ECCC: IDW Announces Creator-Owned And Licensed Projects For 2015 And Beyond

"Ghostbusters" writer Erik Burnham was late to the IDW: 2015 and Beyond panel on Friday at Emerald City Comicon. "I blame the escalators," he explained. Burnham joined VP of Marketing Dirk Wood, Editor-in-Chief and CCO Chris Ryall, editor Sarah Gaydos, and "Orphan Black" writer Jody Houser to announce new projects from IDW and give an overview of what will be coming from the publisher in 2015.

The first announcement was about the long-teased project coming from "Locke & Key" artist Gabriel Rodriguez and written by Ryall. A number of teaser images were released in the days leading up to the convention. Ryall announced, "We will finally stop calling it 'Secret Project,'" and revealed that the project is a science fiction story called "Onyx." The lead character is a female cyborg who has been drawn to Earth by a threat to the planet. "She may be here to help destroy the planet, or she might be trying to save the planet." Short preview stories for the series will be included in IDW's May books. Ryall said that the series is influenced by and pays tribute to "Judge Dredd," "Rom: SpaceKnight", and even "Wonder Woman." About the art, Ryall said that Rodriguez "brings amazing worlds to life visually," and that his art on "Onyx" is "phenomenal as always." Featuring covers by Charles Paul Wilson, Jeffery Veregge, and Ashley Wood, the series will start in July. "We are ecstatic to finally be able to bring it out to everybody," said Ryall.

A new series, "Godzilla in Hell," will bring back creators who have worked on the "Godzilla" property in the past for an anthology. Writers and artists include James Stokoe, Bob Eggleton, Ulises Farinas, Eric Freitas, Buster Moody, Brandon Seifert, Ibrahim Moustafa, and Dave Watcher. About the plot, Gaydos said, "He goes to Hell, what more do you need to know?" Ryall said, "We've done all that he can do on the planet, so now we are sending him to Hell."

Another new creator-owned property that IDW will be launching is "String Divers" by Ashley Wood, based on the toy property of the same name. "It's sort of about string theory, which you know about if you follow theoretical physics, and I mean who doesn't?" joked Ryall. Drawn by Nelson Daniel, "String Divers" will be "brought to life in a crazy high-octane, big thinking, high action, over-the-top, Ashley Wood type comic," said Ryall. The series will start in August.

"We did 'Ghostbusters' before Erik, but it doesn't really feel like we did," said Ryall. He called Burnham's writing of the comic "the definitive version of what 'Ghostbusters' should be." Starting in June, a 4-issue miniseries called "Ghostbusters Get Real" will feature a crossover between Burnham's comic universe and the animated TV show "Real Ghostbusters." The miniseries will be written by Burnham and drawn by Dan Schoening.

Ryall gave the IDW comics credit for the upcoming "Ghostbusters" movies, and also joked that, "The only reason there is an 'Orphan Black' TV show, I think, is because of our comics." February's bestselling comic was Houser's "Orphan Black" #1. Houser gave cover artist Cat Stags' variants credit for the strong sales. As the series continues, each issue will focus on one of the clones. For each clone, Houser said that she is working to show "the nurture side as opposed to the nature that they all share." She also said, "it's a great way to get a look behind the scenes in a way that a TV show that's only 10 episodes per season just can't do."

IDW founding partner and CEO Ted Adams will be writing his first comic, an adaptation of the 1956 Richard Matheson novel "The Shrinking Man." "It's been fun to be able to hassle Ted about deadlines," said Ryall. With art by Mark Torres, the series will start in July.

"You're welcome," said Gaydos of the "X-Files" comic. Ryall said that the recently announced upcoming episodes of the series will tie in to the comics in a "cohesive 'X-Files' package." Gaydos said that she was unable to announce much, but that in the upcoming comics, "Mulder will be on the run from the US government and Scully will be staying on with the FBI to help clear his name."

Ryall spoke about another new series he's writing, "Dirk Gently's Holistic Detective Agency" starting in May. Based on the Douglas Adams books, the series will feature all new stories, art by Tony Akins, covers by Rob Guillory. Gently is "about as untraditional as any other Douglas Adams character," said Ryall. Though Adams' books take place in England, the IDW series will be based in San Diego.

Ryall announced that "Zombies vs. Robots" #7 will be a special issue of the series featuring spreads by different artists. Antonio Fuso will be writing a 3-part story for the book as well.

Wood announced an upcoming month of special variant covers designed as tributes to legendary horror company EC Comics. Some covers will be direct tributes to specific covers while others will be created from scratch in the style of EC.

Stay tuned for more from ECCC all weekend on CBR.

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