Kelly Davis reports from the DC Uncharted panel at ECCC for Bleeding Cool,
In attendance: Jamie S Rich moderating, Lilah Sturges, Justin Jordan, Nick Filardi, Tamra Bonvillain, Jeff Parker, Evan "Doc" Shaner, Dave Justus, and Gail Simone.
Jamie opened the proceedings by introducing everyone and Lilah told the room that it was the first panel she has done since her transition, and said that's why she might wind up crying later. The sentiment was met by the audience with roaring applause and lots of awwws.
Lilah and Dave went on to talk about Ever After, asking the question; "what would happen if there were a school shooting but using magic wands?" In it bullied kids find magical artifacts and decide to fight back to different outcomes, with some being very malicious and others more wary. Issue #7 is a perfect jumping on point with Mark Buckingham returning to the series for one issue which will then lead into the next 5-issue story arc.
Gail entered the room a few minutes into the panel, being welcomed to thunderous applause. She is currently writing Clean Room for Vertigo to much acclaim. She showed the uncensored cover to Clean Room #16 stating that DC lawyers were not too keen on having the Presidential seal on the cover of a comic book. They feared backlash considering the current political climate in the US. Clean Room #18 with artist Walter Geovani will be mark the end of Season 1, but they gave assurances that it will be returning with a Season 2. Gail then asked the audience what they thought of Jenny Frison's covers; the crowd responded to another round of extended applause.
Talking now with Justin who is the writer of Savage Things for the Vertigo imprint. It seemed that the audience was unaware that the first issue had already hit the shelves earlier in the week (not surprising as everyone was all understandably preoccupied with planning for the convention). He describes the book as an "espionage horror" title, his elevator pitch being:
Savage Things is basically Jason Bourne vs. Jason Voorhees. Packed with ultra violence, and great covers by Jean Paul Leon.
Touching on Young Animal. Colorists Filardi and Bonvillain spoke about how darn weird and fun these books are. Stating that Gerard Way's scripts are very dense. Jamie went on to say that these books are getting great attention with some more very different takes on classic DC heroes coming down the pike. They didn't have any specifics to share yet though, but we'll keep on them as the weekend continues.
In the Hanna Barbera line of books with Parker and Shaner basically gushing about how much fun they're having on Future Quest. They get a lot of feedback from fans who just want to ensure that the storylines and feel that they knew and loved from their childhoods were respected and would be staying intact. The Impossibles are a recurring fan favorite and apparently Dan DiDio's favorite of this group of cartoons. One UK fan has been very vocal about really not liking that a woman was added to the team, with Parker stating that he is making a concerted effort to include more women in this universe.
Rich then addressed the panel asking them what the appeal is for them to be working on these imprint books for DC. As the discussion progresses, the consensus seems to be mostly about it giving them more artistic freedom.
"When working in the main DC universe you are limited to what you can really do, having to keep in mind all of what came before and that someone will be following you after your run," explained Jordan. "These characters have endured for decades for a reason, the trick being finding the core of that character, staying true to it and then changing some details here and there to keep it fresh and interesting."
During the question and answer session of the panel, a fan asking about the upcoming Looney Toons line of books which are scheduled to come out later this year. Rich said that Elmer Fudd vs Batman is going to be great. Adam Strange will be meeting Future Quest according to writer Parker.
A very young fan of perhaps 11 years of age, asked Jordan and Simone about their books and what the weirdest thing was that they had written for their respective books. Gail's response being "I can't tell you", and Justin's being "I'll let you know in about ten years". Both speakers then also asked him if he had read either of the books, to which he responded with a shy, "no."
Another fan asking about the Young Animal line and if it was going to grow or stay at roughly four books. Rich explained that for now it will be staying with just the four but with some cool stuff coming down the pike, with Mike Allred's Bug being the next on deck. Rich also implied strongly that a few of the various books may be tying together in subtle ways, though that it wouldn't be an official crossover events..
So that's about it from ECC and the DC Uncharted panel. As a note it's been by far the largest turnout that I've seen so far for a panel.
Keep your eyes peeled as the weekend goes on as we'll be reporting from ECC throughout the weekend.