Wonder Con '09 - The BOOM! Studios Panel

The Unknown #1, cover by Paul Pope

Boom Studios announced a partnership with movie studio Fox Atomic to produce comics based on their established products and generate new concepts. Fox Atomic is a movie studio known for films like 28 Weeks Later and has already published four graphic novels through Fox Atomic Comics. The announcement came at the end of Boom's friday evening panel at Wonder Con, which had President Ross Richie, Marketing Director Chip Mosher, Editor Matt Gagnon, and penciller Nate Watson presenting.

One of the highlights of the panel was Mark Waid’s upcoming Irredeemable series, telling the story of the world’s greatest hero who one day decides to become the world’s greatest villain. The ongoing series is set to come out in April, with covers by John Cassaday and Barry Kitson, along with a 1 in 50 incentive cover signed by Waid. The first twelve issues will have the special incentive covers by artist Jeffrey Spokes that spell out “Irredeemable.”

Waid will be following up Irredeemable with a new series, The Unknown. The four issue miniseries will deal with a globetrotting female detective who debunks the paranormal but is lost when confronted with the one mystery she can't solve, what lies beyond death. Waid, who wasn't able to attend the panel due to a conflict with Mega Con, calls the book “Doc Savage as written by David Lynch.” Dutch artist Minck Oosterveer is doing the interiors, with covers by the likes of Erik Jones and Paul Pope.

Boom recapped their innovation in last year's simultaneous launch of North Wind to retailers and online through Myspace comics. They also mentioned their success with the Farscape licensed property, as issues one and two of Farscape sold out within a week of publication and have both gone in for second printings.

Boom's latest title, Hexed, written by Michael Alan Nelson (Fall of Cthulu) has been made available digitally though Iverse Media for iPhone and Google Android, and was the first comic book available on Google Android. Over 10,000 copies were downloaded in the first 48 hours, and over 20,000 have been downloaded at this date. The horror series is drawn by Spanish newcomer Emma Rios, with colors by Chris Peter.

Farscape is continuing to do well for Boom, and a second miniseries subtitled Farscape: Strange Detractors is in the offing, written by series creator Rockne S. O'Bannon and novelist Keith R. A. DeCandido, both returning from the first Farscape miniseries. After the second issue of Farscape: Strange Detractors is released, a spin-off title set between seasons three and four of Farscape starring D'argo will be released, written by DeCandido. While D'argo's fate in the post-series continuity remains unsure, this miniseries will answer the question of Jool being offered a ride in the Dargomobile – a ride that was never taken. There will also be bonus material in the series taken from the Henson vaults relating to the beloved character that has yet to be seen by fans. A preview of Farscape #1 is available on the iPhone, with the full issue expected to be available in the near future.

Likewise, a second Eureka miniseries is also on the works. The current miniseries, written by series creator and Boom co-founder Andrew Cosby and Brendan Hay (The Daily Show, Frank TV) and drawn by Diego Barreto features the character of Nathan Stark, who is absent from current episodes of the series. Both the current and future miniseries will be set between seasons one and two of the Sci-Fi Channel original series. The second mini, titled “Dormant Gene” will feature the character of Zoe. It will be co-written by Cosby and Jonathan L. Davis (Dukes of Hazzard movie) and drawn by Nate Watson (Scream Queen). It will deal with the students of Tesla High School and involve genetics. J.K. Woodward will be handling covers.

Nate Watson is also drawing the finale to Hero Squared, a three issue miniseries subtitled “Love and Death.” The first issue of the Keith Giffen, J. M DeMatteis written series is on sale now. Boom president Ross Richie spoke about his love for the series, which was one of Boom's first titles, and how he's nervous that this could be the absolute end for the title.

Also approaching an end is Fall of Cthulu, with a final arc “Nemesis” featuring the titular pet cat of series antagonist Mr. Arkham, and revealing the secrets of what would otherwise appear to be a normal feline. Series creator Michael Alan Nelson continues to write, with artist Todd Herman (Galveston) on pencils.

Mr. Stuffins, a title about a teddy bear secret agent is back on the schedule, after an attempt at the series a few years back fell through the cracks. The first issue, written by Cosby and Johanna Stokes (Eureka), has been redrawn by a new artist and given covers by Brian Petersen (Mouse Guard) and Joe Abraham (Hero Squared).

Kathyrn and Stuart Immonen's webcomic, Never As Bad As You Think is available in limited numbered as well as limited lettered editions. The series' genesis came from Kathyrn taking a word chosen for her by an internet community and making a story based on it.

March is the launch for The Incredibles comic. “It is everything that you want the Incredibles comic to be. If you like The Incredibles movie, this is the comic you want to buy.” said Richie. Paul Morrisey, formerly of Tokyopop is editing the title. An incentive cover by Mike Mignola, taken from promotional art from 2003 is set for issue one. The World of Cars and Toy Story are also set for upcoming release.

Fan outcry at the convention has been strong for The Muppet Show comic, with many fans reportedly disappointed at the Boom booth that the series has yet to be released. The comic, written and drawn by Roger Langridge is said to have amazed the Muppet Studios team, which requested only one correction to be made to the comic: Animal's hair needed to be fluffed up more. Marketing director Chip Mosher then showed slides of Muppet Robin Hood, and jokingly offered to explain the premise to those who couldn't get it from the title.

Mosher then took credit for the Mark Waid is Evil internet meme, meant to promote interest in Irredeemable. “Do not miss this comic. Mark Waid is firing on all cylinders.” said editor Matt Gagnon, who was then teased about having to edit his boss' work.

A fan asked “Is Brad Bird involved with The Incredibles comic?” Ross Richie answered that he possibly could be, as he's unaware of who is involved in Pixar's approval process, but if he is he isn't making his name know.

The panel appeared to end, but then a video by Waid who couldn't make it to the convention was played, showing him with R. Eric Lieb, director of development for Fox Atomic who revealed that they would be working with Boom. Lieb then joined the dais to introduce Boom's new line of comics in partnership with the Fox subsidiary. Fox Atomic has previously done four graphic novels with Harper Collins publishing, such as tie-ins to 28 Days Later and The Hills Have Eyes and original works by creators like Ben Templesmith, Colleen Doran and Ted McKeever. While two titles are set to be launched in July, with a third in August, the contents of said titles remained a mystery at the conclusion of the panel. New revelations are forthcoming.

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