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The most honest answer, if asked which comic creators to watch out for in any given year ahead of time, is always “probably the ones you haven’t even heard of yet.” If there’s one unique thing about comics, it’s the speed at which previously unheard of talents can break through and find mass audiences, after all.
Read more 5 Comics to Look Out for in 2015
Barring that, there are a number of amazing creators in the industry these days — including the five that follow, all of whom are primed to go from having a good 2014 to dominating 2015. Without a crystal ball, it’s impossible to predict what lies ahead over the next twelve months, but if you’re just looking for some good comics? Here are the people you should be looking out for.
The British writer of Marvel’s Loki: Agent of Asgard and Captain America and the Mighty Avengers — and co-writer of Titan’s Doctor Who: The Eleventh Doctor — has been building a fanbase throughout 2014 with work that effortlessly mixes humor, pop culture commentary and straight-forward adventure fiction. 2015 likely brings him his biggest audience yet, with the three-part time-travel story Avengers: Ultron Forever, released just ahead of the Avengers: Age of Ultron movie. With the entire history of Marvel’s biggest franchise to play with, this might be the year Ewing becomes one of the biggest names in superhero comics.
You could be forgiven for thinking that Cloonan is all over comics right now. She’s one of the writers on the critical favorite Gotham Academy young adult series from DC, the cover artist for Vertigo crime series The Kitchen, and next year will see the debut of Southern Cross, her creator-owned Image Comics series with artist Andy Belanger, described as a science fiction thriller. As a creator, she’s been around for some time with earlier projects including Demo, American Virgin and the sadly short-lived East Coast Rising, creating a nice back catalog of material for those who’re about to be bowled over by her work in 2015 (Hint: start with the digital short Wolves, from 2011).
It’s doubtlessly Lumberjanes that most people will recognize Stevenson’s name from, and with good reason; her work on the all-ages series about a girl scout troop and the things that go bump in the night around them has been charming from the very start. By this time next year, it’s Nimona — Stevenson’s award-winning sci-fi webcomic that’s been compared to The Venture Bros. and the work of Kate Beaton, which completed its run this year — that’ll be getting everyone talking; Harper Collins is set to publish a print version in 2015, hopefully vaunting Stevenson into the mainstream and giving as many people as possible the chance to discover what feels like nothing as much as the comedy version of Brian K. Vaughan and Fiona Staples’ Saga. (Yes, it’s that good.)
G. Willow Wilson
Another “overnight sensation” that’s been years in the making, it took the (well deserved) success of Ms. Marvel to bring Wilson to attention, landing her both an exclusive deal with Marvel Entertainment and a gig writing the X-Men title. Like Cloonan, Wilson has an impressive back catalog both in comics — Air and Mystic are both worth seeking out — and prose (Alif the Unseen remains one of the best YA books in recent memory), but what’s most exciting about Wilson’s ascension is seeing where she’ll go next. Her work is smart, funny and, above all, kind, giving her a special voice that’s not heard enough in mainstream comics. It’ll be fascinating to watch if her brand of humanist genre spreads elsewhere in the Marvel Universe.
Surprisingly, it took King — a former CIA counter-terrorism officer — a couple of years to move from the critically-acclaimed superhero novel A Once Crowded Sky to superhero comics, but Grayson, the series he co-writes with Tim Seeley for DC, was worth the wait. As playful with the medium’s formal demands as it is with its characters and situations, Grayson shows that King has the writerly chops to back up his clear affection for the material he’s dealing with. If the executives at DC are smart, 2015 will see King move onto other series at the publisher — including, perhaps, some with more super-powered potential than the spy setting of Grayson. Let’s see what this man can do with a man of steel or two. (If not, he’ll end up getting poached by Marvel, as happened with Tom Taylor, another of DC’s secret weapons for a couple of years on the Injustice and Earth 2 series before relaunching Marvel’s Iron Man this fall.)
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