C2E2 2012: Palmiotti, McCool, Costa Go to Web W/ SHIFTYLOOK
In their effort to expand the reader base of their ShiftyLook webcomic initiative, Namco Bandai brought a row of talent, a pile of free t-shirts and some breaking news to one of the cozier panel rooms of C2E2 2012.
Two new comics were announced at the panel. The first is Rapid Thunder, based on the arcade title Rolling Thunder, which will be written by Jimmy Palmiotti (All-Star Western) with art by Juan Santacruz (Hulk: Broken Worlds), in association with Cryptozoic Entertainment. The strip will expand on the game's basic side scrolling action by telling a 'sexy-tough spy story with a sense of humor' using the characters and locations of the game as a jumping off point. It is set to launch in May of 2012.
Pereyda also reviewed the roster of existing comics for the attendees. Xevious by Mike Costa (Transformers) with artist Mike Norton (Runaways) tells a sci-fi action story of pilots attempting to repel an alien invasion in South America. In attendance Costa and Norton shared the degree of research that went into their work, how they explored the game's visuals for clues as to its setting and their on going search for a very rare Namco soundtrack collection CD that was only released in Japan that contains a Rosetta Stone for deciphering the alien language used in the game.
Sky Kid by Jim Zub, art by Jeffrey Cruz (Street Fighter: Legends Chun-Li) takes the 1985 side scrolling arcade game literally and casts its anthropomorphic animal characters into a World War I 'Knights of the Sky' style story.
Bravoman, based on the brawler of the same name is by Matt Moylan (Transformers) with art by Dax Gordine is a robotic superhero satire.
The Five-Dimensional Adventures of Dirk Davies, based on the multi-directional shooter Warp & Warp, by Ben McCool (Pigs) and Dean Haspiel (The Quitter) takes the choppy, basic gamplay of the arcade title and interprets it as time-traveling hard-boiled detective story where homicides can be undone by killing the murderers.
Alien Confidential: Black & White, written by Sharon Scott (More Than Mortal) , art by Andrew Pepoy (Green Lantern: Circle of Fire) is a Men In Black style story of sci-fi secret agents.
Finally there is Rocket Fox by UDON's Stacy King and Shane Law, a new cute-animal slapstick humor title based on an upcoming game that will be released soon for mobile platforms.
A Sky Kid fan asked if the strip will also someday cover modern aerial combat. Pereyda empathized that it will stick with its WWI focus.
Asked if there were plans to make comics based on other, non-game, proprieties Pereyda made it clear that the games are the primary source material.
On plans to adapt better known Namco Bandai properties like Dig Dug, Pereyda teased the audience to stay tuned to the site.
On plans to distribute the comics via Xbox Live or the PlayStation Network, Pereyda joked about the difficultly in reading comics on a TV and reminded the audience of the upcoming ShiftyLook app which will include the new games like Rocket Fox.
Lastly, a fan asked the panel what comics they'd like their strips to cross over with, if ever given the chance. McCool would like to cross Bravoman with the new Momo comic, Costa would like to see the aerial action of Xevious and Sky Kid cross over. Jimmy Palmiotti joked that he'd have his Rapid Thunder characters take a lot of drugs and see all of the craziness.Check out all these titles at the Shiftylook official site.