CHICAGO DAY 1: Phil Jimenez Exclusive with DC, Talks 'Otherworld'

DC Comics presented attendees at WizardWorld Chicago with a look at upcoming DC/Vertigo projects. The major announcement coming out of the panel is that Phil Jimenez has signed a three-year exclusive contract with DC.

Jimenez spoke enthusiastically about his ambitious new project "Otherworld." The book has been described as "The Real World" meets "Lord of the Rings" meets "Tron." It's a 12 issue maxi-series featuring the adventures of an 18 year old college student and musician who discovers she is an earthbound sorcerer.

"It's sort of that dream project that every creator has," Jimenez said. "It's a very personal work, me musing over a lot of world events, the notion of celebrity and war and a bunch of other stuff."

While it's a character-driven piece, the comic will also feature epic battles between mythological creatures and science fiction technology.

"The think I like about it is it's a huge art project, so even though there are all these themes and subtext, it's basically dragons fighting space ships. It's pure art."

Steven Seagle, Mike Allred and Phillip Bond present the unusually formatted "Vertical." The book is four inches wide and 22 inches high. The book, due in December, is the story of Brando Bale - a young man covered with cuts, stitches and bruises from his many leaps from high places in an attempt to find God - and Zilly Kane - a teenager who dreams of fame and finds Brando instead.

Bad Seed"

Neil Gaiman will be co-writing the first story arc of the newly revamped "Books of Magic" comic with British TV writer Si Spencer. "Lucifer" artist Dean Ormston is illustrating.

"It's a completely different take on Tim Hunter. It's not a Tim Hunter that you've ever seen before," said Vertigo assistant editor Mariah Huehner. "It takes place in an alternate reality and there's a lot really bad stuff going down."

"The Books of Magic" will begin early in 2004.

"Swamp Thing: Bad Seed" written by Andy Diggle with art by Enrique Breccia. DC provided this description of the book:

"When the long-forgotten Sargon the Sorcerer dupes Tefé into battling her own father, it's up to John Constantine to intervene before all of humanity is caught in the crossfire."

Other Vertigo projects discussed were:

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