SDCC 09: Dark Horse & Gerard Way Loves Comics Too!

Gerard Way on The Umbrella Academy

Gerard Way was the surprise guest at the Dark Horse: We Love Comics Too! panel at Comic-Con International: San Diego on Saturday, and announced a new comic called The True Lives of the Fabulous Killjoys.

The panel included DH Managing Editor Scott Allie, Publisher Mike Richardson and Public Relations Director Jeremy Atkins, who introduced other creators and representatives in the audience as their projects were announced.

Gerard Way, lead singer of My Chemical Romance and writer of the Eisner Award winning The Umbrella Academy, announced a new series he'd be writing called The True Lives of the Fabulous Killjoys.

Way will work with co-writer Shaun Simon and artist Becky Cloonan (DEMO, PIXU0 on the comic, which is completely unrelated to Umbrella Academy. The Killjoys book will be a mature readers title set in the '90s in modern America.

"It's simply about a guy who wants his Ramones records back," Way said to laughs from the audience. "It deals with so many things."

Way said that, in search of his Ramones records, the character goes on a "violent six-issue odyssey."

The publisher also announced next volume of The Umbrella Academy called “Hotel Oblivion."

 "I'm more excited about Hotel Oblivion than any of the series so far," Way said of this new third volume of Umbrella Academy. "If you notice it gets weirder and more introspective in series 2. My goal for this series is to have the least amount of the Umbrella Academy team in there... There's a lot of new crazy stuff in this book, and I'm excited about it."

Another surprise was Jim Shooter, who is going to be in charge of reviving properties like Classic Media Doctor, Solar: Man of Atom, Mighty Samson, Turok: Son of Stone, and Magnus Robot Fighter 4000 A.D.

"We're going to start from scratch and reinvent them," Richardson said.

Shooter said he's excited to get back to some of these characters and put a fresh, new spin on them. "As you know, I have a long history with these characters," he said, referring to his time spent as publisher of Valiant. "I'm going to give it my best shot. With Mike's help, all things are possible."

Other projects announced during the panel:

- Dark Horse will be continuing its relationship with CLAMP and releasing the manga title Chobits, which was previously published in the U.S. by TOKYOPOP. MPD Psycho will also be coming to Dark Horse.

- Dark Horse is developing several films as part of its relationship with Universal Studios. Among the titles being developed are Umbrella Academy, Fear Agent, Criminal Macabre, Freaks of the Heartland, Arch Enemies, and The Secret.  There is also a movie being made of the Dark Horse published manga Kurosagi Corpse Delivery Service a.

- Eric Powell is writing the screenplay for a Goon movie. "It's been a great experience so far. And I know there are a lot of horror stories about people optioning films," Powell said. Richardson said it's a CG film that will not be aimed at children. Powell said it will probably be PG-13, "in the same tone as the comic."

- The illustrated novel Baltimore: Or, the Steadfast Tin Soldier and the Vampire is being made into a comic book. The novel, written by Mike Mignola and Christopher Golden, told the story around the period of World War I about a cult detective at the end of his career. A fan asked about a possible movie and Richardson said there is nothing to announce about a Baltimore movie.

- There will be a Buffy Season 9 series. Allie said the story has been planned out.

- Sugarshock, a short comic that Joss Whedon wrote for Myspace Dark Horse Comics Presents will be available as a comic in October and will include a 14-page sketchbook section.

- A series called One-Shot Wonders will feature Sugarshock, Dr. Horrible, Star Wars one-shots, Conan, and others.

- There will be new Dr. Horrible comics coming, including a one-shot this fall.

- Felicia Day, the star of Dr. Horrible, will write a series of Guild comics based on the web series.

- Patton Oswalt, who guest starred on Dollhouse, told Joss Whedon that he wanted to write a comic about the character Wash from Firefly/Serenity. So Dark Horse will be publishing it.  

- Eric Powell will be doing a series of Metalocalypse comics after the Goon/Metalocalypse crossover.  "I love Metalocalypse. And for a long time I wanted to do a crossover that deconstructed the crossover and made no sense," Powell said. "But you can all thank me now because I believe Dark Horse is going to be doing a series of Metalocalypse comics." Creators of Metalocalypse will "guide the shape of the book," Allie said.

- Novelist Janet Evanovich, known for her Stephanie Plum books, will be writing a comic based on her Alexandra Barnaby adventures in 2010. Her love of Little Lulu helped Dark Horse land the property. "This is her first step into comics, and she was being chased by all the publishers," Richardson said.

- A fan asked about the company doing a charity comic to help John Ostrander, who is having health problems. "We're doing some more private things to help John," Allie said.

- Artist Jerry Robinson will release two graphic novel volumes of Jet Scott in 2010. Jet Scott was a newspaper strip the legendary cartoonist did with writer Sheldon Stark  in the mid-50s chronicling a science investigator.

- The company has landed the comic book license for Mass Effect 2. "We're treating this as our next Star Wars or our next Aliens or our next Predator," Richardson said. The game company is working directly with Dark Horse to maintain the vision of Mass Effect. The comic takes place just after the beginning of Mass Effect 2 and expands from there.

- Joss Whedon will be doing a tie-in comic for his 2010 movie Cabin in the Woods, which he co-wrote with Drew Goddard, who will also direct the movie. While the plot of the movie and the comic are top secret, the plan is to have the comic come out at the same time as the movie.

- John Landis was in the audience, so Richardson introduced him. "He said he would come if I introduced him as a young, upcoming director," Richardson said. "He said if I didn't come, he'd kick my ass," Landis said. In 2008, Dark Horse published a book by journalist Giulia D’Agnolo Vallan chronicling Landis work in feature films.

- Dark Horse is doing a partnership with Challenge Games that offers virtual trading cards that can be used to play a baseball game. "If you go on right now, you can get free Dark Horse virtual cards. Nineteen of the characters we published can be on a baseball team," Richardson said. Comics with characters available include Umbrella Academy, the Goon and Hellboy. "We think they're all-star. We don't think they put on their statistics that they can hit as well as we think they do," Richardson laughed.

- With the help of THQ and Lucasfilm, Dark Horse is bringing Star Wars apps to the iPhone. "We'll have Shipyards of Doom, a Darth Vader/Boba Fett adventure called Betrayal, and we're also releasing the first six issues of Legacy," Richardson said. There will be more new titles coming. "In September, when THQ releases the Force Unleashed game for iPhone, Dark Horse will release the Force Unleashed comic as well," he said.

- Many of the new projects that Dark Horse used to put on Myspace will now be in Dark Horse Presents issues.

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