IDW Publishing's senior editor of special projects, Scott Dunbier and Chief Operating Officer, Greg Goldstein, took the stage on the uncharacteristically hot Friday afternoon at San Francisco's WonderCon 2011. Scott introduced themselves to the crowd as, "We're a team," as in Scott comes up with the ideas and Greg institutes them. Introductions now complete, the panel quickly got underway with the start of a slide show of projects set to debut in the next three to nine months.
The first slide revealed a new series based on Anne Rice's "Servant of the Bones," coming August 2011. A more recent novel than her most famous work with vampires, Rice felt this story would make the best transition to graphic novel form. Greg revealed that they have been in talks with the author for a while now, but that she was hesitant to commit after some previous experiences she had with other comic publishers. The series will be published in individual issues, later collected in trade format in the winter or spring. The new series will be co-written by Anne Rice and Mariah Huehner ("True Blood") and illustrated by Renae De Liz ("The Last Unicorn").
The next slide announced IDW's long-term deal with Nickelodeon to publish new "Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles" comics. The first series will debut August 2011 and will be a new beginning for the Turtles, as it all "Starts from scratch." No announcements yet on who will be writing or drawing, but it was mentioned that as part of the deal, both IDW and Nickelodeon have to sign off on the creators.
There will also be a new "Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles" comic series based on the CGI cartoon set to debut on Nickelodeon.
Lastly for the Turtles, an oversized hardcover edition collecting the first 11 issues of the original series is in the works and will feature annotations by Kevin Eastman.
More calendars are coming from IDW, as J. Scott Campbell's "Fairytale Fantasies Calendar," returns for a 2012 edition. Also coming is a 2012 calendar featuring Berkeley Breathed's "Bloom County."
The next slide featured Darwyn Cooke's two hit books from the publisher based on Richard Stark's Parker, "The Hunter" and "The Outfit." The award winning stories will be collected in one oversized (9" x 13") hardcover Martini Edition in July and will feature a brand new 10-page story written and drawn by Darwyn Cooke.
"Rocketeer Adventures" was highlighted next. The four issue anthology series, which features three stories per issue, will feature contributions from Chris Weston, Gene Ha, Mark Waid, Kurt Busiek, Mike Allred, Michael Kaluta and more. It was revealed by the panelists that so many creators want to be a part of the series, IDW has already decided to do another anthology series next year.
Goldstein told the audience "Rocketeer Adventures" would come out on a Wednesday and sell out by Friday, so retailers better get their orders in now. Goldstein boldly announced, if he is wrong, "Find me in San Diego, I'll have a prize for you."
An oversized Dave Stevens sketchbook will also be out in July.
"Dave Stevens' Rocketeer Artist Edition" was discussed shortly in preparation for the next announcement. The Artist Edition format features full size pages of art that recreate how it originally came from the artist to the publisher, blue lines, notes and all. Greg had wondered, "What would make a great follow up to [the Rocketeer edition]?" The answer to his question surprised a few in attendance, as the next book in the format will be "Walt Simonson's The Mighty Thor Artist Edition," produced in association with Marvel Comics. The oversized book will be out in July.
Jokingly, Greg asked, "Will there be other Artist Edition books soon?" To which Scott replied, "Yes, probably more announced at San Diego." There are apparently a lot in the works at the moment.
A fan asked about "Infestation," the "Zombie Vs. Robots" themed company-wide crossover currently set to wrap in a few weeks. Greg responded that there was a lot of enthusiasm for that book and that, "I will say, Infestation will live on."
The last bit of news announced was that "Jericho #6" will be out soon, with the panel assuring fans they'll be happy with how the storyline wraps up. In regard to more comics based on the property in the future, Goldstein said, "The writers (of the show) had seasons worth of ideas and I'd hate to see them go to waste.