WC10: Image Comics

Announcements came fast and loose Saturday at the Image Comics presentation at WonderCon in San Francisco.

Richard Starkings revealed that his "Elephantmen" series has been officially optioned to be "a major motion picture," adding that directors and stars have already been approached. The series will reach issue #25 later this month and the anniversary issue features 25 pages each drawn by a different artist. Among those recruited are Tim Sale, Dave Gibbons, Ian Churchill, Whilce Portacio, Paul Grist and Dougie Braithwaite.

Artist Ladrönn is 20 pages into the fourth issue of "Hip Flask," Starkings added.

Next, Frank Cho premiered a short pilot of the "Liberty Meadows" cartoon, which featured the Brandy character holding group therapy for the series' peanut gallery of animals and the Dean character celebrating his 30th sober day.

"I've been working on that the last two years," Cho said. "It was going to be for a digital, online-only channel, but they bumped it to their TV department and we're working on a second pilot for that now."

"The whole TV industry is crazy," Cho added.

Cho's "Zombie King" property was going to become a film but was put on hold when the recession hit, he said. His upcoming comics series with co-writer Doug Murray, "50 Girls 50," will be drawn by newcomer Mexican artist Alex Medellin, who won a talent search competition to land the gig. That series should premier in late summer or early fall, Cho said.

Erik Larsen announced a new direction in his long-running "Savage Dragon" series. "I don't know how many of you read the Dragon's origin story, but before he was the guy we all know, he was kind of a dick," Larsen said. "After I get finished doing the Dragon Wars story [in issue #160], he's going to revert to that personality and kind of become the villain of the book. Then the supporting cast will all have to rally to try to stop him. I'm pretty excited about it."

Also, the "Savage Dragon" series will begin featuring flip-book bonus material, allowing indie creators to take the wheels with short Dragon stories, one per issue for the next 12 issues, Larsen said. "I'm giving them carte blanche, pretty much, to do whatever they want, and it's kind of crazy. We're getting some really fun stuff."

Joe Casey said he was excited for the second "Gødland" hardcover, which collects issues 13 through 24 of the series and arrives in stores in May. Casey also promoted an "extremely violent" upcoming one-shot comic he wrote, "Officer Downe," which the writer called an examination of the "invincible cop" trope about a police officer killed in the line of duty in Los Angeles. "They haul him back to the station and resurrect him," Casey teased. For more on "Officer Downe," check out CBR's latest interview with Casey.

Steven T. Seagle announced a new children's series called "Frankie Stein," about a "little Frankenstein's monster kid who's been told his whole life that the outside world, outside the castle he lives in, is full of monsters. He decides he wants to see for himself, but the day he escapes the castle is October 31st, and he sees some of the things you might expect to see on that day." For more on "Frankie Stein," check out CBR's latest interview with Seagle.

Seagle also announced a series of hardcover books collecting "The Crusades," a series he and artist Kelley Jones produced for Vertigo years ago. "We're digitally re-mastering the pages, fixing some colors that we didn't like the first time," Seagle said. "We were working on getting the rights back from DC for a long time. We finally got them, and the next day, Paul Levitz didn't work at DC anymore," he laughed.

Jonathan Ross, a British radio host and television presenter new to the world of publishing comics, promoted his first series, "Turf," a four-issue genre-bender with artist Tommy Lee Edwards. "In 1920s New York, somebody's smuggling blood. Of course, there are vampires. At the same time, an alien crash lands in Coney Island," Ross explained. "It's like a Bogart or Cagney movie with Bela Lugosi in it."

"I wanted to make something like the comics I loved in the '80s, with a big emphasis on the characters," Ross added. "I love art as much as anybody, but a lot of comics that come out now, you can finish reading them before you've paid for them."

Image Comics Sales & Licensing Coordinator Joe Keatinge, who moderated the panel, said the "Image United" miniseries is getting back on track with its schedule and will run on time when it returns.

The Luna Brothers will take a break and then work on another series together after "The Sword" concludes with issue #24, Keatinge said.

"Stay tuned," Keatinge said when asked whether the upcoming "The Walking Dead" television series on AMC will use storylines from the comics and whether it will be in color or black-and-white.

The panel ended with a live-action short directed by Cho, "Dr. Rossum's Prodigal Son." The film featured a creature-like man coming back for revenge on the scientist who created him, and had a sharp plot twist hinging on a pair of eyeglasses held together with tape.


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