Comic Book Fix: Comic-Con 2012 Recap
Last Updated on Wednesday, 18 July 2012 02:35 Written by david golbitz Wednesday, 18 July 2012 02:35
And like that … it’s gone. The pop culture whirlwind that is San Diego Comic-Con is now in the wind, and everyone can catch their breath. After four days of nonstop press releases and panel announcements, the comic book industry is taking a collective sigh this week as it recovers from what many have affectionately dubbed “Nerd Prom.” And while the industry recuperates, that gives us plenty of time to sift through all the tweets and RSS feeds to find the truly big news of the weekend.
While a lot of attention is heaped on the various movie panels (Guardians of the Galaxy! The Winter Soldier!), I’m going to stick to comic book news in this post. Movies might make more money, but the real innovation these days is being done at your local comic book shop. So read on for what I think were some of the biggest announcements of this year’s Comic-Con.
Arguably the biggest splash of the weekend belongs to DC Comics for its surprise announcement that Neil Gaiman, 15 years after ending his seminal Sandman series, is returning to the comic that made him the first true comic book rock star. In celebration of its 25th anniversary, Gaiman is writing an all-new Sandman miniseries, and he’s bringing one of comicdom’s best artists along for the ride: J.H. Williams III.
While this new Sandman story isn’t scheduled to debut until 2013, DC did release this piece of promo artwork by Williams, which illustrates just how perfect a choice he is for this project. Gaiman himself wasn’t in San Diego in person, but he did drop by via video clip to introduce the series and share a little of its plot.
After news about the new Sandman series broke Thursday night, I couldn’t imagine another announcement that could possibly cause a nerdgasm on the same level, but Image Comics sure came close at the publisher’s Saturday panel.
Image unveiled an all-star lineup of creators, a veritable who’s who of comic book luminaries, many of whom have never worked with the independent publisher before. While no specific releases dates were mentioned, it’s a safe bet that the second half of 2012 belongs to Image. Check out this roster of talent (in no particular order):
- Non-Humans, by Whilce Portacio and Glen Brunswick
- Nowhere Men, by Eric Stephenson
- Satellite Sam, by Matt Fraction and Howard Chaykin, which was described as a murder mystery set in the world of children’s television.
- Pretty Deadly, by Kelly Sue DeConnick and her Osborn artist Emma Rios, which is a spaghetti western in the tradition of Sergio Leone, but featuring a female protagonist.
- Multiple Warheads, by Prophet writer Brandon Graham
- The Savior, by James Robinson and J. Bone, about a New Mexico stoner who has to fend off an alien invasion.
- Sex, by Joe Casey and Piotr Kowalski
- The Bounce, by Joe Casey and David Messina
- Lazarus, by former Gotham Central partners Greg Rucka and Michael Lark, which Rucka described as The Godfather meets Children of Men. It’s a gritty, hard sci-fi story set in a dystopian future.
- Reign, by Chris Roberson and Paul Maybury, which Roberson described as a giant, sprawling epic fantasy.
- Oliver, by Darick Robertson and Gary Whitta, which Robertson described as a steampunk retelling of Oliver Twist set in a post-apocalyptic future.
- Point of Impact, by Jay Faerber
- Great Pacific, by Joe Harris and Martin Morazzo
Like I said, an all-star roster. It’s difficult to say which title I’m most excited about, though it’s a safe bet that I’m going to love anything written by Greg Rucka, Matt Fraction or Kelly Sue DeConnick.
DC Comics might have won the weekend with its huge Sandman news, but Image was definitely no slouch, delivering both quantity and quality. All the other publisher announcements seemed to pale in comparison, but there were a couple other upcoming projects that caught my eye.
With the new dark, edgier Judge Dredd movie coming out this year, IDW picked up on that license and announced a new Dredd series written by its Godzilla scribe, Duane Swierczynski, with art by Nelson Daniel. Swierczynski compared his Judge Dredd to the TV series Law & Order, “if Jerry Orbach were a violent, inflexible fascist.”
The first issue of IDW’s Judge Dredd is scheduled to be released in November.
Quentin Tarantino was on hand to promote his upcoming film Django Unchained, and he popped his head into a DC “Before Watchmen” panel to break the news that he’s also adapting Django as a five-issue miniseries for Vertigo.
In addition to all the big comic book announcements, Comic-Con also plays host each year to the Eisner Awards, the comic industry’s version of the Oscars. Notable winners this year include Mark Waid, who, surprisingly, had never won before; Ed Brubaker and Sean Phillips, who won for Criminal: The Last of the Innocent; and Francesco Francavilla, who took home the Eisner for Best Cover Artist.
For a complete list of Eisner winners, click here.
Amidst all the hoopla that is Comic-Con, I was expecting at least some new information about Marvel’s upcoming reboot/relaunch/nothing-is-really-changing initiative, dubbed “Marvel NOW!” But most of Marvel’s attention seemed to be focused squarely on its movie properties, with barely a word said about the NOW! titles, aside from the ones that had already been announced a few weeks ago. I just find it odd, is all, that Marvel chose not to reveal anything new. I wonder if they’re concerned about fan backlash if too much information is thrown out there too soon. With the launch of NOW! not until October, perhaps Marvel wants to wait and unveil the other new titles when they’ll have the stage to themselves instead of having to share it with every other publisher in the country …
Picks of the Week
- Alabaster: Wolves #4 (Dark Horse), by Caitlin Kiernan and Steve Lieber
- Batwoman #11 (DC Comics), by J.H. Williams III, W. Haden Blackman and Trevor McCarthy
- Captain Marvel #1 (Marvel), by Kelly Sue DeConnick and Dextor Soy
- Glory #28 (Image), by Joe Keatinge and Ross Campbell
- Saga #5 (Image), by Brian K. Vaughan and Fiona Staples
- Wonder Woman #11 (DC Comics), by Brian Azzarello and Cliff Chiang
- The Sandman Returns to Vertigo (ign.com)
- Comic-Con: Neil Gaiman Announces SANDMAN Prequel (collider.com)
- SDCC 2012: New Neil Gaiman Sandman With J.H. Williams III (comicsbeat.com)
- CCI VIDEO: Gaiman, Vertigo Announce New “Sandman” Miniseries (comicbookresources.com)
- 10 New Comics for Your Post-Comic-Con Consideration (wired.com)
- Image Announces New Series From Rucka, Fraction, Casey, DeConnick, Chaykin and More [SDCC] (comicsalliance.com)
- SDCC 2012: Image Comics Announces New Books from Rucka & Lark, Matt Fraction and More! (ifanboy.com)
Tags: 2012, Criminal, Darick Robertson, DC Comics, django unchained, duane swierczynski, Ed Brubaker, eisner awards, emma rios, Francesco Francavilla, Greg Rucka, howard chaykin, IDW, Image Comics, j. bone, j.h. williams iii, james robinson, joe casey, Judge Dredd, kelly sue deconnick, lazarus, mark waid, Matt Fraction, Michael Lark, Neil Gaiman, pretty deadly, quentin tarantino, Sandman, Sean Phillips, Vertigo