Creators weigh in on 2014 and 2015 (Part 7)

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 Joe Keatinge, Sarah Glidden, Dustin Weaver, Jesse Jacobs, Rachel Deering, Will Sliney, Jess Smart Smiley, Neil Kleid, Tim Seeley and Van Jensen!

Be sure to check out Part 1, Part 2Part 3,Part 4, Part 5 and Part 6, then come back Sunday for the final round.

Joe Keatinge

ShutterTwitter | Tumblr

What was your favorite comic of 2014?

I enjoyed a lot of stuff this year. The Wrenchies by Farel Dalrymple, (In a Sense) Lost and Found by Roman Muradov, Ben Dewey making a smash debut with The Autumnlands: Tooth and Claw. The Fade Out by Sean Philips and Ed Brubaker has been on the top of my stack in terms of monthly single issues. Just moments ago I got my hands on the first volume of Naoki Urasawa's Master Keaton, and I'm really happy to finally have a new (to me) serialized Urasawa book to read again. I missed the routine I got into with Pluto and 20th Century Boys. Rich Tommaso's whole Recoil Comics line continues to be something I'm very happy exists.

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

I read Nonplayer #2 recently and it absolutely stunned me. It's very nice to have Nate [Simpson] back. I also really want to see Ben Dewey get the recognition he deserves. His work's phenomenal.

As per usual, I'm perpetually excited about this continuing wave of new, largely creator-owned books coming out and doing interesting work that wouldn't otherwise exist. In particular, I'm really happy I get to read new Casanova this year, really looking forward to James Harren and John Arcudi's Rumble. Really looking forward to the 8House line finally popping up.

I do have to admit, there are some Not New things I'm stoked for too. Most of all, I'm really hoping these IDW Corto Maltese editions represent Pratt's work as well as I'm expecting them to.

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

Shutter by Leila del Duca, Owen Gieni, John Workman and me continues to be everything I ever hoped for and more out of that book. It's something I've itched to do for years, so it's nice to finally have it out and doing well. With the second arc, shit gets really weird and it's only going to get stranger from there.

I've got another new series I just finished the latest draft on and it completely works in a different wheelhouse than anything I've done before, especially Shutter, and that idea -- doing work drastically different from the other in approach, scope, style, format, etc. -- is where I want to keep going in this year and beyond. Looking at my schedule for 2015 I've got a good list of stuff and every single one seems to be in an entirely different genre than the other. So, yeah, what I said about what I want out of other comics definitely applies to my own -- new, new, new, new. New's where I'm happiest.

Sarah Glidden

Rolling BlackoutsWebsite | Twitter | Tumblr

What was your favorite comic of 2014?

I think my favorite comics this year were coming from Sophia Foster-Dimino. She's truly excellent. I know she recently quit her full-time job as a Google Doodle illustrator in order to freelance, so I hope that means many more comics like her great Sex Fantasy series.

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

I've been living outside of the US for a few years and I'm in-between books, so I haven't been to many North American comics festivals for a while. I'd really love to make it to Autoptic in Minneapolis or Short Run in Seattle (or both if I can swing it!) Both of these festivals were started by friends of mine, and I know how much work and thought they put into them, so it's been really exciting to hear all the buzz and praise they've been getting. Now I'd finally like to see them for myself.

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

I'm finally going to finish my second book, Rolling Blackouts, in 2015. I've been working on it for more than three years now, so I am looking forward to reaching the end! It's been great working with Drawn and Quarterly on this book, and I can't wait to see it in print in 2016. Once I'm done with Rolling Blackouts, I'll have more time to work on shorter comics, such as the ones I've been doing for the Nib recently. I have some ideas for the next book too, but not getting ahead of myself is one of my New Year's resolutions.

Oh here's some artwork for Rolling Blackouts!

Dustin Weaver

Infinity Gauntlet, Amnia CycleWebsite | TwitterTumblr

What was your favorite comic of 2014?

I've been really loving Jason Shiga's Demon. I really like the methodical way that Shiga thinks. His book Meanwhile was like an elaborate puzzle that you as a reader had to unravel, and Demon, though it's a standard linear narrative, also shows Shiga's deliberate thought process. I find myself often comparing it to Tsugumi Ohba and Takeshi Obata's Death Note, which may sound like a strange comparison given how different they look, but they both are cat-and-mouse stories that revolve around one character's newly acquired supernatural powers. Writing characters who are smart and are trying to outsmart one another takes a smart writer.

I also really liked Lando's Gardens of Glass. I often feel like I'm into "art" comics about ten times more than the next guy drawing summer crossover comics for the big two, but as an artist who deals primarily in visuals and values good draftsmanship, it's a rare treat to get an art comic by an artist with the kind of chops Lando has. The guy can draw and his storytelling is so fantastic. This book is almost all silent. There are scenes of people running around in a desert, all wearing the same thing, shooting at one another, and I'm never lost as to who is who ever. And this brand of sci-fi genre mixed with surrealism is so up my alley. It feels almost like the old Aeon Flux shorts or the really good short Moebius stories.

Another standout to me was John Pham's Epoxy #5. I was really taken with the experience of this comic. It's a sci-fi comic, kind of like something you might see Lando do, but inside it is a smaller kind of cartoony humor comic and inside that is a small magazine. The magazine is in the humor story. You get to see this magazine that one of the characters reads. In the humor comic there are fake advertisements, as if it's telling you "this is a comic." Transitioning from these small books within books into the sci-fi portion of the book does something to my brain. It feels epic and consequential. I hear grand Moog synthesizer arrangements in my mind. It's cool stuff.

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

I'm so out of touch, I don't know what is happening this year. I'm always behind on things ... I am excited to get Fantagraphics' release of Jean-Patrick Manchette and Jacques Tardi's Run Like Crazy Run Like Hell. That should be fantastic.

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

I'm working on Infinity Gauntlet for Marvel. I'm pretty sure I can't say much about that at this point. I'm fully involved with the story end of things with this one, so it will have a lot of my sensibilities in it.

The other thing is that I'm thinking this year I'll probably start releasing my creator-owned comic, Amnia Cycle, in print. I don't have any release dates yet, but I'm working on putting it together, while I work on continuing to put up pages. The print version will have some extras that haven't been online. I really want it to be a satisfying reading experience.

Jesse Jacobs

Safari HoneymoonWebsite | Tumblr

What was your favorite comic of 2014?

Earthling by Aisha Franz, Fante Bukowski by Noah Van Sciver, and Distance Mover by Patrick Kyle

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

Marc Bell's Stroppy and Intelligent Sentient by Luke Ramsey

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

I have a few exhibitions planned. (One is in Austria in conjunction with Nextfestival, and the other is in Finland for the Helsinki festival.) I've been working on some larger coloured ink drawings that I'm excited to show.

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