“The Janus Project”

“We look at the present through a rear view mirror. We march backwards into the future.”
― Marshall McLuhan

Sequential presents The Janus Project. During the next few weeks of this shiny new year cartoonists and critics and retailers will sound off on their favourite comics and comics-related moments of 2013 while also looking forward to things to come in 2014. (Thanks to Mark Connery for the great Janus comics graphic! Mark has a new book that will debut at TCAF this May: Rudy will be published by the Minneapolis-based 2d Cloud.)
Next up at the Janus Project is Amy Chop. Amy is the manager at my local comic book shop, the Eisner Award-winning The Dragon in Guelph.

The Janus Project
by Amy Chop

2013 was by far the year of Saga. Image comics won big with this sci-fi/fantasy from Brian K. Vaughn and Fiona Staples, with single issues continually selling out of full print runs even past the first five issues and seeing multiple reprints. The series is a great read, a treat for the eyes and appeals to a wide audience, including people new to the comic world.
Saga was not the only winner for Image, many if their new titles were extremely well received, and the list of authors they currently have (Rick Remender, Greg Rucka, Jonathan Hickman to name a few) will drive them through 2014 as a publisher to watch.

For DC and Marvel the top titles were Batman by Scott Snyder and Greg Capullo and Superior Spider-Man by Dan Slott, Ryan Stegman, Humberto Ramos, and Giuseppe Camuncoli. Slott has taken Spider-Man to a place no fan could predict and both entertained them and driven them mad with the result.
For DC and Marvel there will be more events and more classic characters reimagined by artists and writers from other companies. Many of the most talked about announcements for upcoming titles in the new year have focused on writers and artists previously of Image fame. Tradd Moore, the artist from the Luther Strode titles, will be one to watch for sure as he’s been given the reins to the next Ghost Rider title.

Other big Marvel titles this year were Hawkeye by Matt Fraction and David Aja, Daredevil by Mark Waid and Chris Samnee and anything with Deadpool in it. DC’s big ones included the return of Vertigo with Punk Rock Jesus by Sean Murphy and the Wake by Scott Snyder and Sean Murphy, and Jim Lee, on Superman Unchained and Charles Soule picking up Swamp Thing and driving it into 2014.
The biggest shocks and upsets?

The Comixology/Apple/Image fiasco with Saga #12. The Internet exploded over the supposed dropping of this issue from digital sales due to adult material, but there was no real fallout after the truth of the situation came out.

The creative differences of DC and the Batwoman creative team. The future will hold how this title fares without J.H. Willaims III and W. Haden Blackman, but all power to them for moving on when their wedding story was denied.
What will 2014 bring?

The continuing upswing of Walking Dead fandom. Even though the show angers many long time readers for not being true enough to the comic, it is still bringing many viewers to comics for the first time.

The grand return of Neil Gaiman to comics. Though this technically started in 2013 with Gaiman bringing his character Angela to the Marvel Universe and then launching the first issue of the new Sandman Overture with J.H. Williams III, it will be where this series goes in 2014 that really beings Gaiman back to comic fans.
thor cosplay fan expo 2011
Bigger and better conventions. Due to the growing popularity of “Nerd Culture” conventions are growing at exponential rates. Bigger venues, bigger guests, more big name companies. This could see the disappearance of the Comic Convention as many know and love it, long boxes as far as the eye can see, as most cons move towards the SDCC model of TV and movie guests/announcements driving ticket sales.

Janus Comic Strip by Mark Connery