WW Philly: Aspen Comics Panel

The creative team behind Aspen Comics appeared at Wizard World Philadelphia on this rainy Friday afternoon to discuss recent releases, upcoming releases, and Marcus To's strange fascination with Emilio Estevez. Aspen founder Michael Turner is back in the saddle despite his bout with serious illness, and will strive to keep his books coming out on schedule. Aspen's flagship title, "Fathom," which is not yet available in stores, premiered this morning at the Aspen booth.

The discussion opened with a slide show displaying recent art by Turner as well as alternate covers for a variety of Aspen projects. Some of the covers were produced especially for Wizard World Philly and other recent or upcoming conventions. A Fantastic Four print that will be prominently featured in the upcoming Wizard Entertainment Michael Turner Millennium Edition hardcover received its first-ever showing.

The Millenium Edition will feature hundreds of pieces of Turner art, including his work for DC Comics, Top Cow and Aspen, as well as unpublished pieces. It will also include biographical material, behind the scenes information and a checklist of published Turner art. The book is in the final stages of preparation, but no release date has been set.

After some delay following the fourth issue, Aspen plans to release "Soulfire" number five in July, with number six appearing in August. Aspen Vice President Peter Steigerwald assured the crowd that the book would continue to be released on schedule thereafter. Meanwhile, a second Soulfire series, "Soulfire: Dying of the Light", is also set for a July release. Turner's Ekos series is still being planned. He stated that he wants to have several issues complete before the first is released.

Although Steigerwald claimed that the first issue of "Fathom" will be released in stores on Wednesday June 8th, it does not appear on the Diamond distribution list for that week. Presumably it will be released in the very near future. Steigerwald also hinted at a mysterious project to premier at Wizard World Chicago or Comic-Con International in San Diego. Other projects include a Fathom TV show which is still clearing hurdles, and will probably be released under a name other than "Fathom,:" and a Fathom movie that is stuck in "development Hell." With Director James Cameron still strongly interested in the film, Michael Turner and Aspen Comics have high hopes that the project will soon emerge from the depths.

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