NYCC 2014: We Are BOOM!

Credit: BOOM! Studios

Welcome to NYCC 2014's We are BOOM! panel. Joining moderator Matt Gagnon on the dais are James Tynion, Noelle Stevenson, and Bryce Carlson.

Gagnon opened the panel outlining BOOM!'s imprints, Archaia, Boom! Box, and Kaboom!, explaining that BOOM! is committed to being excited about comics, and making sure that they produce comics with creators who care.

Gagnon went on to talk about some of those creators, saying that they believe in the talent and passion of the people with whom they work. 

Carlson then took the focus, saying that BOOM! is all about innovation, trying to find new spins on tried and true tropes.  "If we're gonna do a superhero comic, it's gotta be something new and different.  We're trying to push it."

Carlson also discussed their licensed comics, saying, "Adventure Time is a great example.  We tried to do it in a way that no one else is doing licensed comics, and I think that's why it works so well."

Mark Waid is officially returning to BOOM! in 2015 on an unannounced project with JG Jones.  The art will be fully painted.

Said Gagnon, "These pages kept coming in, and I was like, 'Are these character designs?' and he said, 'No, this is what the book is gonna look like.' And I said, 'And it's gonna be done by 2015?!?' And he said 'Yes!'"

Marguerite Bennet was not able to join the panel, but Noelle Stevenson discussed her involvement with Bennet's Sleepy Hollow, on which she does back up features.

A video from George Perez played, in which Perez explained that he moved to BOOM! because working with them "feels like going back to a time when comics were fun."

Tynion then discussed his new comic Memetic, in which the world ends after a strange image appears online, "which disintegrates society and the way the human mind works."  "It's just an apocalyptic horror story.  I brought it to BOOM! because I wanted to do it in a really specific way, with three oversized issues."

Gagnon then spoke about Tynion's other book, The Woods, saying it came from one of the best pitches he had ever seen.  "We fell in love with it, and we've been publishing it ever since.

Said Tynion, "This book is really everything I've ever wanted to do in comics."  He explained that the idea came out of Scott Snyder asking him, "If you could only write one comic for the rest of your life, what would it be?"

The Woods is officially scheduled for 36 issues, which is the full run that Tynion asked for when he signed to write it.

"I'm really looking forward to seeing James as a creator working on a title with this scope, and really see him stick the landing," said Gagnon.

Carlson discussed BOOM!'s upcoming projects with Frank Cho. "It's gonna blow everyone's hair back."  No specifics were announced.

Michael Alan Nelson's Hexed has a new ongoing series.  "We felt like, we have a much stronger industry now, and if Hexed was coming out today, it would just be huge."

Carlson then turned attention to BOOM!'s all ages titles, saying "What we really wanna continue doing is pushing the bar, and giving everyone, no matter who they are, something to read."

Gagnon continued, "This is something we've been committed to for a really long time.  Doing all-ages comics, trying to build the next generation of readers has been a long road, but over the years we have really been able to build the all-ages space."

"One of my proudest moments at BOOM! was when we decided not to walk away from all-ages comics after BOOM! Kids, and instead we decided to double down with Kaboom!."

Roger Langridge has a new comic coming called Abigail and the Snowman. A video message from Langridge explained that BOOM! specifically sought him out to create this title for them.

Mouse Guard has an FCBD collection coming out with all the FCBD issues from the last several years, which will also include two new stories from David Petersen.

Said Gagnon, "I want to build a comic book company now that looks like what  comic book company will look like 20 years from now," transitioning to Noelle Stevenson to discuss Lumberjanes.

"I think we just wanted to make comics about girls.  Girls being friends, girls having adventures, girls fighting monsters - you know, as girls do!"  Stevenson continued, explaining that she and the rest of the creators simply wanted to create the kind of comics they wanted to read when they were young, with characters that represented them.

Stevenson also explained that the biggest difference between doing a webcomic and a print comic is having collaborators.  "It's been a really great experience to work with a really talented team, and to rely on them to help me tell the story."

A fan asked Stevenson and Tynion how they differentiate between creating specifically all-ages comics, or simply creating comics they want to create.

Said Stevenson, "Yeah, there are some things that are more appropriate for different audiences.  But the goal with all ages is to create comics that anyone can read, that don't talk down to kids.  Kids can handle a lot more than people think."

"There's definitely way more cursing in my first draft of everything," said Tynion. 

"There may or may not be some cursing in our first drafts as well," Stevenson quipped.

A fan asked Stevenson how to get started in cartooning, both writing and drawing her own comics. 

"Don't wait for anyone to allow you to do it.  I recommend starting with webcomics.  Just make the comics you want to see, and people will notice."

And that's it for NYCC 2014: We Are BOOM!.  Keep following Newsarama for more live coverage throughout the weekend!

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