic WWII horror story "Cruel Biology" in Dark Horse PresentsI Also, it' a bit behind schedule and when you see the amazing art you'll get why, but The Black Beetle: Necrologue is coming and it's gonna be glorious! That's all I can talk about for now! But look out for all of those early next year!

Oh, and there'll be more Mars: Space Barbarian from me and Andrew MacLean in 2014, so I'll shamelessly plug that (and the URL: SpaceBarbarian.com) here as well!

Scott Fogg

Phileas Reid Knows We Are Not AloneWebsite | Twitter

What was your favorite comic of 2013?

The books on my pull list that always had the most excited to read were: Saga, Hawkeye, Captain Marvel, Atomic Robo and Ultimate Spider-Man. But if I had to just pick one (and man is that hard), it would have be Brian K Vaughan and Fiona Staples' Saga.

Comic-wise, what are you most excited about for 2014?

Marvel's lineup looks incredible. I can't wait to see where Kelly Sue takes Captain Marvel, and words cannot explain how excited I am about the new Ms. Marvel. Couple that with Phil Noto drawing a new Black Widow, Warren Ellis writing a new Moon Knight and Jason Aaron hitting it out of the park with Amazing X-Men, just keep making mine Marvel!

What personal project are you working on for 2014 that you're especially pumped about?

I, Marc Thomas, Dean Trippe, Vito Delsante and Rose McClain are working on Phileas Reid Knows We Are Not Alone. We had a very successful and exciting Kickstarter and now we're putting the book together! The goal is to have it in people's hands by this summer, and we are working hard to see to it that happens! And because I lack the basic human ability to ever take a break, I've begun writing the second book in the Phileas Reid series -- but it may be some time before that sees the light of day. You can follow us and our book at PhileasReid.Tumblr.com.

Josh Hechinger

Bear Beater Bunyan, The Grave Doug Freshley, Robot + MonstersWebsite | Twitter

What was your favorite comic of 2013?

I picked up the first 16 volumes of Ranma 1/2 for a song a couple months back? That ended up being the highlight of my year, comics-wise. Like, man, there's this three-legged race in one of the volumes that's maybe the best extended set piece I've ever read in a comic, just six characters having a running kung-fu fight in a crazy obstacle course while arguing and shuffling partnerships depending on who's knocked out or who's pissed their partner off or who's been changed into a cat or duck or whatever. It's the best.

Oh, but outta stuff that came out this year, I'll give it to Sex Criminals. That series, Issue 3 in particular, has been a genuine treat and delightful surprise.

Comic-wise, what are you most excited about for 2014?

Ant-Man, the flick, that's '15, right? So ... OK, honestly, I'm kinda looking forward to the new She-Hulk and Ghost Rider books.

Like, I've always liked Shulkie as a character; I'm not too familiar with Soule outside of knowing the name, but he's liked by folks I like, y'know? Pulido's work, I love (that Hawkeye Annual, man ...). That Kevin Wada cover/promo is tremendous, too; I dunno if he's the regular cover guy, but here's hoping.

Now, Ghost Rider, I've never really been into, but Smith and Moore doing an angry-teen-with-hell-powers book is prrrrrrobably going to be the full-tilt berserk sleeper hit of next year. I'm just guessing, anyway. (Pretty sure I'm right, though.)

Oh, and Escapo! Escapo's gonna be back in print, and I've always wanted to read that.

What personal project are you working on for 2014 that you're especially pumped about?

I'm in the early days on a couple few things (a kinda wild sci-fi detective thing, a Street-Fighter-by-way-of-Love-&-Rockets thing, some anthos), but the thing I'm most pumped on is doing a few cons in 2014. I've never really been a con guy, but I had a blast working the BOOM!/Archaia table at Baltimore, and it kinda gave me con-fever.

Er, a fever for doing cons.

Er, a metaphorical fever.

Caanan Grall

Max Overacts, Aura Ray and the BioriginalsWebsite | Twitter | deviantART

What was your favorite comic of 2013?

Six-Gun Gorilla from BOOM! Studios. I was pleasantly surprised by this, because it sounds silly, but it's got a great sci-fi hook of being placed in a future where people became so enamored with themselves, traditional entertainment died. Now they rely on sending suicidal sad-sacks into war with cameras in their eyes.

Comic-wise, what are you most excited about for 2014?

I don't really know what I'm doing next year, let alone anyone else, but did I see somewhere that Mike Maihack's Cleopatra in Space is coming from Scholastic? I'm on board for that.

What personal project are you working on for 2014 that you're especially pumped about?

Max Overacts continues on at occasionalcomics.com but this year I'm going to try and branch out a little. I have a 16-page script and character designs for a sci fi superhero concept I've been tinkering with for years, that has finally taken shape in to something awesome. It's called Aura Ray and the Bioriginals, and it's what I call an anti-apocalyptic comic. Currently I've submitted it to an anthology, but will also work it up to submit elsewhere as a full on series, or I could just end up doing it all myself through paid PDFs on my website. Either way, it's time to release some of these ideas I have in my head that I can't do with Max.

Evan Shaner

Adventures of Superman, Ghostbusters, Jim Henson’s The Storyteller, Buddy Cops, Blood BrothersBlog | Twitter | Tumblr | deviantART

What was your favorite comic of 2013?

Fury MAX: My War Gone By was the comic that blew me away this year. I was already a huge fan of Goran Parlov and Nick Fury's wartime history, but both in single issues and the larger story as a whole this book really exceeded my already high expectations for it.

Comic-wise, what are you most excited about for 2014?

I really think the new Moon Knight by Ellis, Shalvey and Bellaire is really going to be something. I say that as someone who isn't familiar with Moon Knight at all, but I know Shalvey and Bellaire are bringing something new and unique to the table with that book.

What personal project are you working on for 2014 that you're especially pumped about?

I'm drawing a three-part Adventures of Superman story written by Ron Marz, which will be released starting Feb. 17. It's exactly the kind of story I'd always hoped to draw with Superman and I'm really excited for folks to see it.

Kyle Stevens

Kirby KrackleBand's site | Personal site | Band Camp | Twitter

What was your favorite comic of 2013?

I know it's almost expected at this point, but Saga continues to be above and beyond the book I look forward to very month. It's weird, it's beautiful, and it gives me hope that more and more original concepts exist out there waiting to be written!

Comic-wise, what are you most excited about for 2014?

I'm always excited to see where digital comics are going. If someone launched a service of day-and-date digital releases accessed via subscription in 2014 I'd be the first in line. We've seen enough now to teach us that the digital consumer isn't going to burn the brick-and-mortar business model, and it's time to take the next step in the industry.

What personal project are you working on for 2014 that you're especially pumped about?

Kirby Krackle is wrapping up our five-year anniversary and looking forward to evolving what we do in 2014. Five years later after creating the genre, there are some awesome new groups out there we enjoy and respect, and I look forward to more of them popping their heads up. Expect more singles and videos from us in 2014 ... and especially more weirdness. That's our wheelhouse.

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