“New” is a relative term in comics, but once you break through to the mainstream consciousness, you’ve accomplished something very difficult. Two years ago, you didn’t know who Scott Snyder was, and now he’s helming one of the best selling books at DC Comics, or all of comics, for that matter. Not long before that, you’d never heard of Nick Spencer, but you’ve sure seen his work now. It is harder than ever to break through to the mainstream comics audience today, but expect to see big things from these five writers next year.
5. Sam Humphries
Let me ask you one question: where the hell did this guy come from. I’d never heard the name anywhere, and then suddenly a week before San Diego Comic-Con, the guy is everywhere, hanging out with the pros, and all based on a book he wrote and distributed himself, Our Love is Real. He’s doing it again with Sacrifice. He’s also going to be writing John Carter: The Gods of Mars from Marvel next year. That he is working at Marvel as a new writer is no small thing. They’re doing very little outside scribe hiring these days. He hustled, and did the work.
4. Josh Williamson
Josh is a pro’s pro. The guy gets his work done, hits his deadlines, and makes it a priority to be a dependable guy editors can call on. He also has great experience in making his own comics, for quite a while, in every genre you can imagine, from the kids book, Sketch Monsters to the alien conspiracy comedy, Xenoholics. He’s getting his first shot at a regular series at DC, taking over Voodoo soon. If things work out there, he’s up for the work, and he’s hungry for it.
3. Joe Keatinge
There is no one in comics, and I know a lot of people in comics, more enthusiastic about what’s in his future. Joe worked at Image Comics doing marketing and PR, and has returned, reborn as the comic book writer he’s always wanted to be. Teaming with Frank Cho, of all people, for Brutal his debut, then following it up with Hell Yeah, and also resurrecting Glory, all with Image Comics. Joe already won an Eisner for his part in the Pop Gun Anthology to boot. Joe waited, made the connections, and is doing it right. Now, he’s got to back it up with great content. If the work is half as good as his enthusiasm suggests, he’ll be all right.
2. Nathan Edmondson
Forget Who is Jack Ellis?, who is Nathan Edmondson? Following Olympus in 2009 and The Light in 2010, Edmondson helped deliver one of the strongest mini-series from Image this past year with the aforementioned series, gaining him entrance to the new 52 with Grifter. He hasn’t gotten lazy though, with the new Image series, The Activity hitting shelves tomorrow. He’s got a talent for taut thrillers, and that fits in very well with what mainstream publishers like to do.
1. Joshua Hale Fialkov
Fialkov is banging on the door of big time in a big way. He’s not new to comics, but his name wasn’t well known until now. This year has seen him bust out of little known, but well regarded books like Echoes and Tumor, to taking over spots on Iron Man 2.0, and accepting the challenge of selling I, Vampire to a market who mostly don’t want it, and turning out an excellent result. At the same time, Last of the Greats is shaping up to be something memorable. Fialkov has the kind of confidence a good writer needs, matched with enough experience in the indie ranks to avoid rookie mistakes. Plus, no one else in comics had his character sleep with Oprah.