For those playing along at home, here are highlights of the announcements (and confirmations) coming out of the inaugural Chicago Comics & Entertainment Expo today:
• Marvel confirmed the long-awaited third volume of Casanova, the critically acclaimed spy-fi series by Matt Fraction, Gabriel Bá and Fabio Moon, will debut in July through its Icon imprint. The issues originally published in the Image Comics “slimline” format — 16 pages of story for $1.99 — will be re-colored, re-lettered and repackaged. “It’s going to be in full color,” Fraction told Comic Book Resources. “It’s hand-lettered by Dustin Harbin, who’s an amazing cartoonist and a very old friend of mine. So it’s really an entirely new presentation of the material. The color is absolutely gorgeous, and it’s going to be produced at full size. So what was once Casanova #2-3 will now be issue #2 of the Icon Casanova, and so on. You’ll be getting 32 full color pages for full price.”
• Via video, writer Allan Heinberg provided details of Marvel’s Avengers: The Children’s Crusade, the miniseries announced in October that reunites him with Young Avengers artist Jimmy Cheung. The bimonthly, nine-issue limited series that builds on plot threads dating back to House of M, and involves Wiccan attempting to find and redeem the Scarlet Witch.
• Marvel Editor-in-Chief Joe Quesada revealed that “O.M.I.T.” — the mysterious acronym we’ve seen on guitar picks and in comic-book ads — stands for “One Moment In Time,” and deals with the controversial “One More Day” story that erased the wedding day of Peter Parker and Mary Jane Watson. Serialized in The Amazing Spider-Man #637-640, the new arc by Joe Quesada and Paolo Rivera will turn back the clock to show the events on what should have been the couple’s wedding day.
• Oni Press announced Yo Gabba Gabba! Story Comic Book Time, an anthology based on the wildly popular preschool television series. The 128-page hardcover will be released this fall.
What was once the most insane day at the con is now the most pleasant one to spend on the dealer room floor, for the most part … with every single day being a sellout, the crowds never let up, but last year there were so many huge media panels on Saturday that you could actually walk across the movie section of the dealer room floor and get a decent look around. So bring on those pilot premieres and Q&A’s, Hall H ….
Here are some of the Saturday highlights:
- Comic-wise, you’ve got publisher panels for Wildstorm, SLG Publishing, Dark Horse, IDW’s Angel panel, Marvel’s Dark Reign event, BOOM!’s Farscape books, Aspen, Del Rey Manga and Del Rey Comics, Archaia, American Original and DC’s Blackest Night event, among others. Gerard Way will be announcing his next project, while Terry Moore will talk about Echo.
- Marvel and DC also have panels for their big upcoming video game releases, Marvel Ultimate Alliances 2 and the DCU MMORG.
- There are lots of TV panels on Saturday, for old con stalwarts like Lost, Heroes, Chuck, Spongebob SquarePants, The Simpsons, Family Guy, Ben 10, Venture Bros. and Futurama as well as new shows like Eastwick, The Cleveland Show, Glee, Warehouse 13, Human Target, The Vampire Diaries, V and Marvel’s The Super Hero Squad Show.
The creator of the comic Iron and the Maiden calls the trademark-infringement lawsuit filed by heavy-metal band Iron Maiden “outrageous” and “completely without merit.”
The band wants to prevent Iron and the Maiden LLC from using the “confusingly similar” name to sell comic books, video games and other merchandise. It also seeks undisclosed damages.
“The Iron and the Maiden legal team believes that this case is completely without merit,” a spokesperson for creator Jason Rubin said in a statement. “It is outrageous to claim ownership of the well-known term ‘Iron Maiden,’ a medieval torture device that predates rock and roll by centuries and is part of world culture, legend and lore.”
Released through Aspen Comics in 2007, Iron and the Maiden centers on the characters Michael Iron and Angel Chase, who are caught in the middle of a war between the government, a religious sect and a criminal organization in an alternative-universe 1930s.
“The title is a play on the torture device,” the spokesperson said. “Any rational person who looks at the property at www.ironandthemaiden.com will immediately understand how ridiculous the assertions made in the complaint are.”
Comic-Con International has posted the programming for WonderCon, which is coming up Feb. 27-March 1 at the Moscone Center in San Francisco. As its run by the same folks who do San Diego, it has that same feel and variety, but is a little more laid back and low key than the madness that is the San Diego Comic Con. My brother and I were able to walk right into the X-Files panel last year just as it started … same with the Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles panel. I don’t think you could ever do something like that at San Diego. In any event, it’s a great opportunity to see creators and actually chat with them a bit.
Let’s see what will be going on …
• Marvel’s been absent from WonderCon for the past couple of years, and while they don’t appear to have a booth, they do have a presence this year. Both Ed Brubaker and Matt Fraction are guests of honor, and it looks like Jeph Loeb, Mark Paniccia and Axel Alonso, among others, will also be there. Of note is a discussion between Fraction and author Michael Chabon on Saturday that will likely be worth the price of admission alone.
• Speaking of special guests, Brian Azzarello and Dave Johnson are also attending and will host a panel on 100 Bullets on Saturday … followed by a night at Isotope Comics. And although Dan DiDio won’t be at the con this year, DC’s got Jim Lee, Will Dennis, Ian Sattler, James Robinson and Aaron Lopresti, among others.
• Oni Press, IDW, Dark Horse, BOOM!, SLG, Aspen and Top Cow will also be on hand, both on the floor and at various panels to talk about their latest projects.