The Beat’s 2021 Creator Survey Part 4: the year we really missed conventions

And that’s a wrapper on our annual designer sketch. Reading all these reactions if there’s one thing that came through: parties really miss pacts. It’s been said a lot that attaining comics is a solitary job, and going to conventions is a key part of cartoonists’ social life. and community. In fact I’d like to mention something Brian Hibbs wrote in his reply 😛 TAGEND

” There’s nothing greater and stronger than the communities we improve for ourselves. Everything we do, everything “were having”, stems and flows from beings around us, and being grateful for those alliances is probably the essential points we can do .”

There are also some really heartfelt accounts about subsisting the last year in all four parts of this survey. Hopefully this fetches us together a little more. Thanks as always to everyone who made the time to participate. Reading the answers as I threw this together actually warmed my heart.

Read the previous three portions here .

Tomorrow: the 2020 Comics Industry Person of the Time!

brian_fies.jpgBrian Fies, Graphic novelist

2021 Projects: Abrams and I are publishing a paperback edition of” A Fire Story” in Spring 2021, with 32 new sheets of content! Also working on a new, unnamed graphic fiction with Abrams, currently planned for Fall 2021.

What was the biggest story in comics in 2020? That the transition of mainstream superhero comics from a magazine medium for their children to an IP-generating machine for film and Tv properties appears to be almost complete. I can imagine that DC and Marvel might stop publishing comics very shortly, but there will be Batman and Spider-Man movies forever.

What will be the biggest story in comics in 2021? No meaning. Finding it hard to care.

Guilty pleasure for 2021: Lunch out with friends.

What did you learn in 2020? I learnt that, still further, I am luckier than most. As a misanthropic introvert, I joked that I’ve been preparing to quarantine my part life. But that joke isn’t funny anymore and I know people who’ve died. I’m doing what I can to help, and am grateful for my health and relative monetary security.


dave_nuss.jpgDave Nuss, publisher Revival House

2021 Projects: writing Super Magic Forest by Ansis Purins

What was the biggest story in comics in 2020? The DC/ Diamond split

What will be the biggest story in comics in 2021? not sure….hopefully a tidal wave of

Guilty pleasure for 2021: whatever Josh Simmons creates

What did you learn in 2020? maintaining a weekly zoom/ skype request with close friends to discuss ongoing innovative projects


neil_kleid.pngNeil Kleid, Writer/ Graphic Novelist

2021 Projects: SAVOR, a culinary YA adventure graphic story with John Broglia& Frank Reynoso, out 1/6/ 21 from Dark Horse Comics; and an announced repugnance sequences, a love letter to NYC with Andrea Mutti, coming late in 2021.

What was the biggest story in comics in 2020? At the start of its first year I ought to have been pointed to the #MeToo movement’s unmasking of various high-profile, greedy comic book authors and editors…and I also want to mention the long overdue, increased awareness of not only the lack of diversity/ BIPOC developers and writers throughout comic book publishing but the amazing, baffled, concerted effort to increase their visibility to those in positions to hire, peculiarly due to the unfair gap in remuneration proportions when compared to that of white creators. But in looking back both of those may have suffered under the shadow of the pandemic and how impactful it has been on the industry. Not merely for those who have been sick and stand due to the tragic deaths of family and friends…but likewise from the Diamond shutdown grind several publishers to a halting, stopping succeed, and the absence of a pattern tour forcing an horde of craftsmen depending on cons for financial support to explore new streets for survival…including crowdfunding and start via Patreon, both of which picture massive spikes in engagement.

What will be the biggest story in comics in 2021? I’d like to be idealistic and say that an impending inoculation will restart patterns, moving us gradually down a road toward “normal” again, but I’m not sure we’ll get back to the way things were( if at all) for some time. It would be nice to say that the biggest story in comics in 2021 might be an industry looking forward and hopeful as a brand-new organisation comes in stateside, and( formerly those on the front lines get it) vaccines are administered in Spring/ Summer, may be required for replaced hangouts and high-fives. But it also may be more industry-specific, like the fallout of Random House’s acquisition of Simon& Schuster, how that affects their graphic novel business, and how authors on both sides are affected. Or it may be an industry putting the pandemic behind them to lastly realize that a precarious, single distributor solution is no longer able be ideal, particularly in a world-wide where most of the global population is ingesting media on their manoeuvres. Or, you are familiar with, it could be that some plucky Jewish dude ascertains success with his new graphic tale about adventuring chefs contending beast raiders with a sorcery sword? Who can really say?

Guilty pleasure for 2021: Some amazing video pictures got me and mine through this pandemic: Ted Lasso, Cobra Kai, The Mandalorian and half the content on Disney+ -and despite them taking me away from my writing, in some cases sitting down together to watch those registers obstructed our family close and sane. Lot more to come, so bring on WandaVision and the new season of the Flash!

What did you learn in 2020? You can’t stress about the things you can’t control, and sometimes you time need to disconnect and go for a walk.

josh_frankel.jpgJoshua Frankel, Publisher, Z2

2021 Projects: A spate- Z2 has 50+ notebooks coming

What was the biggest story in comics in 2020? I would say one of two things, though they are intertwined. First is DC scaling back on single publish comics, this move alone will probably to be translated into a 20% reduced by the direct market. Nonetheless this causes into the second point which is the financial insolvency of Diamond comics. What no one seemed to notice is that when Diamond suspended fees during the start of Covid it was for sales that had already happened by and large and money Diamond had already received. Later Steve Geppi did an interview with ICV2 where he let slip that they had a credit line that would fund accounts payable for a month.

Now granted I don’t know the inner workings but if you are talking to your bank about amply sounding out a credit line it typically signifies there isn’t a lot of coin in reserve.

Given the backlash in comics and PPP money the bleeding was staunched, nonetheless now lies the large-scale concern DC doesn’t use Diamond anymore and is pulling back on Diskette. Given that DC was around 30% of Diamond business this is a big issue. The perimeters on deployment are thin and a company losing 30% of capacity isn’t good. In fact I had heard before that Diamond’s margin was exactly 30%.

Now factor in the fact that Penguin Random House exactly bought Simon and Schuster realise them the bookstore distributor for DC, Dark Horse, IDW, Viz, BOOM and us at Z2( As well as many other purchasers) you abruptly have the primary bookstore distributor of comics all under one roof.

That said I actually don’t think Diamond will go out of business. Well-equipped warehouse space has shot up in ethic and other parts of Diamond are quite fruitful, my guess you’re looking at an acquisition.

What will be the biggest story in comics in 2021? The Comic Convention Die Off- So while Covid will be over next year and pacts will probably be able to resume late Summer look at a lot of Comic Conventions going shuttered. It was already a very crowded field with a lot of patterns set up that had been losing money.

That said I foresee the ones that make it will do better due to pent up expect but I’d expect 20 -3 0% of pacts in the US to be done for good.

Guilty pleasure for 2021: This is silly but looking forward to going to a terrible chain restaurant so I can get a large glass of soda with refills. This is very silly but it’s the simple things..

What did you learn in 2020? Weirdly 2020 wasn’t a bad time for me personally. That said still looked forward to it ending.

amy_chu.jpgAmy Chu, writer

2021 Projects: Sensational Wonder Woman

What was the biggest story in comics in 2020? the failed attempt of agreements to swivel online

What will be the biggest story in comics in 2021? the return of in person cons( hopefully ?)

Guilty pleasure for 2021: a boozy mani pedi

What did you learn in 2020? you can have 5 lbs of flour, carbohydrate even cup pates sent to your doorstep free of charge through Target.com


john_bivens.jpgJohn Bivens, creator

2021 Projects: The Devil’s Red Bride

What was the biggest story in comics in 2020? Meetings Canceled

What will be the biggest story in comics in 2021? First registers coming back

Guilty pleasure for 2021: Getting to( hopefully) talk to comic love at a bar.

What did you learn in 2020? Take strolls& zoom with friends.

maria-ludwig.jpgMaria C Ludwig , Editor( Art by Aline Chau)

2021 Projects: Marshmallow& Jordan, by Alina Chau( forthcoming from First Second in 2021- I’m the main bible writer& then they have a production editor for dealing with the printer, etc)

What was the biggest story in comics in 2020? Continued disclosures of dreaded demeanor( Warren Ellis; Cameron Stewart being worded as a “groomer”& Jason Latour decrying Cameron S& going called out as a serial harasser/” sexuality pest” by multiple parties within a few months of that … it feels like that was eons ago now, but no … still 2020 ).

What will be the biggest story in comics in 2021? The continued dominance of Young Adult OGN’s

Guilty pleasure for 2021: Collecting more tarot/ oracle floors by amazing comics tribes like Becky Cloonan, Yoshi Yoshitani,& Trung Le Nguyen

What did you learn in 2020? Setting up regular video calls with friends/ friend radicals has fucking awesome, but the 2 people who deterred me sane were friends I could see in person( ever masked& safe)- getting out of the house and dressing up for each other’s birthdays was a special treat.


Devaki Neogi, Cartoonist

2021 Projects: I’m working towards educating two pitches of two separate floors: one repugnance and another one punk-fantasy. I’m elicited to finish them and send them towards their destiny. I have two short storeys came to see you, the first one probably during the first quarter of the year and the second largest one in the last quarter. I can’t wait for them to be out. They are going to be a career-defining for me.

Guilty pleasure for 2021: Mini trips( short breaks) in between projects!

What did you learn in 2020? Having work to do was a blessing, which likewise meant something to push you to get up and go to work.

justin_richards.jpgJustin Richards, Writer

2021 Projects: Creator-owned mini serial and kickstarter campaigns

What was the biggest story in comics in 2020? DC breaking ties with Diamond

What will be the biggest story in comics in 2021? How will we switching the industry after COVID disclosed the insecurity of our infrastructure?

Guilty pleasure for 2021: Expanding my inventive efforts to more than simply traditional comics.

What did you learn in 2020? Surround yourself with others that will lift you up and assistance you in the most difficult of of times.

jimmy_aquino.pngJimmy Aquino, Podcast Host/ Producer

2021 Projects: Comic News Insider and Comic Beat Insider weekly podcasts!

What was the biggest story in comics in 2020? Figuring out how to distribute comics during a pandemic.

What will be the biggest story in comics in 2021? Realigning and continued adjustments to publishing/ delivery/ etc.

Guilty pleasure for 2021: More South Korean variety shows because they are entertaining!

What did you learn in 2020? I’ve found it’s real hard to not make my imagination coiling down. However…Doing the weekly podcast, computing more interviews and specials, and starting another podcast with The Beat chief herself Heidi have all been things that I look forward to each week. I started cooking even more and call it my” kitchen rehabilitation “. Zooming with friends has fucking awesome time to see other faces and stay in touch.


Brian Hibbs, Retailer

2021 Projects: The biggest ongoing project we have is the Graphic Novel Clubs, and curating great volumes by huge builders for huge readers each and every month. The Kids club( for middle-of-the-road books) is, I hope, growing more” comics literate” readers with deeper savors and to improve understanding of the species each month.

What was the biggest story in comics in 2020? DC suddenly withdrawing from the general eco-system of the Direct Market. The forks of that accomplishment( in the middle of a pandemic no less !) are now going to linger with us for many years to come.

What will be the biggest story in comics in 2021? What is still viable and what needs to be jettisoned to move comics forward. I suppose most “conventional wisdom” rebuttals are going to end up very wrong

Guilty pleasure for 2021: It will probably definitely sounds like a push, but frankly all of my pleasures these days come from Interviewing kinfolks about process and aircraft and comics-making; I’ve got plans for at least thirty-six more great in-depth gossips in 2021, and I can’t wait! Much of the Video Archives can be found here: https :// www.comixexperience.com/ archives

What did you learn in 2020? There’s nothing greater and stronger than the communities we construct for ourselves. Everything we do, everything “were having”, stanch and follows from parties around us, and being grateful for those alliances is probably the most important thing we can do.

c168c38a47387a173309243807b8e535_original.jpgA page from Helm Greycastle

henry_barajas.jpgHenry Barajas, Writer

2021 Projects: Helm Greycastle# 1

What was the biggest story in comics in 2020? The biggest storeys were the brave brides being put forward and talking about their trauma by the men that used their capability and clout to operate with impunity.

What will be the biggest story in comics in 2021? Major comic book conventions and publishers will not bounce back.

Guilty pleasure for 2021: Simon Hanselmann’s CRISIS ZONE on Instagram. Real-time comic during the pandemic. Simon deserves an Eisner. STEENZ and Julez Rivera preparing Sunday Funnies comic strips cool again are right up there.

What did you learn in 2020? I’m operated in this business on my own dime. I obligate the various kinds of comics I want to read. Don’t wait for an writer to get back to you. There is no right time to launch a series. Just realize comics.

heidi_macdonald.jpgHeidi MacDonald , editor in chief, The Beat

2021 Projects: Chiefly the Beat, but expanding our Patreon and doing more cool things than ever. Also doing more video and live streaming, even when we can do things IRL again. And “ve been waiting for” you understand what Therese Lacson and I are cooking up.

What was the biggest story in comics in 2020? Chickens came home to roost. A crick in the supply thread laid all the flaws in the system bare and….comics survived. Thrived even.

What will be the biggest story in comics in 2021? We’re not done with shocking alterations at DC. At least one major publisher will go under. And yet…comics will survive. Thrive even.

Guilty pleasure for 2021: My 2020 guilty pleasure was ice cream, and I experienced every savory bite. In 2021, sucking more salt-cured cream sud drinkings from Yaya Tea.

What did you learn in 2020? Even though I spend a lot of time online- a Batch of period- I realized that it’s the 3D goes that planned “the worlds largest” to me. As I said in numerous zooms, I’d present anything to be having this conversation in a grungy meeting food auditorium, sitting at one of those folding counters, on a concrete floor, gobbling an$ 8 hot dog. We’re meant to communicate in person, with all our gumptions, and having to do it over Zoom and Twitter and FB is part of why we’re having a lot of the problems we’re having now. That said, if there was a good thing to come out of 2020 it’s that regular zoom announces helped me connect regularly with people who are important in my life.

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