CCI: The IDW Show

CBR's coverage of Comic-Con International in San Diego with something completely different. IDW Publishing's afternoon panel, "The IDW Show," is a late-night talk show of sorts hosted by Chief Creative Officer and Editor-in-Chief Chris Ryall and Vice President of Marketing Dirk Wood. Tonight's guests are editor Bobby Curnow, Duane Swierczynski, Brea and Zane Grant, Zach Howard, and more, with musical guest Alan Robert.

Wood began with a slide presentation showing various IDW covers set to the "Mad Men" theme. Ryall then began his opening monologue.

"Periodically, throughout the panel, I'll update you about what's going on in other panels," he joked. "In fact, I hear right now, DC is rebooting their entire universe again." Among other changes, "Aquaman will now be straight."

Over in the image panel, "Rob Liefeld has announced six new books-those are twelve feet you'll never seen." Then, "Oops, sorry Rob, those books have been canceled."

Ryall quipped that Alan Moore fired off an angry 40-page email to DC. "Since all emails sent to DC are property of DC Comics, they are announcing a 12-issue adaptation of those emails titled, "Alan Moore: Before Xanax."

Ryall also promised Moore would be a guest later in the panel. No one really believes him.

Swierczynski soon joined Ryall on stage as his first guest to discuss "Godzilla" and the upcoming "Judge Dredd" series. "We're having a helmetless Dredd, no helmet," Swierczynski joked. "He has really nice, blue eyes, and this flowing blonde hair. And he's a pre-teen."

More seriously, Swierczynski said the series plays to his strengths as a crime author. "He's the ultimate fascist bastard," Swierczynski said. "Cape" artist Nelson Daniel will do the opening 16 page story in each issue, with Paul Gulacy and Jim Starlin doing the first two backup strips.

Swierczynski said that, similar to how being Polish allows him to "go deeper and meaner with Polish jokes," as an American he can tell darker jokes about the "future America gone to hell" in "Dredd."

Assistant Editor and "Night of 1000 Wolves" writer Bobby Curnow was the next guest. Speaking about "Battle Beast," a miniseries based on the toys, Curnow said that a rampaging race of aliens comes to Earth seeking artifacts, and it's up to good beasts and one woman who can understand their language to save the planet.

Kevin Eastman will be illustrating the 48-page "Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles" annual, Curnow said. "He's putting his heart into this," Curnow added.

Curnow announced "Rise of the Foot Clan," a miniseries set for later this year, showing "how the Shredder rose to power and how he came to the current day." It is written by Mattheus Santalouco with art by Eric Burnham.

"Crow" writer John Shirley came up next. "The Crow is a spirit that can inhabit different people," Shirley said, with the current incarnation being an American boy in Japan. "He has to go to Japanese buddhist hell in order to rescue his lost love." Shirley will also be writing a "Zombies vs. Robots" prose novella for IDW. "It's essentially about, somebody's in a giant robot graveyard and they build a new robot that uses zombies as its fuel," he said. "It's biofuel with zombies." He added that there will be "cultural influences" like "Burning Man."

"Is it fair to say you find the original series visionary and brilliant?" Ryall asked. Ryall created "Zombies vs. Robots" with Ashley Wood.

As Shirley is also a lyricist for Blue Oyster Cult, Ryall asked him whether comics fans or musicians have better groupies. "Looking around this convention," Shirley said, "there are some very giving people..."

David Tipton then came on stage to do a "Top Ten" list. Gems included, "One hot dog and one small coke. That;ll be eighteen dollars." and "Does this T-shirt come in 'Extra Sweaty?'"

Siblings Brea and Zane Grant came up next to announce their new project "Let's Play God," illustrated by EricJ. Ryall first asked Brea if she "gets to keep the fake arms from 'Dexter.'" She does not.

On "Let's Play God," Zane Grant said, "It's a fun slasher comic about an all-girl punk band," Zane joked that "she writes all the gory, nasty stuff, and I write the high prose." Then, "we sit by a typewriter, I type with my right hand, she types with her left..." Really, though, they "pass drafts back and forth."

Ryall also asked Brea Grant about her directorial debut, "Best Friends Forever." She said "it takes about as long to make as a comic book" but "my voice is somewhat limited by the budget."

The Grants were then joined by Alan Robert to perform as "The Killogy 3." Robert said that "when I saw my name in the program as musical guest, I thought, cool, they're going to fly my band out here..." But of course this wasn't the case. Instead, "Rainbow Connection" with horror-themed lyrics in honor of his upcoming series "Killogy."

Robert said "Killogy" was inspired by "Twilight Zone's" famous guests, and his will include characters based with authorized likenesses of Frank vincent, Marky Ramone, and Brea Grant.

Zach Howard followed, who said he was going to have "a gravelly voice contest with Dirk." His upcoming series "Wild Blue Yonder" has a Kickstarter fundraiser going on now.

Ryall quickly began announcements, including Peter Beagle's "A Fine and Secret Place," "Adventures of Augusta Wind" by JM DeMatteis, "Transfusion" by Steve Niles and Menton3, "Lost Angeles" by Kevin Eastman, Joe Pearson, and Tom Waltz with Simon Bisley covers, a series called "Vitriol," and a series by Ryall and Sam Kieth.

With that, it was "thank you and good night!"

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