Adam Ebert writes for Bleeding Cool from C2E2. And went to the DC Uncharted panel, just concluded.
This panel included: Marguerite Bennett (DC Bombshells), Jody Houser (Mother Panic), Justin Jordan (Savage Things), Joelle Jones (Supergirl: Being Super), Mirka Andolfo (DC Bombshells), and Tim Seeley (Lost Boys).
The panel began with a discussion of The Lost Boys book, written by Tim Seeley. He spoke on the process of getting on the book “You know, the sexy sax player on the beach? That’s a vampire hunter,” said Seeley on what his pitch looked like, a pseudo-sequel to the film. The Frog Brothers team up with the saxophone player. Tony Harris is doing covers for the book. This year is the 30th anniversary of the film and the first trade will be available in August.
Young Animal was the next topic and they started with Jody Houser and Mother Panic. “Gotham is a weird place and you don’t always end up who you want to be,” said Houser on the main character’s place in the city. The team is wrapping up the second arc with #6, out this Wednesday. The book will be rotating artists every three issues. Issue #7 will feature art by John Paul Leon. The story will feature a murderer wearing coroner’s body bag. Leon’s art was complimented as being a great fit for the story Houser wants to tell. Houser also spoke on how the book will explore different aspects of Gotham and the character’s world.
Justice League of America Rebirth: Killer Frost was the next book on the docket, written by Houser and drawn by Mirka Andolfo. The art and Andolfo’s approach to this particular book was discussed, a combination of digital and print. She accounted for how the book would be read in each medium. As Andolfo was the artist for DC Bombshells as well, the panel then began discussing where that book is headed. Marguerite Bennett spoke on the process of pitching the story and how each character fit into their own vintage world that helped make it all feel “concrete.” Bringing a balance to all of the elements present in the world was an interesting endeavor for Bennett. “It’s getting really crazy.”
Savage Things #3 was then highlighted. Justin Jordan spoke on the elevator pitch for the book: “What if Jason Bourne fought a squad of Dexters?” Young children who fit the homicidal triad(arson, animal cruelty, bed-wetting) were picked out for a special government program. Escapees from the program escape into New York and an older agent is called upon to take them all out. Jordan then spoke on the artist’s process and what he brings to the book. “He came on early enough that I was able to write the book with him in mind,” said Jordan. “The script would a lot talkier with a different artist.”
Joelle Jones was then called upon to speak about Supergirl: Being Super. “She’s writing the words and I’m drawing the pages.” Jones also complimented Mariko Tamaki’s writing for the book and how the author brought a very grounded style to the character. The artist also said that drawing Supergirl provided her with a balance for her other book, Ladykiller. “It’s also good to have someone else doing the driving,” noted Jones. The return of the Wildstorm universe was also highlighted with some cover art for the series, by Jim Lee and others.
The panel then transitioned into a deeper discussion of the creators’ processes on each of the book. Seeley spoke on how fulfilling it was to write a direct, immediate sequel to the film, instead of the actual film sequel, which didn’t quite fit in his opinion. “Don’t be a nerd,” said Seeley, on his approach to writing the book. Jordan also spoke on the experience of writing at DC and Vertigo, covering from creator-owned experiences. “When you do books at Image, you’re entirely on your own,” noted Jordan. “Good editors will help you get back to your original idea for a book. It’s not a different book, it’s a better book,” said Jordan, praising the editors he has on Savage Things. Jordan mentioned he got his start on some material for Seeley’s Hack/Slash, which was a nice start early in his career.
Jody Houser discussed on the nice balance she has in Mother Panic, where she operates in the Batman world, but under the Young Animal imprint that lets her write the book in a manner that has a little more freedom than other books in the Bat-line. DC Bombshells was also highlighted as a world where there was freedom in the story that could be told and where the characters could be taken. “You can rewrite history and change timelines,” said Bennett. Batwoman is also one of Bennett’s and that one has a lot more on the line for the writer. However, Steve Epting as the artist on the book helps ease any anxiety in writing the character. Bennett strives for perfection in both books, with both research and prepping the artist for the narrative.
DC Bombshells: Do you have any plans to make them mothers?
“Can’t answer that right now. Sorry.”
Favorite DC books currently on the stands?
“That Flinstones book is incredible. I admire what Mark Russell”
“Shade the Changing the Girl is so much fun”
“The Tom King Batman stuff is amazing.”
“Can’t wait for Sheriff of Babylon to return.”
“James Tynion’s Detective Comics hits the high school sweetspot for me.”
“I’m a huge fan of Harley Quinn and Lobo.”
Jordan noted how he was pushing (even this weekend) for him to get on a Lobo book at DC.
What was the thing that got you into comics?
Seeley: “Spider-Man #238. I was four years old and we went camping. The issue is when Spider-Man fights the Juggernaut. He uses a gasoline truck against him. It blew my mind. That’s the reason I’m still here. When you do fall in love with comics, you often fall hard.”
Houser: “The Batman Adventures comic where Batgirl and Harley Quinn first appeared in the series. The first comic I ever read was a Marvel Anti-Smoking comic featuring Spider-Man, Storm, and Luke Cage.” The story was absolutely ridiculous as the villain actually created smoke and blew it at people.
Andolfo: “Mickey Mouse was my first comic. In Italy, all the kids have read Mickey Mouse. It’s the reason I love comics. Some mangas. And Lobo. At comics school in Italy, I originally only read manga. I remember this cover with Lobo and under him, an explosion. I just had to read it. I’m really in love with Lobo.”
Bennett: “My gateway drug was Batman: the Animated Series when I was 5. It looked so strikingly different to everything else. I thought that Batman was a bad guy based on the opening. I thought he was a bad guy turning in his bad guy friends.”
Jordan: “Reading Popeye when I was 3 years old is one of my earliest memories. My mom would get me comics when we went shopping. I was 13 when Image became a big thing. Wildcats and Youngblood were foundational for me. The idea that these guys could do their own thing was great.”
Jones: “I wasn’t big into comics originally. But I remembered when Superman’s death was on the news and SNL. So I started stealing comics from some friends. Punisher: War Journal.
What in comics would you like to see pushed a little? Covers? Lines like Young Animal?
Seeley: “I want someone, like Raina Telgemeier or Mariko Tamaki, write a young adult. Those guys are writing books that sell more copies than anything else. I think books written by them would create a whole new industry.”
Houser: “Pushing comics into all the available markets. People need to know that new comics are coming out.”
Andolfo: “Mickey Mouse versus Lobo.”
Bennett: “More Elseworld stories. I want more pirate Batman.”
Jordan: “Same as Tim. The market Raina is selling to is a much larger market than what we’re currently doing. Her generation prefers volumes/thicker books. I myself want to do more of that. More people need to be reading comics. People are watching the movies, but we need to get them into the shops.”
Jones: “It’s early for me so I’ll steal Jody’s answer.”
Marvel Unlimited was brought up. Is that something you guys are heading towards?
What’s a character, like Animal Man with Grant Morrison, you would want to do a new take on?
Houser: “We’re doing stuff like that in Mother Panic with Ratcatcher.”
Jordan: “Azrael and Bane are some characters I’d like to do.”
Seeley: “Firestorm. He’s so cool-looking, but it never fully connected. He’s DC’s Spider-Man, a young kid who is being told what to do by his professor. It’s so relatable.”
Favorite supervillain? Favorite obscure characters?
Seeley: “Lex Luthor. I love his story. He’s the smartest guy in the world but is outshined by this guy in the sky, which infuriates him.”
Houser: “Catwoman. Purple suit.”
Andolfo: “Harley Quinn. Catwoman as she’s both a villain and a hero.”
Bennett: “Mystique. I want to pitch a road trip book with Mystique and Rogue.”
Jordan: “Bane. I’m a big fan of pulp stuff like Doc Savage and the Shadow. His origins are similar. I love his dynamic with Batman. Two different upbringings that bring interesting things to their interaction. I want to monkey with all of that.”
Jones: “I’m obsessed with Catwoman and terrified of Joker. She used her gumption to deal with her situation.”