At Years End - Looking Forward

A column article by: Ace Masters


Hello dear readers,

Well, we have come to the end of yet another year of life, and another year of The Burning Mind. In the bigger picture this ends another successful year for ComicsBulletin, especially with the relaunch several weeks ago.

I had thought about doing a recap of the major events in comics this year, including the new Ultimate Spider-Man, the DCnU, but that sort of thing is what everyone does. Instead I decided to look forward to the year 2012 and what may happen next year, and what we all can strive to achieve in 2012.


The DCnU and Marvel/Disney

I see two evolving stories that will dominate the first half of the year: The DCnU and relationship between  Marvel and Disney.

The DCnU: So far, this has been successful. Only time will tell if there will be long-term success. The first half of 2012 will be a crucial time for DC. Will the major titles sustain their current numbers or will they fall back to pre-relaunch sales?It will be interesting to watch and see. Personally, I believe sales are bound to fall. The question is how far?

Marvel/Disney: It appears that Disney has begun to take more interest in the day-to-day operations of Marvel Entertainment. There have been some shakes up in the chain of command at Marvel, and Disney owned properties (such as the Muppets) have begun popping up on Marvel’s publishing schedule.

As I wrote in an article over a year ago, Disney taking some editorial control could be a good thing. Disney is already exercising control and cutting some titles. If they do things right, this could lead to the streamlining of the product line and a focus on a core group of titles and characters. Let’s hope this is the path that evolves in the near future.

The bad thing would be if Disney decides to make Marvel kiddie, which could spell doom for Marvel and our beloved characters. However, with the current success of the Marvel brand in films world-wide (with the Avengers movie coming in May 2012, of course), I doubt Disney will make whole-sale changes that will affect their bottom-line.


The Comic Creator

What does 2012 bring for you, the comic creator? It brings what every year brings – opportunity. Perhaps even more opportunities this year then the last few years. Why? Huge exposure on the comic book world due to the DCnU and the major films (The Amazing Spider-Man, Avengers, The Dark Knight Rises, Ghost Rider: Spirits of Vengence, Judge Dredd, MIB 3) coming out this year.

This kind of exposure can trickle down to smaller publishers when their titles are on the shelves in stores. If your book is finished and ready to go, make a battle plan and get it out to the public and let people know it is there.

If you’re book isn’t finished get it finished. Work on it and plan for 2013.

Also, keep in mind that more comic books and graphic novels are being optioned for films. That said, I wouldn’t create a comic strictly to sell it as a film.


The Burning Mind

What does the future hold for the Burning Mind? The future means me stepping back just a little bit. Due to the previous erratic nature of the bi-weekly schedule, I made a promise to the readers of The Burning Mind that I would keep the column going weekly as much as possible. That promise was made in August, and except for a couple of hiccups along the way, the column has been weekly for four-and-a-half months.

Starting in January, The Burning Mind will revert back to its original bi-weekly schedule, with new columns on the 2nd and 4th Wednesday of each month. The main focus will be on the  business columns. In the in-between weeks there will be an occasional opinion column on developing stories, or a rant or two from me.

Of course, I will be following up on the Brandon X story as well.


Ace Masters

Instead of a production diary like I originally planned here, I want to show how I am looking forward to the future.

By the end of January, I am going to have two comic book properties I will be shopping around to publishers (Only the Dead Are Free, with art and colors by Irapuan and Michelle Fiorucci; and Dragon’s Spear, art by Malacai.), as well as looking into potentially publishing them myself under my Masterpiece Comics brand. Only time will tell which way they will go.

I am also working on a horror survival guide book I hope to have ready to send to agents and publishers by the summer.

The highlight of my 2011 was getting Did I Do Good into the Long Shadow Film Festival and winning the award for Best Horror Short Film. I have written in previous columns that one needs to take advantage of this. Over the new few months I will be taking advantage of winning this award.

How so? First, I will be sending out submissions and queries to agents, film studios, comic book companies and other outlets looking for writing gigs and promoting the award. Agents, producers and publishers all love awards.

Secondly, I will be filming two short films in the first quarter of 2012, one for festivals and one that will be presented online.

Thirdly, I am developing a tv pilot that I will start passing around to agents and studios by mid-year.

Finally, from January 1st, to March 31st I will be developing the long-talked-about business plan to try and raise fund for projects including comic books, magazines and movies.

All this can be done, and I will chronicle all of it in this column.


The Comic Book Reader:

What does 2012 hold in store for the comic book reader? Who knows, to tell the truth. The only thing I do know for sure it that, like every year, it will hold up and downs. It will also hold lots of comics – a few of them worth reading.

Here’s a question, what can you do for comics? Yes, you the reader! The answer is simple. Tell people about comic books; spread the word about the greatness of comics. If even half of the fan base can get one extra person per reader into stores this year to start reading we will can increase the readership by thousands this year.

We need our industry to grow, for that we need more people to read. If our collective fan base can get movies made, why can’t we get more people into stores?

2012 is the year almost upon us. It can be a year of whatever we want it to be, so why not make it good? Look to the future and what you want to do, but never forget the past – just don’t dwell on it. There are lots of things to do this year, so let’s do it.

Of course, if you believe this is the last year in humanity and 12/21/2012 is the end day for us all, you better get moving, right?


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