SAN DIEGO, DAY 2: Busiek Promotes 'Power Company' Poll, Talks Other Projects

[Kurt Busiek]One of the perks of comic fans making their way to San Diego for Comic-Con International is the chance to meet creators and grill them (or sometimes even just talk to them) about their works.

Among those in the hotseat on Friday was Kurt Busiek, who had a panel early in the day devoted to all things Busekian. The first thing on his mind was "Power Company," the DC Comics monthly comic that, by his own admission, hasn't quite found the audience that he'd hoped it would.

In an effort to perhaps change things, Busiek talked about what readers could look forward to in upcoming issues, including a established DC hero joining the team for a time. A poll currently up on DCComics.com can let fans choose who they want to see in the pages of "Power Company."

"To be honest, we've already chosen who it's gonna be," Busiek said, "But the promise is that, whoever wins the poll, will show up: So vote for the Haunted Tank!"

In addition to the contest, the Power Company team is running a promotional contest coordinated through comic retailers. Prizes include signed copies, "virtual store appearances," where Busiek and series artist Tom Grummett call winning stores for conference calls and two grand prizes: two original covers from the series. Retailers looking for more information about the contest should e-mail powerboost1@aol.com.

While fans of "Power Company" can still turn their friends on to it, it's too late for Marvel Comics' "Defenders," at least with the creative team of Kurt Busiek and Erik Larsen.

"'Defenders' won't be back," Busiek said, although he said it was possible Marvel might bring back the team at a future date. "But I won't be involved -- this is a point where even if it was a thriving concern, I would be moving on."

As for future Marvel work, Busiek said he is currently talking with editors Joe Quesada and Tom Brevoort about possible new projects with the company.

As for more adventures of "Shockrockets," the Gorilla Comics series he collaborated upon with Stuart Immonen, "Stuart and I would definitely like to do more. We're talking about doing a trade paperback of that first series. There's consistently been interest in turning it into an animated show, which I would love to see, but it would have to be the right time and the right deal, since 'Shockrockets' was a project I financed by taking out a second mortgage on my house."

In general terms, Busiek talked about what he'd like to do next.

"I'd love to do Kamandi. I'd love to do Machine Man ... [but] I don't think Machine Man belongs in the Marvel Universe."

Busiek declined to speak about his forthcoming DC/WildStorm project "Arrowsmith," saying it was too early to begin talking about the book.

As for other creators' comics, Busiek was asked what he'd like to see from the medium as a whole.

"I like the Japanese model. I like the idea of big thick anthologies that are on really cheap paper. You follow the story in there, and then they're collected in trade paperbacks and those are the permanent editions.

"I want to see comics on the Internet, building up, building up, building up until there's enough to collect in a paperback.

"I just like comics.

"I think it would be great if Seventeen magazine had two pages of comics every month aimed at that audience and every year you got a 48 page collected edition," or in 'Playboy' or 'Parade' magazine for those audiences. "I'd like to see someone do comics THAT way.

"If it's in comics, and it's an interesting way to tell it, I want to see it. That's how I want to see comics evolve."

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