Rob Guillory On Miles Morales After Chew? Talking To Pros At ECCC

While roaming the aisles and areas of ECCC 2014 Bleeding Cool reporter Ian Melton got to talk with a wide variety of creators who were happy to talk to Bleeding Cool. Yes, he found some…

Jim Zub was quite happy to talk about Skullkickers and how happy he was to have it back on shelves. The launch of every issue of the last arc as #1's helped raise sales somewhat and that, along with its serialization online, has brought new readers to the title but Zub is gearing up for the end of Skullkickers with the sixth arc in 2015 bringing the epic and funny journey to a close. The next Tavern Tales in issue #30 will be unlike the others as Zub will write all the tales for it himself since it connects much more closely to the continuity of the series. Zub also warned Skullkickers fans that he's been planning a massive fight scene that will probably consume most of the last arc. He also mentioned that another creator owned series is in the works but it will be more serious. There will be funny moments, but not as much over the top slapstick as there is in Skullkickers.

Rob Guillory is also feeling the winding down effect a bit, though the end of Chew is a few years off with #60 being the finale point. As the series winds down he and John Layman have lots planned to see Tony Chu off in great style, but he and Layman are not looking to see other creators really play in their sandbox unless it is something like the Revival/Chew crossover.  The two creators are talking new ideas for after Chew is done, but Rob is looking at the end of Chew as a chance to maybe work on other work, some of it maybe not creator owned.  The recent Uncanny Avengers #18 Variant Cover he did with Deadpool was a lot of fun, and he is looking at doing more work like that if he can.  He enjoyed putting the cover together a lot and ECCC was the first chance he got to see the cover in person when it was brought to him to sign (by this reporter who let him keep it since he didn't have a copy yet).  He had a wonderful time doing the cover, citing the squirrel as his own wild idea, and that he received a lot of freedom doing the cover.  When asked if he would think about working on a "company book" Rob stated he was impressed with Marvel's current work and the diversity, citing Miles Morales as the kind of character he really wants to see more of in comics.  Doing something with Ultimate Spider-Man is something that interests him and he loves the character, but as Chew enters its last third Layman and him are very dedicated to giving it their full attention.

Erik Burnham & Dan Schoening the team on IDW's Ghostbusters comic are having a blast with it and are very excited with the 30th anniversary storyline "Mass Hysteria".  After seeing the TMNT arc "City Fall" Erik pitched an 8 issue arc of similar structure to see if IDW would be up for it, and they were.  However, Mass Hysteria will probably not run 8 issues he stated, more likely 7 with the last issue more of an epilogue with the finale in the 7th part.  The two spoke about the difficulty of working with a lot of continuity that fans love with Schoening being much more the continuity aware creator (citing elements from episodes of the Real Ghostbusters TV show, Movies, and the Ghostbusters game as making it into his art) whereas Burnham was a bit more oblivious.  "Dan's always the one making the references to the Real Ghostbusters and other stuff, not me" he laughed, "but I'll take credit for it if people like it".  However, Extreme Ghostbusters' character Kylie Griffin's inclusion in the IDW series was not due to Dan Schoening but Tristan Jones.  Burnham explained, "I just needed a character to run Ray's bookstore in the comic, and I just had this idea of a girl who runs it for Ray when he is out Ghostbusting and Tristan jumped in saying 'It has to be Kylie!  It has to be Kylie!', so that's how she made it into the series and she was a great addition."  Relaunching the book over a year ago did help the sales somewhat, but the numbers did drop back down but the book is doing good and Columbia Pictures is well aware of what they are doing.  Their upcoming use of Louis Tully, recently allowed as rights issues were settled, they hope will come off very Rick Moraines and no other version of the character except him playing the character enters their minds.  Schoening states, "I know he was in Real Ghostbusters but I barely remember that and he wasn't that great of a character there.  This will be classic Louis."

Amanda Conner was very gracious to speak with anyone who came to see her and get signatures, but was very apologetic on two fronts.  First, that her husband writer and inker Jimmy Palmiotti was sick Saturday and Sunday, and second, that all the delays of their creator owned book Captain Brooklyn are her fault.  "I may have to fire myself off my own book," she joked but wanted to know fans she is working on it and they are very committed to the book but Harley Quinn is really consuming a lot of their time.  Her first major foray on writing monthly comics is very enjoyable to her, and the husband / wife duo are really enjoying it, but "I can't give away any specific plot points.  Dan Didio is everywhere!"  Her humor and charm were very energetic and she was happy to sign books from all points in her career citing her love of her early work on Gargoyles for Marvel Comics, and how much she loved the show to, and her close association for a long time with Vampirella.  However, one thing she noted was her current duel hats as artist and writer work very different muscles in her brain, and when asked if she was a perfectionist when drawing she noted "no quite the opposite, I'm more of a perfectionist when writing.  Jimmy has it down when he writes but I really pour over every part of dialogue and description."  The co-writing process between the two on Harley Quinn is also not in a set pattern as they write it together every issue, or one plots and one scripts, with some issues being very much her writing and others being more Jimmy.  "Honestly sometimes I steal the beginning pages and disappear with them so I can write on my own" she laughed.

Carlos D'Anda was enjoying doing sketches and chatting with fans.  Currently enjoying a "break" as he put it from monthly comics D'Anda is currently looking at doing more design work for a while.  "I love doing design work and monthly comics, but monthlies are much more work intensive so I need a break."  After coming off the Batman Arkham City comic with Paul Dini and its very intensive schedule, he had planned to take a break then, but Dark Horse lured him back with Star Wars.  "Star Wars, set after the first movie, with Brian Wood?  I couldn't say no."  However, he was very worried that people would not like his take on the characters.  "I don't do likenesses, and to be honest after I did the redesign on Harley Quinn for Arkham Asylum, which was her first not Bruce Timm classic costume, I got a lot of grief."  He avoided the internet when his issues for Star Wars came out, and was really surprised that so many people liked his version.  He was working on a Princess Leia piece while speaking, and said that fans really embraced him for the series.  His original commitment to it went from about 3 issues to 6 very quickly and he tried hard to fit in more issues, with the last arc of the series (2 to 3 issues beginning with #19) before it leaves Dark Horse will be drawn by him.  "It will be weird to see Dark Horse not doing Star Wars but I've really enjoyed working on it".

Peter David had a lot of fans and questions thrown at him at ECCC so I kept mine simple.

IM: Will Miguel O' Hara be still in present day New York in your new Spider-Man 2099 series?

PD: Yes, though I'm not saying it will stay that way forever.

IM: What was your favorite part of working on the Dark Tower comics?

PD: When Stephen King told me that I was his favorite comic book writer.  Just can't beat that….


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About Rich Johnston

Founder of Bleeding Cool. The longest-serving digital news reporter in the world, since 1992. Author of The Flying Friar, Holed Up, The Avengefuls, Doctor Who: Room With A Deja Vu, The Many Murders Of Miss Cranbourne, Chase Variant. Lives in South-West London, works from Blacks on Dean Street, shops at Piranha Comics. Father of two. Political cartoonist.
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