BOOM! Studios was looking to have a big presence at Wondercon 2017 with a number of show exclusives as well having their creative people on panels throughout the convention. But the big one for BOOM! was their Friday panel, BOOM! Studios: Discover Yours, where they covered all four of their BOOM! imprints – KaBOOM, BOOM! Box, Archaia, and BOOM!. Moderating the panel was Filip Sablik, President of Publishing and Marketing, Matt Gagnon, Editor in Chief, Delilah Dawson, writer on Lady Castle, Sam Sykes, writer on Brave Chef Brianna, Si Spurrier, writer on Godshaper, and Kirsten "Kiwi" Smith and Kurt Lustgarten, co-writers on Misfit City.
All the writers on the panel came to comics after doing something else first. Dawson, Sykes, and Spurrier were all novelists prior to writing comics, and Smith and Lustgarten worked on movies, with Smith most famously being the screenwriter on such films as 10 Things I Hate About You, She's The Man, and Legally Blonde. Dawson said she got into writing comics by posting on Twitter that she wanted to write some comics, BOOM! responded. Smith said she also got in through Twitter. She said BOOM! Box Editor Shannon Watters reached out to her about doing a book, and that the first comic book she ever read was Lumberjanes. She said she was like a new born baby in the world of comics.
The panel was asked what made them want to get into comics and Sykes said it was when he discovered webcomics around when he was 13 and saw that a comic could be just about three people sitting on a couch talking to each other. Dawson said when she first went into comic book stores it was all "butts, boobs, and pecs" and that wasn't her world. However she went into a store with her kids on a Free Comic Book Day and she saw Saga and she said, "there was women with green hair breastfeeding on the front. Did you write this just for me? I have pink hair and a baby." It was book that connected with her, as it wasn't the same old same old (sorry Marvel, it is diverse and somehow sells). For Lustgarten his exposure to comics came during film school when a professor assigned Scott McCloud's Understanding Comics.
The panel was asked how they would convince a stranger on the street to read their book. Spurrier described his main character as a hobo who travels across 1950s America who can godshape. Thankfully I have read the first issue and can say go read it, because it is amazing, and also because Spurrier may be the only person under 40 to still use the word hobo.
The panel was extremely entertaining and all the books sound excellent. Lady Castle and Brave Chef Brianna are already available, Godshaper will be in stores next week, and Misfit City should be out on May 10, 2017.
For further musings from Joshua Stone, you can follow him on Twitter @1NerdyOne, but it is not required