ECCC: Skybound On The Rise With Adlard & Ottley

Some of the biggest creator-owned comics in the country had the spotlight shone on them at Emerald City Comic Con on Saturday. The Seattle convention welcomed Skybound, the Image Comics imprint run by "Walking Dead" creator Robert Kirkman. The writer himself wasn't on hand, though that made the perfect platform for his artistic collaborators to sound off as "Walking Dead's" Charlie Adlard and "Invincible's" Ryan Ottley anchored the "Skybound On The Rise" hour.

Skybound Editorial Director Sean Mackiewicz introduced the other panelists including "Witch Doctor" writer Brandon Seifert and writer Joshua Williamson, known for his work on comics like "Voodoo" but a new face to the Skybound lineup.

The panel kicked off with a look at the next few issues of "Walking Dead." #108 introduces Ezekiel, a character set to play a major role in the book moving forward. #109 brings Maggie back to the book after an absence from the title since the "Something To Fear" arc.

"Invincible" will follow up on its 100th issue with the return of villain Angstrom Levy. The cover to issue #103 is Ottley's own callback to his cover for #33.

The panel then announced the new series "Ghosted" by Williamson and former "Y: The Last Man" artist Goran Sudzuka. "Essentially it is 'Ocean's Eleven' but in a haunted house instead of a casino," the writer explained. The series focuses on a thief named Jackson T. Winters who is broken out of prison by a collector intent on capturing a ghost. Winters puts together a dream team of ghost hunters including a magician, a psychic, a skeptic and others. Williamson said that five issues of the mini series are already completed, so they guarantee monthly shipping. "Fatale" artist Sean Phillips will provide covers. The book starts in July.

Seifert introduced readers new and established to "Witch Doctor: Mal Practice" describing the mini series' hook of Dr. Morrow getting infected with a supernatural S.T.D. The final cover for the series features Morrow unleashing his astral form. More incoming titles include Andy Diggle's arc on "Thief of Thieves" and a second arc for the series "Clone."

In fan questions, Mackiewcz explained that the new "Invincible Universe" series by Phil Hester and Todd Nauck will be a spiritual successor to "Guarding The Globe." The team book had to end because of the events of "Invincible" #100, but expanding out with a new concept allows the creators to bring in more

A reader jokingly asked how the members of the company lived with themselves after publishing a story called "The Death of Everyone" where no one died. Mackiewcz countered that the death toll in the book was high, just no main characters died. Future issues of the core "Invincible" title will focus on the adventures of Allen the Alien and Oliver out on their own as a duo.

Ottley was asked which of the Invincible characters he had to develop based on Kirkman's own designs he liked the best, and the artist said, "He did a really crappy Octoboss one" that the artist felt turned into something cool. He gave his writer a lot of credit for making the character's voice fun, and he also admitted that he himself sometimes would do designs where he'd later go, "Did I just do a dinosaur in underwear?"

Adlard said that there were no chances of any "Walking Dead" spinoffs or specials when asked about the potential of more books. The panel joked with him that "The Uncanny Walking Dead" should be right around the corner.

The panel wrapped by giving an audience member one of the Governor special editions Skybound was selling at their booth all weekend.

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