Yesterday, the several Vertigo editors, writers, and artists met up to discuss the company’s upcoming comics at the Welcome to the Edge panel. Even though I got there early, the room was already nearly packed. The panel was led by Executive Editor Karen Berger, and panelists included Shelley Bond, Will Dennis, Jonathan Vankin, Jason Aaron, Brian Azzarello, Mark Buckingham, Joshua Dysart, Amy Hadley, David Tischmann, G. Willow Wilson, Brian Wood, Russ Braun, and the always-charming Grant Morrison.
This should have been posted yesterday, but sadly my computer’s battery died on me right before the panel, so I’m going by my notes here. Hit the jump to hear more about what’s coming out from one of my favorite comic book publishers.
- The slide show begins, and up first is House of Mystery, by Bill Willingham, Matt Sturges, and Luka Rossi. It’s a new take on an old series, and will follow a waitress who gets trapped in the house without knowing how. Everyone who gets trapped there will have to tell a story, with different artists drawing different stories. The first issue should be out in May.
- Madame Xanadu, coming in June, will span several periods of time over hundreds of years. Despite how long Madame Xanadu lives, this will be sort of a “growing up” story. Coming June.
- Next it’s G. Willow Wilson’s Air, which was inspired by a layover in Amsterdam. It should be a weird, surreal kind of story, following a stewardess flying around the world.
- DMZ gets a round of applause, we move on.
- Greatest Hits, by David Tischmann with illustrations by Glenn Fabry, is a Beatle-esque Vertigo superhero book. Sounds right up my alley.
- Scalped is shown, the audience is asked who is reading it. Less than half raise their hands.
- Two Hellblazer spin-offs: Chas – The Knowledge, a miniseries, and Pandemonium, an original graphic novel coming out in late 2008.
- Fables is up next! Sorry, had to take a moment there. Fables is my personal favorite comic book series. In addition to a coffee table book featuring the covers of James Jean coming out in November, issue #75 is coming up, and it’s going to be a big one, story-wise (and physically too, it’s a double issue).
- Unknown Soldier, an old DC series, is being revamped by Joshua Dysart. It will feature an all-new Unknown Soldier and focus on the conflict in Uganda.
- Two recently-released series, Young Liars and Vinyl Underground, were shown.
- 100 Bullets is ending. Brian Azzarello said that the cover shown, which had two men standing with one of them pointing a gun at a third, kneeling under a tree, was a metaphor for “my past and my present murdering my future”.
- American Splendor and Army@Love are returning soon.
- Seaguy is also returning, the audience and panel are very happy about this.
- Grant Morrison talks about two upcoming projects: War Cop and Me and Atomika.
- Essential Sandman Vol. 4, the last volume, will be out in November. There’s also going to be a comic book adaptation of Neil Gaiman’s The Dream Hunters.
- Time for the panel to be opened up to questions from the audience. First up, a question about Fables. Yay! Mark is asked if he plans on using any other fables from other cultures, like he did with the Arabian Fables. He says that right now, he’s trying to wrap up some major storylines, but he definitely wants to revisit other cultures again.
- There is some talk about series that are ending this year; 100 Bullets, Loveless, and Un-men will all end this year. Karen talks about some comics just not being able to find an audience (like the short-lived American Virgin, which I loved).
- Brian will still be working for Vertigo even though Loveless is ending.
- Any animated features of Vertigo comics (similar to DC’s The New Frontier) are unlikely, but Karen says they would consider a good offer if they got one.
- The final question is asked, because time is running short: do they think the comic audience is growing? Karen says that their backlist has become their frontlist, and they sell mostly collections. “Some monthlies sell, some don’t”. Some books have a growing audience, and more people are paying attention to comics. She also says that Vertigo is a great place to start. I agree.
I will also be attending Vertigo’s original graphic novel panel later today, so check back for more about Vertigo’s upcoming projects, as well as other panels going on all weekend at New York Comic Con.