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Demolishing the Competition

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This article is part of a series of spotlight articles on the winners of the  Broken Frontier Awards 2005 .

Brian Wood wears many different hats. Illustrator, web design, and even clothing designer. While it would be hard to pin him down with just one specific title, the Broken Frontier Award 2005 for Best Writer – Independent goes out to Brian Wood for his outstanding achievements as an indie writer this past year. In 2005 Brian Wood wrote critically acclaimed books for AiT/Planet Lar, Oni Press and DC’s mature readers imprint Vertigo.

Wood’s most popular work of 2005 would probably be DEMO. In DEMO, we saw Wood reunited with fan favorite Becky Cloonan. They first worked together on Channel Zero: Jennie One, a prequel to Wood’s ground-breaking series Channel Zero. DEMO follows a different set of characters in ever issue. Some of them have special powers; some of them just find themselves in unique situations. Every issue was a perfect blend of hardcore writing and art.

Toward the end of the year, fans saw the beginning of Brian Wood’s newest creation: DMZ. DMZ is a Vertigo book that follows photojournalist Matty Roth trapped in a war torn New York City. This series just kicked off, but it has the making of a future classic. DMZ is going to be stand-out with other Vertigo books like Preacher and Y-The Last Man.

Wood also has an eye for talent. Though he’s more than capable of illustrated his own books, he finds artists that have had little or no experience in comics and puts the spotlight on them. Perhaps it’s because Brian Wood is an accomplished illustrator himself that he has a knack for tracking down other talented artists. Or maybe he’s just trying to help some future comic stars get their start in comics.

So what’s next for Brian Wood in 2006? Well, his new Oni book Local and DMZ both kicked off late in the in 2005, so fans can look forward to seeing those two series grow. Wood is also working on a new series for IDW called Supermarket, a series that attacks consumerism in a futuristic setting.

Fans of Brian Wood find his stories appealing because he does more then just tell a story. He often puts his characters in situations that aren’t that far off from everyday life. His stories that take place in the future often have a dash of satire too them—some might see them as a warning, as if Wood is telling us, “This is where’s you’re heading if you’re not careful.”

It’s rare that we find a creator that can thrive in both independent and mainstream comics. But Brian Wood has done just that. He’s been in the independent comic scene about ten years and he’s already secured a place in the medium’s history. If you need proof, just pick up any of his books from 2005.

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