DC Comics's Vertigo panel was packed Friday at Comic-Con International in San Diego. In attendance were Karen Berger, Shelly Bond, Jonathan Vankin, Simon Oliver. Dean Haskiel, Bill Willingham, Douglas Rushkoff, Becky Cloonan, Tony Moore, Matt Sturges, Cameron Stewart, Gilbert Hernandez, Brian K Vaughan, Steve Seagle,and Mark Buckingham. Berger began with introductions of all the creators and then went right into the slide show.
First was "Pride of Baghdad," Vaughan's new original graphic novel with artist Niko Henrichon.
"It's the Iraq war from an animal's point of view," said the scribe of the graphic novel, based on the true story of lions who escaped a the zoo in Baghdad.
Issue #50 of Vaughan's other series, "Y - The Last Man" will reveal who -- or what -- caused the plague. The series ends with issue #60.
"The ending will be very satisfying. All your questions will be answered," he said.
Berger said that series like "Y" epitomize the strength of Vertigo: stories with definitive ends, in either graphic novels or ongoing series formats.
Tyrone will turn out to be Job -- yes, that one -- in "Testament."
"There's a whole bunch of stuff I wish I could explain right now," said Rushkoff of his book. "Comics are not a jump off medium. They're a medium in their own right." He talked about looking into how panels can be utilized in comics and experimenting with the idea of time.
"Becky drew them kissing kissing and it's hot," said Seagle of "American Virgin" #7 and the next arc called "Going Down." (No ... get your mind out of the gutter.) "It's a fun story with a fetish club," he laughed. The story takes place in Australia.
Brian Wood will be drawing issue #12 "DMZ" and promises lots of good times.
"I eat my Wheaties, take my vitamins, and focus my chi," joked Moore of how he illustrates "The Exterminators."
Over in "Hellblazer," Constantine has been cursed with empathy for others ... but don't expect it to turn out too well for everyone around the titular "hero."
Vertigo's "Deadman" isn't your father's Deadman -- this one features an airline pilot who becomes Deadman.
"Fables" will feature some dramatic covers in the future, including Hansel (of Gretel fame) not liking witches too much and being a fairly prominent witch burner. Willingham stressed that there's no ending in mind for the series.
"To look for signs when Fables is going to end, when you see headlines that say 'All cultures cancel folklore' that'll be it," joked Willingham. If he ever get hits by a bus, he says to call artist Mark Buckingham to pick up where Willingham left off.
"Jack of Fables," the spin-off from the main series, will focus on Jack's discovery of the rest of the world, including the American fables who have been noticeably absent from the series thus far, as well as exploring more nuances of the "Fables" world. Readers will also see "1001 Nights Of Snowfall," an original graphic novel with an all-star artist lineup, from Jill Thompson to Charles Vess to Buckingham doing painted work. The story takes place before the first issue of "Fables," where Snow White goes to the Arabian Fable Lands to get their help in their battle. Snow White will have to tell numerous yarns to keep the Sultan to save her life, essentially playing the role of Scheherezade. Look for the book in October.
CBR News has talked with Mike Carey about his new series "Crossing Midnight" in the past and Vertigo officially announced the book today. Jim Fern will be taking care of the art duties. The book is about two Japanese twins born on either side of midnight, and when one twin is kidnapped, the other must save her.
Readers will also see "The Un-Men," an ongoing book about deformed creatures created by Anton Arcane to fight the legendary Swamp Thing. It's going to be a "real good horror book," said Berger, and said there will be a crime mystery angle to it. John Whalen writes and Mike Hawthorne illustrates the series.
Another new mini-series from Vertigo will be "Faker," by Mike Carey and artist Jock. It's about kids partying in Minnesota, partying hard, only to find that the next day, one is missing. It's supposed to be a bit scary and will appeal to fans of "Buffy."
"Sandman Mystery Theatre: Sleep Of Reason" follows the Middle East successor to the Sandman moniker and follows a reporter who finds the Sandman mask and gun.
In talking about "The Otherside," artist Cameron Stewart talked about the series being "one of the best stories I've ever worked on." Stewart even went to Vietnam to do firsthand research for the war-centric series.
"Jack Of Fables" #4, "Fables: 1001 Nights Of Snowfall" & "Fables" #54
"Silverfish" is a new project from David Lapham, a hardcover graphic novel in black, white and grey tones.
"It's full of textbook Laphamisms," said Bond. The hardnosed crime book is expected to be on shelves in 2007.
"Cairo" is about a young woman's trip to Cairo and a group of dangerous people she becomes involved with, including a drug dealer and a genie. It's written by G. Willow Wilson, a journalist, and artist M.K Perker.
Rick Vetich's new book "Army@Love" is, "'Desperate Housewives' meets 'M*A*S*H,'" said Berger. The books follows a unit of soldiers from the same suburban town.
"Sentences: The Life of M.F. Grimm" is an autobiographical tale by rap artist M.F. Grimm, whose been through more than most of us could imagine, said Berger.
A softcover version of "The Fountain" will be in stores to coincide with the film's October release.
"God Save The Queen" is a new graphic novel by Mike Carey, with art by John Bolton. It deals with Titania from "Sandman" and "Books of Magic," focusing on Fairie junkies.
Then there's "Icognegro" ("One of our best titles ever," smiled Berger), which chronicles an investigation into a real life lynching in the southern US. It's written by Mat Johnson, with art by Warren Pleece and follows undercover agents in a hate group who are investigating the aforementioned murders.
Finally, there's "Alcoholic," by writer Jonathan Ames and artist Dean Haspiel, a story of one writer's journey of self-exploration.