Counting Down with DC @ Fan Expo Canada

Tue, August 28th, 2007 at 12:00am PDT

Comic Books
Jeffrey Renaud, Staff Writer

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DC Comics was well-represented at Fan Expo Canada 2007 last Saturday, when the publisher paraded out six big-name roster players for its Amazing World of DC Comics panel.

Featured in the one-hour showcase were writers Paul Dini ("Detective Comics," "Countdown") and J. Torres ("Teen Titans Go," "Legion of Super-Heroes in the 31st Century") and artists Chris Sprouse ("Midnighter"), Karl Kerschl ("Teen Titans: Year One"), Dale Eaglesham ("Justice Society of America") and Frank Quitely ("All-Star Superman").

On the topic of breaking in as a writer at DC, Toronto native J. Torres said he was recruited to join the company after his successful run on "Love as a Foreign Language" for Oni Press.

While Dini crossed-over from television, he agreed with Torres that the best way to make it as a writer is likely through the smaller independents.   "That seems to be the best way, small press," said Dini. "You can send along something that has been published. You have something for a leave-behind. It also obviously shows you can work in the comic medium."

Eaglesham, who hails from the nation's capital of Ottawa, said he hopes to enjoy a long run on "Justice Society of America" with writer Geoff Johns, while Frank Quitely said he has at least eight months left on "All-Star Supeman" with Grant Morrison.

Torres is wrapping up his writing duties on the "Wonder Girl: Champion" miniseries, which debuts September 12, and also has the "Black Canary Wedding Planner" one-shot coming out one week earlier on September 5. In stores this week, Torres has the fill-in issue "Wonder Woman" #12 that ties into "Amazons Attack."  

Kerschl, yet another homegrown product, said he is halfway through drawing the "Teen Titans: Year One" miniseries with writer Amy Wolfram, who is a former story editor for the animated "Teen Titans" television series. Kerschl is also working on a five-issue miniseries with Peter Milligan for DC's Wildstorm imprint. Kerschl, who spoke knowledgably about Zuda Comics earlier in the panel, also discussed his creator-owned weekly web comics available at www.horhaus.com and specifically "The Abominable Charles Christopher" at http://abominable.transmission-x.com/

Chris Sprouse has a big miniseries coming out for Wildstorm that he couldn't discuss because it is yet to be announced, and the artist is also creating a month's worth of covers for "Countdown."

Dini says he will remain with "Countdown" as head writer until it ends and with "Detective Comics" until at least the end of 2008.   He also answered a question from the floor regarding the three versions of the Legion of the Superheroes currently running side by side in DCU with the simple response: "Keep reading 'Countdown.'"

The weekly series then became the focus of discussion for the panel and Dini offered the following in reply to another question from a fan: "The Monitors, the way they started out in 'Countdown,' may not be exactly the way they finish up. Look for some changes as far what's been established with the Monitors. That's all I can say at this point."

To loud applause, Dini also revealed that he had a great story for next year in "Detective Comics" that would feature Deever and Dumfree Tweed, A.K.A Tweedledee and Tweedledum, as the new gang bosses of Gotham City.

After first answering "plenty" to the questions of how many Earths would be visited in "Countdown," Dini followed up by saying, "I don't know if we will see all 52 but we may see representatives from all 52. A lot of things will happen with characters from those respective worlds but we may not spend time on all of those worlds."     

Kerschl really enjoyed developing his version of Aqualad in "Teen Titans: Year One" and said Garth is an incredible comic foil for the other team members.

Torres added his "Wonder Girl" miniseries cleans up some continuity issues for the character and like Kerschl's Aqualad, he hopes it further develops Cassie Sandsmark.

As the panel closed, Eaglesham drew big laughs when he said he almost had a stroke drawing panels filled with members of Justice Society, Justice League and the Legion during the "Lightning Saga" crossover.          

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