Welcome to CBR’s live coverage of Dark Horse’s Saturday afternoon panel at the New York Comic Con. Moderator Jeremy Atkins, Rick Remender, Eric Powell, and Scott Allie were on hand to discuss upcoming projects.
“Between the weather and the crowd I feel like I’m in San Diego waaay too early,” Atkins said.
First project announced was “The Great Outdoor Fight,” by Chris Onstad, which, similar to “Perry Bible Fellowship,” is a collection of an online comic. Also Wondermark by David Malkie, Nothing Nice to Say, and the first six months of Dark Horse Myspace Presents.
Allie said the “Umbrella Academy” collection, including the FCBD comic and DHP strip, will ship in July. There will be extensive behind-the-scenes extras with the artists. An oversized hardcover will follow this fall, “similar to the ‘Hellboy Library Editions.'”
“Umbrella Academy” will return to DH Presents in July, about Kraken and Vanya in a punk band. “Series 2, which we’re only calling series 2 right now but we’ll probably tell you the real title in San Diego, will debut in November,” Allie said.
Criminal Macabre: cellblock 666 will be the next Steve Niles book.
Kevin Nowles will ink Mike Mignola on BPRD covers for the foreseeable future. BPRD: The Warning “will mess things up for the BPRD for a long time to come,” Allie said.
“In July, just in time for the movie, we have a new Hellboy series called ‘Crooked Man,’ said Allie. Richard Corben is working with Mignola on the book.
“Darkness Calls” will follow immediately from “Crooked Man” in October. “Darkness Calls really takes his confrontation with the witches to a head.”
Allie and Atkins joked about the Hellboy movie. “It comes out July 11, which is one week before Batman, giving you plenty of time to see it.”
Eric Powell: “Before I start talking about the Goon, a lady brought me a bottle of vodka and a box of cupcakes. I still have some cupcakes left.” There was then a mad rush on the cupcakes.
“Everything that I’ve established on the Goon will wrap up in 2008,” he said. “It’s still going to be funny and crazy, but I’m going to kind of be doing plots now.”
Atkins said “Chinatown” was a good place to start with :The Goon.” “You guys should really buy every single trade of the Goon,” Powell followed.
“‘Rex Mundi,’ like ‘Fear Agent,’ is a series we stole from Image,” ALlie said. He mentioned the series is coming to the end of its planned 36 issue-run. To celebrate, Guy Davis, Eric Poweel, gerard way, john Cassaday, will contribute covers to upcoming issues.
Remender followed by discussing “Fear Agent,” saying that everyhing he’s been building then will be building to a head.
Remender will work with Eric Wen on a giant robot book called “Gigantic.” “It’s sort of a realistic portrayal” of a giant robot showing up in San Francisco. This will be an ongoing series.
“There is a story,” Remender said, “I’m not just invoicing because I’m telling Eric what to draw. But one of the things we wanted to do was show every major city kind of being destroyed.”
“Conan the Cimmerian” is “the next chapter of Conan’s life,” Atkins said. From there, Allie continued, “This is the beginning of his life as a mercenary.” Joe Kubert is doing a set of three covers for the first issues of the new R.E. Howard books, “Kull,” “Conan” and “Solomon Kane.”
The main covers for Conan are by Frank Cho, John Cassaday is doing the regular covers for Solomon Kane.
“I’ve been the Buffy omic book editor from the beginning,” Allie said, “and what i’ve always wanted to do is a tarot deck.” Rachel Pollack will working with Allie on the deck, with painted art by Paul Lee. Previews of the cards will be seen on the Whedonesque web site.
“It’s not a ouija board, it’s a talking board,” Atkins said of the Hellboy talking board. Ouija is a trademark, and the panelists joked about how their board still worked like one.
Issue #16 of Buffy will be a four-issue arc, with Whedon writing and Karl Moline on art, featuring Buffy and Fray, the future slayer. “It does begin with Buffy getting stuck in the future, and confronting Fray. … Something very big changes for Dawn in this arc.”
The Fray arc will be followed by an issue by Jeph Loeb, who will revisit the Buffy animated series that never happened. “It’s Buffy sort of revisiting her high school life, but drawn in the style of the animated series that never happened.”
Several one-off issues will be written by Jim KruegerJane Esponson, Doug Petrie, Drew Greenberg, and Steven DeNight. “The world of BUffy’s going to change, for the worse. If the slayers are looked on as terrorists now, it’s only going to get much much worse.’
This year marks Dark Horse’s twentieth year of publishing manga. On the announcement of “Gant,” one fan audibly sighed ‘Oh fuck yes.” Dark Horse will also be working with CLAMP, starting with “Clover,” and and launching “Mangettes”
“Clover” will be edited by Karl Horn, whom Atkins said would elicit a much bigger reaction at the anime convention “THE Karl Horn?, you would say.”
Atkins then opened the floor to questions.
What’s the reaction to Buffy’s lesbian exerience? “Wait til you see the last panel of issue 15,” Allie said.
Allie explained the background, and the reaction to Willow and Tara’s first kiss. “Joss thought, well, those were the people I was supposed to piss off,” Allie said. After 13, though, “people reacted to the story rather than the hype,” he continued. Atkins and Allie mentioned that the ABC news story really stirred things up, and the comments on the web site quoted a lot of scripture.
“We didn’t want to make it just a bunch of pinups of characters,” Allie said of the Buffy Tarot. “We wanted to make it, if you believe that sort of thing, a working tarot.” Not all cards will feature characters, and not all characters will be represented if they don’t fit the card themes.
The Akira books will come back into print to coincide with the live action movie.
“Mangettes” will be the first manga project to be released in English, Japanese, and Korean simultaneously. They will be 80 page issues, and come out with greater frequency than most manga.
The Horror from “Umbrella Academy” will appear in flashbacks in the next series, but “you probably won’t see him in the adult costume for a while yet.”
“The Goon: Satan’s Sodomy Baby” will not be reprinted. “It was too much trouble getting it out the first time,” Powell said. Though he did joke that the sequel would be “Sodomy Baby 2: The Rape Shower.”
Allie ended by talking a bit about their recruitment efforts through New Recruits and MySpace Dark Horse Presents.
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