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

And that’s a wrapping on our annual founder investigation. Reading all these rebuttals if there’s one thing that came through: people genuinely miss conventions. It’s been said a great deal that manufacturing comics is a solitary job, and going to see agreements is a key part of cartoonists’ social living. and society. In fact I’d like to quote something Brian Hibbs wrote in his reply 😛 TAGEND

” There’s nothing greater and stronger than the communities we construct for ourselves. Everything we do, everything we have, stems and follows from parties around us, and being grateful for those contacts is probably the essential points we can do .”

There are also some genuinely heartfelt announcements about living the last year in all four parts of this survey. Hopefully this creates us together a little more. Thanks as always to everyone who took the time to participate. Reading the answers as I gave this together truly warmed my heart.

Read the previous three proportions 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 pages of content! Also working on a new, unnamed graphic tale with Abrams, currently planned to take place Fall 2021.

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

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

Guilty pleasure for 2021: Lunch out with friends.

What did you learn in 2020? I have learned that, still further, I am luckier than most. As a misanthropic introvert, I joked that I’ve been preparing to quarantine my part man. 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 fiscal security.


dave_nuss.jpgDave Nuss, publisher Revival House

2021 Projects: publishing 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 see with close friends to discuss ongoing creative projects


neil_kleid.pngNeil Kleid, Writer/ Graphic Novelist

2021 Projects: SAVOR, a culinary YA adventure graphic romance with John Broglia& Frank Reynoso, out 1/6/ 21 from Dark Horse Comics; and an announced fright serials, 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 the year I ought to have been pointed to the #MeToo movement’s unmasking of various high-profile, greedy comic book pioneers and editors…and I also want to mention the long overdue, increased awareness of not only the lack of diversity/ BIPOC builders and writers throughout comic book publishing but the amazing, stymie, concerted effort to increase their visibility to those in positions to hire, especially due to the unfair gap in remunerate magnitudes when compared to that of lily-white developers. 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 suffer due to the tragic deaths of family and friends…but likewise from the Diamond shutdown grinding several publishers to a halting, stopping labour, and the lack of a convening tour pull an infantry of creators depending on cons for financial support to explore new avenues for survival…including crowdfunding and start-up via Patreon, both of which comprehend massive spikes in engagement.

What will be the biggest story in comics in 2021? I’d like to be rosy and say that an impending vaccine will restart convenings, moving us gradually down a artery 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 new organisation comes in stateside, and( once those on the front lines get it) vaccines are administered in Spring/ Summer, may be required for revived 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 are harmful to their graphic tale business, and how architects on both sides are affected. Or it may be an industry frame the pandemic behind them to ultimately realize that a precarious, single distributor solution may not be model, particularly in a nature where the majority of members of the world population is consuming media on their manoeuvres. Or, you are well aware, it could be that some plucky Jewish dude learns success with his new graphic romance about adventuring cooks crusading demon pirates with a occult sword? Who is to be able to say?

Guilty pleasure for 2021: Some amazing television presents got me and mine through this pandemic: Ted Lasso, Cobra Kai, The Mandalorian and half the contents on Disney+ -and despite them taking me away from my writing, in some cases sitting down together to watch those pictures preserved our lineage close and sane. Bunch 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 only need to disconnect and go for a walk.

josh_frankel.jpgJoshua Frankel, Publisher, Z2

2021 Projects: A bunch- 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 is more likely to lead to a 20% reduction in the direct sell. Nonetheless this guides into the second point which is the financial insolvency of Diamond comics. What no one seemed to notice is that when Diamond suspended payments 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 interrogation with ICV2 where he let slip that they had a credit line that would fund accounts payable for a month.

Now awarded I don’t know the inner workings but if you are talking to your bank about perfectly tapping out a credit line it typically conveys there isn’t a lot of money in reserve.

Given the rebound in comics and PPP money the bleeding was checked, nonetheless here lies the big publish DC doesn’t use Diamond anymore and is drawing back on Floppy. Given that DC was around 30% of Diamond business this is a big issue. The margins on spread are thin and a company losing 30% of work 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 preparing them the bookstore distributor for DC, Dark Horse, IDW, Viz, BOOM and us at Z2( As well as many other purchasers) you unexpectedly have the main 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 appreciate 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 agreements will probably be able to resume late Summer look at a good deal of Comic Agreement coming shuttered. It was already a very crowded field with a great deal of pacts set up that had been losing money.

That said I study the ones that make it will do better due to pent up challenge but I’d expect 20 -3 0% of agreements 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 rotate 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 noodles shipped to your doorstep for free 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 testifies coming back

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

What did you learn in 2020? Take feet& 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 book writer& then they have a production editor for dealing here with the printer, etc)

What was the biggest story in comics in 2020? Continued revelations of frightening action( Warren Ellis; Cameron Stewart being mentioned as a “groomer”& Jason Latour decrying Cameron S& going called out as a serial harasser/” sexuality pest” by multiple people within a month 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 reign of Young Adult OGN’s

Guilty pleasure for 2021: Collecting more tarot/ sage decks by stunning comics tribes like Becky Cloonan, Yoshi Yoshitani,& Trung Le Nguyen

What did you learn in 2020? Setting up regular video announces with friends/ friend radicals has been great, but the 2 people who remained me sane were friends I could see in person( always 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 cooking two pitches of two separate narrations: one horror and another one punk-fantasy. I’m elicited to finish them and send them towards their destiny. I have two short-lived narratives came to see you, the first one probably in the first quarter of the year and the second one in the final 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 vacations( short breaks) in between programmes!

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

justin_richards.jpgJustin Richards, Writer

2021 Projects: Creator-owned mini succession 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 shifting the industry after COVID uncovered the insecurity of our infrastructure?

Guilty pleasure for 2021: Expanding my imaginative efforts to more than just traditional comics.

What did you learn in 2020? Surround yourself with others that will lift you up and funding you in the toughest 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/ rationing/ etc.

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

What did you learn in 2020? I’ve found it’s real hard to not give my memory spiral 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 therapy “. Zooming with friends has fucking awesome merely to see other faces and stay in touch.


Brian Hibbs, Retailer

2021 Projects: The biggest ongoing campaign we have is the Graphic Novel Clubs, and curating huge works by enormous developers for immense books each and every month. The Kids club( for midriff books) is, I hope, becoming ever more” comics literate” books with deeper tastes and understanding of the constitute each month.

What was the biggest story in comics in 2020? DC suddenly withdrawing from the general eco-system of the Direct Market. The ramifications of that routine( in the midst of a pandemic no less !) are 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 discarded to move comics forward. I believe most “conventional wisdom” asks are going to end up very wrong

Guilty pleasure for 2021: It is more likely to sound like a plug, but frankly all of my pleasures these days come from Interviewing tribes about process and workmanship and comics-making; I’ve got plans for at least thirty-six more great in-depth discussions 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 improve for ourselves. Everything we do, everything we have, stems and flows from parties around us, and being grateful for those attachments 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 tales were the brave maidens coming forward and talking about their damage by the men that used their dominance 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 course of its pandemic. Simon deserves an Eisner. STEENZ and Julez Rivera realizing 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 manufacture the kind of comics I want to read. Don’t wait for an editor to get back to you. There is no right time to launch a series. Simply compile comics.

heidi_macdonald.jpgHeidi MacDonald , editor in chief, The Beat

2021 Projects: Primarily the Beat, but expanding our Patreon and doing more cool things than ever. Too doing more video and live stream, even when we can do things IRL again. And wait until you ensure what Therese Lacson and I are cooking up.

What was the biggest story in comics in 2020? Chickens came home to roost. A wrinkle in the afford pipeline laid all the flaws in the system bare and….comics subsisted. Thrived even.

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

Guilty pleasure for 2021: My 2020 guilty pleasure was ice cream, and I experienced every savory morsel. In 2021, imbibing more salted ointment sud beverages from Yaya Tea.

What did you learn in 2020? Even though I waste a lot of meter online- a Bunch of hour- I realized that it’s the 3D eras that planned the most to me. As I said during numerous zooms, I’d afford anything to be having these discussions in a grungy agreement menu foyer, sitting at one of those folding counters, on a concrete storey, snacking an$ 8 hot dog. We’re meant to communicate in person, with all our abilities, 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 calls helped me connect regularly with people who are important in my life.

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