New York Comic Con, Day One: Fans Experience "Vertigo"

Fri, February 24th, 2006 at 12:00am PST

Comic Books
Jessica Blackshear, Guest Writer

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The Vertigo panel saw a definite benefit from the convention opening its doors to the general public just one hour prior. The nearly packed room was all ears and ready to receive the message that Karen Berger eagerly delivered.

On-hand to spread the word about the year's projects were VP-Executive Editor Karen Berger and Senior Editor Shelly Bond, as well as Cameron Stewart, Brian Wood, Brian Azzarello, Jonathan Ames, Dean Haspiel, Douglas Rushkoff, Brian K. Vaughan, Matt Johnson, Will Dennis and Editor Jonathan Wenger.

Shelly Bond kicked off the panel with a few words about the "Fables" titles. "Fables: 1,001 Nights of Snowfall," will be released in October 2006, and was promised to be "not only a great jumping on point" for unfamiliar readers, but a book that also "reveals great secret histories." While showing the forthcoming Issue 49 cover, she noted that there is "an event in Fables 50," the silver anniversary issue, "that will blow your mind."

Fans of the series will be excited to know that the character Jack, previously kicked out of Fables, has his own spin-off book to be released very soon.

Next up was "Pride of Baghdad," inspired by a true story of 4 lions that escaped the Baghdad Zoo during the war. This book will reach the public in September 2006.

"Can't Get No" is a story from author/artist Rich Veitch. This book was described by Karen Berger as the "story of a man who lost his job, has a night of debauchery, and then woke up to see the planes hit the World Trade Center." The half-size, 356 page black and white book will be out this June.

Karen Berger described Gilbert Hernandez's "Sloth" as a "surreal love story" about "relationships amongst twenty-somethings."

"The Other Side" written by unknown Jason Aaron and drawn by Cameron Stewart is a Viet Nam story that actually prompted Cameron Stewart to take a trip to Viet Nam prior to writing it. Stewart described it as a "parallel story about two soldiers" during the war. Berger beamed when describing the unknown author and his story, saying "it was one of those scripts that came in through the slush pile."

Jonathan Wengen took a minute to talk about "Hellblazer," and the new author of the title, crime novelist Denise Mina. Wengen quipped that the story follows John in Glasgow with a new curse of empathy. Parts 1 and 2 of the 7 part story are already on shelves. Also in Hellblazer news, the "Papa Midnight" mini-series will soon be collected into a graphic novel.

Due out about a year and a half from now, is "Incognegro," a fictional version of a true story about a black man, who looks white, trying to uncover the mystery of the lynching campaigns in the late 19th and early 20th centuries.

"Bite Club: VCU" (Vampire Crime Unit) was given the brief description of "focus[ing] more on [the] detectives," and should be out next month.

The popular "Loveless" by author Brian Azzarello is wrapping its first arc now. The next arc will feature 3 one-shots centered around the principal characters, but Ames promised that the third arc will go back to "people fucking people."

Brian Wood promises that "DMZ" "hits really hard" with the coming issue, and that we're "going to see more about the Jersey guys."

Both "Loveless" and "DMZ" will be collected into trades in May.

Karen Berger described "Testament" as a "great melting of religion and technology." Author Douglas Rushkoff said it was set "in our present/near future" and that it's a story about how "we're reliving stories through the bible and not knowing it." When Berger asked how many people in the room were readers, there was an obvious showing of fan appreciation in the room.

Editor Wengen spoke about the forthcoming Issue 5 of "The Exterminators," which promises "a lot more bugs, violence, and sex…" and a "semi-apocalyptic confrontation between the exterminators and bugs."

Karen Berger says that "American Virgin," which is due out any day from writer Steve Segal, "puts religion and sex together." Berger also described "Deadman" as a story about a pilot and his brother, one of whom becomes the deadman."

2007 will bring the release of "Sandman Mystery Theater: Sleep of Reason," by John Ney Reiber which brings the story back when a guy finds the mask in a cave in the Mideast.

Brian Azzarello briefly touched on the "100 Bullets" series saying the next arc would be set in Cleveland.

"Y: The Last Man," received applause from the audience when the book's Issue 60 cover hit the screen. Author Brian K. Vaughan said the double sized final issue promises "a lot of stuff will be answered," and "people will die."

Karen Berger, who spoke for a number of authors not in attendance talked about Harvey Pekar's book, "American Splendor," and said it's a "series of short stories" and that the "first is basically a day in the life of Harvey."

"The Alcoholic," written by J. Ames and illustrated by D. Haspiel was described as a "what will happen to the alkie" look, after a "love-affair that went bad that sent him on a bender."

The Q & A session that followed was brief, much like the descriptions given for much of Vertigo's forthcoming releases. One question was regarding Marvel's line being self-integrated while the Vertigo line covered more than just their own territory. Berger answered that she felt "for comics to succeed, you need to do both." She continued that "DC is a lot more forward and progressive thinking than Marvel in those terms."

When asked whether Bigby of the "Fables" books might have his own spin-off, Berger said, "Probably not." Shelly Bond added that "Bigby was about to have a very busy year."

Wrapping up the Q & A, Berger revealed that September would bring about "Absolute Sandman" editions, with the first two volumes of the series recolored.


CBR's coverage of the New York Comic-Con is Sponsored by Comics Unlimited.

 
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