Sequential Holiday Wish List: Kevin Boyd
Our next Holiday Wish List comes from con-organizer, blogger, and industry analyst Kevin Boyd. Readers are encouraged to send Sequential their own responses to our survey. If you keep sendin' 'em, I'll keep runnin' 'em.
1. Name: Kevin Andrew Boyd. Current projects --- the Feb. 1 and April 18-19, 2009 Toronto ComiCONs assembling the eligible creators lists and nominating committees for the 2009 Joe Shuster Awards , and enjoying a winter break from conventions for CGC's prestigious Signature Series program
2. What was the overall best book published in 2008? (comix/graphic novel/manga/strip/history/webcomic/floppy/etc)
I would have to say the most enjoyable book about comics that I read this year was Bill Schelly's Man of Rock: A Biography of Joe Kubert.
But actual comics... Im not sure yet. I'll be giving that some thought and making my own top 10 list over the holidays like I did last year and publishing it on my livejournal.
2. a) Best Canadian book?
So far the best graphic novel I've read this year by a Canadian is a toss-up between Jeff Lemire's Essex County Trilogy Vol. 3: The Country Nurse and Mariko and Jillian Tamaki's Skim. I haven’t read Faith Erin Hicks' The War at Ellesmere yet.
The best semi-monthly comic book by a Canadian creator has got to be Dave Sim's Glamourpuss. Forget the fashion magazine send-ups (like shooting fish in a barrel), the insights into the politics and stylistic choices of pioneer strip cartoonists is fascinating.
3. What 2008 comic would you recommend for a young boy (5-10)?
My nephew Michael gets a kick out of every new issue of Franklin Richards: Son of A Genius by Marc Sumerak and Chris Eliopoulos, published by Marvel Comics.
4. What 2008 comic would you recommend for a young girl (5-10)?
My niece Lauren seems to be enjoying Jill Thompson's Magic Trixie books, published by HarperCollins.
5. What 2008 comic would you recommend for a teen boy?
Amazing Spider-Man: Brand New Day Volume 1 by various, published by Marvel Comics. A little less continuity-heavy than previous years, this is the demographic that Spider-Man is perfect for. Plus, you get some great comic art by industry pros like Steve McNiven, Phil Jimenez and in later volumes John Romita, Jr., Chris Bachalo, Marcos Martin, Mike McKone, Barry Kitson and others.
6. What 2008 comic would you recommend for a teen girl?
Coraline, by Neil Gaiman and P. Craig Russell, published by HarperCollins.
7 & 8. What 2008 comic would you recommend for an adult woman/man 18-100?
Regardless of male or female I always recommend the following:
Any trade paperback collection of the following: B.P.R.D. by Arcudi and Davis, Fables by Willingham, Buckingham and Leialoha w/ James Jean, Ex Machina by Vaughan and Harris, Walking Dead by Kirkman and Adlard, or Invincible by Kirkman and Ottley.
For those who like superheroes I also suggest Marvel's Captain America and DC's Green Lantern and Justice Society of America.
9. What comic would you most like to receive as a gift?
It would have to be something that I didn't already order for myself. It would have to be a surprise – something someone loves but hasn't made it onto my radar yet.
10. Was 2008 a good year for comics?
With a few exceptions, I tend to think that 2008 was kind of a mediocre year for published comics in general – like we're all holding our breath waiting for something new and great to show up while at the same time mining the past for anything and everything that was any good. What was that about it being the End of History? And I think it applies to all comics --- mainstream and non-mainstream. On the big screen it was probably the best year ever for comic movies as Dark Knight, Iron Man and even the Incredible Hulk were all popular and enjoyed by the general public and critics alike. The Marvel movie DVDs and the DC direct-to-animation projects like Darwyn Cooke’s Justice League – The New Frontier do a great job of reminding people that these were comic books first and foremost.
Was it a good year for you?
For my projects --- it was a good year all around as everything seemed to go well… the HobbyStar comic conventions are doing great business in all shapes and sizes… things worked out well with the Joe Shuster Awards back in June and fundraising this fall from the Visions art auctions was better than expected, we are in a better place financially than we have ever been… and CGC's Signature Series program continues to be successful at the big conventions. Personally - aside from an early hiccup with a flood in the storage area of my old apartment (prompting a fast move to a new place) - it's been a good year for me.
What effect will this recession thing have?
The recession's effect on publishing will be more casualties as marginally profitable companies start to drop as the orders continue to decline. The bigger companies will shift towards more digital delivery systems to generate material for trade paperbacks, just as webcomics are generating material for graphic novels. Regrettably, fewer creators will look at comics as a viable commercial art form and put their energy towards something else that will pay their bills and we will suffer from their absence. On the collecting side – more quality books will show up in the dollar bins and more people will wait to get their comic pamphlets in the secondary market (conventions, eBay, used bookstores) as they shy away from the inevitable rising new issue prices (compounded by a falling Canadian dollar), all of which hurts your local comic book shop's bottom line… and shops are already feeling the pinch now during this holiday season. There will be some store closures in harder hit areas such as central and eastern Canada, shrinking Canada’s comic book store infrastructure further.
11. (suggested by Diana Tamblyn) Best guilty pleasure of 2008?
I do feel guilty that I don't miss going to comic shop on Wednesday, even though it means I don't get a chance to peruse the covers of new issues as they arrive. Having my new comics delivered to my house on Wednesday nights is definitely a guilty pleasure, it's kind of like ordering pizza.
Specific comic book guilty pleasure is still Invincible, by Kirkman and Ottley. It keeps my love of superhero comics alive and well, even with the occasional outbreak of violence and mayhem.
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