The holidays are coming to a close, and that means a lot of looking back at this year in pretty much every aspect of life.

2014 was a significant year in the industry, with even more change happening. And we can expect things to continue to move forward as we enter 2015.

There’s one story, however, that I think we all need to be aware of, and I’ll get to that very shortly.

MARVEL BACK ON TOP

When the New 52 debuted a few years back, it put DC in a competitive stance with the House of Ideas. Each month, I was anxious to read the numbers as Diamond Comics presented them, waiting to see who won that month.

In 2014, Marvel once again became the unquestioned leader in sales. I don’t need to check out the numbers at the beginning of the month any more.

There’s both good and bad to that. Personally, I think competition makes both Marvel and DC create better product. When one is clearly ahead of the game, I think the industry suffers. But that’s just me.

Marvel also had huge hits in the movie theaters, with Guardians of the Galaxy being the biggest. They also are back to making Star Wars comics, with the first one coming out next month. Who says science fiction doesn’t sell?

CREATORS MOVING OUTSIDE THE “BIG TWO”

DC Comics, Marvel, Captain America, Norm Breyfogle, Batman, Guardians of the Galaxy, Scott Snyder, Jeff Lemire, Hawkeye, WytchesIt used to be that sports stars would spend their entire career with the team that made him or her successful. Not anymore!

The same thing is happening with comics creators. I was intrigued (and more than a little scared) when it was announced that Scott Snyder was writing Wytches for Image Comics. Thankfully, he’s still going to be on Batman for some time to come as well!

We’re also seeing many powerful talents working for several companies these days. Frank J. Barbiere is writing for Dark Horse, Image, Dynamite and BOOM! so far. We now know that Jeff Lemire will be writing for Valiant, Dark Horse, Image and for Marvel (bringing back Hawkeye, interestingly enough).

It makes sense since shopping your concepts around can help get them in print. DC may not want something, but it just might be what Dark Horse is looking for! Expect this trend to continue unabated in 2015.

MARVEL MAKES GREAT MOVIES, DC TERRIFIC TV

As I mentioned previously, Guardians was a big hit. With the Captain America franchise also doing well and a lot of attention already being focused on Avengers 2, Marvel Studios inspired a Saturday Night Live skit that reflected a common feeling: Marvel can do no wrong, at least not yet.

They haven’t quite had the same success on the small screen. Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. has been struggling, and folks are concerned about Marvel’s Agent Carter, now a miniseries debuting in January on ABC.

Warner Bros./DC has Batman versus Superman: The Dawn of Justice coming, but their film division hasn’t been able to match Marvel’s success on the big screen. When it comes to TV, though, DC is shining brightly.

Gotham, The Flash, Arrow and Constantine have all garnered a lot of well-deserved attention. The one that might need the most support is Constantine on NBC, but given that network’s track record, they need shows that have a loyal fan base each week.

Also, Supergirl is on the way on CBS, and word has it that she’ll live in the same universe that the CW’s Flash and Arrow exist in, so a cross-company crossover could happen! There are also other shows in the works, like Teen Titans and Krypton, so one can say that DC is enjoying the same success in TV that Marvel is in motion pictures.

THE STORY THAT BRINGS US BACK TO REALITY

DC Comics, Marvel, Captain America, Norm Breyfogle, Batman, Guardians of the Galaxy, Scott Snyder, Jeff Lemire, Hawkeye, WytchesI’m happy for the successes of 2014, but I think we all need to be aware of a story that took place this month and deserves our attention. Here’s the text from their fundraising site:

“NORM BREYFOGLE SUFFERED A STROKE and has a long road to recovery ahead with extended therapy and has no insurance. As a legendary BATMAN ARTIST, his lifetime savings has already been dwindled down to nothing paying for out of pocket, insurmountable medical expenses in nearly a week in I.C.U.

“Norm has suffered paralysis on his left side (and is left handed). As an artist…that is devastating! Norm now needs months of extended care in a Nursing Home facility with daily therapy that will hopefully enable him to once again, continue his skillful art and regain his mobility to be able to walk again.

“Norm as touched many fans throughout his career as a professional artist and now needs all of our help. Norm has helped so many with his generosity throughout the years and has saved others lives in nearly the same situation of those in need of medical care expenses.

“PLEASE, Fans, Family and Friends, let’s pull together now to help Norm after all he has done for all of us in the many ways he has touched our lives. SPREAD THE WORD!

“All it takes is just a $1 Donation from 200,000 of his fans, friends and family to pull him through! I am sure he may need much more to cover all the expenses…but this is a start!

“Thank you all for all of your kind words and support! Norm appreciates all you do!”

As of this writing, Norm is out of the hospital and is in a rehab center near his home and family in Michigan. He may be facing a long recovery, so his family is requesting whatever support you can offer, from financial to emotional.

If you can donate, go to the link above to donate via paypal or credit card, or send checks or money orders to:

Norm Breyfogle
C/O Wendy Wiegert
51594 Boston Road
Hancock, MI. 49930

They’re also requesting any cards or letters of appreciation be sent to:

Norm Breyfogle
C/O HCMF Room #321
1100 W. Quincy St.
Hancock, MI. 49930

I have loved his work on Batman over the years, including recent chapters of Batman Beyond 2.0. I highly encourage you to support this dynamic talent and hope we’ll all enjoy more from him in the future!

Supporting a person like this is what being a member of the comics community is all about!

The Author

Wayne Hall

Wayne Hall

Wayne Hall creates the Wayne's Comics Podcast. He’s interviewed Scott Snyder, Greg Capullo, John Layman, Kyle Higgins, Phil Hester, Jimmy Palmiotti & Justin Gray, David Petersen, Christos Gage, Mike Grell, and Matt Kindt. Each episode also includes reviews, news and previews. On this site each week, he writes his "Comics Portal" column (general comics comments and previews) and reviews comics.

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