Chicago, Day 1: Wildstorm Panel, Campbell announces "WildSiderz"

DC Comics' Patty Jeres held court over the first panel of Wizard World Chicago, previewing the company's plan for the Wildstorm imprint in the coming year.

Things started out on a casual note by opening up to questions while waiting for Wildstorm's Jim Lee to arrive.

In the short Q&A, Brian K Vaughan confirmed that New Line has optioned "Y: The Last Man" (though not a Wildstorm title). "I haven't read it yet, but I got to consult with the screenwriters," Vaughan said.

Wildstorm editor Scott Dunbier spoke on the subject of "Danger Girl's" option as a TV-film. "It's in an option limbo right now, no studio has the option." Dunbier elaborated that the previous attempt to bring the property to the small screen was unsuccessful.

With the arrival of Jim Lee, the panel proper got underway.

  • Ed Brubaker and Dustin Ngyuen's "Authority: Revolution" lead off the presentation. "He's got a lot of enthusiasm. He's really into the characters," said Lee of artist Ngyuen.
  • John Ridley, the screenwriter behind "U-Turn" and "Three Kings" and the writer of the previously announced Authority hardcover "Life on the Inside," will also be the inaugural writer of a new series called "Razor's Edge," an anthology series. The first story arc will be a five-issue Warblade story with art by fan favorite Simon Bisley.
  • "Desolation Jones," an ongoing series about a secret agent who is officially dead and reinvents himself as a private eye to an underground former spook community will be produced by Warren Ellis and J. H Williams.

    "It's sick and twisted and has wonderful things like Hitler porn. Incredibly tasteless wonderful things," said editor Scott Dunbier of the project.

  • "Ocean," also by Ellis and artist Chris Sprouse was represented with a cover by Michael Golden. "Ocean" concerns a shocking investigation that takes place on one of Jupiter's moons.
  • "Wild Girl" by Leah Moore and Shawn McManus concerns a 13 year old that can communicate with animals and features vignettes by J.H Williams. It's really good writing and you can see where she gets it from..." said editor Alex Sinclair of working with the daughter of comics legend Alan Moore.
  • On the subject on the Wildstorm's recent acquisition of the British IPC characters, Dunbier said "You've got to understand, when we first announced this in San Diego, we got a dozen phone calls and e-mail from famous British artists who really want to do this..."

    Dunbier likened the IPC character to icons like Green Lantern and the Flash if they hadn't been published for over twenty years.

  • Writer Vaughan confirmed that Tony Harris has committed to drawing the entire series of "Ex Machina," projected to be about 50 issues and covering the main character's four year term as Mayor of New York.
  • "It's the first project I've co-created since DC bought Wildstorm," Lee said of "The Intimates," his creation with writer Joe Casey and artist Giuseppe Camuncoli. "The Intimates" is set to debut in November.
  • Midway through the panel, J. Scott Campbell announced his new project, "WildSiderz" with collaborator Andy Hartnell.

    "It takes place in modern times, set against the backdrop of suburban high school," explained Campbell. "They're not mutants, they're not aliens. Their suits are wired up and they can project holograms and force fields and they have animal-like extensions from their gauntlets."

    Campbell went on to say "I look at the project as I do popcorn summer movies, but it's not all fluff. I've taken the time to develop the personalities. You will care about these characters."

With that, the panel opened to questions once again.

Among the topics addressed was the status of further "Top Ten" projects by Alan Moore. "Alan has just finished writing 'The 49'er' (a hardcover graphic novel) and Gene is two-thirds of the way through."

Asked about "Sleeper", the panel urged con-goers to check out the continuation of the "Sleeper" series, which enjoys decent sales in trades, but not so much in singles and would like to see the sales match the internet buzz.

Dunbier confirmed after one question that Alan Moore is not done with the ABC line, confirming that he will write another Tom Strong story. Other writer's will also continue to chronicle the adventures of those heroes.

In addressing the abrupt end of "Stormwatch," Jeres only said that that is a group of characters that Wildstorm is not liekly to lie unused for too long.

Dunbier said that he's attempting to convince Warren Eliis to do a 100-page graphic novel for the "Global Frequency" property (now being shot as a TV-pilot) and also mentioned that he'd like to see a graphic novel featuring the GF character Alice April. "[Ellis] doesn't think it will sell," said Dunbier, eliciting chuckles from the audience.

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