Simonson Revisits Norse Mythology In Ragnarok And Winsor McCay's Slumberland Returns At IDW Summer Blockbuster Panel

20140726_100309Pete Sailer liveblogged this panel from the far suburbs of San Diego, Room 28DE. This panel promises "lively discussion" on Little NemoV-WarsRagnarok and Winterworld. Will IDW announce any new titles? Maybe a Little Nemo/V-Wars/Ragnarok/Winterworld Crossover? Little Ragnarok World Wars? Keep on checking here to find out!

Featuring panel moderator IDW CCO and Editor-in-Chief Chris Ryall, Walt Simonson, Chuck Dixon, Jonathan Maberry, Gabriel Rodriguez and Eric Snanower.

Chris Ryall informally started the panel and introduced Jonathan Maberry, Eric Shanower, Gabrirel Rodriguez and Chuck Dixon and Managing Editor David Hedgecock. Walt Simonson was currently en route at the time. The room was rumbling because of some epic trailer playing in a room below us. Maberry said "Is this room going to transform into a Transformer?"

Chris played a trailer for the comic book V-Wars that launched on Free Comic Book Day last May and sarcastically called it a "touching all-ages vampire romance." Maberry, writer of V-Wars, explained how before he became a novelist he wrote six non-fiction books about the mythology and folklore about vampires around the world. The room started rumbling again and cheering is heard far away. Maberry explained his theory that ties all the world's vampires via differing DNA around the world including blood-drinkers and flesh-eaters. Maberry is happy with V-Wars' television pilot written by Tim Schlattmann.

Ryall is happy V-Wars is restoring vampires "old-school" scariness. "Vampires in various points reach a point of softness and sparkliness."

Ryall introduced Winterworld by Chuck Dixon and Butch Guice and plays another trailer. I'm quite impressed with how IDW have developed these comic trailers. They were all surprisingly high quality. Dixon said Guice "is on the first arc" and promised a remarkable line of artists for the next year. Dixon wanted to continue writing Winterworld, but the time wasn't right until IDW and because of Dixon and the classic Winterworld's legacy, IDW was able to recruit some truly remarkable artists.

Ryall said Ragnarok is next, but Walt Simonson was still not here. Instead of an impromptu Q&A, Hedgecock began to talk about the "murderer's row" they have set up for Winterworld. Tomas Giarello for Issue #5, Tommy Lee Edwards will be doing a one-shot, Steve Eptings and Steve Pugh will be drawing some covers and hopefully interiors. Walt Simonson walks in and a trailer for Ragnarok plays. "Can we give one more round of applause for Walter revisiting Norse Mythology?" Ryall says.

Ragnarok was an idea Simonson had 15 years ago after Scott Dubnier approached him about writing a creator-owned book. Simonson explained that every Marvel Thor writer has written about Ragnarok including Simonson himself doing it twice in his run. However, the IDW Ragnarok will have a twist. The mythological Ragnarok happens in the first five pages, but instead of Thor slaying the Midgard Serpent, Thor never shows up.

"The Gods die and the enemies win."

Hundreds of years pass and there will be "an eternal dusk over the lands" so it will be an eternal Twilight of the Gods. Enemies carve out their kingdoms and enslave humans in a timeless realm. Then, Thor returns to find out that all his friends and all the Gods are dead.

However, as long as Thor lives, Ragnarok continues. Thor has to defeat the enemies and discover the "matter of all things." Wow! I am sold. That was one of the most compelling synopsis I've ever heard.

"Will you just please promise us there will someday be an audio-book read by the author?" Ryall says commenting on Simonson's compelling description.

Simonson said he writes all his ideas down for each of series. Even though Ragnarok will only be a six-issue series, there are a ton of ideas for future storylines. Simonson is also combing through some ideas from his Marvel Thor run although he's confident that the Ragnarok Thor will act very differently in his general behavior, powers and dialogue.

Ryall is happy Eric Shanower and Gabriel Rodriguez are bringing back Winsor McCay's Little Nemo. Shanower considers Little Nemo: Adventures in Slumberland is "one of the classics of comic strips." Scott Dubnier called Shanower and pitched him a Little Nemo storyline.

"What if we did something really dark and psychological?" Shanower first pitched Dubnier about an adult Nemo tortured by nightmares, but then settled on a much lighter tone. In the process of updating it, Shanower wanted to create a new modern child from 2014. However, Slumberland will be the same.

Rodriguez calls working on "friendly magical adventures in Slumberland" is "an act of joy." He's happy that "after six years on Locke & Key" that we'll finally have a comic he's worked on that he'll be able to show to his kids.

I ask a question about whether the original Nemo will ever return. Shanower told me that his Little Nemo is only a four issue mini-series so he doesn't know if the original will ever appear as a story element.

Simonson tell me to look out for "Series 7: Rise of the Dark Nemo"

Ryall jokes to look out for the adult Nemo in the crossover between the four titles. Yes! Little Ragnarok World Wars is finally happening!

Rodriguez says the best part about Slumberland is that "absolutely anything can happen"

And that's it! This was a fun panel and I'm excited for what IDW has next in store.

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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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