Dynamite Entertainment President Nick Barrucci helmed his company’s panel at the 2009 New York Comic Con on Saturday, and he was joined by several Dynamite creators for an extended Q&A session with the fans. In attendance were acclaimed movie producer and writer Jeff Katz, “Army of Darkness” writers James Kuhoric and Mike Raicht, “AoD” artist Scott Cohn, and “Battlestar Galactica” writers Robert Napton and Kevin Fahey.
The first topic was the recent $1 introductory issues Dynamite has put out for its Project Superpowers series. Barrucci polled the audience, asking for a show of hands. “How many of you want another dollar book, with a full story and painted spreads of the character origins? Or would you prefer a 25 cent book with 8 pages of story?” Barrucci then went on to say that another dollar book is in the works, and will be showcasing a different “Project Superpowers” character. “We like these dollars books because retailers can stock up on them and give customers an opportunity to try it out,” Barrucci added.
A fan wanted to know if there would be more “Battlefields” from Garth Ennis coming. Barrucci confirmed this and added, “He’s also doing a 6-issue series called ‘Herogasm’,” which elicited a chuckle from the audience. Someone then asked about the “Freddy vs. Jason vs. Ash” series, and how they manage to balance the usage of each of the characters. Kuhoric emphasized that they always strive to give each character his due. “That’s something we worked for in the first series and also in the next one.” At this point, Barrucci hastily added “Not that we’re confirming there is another Freddy vs. Jason vs. Ash series.” Kuhoric also mentioned a new series he’s doing called “Dead Irons,” which will have covers by Jae Lee and interiors by Jason Alexander.
A question was asked about possibly doing more intercompany crossovers, and while Barrucci admitted he loves doing them, he said “The creators hate it.” He explained that crossovers can sometimes disrupt what the creators are doing with their characters on their own, and he wants to keep them happy. Barrucci then mentioned that Dynamite will be doing a Sherlock Holmes book with Leah Moore and John Reppion writing, Aaron Campbell on art, and John Cassaday on covers. Barrucci emphasized that this would be a distinctly different take on the classic detective, noting “There are two characters who have more variations and different takes on them than any others. Dracula and Sherlock Holmes.” Moore and Reppion have also written “The Complete Dracula” for Dynamite.
Next up, a fan asked Jeff Katz about his involvement with the Wolverine movie coming soon from Fox, and rumored changes and additions during filming. For the most part, Katz avoided comment, referring to his departure from Fox, saying “They were really nice to let me out of my contract, and I don’t want to upset them. But he added “The stuff they have put in there is really fan friendly. The success of ‘Dark Knight’ allowed us to make changes to this film to make it more intense. We call it, and this is something Hugh Jackman says all the time, ‘The most bad-ass version of Wolverine.’ If you want to get an idea of what it’s like, check out the game [X-Men Origins: Wolverine]. That game is rated ‘M’ for mature because it’s so bloody.” Despite Katz’s reluctance to talk about his movie work for obvious contractual reasons, inquiring fans still wanted to know, and the next question was about a possible Deadpool movie, based on Ryan Reynolds’ reported cameo as the “Merc With A Mouth” in the Wolverine film. Again, Katz demurred but said, “Ryan is really hardcore into Deadpool.”
Mike Raicht then talked a bit about his run on “Army of Darkness,” saying, “Ash learns about his Chosen One roots, and the ones who came before him. He also said Ash will be teaming up with a werewolf, leading to the suggestion of Ash teaming up with Godzilla. “Ashzilla?” Barrucci pondered. Robert Napton talked about his new series “Blackbeard.” “It will be in the same vein as ‘The Lone Ranger'” he said, referring to another of Dynamite’s series featuring a legendary figure. The series will have Cassaday covers, and Mario Cuerva on art. Fahey discussed his next BSG miniseries, entitled “BSG: The Final Five.” The “Final Five” refers to the last five Cylons who are disguised as humans, a plot point of much interest to fans of the TV series. Fahey described it as supplemental to the TV series, saying “It expands on the character beats developed in the show.”
Jeff Katz related an anecdote of learning that the cult film “Snakes on a Plane,” which he served as associate producer on, had been cataloged in the Museum of Modern Art’s archives, because it was deemed culturally relevant. He mentioned that his cousin is acclaimed director Darren Aronofsky, and joked “Now, whenever my aunt calls and brags that her son has an Oscar, I say ‘Oh yeah, well my film’s in the Museum of Modern Art!'” Becoming more serious, he addressed the audience saying “People call you geeks, nerds, whatever. Well, I’m one of you. And you know what you are? You’re winners. You guys are the ones calling the shots in TV and film these days.” Asked about his decision to leave Fox, Katz remained vague, though he emphasized that Fox had “been great” to him. “I just see the model changing, and I want to take a shot at the opportunities I see ahead.”
A fan asked Kevin Fahey to give his best pitch to convince his girlfriend that BSG was worth watching. Fahey replied, “Watch the first two episodes. If you don’t like it, you’re insane.” He went on to praise it as one of the best shows on TV, and identified it as part of a “creative renaissance” that took place in series television along with shows like the Sopranos.
Another fan asked how Bruce Campbell felt about the Ash comics, and Barrucci replied honestly, “I don’t think Bruce is a fan.” The issue of Campbell’s claim of unpaid royalties was raised, and another fan used an unflattering term to describe Campbell. Katz got a laugh out of the audience when he said “One thing to remember is, Bruce is a liar.” Explaining, he said that he had been in negotiations with Campbell over “Freddy vs. Jason vs. Ash” (which Katz had originally written as a film screenplay) for two years, and said that Campbell and his agent had signed off on it, only to turn around and claim he was never contacted. Katz summed up that line of discussion jokingly saying, “Bruce, call me.”
The last topic of the panel was Garth Ennis and Darick Robertson’s “The Boys,” which Dynamite brought over to their company after DC refused to continue publishing it. Barrucci said there was a lot of competition as to who would pick up the series, explaining “I convinced Garth because I was honest with him. He’d never heard of us, but I sent him samples of our work, and I was straightforward in terms of what we would do. He and Darick just had to write and draw the book, occasionally do interviews, and we would handle everything else including the marketing.” He added, “The only other company that couldn’t do this book was Marvel. It just wouldn’t work, having thinly disguised versions of their superheroes performing sex acts on each other.” He noted that the book is almost at its halfway mark of 30 issues, as it will end with issue #60. “Garth likes to end his stories,” Barrucci observed.