Very few seats were empty in the room, and the dais was almost as packed as the floor. IDW Editor-in-Chief Chris Ryall started with a joke.
"Welcome to the 'Watchmen' spillover panel," he said with a grin.
After some laughs, Ryall introduced his panelists, beginning with IDW editor Scott Dunbier. Next was writer/artist Darwyn Cooke, followed by fellow writer/artist Ben Templesmith. "Angel: After the Fall" writer Bryan Lynch and "30 Days of Night's" Steve Niles were also on hand, as was "Locke and Key's" creative team of novelist Joe Hill and artist Gabriel Rodriguez. Writer/inker Jimmy Palmiotti brought up the rear, but did not speak too much due to a case of "Batman voice." Ryall had purposefully skipped over actor Ted Raimi and FEARnet's president, Diana Robina, so that they could talk about the"30 Days of Night: Dust to Dust" web series.
Raimi introduced a trailer from the web series, even though it "[needed] no introduction." The story involves "Saw" starlet Shawnee Smith getting turned by a vampire and her subsequent inability to control her urge to feed.
Ryall moved on to announce that "Locke & Key" will return in December and will be a monthly title. The new storyline is called "Head Games," and will feature a deeper exploration of the Locke mansion's dark history.
Joe Hill was initially unsure of the books success.
"We had an escape hatch to wrap the story up in the next six issues if it didn't go well," said Hill, but they didn't end up needing it thanks to critical praise and good sales.
"The only thing we haven't figured out is how it all ends," Hill continued. "There's 2 great ways to mess up a story. You can make the story a schematic, and the characters become pieces on a chessboard, or you can build and build to no end. Anyway we're trying to avoid that."
"I've done a lot of tentacle genital things, and Elvis genital things," said Templesmith. "Basically I'm trying to get them to say 'we won't publish that.'"
The book will feature "psychopaths, rapists, child diddlers, and pyromaniacs" in a mental asylums. "The mental patients are the good guys," continued Templesmith, and werewolves will be their antagonists. "It's going to be interesting."
Steve Niles's project is entitled "Epilogue." "Guess what?" asked Niles. "It's vampires again."
"This is about a guy who loses his life and his love to vampires, and becomes one himself. He tries to feed off of people who he feels deserve it," said Niles.
The idea for the book came to Niles when he was getting frustrated with other projects. "People [at other publishers] thought I was going to turn their characters into psychotic killers... I don't know how I gave them that idea."
Kyle Hotz will be doing the art for "Epilogue."
Niles is also editing horror anthology "Dark Delicacies," which will include comic book adaptations from horror legends like Clive Barker.
Bryan Lynch stepped up to talk about "Angel." There are 6 more issues of "Angel: After the Fall," then 3 more issues of "Spike: After the Fall." Issue 16 of "Angel" will see "an explosive finale."
The book will return in 2009 as "Angel: Aftermath," which will further continue Angel's struggles. More stories involving the brooding vampire are slated for the future, including 2009's Lynch-penned "Angel: Blood and Trenches," about Angel's exploits during World War I.â€¨Next, Cooke discussed his massive undertaking: "Parker." He will be adapting classic noir novels by Richard Stark (pseudonym for Donald Westblake) into four original graphic novels. "I love this character so much that I already stole him for [one of my original works], 'Selena's Big Score'... Westlake was flattered, thankfully."
When asked about the art, Cooke said that it is "far looser, far grittier [than previous works]. It's much more natural for me; it flows out like a river."
Ryall then kicked into a fast paced slide show, announcing new projects and collections to come out in the next couple of years. The first announcement was a new Doctor Who book with artist Pia Guerra and writer Tony Lee "The Forgotten."
Collections of "Violent Messiahs," "The Dreamer," and Thom Zahler's "Love and Capes" are slated to be released from late 2008 to early 2009. A new title, "PiRAT Tales" (featuring buccaneer rodents), will be coming out in a fashion similar to Archia Studios' "Mouse Guard."
A collection of the '80s strip "Torpedo" is slated for 2009. Originally written in Spanish and translated to English for American audiences, Palmiotti will be "translating the translation."
"It's the kind of book that makes you throw up and makes you laugh at the same time," said Cooke, who will be designing the books.
Palmiotti is also writing "The Last Resort." "It's a zombie club med story," said Dunbier. More on "Last Resort" was promised for later in CCI.
Rick ("Fear Agent") Remender will be writing "Legion of the Supernatural," featuring Bret Blevins return to comics. It will also be Blevins's first fully painted book.
John Byrne will also be doing a lot more Star Trek, starting with "Romulans: The Hollow Crown," a sequel to his previous Trek book. Also announced was another project slated for 2009, with the working title of "Crew."
Still more Trek can be found in "Star Trek: The Last Generation," written by Andre Steven Harris with Gordon Purcell on pencils.
Peter David's series of novels "Sir Apropos of Nothing" will be adapted to comics with art from Robin Riggs. The covers will play off of Peter's "Dark Tower" work for Marvel Comics.
JM DeMatteis's "final take" on superheroes is called "The Life and Times of Savior 28." Art will be by Mike Cavallaro, and the book is slated for 2009.
The Ghostbusters will be returning to comics with "Ghostbusters: The Other Side." Keith Champagne will write and Tom Nguyen will pencil a tale involving ghost gangsters who send the team to purgatory.
There are also two projects involving "Terminator Salvation." The first is a four-part prequel series written by Dara Naraghi and drawn by Alan Robinson. There will also be an adaptation of the film by a different creative team.
Ben Templesmith also announced that he would be exploring his interest in U.S. history with "The Presidents of the United States" in 2009. The Australian will write and draw comic book mini-biographies, including "lots of interesting presidents who weren't Lincoln."
Ryall then opened up the floor for Q&A. He was happy to report there will be more of Peter David's "Fallen Angel," and that David will be doing more "Star Trek" as well.
"It was viewed as an opportunity sure," said Ryall, "but I always thought of comics as being a great educational tool... [Nothing] like this has been done for a very long time."
"We're not being pro-anybody in the books," added Dunbier, addressing Internet comments on the nature of the books' covers.
Ryall also hinted at other projects. "We're talking to some big names that we can't mention" in regards to more classic science-fiction adaptations.
John Byrne is "dying to do more 'Star Trek: Simon Earth,'" said Ryall.
As fans filtered out, Darwyn Cooke handed out sketchcards that he had autographed during the panel.
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