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Jonathan Hickman asks: "What should I do next?"

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Jonathan Hickman At his spotlight panel SDCC 2015

Jonathan Hickman posed a question to the room as he opened his spotlight panel at San Diego Comic-Con 2015: "Should I stay at Marvel, go to DC, or go exclusively with Image?" He asked each person who stepped to the mic at the Q&A portion of the panel to weigh in on his career path.

The first person to the mic said Hickman should stay at Marvel. There was some small applause. The next person said Image, and the applause was definitely louder. As the discussion continued, with a few exceptions, the overwhelming majority of fans said he should go exclusively with Image.

Almost all of Hickman's works were touched upon in the discussion, ranging from SHIELD to Secret Warriors, FF, Avengers, Ultimates - but the clear favorites among those in the room were Hickman's Image titles, with many citing East of West as his best work.

Hickman kept a tally of each person's vote and at the end of the panel said that he was probably going to go in the Image direction anyway, but he wanted to see where his readers preferences were. He stressed the creative freedom at Image and said that ownership has changed the lives of many of his comic creator friends. He had nothing but great things to say about Marvel, and he said that he's simply been too overwhelmed with work to know too much about the books that are launching after Secret Wars, but he said that he's looking forward to Jason Aaron's Doctor Strange.

Hickman said his next will work include something he will write and draw himself, and be in the experimental vein, more akin to works like The Nightly News.

In his closing remarks, Hickman said that because of the readership engaging with creator-owned comics and vaulting Image into a 10% market-share, there's not only great work now, but he looks into the near future and believes that in the next five years, this transformed marketplace will free creators even more, and the next five years of books could be extraordinary.

Milton Lawson

Milton is a writer living in Houston. Comics, travelogues. Go Astros. Go Texans.

A short comic about an indie music shop written by Milton Lawson with art by Dave Chisholm

A travelogue about four friends taking their first trip to Europe. Now available on Amazon.com.