Well, 2012 is coming to a close, and you know what that means — year end “best of” lists! We’ve got our share of those coming to you soon, but we wanted to start things out with a nod to those writers and artists excelling at a particularly 2012 task — engaging with their audience via social media. Time was, you might only ever get a chance to interact with your favorite comics creators if they happened to be attending a con near you, but technology (for better or for worse) has now put them only a few clicks away. Still, some manage it better than others, and we wanted to take a moment to single out those creators that have gone above and beyond with crafting an inviting, entertaining twitter presence. Here it is, our Top 12 Best Creator Twitter Feeds of 2012.
12. Travel Foreman (@dookiekabookie)
Travel’s twitter profile has diminished severely as he backed off of his work on Animal Man and Birds of Prey. But before he disappeared, his twitter feed was a stream of consciousness faucet that ignored all the rules of modern polite tweeting. He would grant his followers access to pure, unfiltered Foreman. It might have been hard to sift through his thoughts as they flowed, unformatted and without pretense of cleverness, into our twitter feed, but it proved a fascinating insight into the artist.
Prototypical tweet: “In the future, Wal-Mart’s greeters will be robots. Elderly, retired robots.”
11. James Tynion IV (@JamesTheFourth)
Of course, some creators are able to express themselves just fine within the normal constraints of twitter. Indeed, all of the things that make James’ writing on Talon and backups for Batman such a joy — his cleverness, playfullness, and obvious nerddom — is readily apparent through his tweets. Plus, thanks to his profile picture, we now know that he basically looks like what would happen if Patrick and Drew had a kid.
Prototypical tweet: “(Sincerely hope that the geeky feel I get when I dive into my Wednesday stack of comics never goes away. The best feels out there)”
10. J. H. Williams III (@JHWilliamsIII)
Some tweeters project their personalities aggressively. Twitter’s great for that – so many limitations that writers have to express themselves without meandering pleasantries. And if you know anything about the way J. H. Williams writes (and draws) Batwoman, you know the man only writes in long, thoughtful ribbons of poetry. On the occasion that he does tweet back at his fans, Williams always adds an extra special piece of insight. Sometimes we just need confirmation that we’re not the only people reading comics this way.
Prototypical tweet: “Okay, now thats two Batwoman pumpkins for Halloween that I know of, so cool of you guys.”
9. Matt Fraction (@mattfraction)
Many twitter accounts seem designed exclusively to promote new projects (with the occasional silly observation), but Matt treats his more like a clearinghouse for silly observations (with the occasional mention of a comic book). Even when he does mention one of the several titles he’s writing (Hawkeye, Fantastic Four, FF), he does so with a charming modesty, always referring to Hawkeye as
#Hawkguy. Hell, even his oft-changed handles are a treat — he quickly slipped from “slutty matt fraction” to simply “slutty” to “jane twerkin,” and is now posting as “c.h.u.d. apatow.” If that doesn’t make you giggle, then you’re probably missing at least one of those references.
Prototypical tweet: “if i havent seen zero darks one through twenty-nine will this joke still make sense”
8. Greg Capullo (@GregCapullo)
Greg’s an interesting guy: simultaneously humble and kind of a braggart. Maybe he’s just a realist with some impressive colleagues. That means he’s happy to address fan questions, but it also means he occasionally responds with curt jokes. But he also uses twitter to share preliminary artwork (like, all the time). He’s at his giddy best when teasing his followers with snippets of the new Batmobile design, or a preprepreview of Joker’s new look. He’s punk rock in just a way that he might end up showing something the brass don’t want him to.
7. Jimmy Palmiotti (@jpalmiotti)
Jimmy might spend most of his twitter-time pimping his projects with Justin Gray, but this team has their tendrils in so many of the weird corners of the DC Universe (All-Star Western, G.I. Combat, Ame-Comi Girls, Human Bomb) that it’s hard not to find something you like in his bag of tricks. Plus, he has yet to convince his wife, Amanda Conner (Before Watchmen: Silk Spectre), to open her own twitter, so he’s also the font of all knowledge regarding her projects as well.
Prototypical tweet: “Amanda and I are giving each other time together for Christmas. We dont need anything else, really.”
6. Kyle Higgins (@KyleDHiggins)
Kyle’s feed represents a much more balanced approach to tweeting — equal parts promotion and goofing around. Kyle is especially fun to watch for his interactions with his peers — he often finds himself in facetious twitter wars with friends like Scott Snyder and Gail Simone. That kind of palling around is fun enough in its own right, but it’s also a fun glimpse into the working relationships that have helped Nightwing navigate some very successful crossover issues.
5. Brian Buccellato (@BrianBooch)
The Flash has consistently been one of our favorite comics, in part because of its crackerjack storytelling (both writing AND art), but also because of the inspiring fan community around the character. Brian’s twitter feed is one of the best places to tap into both. Brian has been surprisingly open and engaged with fans regarding the events and direction of the title (and his self-published Foster). From time to time, he’ll also feature something truly amazing: vacation pictures that are actually interesting.
Prototypical tweet: “
@ghettobond sorry, pal. The story is supposed to tug at your heart strings… with monsters.”
4. Dan Slott (@DanSlott)
All of these creators end up taking shit from their fans at one point or another. Dan had the unfortunate honor of helming Amazing Spider-Man to and though its final issue. Issue 698 deployed a twist so gut-wrenching as to send basically everyone in the Spider-Man fan community into hysterics. Guess what? They took to twitter to register their complaints. But Dan didn’t back down, he engaged with the very fans that we issuing DEATH THREATS against him. (Note: calm down, nerds.) But Dan’s actions shouldn’t be a surprise: he’s always engaged his fans — in good times and in bad.
3. Chris Burnham (@TheBurnham)
It’s one thing to discover that your favorite comics creators are basically decent people, but it’s quite another to discover that they’ve also got an incredible sense of humor. Chris doesn’t always tweet about Batman Incorporated, but that doesn’t make his feed any less readable. In fact, his gentle ribbing of fans and fellow creators is downright hilarious — especially when he’s mocking the kind of intense, losing-sight-of-the-world fan culture that has made Dan Slott’s life such a living hell this past month.
Prototypical tweet: “Headed to the comic shop. Can’t wait to see this Ejaculating Spider-Cock everyone is talking about.”
2. Scott Snyder (@Ssnyder1835)
Scott’s a busy guy. He’s one of those writers that make us re-evaluate how much is possible in a given day, but he still finds times to engage in all the various fan-groups that follow his books (Swamp Thing, Batman, American Vampire). From time-to-time, he will invite his followers to just ask whatever questions they want. And then — get this — he answers them. What a mench!
Prototypical tweet: “Batman RT
@bookishbelle: What is your favorite Christmas movie?”
1. Gail Simone (@GailSimone)
Gail is the gold-standard of comic twitterdom. Her feed is a well-balanced mix of comic promotion, fan engagement, tongue-in-cheek fights with other comics creators, and utter nonsense. She seems to particularly relish starting a hashtag joke just to watch it echo and amplify across the internet. That knack for silliness is tempered by some genuine sentiment (as with the response to her tweets about leaving Batgirl), but whatever the mood, her tweets are always entertaining.
Prototypical tweet: “Even if you truly love singing Polly wolly doodle, doing it all day is excessive.”