Convention Report: Wizard World TexasA column article, Comics Bulletin Soapbox by: John Hays
This year, Wizard World Texas was a disappointment. I have to just come right out and say it. What exactly was disappointing? For starters, DC only presented one panel (last year they presented at least three) and Bob Wayne was the only executive representing DC (Dan DiDio and many creators have attended previous Wizard World Texas conventions). In addition, Marvel did not present ANY panels this year (unlike the several they did in past years).
I’m a DC/Marvel fan. Yes, I read independent comics, primarily for the site, but every once in a while, I find good stuff, but I’ll always be a DC/Marvel fan. So naturally, at every convention I attend I expect a few panels to reveal juicy information not divulged anywhere else, like all the OTHER Wizard World events get from the big publishers. Do DC and Marvel just really not care about their Midwestern fans? Let me say this. I do appreciate Bob Wayne's attendance. At least he outdid Marvel in that respect. Now, granted, Bob is a Fort Worth native, so that surely had something to do with his appearance, but I still give him props for showing up. I just wish he’d brought some friends along. Regardless, I did attend two panels that were of some interest, the Top Cow panel and the DC panel.
Top Cow gurus Marc Silvestri and Matt Hawkins showed off a skateboard from a new line of skateboards, snowboards, etc. that they are developing.
A 22 page crossover with Marvel by Ron Marz was mentioned, which will feature Witchblade, Darkness, Dr. Strange, and the Hulk, with an appearance by Daredevil. Yes, all of that in 22 pages.
The Darkness video game is targeted for an April release. The game, written by Paul Jenkins, has a clip that’s at least 8 minutes long floating around somewhere on Youtube. Although there are no concrete plans as of yet, and it will all depend on the success of this game, there is interest to produce a Darkness/Witchblade game. The Darkness game is being developed by the same folks that produced the well received Chronicles of Riddick game.
The Witchblade Anime series, the only original American anime to run new in Japan, will be released in the US in English this summer. It is for mature audiences. Another upcoming animation series, Aphrodite IX, was shown as a teaser clip.
Paul Dini will be doing a project called Madame Mirage, with new artist Kenneth Rocafort. Top Cow asserted they are always excited to work with someone the caliber of Paul Dini.
Mark Millar’s Wanted will begin filming in the summer. James McAvoy (Mr. Tumnus in The Chronicles of Narnia) and Morgan Freeman are signed on to star.
Top Cow gave some interesting information and data, including the fact that they publish in 21 languages in 55 different countries, and that only 3-4% of comics are read in the U.S., despite the art form originating here.
For the DC Panel Bob Wayne zipped through some covers of upcoming titles.
Justice League of America will feature a Black Canary cover by Adam Hughes.
Action Comics #847 will feature a 3D section. There will also be a non-3D edition released.
Absolute Batman: The Long Halloween will be released in April, and will feature finished versions of sketches shown in the original series.
March’s issue #34 of Superman/Batman will feature the all new Metal Men attacking the World’s Finest heroes.
A Batman/Spawn statue by Todd McFarlane will be released in June to coincide with a new comic featuring both characters.
The Brave & The Bold by Mark Waid and George Perez will be coming out in February, and the first issue will feature Batman and Hal Jordan/Green Lantern. I for one hope this is NOT round 20 of their never-ending fight.
Firestorm #33 by Dwayne McDuffie, Dan Jurgens and Ken Lashley will feature several New Gods, including the return of Grant Morrison’s Mr. Miracle, as well as a fight between Firestorm and Orion.
Shazam: The Monster Society of Evil, coming in February, will be taking Billy Batson back to his roots, and as Bob Wayne phrased it, it will be the far end of the fun and lighthearted spectrum for DC at present.
Following the recent release of Absolute Sandman Volume 1, there will be three more volumes released, with the second one coming out one year after Volume 1.
In June DC will release a Fables statue, featuring Bigby Wolf and Snow White.
Responses resulting from fan Q&A:
DC WILL collect the Superman film prequel comics this coming Spring.
Expect a Legion cartoon comic at some point.
In response to my question asking about the status of the supposed Nightwing Special that Dan DiDio promised would resolve the status of Nightwing and Barbara Gordon’s relationship from Infinite Crisis to One Year Later, Bob simply stated that Marv Wolfman might get to it in the ongoing Nightwing series. He said that it’s much more important that Nightwing is still alive after Dan called for his death than the fact that his relationship status is ambiguous.
Geoff Johns and Alex Ross are discussing a project apart from the Justice Society of America covers that Alex is doing currently.
The Showcase line will increase to two a month due to popularity. (It is apparently outselling Marvel’s Essentials line.)
Bob made a note to check on the sales status of Richard Donner’s first issue of Action Comics to reissue it if needed.
A second volume of Absolute Planetary WILL be coming out.