Friday, May 24, 2013


I got to this one a little early, surprised to see how many people were already in the room.  This surprised IDW’s Dirk Wood, as well.  “Are you guys here for the IDW panel?” he asked, confused.  To his shock, everyone said yes.

Shortly, he was joined by Ted Adams, Andy Diggle, Phil Hester, Menton3, and latecomer Mike Costa.  Then, since there were so many of us, they decided to start early.

Wood led the charge, and I have to say I was impressed with his presence.  His deep voice boomed across the room, and he seemed very much at ease, almost to the point of cockiness.  He had a Han Solo-ish kind of charm as he addressed all of us.  If only all comics companies had a guy like him for their public announcements.

First up was Star Trek news.  For a while, they’ve been building up to the movie with their prologue, and about a week after the film debuts, they’re going to release their epilogue, which takes up exactly where the movie ends.  The prologue—COUNTDOWN TO DARKNESS—has a bunch of easter eggs hidden in it that no one will apparently understand until they see the movie.  Interesting.

And now they have X-FILES news!  Coming soon, season 10!  That’s right, Chris Carter has given IDW his blessing.  This is how the series would have continued if it had been given the chance.

They also announced something called WILD BLUE YONDER, which is creator owned.  It’s nice that they do that every once in a while.  While they own some pretty kick ass properties (and some that are not so kick ass), it’s good to have some creator owned work out there from this company.  It worked out pretty well for LOCKE & KEY, didn’t it?

Do you like TMNT?  They have a new storyline coming up called “City Fall,” which is supposed to be a big deal.  I don’t care much for the series, but that might mean something for someone out there.

KISS KIDS?!  Really?  For everything that IDW does correctly, there are maybe two turds they give birth to.  KISS comics was bad enough.  Now they have to go the route of LI’L ARCHIE?

Here’s something kind of cool:  SUPERMAN SILVER AGE DAILIES ’58-’61.  People care so much about comic books that they forget that a lot of their favorite characters had comic strips in newspapers for years.  Personally, I don’t give a shit, but I’m glad to see a generally forgotten art form is going to survive through this.

In related news, they have more Artists Editions coming soon.  These books are huge, like the size of actual comic book paper, and they look like they just came off the artist’s desk, blue lines and all.  The next one they’re doing is THE BEST OF EC, and it’s all hard to find stuff.  They’ve done Jack Davis, Will Eisner, and Sergio Aragones, and they show no sign of slowing down.

In July, they have a Rocketeer/Spirit crossover with DC done by Mark Waid and Paul Smith.  If that’s your thing.

Phil Hester is working on THUNDER AGENTS.  Apparently, this is a classic book with superheroes done right.  Their powers come with a price:  whenever they use them, it takes years off their lives, or it gives them great pain, or they lose more and more of their souls.  When these guys die, they stay dead.  In the words of Chris Ryall, “With great power comes great paychecks.”  This actually sounds pretty cool to me, so I’ll have to look into the originals before giving the new stuff a try when it comes out in August.

Coming soon:  WIZARDS & ROBOTS by with covers by Menton3.  Speaking of Menton, he’s got something new coming soon called MEMORY COLLECTORS.  Menton says that he was kind of put off by people saying that MONOCYTE was an amazing book, but it was also confusing as all hell.  His goal this time out is to have a clearer story and some sexiness to it.

Ah.  Some G.I. JOE news.  Costa does the COBRA FILES book, which is my favorite of the new titles.  He has an announcement to make:  the next story arc will be the most devastating he’s ever done.  While he is introducing new Cobra characters, he says that in #7, all characters will be emotionally destroyed.  At least, those who survive.  Any other book (including JOE books), I wouldn’t believe it.  Costa’s got a stone where a heart should be, so I believe him.

LOCKE & KEY NEWS!  Joe Hill has been saying that “Omega” is the final story arc.  Well, not anymore.  He couldn’t finish it all in “Omega,” so now there is going to be one more story arc beyond called “Alpha.”  It’s two issues long, and it will be the end of the series.

Wood talked a bit about how IDW wound up working with Hill.  Adams had read 20th CENTURY GHOSTS when it was only available in the UK, and he was really impressed with it, so he contacted Hill, eager to work with him.  LOCKE & KEY is the result of that.  No one at IDW knew Hill’s dark secret at the time.  In fact, when it was revealed that Hill is Stephen King’s son, it took them all by surprise . . . until they actually met him and saw how much like his old man he looks.

All right, now for some bad news:  IDW has acquired POWERPUFF GIRLS through a deal with Cartoon Network, in which they also got Samurai Jack and Ben10 and a number of others.  They also have Rocky and Bullwinkle now, as well.  And yes, they also have Sherman and Peabody.  I could see Samurai Jack, but the others?  Do we really need to bring Gold Key-type stuff back?

They announced a collection of something called THE RED STAR, but I don’t know what that is.

Remember those joke MARS ATTACKS covers they came up with a while back?  They decided to make one of them a reality:  MARS ATTACKS VS. JUDGE DREDD.  *sigh*  Yes, that’s going to be a thing.

Whoa!  IDW is bringing back Kevin Eastman’s classic, ZOMBIE WARS?!  When Wood asked the audience if anyone else remembered this series, I was the only one who clapped.  They’re going to reprint the originals and do some new material.  That’s pretty fucking amazing and completely unexpected.

The last announcement was for something called THE OTHER DEAD, which will apparently be an animal zombie book.  I have zero expectations for that.

They opened it up to questions, and because they’re promoting KILL SHAKESPEARE, they said that anyone who posed their question in a Shakespearean fashion would get prizes.  I probably could have done it, but I was really hungover and didn’t care enough.  However, two audience members managed to do so.  One of them was a bit herky-jerky, but the other did pretty fucking well.

I asked if they had any plans to work with Joe R. Lansdale again (since he did so well with the Lovecraft and Bloch adaptations).  Nope.  No plans, but like with Joe Hill, they have an open door policy for Lansdale.  Anytime he wants to come in and play, they’ll accommodate him.

I also asked about the possibility of doing a new INFESTATION series, but with the POWERPUFF GIRLS.  All right, I was maybe trolling them a bit with that one.  Wood didn’t rise to the bait.  He joked that it could happen.  At least, I hope it was a joke.

My last question was that since they’d picked up so many ‘Eighties properties, would they be picking up SECTAURS as well?  I baffled everyone in the room except for Costa, who wound up explaining it to the others.  Wood said they were open to ideas.  In fact, I got the impression that one of the reasons for doing this panel was not only to make announcements about new projects, but also to gather ideas for new projects from fan suggestions.

So maybe we’ll get new SECTAURS stuff from IDW soon.  Probably not, but if we do, you’re welcome.

I was a bit disappointed that they didn’t talk TRANSFORMERS, but that was all right.  I had plenty of fun, and I learned a lot of cool shit.

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