This post was spurred, in part, by this article, about the upcoming debut of Brian K. Vaughan's new title Saga, with Image Comics. I read the article, and I looked at the preview pages, and I was struck by a feeling I hadn't felt in a while - I'm genuinely excited in an unabashed fanboy way for the debut of that book. BKV (as he's known around the comics biz) is one of my all-time favorite writers in comics, up there with Alan Moore, Neil Gaiman and Garth Ennis. The other thing he shares with those folks is that I haven't met him in person (although we've emailed a few times.) More on why that matters in a moment. I thought for a minute about how thrilled I am that soon I'll be able to read new comics work from an ultra-talented writer whose stuff I've loved in the past, and was surprised that I hadn't felt exactly that way in a bit. Now, that absolutely does NOT mean that I haven't been excited about new work from other creators. I read tons of comics, and I absolutely get jazzed when I see a new issue from Jim Zubkavich or Josh Fialkov or B. Clay Moore or Nathan Edmondson or Cullen Bunn or any of the many other writers whose work I love. The difference is that I know those guys personally, in either a big or a small way. And while I can't totally pin down why it's different when we're all sort of putting out work together as opposed to me just being a guy at home finding new books and digging them, it absolutely is. I suppose it's the difference between on a sports team and rooting for it to win and rooting for the Detroit Lions. You can do both, but the reasoning behind each is different, as is the way each one feels.
In a way, I sort of miss the old days, because for some reason I don't get as much of the 'holy shit I can't wait' feeling anymore (Saga and books like it being something of an exception). I'm rooting for the people more than I am the books, because I think that any one book isn't (or shouldn't be) what defines your career. I want all the guys I know to succeed (which is a thing that's pretty cool about comics - I don't see a lot of petty jealousies and rivalries, for the most part.) That's not to say that there's not a sense of healthy competition between comics writers, of course. There's definitely some, "what's he doing that I'm not?" when people level up, or get a nomination, etc. But as long as the people getting those bumps are cool (and they are) and talented (and they are), then it's usually just a reason to buckle down even harder on my own work to get myself to the next step, whatever that will be.
I meet more people in the business all the time, at all levels, and it makes me wonder if things will continue to evolve this way. We'll see.
In other updates, I'm headed to LA this coming weekend for a bunch of adventures. I'll be appearing on Fresh Ink Online this Thursday with Blair Butler to discuss this week's coolest new books (and perhaps a certain final issue of 27: Second Set hitting shops tomorrow, 12/14), I have a signing at Meltdown Comics on Saturday, December 17 from 3-5 PM, and I have meetings with a number of very cool people about a number of very cool projects. 2012 is looking quite good from a new stuff standpoint, actually. I have two things already locked down, and by the end of the week I could have another four set up at various spots. That's not even including two or three projects in the pitch development stage... busy!