Who better to hold court on the subject of creator-owned comics than the creator of “The Walking Dead,” “Invincible,” “Super Dinosaur” and “Battle Pope,” Robert Kirkman? The Image Comics partner sat on stage Friday afternoon at New York Comic Con with Image Publisher Eric Stephenson, Rob Liefeld (“The Infinite”), Tim Seeley (“Hack/Slash”), Joe Keatinge (“Brutal”), Ross Campbell (“Fraggle Rock”) and Jim McCann (“Return of the Dapper Men”). The panelists discussed their brand new books including the relaunch of Liefeld’s Extreme Studios titles featuring many of the panelists as well as new books by McCann, Keatinge and the team of Ed Brubaker and Sean Phillips (“Criminal”).
The biggest piece of news by scale if nothing else had to do with the return of Rob Liefeld’s Extreme Studios characters to comic shops thanks to a new deal with Image that was brought about via his previous working relationship with Stephenson and Kirkman’s enthusiasm. Liefeld talked very enthusiastically about the return of books including “Youngblood,” “Glory” by Keatinge and Campbell and Seeley on “Bloodstrike,” crediting a 5 Hour Energy Drink to keep the creator awake and feisty.
The next big reveal came in the form of a new book from McCann, best known initially as a Marvel PR guru and then for his runs on “Hawkeye & Mockingbird” for Marvel and the Eisner Award-winning “Return of the Dapper Men” graphic novel at Archaia with artist Janet Lee. He’s working on a project with artist Rodin Esquejo (“Morning Glories” covers) called “Mind The Gap,” but didn’t offer too many details outside of an erie elevator pitch: “It’s my ‘Twin Peaks’ meets ‘X-Files.'” CBR News spoke further with McCann about his plans for “Mind the Gap.”
In other PR-guru-turned-writer news, former Image public relations guy Keatinge announced another new title, this one called “Hell Yeah” with artist Andre Szymanowicz that will examine how a world filled with superheroes and the celebrity that goes along with it would affect regular people and the world overall. The first arc kicks off with a man trying to figure out why alternate-universe versions of himself are getting murdered.
The final piece of news to be dropped on the huge crowd came from a surprising place: Ed Brubaker. The writer known for doing books such as “Sleeper,” “Captain America” and “Criminal” will be bringing a brand new title to the big “I” along with frequent collaborator Sean Phillips called “Fatale.” The book promises to combine elements of the femme fatale as an ideal with gnarly Lovecraftian monsters. Brubaker couldn’t be at the show itself, but did send along a video filled with clips from the comic as well as a man tying the writer up and the lights fading to black in a fairly menacing fashion. Assuming he got himself out of that sticky situation, expect the usual from Brubaker and Phillips come next year.