Before the panel even started, there was small talk among the panelists and guests confirming that BOOM! Studios will be publishing a comic book based on and around the famed New York City music venue, CBGB. Described as being similar to Steven T. Seagle's critically acclaimed "House of Secrets" series from 1996, the new comic will be centered on the club and show the impact it has on a variety of different characters.
The panel then started with BOOM! Studios CEO Ross Richie introducing the panelists to the crowd, BOOM! Kids editor Aaron Sparrow and editor and writer Ian Brill ("Darkwing Dark"). After introductions, the panelists thanked the crowd for their support as they had recently won Diamond Comic Distributors Gem Award for Best Publisher [under 4%] of 2009. It was a great way to start of the year they said, and they hope to win again next year.
The panel then switched gears to discuss and highlight BOOM!'s upcoming books, beginning with the announcement of a new imprint called BOOM! Town. Described as Lit Comics, along the lines of books like "Maus" and "American Splendor," the new imprint would feature more mature and introspective comic stories. The first comic project will be collection of cartoons by Shannon Wheeler called "I Thought You Would Be Funnier." The new collection is all comic strips that have been rejected by "The New Yorker," although the cartoonist is frequently an artist whose work is published by the magazine.
Also mentioned were the Harvey Kurtzman's classic "The Grasshopper And The Ant" and a return of Robert Crumb's "Devil Girl Hot Kisses Candy," distributed by the publisher.
Next up was Samuel L Jackson's upcoming "Cold Space." Richie praised Jackson, saying, "Sam Jackson is such a cool guy. He has a pull list at Golden Apple comics on Melrose, he is a true comic fan, and can go toe to toe with any fan." The sci-fi series an outlaw character based on Samuel L Jackson's likeness that becomes marooned on a planetoid with two warring factions, where he then tries to manipulate the situation for his own ends. The new book is co-created by Jackson and his "Afro Samurai" partner Eric Calderon, and will feature art by Jeremy Rock. The book will be out in a week or two.
The upcoming "Irredeemable Special #1" will have three short stories, one of which will be a Jailbait story drawn by industry legend Howard Chaykin.
"Farscape: Scorpius #0" will explain where the villainous Scorpius has been since he disappeared. Plotted out by "Farscape" creator Rockne S. O'Bannon and scripted by David Alan Mack, it will be released April 14.
A new series titled "Pale Horse" was then announced, which Richie described as a "Western in a new style." The lead character once operated as an undercover slave during the American Civil War, but has since ended up exiled to the American West. It was further described as a "revenge story about loss and redemption."
"7 Psychopaths" followed, a three-issue miniseries that is similar in tone and style to the Quentin Tarantino film "Inglorious Basterds." Brill added that "it takes WW II to an even crazier place."
The third "Amory Wars" series will be out soon in May, entitled, "The Amory Wars: In Keeping Secrets of Silent Earth 3," the new series will be co-written by series creator and musician Claudio Sanchez, and comic writer Peter David. Chris Burnham will provide interior art. The first two series, originally published by Image Comics, will be recollected by BOOM! into one omnibus called "The Amory Wars: Ultimate Edition."
The "Stan's Back" viral marketing campaign was discussed next, as the panelists mentioned Stan Lee will have three new series out from the pubisher, one of which will be written by Mark Waid. More teases and developments will be revealed in the future, so keep an eye out.
An adaptation of Robert E. Howard's "Hawks of Outremer" will be out soon. The adaption will be written by Michael Alan Nelson and will feature art by Damien Couceiro. Appropriately enough, Joe Jusko and Karl Richardson will draw the covers for the new series.
The BOOM! Kids line of comics will continue with a new adaptation of "Tim Burton's Alice in Wonderland."
Duck Tales returns in "Uncle Scrooge" #392 and will feature a new Gizmoduck. The impetus for bringing back the series was the new "Darkwing Duck" comic, as the publisher believed there was no reason to bring back one and not the other.
"The Muppet Show" #4 will be written by Roger Langridge like the rest of the series to date, but will feature art by Amy Mebberson, who has been the artist on several Muppet fairy tale comics. Langridge will be back to regular art duties with issue 8. In comparing the two art styles, Richie described Mebberson's art as "puppet-realistic-she draws them as the actual puppets from the show."
A new series of "Classics" collections will be out soon from BOOM! and will collect high-quality stories from the '30s and '40s featuring Mickey Mouse, Donald Duck, Christmas stories, and Valentine's Day stories.
"The Life and Times of Scrooge McDuck Vol. 2" by Don Rosa will be released soon. Don Rosa, who fixed errors and coloring mistakes, and provided original art for the reprints, has revised both that collection and the recently released Vol. 1.
The new "Darkwing Duck" series by Ian Brill will be out in June. The writer said the series will be "as great as any superhero comic out there, but twice as funny," adding, "Darkwing Duck hasn't been seen in awhile, but something happens to Drake Mallard that causes him to don the costume once more." The writer clarified that while time has passed, no one has really aged; Gosalyn is not a teenager by any means and is still the 9-year-old girl she was originally in the show. There will definitely be more of the 'Duck Knight' if the miniseries is successful.
Also mentioned, Mark Waid has at least two to three more years worth of stories for "Irredeemable," but Richie joked, "It's so successful, I wouldn't let him end it even if he wanted to."
The next Muppets fairy tale story will be "Muppets Snow White," with more planned in the future.
And finally, "Mickey Mouse & Friends" will be returning for issue #300, but no date has been set yet, but it will be "a big deal," Richie said.