VP of Marketing at IDW, Dirk Wood, and Comic Book Legal Defense League Fund deputy director Alex Cox ran the panel with a presentation before a Q&A. Wood introduced a number of new books. The big announcement for IDW this weekend was their procurement of the Action Man rights, which was news warmly received by the overwhelmingly British audience.
Also announced were the new Micronauts comic and the Star Trek Starfleet Academy, a title aimed at the young adult demographic. A second Orphan Black book is also in the works with the title “Helsinki”, which any Orphan Black fan who has watched Season 3 will fully understand the meaning. They also spoke about the Star Wars Artist’s Edition that is due to be out later this year. The book will include scans of originals artwork. Artwork that had to be hunted down by buyers from years past.
Amelia Cole artist Nick Brokenshire and comic book writer M Zachary Sherman joined the panel to lend their advice to aspiring comic book creators. In a world that is increasingly open to new comics, Brokenshire and Sherman encouraged the hopefuls to begin creating their own work not only to share it within the industry, but to also use options such as crowd funding as a way to get comics off and running.
When asked about the new Jem and the Holograms movie that was released this weekend and it’s relationship with the well-received comic, Cook seemed tight-lipped other than saying that they were not approached for anything related to the movie from Universal.
Sherman further explained that several titles are more tightly controlled, like his America’s Army comics. But Wood and the other panelists sang praises of artist Sophie Campbell, who will be returning as artist for issue #11 with Dark Jem.
The group also spent time talking about the ups and downs of comics. There was a general agreement that the constant restarting a comic series may change the way classic characters once were, but that the comic scene has never been more diverse and inclusive.
For a laugh, the group also included some dream crossovers like the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles with Daredevil. Wood explained that at IDW they usually think tank great ideas. When he was working at Dark Horse (where he was for fifteen years before he moved to IDW five years ago) that’s where he saw the birthplace of the idea for Alien vs Predator.
Wood also mentioned that his dream books would be Goonies or Gremlins. IDW spent nearly five years trying to procure the rights to publishing the Back to the Future comics. Hopefully Gremlins will be just around the corner because there’s probably no publisher who could do it better.
Back to the Future issue #1 was released on Wednesday and is in stores now. All attendees were given a copy with an Artist Edition variant cover by Dan Schoening.