Warning: This story contains adult language
Ed Brubaker was already nervous about playing the starring role in his own panel. As the only one on the dais, there was no one else to "make fun of" he said.
And then he got even more nervous, when he was surprised with Comic-Con's Inkpot Award for outstanding comic book writing.
Brubaker waited to the halfway point in his panel on Thursday to introduce stunt woman Zoe Bell, who has performed in "Xena: Warrior Princess" and "Kill Bill," and tell the crowd about "Angel of Death," an on-line project for Sony's digital TV department. The show will be written in 8-minute segments, and eventually will be released on DVD.
The story, still in its embryonic stages, is about a hit woman who suffers a dramatic head injury - or a "blade to the brain," as Bell described it. After the injury, the hit woman suffers hallucinations, and decides that she must kill the people who set her out on assignments in order to find peace of mind.
The series is set for release in early 2009.
Bell said that the action scenes she will be performing will be low-profile hand-to-hand combat.
"It's action. If you throw too much money at it, you lose the action," she said.
Brubaker said it was great to have Bell as the lead because there would be no cut-aways from the action.
"When she's beating up a bar full of people, it's (actually) Zoe beating up a bar full of people."
A fan wanted to know if Bell was familiar with Brubaker's work. She has been reading his comics now to learn more about his style, she said."I don't know why I'm doing this project... boring," she joked about Brubaker's comics. "No -- he fucking rules!"
"There hasn't been a single speed bump," in the project, Brubaker told the crowd, and that Sony was "really pushing" the show.
"Don't fuck it up, Ed," Bell warned. She then apologized for her language. Brubaker told her it was OK.
"They know better. I'm a fuck-mouth."
Brubaker spent most of the time taking questions from the audience. After the first fan simply asked for an autograph (a request that was honored), the next fan got in the first real question: Why Dakota North?
"She plays a major role in the book for the next couple years," Brubaker said of the supporting character in "Daredevil." "My brother is a lawyer. These guys all have private eyes working for them. Jessica Jones is a private eye, Dakota North is a private eye. They're both hot. They probably hang out at the same bars - they probably know each other."
Brubaker then said that when "Captain America/Falcon" was cancelled, he was excited, because that meant he got to use the Falcon in his book. "And then I realized I was rooting for a book getting cancelled," he laughed.
A fan asked if Brubaker could talk a little bit about himself so the fans could get to know him better. For example, what was his first thought of the day?
"My first thought is usually: caffeine!" Brubaker said. "My next thought is, 'I can't believe I'm three days late' on whatever I'm working on. I hate to travel. I have panic attacks when I leave the house because I have so much work to do. Generally I think about writing. And I play with my dog a lot. He's the cutest fucking dog in the world."
A fan told Brubaker that he thought "Daredevil" was too depressing, and that the main character was dealing with too much "unmitigated pain."Brubaker confessed that the fan was right.
"I know," he said. "(Daredevil's) a Catholic. A Catholic who doesn't go to church, like all Catholics. There's always an element of tragedy to Daredevil.
"I recently had a couple weeks where I was really stressed out about something - everything turned out OK - but I was flipping through some back issues (of "Daredevil"), and I thought, 'man, I write some depressing comics.'"
But Brubaker said that he believes "Daredevil" will be less depressing soon.
Brubaker then talked about his creator-owned book "Criminal," and how it's a labor of love. He asked fans to seek out the book if they weren't currently reading it. "If I didn't do "Criminal" I think I'd lose my mind," he said.
It was asked if Sharon Carter's child would survive the stabbing from Sin in "Captain America."
"I can't tell you. Sharon is one of the big heroes of the story, that's all I can tell you," he said. "She's one of my favorite characters, I'm sorry I've treated her so badly."
A fan asked if Brubaker would like to write other genres besides crime and noir.
"I try to be versatile. My easiest wheelhouse is crime and noir," Brubaker said. "I'd love to write a romance some day."
The romance comic question came up again toward the end of the panel, and Brubaker said he does hope to one day write a romance comic for Marvel, and even has an artist he's been discussing the project with.
"I love love comics," Brubaker said. "They're so twisted! She dies in a car crash, then the guy dates her twin sister. ...We should talk to Bendis about doing (a romance comic) first. That way, if it tanks, I can say, 'I can't believe you did that!'"
A fan asked Brubaker what his past self would ask the modern-day Brubaker.
"He'd probably ask to borrow rent money... or (money) to buy drugs."
A discussion of Brubaker's "Book of Doom" series came up. Brubaker said the goal was to do a life story of Victor Von Doom. It was to be more of a Russian epic rather than a comic book.
"My biggest influence on that was a Gene Colan/Gerry Conway Doom story. There's one day a year (Doom) tries to free his mom from Hell. He's a huge mama's boy. An egomaniac, too, but also a huge mama's boy."
Brubaker then joked that anyone who knew too much about Doom - including past girlfriends - were locked up in Doom's dungeon.
A fan wanted to know if any of Brubaker's stories were being looked at as possible movie scripts.
"Most of you probably know that when something is optioned, nothing happens," he said, stating that he didn't want to make any announcements that led to nothing. "There's been a lot of interest in "Criminal," but I've been very careful."
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