CCI: The IDW Panel

The gang from IDW publishing got together Friday afternoon at Comic-Con International in San Diego to talk about their company, some of their upcoming projects and crack a few jokes. The panel was moderated by IDW publisher Chris Ryall, who introduced his distinguished group of guests: Mike Baron, Bryan Lynch, David and Scott Tipton and sci-fi author and online rights activist Cory Doctorow.

First up from IDW was some slides and the trailer from the upcoming feature film version of "30 Days of Night," which opens on October 19th. Even without audio, the trailer still managed to convey the style, scope and the horror that will be depicted in the film.

"This would be even better with audio, of course," said Ryall. "But its also online so check it out there."

Other "30 Days of Night" news included other new material being released around the same time as the feature film. Two projects highlighted by Ryall were "30 Days of Night: Red Snow" a three issue miniseries beginning in August and "30 Days of Night: Beyond Barrow," coming out in September with art by Bill Sienkiewicz.

Then Ryall talked about some upcoming "Transformers" projects including "Tansformers: Spotlight Ramjet", a new character that will first be seen in the "Transformers/New Avengers" cross-over miniseries. In addition, IDW will also be doing sequel comics to the "Transformers" feature film with the first one being "The Search for Starscream." According to Ryall, the sequel comics will take the story from where the film ended while also introducing some new characters as well. Ryall also annonced that he will personally be writing a "Transformers" prequel that will be included with the DVD of the film when it is released later this year.

Next up was sci-fi author and digital rights activist Cory Doctorow.

Ryall called him "a fantastic and gifted writer [that] we're really excited to be working with." Doctorow will have a collection of his short stories adapted by various comic book writers to be published by IDW. The adaptation, called "Cory Doctorow's Futuristic Tales of Here and Now," will make its debut in the near future.

Ryall then showed their next project, a four-part adaptation of the "Beowulf" movie, which was written by Neil Gaiman and Roger Avery and directed by Robert Zemeckis. The comic, which will make its debut around the time of the film's release, will bring the film's story to the pages of comics and allow the comic to explore scenes and story elements not able to be included in the film due to time, budget and other constraints.

"Star Trek" is also a big part of IDW's plans for the next few months starting with "Star Trek Year 4," a continuation of the classic '60s TV show with Kirk, Spock, Bones and all the rest of the characters in attendance. In addition that that title, IDW is also going to launch a series of books concerning the various alien races of the "Star Trek" universe. Starting off with the Gorn, the Vulcans, Andorians, Borg (with Steve Niles writing), Orions and the Romulans (written by John Byrne) will all get their chance to appear in the pages of their own upcoming IDW comic books.

Continuing with all the "Star Trek" goodness, Ryall then revealed IDW's plans for a "Star Trek: The Next Generation" comic called "Intelligence Gathering" which will be five issues with writing by Steve Tipton and art by David Messina. With all the "Star Trek" news, did they have time for anything else?

Yes, indeed. In fact, Ryall was especially excited to announce this next bit of news. Like Dark Horse Comics and its "Buffy: Season 8" comic, IDW will be continuing the story of another hugely popular Joss Whedon creation: Angel.

The new book, called "Angel: After the Fall," will start in November and "take up where the show left off, continuing the story of Angel after the great cliff-hanger ending of Season Seven," said Ryall. The book for the moment is planned as a 12 issue series, but may go longer. It will show Angel and his team dealing with, as Ryall put it, some "very heavy issues like the fact that they were actually defeated at the end of the show and what that means to Angel." Taking on the writing and art chores for this book are writer Bryan Lynch and artist Frank Urru, with covers by Tony Harris. In addition, Joss Whedon will serve as the "Watcher" of the book, making sure it stays true to his vision for the continuation of the Angel story.

Finally, Ryall detailed some other projects for IDW in the coming months including new comics from Kiss' Gene Simmons, some "Zombies vs. Robots vs. Amazons: fun, more from the character "Badger" including new stories as well as reimagined older ones, a horror Manga called "Reptillia" and finally, a book collecting the correspondence of writer Harlan Ellison. There were also two other announcements besides these that got the crowd particularly excited.

One was an adaptation and update of the classic "Speed Racer" comics as well as comic book versions of the TV show and a brand new, first- time in the U.S. "Dr. Who" comic book. The "Dr. Who" book will feature all-new stories of the Dr.'s adventures and will be written by "Dr. Who" TV veteran Gary Russell with the blessing of "Dr. Who" producers. The series, a limited run of six issues, will make its debut in December 2007.

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