13 Oct 2012

NYCC Trip Day 3: A Panel By Any Other Name...‏

Stewart R is in the swing of things now at NYCC...
Stewart R:  What a difference a day makes at the NYCC! With the initial rush of pros, exhibitors, press and 4-day pass holders on Thursday the halls of the Javits Centre seemed happily busy with queues for various things popping up everywhere and many stalls bustling, but not overcrowded with activity. Yesterday was a different matter with 3 and single day ticket holders now welcome to the party... Hold on boys and elbows out, this could get choppy!

I jest of course, yet the going certainly got tougher in the main hall as everyone jostled to get sight of exclusive merchandise or a photo opportunity with one of the many elaborate cosplay efforts on show. Having had chance to look around the day before I elected to use the Friday as a day for checking out panels and it proved to be an equally interesting, entertaining and frustrating exercise. 
Arriving late I slipped into the back of the Image panel and joined for the rather fun Q & A section where the modest sized crowd offered up some decent queries for the likes of Brian K Vaughan, Fiona Staples, David Hine, Brian Wood and Ming Doyle.

Asked about the themes of pacifism running through Saga, Brian explained that he was interested in the story of conflict seen in Star Wars where children had been born in the midst of it all and it was all they had ever known and having become a father this had seemed even more relevant.  Then came a question about Saga being optioned and Brian joked that yeah, the driver was the "big piles of cash money" that could be made and then gave the serious answer where he stated that "the comic is always the destination". He went on to say "I don't watch Breaking Bad and say, 'Man, I wish someone would make a painting of this!'” which drew an agreeing laugh from the crowd. Then a question came in asking about how the various writers handle the delivery of exposition, Wood favouring non-character based ways of delivery like newscasts, Vaughan staying that for Saga he just went with “Have the baby narrate it!” and Hine adding “I'm writing a mystery book, so it's okay if you don't get it to begin with!"

Staying in the same room afterwards, I managed to catch Brian Wood's Dark Horse panel where he discussed his work on Conan, The Massive and the upcoming Star Wars title he's working on that will sit between the events of A New Hope and The Empire Strikes Back. He made an interesting point that there appears to be a lot of time that transpires between the two films and also stated that the hardest thing was to write the parts of Luke, Leia and the others with them not knowing what was ahead, with Luke still yet to meet Vader. By the sounds of it Wood will be exploring the feeling of loss that several characters go through after the battle of Yavin and to be honest I'm sold on the concept already.

Then came a move of rooms as I had to relocate for the Vertigo panel where the announcements came thick and fast. Scott Snyder revealed that there will be a planned American Vampire hiatus following the current arc to allow him and Rafael Albuquerque to regroup and set out the path for the rest of the story and get a good lead in. The promise was of more side stories and potential DC work together. Off of the back of the hiatus news came the exciting announcement that Snyder and Sean Murphy will be releasing a sci-fi horror maxiseries in the spring called The Wake. Snyder said that he'll be drawing on the myths and awe of the ocean.

Then it was the turn of Jeff Lemire to bust open a piece of news letting the crowd soak up the fact that he's going to have a maxiseries out next year entitled Trillium: The Last Love Story Ever Told. A time-hopping sci-fi romance, Trillium will look at the relationship between a space-based botanist from the future and a veteran from the First World War. Lemire will once again be writing and drawing/painting, so that's another title added to the pull-list! Other fun came in the news of The Unwritten world utilising that of Fables from #50 for a five-issue arc and Brian Azzarello screaming “Buy my fucking books!” after a playful show of hands about the audience members who had picked up his Spaceman title.

From there I was disappointed by the DC Green Lantern panel where Geoff Johns was a no-show, the plot of the next three issues of all of the Lantern titles were openly and somewhat spoiler-riddenly discussed, with Bob Wayne doing his usual job of secret management all too well to a point on the future plans, and a Q & A that descended into fanboy nonsense on favourite Lanterns and specific plot quibbles. For such a big panel room it seemed awfully void of any real news about where we'll see these titles go in the next year.
After that I called it quits on the panels, explored more of the main floor I hadn't seen, bumped into Guardians Of The Galaxy artist Brad Walker and had an amusing chat with Rick Remender about how tired he was and an unusual prediction he had for me following our conversation involving some strange murderous hobo escapades, and marshmallows! Be-zarre!

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