In today’s edition of SKTCHD.com’s end of the year coverage, we’re sharing more responses from our creator survey of sorts. Yesterday, the kind writers, artists, designers and editors I spoke to talked about their favorite comics of the year, and today, they’ll be talking about their peers. Today’s question for the lot of them is:
What creators – cartoonists, writers, artists, colorists, letterers, designers, whomever – really stood out to you in 2015?
So who are they? Let’s find out below, and come back tomorrow for another question delving into the minds of the people who make the comics we love.
Cliff Chiang (artist of Paper Girls)
Hanuka brothers, Jillian and Mariko Tamaki, Kerascoet, Jason Aaron, Jason Latour.
Charlie Chu (editor of Kaijumax, The Sixth Gun and more)
Working with Zander Cannon on Kaijumax has been a particular joy. All of us at Oni have been fans of his since Replacement God and of course Heck, but on Kaijumax he’s been bringing his A-game across the board on both writing and cartooning and it shows. He’s set the bar impossibly high as a creator working on a book that’s not just a sheer blast of fun, but is true to its concept and characters, and it also helps that he’s an all-around pleasure to work with.
Beyond that, I still think Raina Telgemeier doesn’t get nearly enough due as the most dominant MVP in comics. She not only owns all the best seller lists for her fantastic books on a regular basis, but she really is the most important creator working at growing our audience with owning the bookstore and library readerships, and one of the finest ambassadors comics could possibly have, and I think more creators and retailers should pay attention to why.
Leila del Duca (artist of Shutter)
This is a biased answer, but Benjamin Dewey, artist of AUTUMNLANDS, and Joelle Jones, artist and writer of LADY KILLER, have stood out to me on a personal level since I work at Periscope Studio them. Seeing the skill and hard work they put into their comics has been extremely inspiring and motivating. Their stuff is gorgeous!
Sebastian Girner (editor on Deadly Class, The Goddamned and more)
The entire team of Paper Girls set a pretty high mark for a modern monthly comic. Everything from the concept, to the execution, art, colors, lettering, cover, package design, ancillary material is top notch, and the whole book just looks modern and slick. It’s really cool to see a bunch of seasoned pros put out something like this, makes me want to keep up my own game.
Greg Hinkle (artist of Airboy)
In no particular order, Jake Wyatt, Andrew Maclean, Doc Shaner, Tyler Crook, Afu Chan, Tom Muller, Declan Shalvey, Jordie Bellaire, Matt Wilson, Greg Smallwood, Ben Sears, Ben Dewey. There are just too many to name! So many good folks making good comics right now.
Joe Keatinge (writer of Shutter and Ringside)
Between work and life, I’ll have to admit, I’m really behind on reading what’s out there. From the retail and creative angles, I continue to be grateful for the existence of Raina Telgemeier. I feel the full effect of her work won’t be seen for years and I’m saying this about someone who’s owned 60% of the New York Times Besteller’s Graphic Novels list for quite some time. I’m interested to see what happens to the readers of her work as they grow up, what they produce, how, etc. I have a friend who teaches comics to teenagers and young adults, by his reports the vast majority of students signing up for the class are women. It’s going to be an interesting few years.
I also enjoyed what Matt Bors did in editing The Medium’s The Nib and I’m sorry to see it wrap up. However, their Best Of compilation, Eat More Comics, was fantastic. I’m hoping he develops something new to take its place. His personal, political comics always deliver.
Tom Muller (designer on Drifter, Zero and more)
Pretty much all the creative teams working on the books I listed in the previous question.
Writers: Jason Aaron, Warren Ellis and Jonathan Hickman
Artists: Christian Ward, Declan Shalvey, Jason Latour, Lee Bermejo…I can go on. I think what Nic Klein is doing on Drifter is extraordinary and needs to be seen by more people (yes, I know I work on the book – but seriously people. No one is doing what Nic is doing right now). The same goes for Christian Ward’s ODY-C work. I’ve dropped a lot of Marvel books this year, but I love the epic scale Esad Ribic brings to Secret Wars.
Designers: NO COMMENT. Seriously though, its the usual suspects whose work I love and follow: Jared K Fletchers work on Southern Bastards and recently Paper Girls is great. I love Rian Hughes’ design on Nameless, and Steven Finch – as you rightly pointed out in the design article – is one of the reasons I keep picking up the series he designs.
Letterers: The thing that really impressed recently me away was the lettering on The Goddamned.
Colourists: Jordie Bellaire on everything she does, especially Injection and the work she did on The Surface.
Declan Shalvey (artist of Injection)
Greg Hinkle, Greg Smallwood, Stacey Lee have been absolute revelations in the past year… where the hell did they come from!?! Ed Brisson and Ollie Masters are fast becoming my new favourite writers. It’s been great to see Tom Muller branch out and designing more comics.
Joshua Williamson (writer of Nailbiter, Birthright and more)
Matt Rosenberg, who I’m sure will be on a few people’s list, had a good year showing that all you need to do to get attention is do great work and get it in front of people.
Tom King, between Vision and the Justice League Green Lantern special he really caught my attention. David Walker, doing awesome work at DC with Cyborg, and I’m really interested in his upcoming Marvel work.
Riley Rossmo on Constantine: The Hellblazer has been amazing. A total level up for him.
Steve Orlando, has been doing great work at DC and Image, I can’t wait to see what he does next. Chelsea Cain did a rad job on the Mockingbird special and will kick ass on the series, but y’know she’s a crazy successful crime writer who does a lot of twisted serial killer books, so she’s always had my attention. I’m excited to see her do more comics.
Declan Shalvey, not just as an amazing artist and one of my favs, but as an outspoken creator for artist’s right and credit. He’s doing a lot of great work on a lot of levels. Tamra Bonvillain’s colors on a BUNCH of books have been super impressive.
Raul Allen’s work with Valiant this year has been gorgeous. His covers and interiors are awesome. Looking forward to Claire Roe on Welcome Back, as I think she’s a terrific artist on the rise.