Part III of PW Beat’s Year End Survey, plus Comixtravaganza at Seattle libraries


Part III of PW Beat’s Annual Year End Survey went up. Regarding webcomics, the responses aren’t as indepth as they were for Part II. However, Ms. McDonald begins this list with this interesting note: “For once, in my five years of doing this, there was consensus on both last year’s big story and next year’s: economy and digital.”

Here are the parsed responses, as usual.

Rantz A. Hoseley, cartoonist, editor

What was the biggest story in comics in 2008? Biggest story? Pick ONE?… Yeesh.

Ok, it was surprising that the launch and story of Final Crisis seemed to be so disorganized, so ill-planned, given the creators involved. Especially when compared to the machine-like precision that Marvel pulled off with Secret Invasion. On a different note, it warms the cockles of my black, cynical heart to see so many “indy” creators not only working on comics for Marvel and DC, but most importantly, not changing their style of storytelling or the visual signatures that makes their work distinctively THEIRS. Five years ago, that’d be unheard of. It was also the year that publishers, across the board, recognized and admitted that there needs to be a viable digital option for comics. Again, five years ago, getting an consensus on that would be unheard of.

The creator that had the most impact? Matt Fraction. Whether head-fucking the readers with Casanova, rebooting disco-era B-list characters in a way that satisfied fans ‘perceived memories’ of how good they really were, or making properties like Iron Man and the X-Men compelling and relevant again, he’s the creator who many of us admire and were excited to see become a powerhouse this year.

My favorite book of the year, in a year where there were a surprising number of good ones? Patsy Walker: Hellcat. Brilliant and hysterical writing, combined with lively, fun, kinetic art. Comics… especially mainstream comics, need more books like this.

Also, we have a certified comic book loving Star Trek geek headed to the White House in a few weeks. Honestly, that’s a day I thought would never come. Let us just hope that (since he’s an admitted Spider-Man fan) he’s taken the credo “With great power comes great responsibility” to heart.

Mike Dawson, cartoonist

What will be the biggest story in comics in 2009? Well, it’s clear that there’s going to be some rocky times ahead for traditional book publishers. All that news about those New York publishing houses putting a moratorium on new acquisitions isn’t good, and neither are all the job losses. I have a good feeling about the more established comics companies, like Fantagraphics, D&Q, and Top Shelf, though.

I would say that online comics would be part of the biggest story of 2009, but webcomics have been happening for years now, and will just keep on growing. I do think that more and more respectable cartoonists are going to take their work online, and that webcomics will continue to gain more respect.

Nick Barucci, publisher Dynamite

What will be the biggest story in comics in 2009? Well, the obvious one is that this summer will be the summer of SCI FI and Comic movies. The less obvious will depend on how fans start accepting digital comics, and whether or not digital will start replacing the so called waiting for the TPB syndrum that we keep hearing.

What guilty pleasure (of any kind) are you looking forward to in 2009? Continuing the road we’re on. There’s honestly no greater business than comics. It’s the greatest business in the world.

Jeff Newelt, AKA Jahfurry

What will be the biggest story in comics in 2009? The biggest story in comics in ‘09 will be Paul Pope’s BATTLING BOY selling over a million copies; the re-release of Rick Veitch’s BRATPACK (before Authority, before The Boys, before Wanted, etc BRATPACK brought on the twisted heros); and the online debut of an independent comics master. Cannot be named yet but a certain great will be offering new free online comics in ‘09.

Also, three of the releases I’m most looking forward to, and that i think will make a huge splash are A.D.: New Orleans After The Deluge the graphic novel documentary by Josh Neufeld that started as a webcomc on SMITH and will be released by Pantheon in August augmented and expanded; an original BEANWORLD graphic novel “Remember Here When You Are There!” by Larry Marder. and Grandville, an anthropomorphic steampunk graphic novel by the always outrageous Bryan Talbot.

What guilty pleasure (of any kind) are you looking forward to in 2009? Reading every single day, perhaps the only blog I’ve looked at every single day for the past 2 years. The man is a leader.

Alex Cox, retailer

2009 Projects: Continuing to run ROCKETSHIP, plus various webcomics not worth mentioning.

What was the biggest story in comics in 2008? I would say it was a tie between the release and subsequent reception of two books: WHAT IT IS, and THE GREAT OUTDOOR FIGHT.

WHAT IT IS was a lovely book, with wide crossover appeal among several markets, and a tour that brought out as broad a range of fans as you could hope for. It reminded everyone that Lynda Barry is something of a modern master, and expanded our scope of how “comics” can look, and how they can interact with the reader. Seeing people experience that book for the first time was really amazing, and it was a terrific affirmation of why we do what we do.

THE GREAT OUTDOOR FIGHT was much the same, but with the added bonus of reminding us that it’s not the delivery method (web comic), or format (hardcover reprint) that matters, it’s Content above all else that makes people love comics. This was a funny story, well-told, about engaging characters, and none of the details of publishing ultimately make a difference. People respond to the content, and we saw droves of fans show up at every stop on Onstad’s tour to prove that.

Chip Mosher, marketing director

What will be the biggest story in comics in 2009? Digital distribution of comics coming to the fore coming hand-in-hand with increased sales of floppies and trades.

Dan Goldman, cartoonist

What will be the biggest story in comics in 2009? The head-smacking realization in the mainstream that digital comics can, in fact, be a more lucrative model than print.


Also, here’s something that I wouldn’t have been aware of if my car wasn’t in the shop getting some bolts tightened and some rather pricey engine parts replaced. There was a copy of the Seattle PI lying around in the customer-waiting lounge, and something in The Arts section caught my fancy.

If you happen to be in the Seattle area be sure to check out Comixtravaganza, a free event sponsored by and held at the Seattle Public Libraries. It’s aimed at teens, though I understand visitors from all ages tend to drop by. There’s workshops where you can meet with local artists, talks, and, most importantly, free food. It’s also a good excuse to check out the Central Library (for the last day, Jan. 31, only), which looks like a building straight out of Blade Runner.


Check in later today for a brand-spankin’ new Webcomic Overlook review! Meanwhile, I got a really busy day ahead. The wife and I are taking in a nice new golden labrador home with us, so I foresee a long day to catering to his canine needs.


About El Santo

Somehow ended up reading and reviewing almost 300 different webcomics. Life is funny, huh? Despite owning two masks, is not actually a luchador.

Posted on January 8, 2009, in The Webcomic Overlook, webcomics. Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.

  1. Actually, the Comixtravaganza is for all ages. We had a great time at the Draw-a-thon at the University Branch yesterday. I recommend them highly.

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