WC11: Archaia Comics Presents 2011 and Beyond

Last weekend, Archaia Comics sat down with fans at WonderCon to discuss their new and upcoming projects. The panel included PR & Marketing manager Mel Caylo, Assistant Editor Rebecca Taylor, Editor Joe LeFavi, and writer/editor Nate Cosby. Archaia Editor-In-Chief Stephen Christy moderated the panel.

Stephen Christy opened the panel by introducing the "Immortals" anthology, a companion piece for the upcoming "Immortals" film helmed by Tarsem Singh starring Henry Cavil and Mickey Rourke, loosely based on the Greek myth of Theseus and the Minotaur and the Titanomachy, that will be released in November. Featuring a cover by David Mack and contributions from, among others, Jock, Ben Templesmith, and Francesco Francavilla, the anthology will be released in September. A video documentary series will also be released to support the "Immortals" film and anthology, and Cosby joked that he managed to touch Henry Cavill during film, remarking, "He was so soft. He is my Kryptonite."

Christy discussed Archaia's upcoming series of "Dark Crystal" graphic novels, which will feature covers, art direction, and concepts by Brian Froud, the concept artist for both "Dark Crystal" and "Labyrinth", and the "Storyteller" Anthology, which Nate Cosby discussed with CBR in an exclusive report on Saturday. The "Storyteller" anthology will also be released in September, and features contributions by Roger Langridge, Jimmy Palmiotti and Justin Gray, Jeff Parker, Paul Tobin, Colleen Coover, Francesco Francavilla, Brian Clevinger, Tom Fowler, Marjorie Liu, Evan Shaner, Jennifer Meyer, Katie Cook, Chris Eliopoulos, Ron Marz, Jim McCann and Janet Lee, as well as an unpublished story by the late Anthony Minghella. Also noted was the upcoming graphic novel "A Tale of Sand," an adaptation of a never-before-seen story by the Jim Henson & Jerry Juhl, which had been locked away in the Henson Company archives for the past 40 years.

Two original graphic novels edited by Rebecca Taylor, "Old City Blues", and "Rust", will be released this summer. Available in June, Giannis Milonogiannis' "Old City Blues" is a black and white cyberpunk police thriller set in a futuristic Greece that originally started as a webcomic, and Royden Lepp's "Rust" is a sepiatone adventure starring a struggling farmer and his family, a forty foot tall war robot, and Jet Jones, a mysterious kid with a jet pack.

Mel Caylo noted that Michael McMillan's "Lucid", a six-issue miniseries originally produced by Zachary Quinto's Before The Door production studio, would be collected as a hardcover featuring an introduction by Alan Ball, creator of the television shows "True Blood" and "Six Feet Under." Christy described "Lucid" as "what if Harry Potter grew up and joined the CIA." Victor Quniaz's "Mr. Murder is Dead", also produced by Before The Door, will be collected as well.

The second collection of "Days Missing: Kestus," produced by Archaia and Roddenberry Productions, and written by Phil Hester and illustrated by David Marquez, will be released in May. The five-chapter collection features a cover by Alex Ross and an introduction by sci-fi fan favorite Wil Wheaton.

Archaia's new publisher Mike Kennedy introduced the "Bleedout" anthology, a peak oil scenario featuring contributions by Howard Chaykin, Ben Templesmith, Zach Howard, and a cover by Tim Bradstreet. Kennedy noted that the anthology would come out somewhere around the end of April and the beginning of May.

The panel opened for questions, and a fan asked for more information on "A Tale of Sand." Christy replied that the book would be "our blockbuster of the year", and that the source material was fully realized before Jim Henson's "Muppet Show" took off and became a hit. Christy also noted that "A Tale of Sand" would be released on Henson's birthday.

When asked how closely "Immortals" would follow Greek mythology, Nate Cosby responded that the stories are grounded in a pseudo-reality, and that the anthology's version of the story of the Minotaur adhered closely to the original tale.

Steven Christy closed the panel by explaining that Archaia envision their comics as hand-held "destination material", and carefully consider the size, weight and feel of every release. The company believes that this approach is "the only way to survive the digital age."

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