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Comic Book Fury Looks Into The 2012 Crystal Ball | Comic Book Fury

Comic Book Fury Looks Into The 2012 Crystal Ball

December 29, 2011 by
Filed under: Thoughts 

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This was a challenging 2011, both from a personal and professional standpoint. I’ve learned and grown a lot this year, as I’m sure a lot of you have too as you reflect on the new year to come. With Comic Book Fury, I’ve come to learn so much about what it takes to run a site, let alone a comic book site amidst the sea of comic book sites that I have no problem confessing have done it longer and better than I have. That’s fine with me to admit because the comics industry needs all the push and marketing it can get.

One thing you can say about 2011 – there was no shortage of things to talk about in comics. DC’s New 52, Marvel stumbling with Fear Itself but also reinvigorating the X-Men, indie publishers offering great alternatives – I could go on and on. You’ve already heard Jon Stump and I discuss it in great length on this show. Now we gaze ahead into 2012 and we may be on the cusp of another boom period for comics should all parties involved play their cards right. Here’s why:

1) DC Will Keep Getting It Right

It only took up 4 months of 2011, but it was the most dominant story to hit comics in a long while. Not only did they acknowledge that the industry needed new blood, but they embraced the digital initiative ten-fold by going day and date. And in doing this, they dragged every other publisher with them in this initiative. No other publisher has had a greater impact this year on the direction of this industry than DC.

Where does that take them next? Hard to say, but I always say unpredictability can be exciting. We’ve already seen some creative team changes announced for books like Green Arrow and Firestorm. James Robinson and Nicola Scott will be taking on the re-launch of JSA. And despite several series going away this year, Vertigo still continues to push boundaries with their on-goings in Fables, American Vampire, and Unwritten along with newer offerings like Brian Azzarello’s latest in Spaceman and Paul Cornell’s Saucer Country. DC’s set the new status quo this time around – the ball’s in their court as to what they want to do next.

2) Marvel Will Not Rest On Its Laurels

It all looked rosy for the #1 comic publisher for the first half of 2011. Then DC issued its press release in May and the rest is history. From that point forward, the folks I talked to online and on podcasts finally saw Marvel’s weaknesses revealed. That was personified by the unfortunate disappointment of their latest event in Fear Itself. Then they released some of its editors afterwards. Even with Marvel moving ahead to its next summer event with Avengers vs. The X-Men, one couldn’t help but fear that the house that Disney runs was beginning to crack under the pressure.

Despite the lackluster year, the unpredictability theme I mentioned for DC may work out in Marvel’s favor. We all know now that Brian Michael Bendis will be finishing up his Avengers saga next year. Who takes over next will be an interesting debate. Marvel surely recognizes by now that they have a gold mine in Rick Remender – a guy who’s rekindled my love for X-books with Uncanny X-Force and actually made me put Venom on my pull list. His star will only continue to rise, as he takes over the black-ops squad in Secret Avengers next year.

You can never count out this publisher. They’ve been too long in the game to be ever counted out.

3) The Little Guys Are Making Waves

New York Comic Con 2011 was my first year going as press. It was one of the greatest feelings in the world. And upon doing so, I got to learn a lot about what the smaller publishers can offer. Don’t get me wrong – I always knew the little guys had it in them. I’ve been a consistent supporter of small publishers like Boom with their Irredeemable and Incorruptible lines and IDW with their Locke & Key and Transformers lines. But after NYCC, I came out of it respecting them a whole lot more:

  • Dark Horse continues to do astounding work with their Star Wars and Hellboy franchises. Nabbing Brian Wood to re-launch Conan the Barbarian is the icing on the cake.
  • IDW is doing something different with the Transformers license than you wouldn’t expect to happen. Keep an eye on this in 2012.
  • Image is staying strong at #3. Next year is their 20th anniversary and they’re starting it with a bang with Brian K. Vaughan returning to comics on Saga with Fiona Staples. Tag that along with consistently well-done titles like Walking Dead, Invincible, and Chew and their future remains bright.
  • Archaia defies the typical publisher model by offering original graphic novels. I’ve been a consistent supported of their work on the Mouse Guard series. They’ve lately been dipping into the Jim Henson basket and cranking out stories from his unfinished scripts.

Do yourself a favor and support these guys next year and the many years ahead.

4) Hollywood Respect

Comic book movies have been nothing new in the last 10 years, but that doesn’t take away the fact that Hollywood recognizes and respects the sea of adaptable material from this medium. Next year alone gives us Avengers, Amazing Spider-Man, and Dark Knight Rises.

Comics though are getting a massive push on TV. Probably has something to do with that Walking Dead show – you might have heard of it. Powers is making its way through production on FX. Chew is getting discussed for development on Showtime. And let’s not forget the plethora of animation we have with Young Justice, Avengers, Green Lantern, and the upcoming Ultimate Spider-Man series.

What are you most excited for in 2012? Do you feel the industry will keep going strong?

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