WonderCon: BOOM! Studios Explodes In The Bay Area

Despite more than a handful of people showing up for the panel, spirits were high for BOOM! President Ross Richie and Marketing Director Chip Mosher. After cueing up Kanye West's "Stronger," Mosher leapt right into BOOM! Studios' recent success with MySpace Comics. The first book from the union was "North Wind" by David DiGillio, Andrew Huerta and Alex Cal, described by Mosher as "Mad Max on Ice." The book was simultaneously released on the website and in stores, followed by MySpace putting a trailer for the first issue online. The trailer got 10,000 views in 10 days. The issue sold out shortly after and has subsequently received a second printing of #1.

BOOM! will have a five-month long promotion where they will put each of the five issue series online, day and date with it hitting the stores. They have seen a 20% increase in sales between #3 and #4, breaking all expectations.

"Kody Chamberlain's The Foundation" written by John Rozum, art by Chee then sold out two weeks after "North Wind" #1 sold out. BOOM! is calling this "the North Wind Effect."

"Fall of Cthulhu: The Fugue" written by Michael Allen Nelson is being released as a Trade Paperback collecting issues #1-5. Starting with #11, a new arc titled "The Grey Man" begins. It's the story of a young Brazilian girl that shows up in Arkham and then someone or something follows her there. Richie thinks, "it is one of the best arcs we are doing on the book. A sleeper hit for BOOM!" Mateos Santolouco starts on #11 and will be doing the entire arc.

There's also the relaunch of "Cthulhu Tales" as a new, monthly horror anthology. Steve Niles and Michael Alan Nelson are featured in the first issue coming April 9th.

There's also going to be new "Zombie Tales" in late April featuring stories by Joe R. Landsdale ("Jonah Hex"), Kim Krizan ("Before Sunrise") and Steve Niles.

Mosher then worked in a quick mention for his own book, "Left on Mission," at which point Richie immediately shut him down and moved on to the next slide, revealing a slew of new projects to come.

"Shmobots" - Written by Adam Rifkin ("Small Soldiers," "Mousehunt") with art by Les Toil. The story is set in the future, where robots do all the menial labor, but the government has given the robot contracts to the cheapest bidder and everyone hates to be around them. According to Mosher, Stan Lee loves this book, saying, "…You'll never look at robots the same way again" Rcihie noted that it's like "What if Kevin Smith did robot stories." This is one of the first original graphic novels from BOOM! and will not be serialized.

"Scream Queen" - "American Pie" meets "Friday the 13th." Brendan Hay, (staff writer on "The Daily Show") with art by Nate Watson. It was described as a horror movie with a twist, when the masked killer falls in love with the usual horror movie victim. When she gets a bad grade in school, he kills the teacher who gave her the low grade. Sadly, she's clueless as to what the deal is and the cops think she is the killer. Look for more on "Scream Queen" later this weekend on CBR.

"High Rollers" - Crime writer Gary Phillips is joined by Bret Weldele on covers and Brazillian artist Manuel Magalhaes. Mosher said, "'High Rollers' is a 'Sopranos' turn on inner city gangs." The series chronicles the life of Cameron Quinn, a new hit man for a Los Angeles gang. Look for an interview with Phillips later this weekend on CBR.

"Pale Horse" - Based on a story by Andrew Cosby, the series doesn't yet have a creative team. The series tells the story of Franklin Hale, a spy for the Union during the Civil War. Hale quits the Union and moves to the Black Hills with an Indian woman, until killers take his wife and force him to seek bloody revenge and possibly uncovers a conspiracy. It combines the old west with elements of "The Bourne Supremacy" and "Lone Wolf and Cub" into a high octane comic adventure. For more on this series, don't miss our interview with BOOM! Studios' EiC Mark Waid.

Cover art was unveiled for the previously announced "The Godfather Chronicles," featuring a Bill Sienkiewicz cover.

"Blood Bowl: Killer Contract" - Written by video game and fiction writer Matt Forbeck, "Blood Bowl" was described as, "football where everyone dies." That is, football played by elves, orcs, dwarves and an exploding ball. "Brits looking at American football and making it totally insane," said Mosher. Lads Helloven provides the art.

"Blood Bowl" #1 Covers A & B
Covers and pages from "Warhammer: Condemned by Fire"

Possibly the biggest news to come from the panel was the announcement of "Warhammer: Condemned by Fire," a new five-issue mini-series that directly follows the "Warhammer: Forge of War" mini-series. "Condemned by Fire" is written by Dan Abnett and Ian Edginton with art by Rahsan Ekadal. This series has something special in store for gamers anticipating the launch of Mythic Games, "Warhammer Online: Age of Reckoning" upcoming Massively Multiplayer game, currently being beta tested by 500,000 players for a launch later this year. The first issue of "Condemned by Fire" will feature a scratch off inside the cover with a one-in-five chance of winning an opportunity to be entered into the beta test. EA Mythic will send out announcements to over 600,000 subscribers in a newsletter about the special promotion, so the publisher plans on doing a massive overprint to capitalize on MMO launch, in addition to offering a 3% reorder incentive to retailers.

As the panel came to a close, BOOM! noted it had tripled in size to 11 employees over the last year. Mark Waid coming on board as Editor-In-Chief has everyone talking and writer Michael Alan Nelson has been added on staff.

Hellions: X-Men's Biggest Outcasts Revealed for New Deadly Series

More in Comics

Covering the hottest movie and TV topics that fans want. Covering the hottest movie and TV topics that fans want. A one-stop shop for all things video games.