WizardWorld's Saturday Wildstorm panel was made up of Shannon Denton, Jeremy Haun, B. Clay Moore, and Jon Buran.
“Dude, it’s comics!”
That was the answer to several questions at the WildStorm panel, where editor Shannon Denton noted that the line allows its characters to do the things that people love comics for in the first place.
Denton started off with a quick rundown of WildStorm titles both original and licensed, starting with Brian K. Vaughan’s Ex Machina, Texas Chainsaw Massacre, WildCATS, The Authority, Gen13, Stormwatch PHD, Chuck, Supernatural, World of Warcraft, and Heroes.
New books coming from WildStorm will include Storming Paradise, written by Chuck Dixon and offered as an alternate history of World War II if the United States had chosen not to drop the nuclear bombs on Japan. Denton noted that the US did have a battle plan drawn up for that, and called the book a “fictional nonfiction.”
The Lost Boys: Reign of Frogs harks back to the classic Kiefer Sutherland 80s vampire flick, and examines what happened to those characters years later.
Gears of War, based on the video game and written by Joshua Ortega, one of the writers from the game, will also have art by Liam Sharp. Pointing out that it was very similar to the game, Denton laughed, “My wife wishes I didn’t know so much about the game.”
There will also be an upcoming X-Files comic to accompany to the new movie, though Denton promised that the comic will be more like missing Season 5 episodes than anything immediately connected to the movie.
B. Clay Moore spoke about his book Casey Blue, a story of a girl who’s “pretty average, though the image on the cover may be deceiving,” and who ends up committing a horrible crime that she has no memory of. “Everything you guys think is cool is in here,” Moore promised, and noted that he was open to the idea of a second miniseries when this one is finished.
“It doesn’t tie in, but I think it’s a good story,” he said.
Introductions finished, the panel opened the floor for questions, many of which revolved around the World’s End storyline rocking the WildStorm universe currently.
Fans wanted to know if the post-apocalyptic world was going to be the status quo for a while in WildStorm books, and were assured that it was, and that didn’t mean the line was coming to an end.
“Any time you break everything apart, it gives you the chance to rebuild,” Denton said, noting that they decided to do something really bad to the world and see how the characters adjusted, rather than doing bad things to the individual characters. It was also an opportunity to reintegrate the universe, he said.
The way the event is set up, readers will not have to buy all the books that tie in to understand what’s going on, but “if you do, there’s nice little Easter eggs,” Denton promised, including more interaction between the characters in the different books.
Even the Tranquility characters will be joining the World’s End universe, and many old characters have been revisited and integrated into the books.
Another fan was happy with WildStorm’s job with licensed properties, saying that people came into shops looking for licensed books and ended up buying other things as well because of the quality.
“We want the book to be so good that you can read it without knowing there’s a TV show out there,” Denton said.
Several fans had questions for Jeremy Haun about the Chuck comic, which the crew described as the crazy summer movie that happened between seasons of the TV show, with an unlimited budget. Though Haun said he would love to do more issues, right now the 6-issue miniseries is the only thing planned.
Haun noted that he got the gig on Chuck because he could make the characters look like they were supposed to, but that he didn’t feel the need to be super-exact. Denton agreed, saying, “We find artists who have their own voice. We’re more worried that it feels like the person,” on licensed properties.
On the other hand, Jon Buran said that the World of Warcraft books are tightly controlled as far as the art. “They’re very particular about what they do,” he said of Blizzard Entertainment, the company behind the game, “But it’s for a very good reason.”
He noted that the people who are writing and drawing the book really do play the game regularly and appreciate it for what it is.
After the Warren Ellis panel on Friday night, people had questions about the reappearance of Desolation Jones, which will not be tied into the regular continuity of the WildStorm line. Another fan noted that Ellis had said he would like to revisit The Authority at some point, to which Denton replied, “That would be awesome!”
Denton asked the crowd what they appreciated the most about the WildStorm line of books. One fan explained that an early ad for the imprint, which asked “Do you remember when heroes could move worlds?” summed it up for him. Another said that the books have the energy of a new publisher, but the weight of stories that felt like they had decades of history behind them.
To wrap things up, a fan asked which character outside of WildStorm the crew would like to get their hands on, and what would they do with it.
“Superman. And I’d give him a mustache,” Denton quipped.