WC: IDW Publishing Panel

Scott Dunbier, special projects director for IDW Publishing , walked fans through many of the company's upcoming projects on Saturday at WonderCon, including three collections of older material.

The crowd gave a warm reception to the news that IDW would collect for the first time all of Dave Stevens' "The Rocketeer" work in a "beautiful hardcover book," as well as a deluxe edition. The deluxe version will include a "cornucopia" of extras, sketches and cover roughs.

The artwork for the project will be rescanned and then newly colored by Eisner Award-winning colorist, Laura Martin.

Dunbier said that Stevens, who passed away last March, "was just a tremendous artist." He added that this was a project Dunbier started planning before he went to work for IDW, along with two friends of Stevens. IDW CEO Ted Adams was also a big fan of Stevens, which Dunbier said made pitching the project a lot easier.

The book has the approval of Stevens' mother and sister, who attended the panel. "Thank you for your trust," he told them.

Another book Dunbier said he was very happy to be doing is "The Family Circus" collection, which will reprint the strips starting with the very first one published in 1960.

"Many people in this room have made fun of me for my love of the Family Circus over the years," Dunbier said. But he said the strip has a Norman Rockwell feel to it, combining family, humor and great storytelling. The first collection of strips from 1960-61 is due in November.

Dunbier also announced that IDW would be collecting the classic 1970s comic "Captain Canuck" - "Canada's first - and really only - major superhero" -- into two hardcovers, the first due in June. Dunbier said the original book had beautiful art and coloring, but bad reproduction quality. The new collection will be scanned from the original art and features all new coloring.

Looking south of the Canadian border, Dunbier noted that "Presidential Material: Barack Obama," published last year, was on its fifth printing. "The first printing of the McCain book is still available," he joked.

He called the Obama book "our own little stimulus package at IDW," then gave details on a new two-issue mini-series that picks up where the first Obama book left off. The first issue covers everything Obama from the 2008 Democratic National Convention until the inauguration. The second will detail the president's first 100 days, "which is obviously still being written as we speak," he noted. The goal with the new series, as well as the two previous IDW books about rhe candidates, is too be as unbiased as possible.

Other projects mentioned at the panel include:

Dunbier noted that IDW would host a panel on their licensed books, such as Transformers and Star Trek, on Sunday. He did mention the Star Trek: Countdown series was a huge success for them; the prequel to the upcoming film as sold out everywhere, he said. A trade paperback is expected in April.

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