NYCC: Avatar Press Unveils New Science Fiction Line

With books like "Crossed," "Dicks," and "God Is Dead" currently on the racks, the team at Avatar Press are clearly not holding anything back. This was the case at the Avatar Uncut panel during this year's New York Comic Con, which began with Simon Spurrier coughing up phlegm into the microphone.

Joining Spurrier on the panel were Mike Costa, Mike Wolfer, Justin Jordan, Caanan White, Kieron Gillen and Max Brooks. Publisher William Christensen opened the discussion by revealing several new projects on the horizon for Avatar Press.

"We're gonna bring science fiction back," announced Christensen to an ecstatic audience. "Garth [Ennis] is kicking off our new line of sci-fi books with 'Caliban.'"

In addition to Ennis' work, Avatar will have three other science fiction titles on the racks starting next year; including "Mercury Heat," "Neuro-trash" and "Red Shift."

"It's basically a cop show that's set in a science fiction future on Mercury," said Gillen, writer of "Mercury Heat." "Earth is kind of a utopia in the future. Mercury is basically where it's paid for. It's basically Australia, but also a bit of the Wild West."

"'Neuro-trash' is about a future in which being young is considered disgusting," Spurrier said about his sci-fi series. "The only Americans that are left are immigrants that live in giant moving house cars. It's about drugs and living ideas and junkies with jetpacks."

"Red Shift' is about the biggest bastard on Earth who becomes a bounty hunter in space," said Avatar newbie Justin Jordan. The series is also said to revolve around "celebra-soldiers," who apparently film themselves during combat for money.

Moving on, Wolfer discussed Avatar's plans to bring back "Gravel - Combat Magician" with Warren Ellis attached as a co-writer.

"It's typical Warren Ellis not written by Warren Ellis," joked Wolfer, who will be penning the "Gravel" relaunch. "We're exploring Gravel's military ties. The last previous 21-issue story was looking at the occult world of Gravel. So now that we know that part, we catch up with Gravel's military experience."

Also on deck for Avatar are George R. R. Martin's "In the House of Worm" and Max Brooks' "The Harlem Hellfighters," which is based on the true story of an African-American military unit that existed during World War I.

"This unit fought with the French and came home as one of the most decorated units during the war," Brooks said about his new Avatar series.

"They never gave them a chance," added "Uber" illustrator Caanan White. "They always had to prove themselves, but when they did they went above and beyond."

Last but certainly not least, Christensen revealed Garth Ennis' plans for his next "Crossed" story arc.

"Coming up in March will be Garth Ennis' return," Christensen said. "He's doing a new seven-issue arc that goes back to the beginning. He's giving us Patient Zero."

With "Crossed" being one of Avatar's bestsellers, it comes as no surprise that the publishing company also plans on producing several live-action "Crossed" webisodes written and directed by Ennis himself.

When asked by a curious fan if the company had any plans for feature films, the Avatar editor-in-chief assured worried panel attendees that they aren't in the business to make "pre-movies." They're in the business to make comic books.

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