Creators weigh in on 2014 and 2015 (Part 5)

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 Faith Erin Hicks, Kevin Colden, Ben Towle, Gabriel Hardman, Jeff Parker, Jennie Wood, Blake Northcott, Irene Koh, Gus Storms, Janelle Asselin, Nolan Woodard and Janet K. Lee!

Be sure to check out Part 1, Part 2Part 3, and Part 4, and then come back Saturday as ROBOT 6's sixth-anniversary celebration continues.

Faith Erin Hicks

The Nameless City, Unnamed graphic novel collaboration with Rainbow RowellWebsiteTwitter | Tumblr

What was your favorite comic of 2014?

Ugh, I can't pick just one! (I'm also going by what I read in 2014, not necessarily what was published.) I read a bunch of manga, really enjoying Master Keaton, Blue Exorcist, Vinland Saga and The Heroic Legend of Arslan. I also liked Strong Female Protagonist, How to Be Happy, Pretty Deadly and This One Summer.

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

My brain isn't working very well at the moment due to deadline madness, so I honestly can't think of any one thing in particular that I'm really excited about. I'm just excited for comics as a whole, really. It seems like every year I'm surprised by creative and challenging new books. There's an abundance of great comics being published, and as a reader I feel really excited to see what 2015 will bring.

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

I'm finishing up the first book in my trilogy with First Second Books, called The Nameless City. I'm so excited about this series, it's pretty much everything I want to draw and write right now. It's a middle-grade fantasy book about two kids who live in a city that's a constant source of conflict in their world. One kid is a member of the ruling elite, the other is a street kid orphaned by the conflict. They meet, and stuff happens, most of which involves a lot of running and jumping. I'm also going to be drawing a graphic novel written by one of my favourite writers, Rainbow Rowell. Really excited about that. And I have a couple other things that haven't been announced yet. I'm looking forward to burrowing into 2015 and working my butt off.

Below are some panels from The Nameless City.

Kevin Colden

Antioch, Corso DramWebsiteTwitter | Tumblr

What was your favorite comic of 2014?

I spent a good chunk of 2014 reading new editions of both European and older, out-of-print material – my favorites of those were Sergio Toppi's The Collector and Milligan and Fegredo's Enigma. Sandman Overture is an easy call, but a deserving one. Michel Fiffe's COPRA continues to be stellar. Box Brown's Andre the Giant was really sweet and tender. And I still have a giant stack that I'm still working through right now as well, so I'll have to follow up in 2015!

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

IDW has at least two things on the slate that I'm super-anxious for: Their new Corto Maltese editions and Troy Little's Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas adaptation. I'm a huge fan of Fantagraphics' Jacques Tardi translations, and they've slowed to a crawl lately, but there's at least one still in the cannon, I think. Cameron Stewart's Fight Club sequel is on my list as well. I'm sure there's a bunch I'm forgetting – I need to write these things down. Other than that, I'm planning to be at WonderCon for the first time, and I'll be hitting the con circuit a bit more in '15 than in the last two years, so I'm looking forward to that!

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

The first issue of my new serial Antioch will be out in early February on digital platforms (previewed by ROBOT 6), and I have a limited run of black-and-white, old-school 80's newsprint copies that will see limited distribution. Both will be published through my tiny imprint Dyclops. This book has been in the works for almost two years so I'm very excited about it starting to see the light of day. I'm also working on a uniquely large-format comic with Ron Perazza called Corso Dram which may be ready later in the year. The original artwork is massive and each page takes days to finish so it's hard to know when it will be ready. While it's not actually my book, as frontline editor and lettering assistant I can't dissociate myself entirely – Henni by Miss Lasko-Gross, which will be out on January 6. As always, there are other things on the horizon but they'll come to light as they need to.

Ben Towle

Oyster WarWebsiteTwitterGoogle +

What was your favorite comic of 2014?

Hands down, for me this is Beautiful Darkness by Kerascoët. It came out in the spring, as I recall, but I haven't ready anything since that's really affected me the way this book has. It manages to convey such a strange and unique mix of tones throughout: horrifying at times, but also innocent -- and even funny -- at others. Also: As is to be expected from Kerascoët, the artwork is gorgeous.

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

Off the top of my head, I guess I'll go with another translated book: Girl in Dior by Annie Goetzinger. I saw a copy of the French edition of this at the NBM table at SPX and it looks like really beautiful stuff. We need more comics about high fashion!

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

I'm really excited that my webcomic Oyster War that I've been working on for the last few years will be coming out as a hardcover collection in the second half of 2015. I've signed on the dotted line with a great publisher, but I don't think there'll be an official announcement until Spring. Be on the lookout!

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