Dean Haspiel, cartoonist
My 2010 projects include: STREET CODE - Season 2 [Zuda], BORED TO DEATH - Season 2 [HBO], BILLY DOGMA in “As Big As Earth” [ACT-I-VATE.com], WOODGOD for STRANGE TALES [Marvel], and the fall release of CUBA - MY REVOLUTION, an original graphic novel collaboration with writer/painter, Inverna Lockpez [Vertigo].
What was the biggest story in comics in 2009?
Sadly, serialized comic books became too expensive and franchise publishing took the fun out of reading a random issue, confirming the dawn and desire for the digital age of comix. Marvel got it right with THE PUNISHER and DAREDEVIL, and kept it compelling with CAPTAIN AMERICA, GHOST RIDER, and SPIDER-MAN, while DC/Vertigo kicked butt with JONAH HEX and SCALPED, and gets a silver star for WEDNESDAY COMICS. But, DC and MARVEL need more comics like ALL-STAR SUPERMAN and THE INCREDIBLE HERCULES to make their perennials less event-driven and off-putting while expanding their missions for new concepts and reminding us what makes for good escapism. Marvel gets a gold star for their accessible ‘Marvel Adventures’ imprint. Meanwhile, the likes of Pantheon, First Second, Fantagraphics, and IDW, made a good show with great new works from home and abroad. Otherwise, webcomix collectives like ACT-I-VATE and TRANSMISSION X are still the best free alternative fare to the subscription bases of COMIXOLOGY and the upcoming deluge of LONGBOX DIGITAL. Besides, you can’t gift a gif and I predict $20 of digital comix will buy three times what print has to offer breaking the $4 bad of glacial 22-page chapters, forever. On a personal note: it was an honor to watch a butterfly emerge from its cocoon when Michel Fiffe manifested ZEGAS, and brought a bold, new vision to the game at ACT-I-VATE.
What will be the biggest story in comics in 2010?
The death of the serialized comic book pamphlet will ultimately be reborn as the cost-effective digital download and/or original graphic novel. What’s old is new again as all the dead franchises [whether by continuity or by low sales] get resuscitated and given yet another chance to entice the film-goer/new comix reader who discovered that the movie adaptation was better realized than most comic book source material. The creative playing field will continue to widen as savvy publishers reevaluate their marketing strategies to celebrate the art and history of the form in print while brandishing new and exciting ways to show stories whether we like reading and seeing them on a phone or not.
What guilty pleasure (of any kind) are you looking forward to in 2010?
Come 2010, I’m looking forward to Brad Bird’s reexamination of THE FANTASTIC FOUR for Pixar, and Kat Roberts and Becky Cloonan’s revamp of DAZZLER for Marvel. I’m also looking forward to Vito Delsante’s 52-week run of BOY WONDER for DC Comics, where Robin grows from embryo to Nightwing in a year of intensive continuity destroying and rebuilding, featuring a new artist every four issues, and Frank Miller’s hard-boiled MATTER-EATER LAD mini-series. Roger Langridge’s blasphemous revamp of THE ADDAMS FAMILY for Boom! will happily surprise long time readers of THE NEW YORKER and finally bridge the gap between comix and the literati, while Ang Lee’s flawless adaptation of Mike Dawson’s FREDDY AND ME, with Sacha Baron Cohen playing Freddy Mercury, will garner Oscar Award nominations.
All kidding aside, I’m looking forward to Jane Yolen and Mike Cavallaro’s FOILED, Glenn Eichler and Joe Infurnari’s SLED DOGS, and George O’Connor’s launch to his 12-part OLYMPIANS series, all from First Second books. Also, PARIAH, Bob Fingerman’s prose novel from Tor Books, plus, FROM THE ASHES, Bob’s graphic novel collection from IDW. And, last but not least, I’m itching for Dan Goldman’s RED LIGHT PROPERTIES from Tor.com, Nathan Schreiber’s Xeric award powered POWER OUT, and Walter Simonson’s THE JUDAS COIN [DC Comics].