Only three people from BOOM! Studios attended the publisher's New York Comic Con panel: Co-Founder Ross Richie, Sales and Marketing Director Chip Mosher (both of whom wore "Mark Waid is Evil" t-shirts) and writer Michael Alan Nelson ("Fall of Cthulhu," "Hexed"), but Mosher alone had enough energy for five people.
The panel began by dimming the lights and displaying two messages on the projection screen: BIG BOLD BOOM! and MARK WAID IS EVIL.
"Last year was phenomenal," said Mosher, and cited "North Wind" and "Farscape." With "North Wind," BOOM! made comics history with the first in-store and simultaneous free digital release with MySpace Comic Books, which beyond getting a lot of attention also saw a thirty percent increase in sales between issues three and four. BOOM! closed out the year with "Farscape," and seem to moving towards a third printing of issue #1 and a second printing of issue #2.
This year's MySpace promotion for "Hexed" has had a great response and received a lot of critical attention as well. Nelson wanted to make sure that he wasn't the only person mentioned with the project. "The artist and the colorist, Emma Rios and Cris Peter, are amazing," he said. "These young women have done a spectacular job and it's worth looking at just for the art because it's unbelievably good."
Richie pointed out that "Hexed" has "one of the only all female art teams in comics." The miniseries' main character Lucifer, who was originally introduced in "Fall of Cthulhu." The origin of "Hexed" was to create a Lucifer-starring miniseries in a universe outside of the Cthulhu mythos.
"It's a similar world of darkness and magic," Nelson said, "but there's more latitude and freedom to be creative."
Richie added that "Hexed" is now available for free on any phone that supports Google Android, making it the first comic book available on the Android operating system.
"Farscape" fans have a lot to look forward to with two new miniseries in 2009: "Farscape: Strange Detractors" begins in the spring, and "Farscape: D'Argo's Lament" follows. "D'Argo's Lament" will feature extra content from licensor The Jim Henson Company, though the BOOM! panelists wouldn't say or even hint what would be included.
"Eureka" #1 was released last Wednesday. The book ties-in to the television show created by BOOM! Studios co-founder Andrew Crosby, and later this year will see a second miniseries called "Eureka: Dormant Gene."
"Hero Squared: Love and Death" #1 is out now, and issue #2 is at the printer's. The first two graphic novels are available for free on BOOM!'s website. "You will be shocked where it ends up," Richie said.
"Fall of Cthulhu: Nemesis" will be the last "Fall of Cthulhu" miniseries and will tie up loose ends from the series. Nelson said, "It's rare to be able to tell a complete story in any medium. It will have to be cut short for one reason or another, but here I got to tell the story I wanted to tell."
"Never As Bad As You Think," the webcomic from Kathryn and Stuart Immonen was released in hardcover by BOOM! in December. Available exclusively on the BOOM! website are limited signed and numbered editions that include special artwork by Stuart Immonen.
Turning to their kids' titles, the BOOM! panelists reminded the NYCC crowd that "The Incredibles" #1 comes out in March. Mark Waid is writing the ongoing series, and there will be a limited edition cover by Mike Mignola.
Also to be released in March is "Cars" #1. The panelists mentioned that John Lasseter. "Cars" director and Pixar/Disney Animation head honcho, hand-picked series artist Albert Carreres. "The Muppet Show," written and illustrated by Roger Langridge, also comes out in March.
April will see the release of "Toy Story" by Dan Jolley with art by Chris Moreno and "Muppet Robin Hood," with a cover by "Mouse Guard" creator David Peterson.
The BOOM! panel of course talked about "Irredeemable," the new ongoing superhero title written by Mark Waid and illustrated by Peter Krause, and said the first seven pages of the first issue are now available online. It was also revealed that a 1/50 incentive cover of issue #1 will come signed by Waid, and that the first twelve issues will sport a cover design by which issue #1 will feature the letter "I," issue #2 will feature the letter "R" and so on until readers can put the first twelve issues together to spell "Irredeemable"
Waid appeared via video to announce his next ongoing project, "The Unknown," which will begin in May. He described the project as a "complete departure" from his typical work, saying "The Unknown" is the story of the world's greatest detective, who's made her career debunking the supernatural. It's told from the perspective of her new apprentice, who's been training years for the job. She confesses two things to the apprentice: she has six months to live, and refuses to go to her grave without uncovering the greatest secret -- what happens to us when we die.
"Doc Savage if written by David Lynch," was how Waid went on describe it.
After the video, fans were warned there will be "a really huge" BOOM! announcement at WonderCon.
For more information about "The Unknown" and Mark Waid's plans, check out our CBR's exclusive interview with the writer.