Welcome to CBR’s live coverage of the Dark Horse Comics panel at Comic-Con International 2008. Check back here every few minutes for more updates directly from the discussion with Director of Publicity Jeremy Atkins and editor Scott Allie.
Allie began the panel by recognizing Eric Powell for his Eisner win for Best Painter for “The Goon,” James Jean for Best Cover Artist for “Umbrella Academy” and “Fables,” Dave Stewart for Best Coloring “on every comic books.” “Umbrella Academy” won Best Limited Series. “Perry Bible Fellowship” for Best Humor Publication. “Sugarshock” for best Web Comic. And “Buffy” for Best New Series.
Allie announced that Josh Dysart and Mike Mignola will co-write “BPRD 1947” with art by Gabriel Ba and Fabio Moon with colors by Dave Stewart.
Alli said the Fall’s Buffy stories following the Fray storyline Jeph Loeb will join the team for a single issue of the series that picks up on some of the stuff that was unable to be seen in the aborted Buffy animated series, which Leob worked on. Jane Espenson kicks off the next long-form arc which promises to “change the lives of the slayers forever.” That will be followed by a five-issue arc by five different writers, after which Espenson returns, followed by Brad Meltzer, and then Whedon’s final arc to wrap up the series.
Dark Horse will be reprinting Guy Davis’ “The Marquis” in a deluxe omnibus format.
In November comes “Umbrella Academy” series two, which focuses on the Boy who went into the future. “We find out who those guys were that showed up at the diner and came after him. That scene spins all of the action in Series 2.” The theme of the series is very American, while the first was very European.
A fan asked about the hardcover of “20 Years of Dark Horse.” “We’ve retitled it 25 Years of Dark Horse,” Allie laughed, saying it is coming. “The book is looking like it may come out in 2011.”
Are you going to bring back Dark Times? Atkins: “Yeah. Its been moving a little slowly. The artwork is fantastic, unfortunately the artist is his own worst critic. He often redraws the pages. But it looks amazing every issue and we’re glad it’s coming out.”
“Rex Mundi” comes to an end in 2009 to tie it all together Dark Horse has John Cassaday, Gerard Way, Eric Powell, and Joan Chen to provide covers. Issue #13 features two stories with one illustrated by Guy Davis and one by Brian Churilla, who will also draw “Hill of Martyrs.” Four pages will be in Rex Mundi #13, three on Comic Book Resources, with additional installments popping up on Dark Horse’s website and on MySpace Dark Horse Presents.
Atkins displayed cover artwork including Jo Chen’s “Serenity: Better Days” trade paperback and Jim Lee’s “Umbrella Academy” Series 2.
Dark Horse will produce another Serenity miniseries depicting the origin of Shepard Book. It will begin early in 2009, but the creative team is not yet confirmed. The book will feature a different art team.
The cover for Jeph Loeb’s issue of Buffy features a television displaying the unaired Buffy animated series.
Mike Mignola will draw “The Chapel of Moloch,” a one-shot that takes place in the past — it is not a sequel to Darkness Calls.
“War of Frogs 2” will come out in November. “Basically we wanted to do a BPRD story like the original ‘Aliens.’ Basically a bunch of grunts trying to deal with these monsters. The legendary John Severin is drawing this for us, and the guy’s work is as beautiful as it’s ever been.”
The subject of Joss Whedon’s “Dr. Horrible” drew applause from the crowd. To tie-in to the live-action project, Eric Canete is drawing an eight-page Captain Hammer story which is currently readable on MySpace Dark Horse Presents.
Dark Horse is bringing Dean Motter’s Mister X back in a new series as well as an omnibus collecting the original material.
Following their success with the Conan books, Dark Horse is launching Robert E. Howard’s Solomon Kane, which begins in September with covers by John Cassaday. Allie was so in love with the character, he insisted on writing the series himself rather than just editing it. Avrid Nelson will write the new Kull series. Philip Simone will edit the entire Robert E. Howard line.
Fifty issues of Conan have been completed since 2003, and the next chapter of his life begins this month in “Conan the Cimmarian” with covers by Frank Cho.
On the Star Wars side, Dark Horse will release “The Force Unleashed” which ties into the new Lucasarts Star Wars video game. A “Clone Wars” comic is on the way in the form of a monthly comic as well as a series of digest-sized books similar to the “Clone Wars Adventures” books the publisher has been releasing.
“Vector” will be collected in a trade paperback at the end of the year.
In addition to Dark Horse’s adaptation of “Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull,” the publisher will produce a new series called “Indiana Jones and the Tomb of the Gods.”
For the first time ever, Dark Horse will release work by CLAMP simultaneously in the US and Japan.
Out of nowhere, Dark Horse publisher Mike Richardson entered the room with Bruce Campbell! The pair discussed Campbell’s new film “My Name is Bruce,” written by guest panelist Mark Verheiden.
“I don’t know why it happened. But the impetus for this was that I always wanted to work with Bruce,” Verheiden said. The pair met on “Timecop.” “I had this idea about a movie star who gets kidnapped by a bunch of imbeciles in a small town who want him to fight demons. This came together incredibly easy for a movie.”
The picture is financed by Image Entertainment — not to be confused with Image Comics.
“A lot of people thought this movie is never coming out,” Campbell said. “Low budget movies aren’t released — they escape! We didn’t want htis one to suck, so we tried to take our time and do it right.”
“We actually shot the movie, the people at Image liked it so much they gave us additional funds to shoot more of it,” Richardson added.
Campbell identified co-star Tim Krill in the audience.
“It’s sort of Galaxy Quest” for the horror crowd,” Campbell said. “Of course you’ll see that it’s a horribly bad idea. Don’t ever hire an actor to help you — with anything.” Campbell then introduced a clip in which several teenagers looking for sex in a graveyard are horribly murdered by an evil Chinese god, and then a second on in which his character — himself — realizes that his fans truly want him to fight demons. In the clip, Campbell becomes so terrified he appears to mistakenly kill a number of innocent people while running for his life.
Campbell then opened the floor for questions.
What is on the horizon for Dark Horse in terms of the next chapter of Dark Horse films? Richardson: “We’re talking about a sequel to this called My Name is Still Bruce. As far as DH Entertainment, RIPD is being developed as a film.”
Campbell plugged his television show “Burn Notice,” saying he was finally pointed out as “The Burn Notice Guy.”
One fan stood to thank Campbell for making the world a better place, eliciting applause from the crowd.
Verheiden finished shooting Battlestar Galactica two weeks ago and said the prequel series “Caprica” looks “brilliant.” He’s also working on a film called “Arc” at Sony.
One fan said Campbell was his favorite actor ever, for which Campbell awarded him with a couple of bucks. “I don’t want to break a 20, so here’s two dollars.”
Will we be seeing more physical abuse in My Name is Bruce? Campbell: “No, because Sam Raimi isn’t directing it! There’s just enough abuse to make the fans glad I’m being abused.”
Do you like the abuse? “What are you saying by that? That I like pins and needles stuck into me? This woman at a book signing came up to me and said here’s some poetry you’d REALLY like. Yeah I make horror movies so I must worship Satan every night? Yeah, I do.”
Campbell said there will be no Bubba Ho-Tep sequel due to creative disagreements, although there are no hard feelings.
Any more books planned? “Any ideas? Come up with one and we’ll talk.”
Any more Evil Dead or Army of Darkness? “No. Sam Raimi’s a little busy — have you noticed? Making massive blockbuster movies for the last decade. He’s busy. Who saw Indy 4? Is that what you want???”
Any Army of Darkness comics? Richardson: “There’s one series licensed from Sam Raimi and that’s the Dark Horse Evil Dead series written by Mark Verheiden. Other comics pale in comparison.”
Campbell: “Other comics are not endorsed. They’re licensed from a sub-licensor to a sub-licensor.”
You don’t make anything from them?
Campbell: “Jack SHIT is what I get.”
What’s your dream role? “Playing myself in a movie, where I can play the biggest jerk I want.”
Will you shoot the My Name is Bruce sequel in Oregon? “Most likely. We are all native Oregonians here. So speak slowly to us. Point Break is one of the last movies that showed Oregon. It’s not been exploited much. So they lied about where they were — but it looked pretty.”
Is it hard for you to transition from Evil Dead to Burn Notice? Campbell: “You still have to learn lines of dialogue — more on Burn Notice than in any Evil Dead movie. Ash doesn’t really speak, he grunts. He screams like a girl sometimes. I’m actually more stereotyped by you than I am within my own industry. I either do unrated or Disney stuff. BUt you folks’ perception of me is based strictly on what you’ve watched. People say, “you should do more than horror,” and I go,” Do you WATCH more than horror?””
Richardson concluded the panel by asking the audience, “Forget that Batman movie and go see Hellboy II: The Golden Army!”