Aspen Comics made a splash last Friday at San Diego's Comic-Con International when they announced the lineup of coming comics for this next year. Aspen Comics, founded by the late Michael Turner, is the publishing house behind such titles as "Fathom," "Soulfire" and "Shrugged." The panel kicked off with a big "Aloha" lead by Peter Steigerwald ("Dellec," "Shrugged") that echoed through the room.
First up was a new comic that just came out with issue zero last Wednesday titled "The Scourge," written by Scott O'Dell with art by Eric Battle. "The Scourge" is a joint effort with Valhalla Motion Pictures. Issue one will be on sale next month but fans who attended the panel were given a Comic-Con-exclusive movie cover copy of issue zero as a gift on their way out of the doors.
Joe Benitez has a new book coming out this fall. "Lady Mechanika"#0 is already finished and work has begun on issue #1, so fans of Benitez's work can keep their eyes peeled for that one, coming soon.
Frank Mastromauro ("Dellec," "Shrugged") discussed some of the previous problems the company has had with release dates on its flagship book "Fathom," promising more consistent release with the upcoming volume four. Upon mentioning volume four, Mastromauro revealed a never-before-seen cover of Aspen Mathews with artwork by Michael Turner. Mastromauro said of Turner's art, "There are still a few pieces left that Mike drew. Keep your eyes peeled."
Fans of "Soulfire," prepare yourselves for volume three, which will be premiering next year right on the heels of volume two. This will be the first time that both the main titles for "Fathom" and "Soulfire" will have new issues out simultaneously.
Next on the agenda was "Executive Assistant Iris," written by David Wohl. While Aspen has no history of massive events in which all of the characters' universes collide, this year there is going to be an event that runs through all of the "Executive Assistant Iris" miniseries that will tie-in to the main title. On top of the massive event news, it was also announced that a script has been written for an "Executive Assistant Iris" movie and is currently being shown to directors. News about the film should be coming out in the next few weeks.
For fans of the stories Aspen has been producing who are having a hard time finding back-issues, Aspen will be increasing its trade paperback production. Some of those hard to find stories will become more accessible to the public.
Also this year, Aspen will be joining the digital age, releasing digital comics beginning with a new "Fathom" tale revolving around the recent British Petroleum oil spill. All proceeds made from this story will be donated to the Wildlife Foundation to aid in their efforts.
Aspen also announced the launch of four new books: "Charismagic," "Broken Pieces," "Sunslashers," and "Zooniverse." "Charismagic," which was described by Mastromauro as "an Adult 'Harry Potter' meets 'The Sorcerers Apprentice' only done right" will be the first of the books to be published.
During the question and answer session, one fan asked about the "Fathom" movie and where it was in its production. Mastromauro responded to this question by saying that the film version of Michael Turner's comic is "kind of blinking yellow." Fans of the comic should know, though, that "We are still getting ready to look for directors," and "we should hopefully have some good announcements on it soon."
The panel ended the way it began with Steigerwald leading everyone in a great big "Aloha" which was even louder than the fist.