I'm no good at market predictions but come 2006, digital comix will legitimately shift the publishing paradigm. If folks are willing to pay a buck for a song why won't they pay a buck for 24-slides of comix? People are consolidating their "stuff" at home. Too many DVDs and CDs and print matter to covet and real life storage space is bursting. Now that society is starting to trust their computers and laptops for everything, Kubrick's 2001 "monolith" is no longer a concept but a reality. I predict your favorite comix will become available to download for cheaper than print and thrive in the body electric.
Also -- I think it's very possible that the "graphic novel" coming from traditional book publishers will downsize after the market enjoys a massive glut and "literary" editors learn big lessons from their training mistakes. Come late 2007, the form will thrive majestically and Manga will have a formidable foe to compete with in America. Meanwhile, mainstream publishers like Vertigo will continue to develop their line of original graphic novels alongside the likes of Drawn & Quarterly, Fantagraphics, Top Shelf, Oni, Image, Pantheon, etc.
Or, I could be dramatically wrong and, perhaps, the "graphic novel" [in its many interpretations] will become the next product for immediate gratification [not unlike Harlequin romance paperbacks on the spinner rack] and for every 100 books maybe ONE will be good? Which won't bode well for the form. A READER'S DIGEST conundrum, fer sure.
When talented comix folks keep the episodic tradition of super soap genre comix alive with ALL-STAR SUPERMAN, LOCAL, DMZ, THE ULTIMATES, Y - THE LAST MAN, LOVELESS, RUNAWAYS, THE WALKING DEAD, 100 BULLETS, ASTONISHING X-MEN, SWAMP THING, DAREDEVIL, CAPTAIN AMERICA, GIRLS, B.P.R.D., etc. [and please don't forget the occasional PLANETARY, HELLBOY, SUPERF*CKERS, and LOVE & ROCKETS], I have no reason to feel guilty about any pleasure so justly derived.
Hell, I'm just excited to know that, come 2006, there will be more issues of RUBBERNECKER from bertozzi, and bobfingerman's cute brut zombie/toddler battle, RECESS PIECES. Plus, I'm looking forward to Paul Pope's BATMAN: YEAR 100, and Steven T. Seagle & Becky Cloonan's AMERICAN VIRGIN. Meanwhile, I wish we had more comix like Jim Rugg's STREET ANGEL, Morrison & Quitely's WE3, Jordan Crane's THE CLOUDS ABOVE, and Sammy Harkham's POOR SAILOR.
I have a bunch of exciting projects which include:
1] FALLOUT, a super-noir written by Vito Delsante for Speakeasy Comics
2] more Harvey Pekar collaborations on the new AMERICAN SPLENDOR series for Vertigo
3] a GOOSEBUMPS comix adaptation for Scholastic Graphix
4] an original graphic novel with author Jonathan Ames [to be announced]
5] THE BRUISER [formerly "Post-Disaster Adventure Chronicles"] my 21st century Brooklyn art memoir