The Comic Community Shares What They’re Hoping to See in Comics in 2016

In today’s fourth edition of our creator-centric end of the year coverage, the perspective shifts to the future. 2016’s still but a twinkle in our eye, but that doesn’t mean the comic pros I spoke to haven’t already thought of what they’d like to see more of in the coming year. Today, their question is:

Lots of cool stuff happened this year, but what would you like to see more of in comics in 2016?

The answers are a diverse look into how comics are changing and what has people excited, and you can find them all below.

If you missed them, don’t forget to read these same kind folks sharing their favorite comics, creators and changes in comics in 2015, and come back tomorrow as our creator-centric coverage comes to an end.

Cliff Chiang (artist of Paper Girls)

I’d like to see all the cool, new, risk-taking books do well for both retailers and their creators, which hopefully fosters a creative environment and industry that looks forward instead of backwards. We need to start doing things differently.

Charlie Chu (editor of Kaijumax, The Sixth Gun and more)

I really want diversity to continue to be a major focal point, especially with regards to race. It’s been a good year for white feminists, but I hope there’s more inclusiveness around the corner that speaks to more comics and creators of different ethnicities and backgrounds.

Leila del Duca (artist of Shutter)

I’d love to keep seeing more diverse creators and publishers.

From Sanpei Shirato's Kamui
From Sanpei Shirato’s Kamui

Sebastian Girner (editor on Deadly Class, The Goddamned and more)

Does it have to be even faintly realistic? I’d very much like a complete retranslation and remastering of Sanpei Shirato’s Kamui and Kamui Gaiden. That’d be swell. And while I’m at, Kaze Shinobu’s Chijo Saikyo no Otoko Ryu (“Ryu: the Strongest Man on the Face of the Planet”) really needs to be a thing I can throw money at to come into my life.

Greg Hinkle (artist of Airboy)

I’d like to see more done-in-one stories and stories of finite length. I don’t always make it to the comic shop, and I don’t always have the money to keep up on too many titles. I know it’s probably not the most popular opinion at the moment, so I’m not holding my breath.

It would also be nice to see design taken more seriously in comics. Picking up something like Paper Girls or Bitch Planet feels so much more substantial and meaningful to me than any corporate comic I can think of. The whole package has been considered, versus the assembly line approach. And I’m someone who can’t get over ads in books. They’ve always bothered me. There aren’t ads in the middle of a novel. Why are there ads in the middle of a scene? So yeah, some design consideration would be nice to see.

Ms. Marvel
From G. Willow Wilson and Adrian Alphona’s Ms. Marvel

Joe Keatinge (writer of Shutter and Ringside)

Stuff like DKIII or Secret Wars can be a good time, but I’m always most excited by people creating new things or, at the very least, wild reinventions. In terms of Marvel and DC Comics, I’ll take something forward-thinking like Ms. Marvel over a nostalgic regurgitation. Overall, I’m happy to see a much more diversified field of material, even though the diversification remains having a long way to go. It’s nice to see a company like Image move away from being so sci-fi focused, to publishing everything from brutal bible comics to Victorian-inspired monster comics to cerebral fantasy and much, more.

I want to see more creators taking bigger risks with their work. I’d like to see more people willing to spectacularly fail on something they believe in instead of remain complacent on a job they’re taking because it’s safe.

Declan Shalvey (artist of Injection)

I’d like to see the positive trends from 2015 carry on into the new year. Creators given the space to do what they do best, be it creator owned or mainstream. Creators taking more ownership of their work, etc. I may be wrong, but I think with so many Image books benefiting from such creative control, mainstream publishers have been more willing to let creators have more input, and that’s making a lot of mainstream books a lot more satisfying experiences to read. Diversity has been a word used a lot in comics in the past year and I think the moves toward it have been great, it’s opened up so much of a new readership. I’d like to see that approach to the content of the stories; I like how the various genres in comics have branched out and would love to see more different kinds of comics in 2016. I’m hoping that readers will support those books.

Joshua Williamson (writer of Nailbiter, Birthright and more)

More good comics? We’ve had a few good years of great comics now. So much so that it’s hard to keep track of them all. The competition is fierce. But that’s awesome. I hope that we keep trying to raise the bar and continue to make an effort to be thoughtful in creating a better industry and rad comics.

More new diverse voices in comics getting some love and attention. We’ve made some baby steps and are just getting started there.

I’d like to see less late books, and more planning to keep a schedule and help retailers make money. Retailer outreach between creators and the retailers seemed to increase this last year, especially with events like Local Comic Shop Day. We could use more of that. I think people forget how important and crucial the retailers are to our industry. They are our business partners, and our success is their success. So we should work with them more to build that relationship.