ECCC: DC Comics All Access

Fri, March 1st, 2013 at 4:12pm PST | Updated: March 4th, 2013 at 10:58am

Comic Books
Kiel Phegley, Staff Writer

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Emerald City Comic Con kicked off the traditional comics convention season Friday in Seattle, and DC Comics kicked off its traditional panel programming that afternoon with DC Comics – All Access. Creators including "Batman" writer Scott Snyder, incoming "Green Lantern Corps" scribe Joshua Hale Fialkov and "Fables" creator Bill Willingham took the stage to discuss the publishers upcoming wares.

DC's Larry Ganem took the mic to introduce the panel which also included Vertigo Editor Mark Doyle, "Constantine" co-writer Ray Fawkes, incoming "Batman/Superman" artist Jae Lee and "Justice League Beyond" creators Dustin Nguyen and Derek Fridolfs.

The discussion kicked off with an announcement. DC's Vertigo imprint will return to "100 Bullets" with a new series by creators Brian Azzarello and Eduardo Risso called "Brother Lono." Doyle called it the "sort of sequel" to the crime series. The editor described the series as an attempt to get the band back together and give fans more of the world in 2013. Asked whether the "brother" aspect of the title could be explained, Doyle said, "All I can tell you is that the guy you love to hate is back.

Snyder kept the Vertigo feel going talking up his May series "The Wake" with artist Sean Murphy. "It's got a post-Apocalyptic element, it's got all kinds of oddities...it's like a sci-fi horror series that I couldn't be prouder of what we've put together. It's different from anything we've done before," he said.

"Batman" was next up as Snyder offered thanks to fans who supported the "Death of the Family" storyline making some jokes about artist Greg Capullo's excitable persona in that all his texts to send messages to his writer and fans felt like they were sent in all caps. The writer spoke about the future of the series, saying that issue #18 deals with the fallout of Damian Wayne's death. "It looks at it through Harper Row's eyes," he said, saying he wanted to let Pete Tomasi and Pat Gleason tell the reaction of Batman in the pages of "Batman & Robin. The next two issues will be a bit more of a "fun" story before Snyder and Capullo kick off a huge 11-part serial with #21. "This really is a really ambitious, crazy story that will be announced in about two weeks...I really believe it's our boldest story. I asked 'Can I spoil it?' and they said no. But it really is my favorite thing," Snyder said.

He then spoke about the end of his "Swamp Thing" run which ships next week, saying, "This issue brings it back home to Louisiana and some of the things we were doing before 'Rotworld.' It really brings it full circle in a lot of ways."

Writer/artist Jeff Lemire then appeared – delayed by flight troubles from getting to the show before that minute – and so talk shifted to his books with Fawkes: "Justice League Dark" and "Constantine." Fawkes described the next arc of the former series by saying, "You get to see what the rest of the superhero world thinks of people like John Constantine and Madam Xanadu. And a familiar villain comes back in a really horrific guise." The writer went on to say that the opening arc of "Constantine" deals with the lead character's return to London after living in the States for a while, and "every possible angle of the city tries to finish him off. You get to see how he gets in and gets out...if he does."

Lemire joked with Snyder that their "Rotworld" crossover "maybe went a few issues too long" and promised to reset "Animal Man" with the follow up arc, continuing to explore the Hollywood life of the hero."There's a big tragedy at the end of issue #18 which sets the status quo moving forward," he explained, saying that when Buddy Baker gets nominated for an Academy Award in "his darkest hour" and the vultures of the media swarm in. The issue will feature a storytelling device where fans can follow the Twitter reactions of Baker's fans in real time through the issue.

Jae Lee then said, jokingly, that his next project after "Before Watchmen: Ozymandius" would be "Justice League: The Old Frontier" with Darwyn Cooke. He then talked up his actual next project: "Batman/Superman" with writer Greg Pak. He said that he was up late the last three nights working on the series, and his wife – who colors the book – had to stay behind from the convention to finish the cover to issue #1.

Nguyen and Fridolfs addressed their digital series "Lil Gotham" saying that their goal was to make a book that was cute by still having some more "bad ass" moments. The artist said that the "real life" size of the characters is the same as any normal person and that if he ever drew Lil' Batman next to the actual Batman, the latter would say "Wow...he's actually huge." The series will hit print in April collecting the Halloween and Thanksgiving installments of the series.

Nguyen and Fridolfs addressed their digital series "Lil Gotham" saying that their goal was to make a book that was cute by still having some more "bad ass" moments. The artist said that the "real life" size of the characters is the same as any normal person and that if he ever drew Lil' Batman next to the actual Batman, the latter would say "Wow...he's actually huge." The series will hit print in April collecting the Halloween and Thanksgiving installments of the series.

Nguyen then said he was thrilled to be sitting next to Lee who was one of his heroes when he was younger. "I copied his up shots," the artist said to the laughter of the room.

Fridolfs then said that the next storyline for "Justice League Beyond" will expand the ranks of the team to being much bigger than it ever was in the cartoons, adding a female Flash and exploring cities outside Gotham and Metropolis from the Beyond Universe.

Willingham showed off the cover to "Fables" #129 – the last part of their Snow White arc where the writer said the character may rise to the occasion in her soldier getup. "Then again, we've been known to lie with our covers," he joked. "She's been around long enough that it was about time we gave her an arc to properly punisher her for being in this series." The writer then plugged the Fables-centric panel he'd be hosting later in the weekend.

Fialkov talked about the last issue of "I Vampire" saying, "We've killed everyone...if you haven't been reading the book it's probably not a great time to jump on, but our second trade is in stores next week!"

The floor opened up with a fan asking for Snyder to comment on a brief Twitter feud he had with artist Rob Liefeld, but no sparks flew as the writer promised that the pair have since made up.

The perpetual question of Stephanie Brown and Wally West's appearance in the DCU came up. Asked if they wanted a Wally appearance in the New 52, the crowd cheered before being told "Too bad." Then the answer shifted towards "Never say never" before Fialkov asked fans to track down "Flash" writer Brian Buccellato on the floor and demand he write Wally into the book.

A fan asked if any more Vertigo titles would shift to the DC Universe as Constantine had. Doyle joke that they were going to move all the characters before confirming that the core of the original Vertigo characters would stay put. "That's the goal moving forward. The characters that work well with the DC characters made sense to move over because there's so many stories to tell."

The upcoming shift in Green Lantern creative teams led to a fan asking what Fialkov planned to change things up from the long runs that came before. "Geoff Johns and his merry band of emerald warriors are wrapping up his prolific run of Green Lantern stories with issue #20," the writer said, noting his personal taking over of "Green Lantern Corps" and "Red Lanterns" but he's coordinating tightly with Justin Jordan and Robert Venditti to make all their series work together as one giant story. "Geoff is all of our bosses, so we're terrible afraid of upsetting him."

The death of Damian Wayne came up when someone wondered whether that story impacted how Snyder approached "Death of the Family. ""The answer really is 'no,'" he said. "We knew what was coming up in 'Batman Inc.' but DC pretty much gave me the ability to kill anybody I wanted...I thought about taking off a finger here or there but then backed away from that. But at the end of the day, the story was about Joker saying 'I am your family. The Royal Court of Arkham is your family.'" That relationship with Joker is what really died at the end of the arc as Batman played the same joke on the villain he was trying to play on the Dark Knight. Snyder didn't want to take away from Grant's story as he told his, and he promised there will be ramifications from the story moving forward.

TAGS:  eccc2013, dc comics, scott snyder, joshua hale fialkov, bill willingham, jae lee, dustin nguyen, derek fridolfs, ray fawkes, jeff lemire, 100 bullets, 100 bullets brother lono

 
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