The Aspen Entertainment panel, at Wizard World L.A, featured twelve members of the Aspen staff in front of an audience of sixteen (Joe Quesada seemed to be pulling in the numbers). The numbers on both sides made the panel that much more entertaining, however, as the conversation bounced back and forth from panelists to panelist.
After introductions were made, executive vice president Frank Mastromauro provided an update on "Soulfire" #6, which was supposed to make it's debut at Wizard World L.A, but unfortunately only a few copies were available. The issue will be released across the country as scheduled.
"That was really the only bummer about the weekend," said Mastromauro, "because we were kind of looking forward to having 'Soulfire' #6 for everybody."
Mastromauro went on to discuss Aspen's latest title, "Shrugged," specifically praising the artwork by Micah Gunnel and Jason Gorder.
"Micah's the perfect match for this," said vice president of publishing, and colorist, Peter Seigerwald.
From there, discussion moved on to the slide show, complete with various stop and starts for computer difficulties (evidently Steigerwald is a Pearl Jam fan, judging by the music on his laptop).
They covered each Aspen property:
"Fathom" will be moving towards a conclusion. "For those who have been reading the story, it's one long, big epic story," said writer JT Krul. "You'll see in issue eleven – which I'm writing now – that everything comes together."
"And Koi's work is just getting stronger and stronger," he added, referring to "Fathom" penciler Koi Turnbull.
"I hope you enjoy the last page," added Turnbull with a knowing smile.
"Chaos Reigns" will, according to Krul, "bridge the gap between season one and season two" of Soulfire. The goal is to lay the groundwork for things to come in the regular "Soulfire" series.
Aspen will also be participating in this year's Free Comic Book Day with a book called "Worlds of Aspen." The comic will feature pieces from "Shrugged" and "Fathom" as well as the premiere of the first six pages of "Chaos Reigns."
They also showed a few of the covers Michael Turner has done recently for Marvel, including an accidental sneak peak at the cover of next month's "Wizard," featuring Iron Man and Captain America.
"Who had their camera ready?" asked Seigerwald.
During the Q&A, Turner mentioned that his deal with Marvel involved doing covers and interiors, the latter being seen "this time next year."
With a number of Aspen message board members in attendance, the conversation quickly turned to studio hi-jinx, particularly eating competitions.
They started with Coldstone ice cream. "How fast can Frank eat a half a gallon?" asked Seigerwald.
The competition moved on to a six-patty cheeseburger. "For those of you who saw the picture on our message board, it was pretty foul looking," said Seigerwald.
According to the panelists, the future includes Hawaiian barbecue chicken and, from all indications, more great comics.
CBR's coverage of Wizard World Los Angeles is Sponsored by Comics Unlimited.