A modest, but well populated room at the Comic-Con International in San Diego held the panel for Slave Labor Graphics. In attendance was SLG Publisher and President Dan Vado and writer Greg Weisman (Gargoyles).The presentation started with a narrated slideshow of Weisman’s upcoming projects. First what he described as akin to the TV show Freaks and Geeks only with superpowers, Mecha-Nation - the story of five high school kids from different cliques who were given various powers and turn them into living robots. The second preview was for Progeny, which involved the descendants of Golden Age superheroes using their inherited powers and artifacts for what are initially less then heroic reasons. Each property is being developed as a six issue miniseries that will then be published as a trade, and have a more mature tone then would be expected. Moving on to Gargoyles, which drew most of the fans to this panel, issue #9 will be out later this month and issue #4 of the spin-off Gargoyles: Bad Guys will be shortly as well. Vado then dropped the bad news that their license with Disney, one of the few that allow outside creators to work on a Disney-owned property, is ending and will not be renewed. He noted the great expense of their nearly unique license as the reason, but it will allow them to complete the arc of the main title up to a fully illustrated issue number twelve (even if it has to be published in a trade with the back six issues) and the spin-off with issue six. He then opened the floor to questions. One fan just wanted to show her appreciation for Gargoyles, Weisman thanked her and reminded her that next “Gathering” the Gargoyles fan convention will be held in Los Angeles and is expected to have fifty special guests who were involved in all aspects of the show and to go to the website for more info (gatheringofthegargoyles.com). How do you keep the “superteam” idea fresh after all these years? Weisman said it is difficult, but he likes to come at it from different angles, for instance his Progeny team is more like an anti-team, they don’t see themselves as heroes and aren’t drawn together for one purpose initially. How do you reach multiple age levels? Weisman tries write for everyone, even if that means that some things go over some peoples heads, but “I only pretend to [write for one demo] for network executives.” Vado then showed the reel that is showing in the SLG booth at the con, a Varity of titles available there and at their website (slgcomic.com) such as The War at Ellsmere, about supernatural battles at an all girls school. The Babysitter, an unusually laid out, large format graphic novel about a babysitter for monsters.
Lulu and Mitzy, described as what if scheming TV legends Lucy and Ethel were re-imagined as prostitutes?Ubu Bubu, the tale of a Demon kitty run amok. A new comic from Derf called Punk Rock and Trailer Parks. Contraband, crime gone interactive in the age of YouTube and camera phones. One other item that Vado stopped to describe was James Turner’s Map of Humanity - a physical map, laying out all human feeling and thoughts as territories. So popular was this image on the internet that the SLG site started to received over 20,000 hits per hour, crashing it, and shutting down the business for three days. Vado noted the irony that the popularity of the map kept people from being about to buy one. Back to questions, where did the SLG podcast go? Vado said that he broke his camera, but now has a new one, also called a “Vado” from Creative Labs, but they wouldn’t send him a new one for bumping his Google presence down a few notches. Small company, many books, what’s it like? Vado: there are no investors so it’s all on me, and it’s a tough was to make a living. More Mr. Blank? Vado hadn’t seen any thing from the creator in a while. More Halo and Sprocket? Maybe in a few months. Vado then announced that SLG will start serializing its comics on their website for free to try and draw sales for the trades since single issue printing and sales is drying up. They will start with Javatown and Serenity Rose.