The Confessor was on hand to meet his maker early Thursday afternoon at Comic-Con International in San Diego as Kurt Busiek, creator of “Arrowsmith,” “Astro City” and numerous Marvel Comics and DC Comics series took the stage to discuss his upcoming work.
Busiek was joined at his panel by Scott McCloud, creator of “Zot” and “Understanding Comics” in the capacity of moderator. The panel started off with Busiek receiving Comic-Con’s coveted Ink Pot award for Achievement in Comic Arts.
Brent Anderson, the artist on the Wildstorm published “Astro City,” was also on hand to discuss the recently announced “Astro City” film being produced by Working Title. Busiek said of his reluctance in the past about turning “Astro City” into a film, “Astro City is basically a two hundred million dollar chick flick.” The first treatment of the film will be written by Busiek himself.
Anderson told the audience that he was thrilled, saying that “the city itself is a character” and he is excited about working on the set designs so that he can “flesh out” the city for the fans to show them everything that is in his head.” Anderson continued on to state that his point of references for the film was movies such as, “Shortcuts” and “Pulp Fiction” where stories touched on each other tangentially
The panel moved on to questions from the audience, immediately being asked about how much of the “Astro City” story existed at its inception. Busiek replied “enough,” pointing out that there are still enough holes in the story for him to create as he continues onward.
McCloud then asked about the series’ continuity, wondering if it bogged down the story or ever became problematic, to which Busiek replied, “As we all know, there are accidents that happen.” He then went on to say that he loves continuity, so, “if you are going to alter the history you have to work with it and explain it.”
McCloud then wanted to know if Busiek would ever move his family to Astro City. Busiek said, “On the grounds of safety, moving my family into an environment where I am in charge…” The audience burst into laughter before he could finish his thought. He then lamented the lack of beach in the city and noted that this particular geographical feature would be a deal breaker for him.
When asked about character design, Anderson stated that he is “a pretty literal artist” and that Busiek keeps him from being too literal. Busiek elaborated by giving an example of a conversation with Anderson: “No we don’t want him to look like a conquistador – we want him to be a superhero version of a conquistador.”
Busiek was asked by an audience member if there would be more “Arrowsmith” soon. He responded by informing the audience that the next “Arrowsmith” work will be an illustrated prose novel along the lines of Neil Gaiman’s “Stardust” and that he already has the outline set.
Busiek ended the panel by announcing that he and Alex Ross would be working on a series of comics based on old Jack Kirby characters for Dynamite Entertainment. This was met with a huge amount of excited cheering by audience in the nearly full to capacity room.