Welcome to the NYCC 2014 VERTIGO: Defy Conventions panel!
Joining moderator John Cunningham on the dais are Vertigo Executor Editor Shelly Bond, Rafael Albuquerque, Scott Snyder, Meghan Hetrick, Caitlin Kittredge, Marley Zarcone, Gail Simone, and Greg Lockard.
First up, Snyder is talking American Vampire: Second Cycle issue 5. "It's a special issue," said Snyder, "It's half prose." Snyder went ono explain that this part of American Vampire deals with a secret monster that inspired the myths of Hell and the devil. "It sort of gives you the most information about our version of the devil that you'll get anywhere in the series. And it kind of leads into the next thing we're doing."
"We're doing the space race," Albuquerque chimed in. "I don't know how much else I can say."
Snyder continued, "When we started out, we were like 'Oh, what are we gonna do vampires in space?' And we said we'd never go there. But we were kept working on it, and it was like, well if you can go there, you might as well. It's not sci-fi future space."
Snyder started to continue explaining the series when a Vertigo editor ran up and shushed him, saying they couldn't talk about where he was going.
Snyder also spoke about the upcoming collection of The Wake, saying "Sean Murphy is the kind of artist that really makes me want to puch myself as a writer. We've become real friends. He called me a couple weeks ago and asked what I was doing, and he came and took care of my kids. They couldn't pronounce 'Sean,' so they called him Uncle Don."
Next up is Gail Simone, officially announcing her first Vertigo project, a psychological horror story entitled Clean Room. Drawn by Jonathan Davis-Hunt, Clean Room focuses on Astrid Mueller, the head of a church that hides a dark secret. "What scares me is people who know what you're buying, who know your locations at all times. Astrid has that power." The POV character is a journalist named Chloe who wants to take Astrid down.
Bond explained that Clean Room "moves at a feverish pace," with real, visceral horror. "Gail would send me scripts, and I would be editing them with my hands over my face." Clean Room will be out in the spring.
Bond is now talking Bodies, saying that the initial single page pitch was captivating from the first line, and she knew Vertigo had to publish it.
Bond asked Hetrick what it's like to draw the "strongest female character Vertigo has ever done." "She really doesn't give much of a crap about what people think of her," quipped Hetrick.
"It's really good," said Snyder, who began speaking to Hetrick, suddenly stopping to address the audience saying, "I forgot there was a whole room of people here."
Kurt Busiek has joined the panel.
Kittredge is now discussing her first year of Coffin Hill, remarking that the first issue was released during last year's NYCC. "I'm just as excited to be writing comics now as I was last year. Probably more! We're just wrapping up the second arc, and I'm so excited to start the third. It's about how, after you slay the monster, things don't just go back to normal."
Bond commented that she couldn't believe how dark Kittredge went with fill-in artist Ryan Kelly on the upcoming issue 14.
"Very few people in Coffin Hill get happy endings, so if that's your thing, you might just wanna move on."
Attention now turns to recent panel addition Busiek, talking about Astro City.
"The upcoming story about Starbright is very personal to me. Back when I first started working at DC, I got the job based on some spec scripts, including a story about Superboy and Lex Luthor that couldn't be used. I realized that I could change a few things, and add a framing device, and use it as an Astro City story. So in a way, this is the first script I ever wrote."
Coming up is a story about Quarrel, who Busiek calls his favorite Astro City character, that explores what happens with Quarrel's relationship with Crackerjack as they get older and aren't able to be as acrobatic as they once were.
Next up is more big news, with the announcement of Effigy, a new series by Tim Seeley with art by Marley Zarcone. Effigy focuses on a former child star turned cop, who sets out to solve a strange case that mirrors a story from her former TV series. The series also features a trangender character named Edie, who is one of Bond and Marcone's favorite characters.
"It's important to point out that the theme of this book is transformation, and that extends to the characters." Effigy is in store in January, with covers by Scott Forbes.
Bill Willingham has sent a special message via e-mail, apologizing for not being at the convention. "Shelly won't let us leave our rooms. Send help!"
And that's a wrap! Stay tuned for more coverage from NYCC 2014 right here on Newsarama!