WWC: Devil's Due - The Pop Culture Zone
Halloween 30th Anniversary Special
Devil’s Due unveiled their new Devil’s Due Pop initiative, along with a number of upcoming titles, at Saturday’s “Devil’s Due: The Pop Culture Zone” panel. Among those on the dais were DDP chief Josh Blaylock, toy creator Shawn Smith, writer/artist Jeffrey Brown, and editor Jim Demonakos.
The notion of the “proliferation of comics culture” was identified as one of Blaylock’s major missions. To that end, Devil’s Due Pop will produce a variety of products geared toward spreading elements of that culture in various ways. Chicago-based toy designer Shawn Smith, creator of Shawnimals, has come on board to produce concepts like Geeky Ninja. That toy concept will feed into new DDP series, Ninjatown: The Adventures of the Wee Ninja by Art Balthazar and Franco Aureliani.
The presence of Jeffrey Brown was explained with unveiling of DDP’s line of Incredible Change-Bots collectible vinyl. The first vinyl figure (of golf cart Balls) will arrive in August. The toys will actually change with the recombination of parts. In September, Microwave arrives with two sidekick pack-ins. Each toy will come with a mini-comic from Brown.
What followed was an overview of Devil’s Due Publishing’s pending releases.
Hack/Slash Annual (July): The special issue features the Suicide Girls. Writing and art by Tim Seeley.
Hack/Slash #15 (August): In a crossover with the film version of Re-Animator (approved by Brian Yuzna, who owns that iteration of Herbert West), we learn more of Cassie’s family history. It was said that Cassie’s background will actually tie to the Re-Animator Universe in a previously unrevealed way.
Voltron: A Legend Forged (July): Writer Josh Blaylock and artist Mike Bear take us back 1200 years to learn the origin of the Lion Force Voltron. Blaylock explained that there was a combination of wizards and scientists involved, but that there would be much more in the book.
Mercy Sparx (August): Josh Blaylock writes and Matt Merhoff handles the art on this story, which features Blaylock’s character that has been previously seen in advertising. Mercy Sparx is a demoness secretly hired by Heaven to hunt down rogue angels.
Spooks: Omega Team (July): Larry Hama, described as “the best writer of military stories” in comics, returns to the world of Spooks with artist Adam Archer in tow.
The Corps! (October): This series will feature original characters built around the decades-old series of action figures. Writer Rick Remender and artist Roberto Carlos will be the creative team. Blaylock expressed a lot of enthusiasm for the book, saying that it had the “feel of 24 amped up to crazy-action level.”
Vampire Hunter D: American Wasteland (Date TBA): Josh Blaylock will co-write this Americanized version of the classic Japanese novel, manga, and anime character with full approval from its creator. The format will NOT be manga-style. While there is no date yet, Blaylock indicated that there will be more news on the book later in the summer.
Bionic Commando (August): As previously announced, Justin Marks and Jean Diaz will be bringing you the adventures of the classic Capcom game character. It was unintentionally revealed at this point that Marks will also be writing a He-Man/Voltron crossover. Ooops.
Zen: Intergalactic Ninja (October): The much-loved mouthless warrior arrives under the able hands of writer Joe Casey and artist Joe Abraham.
Dawn of the Dread Force: Writer Kurt Hathaway and a team of artists (including James Ruiz and Rob Armstrong) will be working on this robot-battling concept.
Rest (August): “Produced” by Heroes star Milo Ventimiglia and Russ Cundiff, the book will be written by Mark Powers and drawn by Shawn McManus. It follows a character based on Ventimiglia as he tries to unravel a conspiracy around a drug that’s preventing him from sleeping.
Chopper Zombie (August): Thom Beers (of Monster Garage and Todd Livingston will co-write this book for lovers of big bikes and the living dead. Art will be by Scott Keating.
Serpo (August): Writer Jason Burns, known for The Dummy’s Guide to Danger takes on this science-fiction tale with artist Joe Eisner.
Halloween 30th Anniversary Special (August): Writer Stefan Hutchinson will be joined by a variety of artists (including Seeley and Jeff Zornow) in this collection of short stories. This will be followed by a mini, The First Death of Laurie Strode.