Baltimore Comic-Con Day 2: Image Comics

Sunday's Image Comics panel at the Baltimore Comic-Con was hosted by PR/Marketing Coordinator Joe Keatinge and featured writer/artist/Image publisher Erik Larsen ("The Savage Dragon"), writer/artist Dean Haspiel ("Brawl"), writer/artist Scott Kurtz ("PVP"), writer C.B. Cebulski ("Compass") and writer/artist Frank Cho ("Mighty Avengers," "Liberty Meadows"). Keatinge quickly went through Image's presentation of projects coming out this year and in 2008.

As previously announced, "Youngblood " is returning with a hardcover "rewritten" by Joe Casey, and a new series featuring covers by Rob Liefeld.

There are plans to collect and finish Rob Schrab's "Scud," then place the entire series under one volume.

The new anthology "Popgun" volume one will feature work by Jim Mahfood, Mike Allred and Erik Larsen.

"Girls" and "Ultra" fans can expect new work from the Luna Brothers on a book called "The Sword." Scott Kurtz added that he'd seen the project and thinks it's excellent.

Next up was "The Sinner," by Steve Niles and Bill Sienkiewicz. Keatinge described the title as "taking '60s Marvel conventions and twisting them." CBR News spoke with Niles about the project in July.

"Dark Ivory" by Joseph Michael Linsner was next on the list of new projects. "Rock and roll vampires stuff," Keatinge said.

After appearing in a backup on "Invincible," Phil Hester and Andy Kuhn will launch an ongoing "Firebreather" series with the character.

Keatinge said that as "The Walking Dead" approaches issue #50, writer Robert Kirkman plans to "kill about half the cast." Keatinge said it's really going to happen, and to look for a shock ending in issue #42, due out next week.

"PVP Awesomology" is on the way, the Image panel announced. It's 600 pages, contains the trades and much more. "It's got the original 'Strip Tease' stuff, plus all the pinups and original art anyone's ever done for me," Kurtz said. The collection is to mark "PVP's" 10th anniversary in 2008. Kurtz reflected on the series origins, when he was paid $500 a month by a website to refashion an existing project into a strip about videogames.

Currently, Kurtz is working on a book titled "How to Make Webcomics" with Kristofer Straub. The book is in two sections; creative and business. He's also producing a podcast called "Webcomics Weekly" and plans and do a book tour in 2008.

The new miniseries "Brawl" features two stories work from writer/artist Dean Haspiel and Michel Fiffe. Haspiel's half features a character called Billy Dogma that he created for his webcomic site ACT-I-VATE. "If I could compare it to anything, I'd say it's like 'Love and Rockets' and 'Grindhouse.'"

The panel then discussed "76" which is an eight-issue miniseries that will feature two stories: "Jackie Karma" by B. Clay Moore and Ed Henry and "Cool" from Seth Peck and Ty Walker. For more on this new project, check out CBR's Interview with Peck and Moore.

Erik Larsen talked about the 80-page "Savage Dragon" #132, which he said has "been in the works for way too long." Larsen added that he was working on issue #135. Larsen also spoke a bit about "The Next Issue Project," which was announced here on CBR News. "It's about finding old, cool comics in the public domain that haven't seen the light of day in 60 years."

For the project, Joe Keatinge and Mike Allred are working on a Stardust story. Dean Haspiel asked to work with a character called Green Llama. "He has the power to control sherpas," Kurtz said. "I'll get you up that mountain!"

Larsen will also be working on another series, Jack Kirby's "Silver Star" and "Captain Victory." "I didn't want to have to go back to other companies that own other Kirby characters," Larsen said. "It was kind of cool to do characters that the estate owned." The two titles will publish bimonthly, alternating months. Additionally, Larsen is working on yet another series that remains shrouded in secrecy. The teaser image displayed depicted a large gothic mansion with a van parked beside it.

Joe Keatinge announced that after issue #31 of "Noble Causes," the book will be revamped. Larsen helped creator Jay Faerber redesign some of the characters, who will jump ahead five years. The book will still keep its original numbering Additionally, in January and February, Image will present archives of the entire run of "Noble Causes."

As previously reported here on CBR, "The Nightly News" creator Jonathan Hickman is writing "Pax Romana" and a new miniseries called "Red Mass for Mars" "It's kind of superhero, but if you've read 'Nightly News' you know Jon doesn't make conventional comics," Keating said.

C.B. Cebulski talked about his projects like "Wonderlost," an autobiographical anthology. "I had some ideas and considered doing a novel but I knew lots of artists and decided to make it a comic," Cebulski said. He described his other project, "Compass," as an ongoing, all-ages story about teenage witches looking for directions in their lives. "A magic versus technology fable," he said. It will be published in both the US and in Japan. The first issue will ship in September.

Like "The Walking Dead," "Invincible" is getting close to issue #50. "Robert's been setting stuff up really since issue #1 that'll pay off," Joe Keatinge confirmed. The cover to issue #50 features the title character holding a bloodied Cecil. Also, expect an "Atom Eve" two-issue miniseries written by Benito Cereno and drawn by Nate Bellegarde.

Frank Cho was asked when he'd be finishing "Libery Meadows." "'Mighty Avengers' is taking a lot of my time" said the busy writer-artist. Other projects Cho has in the pipeline include the "Liberty Meadows" TV show pilot, "Mighty Avengers" annual #1, an ongoing humor strip and a maxiseries that'll be launched with either Image or Dark Horse. "I'm going to try to wrap up 'Liberty Meadows' in the next two or three years and then do a fat, fat collection," Cho said, adding that a collection would include all the predecessors to his "Liberty Meadows" material. Cho's "Venus" will also appear sometime in the spring of next year. He explained that when he gets tired of drawing superheroes he paints. "King Kong, Edgar Rice Burroughs type stuff," he said.

Finally, Keatinge announced that a new "The Walking Dead" T-shirt will hit the market soon.

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