CCI: "Farscape"

When writer Keith R.A. DeCandido entered the panel room at Comic-Con International on Saturday, he took one look around and said, "There's an audience? Damn! Now we actually have to do this!" And at that moment, the tone was set for a small but intimate panel discussing the future of the "Farscape" franchise.

Series creator Rockne S. O'Bannon was on-hand to discuss his involvement in the comic, as well as BOOM! Studios editor Ian Brill.

"The second question I asked when I was asked to do 'Farscape' was 'what the hell is Farscape,'" said Brill, reminiscing about how he started work on the first miniseries. "My first question was 'how do you edit a comic?'"

Following the announcement on Friday that "Farscape" will be an ongoing series, Brill went into more detail about the decision. "Sales have been incredible. To be quite frank, 'Farscape' has changed BOOM! Studios into a bigger, better machine."

O'Bannon will do treatments of each story, which DeCandido will script.

The series will kick off with a four-issue story called "Tangled Roots," which will deal with, among other things, bounty hunter Redeye hunting Crichton and Aeryn's child.

"This will be a good, meaty story for Aeryn," said DeCandido.

"Keith's also been writing an awesome D'Argo series," added Brill. "D'argo's Quest" will be the final part of the D'Argo story trilogy and is scheduled for December of this year.

"It's what I was doing between seasons three and four when he went out on his own," said DeCandido.

Brill asked what attracted O'Bannon to the comics medium once the show was done.

"Well, the show was done," said O'Bannon, matter-of-factly. The stories also didn't have to be constrained by production limitations like budgets and effects, either. "The freedom also was a major factor-the freedom to do what we always wanted to do... and I really want to follow the saga of the characters."

Fans can also look forward to two upcoming hardcover editions of "Farscape." "Strange Attractors" will be released September, and "D'Argo's Lament" in November.

The upcoming "Farscape" webisodes were brought up, and O'Bannon reiterated that the stories told in the comics are indeed canon. The audience applauded enthusiastically.

"The next incarnation of 'Farscape' will dovetail nicely with these [comics]," said O'Bannon.

The conversation turned to the relationship between DeCandido and O'Bannon.

"The first time I met Rockne was at a press mixer thrown by Henson," said DeCandido, referring to The Jim Henson Company. "He told me I got it, and having the creator of the show tell me that was one of the highlights of my writing career."

The scripting process often takes a bit of work on DeCandido's part, however. O'Bannon will write up the major story beats of each issue, but it's up to DeCandido to fill them in.

"One note I got once was 'Rygel gives an incredibly stirring speech," said DeCandido. "No pressure!"

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