CCI, DAY 2: Burlyman Reloaded: Wachowski & Co talk at CCI

The Matrix lives on… but that's later in the story.

Earlier this morning, the Wachowski brothers' comic company Burlyman Comics made its first Comic-Con International in San Diego and revealed some details about their plans for the future. Though the panel initially consisted of comic veterans Steve Skroce and Geof Darrow, along with their editor Spencer, the fans in attendance were surprised by the appearance of Andy and Larry Wachowski, the latter of whom was dressed in a feminine attire, and the Burlyman himself, a heavy set Caucasian male who was dressed in strongman tights.

The most excitement centered around the Matrix franchise and the Wachowski's joked that they'd keep milking the money train till they were old and had enough retirement money. "We won't sell out," laughed Larry and later added, "It doesn't matter how much money you drive up to our houses… well… maybe." The brothers also said that the Matrix franchise will continue on in a new online game, detailing events mere hours after the "Revolutions" film and Spencer mentioned that there may be a second Matrix comic book collection. There were many questions about the seemingly universal critical feedback on the third film and Larry hypothesized that most great films are not recognized as such till years later, citing "Blade Runner" as a good example of such. Andy, to say that the criticism isn't unwelcome, said that for the new DVD set they recruited critics who hated the last two films along with philosophers who enjoyed the film and juxtaposed their commentaries on the films.

Geof Darrow spoke of his new series "Shaolin Cowboy" in which the main character is neither a priest nor a cowboy. Each issue will begin with a recap of previous events called the "Ass Monologues" in which a talking donkey will recap events. "I felt there was a shortage of talking asses in comics," mused Darrow. Laughing at his own procrastination that forced the project to fall far behind schedule ("I've been working on it since the first Matrix," laughed Darrow), Darrow added, "My idea won't revolutionize the comic book world any longer." The writer provided the majority of the humor for the panel, though a comment about having lots of art references for frogs in France fell flat and Darrow redeemed himself with a comment about Republicans being a supernatural menace that seemed to go over well with the crowd.

Steve Skroce, best known for his acclaimed issues on "Wolverine," spoke of "Doc Frankenstein," a monster that protects creatures of his kind who are feared and hated by the world around them. The first arc will deal with monster hunters who come searching for the good hearted Doc and intend to kill him. The idea was developed by both Skroce and Darrow, but it was decided to let Skroce develop it further.

The Wachowski brothers said their film treatment for Alan Moore's "V For Vendetta" is still being sat on and the status of the project is unknown. In film related comments, Skroce cited the original "Captain America" film as his least favorite and Darrow said he disliked the "X-Men" films, which drew applause from a lone fan.

As to the question of why the Wachowski brothers started Burlyman, Andy said, "We decided to put money into the gold mine that is comics." The panelists laughed, along with the audience and soon all were given Burlyman gifts by sexy European twins in revealing outfits, which drew even more people into the room.

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