WWP - Vertigo: The Cutting Edge

Saturday afternoon at Wizard World Philadelphia, DC Comics' Bob Wayne, VP-Sales, and Bob Schreck, Group Editor at Vertigo handled the discussion of upcoming projects and plans for the mature readers imprint without any artists or writers to back them up, but that didn't hurt anything as the duo ably laid out Vertigo's goals for the coming year and CBR News was on hand.

Nothing much new was discussed during the panel, but updates were given for all of the line's books and we've got some of the highlights for you. The talk began with discussion of the Vertigo's sister line of Young Adult themed books Minx. The audience was reminded that "The PLAIN Janes" is currently out (and well reviewed), and "Re-Gifters" (by author Mike Carey) was released this week. Next to be released is "Good as Lily" by Derek Kirk Kim, featuring a girl who meets three different version of herself on her 18 th birthday.

As discussion moved to the Vertigo line of books, first up was Si Spencer's "The Vinyl Underground," set in modern London about young 20somethings turning into detectives of the sinister and macabre.

It should be noted that when "Fables" was brought up, there were loud cheers from the fairly small crowd. They also cheered whenever Bill Willingham or any "Fables" related property was mentioned. There were even some people carrying around "Fables" trades, displayed prominently during the panel, as if they hoped Willingham might burst through the panel room doors any moment.

Brian Wood's "Northlanders" was mentioned, the authors next ongoing series about Vikings set in Scotland roughly 1,000 years ago. While referencing Brain Wood, Bob Wayne pointed out that the current "DMZ" arc "Friendly Fire" concludes in August. When Wayne asked the crowd if anyone was reading "DMZ," most of the crowd responded in the affirmative.

Mike Carey's "Faker" was teased during the panel, with the audience shown the cover to issue 1 with art by Jock, former artist on Vertigo's "The Losers." The short pitch line for Faker was then mentioned - "Four college freshman party hard like there is no tomorrow, and the next morning there are five of them."

This August sees the debut of "The Un-Men" by John Whalen and Mike Hawthorne, a group of classic original "Swamp Thing" supporting characters. From the shown covers it appeared to be a surreal and amusingly grotesque series. The main character is a giant brain on a hand named Cranius.

Bob Wayne also discussed an original graphic novel called "Cairo," written by G. Willow Wilson, out in November. Set in the city of Cairo, the book follows the lives of several different sets of people in a style similar to the films "Babel" or "Pulp Fiction." Wayne admitted the book was written and drawn by people he hadn't heard of until he got the first few pages in, but after reading them he called it the best first graphic novel work from anyone he has ever seen and noted it's out of character for him steps out like this when discussing a book they publish, but he cannot recommend this one highly enough. For the curious, Wayne reported that G. Willow Wilson will be at the MoCCA art show next weekend for any readers in the NYC area.

At this point the big showcase of the panel was revealed, a trailer to the upcoming "Stardust" feature film based on the Neil Gaiman and Charles Vess illustrated novel. This was met with wild applause by those in the audience.

The panel was then opened to Q&A.

"How long will Andy Diggle's run on Hellblazer be?"

Though it is ultimately up to Andy, the run will continue for at least a year.

"Is Brian K Vaughan (BKV) picking up a new title after 'Y: The Last Man' concludes?"

BKV is not going to be doing another monthly immediately after "Y," but he does have an unnamed series he wants to do at Vertigo sometime in the future. Vaughan currently has his hands full working on the popular TV show "Lost," and screenplays to both "Y" and "Ex Machina."

"Are any other 'Fables' graphic novels like '1,001 Nights of Snowfall' in the planning stages?"

According to Wayne, Willingham has, if anything, too many ideas. He has several things in the works, but nothing to be iannounced at this time.

"Will there be closer ties in the 'Jack of Fables' series to the main 'Fables' series?"

Wayne joked that a "Crisis on Infinite Fables" will be out soon with Marv Wolfman writing. More seriously, no.

"Are the current giant-sized 'Absolute Sandman' volumes planned for once a year?"

Though no dates were mentioned, Wayne did point out that "Absolute Sandman 2" is scheduled for this year and "Absolute Sandman 3" is scheduled for next year. There is talk of having "Absolute Sandman 4" also come out next year.

"Will all of the 'Hellblazer' runs eventually be collected?"

No plans at the moment, but Wayne and Schreck have been discussing how to properly collect them. Wayne asked the entire audience if they would be interested in seeing every issue of "Hellblazer," which elicited a strong positive response.

"Will DC finish publishing Grant Morrison's run on 'Doom Patrol?'"

Yes, there will be another coming out soon that should finish his run.

"Has DC considered an Absolute edition of 'V for Vendetta?'"

It has been considered, but DC is currently happy with the hardcover version. An Absolute Edition has not been ruled out entirely.

Any "Watchmen" Movie news?

While not a Vertigo project, Wayne pointed out he knew much more than he is allowed to say, which sounded encouraging, and that he's especially looking forward to items the general public does not know about yet.

"Why did the DC Direct stop making Vertigo toys?"

Wayne said that DC Direct is still trying to find an audience for Vertigo products, but the toys have indeed stopped. "Stardust" has a number of statues coming and "Fables" has some resin statues in the works. Posters are doing better, but toys did not find an audience and will probably never reappear.

"Are there any plans to continue the one time Vertigo mainstay 'Books of Magic' as an ongoing?"

No plans at the moment.

"Are there any plans for Brian Azzarello after '100 Bullets' concludes?"

None. Though admittedly, according to Bob Schrek, a "Dr. 13" series would be neat and Brain has expressed an interest in doing one, though no plans have been made. Brain does have another unannounced project from one of the DC imprints that cannot be discussed currently.

"Are there any plans to collect the uncollected 'Books of Magic' issues?"

Not currently and when Wayne asked how many people would be interested, the audience reaction was subdued when compared to earlier the reaction for continued "Hellblazer" collections.

"What happened to plans for the recollected 'Transmetropolitan' trades?"

The proposed plan was for fewer, but thicker books. It has been postponed and that is why currently some books aren't in print, but they will be. Wait a year for the plan to be brought back into effect.

"Are more 'Endless' stories in the work?"

No. Basically only Neil Gaiman does "Sandman" stuff and he currently has no plans to return to the series.

Now discuss this story in CBR's Vertigo forum.

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