The first day of the Emerald City Comicon is in the books. The day started out with a soaking torrential downpour, but in a typical Seattle fashion, finally switched to to sunny skies and good times for everyone in attendance at the convention. Somehow it seems like there are even more vendors and attendees at ECCC then ever before. I was very encouraged by the many families and young comic fans I observed having a blast on the opening day. While news and big announcements seemed to be somewhat scarce from publishers on the first day, that didn’t really detract from the overall experience at all. There were, however, a few noteworthy news items.
ECCC Spotlight Series: Brian Wood
At the ECCC Spotlight Series: Brian Wood panel, Brian Wood gave some details about his upcoming new comic series, The Massive, from Dark Horse Comics. The new series sounds very intriguing. Wood commented that:
“The big problem with creator-owned books is getting people to buy single issues.”
This is, of course, an important factor to show the publisher that people are interested in a series, as well as a factor in deciding what comics continue to be published. To sweeten the deal and drive interest in the single issues, Wood said that each issue of The Massive would contain about four pages of original content that explores the world, character, and story in more detail. This extra content will not be available in the digital issues or in any TPBs– only in the single issues. I think this is a nice reward for the fans that make the faithful trek to their LCS each week. To read more about this panel and The Massive, check out Michael Wirth’s article here on ComicBooked.com.
DC All Access Panel
I know how much our readers love their DC Comics, so I attended the DC All Access panel hoping to bring you some hot news. After the DC panelists made a plea to the attendees present to borrow a laptop for their slide-show presentation (theirs had apparently just broken), the presentation finally got under way. The panel included: DC Digital Editor Ben Abernathy, Bill Willingham (Fables), Editor Brian Cunningham (Justice League, Flash), Aritst Dustin Nguyen (Batwing, American Vampire), and others.
The items that were discussed included:
- Bill Willingham’s Werewolves of the Heartland graphic novel will be released in November.
- Grant Morrison’s Batman INC. returning in May, described as “Horrible, horrible, weird sci-fi noir,” and the cover art was previewed.
- A half-hearted jab at Marvel’s Brian Michael Bendis.
- DC’s Free Comic Book Day offering was discussed (it will feature a Justic Legue story with art from Gene Ha, previews of DC’s May titles, and “fans will be shocked at who shows up” in it), and the cover art by Jim Lee was previewed.
- Expansion of the “Beyond” universe (Superman Beyond) and a Batman art tease.
- The new arc of American Vampire, “Lord of Nightmares” from Dustin Nguyen and Scott Snyder
At this point the floor was opened up to questions from the audience. A fan asked “if we will ever be seeing Wally West again.” After the panelists shared a prolonged look with one another, the question was artfully dodged. Any questions of substance were handled in a similar manner, as I started to get a little annoyed. Finally someone asked Digital Editor Ben Abernathy about the biggest challenges of digital publishing. His response was somewhat interesting:
“The hardest part about digital is optimising content… To tell the best story that we can.”
He went on to elaborate that their content must now work with both print and digital distribution, and that it changes the way that they write to be more like a short story format.
I finally emerged from the DC All Access panel seriously questioning the “all access” wording, and wishing I had that hour of my day back. Many of the topics discussed in this panel may be “news” to the casual fan and convention goer, but to me it was a tad anti-climatic. At least getting to see some of the preview covers and art was cool.
Marvel Breaking Into Comics
I thought that this panel would be more promising, but the information here for creators looking to make the jump into comics was rudimentary at best. Attendees were told that there was no such thing as “overexposure,” and that they should have a website to display their work as well as have a presence on every available social media platform as well as network with other creators. We were also told that aspiring creators should write reviews and support other creators (hey, I guess my ComicBooked.com crew and I are doing everything the right way). We also were told that once you get work, that opens the door to even more work (“Work begets work”). From what I gathered, being married to Matt Fraction is also very helpful. The panel told some nice little anecdotes about their early days trying to get a break, but partway through I had seen enough and left to go attend the ECCC Spotlight Series: Camilla d’Errico panel that I had really wanted to be at (because she is not only one of my favorite artist, but managed to touch on many of these topics in a more compelling way).
Robert Kirkman Q & A
After finally getting to cruise the show floor for a bit and check out some of the gaming and photo ops across the street, and running into old friends, I attended the Robert Kirkman Q & A panel. Again, I don’t know how much news Mr. Kirkman actually delivered, and I don’t know if it really matters– that man is wildly entertaining and single-handedly put on the best panel of the day. I will be exploring the Robert Kirkman Q & A Panel more in depth in an upcoming article right here on ComicBooked.com. Suffice to say, he did tease that there will be Brit and The Astounding Wolfman news announced this month. He also said that we can expect to start seeing The Walking Dead comics released every three weeks, leading up to and coinciding with “something big in store for the 100th issue at San Diego Comic Con.” Robert Kirkman also told the packed panel, that “I started my career with Battle Pope, and I will end it with Battle Pope.” That when people stop buying his comics, he joked, he will return to the title that started him off, before shooting himself. Kirkman is a riot, and had the panel in stitches. I was pleasantly surprised that many of the questions were actually about Kirkman’s comics and not just about The Walking Dead TV series on AMC (though it did come up as well). I will definitely be covering this panel more in depth when the ECCC frenzy subsides.
I must rest now. It is past midnight and tomorrow promises to be an epic day. Follow me on Twitter for some live tweets from ECCC, and check back in here at ComicBooked.com for news from the convention. Thank you for reading.