BOOM! Studios CEO Ross Richie announced a new Cthulhu series and a universe-rattling story arc for "Farscape" at BOOM!'s Saturday morning panel at the Chicago Comics & Entertainment Expo, and editor-in-chief Mark Waid revealed that he is thinking about a third series to complement "Irredeemable" and "Incorruptible."
The new Cthulhu series, "The Calling: Cthulhu Chronicles," will bring a fresh crop of H.P. Lovecraft-inspired horror tales written by Michael Alan Nelson, who wrote the Boom series "The Fall of Cthulhu," and Johanna Stokes, writer for "Death Valley" and "Savage Brothers."
While "The Fall of Cthulhu" delved into the Cthulhu mythology and introduced new characters such as the Harlot, Richie said, "this is going the other way, more about the shadows, more about madness and insanity - a grounded, real-world take on Cthulhu mythology."
For "Farscape" fans, Richie announced a new story arc, "The War for the Uncharted Territories." The prelude launches with "Scorpius #0," which hit newsstands last week and introduces a new menace, creatures called the Kkore. "We are going to be revealing that the Delvians have a relationship with the Kkore," Richie told the audience. "Scorpius will have a relationship with the Kkore, and perhaps the biggest shocker is the relationship that Scorpius and Chiana are going to have."
"This is a huge shift in the Farscape universe," said Richie. "All this is in continuity, and, of course, continues the story after the Peacekeeper Wars." Creator Rockne O'Bannon is writing the storylines, David Alan Mack is writing the scripts, and newcomer Mike Ruiz is handling the interior art.
Waid's comment about a companion series to "Incorruptible" and "Irredeemable" came at the end of the panel, in response to a question from the audience. "I have one more letter 'I' book in my back pocket," he said. "It's really a simple concept...but I'm really excited about it." Waid said he was anxious to get started on it but wanted to get BOOM!'s Stan Lee books under way first.
Indeed, the company has plans to publish three new Stan Lee superhero titles, all aimed at the direct market, but has released few details other than that Waid will write one of them. "We are going to be parsing out the information of this huge initiative over the summer," Richie said.
Most of the panel focused on new and upcoming releases and changes to the current lines.
For those who have not read "Irredeemable," managing editor Matt Gagnon recommended the "Irredeemable Special Edition," with art by Howard Chaykin, Paul Azaceta (who teamed up with Waid on "The Amazing Spider-Man"), and Emma Rios ("Hexed"). "This is three different stories you can read even if you haven't picked up the previous issues of 'Irredeemable,'" he said. "It's in the world and sets things up for next year."
"It's a primer on how the world works," Waid said. "It's a one-issue buy-in. If you don't want to spend money [on the 12 previous issues], buy the 'Irredeemable' special. If you have been reading it, there are three individual stories in there that set things up for next year."
Issue #1 of "Irredeemable" will be one of BOOM!'s Free Comic Book Day comics; the other will be an issue of "Toy Story," in coordination with the "Toy Story 3" movie that will be opening soon.
BOOM! is taking over publication of the Coheed and Cambria graphic novels "The Amory Wars" and will republish the first two volumes, originally released by Image, as a single Ultimate Edition in May. The first issue of the third volume is also due out in May; the timing closely coincides with the April release of Coheed and Cambria's latest album, "Year of the Black Rainbow." Writer Peter David will join series creator Claudio Sanchez for the third volume.
The first graphic novel adaptation of Robert E. Howard's "Hawks of Outremer" will be released in June. Written in the 1930s, the story features one of Howard's seminal characters, the masterless warrior Cormac FitzGeoffrey. "When someone he considers a brother is killed, he goes on a rampage and goes on the path for vengeance," Gagnon said. "There's lots of decapitating action," Richie added.
On a completely different note, in July, BOOM! will launch a new series based on the legendary rock club CBGB, where the Talking Heads, The Ramones and Blondie all got their big break. The series is an anthology of stories about different bands inside and outside the club - "This is the story of the band who broke up in the tunnel on the way to the club as well as after they played the club," Richie said. "Love and Rockets" creator Jaime Hernandez is doing the cover art, and the creators will include Ana Matronic, of the band Scissor Sisters, Kelly Sue DeConnick and Kieron Gillen.
Amy Mebberson, best known for her work on the short-lived Tokypop series "Divalicious," is replacing Roger Langridge as the interior artist for The Muppet Show comics for issues #4-7. Langridge will continue to scripot the title and returns on art as well with with issue #8. "Roger does the full cartooning mode," Richie said. "Amy tries to preserve the notion that the hand is inside the Muppet in the interior art. This issue has actually hit Muppet fandom by storm." Mebberson was at C2E2, and one of the variant covers Boom! offered for the Muppet comic was a blank one on which Mebberson would sketch the buyer - as a Muppet.
"Mickey Mouse on Quandomai Island," by the Italian artist Casty, will be released in June, just a few months after its publication in Italy. "It's Mickey Mouse and dinosaurs - how awesome is that?" Richie said. BOOM! also touched upon last month's announcement of a new Darkwing Duck series.