WWLA: Cup o' Jeph

Fri, March 14th, 2008 at 12:00am PDT

Comic Books
Hannibal Tabu, Columnist

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Updated 11:00 PM PST - A Marvel spokesperson confirmed for CBR News Friday evening that artist Tim Sale will not only be joining Loeb on "Captain America: White" (don't miss our feature interview with Loeb & Sale right here on CBR), but that fans of Sale should expect to see more of his work at the company for the foreseeable future -- Sale has signed an exclusive contract with Marvel.

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"Welcome to Cup o' Jeph. I'm glad to see I can draw the kind of crowds Joe Quesada draws ..." Loeb began, looking out at a third-full room. He intended to leap into questions while Marvel's Jim McCann got the images together, but that didn't quite work out. McCann referred to himself as "Cookie" and then called Loeb "Candy." Questions took a while to get started, as Loeb started talking and McCann made suggestions, kibbitzing style.

"Wear a Skrull mask, it's funny!" McCann suggested while computer settings were wrestled with. "I didn't realize I had a partner in my act," Loeb deadpanned.

"I've read 'Secret Invasion' #1, and I know who all the Skrulls are ..." Loeb said.

Apparently Loeb grew up in Stamford, CT and noted that in meetings, he'd used Stamford as a stand in for a city that would get blown up to start things, and Millar went ahead and put it in the comic book. "I'm riffing here ..." Loeb said, worried about things starting, "since I have no list or anything" as of 5:42 PM. "Mark Millar lives in a country the size of a shoebox, and he wouldn't know Stamford, Conneticut if you put him there. I'm happy to take [the heat]. If you can't blow up your home town, what are you doing in comics?"

Once the computer got fixed, the first story was "Hulk," showcasing a red gamma-powered behemoth versus "A-Bom" (a blue Abomination) from issue #3.

"King Sized Hulk" will feature Arthur Adams "in some of his first interior work in ... what, an hour?" An image with Hulk vs. Wendigo shown. After some hemming and hawing, it was announced that in "Hulk" #7-9, two continuous stories would be told, two sets of three 11 page stories told over three issues. Artists include Arthur Adams with Hulk versus "Wendigoes ... that's right, Wendigoes."

What happened to the She-Hulk in issue #2 will be revealed and she's going for revenge (with Frank Cho art) and Herb Trimpe returining to "Hulk" for the last portion.

Loeb announced that Aron Coleite (from "Heroes" and who also works on "Behind the Eclipse" features here at CBR) will take over "Ultimate X-Men" with issue #94. "Things are changing, and all of this is leading up to 'Ultimatum.' Before that Brian Michael Bendis and Butch Guice will bring you 'Ultimate Origins.' You may think you know everyone's origins, but you don't. Stories will be uncovered and you will learn an enormous amount."

A teaser image from "Ultimatum" with a huge hand was also shown, and Loeb says it's "changing the Ultimate universe."

The "Secret Invasion" storyline was vaguely mentioned, and Loeb had praise for the "Civil War" team. McCann revealed that two more hidden Skrulls will be revealed before the mini series begins. "I can't give up any Skrull-y things," Loeb admitted. "I really like Tony [Stark] as someone who needs redemption. I think Tony got caught in something he needs to make reparations for. I think that he has tremendous guilt about what happened, and it got out of control. He had a strong point of view, and you get caught up in stuff, and maybe you shouldn't." Then Loeb mispronounced "Secret Invasion" as "Silent Invasion."

"We just can't get that name right," McCann complained.

"It's just like when I have a plate of beans," Loeb quipped. The crowd groaned, and Loeb said, "I can do those kinds of lines all night." Loeb then suggested the crowd rob a child of a large Wolverine statue ... jokingly.

CBR News has already covered the new Loeb & Sale Captain America: White six issue mini. A fan asked about Tim Sale, which led for this discussion to happen. This brought out the artwork you see here and Sale coming to the stage. "Tim will be joining me at Marvel," Loeb said. "This is a story we were starting for Joe Quesada, back when Joe was running Marvel Knights. We'd done the first three when DC called us to come play over there." Loeb spoke on this as a promised return, "the first of a number of things we're going to do."

The Winter Soldier will not have an effect on this mini. "Have you read anything Jeph and I have done?" Sale asked. "This takes place in 1941," Loeb said, noting how little things will change. "We're gonna deal with a lot of Steve's relationship with Nick [Fury], but just so we don't muck with continuity, the ones that took place in the 'present day' didn't have a time that you knew. In 'Hulk: Gray" there was a conversation between Banner and Doc Samson that could've happened ten years ago. It was just important to us to go to a simpler time. The story that's in the present is not in 'our' present, so I don't have to deal with what Mister Brubaker is doing. They live in a world where Bucky is dead."

"One of the things I'm interested in doing is, I like to find a different 'in' artistically for each character," Sale said. "In order to excite myself and make sense for the character. I'm still forming what I'm going to do with Captain America." Loeb noted that the original issues are gone. "It's going to be in ink wash like 'Daredevil: Yellow.' It's a mixture of Jack Kirby and Jack Davis -- it's the all Jack crew -- and Steranko. The ink wash, I'm sure, will change everything. Kirby was in the Battle of the Bulge ..."

"That was in World War Two, for all of you who didn't have a history class," Loeb joked.

"He did drawings in the trenches, and there's something really cool about that," Sale continued. "With Joe Simon, Kirby did a comic called 'Foxholes' in the fifties, which was pretty brutal."

In mid sentence, Quesada called in for the panel and McCann put him on speaker. "If you're doing this, the whole 'Cup o' is dead. This is all going to fail miserably."

"Compared to what we're doing here, you're a laugh riot," Loeb sighed.

"Tim is here if you want to say something," McCann said.

"Hey Joe, I love you," Sale said.

"Who is that?" Quesada asked. "Oh, you said Tim, I thought you said Jim, I thought 'we got Jim Lee too?' The way things are going at DC ..." The crowd groaned and Quesada said, "Oh, like you didn't know!"

Quesada spoke glowingly of November and "Secret Invasion" that "Jeph is behind it, Brian Bendis is behind it, some secret creators are involved ... has Jeph talked about it?"

"He's forgotten about it," McCann said. It went into a back and forth about forgetting and what's to be said, as Quesada listened patiently.

Future for the Young Avengers? "Dead, all of them," Quesada answered. "Next!"

"In issue four of Secret Invasion, one of the Skrulls is going to morph ... into a Skrull. It's going to break the internet in half!"

"What happens on the other half of the internet?" McCann asked.

"I don't know, it's scary," Quesada said.

Quesada asked McCann to kiss Loeb, and McCann asked the reporters present to report that he did it.

He did not.

Sale said he was hoping to continue working on "Heroes" projects, despite the fact that Isaac is dead. McCann implied that Skrulls (or shapeshifters) would be a part of "Heroes" storylines, which Loeb was quick to deny. "The NBC lawyers are nodding over there ..." Loeb said quickly. "One of the benefits of the strike -- and there were only about four -- is that one of our actors went off to play Spock, and it would have been hard to do a series called 'Villains' without Sylar. Zachary Quinto will be back, the first episode."

Whither "Heroes: Origins?" "The idea was that since we had a three month forced vacation, we wanna come back and really focus on the show. Do I think 'Origins' will come back in some form, yes. Is it on the table now? No."

Tim Sale said he'd love to work on Doctor Strange and Silver Surfer, but hasn't had a chance to do so. "If Jeph can convince me, back at the 'other company,' Jeph tried for years to interest me in a Batman story that included Robin, and I fought it and fought it until he came up with a hook that made it work. I say 'no no no' and eventually he beats me down."

"That's not a sexual thing ..." Loeb noted. "My entire plan was that I wanted to do 'Cap: White,' so I knew if he could do Batman and Robin, Cap and Bucky, no problem!"

"It's not just sidekick," Sale argued. "With Batman, he's this solitary psychopath, and I couldn't figure how that worked with this colorful little imp." They discussed the aspect of possible brotherhood between Cap and Bucky and how the older man -- only in his twenties -- would be protective of this unpowered teen, whereas Batman and Robin only had tragedy as common ground.

Loeb and Sale both admitted that they saw him more successfully as a secondary character, and Loeb noted that the idea of a guy on a surfboard is ridiculous.

When asked how much he does at once, Loeb put off the idea that Allan Heinberg and Geoff Johns "do all the work ... I just come by and pick up pages." He notes he's done with all of his work on "The Ultimates," and got ahead on "Hulk" during the strike before going back to his day job on "Heroes." "At any given month, I can only write two books a month. I write on the weekends, and I often get up at four o'clock in the morning, and I have to take my daughter to school, so I'll write for two or three hours. Bendis is a vampire, and he writes at night, and he does it all night long. The reason he does this is because the only people he can talk to is other vampires and Mark Millar."

He then went on to say Millar was impossible to understand unless he was sober and talking about sales figures, then looked at the camera and said he'd deny it all since he was a Skrull.

Somehow, the subject turned to "Teen Wolf," which Loeb worked on a billion years ago. "We actually discussed doing 'Teen Wolf 3,' where [Alyssa Milano] would be a white werewolf -- not a white person, not like 'Captain America: White' but like a snow bunny. Teen Wolf played basketball, Teen Wolf 2 was a boxer, and she wanted to play hockey. She'll probably deny this ..."

Why "Cap: White" and not "Cap: Red" or "Cap: Blue?" Yellow in Daredevil had to do with cowardice, blue in Spider-Man was about sadness, gray in Hulk talked about shades of gray in military service, so the explanation will be in the story.

It should be noted the panel was fifteen minutes over time by now, but it was still moving pretty steadily. Loeb discussed his method in great detail, talking about how he was like Dustin Hoffman in "All The President's Men" with a disorganized style of creativity. Loeb used to use credit cards to make "pages" and draw stick figures, while noting that Johns does the same, "but he can draw." Loeb described his working environment as Johns being very anal and very regimented in his work schedule, with Heinberg being very distracted and Loeb being a wholehearted procrastinator.

Loeb admitted that "one of the people I talked about today is a Skrull ... so you'll have to go back through ..."

Loeb called Quesada a Skrull, saying, "On page one of 'Singing Invasion,' he'll be revealed as the Skrulliest of the Skrulls. Come on, he was a big fat guy!"

McCann pointed to the back of the room and shouted, "Hannibal Tabu! I did not say that!"

"He looks like he did in college! He looks like a rock star! He's gotta be a Skrull!" After considering it, Loeb said, "Do you know how much trouble I'm in?" Loeb realized. "I have to leave Thursday for another country ..."

Thirty minutes late, the panel crashed to a halt, with smiles all around.

 
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