1. Hard Hat Event
The Marvel Architects are the most important writers and artists working for the House of Mouse. These guys write the big titles, they get all the press, they get the $3.99 price points. They are the hooks Marvel are hanging their hats on. They have been given a mega-event – Avengers V X-Men, that is co-written and drawn by pretty much all of them. It could be an exciting thing.
But my interest leans toward something more subversive. I’ve long thought of a bunch of other Marvel writers as the true guys who put out the best content and get the hard yards fought and won. If we already have Architects then these lads are the Construction Workers – the Hard Hats, if you will. I’d put Rick Remender, Dan Slott, Jeff Parker, Kieron Gillen, and Zeb Wells. Now image the event these guys could churn out. Give them characters now on the Avengers or X-teams and let them cut loose. I’d but that 12 part series in a heartbeat. Even at the inevitable $3.99.
While the architects toil on the big stuff, the real people getting their hands dirty will be given a smaller event. I know Remender and Parker are already about to unleach a crossover of sorts with this Venom tale involving Rulk, etc and I see this as a warm up. The real deal will be on it's way later in 2012.
2. Digital Comics Become More Mobile
The main problem with digital comics is you can’t lend them to anyone, or swap them with mates. You lack that true portability, which is almost ironic because they’re touted as the new portable comic. And they are portable, like a suitcase handcuffed to your wrist is.
Now, imagine a new section of your digital comic reading app that lets you interact with others and either swap the digital files, or sell them. I’m sure ComiXology only works as a spreadsheet that assigns digital files to user accounts. If we ‘own’ the files then we can download/view it. If not, we cannot. Why not just sell the rights to that file to someone else? ComiXology showed once before they could go into your machine and delete a comic you had already downloaded 9the Ultimate Comics Thor debacle) so this time they can use those skills for good.
I try plenty of digital comics – usually through sales. Sometimes you try something out and find it isn’t for you. If I could swap that comic with someone else for a book they didn’t dig and I wanted to try, that would be the coolest. This needs to happen.
Though I must confess, I actually have no idea how any of this stuff works so I don’t know if it’s plausible, or even possible, but I know I want it and I know it could change the face of digital comics.
3. DC Get Creative
The New 52 was a damn good shake up for 2011 but I do not expect to see 52 titles hitting their 13th issue in September 2012. The market won’t allow it, and honestly what are the chances DC stumbled onto the perfect 52 titles to push out? I want to see DC drop a few titles, put some hiatus, start moving in some new properties. If DC started this by proving they can mix things up then there’s no reason to keep it up by never changing again.
I expect about a dozen titles to disappear by the end of 2012, and I think those gaps will be plugged by new titles featuring characters that didn’t get a go the first time around. As for who those characters might be - what's your guess?
4. DC Event – Snyder To Headline
Across the street, DC has been longing for an event for some time. 2011 saw their major event take place outside the comics and in the actual offices. The DC upheaval was a massive news item and a great idea for the company, and the industry. To capitalise on that, the company needs an event title. Doesn’t every company need an event title? Don’t all the fans want it?
Sarcasm aside, won’t it sell? Yes.
DC needs a nice event title, big story, cool art, and Scott Snyder needs to headline it. If they aren’t picking his brain already for what goes into this event then they are not doing their job properly. I can see this working really well and will eagerly await the announcement.
5. HCs – Fear Agent, DMZ, Scalped, Gødland
I have some excess money going into 2012 and I need to spend it. I’ll be spending it on HC and I’m pretty sure these titles will get the love.
Godland Celestial Edition 3 – yeah, I’m calling it again. Hell, I’m locking it in. It’ll be late in the year, or maybe only just solicited, but it’ll be coming my way and I cannot wait.
Fear Agent – Remender has long hinted at this title coming at us in deluxe HC editions and I expect them to come rolling out in 2012. I’ve been setting my money aside and Dark Horse just has to tell me when they want it. I’m there.
DMZ – I know DC haven’t left on good terms with Brian Wood but the last thing they can do to DMZ – one of my favourite titles of all time – is collect the entire run in a handful of deluxe HCs. I will buy every one, guaranteed. You should, too.
Scalped – This vertigo title is also coming to a close and I’m sure I can already smell the binding on these HCs. You’d be a fool not to dip in for this one. One of the best long form stories ever.
6. Who Wants To Be A Comic Creator?
It’s been a while since we’ve seen a reality tv style break in opportunity. BKV got in through the Stanhattan Project, Jason Aaron won a talent search. CBR used to run a Comic Book Idol (which I absolutely loved). 2012 needs to bring this back in some way, and with Twitter it would be the biggest and best thing yet.
Sharpen your pencils, for writing or drawing, and get ready to open some eyes. I feel it coming.
7. Big Two OGNs For New Readers
DC struck gold with Superman: Earth One. It sold gangbusters and they commissioned the next one so quickly J. Michael Straczynski had to be taken off Superman and Wonder Woman just to get it written on time. The new reader friendly OGN is a great idea.
Marvel soon followed suit with their Season One titles – which admittedly look pretty cool. I now expect a slew of more announcements for this type of project because it works. It gets into more hands. People don’t want to buy one part of six for $3.99 a pop. They want the full story and they want it in one go. This is how you reach more people. Not everything needs to be a GN, I agree, but more of these will lure people in.
Infact, why do we say ‘lure’ new readers in. Comics isn’t the creepy dude with the van and the boiled lollies in his deep trenchcoat pockets. We’re not trying to trick people. We have awesome product, we just want to share it. OGNs are a great way to do this so why fight it. The rest can be floppies first, it generates more money and works like a TV show where the instalments breed time to discuss and get excited in between.
Indie publishers already do plenty of OGN material but expect to see the Big Two push out a lot more before 2012 closes.
8. Wednesday Comics To Return
Man, I loved Wednesday Comics. The broadsheet anthology from DC was a mastermind project in so many damn ways. I loved those 12 weeks. It’s been a while, at least a decade, right? Wednesday Comics needs to come back. It’s not just a cheap cash in after all this time. You shouldn’t have to stay away from something just because it was a success and you don’t want to be seen as flogging that dead horse (not that DC does that with anything, right…right?).
Wednesday Comics will be announced at SDCC. Count on it.
9. An Audience Poll Decision
The public decided when a Robin would die. The public decided on which Deadpool title should get the can – though that whole thing was contentious and I’m not getting into it right now. The public decided on who would join Jeff Parker’s Thunderbolts. I feel another public decision coming in 2012 and I think it’ll be a big one.
I’d love to see the public decide on what new title a publisher should launch. That would be cool. It would also be a situation just ripe to produce a really crappy comic but I would still like to see this. Comics like to play with gimmicks and be quirky – this would be awesome. What decision do you think the public should be allowed to make?
Here’s who is going to cop the axe in 2012.
DC – Cyborg – poor guy’s only just getting his dues and it’s all sadly just a build to make us finally care, kill him, and pick up the sales a bit.. Then someone else can take him place.
Marvel – Tony Stark – hasn’t it been his turn for a while now? Fraction will end his run with Stark’s demise and then a hunt for the next Iron Man. It’ll look like Pepper Potts as Rescue will actually pick up the mantle but the final reveal will be the Black Widow in the armour.
Image – Rick Grimes – Issue #100 is looming up and Kirkman has to drop something big. That drop will be Rick breathing his last death. It’s more than time and it’ll open up the book in all sorts of new ways.
These are my prognostications for 2012. Some based on fact, some on whispers, some on nothing at all. Which are which, hell, I don’t even know some days. I guess only watching and waiting throughout 2012 will show us the truth. But remember, you heard it here first!
What are your predictions and hopes for 2012?