SDCC '13: Robert Kirkman's SKYBOUND Panel - LIVE!
CREDIT: Image Comics
Official panel description:
"Join Robert Kirkman as well as Skybound writers and artists including Joshua Williamson, Matteo Scalera and Justin Jordan as they announce new Skybound titles and discuss what's coming up in The Walking Dead, Invincible, Thief of Thieves, Ghosted, and more. Saturday July 20, 2013 2:00pm - 3:00pm"
Panel starting now: First topic, The Walking Dead. Kirkman: "Starting in October, which just happens to be the 10th anniversary of The Walking Dead, we're going to be debuting 'All Out War,' the most explosive, largest-scale epic that we've done in The Walking Dead thus far. The Walking Dead's always been about the progression of time, and building civilization over a period of time. A lot of people haven't realized the stuff I've been working towards since the first issue. There are a lot of communities forming, and it does seem that things are getting back to a state of normalcy to an extent." Now, though, society has gotten to the point where there can be war.
Stefano Gaudiano is joining the book as inker, and Dave Stewart is coloring the covers.
Also starting in October, trade paperbacks of The Walking Dead published in Spanish.
Kirkman plugs mobile game The Walking Dead: Assault, now available on Android devices, and thewalkingdead.com.
Invincible #105 will be a good "primer" for new fans, Kirkman says, while not being boring for existing fans. In #106, a "guy who hasn't been in the book in a while" will be popping up. Kirkman also praises Invincible Universe, by Phil Hester and Todd Nauck.
New series Manifest Destiny will envision Lewis and Clark as "black-ops government agents," finding and killing exotic creatures. The creative team is newcomer comic book writer Chris Dingess and artist Matthew Roberts, who worked on Battle Pope with Kirkman in the past.
Justin Jordan (not present at the panel) and Matteo Scalera are teaming on new series Dead Body Road, debuting in November, which Scalera calls a revenge-driven western. Kirkman says it's a "'70s revenge movie on paper." The main character's wife ends up dead, and "basically, his plan is to kill everybody" involved, Scalera says. "I'm really excited about this book," Kirkman says.
The recently debuted ongoing series Ghosted is essentially Ocean's 11 in a haunted house, Williamson says. The main character, Jackson, gets broken out of prison by a collector of supernatural artifacts, who wants Jackson to "steal a ghost," along with a team of supernatural experts.
Davis Schulner calls his ongoing series Clone a "grounded sci-fi thriller," starring main character Luke discovering a version of himself bleeding to death, with the action set off from there. Schulner, whose first comic series was Clone, says he's proud of the upcoming issues of the series, saying he feels he "learned to write comics with issue #9."
Clone has been noticed by Hollywood, with Schulner announcing that "Clone has landed at Universal, and we're developing it at NBC/Universal for a network television show." Schulner will be writing the pilot with Kirkman executive producing.
Kirkman on Thief of Thieves, currently in the midst of the Andy Diggle-written arc: "Seems to be going really great, and we plan to continue."
Upcoming in Super Dinosaur: "All of the Dino-Men are teaming up to cause trouble for Super Dinosaur and Derek," Kirkman says, plus the return of the Mega-Raptor.
First question concerns a few different projects. Image United? "Those guys are hard at work [with various projects] and there will be another issue someday."
More Tech-Jacket? "I'd love to do more Tech-Jacket," Kirkman says. "I can't really discuss things, but there may be news on that sooner or later."
The Infinite? "Still on indefinite hiatus. Hopefully we'll get back to that at some point."
Invincible as a TV series or video game? "Definitely something I'd like to see, but it has to be the right team and the right time."
Schulner asks Dingess what challenges he's had with his first comic book series, as they both came to the industry as TV writers. "There was a real steep learning curve for me, personally," Dingess says, specifically mentioning the "economy" of storytelling. "I have a tremendous new respect for that form of storytelling."
Kirkman says he had a similar learning curve moving to TV. "'That guy can just nod.' Oh, I forgot that this thing moves!"
Invincible is going to continue to grow and develop new abilities, Kirkman says, which is why he's arm wrestling Nolan on the cover to #106 — he's nearly as strong as his father now.
How involved is Kirkman with The Walking Dead TV show? "I'm very involved on the show," Kirkman says. "I'm in the writers' room full-time, I'm in a producer, I'm on set a lot." Kirkman says he likes being treated on the same level as the other writers, and getting into it with them about various ideas and disagreements.
Does Kirkman still plan to write The Walking Dead comic book indefinitely? "It'll end at some point, but I do want it to go for a good, long time. I definitely plan to continue," he answers.
How is Skybound different than other publishers? Kirkman says it's because they don't take pitches, but rather "hand-select" various talent, and find out what they want to do.
What happened to Hardcore, one of Kirkman's Top Cow Pilot Season projects? Kirkman explains that it lagged behind his other Top Cow Pilot Season one-shots, but there is work being done on all of them. "You'll possibly see more Hardcore before you know it."
Back story on Negan? "Just stay tuned," Kirkman says, and the character will be a part of "All Out War" — if he doesn't die before then.
Any news on the Thief of Thieves TV show? It's still in development, but no new news right now — these things take a long time, Kirkman points out.
What's it like to have Tyrese on the Walking Dead TV show — with the hammer? "It's awesome," Kirkman says. "I got to hold the hammer before we shot any scenes. I actually got to write the episode that he was introduced in. I love that character, and it's great to have him back."
That's it! Thanks for reading, more coverage all day long and through Sunday.