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

We may earn money or products from the companies mentioned in this post.

And that’s a wrapping on our annual make overlook. Reading all these rebuttals if there’s one thing that came through: parties actually miss meetings. It’s been said a lot that procreating comics is a solitary job, and going to convenings is a key part of cartoonists’ social being. and society. In fact I’d like to paraphrase something Brian Hibbs wrote in his answer 😛 TAGEND

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

There are also some actually heartfelt evidences about enduring the last year in all four parts of this survey. Hopefully this generates us together a little more. Thanks as always to everyone who took the time to participate. Reading the answers as I made this together actually warmed my heart.

Read the previous three sides here .

Tomorrow: the 2020 Comics Industry Person of the Year!

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 brand-new sheets of content! Also “workin on” a new, unnamed graphic fiction with Abrams, currently planned for Fall 2021.

What was the biggest story in comics in 2020? That transition periods of mainstream superhero comics from a periodical medium for kids to an IP-generating machine for film and TV assets appears to be almost complete. I can imagine that DC and Marvel might stop printing comics very soon, but there will be Batman and Spider-Man movies forever.

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

Guilty pleasure for 2021: Lunch out with friends.

What did you learn in 2020? I have learned that, so far, I am luckier than most. As a misanthropic introvert, I joked that I’ve been preparing to quarantine my entire lifetime. But that joke isn’t funny anymore and I know people who’ve died. I’m doing what I can to help, and wishes to express its appreciation for my state 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 order with close friends to discuss ongoing inventive 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 horror series, 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 several high-profile, predatory comic book authors and editors…and I likewise want to mention the long overdue, increased awareness of not only the lack of diversity/ BIPOC founders and writers throughout comic book publishing but the amazing, annoyed, concerted effort to increase their visibility to those in positions to hire, especially due to the unfair gap in fee proportions when in comparison with that of white-hot makes. 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 only for those who have been sick and suffer due to the tragic deaths of family and friends…but also from the Diamond shutdown grind several publishers to a halt, stopping task, and the lack of a pact circuit force an horde of masters will vary depending on cons for financial support to explore new avenues for survival…including crowdfunding and start-up via Patreon, both of which anticipate 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 inoculation will restart patterns, moving us slowly down a superhighway 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 government comes in stateside, and( formerly those on the front lines get it) vaccines are administered in Spring/ Summer, allowing for renewed 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 affects their graphic novel business, and how inventors on both sides are affected. Or it may be an industry put the pandemic behind them to eventually realize that a precarious, single distributor solution may not be ideal, particularly in a world where most of the global population is expending media on their machines. Or, you know, it could be that some plucky Jewish dude knows success with his new graphic romance about adventuring chefs contending wizard pirates with a spell sword? Who is to be able to say?

Guilty pleasure for 2021: Some amazing video registers got me and mine through this pandemic: Ted Lasso, Cobra Kai, The Mandalorian and half the content on Disney+ -and despite them taking me away from my writing, in some cases sitting down together to watch those presents maintained our house close and sane. Heap more to come, so bring on WandaVision and the brand-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 exactly need to disconnect and go for a walk.

josh_frankel.jpgJoshua Frankel, Publisher, Z2

2021 Projects: A mint- Z2 has 50+ journals 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 problem comics, this move alone will probably lead to a 20% reduced by the direct sell. Nonetheless this contributes into the second point which is the financial insolvency of Diamond comics. What no one seemed to notice is that when Diamond suspended remittances 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 interview with ICV2 where he let slip that they had a credit line that would fund accounts payable for a month.

Now conceded I don’t know the inner workings but if you are talking to your bank about fully sounding out a credit line it usually signifies there isn’t a lot of money in reserve.

Given the rebound in comics and PPP money the bleeding was stanch, however now lies the big-hearted publish DC doesn’t use Diamond anymore and is drawing back on Diskette. Given that DC was around 30% of Diamonds business this is a big issue. The perimeters on deployment are thin and a company losing 30% of magnitude 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 realise them the bookstore distributor for DC, Dark Horse, IDW, Viz, BOOM and us at Z2( As well as many other consumers) you suddenly have the prime 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 pacts will probably be able to resume late Summer look at a good deal of Comic Agreement going shuttered. It was already a very crowded field with a great deal of patterns set up that had been losing money.

That said I remember the ones that make it will do better due to pent up challenge but I’d expect 20 -3 0% of meetings 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 year 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 meetings 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 are eligible to have 5 lbs of flour, sugar even cup pates shipped to your doorstep for free through


john_bivens.jpgJohn Bivens, creator

2021 Projects: The Devil’s Red Bride

What was the biggest story in comics in 2020? Assemblies Canceled

What will be the biggest story in comics in 2021? First indicates coming back

Guilty pleasure for 2021: Getting to( hopefully) talk to comic followers 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 primary diary journalist& then they have a production editor for dealing with the printer, etc)

What was the biggest story in comics in 2020? Continued revelations of nasty behavior( Warren Ellis; Cameron Stewart being referred as a “groomer”& Jason Latour decrying Cameron S& going called out as a serial harasser/” copulation pest” by numerou beings within a few months 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 preeminence of Young Adult OGN’s

Guilty pleasure for 2021: Collecting more tarot/ prophecy decks by shocking comics folks like Becky Cloonan, Yoshi Yoshitani,& Trung Le Nguyen

What did you learn in 2020? Setting up regular video calls with friends/ friend radicals has been great, but the 2 people who prevented me sane were friends I could see in person( always masked& safe)- coming 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 preparing two lurches of two separate narrations: one fright and another one punk-fantasy. I’m provoked to finish them and send them towards their destiny. I have two short narrations coming out, the first one probably in the first quarter of the year and the second largest 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 projects!

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

justin_richards.jpgJustin Richards, Writer

2021 Projects: Creator-owned mini sequence 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 alteration service industries after COVID exposed the fragility 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 aid you in the most difficult of 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/ delivery/ etc.

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

What did you learn in 2020? I’ve found it’s real hard to not cause my spirit 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 rehabilitation “. Zooming with friends has fucking awesome just 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 books by huge inventors for huge books each and every month. The Kids club( for middle-of-the-road readers) is, I hope, growing more” comics literate” books with deeper savours and to improve understanding of the flesh each month.

What was the biggest story in comics in 2020? DC unexpectedly withdrawing from the general eco-system of the Direct Market. The ramifications of that play( 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 jettisoned to move comics forward. I believe most “conventional wisdom” rebuttals are going to end up very wrong

Guilty pleasure for 2021: It is more likely to sound like a plug, but honestly all of my pleasures these days come from Interviewing kinfolks about process and craftsmanship and comics-making; I’ve got plans for at least thirty-six more great in-depth dialogues in 2021, and I can’t wait! Much of the Video Archives can be found here: https :// archives

What did you learn in 2020? There’s nothing greater and stronger than the communities we build for ourselves. Everything we do, everything we have, stanch and flows from beings around us, and being grateful for those connections 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 fibs were the brave dames coming forward and talking about their trauma by the men that used their power 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 pandemic. Simon deserves an Eisner. STEENZ and Julez Rivera uttering 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 move the kind of comics I want to read. Don’t wait for an journalist to get back to you. There is no right time to launch a series. Simply manufacture comics.

heidi_macdonald.jpgHeidi MacDonald , editor in chief, The Beat

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

What was the biggest story in comics in 2020? Chickens came home to roost. A kink in the furnish position laid all the flaws in the system bare and….comics survived. Thrived even.

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

Guilty pleasure for 2021: My 2020 guilty please was ice cream, and I enjoyed every savory burn. In 2021, boozing more salted cream foam sucks from Yaya Tea.

What did you learn in 2020? Even though I waste a good deal of experience online- a Parcel of occasion- I realized that it’s the 3D experiences that aim “the worlds largest” to me. As I said in countless zooms, I’d devote anything to be having this conversation in a grungy gathering meat corridor, sitting at one of those folding tables, on a concrete storey, gobbling an$ 8 hot dog. We’re meant to communicate in person, with all our feels, 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 cured me connect regularly with people who are important in my life.

The post The Beat’s 2021 Creator Survey Part 4: the year we really missed meetings seemed first on The Beat.

Read more: