Get Sick – How Bendis Got All His Friends to Work on Wonder Comics, at ECCC

How do you get all your friends to pitch in and write books for your new imprint line? If you're Brian Michael Bendis, the trick is to get super sick and nearly die; at that point you'll be able to talk your friends into just about anything when they come to see you.

This was the working theory at Thursday's "Super Heroes of DC panel," lovingly posited by collection of the creator's friends and collaborators, all of whom currently work under Bendis' Wonder Comics line for DC.

Writer David F Walker, who'd previously taught with Bendis, said that the two always wanted to work together on something. When Bendis became critically ill, Walker came to visit at the hospital and Bendis informed him that they'd be writing a book together. "And he was really sick, so I was like 'of course we're doing a book together,'" Walker recalled. "'Whatever you say. Just take your medicine…'"

"That's literally how I ended up on Aquaman," said Kelly Sue DeConnick, currently in the midst of said run on Aquaman.

During the Q&A segment toward the end of the panel, a fan asked if writer Matt Fraction also got conscripted into writing Jimmy Olsen for Bendis in a similar "deathbed" bargain. Curiously, the panel seemed to momentarily take for granted that a Jimmy Olsen ongoing series had been officially announced, before hastily walking that back and clarifying that they didn't officially know if any such series was coming out. "If it does exist," said DeConnick, "it's probably really, really good. If it exists."

Wonder Twins creative team Mark Russell and Stephen Byrne were also on hand to discuss their ongoing work. And although they'd been working together for some time now, they'd only just met face-to-face roughly twenty minutes before the panel.

The idea for a Wonder Twins relaunch was Bendis', said Russell.

"[Bendis] said 'hey, I'm doing something new, and I really want you to be part of it.' And he said 'before you say no, just hear me out,' and I was like oh, great. He wants me to go clean his house or something. And he said 'I want you to write Wonder Twins.' And I was like, oh my god. This is the best thing that's ever happened to me."

Also on the panel was artist John Timms. Timms announced that he'd be working on Bendis' Young Justice as of issue four.

The panel was moderated by Mike Avila, a senior producer at Syfy Wire.


About Judd Morse

Judd once put a light bulb in a microwave to see if it would glow, and it was really cool. No. that's a lie. He read about someone else doing it, and he's always wished he'd come up with the idea.