Creators weigh in on 2014 and 2015 (Part 4)

Continuing with our annual “Looking Forward, Looking Back," we asked creators and other industry figures what they liked in 2014, what they’re looking forward to in 2015, and what projects they have planned for the coming year.

In this installment, we hear from G. Willow Wilson, Tom Spurgeon, Paul Maybury, Chris Roberson, Carla Speed McNeil, Claire Connelly, Patrick Dean, Michael Allred, Amy Chu, Jamie S. Rich, David Lopez and Jeff Loveness!

Be sure to check out Part 1, Part 2 and Part 3, and then come back Friday for even more.

G. Willow Wilson

Ms. Marvel, X-MenTwitter | Tumblr

What was your favorite comic of 2014?

For me, it's probably a tie between She-Hulk and Saga. Saga just keeps hitting it out of the park -- BKV is doing his best work since Y: The Last Man. It's fresh, it's fast, it keeps surprising you, and like everything BKV does, it's breathtakingly humane. A joy. She-Hulk is a fantastic reboot of an underutilized character. I mean, they put her in a wrestling singlet and dropped her into some courtroom drama. Hilarious, awesome. Oh! And also Kelly Sue DeConnick's Pretty Deadly, which is garnering well-deserved comparisons to Sandman. That is saying something.

Comic-wise, what are you most excited about for 2015?

Let me just say … I was in the writers' room at Marvel for the first time a few weeks ago, and there are some books in the pipeline that will blow your socks off. I'm going to have to be that vague.

GRANT EFFING MORRISON has a book called Nameless coming out from Image next year that looks amazing. (He's working with Nathan Fairbain, who is the most talented colorist in the business. I say that with complete confidence. His work is transformative.) Really excited for that one.

What personal project are you working on for 2015 that you're especially pumped about?

I'm developing a brand-new series with Marvel that is shaping up to be one of the most fun and challenging things I've ever written. And there are huge things in store for Ms. Marvel. Stay tuned.

Tom Spurgeon

The Comics Reporter, Cartoon Crossroads Columbus (cXc)WebsiteTwitter | Tumblr | cXc Tumblr

What was your favorite comic of 2014?

The best new comic I read last year was Arsene Schrauwen, and the best collected comic I read was The Love Bunglers, but my favorite was The Bungle Family, a presentation of one year -- 1930 -- in the life of the nearly forgotten Harry J. Tuthill newspaper comic strip released by the Library of American Comics through IDW.

There are many reasons it's my favorite. It's extremely good, for one, mean and funny -- if it were on TV now it would be a Netflix offering -- and specifically delightful in its portrayal of marriage as an island for two people who distrust the rest of the world they need to mark their territory and have enough space away from others to complain 19 hours a day. I know a lot of couples like the Bungles. Just the fact that this is a complete run of 1930 comic strips from a feature as obscure as The Bungle Family, in glorious hardcover, testifies to the amazing age of comics in which we now live. The last couple of months I've been reveling in the fact that the biggest difference between now and when I was a kid is that great comics can hit you from a dozen different places: newspapers, mainstream comic books, alt comics books, minis, online, editorial cartooning, the BD album format, graphic novels, hybrid books, your local kids' library, general-interest magazines, on your tablet ... Great comics are everywhere. This is a well-presented edition, too, with a great few runs of storylines, and even looks great on the shelf. I love this book.

Comic-wise, what are you most excited about for 2015?

The first issue of Peter Bagge's comic Hate came out in 1990, which makes 2015 its 25th-anniversary year. I hope that we'll all be able to pay Bagge his due throughout the year. Hate is a monster comic book, funny every issue, and so dead-on accurate of its portrayal of the early 1990s that through that specificity remains universal and funny now because of the truth on display. His characters are amazing. I think Peter's not just an important figure in comics but a key player in American comedy. So I hope the anniversary will get us to pay some attention to Peter Bagge's astounding career, both with Hate and with other characters and comics. I just read his "Studs Kirby" collection, and I swear to you if that was the only comics he ever did he would have been a top five comics-maker from the key 1980s decade for the development of the art form. I look forward to writing about him.

What personal project are you working on for 2015 that you're especially pumped about?

We're having a launch party on Oct. 2-3 in Columbus, Ohio, for Cartoon Crossroads Columbus, so that's probably the one thing I'm definitely looking forward to in a packed year: I also have to move to Columbus, which is personally meaningful, and I'm changing a bunch of stuff about The Comics Reporter. But the CXC Launch Festival trumps them all.

This is a miniaturized version of the eventually four-day festival launching in fall 2016 -- where we take a few, key elements of our show and present them as a kind of welcome to the city. We'll spend Friday, Oct. 2 up on campus at the Billy Ireland Cartoon Library & Museum presenting a few directed panels, having an awards program/cocktail party that will become part of the big festival in '16 and hopefully some solid evening-focused programming featuring one of our guests. On Saturday, Oct. 3 we head downtown to the Cultural Arts Center for a one-day comic book show of the classic tables and exhibitors variety, like TCAF or SPX, and some on-site programming related to the making of comics. I hope people will come and enjoy what should be a very good time, or let us at least try to convince you to pay us a visit in the announcements for the show that should hit the next 10 weeks. Columbus is a great city for comics, and we hope to launch a show where everybody leaves with something: the attendees, the exhibitors, the city, its institutions, and comics itself. I can't wait to give this a try.

Paul Maybury

Valhalla Mad, BOOMBOX!Website Twitter | Tumblr

What was your favorite comic of 2014?

The little five-page Maxx story from Hero Comics that IDW put out. It was like seeing old friends.

Comic-wise, what are you most excited about for 2015?

Space Riders by Alexis Ziritt and Fabian Rangel Jr. I have no idea what it’s about, but I know it’s going to be good.

What personal project are you working on for 2015 that you're especially pumped about?

I’m working on Valhalla Mad with Joe Casey at Image Comics. I also have a story in BOOMBOX!, which will be released from BOOM! later this month.

Chris Roberson

Aliens: Fire and Stone, Sovereign, Edison Rex, Monkeybrain ComicsWebsite Twitter | Tumblr

What was your favorite comic of 2014?

I continue to be amazed by Michel Fiffe’s Copra, Colleen Coover and Paul Tobin’s Bandette is a continual delight, and I always count myself lucky to exist in the same world as Kurt Busiek, Brent Anderson and Alex Ross’ Astro City, but if I had to point at a single comic that I enjoyed the most in 2014, it would probably have to be Grant Morrison and company’s Multiversity series from DC. The Pax Americana issue with Frank Quitely in particular blew the top of my head off, and the Thunderworld Adventures issue with Cameron Stewart helpfully put my head back together again in an entirely charming way. (And I’d be remiss not to point out the amazing color work of Nathan Fairbairn on both those issues, which shows just what an incredible range he has.) Chris Sprouse’s work on Society of Super-Heroes was aimed squarely at me as a reader, and overall the series has been exactly what I was hoping it would be.

Comic-wise, what are you most excited about for 2015?

Probably the next installment of Alan Moore and Kevin O’Neill’s League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, Nemo: River of Ghosts, due out in March from Top Shelf in the United States and Knockabout in the United Kingdom. I enjoy watching two creators at the height of their powers just let go and tell solid adventure stories (with the additional fun of the “Spot the Reference” game that the reader can play along the way).

What personal project are you working on for 2015 that you're especially pumped about?

I’m afraid I’m not allowed to say which project I’m especially pumped about that. There is one in particular that I’m positively vibrating with excitement about, a chance to work in a fictional universe that has brought me a great deal of enjoyment over the years, but the project hasn’t been announced yet and I don’t want to get in trouble! Suffice it to say that this was something that I hadn’t even considered putting on my bucket list because I hadn’t thought it was even feasible, and I put it on the list and crossed it off on the same day once I got the job.

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