Welcome to NYCC 2014's DARK HORSE Builds Characters panel! Some of Dark Horse's top creators are coming together to discuss their big creator owned projects, including some news from artists David Mack and Cameron Stewart regarding Fight Club 2.
Dark Horse's Aub Driver opened the panel by announcing Jim Calafiore and Fred Van Lente, with more creators to join the panel shortly.
Jim Calafiore kicked things off by touting the value of Kickstarter as a place to connect directly with a potential book's audience, recalling the success of Leaving Megalopolis, his creator owned book with Gail Simone, who joined the panel late.
Fred Van Lente went on to discuss his new book, Resurrectionists, which he described as "Philip K. Dick writing crime fiction." Van Lente came up with the idea for the book when researching an issue of Fantastic Four featuring Rama Tut. The plot centers on some con men who have been trying to pull off the same heist for thousands of years.
Rafael Albuquerque joined the panel to discuss his new creator owned time travel comic, Ei8ht. He discussed some brief plot details, saying that the unique coloring style is important to the book as the story moves through different time periods.
Brian Wood has joined the panel to discuss his brand new series "Rebels," showing some brand new cover art. Rebels is a monthly beginning in April. Wood describes Rebels as a historical fiction book in the vein of Northlanders, set in the American Revolution. The first story deals with the Green Mountain Boys, and plays on the different ideas of what a militia means today, versus its meaning in the past. Wood also expressed disappointment that Andrea Mutti couldn't join the panel, saying that he is a huge Revolutionary War buff, despite being from Italy.
"I asked him if he wanted to do the book, and I told him it was OK if he didn't want to do it since it's not his history. He sent me back a picture of himself in a full Revolutionary War uniform."
The final arc of the Massive is also upcoming, and will really play up the book's Sci-Fi aspect.
Next, co-writers of Concrete Park Tony Puryear and Erika Alexander joined the panel to discuss their sci-fi opus, which aims to address racial and social issues in a colorful way. This is the first comic from Puryear, a former screenwriter, and Alexander, an actress. Alexander co-created the story with Puryear, and her brother Robert. Puryear also draws Concrete Park, saying "I think it's cool I was able to teach myself to draw comics after the age of 50."
Alexander discussed the books social aspects, saying "Sometimes being different isn't about your skin color. All these characters are outsiders. They can look back at Earth and know they're never going back. They're all in this together."
Donny Cates has joined the panel to discuss his new ongoing series, Ghost Fleet. "It's a bunch of big trucks doing a bunch of cool guy action things." The series focuses on a fleet of trucks that transports secret materials for the government. Cates was interrupted by some strange music from a neighboring panel, saying "...You guys can hear that too, right?!?"
"Issue 3 is the most country music thing I've ever done. It's a truck, a guy, a gun and a dog."
Katy Perry's "Dark Horse" began playing when writer Elliott Rahal took to the dais to announce The Paybacks, a new story set in the universe of Cates's Buzzkill. "What if you wanted to be a superhero but you couldn't afford the gizmos and gadgets? What if someone could give you a loan to get there?" The Paybacks focuses on a superhero loanshark, and the collection agents who go after people who default on the loanshark's customers. Cates described Blood Pouch, a character inspired by '90's comic cliches, as well as Night Knight, another tongue-in-cheek character whose best friend and partner is a Unicorn.
David Mack was unable to join the panel at the last minute, so the only Fight Club 2 announcement is its starting date in May.
Latecomer Gail Simone discussed her involvement with Tomb Raider, saying the aim of the series is to show the expanded story that can't be shown in the Tomb Raider games.
Time for audience Q&A!
"Are there any plans for a Fight Club 2 movie?"
No. It's solely a comic at this point.
"How extensive is the research on a book like The Massive?"
Wood - "The Massive is a special case. That's the only book I've ever written that I had a plan for the whole series, and an ending. I like to keep things loose, and save room for the story to evolve."
"Are there any plans to expand the Tomb Raider comics, or to do any spin-offs?"
Not yet, but there is a possibility. Dark Horse has a good relationship with Crystal Dynamics and Square Enix.
And with that, the DARK HORSE Builds Characters panel is over. Stay tuned for my NYCC '14 coverage from Newsarama!