Sunday, August 31, 2008

McKeever on Titans: Terror and Teen

Newsarama talked to McKeever to catch up on all the changes to the team and to find out what's coming up in the Terror Titans series. During our discussion, we found out we'll see characters like Aquagirl, Zatara, Bombshell, Terra and others showing up in the mini-series -- and more teen heroes recruited onto the Teen Titans soon as well. And for those folks who've read this week's Teen Titans #62, there are a few spoilers at the end of the interview as we ask McKeever about this cute puppy we saw named Wonder Dog.

NRAMA: Let's talk about this week's issue of Teen Titans. (Spoilers for Teen Titans #62!) We were introduced to... Wonder Dog?

SM: Quite a dog, huh?

NRAMA: It was quite a shocker, Sean. We had a very upbeat, buddy issue last month focusing on a team-up between Blue Beetle and Kid Devil. But this month's issue turned dark when Wendy and Marvin were mauled by the dog we thought was going to be Wonder Dog.

SM: Yeah, poor Wendy and Marvin. But, you know, I hope it got to people because it's absolutely a story-based death and not one of these "shock death" things. The Teen Titans are on a journey, and this is a major part of it.

NRAMA: What can you tell us about the owner of the dog, this new villain named King Lycus?

SM: He's the son of Ares. He's actually a footnote character in Greek mythology who was the king of Libya. And he sacrificed strangers in his fathers name. He shows up in the tales of Diomedes around the time of the Trojan War. So I just took that footnote and expanded him into a character, bringing him into the modern day as a foil for Wonder Girl. He wants to be Ares' champion, not Wonder Girl, his aunt. So he's come to wreak a little havoc in Cassie's life.

For the full interview, click here.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Teen Titans Movie: "Absolutely Committed"

Newsarama reports on the status of DC movie releases: "let's look at the latest info on the third Batman, and other potential properties Warner Bros. has already developed to some degree or another. Bear in mind, this recap does not include Warner/DC's active straight-to-DVD animation projects. As an aside - remember when there used to be maybe one or two comic book films a year - if that? Tracking all of these projects has grown from something like looking forward to Christmas to keeping track of an army...which is to say, be gentle with us, kind readers, if we missed one or two."

Teen Titans

"Okay, if Warner Bros. has decided to build a Justice League movie from solo movies on up, what does this mean for the Teen Titans movie, announced in May of 2007?

Akiva Goldsman and Kerry Foster were attached as producers through their Weed Road banner, and Mark Verheiden was attached to write the script. As recently as April of this year, Verheiden spoke about the project in the present tense, in fact, describing it as "back on". The writer revealed he had turned in a draft to Warner Bros., which would feature Nightwing and Robin, would be very faithful to the Marv Wolfman/George Perez iconic run of the comic book, and described Warner Bros. as "absolutely committed" to doing the movie."

Cool news!

Check out my dream casting here!

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Karl Kerschl Talks To Multiverso DC

Karl Kerschl recently talked to Multiverso DC about Teen Titans Year One, Transmission X and The Abominable Charles Christopher.

MDC: How did you become involved with TEEN TITANS: YEAR ONE?

KK: Eddie Berganza asked me if I wanted to do it, but at the time we didn't have a writer or a story - just an idea of how we wanted the series to 'feel'. A book about a group of kids tasting their first bit of independence.

MDC: How closely do you colaborate with Amy Wolfram over story elements?

KK: Very closely. We start with a group phone call. Amy, Eddie and I throw ideas around and decide what each issue will be loosely 'about'. Then Amy goes and does a draft of the script and we talk it over again. Often, she and I just chat on the phone, taking what she's already written and breaking it down into more specifically-paced scenes. It's a wonderful process, and it feels right that everyone is involved with every aspect of the production.

MDC: TEEN TITANS: YEAR ONE has a very rich, animated look. Can you take us through that artistic process, and how you work with the inker and colorist?

KK: I draw the pages in pencil, but the characters and foreground elements are drawn in very clean lines and the backgrounds are rougher and more loosely pencil-shaded. Serge inks all of the characters to clean them up and give them life and depth, and then Steph colours the page in two stages: first he paints the backgrounds in lush, moody tones, giving them a soft quality and adding lighting, then he colours the characters in a flat style. They resemble cel-shaded art from an animated show and when they're placed over the backgrounds they pop out.

MDC: Do you look at the original source material? If so, how to you translate that to your style?

KK: I referenced the original Teen Titans issues to get an idea of their feel. More than anything, they set the tone for the light-hearted quality of our series. The kids in the old books hung around the cave dancing and listening to music and I wanted to capture that feeling, but in a more modern age.

check out the full interview here!

I'm a big fan of Karl's work, and I'll really miss TEEN TITANS: YEAR ONE. The last issue is on sale this Wednesday!

Exclusive Preview - 'DCU: Last Will & Testament'

Exclusive Preview - 'DCU: Last Will & Testament' (26 August 2008 12:00 am ET)

Written by Brad Meltzer; Art and covers by Adam Kubert and John Dell New York Times best-selling author Brad Meltzer (IDENTITY CRISIS, JUSTICE LEAGUE OF AMERICA) makes his return to the DC Universe — and superstar artist Adam Kubert (ACTION COMICS) is riding shotgun! The final battle is quickly approaching. How do the heroes of the DCU prepare for the end? Whom do they approach and say goodbye to before they make the ultimate sacrifice? Featuring the entire DC Universe, Meltzer takes us deep into the hearts and psyches of our heroes. It's the day before you die. What would you do? DC Universe | 48pg. | Color | $3.99 US On Sale August 27, 2008

This one's got Nightwing, Red Arrow, Troia, Flash, Geo-Force, Terra (in flashback), Jericho and Deathstroke! Will Geo-Force exact revenge on Deathstroke? What will theother heroes do in what may be their final moments?

Monday, August 25, 2008

Geoff Johns on Legion of 3 Worlds

Spoiler Sport: Geoff Johns on Legion of 3 Worlds #1

Now we talk to Geoff Johns, the writer behind the Final Crisis: Legion of 3 Worlds mini-series that started this week, to find out more about the Legion's future, what artist George Perez brought to the series, and what we'll be seeing in the next four issues.

Newsarama: Geoff, this issue spends much of the first part of the story inside the Superman museum. Was that an effort to make this #1 issue accessible to new readers?

Geoff Johns: It was, but that scene tells you more about Superboy-Prime. It's what makes Prime lose it when he discovers his big, monumental contribution to the history of the DC Universe ends with him being shoved in a broom closet. It’s a literal version of what happened to him last time he saved the universe and was pushed away.

NRAMA: His name was switched to Superman-Prime, yet he's called Superboy-Prime in this issue and you just used that name too. Is his title back to being Super"boy"-Prime?

GJ: He doesn't want to be Superboy-Prime. But he’s starting to accept it. He’s starting realize, “Hey, maybe this whole me becoming Superman isn’t going to happen the way I thought.” He wants to attack and destroy everything Superman has inspired and break it down. Whatever they call him, they call him. He's going to make sure people are scared of that "S" from now on – his "S," not Superman's.

read the whole article here....

Exclusive DC Preview - Teen Titans #62

Exclusive DC Preview - Teen Titans #62 (23 August 2008 12:00 am ET)

TEEN TITANS #62 Written by Sean McKeever; Art and Cover by Eddy Barrows and Ruy José Guest-starring Cyborg! When villains attack, it's up to two remarkable teens to pick up the pieces so the Teen Titans don't have to. This issue: a heartwarming look at Titans Tower through the eyes of its least-known inhabitants: Wendy, Marvin ... and Wonderdog?! DC Universe | 32pg. | Color | $2.99 US On Sale August 27, 2008

Saturday, August 16, 2008

McKeever on Terror Titans

Comic Book Resources sat down and chatted with Sean McKeever: "Ravager is the newest member of the Terror Titans, but McKeever isn’t ready to label her a villain. “I wouldn’t call Rose a villain. She marches to the beat of her own drum. Sometimes that beat puts her on the side of the angels, and other times it turns her into a hardened killer,” he said.

So there is still good inside her? “Sure. As readers will learn from the outset, Rose is pretty clear about why she’s come to the Dark Side Club. It’s to do with her own precognition, and how it seems to resonate with Clock King’s,” revealed McKeever. “Don’t expect her to play nice with the Terror Titans, nor anyone else, for that matter.”

McKeever said he’d be hard pressed to pick a favorite Terror Titan -- with candidates including Copperhead, Dreadbolt and Persuader -- because they are all his “beautiful, twisted children,” and so he loves them equally. He added, “At the start of #2-5, the readers will get to see the ‘origin story’ of each character, and give you more of a sense of who they are and why they’re part of this band of sociopathic killers.”"

You can read the whole interview here.

I think in the last few months, McKeever and Barrows are really creating a distinctive Teen Titans run. I don't think the book has been this alive since, like, Teen Titans #23!

Dan Didio on TITANS to Come

Newsarama reports: "As was mentioned here and there at San Diego Comic-Con, and exclusively to Newsarama on video here in case you missed it, the Titans and the Teen Titans will be rolling together in the later part of this year as the spillover from Decisions sees a whole load of problems land right on their doorstep.

Oh, and did we mention that Jericho and Match (the Superboy/Conner Kent clone) are back as well?

“In Decisions we reveal that there’s a traitor in the Titans midst, and that storyline bleeds into the Titans book, and ultimately into the Teen Titans, and we have a new series spinning out also from this storyline – the new Vigilante series, written by Marv Wolfman and drawn by Rick Leonardi,” DC Universe executive editor Dan DiDio explained." Read the whole article here.

A traitor in TITANS? Again? If they are officially out of new ideas, I'm available to provide some.

Let's go through our list of Titans that have betrayed the team....
Raven (more than once)
Hawk (became Monarch)
Jericho (possessed by tainted souls of Azarath)
Changeling (under Raven's thrall)
Thunder & Lightning (under Raven's thrall)
Duela Dent (switched between good and evil)
Magenta (switched between good and evil)
Team Titans (all were sleeper agents in Zero Hour)
Cyborg (almost takes over Earth with Technis Imperitive)
Rose Wilson (brainwashed as Ravager)
Superboy (controlled by Lex Luthor)
Bombshell (spy for Deathstroke)
Risk (as Deathstroke's Titans East)

that's 19 out of 70-odd members, plus....

Epsilon betrayed the Titans (but never truly joined)
Jason Todd returned from the dead and attacked Tim Drake
Golden Eagle tried to kill Hawkman to avenge his father
Phantasm is now an evil entity that tried to eat Kid Devil and Zatara
Power Boy turned into a Supergirl stalker
Riddler's Daughter joined Deatshtroke's Titans East as Enigma
Talon was revealed as the evil Robin analogue of Earth Three

I'm sad now...

SDCC 2008: The Final Comic-Con Moment

So that wraps up another Comic-Con! Fun, wild and exhausting.

I left Monday morning to a great, final Comic-Con moment. I was leaving breakfast at the Hyatt and there was a guy walking in the hallway humming to himself, and I thought "That guy looks like Erik Estrada..." Well, a pretty girl walked by him and he enthusiastically said, "Good Morning!" to her, flashing a big, pearly-white smile. As he walked past her, he craned his neck around to get a second look from behind... and he enthused... "A VERY good morning...."

Yes, that was definitely Erik Estrada.

What a way to end Comic-Con!


SDCC 2008: Mike McKone

Does Mike McKone ever disappoint? This year, he was doing charity sketches for the HERO Initiative, so I signed up for a few spots. Deathstroke, Ravager... and just to show it's not always about Titans.... Spider-Man. He's really killing it on Spidey. Once again, Mike produces some of my favorite, framable art. My home office already has a mini-corner of all things McKone... looks like I need to make room for more....


SDCC 2008: Bruce Timm

I was lucky enough to score a Bruce Timm commission Saturday. And Sunday, by sheer luck, I was able to score ANOTHER one! A couple of years ago, I got a Batman piece... so now I have The DCU Trinity by Bruce Timm. Yeah, this is DEFINITELY going up on the wall!


SDCC 2008: Nightwing by Scott Kolins

Here's a fantastic piece of Nightwing by Scott Kolins, who just drew him in BRAVE AND THE BOLD. This one is just awesome. One of my favs of the show.


SDCC 2008: Wonder Girl by Ben Dunn

Ben Dunn (NINJA HIGH SCHOOL) did this fantastically detailed Wonder Girl piece!


SDCC 2008: Krystal as Wonder Girl

It's the All-new Wonder Girl! How about that, tigers?

Actually, it's the glamorous Krystal from comicbloc, turning heads as Wonder Girl! Here, she poses in an homage to a familiar Donna Troy moment.


SDCC 2008: Around the Con

The Arrow Family! The family that cos-plays together, stays together!

Iron Monger, over at the Marvel booth.

Cobra-lalalalalala!!!! If you know what that means, you will get a kick out of the G.I. Joe animated movie toys...
By the Power of Greyskull!!! Eterna hotties. Only at Comic-Con....


SDCC 2008: Sunday

Sunday was a lazy day at Comic-Con. There were no big panels I needed to attend, and I already scored whatever sketches I wanted/needed to score. I was able to get a Bruce Timm sketch, so that was the biggest surprise of the day. I also picked up the last of my commissions and sketches from Mike McKone, Scott Kolins and a few others.

I volunteered at the HERO Initiative booth for a couple of hours, and also got a nifty commission from Joe Stanton.

Did some shopping, and then decided to attend the screening of the Buffy musical episode, “Once More With Feeling.” It was fun seeing it with a crowd of people. When I walked in, they gave me parking tickets issued by Sunnydale. Cute. Also, people really don’t like Dawn much, as I discovered through crowd reactions to her scenes.

That was the last panel. I helped the HERO Initiative pack up, and enjoyed a nice dinner for my last night in San Diego. Every year, it’s a little more hectic and exhausting, but it’s also a lot of fun, too. I'll be posting those last sketches shortly!


SDCC 2008: Geoff Johns

I saw Geoff briefly at the Con this year, and told him I thoroughly enjoyed ROGUE'S REVENGE! He was super-busy at the show this year... but here he is doing a cool sketch of Zoom for a fan at the DC Booth!


SDCC 2008: Mark Sable

I had the pleasure of meeting Mark Sable at San Diego this year, who is currently writing the entertaining CYBORG mini-series, which every Titans fan should check out. It's good stuff and there's some things coming up that long-time Titans fans will want to check out!

Mark is a Titans fan himself, and we had some fun chatting about the characters and the general direction of the characters. He totally "gets" the Titans. I also picked up Mark's series GROUNDED, and I can heartily recommend it. I'm only about 1/5 in, but it's sort like "Teen Titans" meets "Astro City."

Mark told me about an unpublished Teen Titans story he did, and I dug up some info on it from a Newsarama interview, since sometimes I don't trust my Comic-Con memory: "
With DC, (then assistant and now associate) editor Jeanine Schaefer read Grounded and introduced me to Eddie Berganza. I did a two-issue Teen Titans arc (what was to have been the first meeting of the Titans and The Flash’s Rogues Gallery), drawn [by] Sean Murphy (Scarecrow: Year One). Unfortunately, they were shelved for what I believe were continuity reasons (R.I.P. Bart Allen), but I still hold out hope that they’ll someday see the light of day. I’m currently working with Eddie and assistant editor Adam Schlagman on a solo mini-series that I’m sworn to secrecy about, so it looks like I’ll get my shot at one of those characters."

Mark mentioned on his message board: "
I doubt that those Sean Murphy Titans books I wrote are going to come out...I think they are way out of continuity by now. But I'll never stop bugging DC about having them released as like a special or soemthing."

Here's hoping for more Titans stuff from Mark!

Mark gave me a nice shout out on his blog: "One thing I will say about San Diego is that I got to meet Bill Walko. He runs a website,, that's the place to go for all things Cyborg and Teen Titans on the web. His site served as a tremendous resource for me (as it does for a number of DC creators and editors), and if I could have given him a thank you in the book, I would have. It's good to know he's a great guy in person as well as a dedicated Titans fan."

Back atcha, Mark!


Friday, August 15, 2008

Titans in November

Full solicts here.

Written by Sean McKeever
Art and cover by Eddy Barrows & Ruy Jose
After creating a deadly threat to keep the rest of the Teen Titans busy, Wonder Girl's new enemy challenges her in open combat. Alone and weakening by the moment, Wonder Girl must fight for incredibly high stakes " lose, and her powers are forfeit!
On sale November 26 • 32 pg, FC, $2.99 US

Written by Judd Winick
Art and cover by Howard Porter
Match, the imperfect clone of Conner Kent, shows up at the Tower looking for a fight. But the Titans' old teammate Jericho is still trapped inside him! To subdue Match and save Jericho, the Titans must find a way to force the two apart, and their solution has unexpected consequences for them all!
On sale November 12 • 32 pg, FC, $2.99 US


Written by Sean McKeever
Art and cover by Joe Bennett & Jack Jadson
The Clock King begins staging tournament battles between the teen metas at the Dark Side Club, but this time the fighting's not just for entertainment " he has a far more sinister purpose in mind that not even the Terror Titans know about! And Ravager, drawn to the Clock King by their similar precognitive power, is doing nothing to interfere with his life-threatening machinations. Is she biding her time until she can defeat him, or does she just want to get her hands dirty by entering the tournament?
On sale November 5 • 2 of 6 • 32 pg, FC, $2.99 US

TERRA #1-2

Written by Jimmy Palmiotti & Justin Gray
Art and cover by Amanda Conner
From the pages of TERROR TITANS and the minds of Justin Gray, Jimmy Palmiotti, and Amanda Connor comes a new rock-slinging heroine! As Terra's earth-shaking stunts grab the attention of the world, a new threat rises from beneath the surface. Will Terra live to fight another day, as she takes on the blaze and fury of Pyrite and the Lavarians? And what is the secret behind this new mover and shaker's powers? Guest-starring Power Girl and Doctor Mid-Nite!
Issue #1 on sale November 5, issue #2 on sale November 19

Written by Peter J. Tomasi
Art by Don Kramer and Jay Leisten
Cover by Philip Tan
Variant cover by Ethan Van Sciver
Special oversized “Batman R.I.P.” tie-in issue! Believing Nightwing responsible for the death of an old flame, Two-Face has sworn his revenge upon Batman's first Robin and New York City itself. Armed with the same acid that turned him into Two-Face, Harvey Dent plans to scar half the population of New York to make them pay for his loss. And without The Dark Knight around for help, it's up to Nightwing to stop the Batman's most duplicitous and dangerous villain. Beware the acid rain as Nightwing confronts Two-Face in the final chapter of “The Great Leap”!
Retailers please note: This issue will ship with two covers. For every 10 copies of the Standard Edition (with a cover by Philip Tan), retailers may order one copy of the Variant Edition (with a cover by Ethan Van Sciver). Please see the Previews Order Form for more information.
On sale November 5 • 48 pg, FC, $3.99 US

ROBIN #180
Written by Fabian Nicieza
Art and cover by Freddie E. Williams II
As the Gotham youth gangs run rampant and the "blue-flu" sweeps the indignant Gotham police force, Robin faces off against a surprising yet familiar foe. And what role does Spoiler play in this opponent’s grand scheme?
On sale November 19 • 32 pg, FC, $2.99 US

Written by Alan Burnett
Art by Carlo Barberi & Drew Geraci
Cover by Brian Stelfreeze
As Queen Bee circles in closer for the kill, everything The Flash holds dear starts slipping away from him. His powers, his wife " what’s next to go?
On sale November 19 • 32 pg, FC, $2.99 US


Written by Matthew Sturges
Art and cover by Rafael Albuquerque
The Teen Titans guest-star to help Blue Beetle keep El Paso safe during the “Day Without Immigrants” demonstration. But Intergang and Doctor Polaris plan to rain on everybody’s parade!
On sale November 26 • 32 pg, FC, $2.99 US


Written by Grant Morrison
Art and covers by J.G. Jones and Carlos Pacheco & Jesus Merino
As the entire world turns against them, the last of Earth's Super Heroes must face the unstoppable power of the Gods of Apokolips for the final time. Supergirl vs. Mary Marvel! Superman vs. Darkseid! The fate of the Flash! And the incredible return of the New Gods! The End of Days has come and the ultimate war between good and evil will at last be decided on the battlefield of a broken world!
And as the skies bleed, as the walls between universes crumble and fall, the ultimate threat to life makes its presence felt as an evil beyond imagining arrives to claim its prize. Mandrakk the Dark Monitor is coming and the DC Multiverse will never be the same again!
Retailers please note: This issue will ship with two covers by J.G. Jones and Carlos Pacheco & Jesus Merino that will ship in approximately 50/50 ratio. Please see the Previews Order Form for more information.
On sale November 26 • 6 of 7 • 40 pg, FC, $3.99 US

Written by Art Baltazar & Franco
Art and cover by Art Baltazar
It's girl's day out as Supergirl and Batgirl try to find the perfect location for a tea party. Let's just hope they don't forget about Steaky and Ace!
On sale November 19 • 32 pg, FC, $2.25 US

Written by Judd Winick
Art by Ian Churchill, Joe Benitez
Cover by Joe Benitez & Victor Llamas
The former teen heroes known as the Teen Titans are all grown up and under siege in this hardcover collecting TITANS #1-6 as well as the hard-to-find one-shot TEEN TITANS EAST SPECIAL #1!
Advance-solicited; on sale January 14 • 200 pg, FC, $24.99 US

Written by Marv Wolfman
Art and cover by Damion Scott & Robert Campanella
Raven wrestles the horrors of high school in this volume collecting DC SPECIAL: RAVEN #1-5. As the Teen Titans’ resident empath faces the ridicule of public school, someone starts killing students and it all ties into the reappearance of the Psycho Pirate’s Medusa Mask!
Advance-solicited; on sale December 31 • 128 pg, FC, $14.99 US


Thursday, August 14, 2008

SDCC 2008: Brad Meltzer

I met Brad Meltzer at SDCC. He was signing at the HERO Initiative both, which I volunteer at. At the con, the HERO booth is on the outskirts, and many people dont even know people are signing. So Brad didnt have a ton of people. I chatted with him a bit.

On of the things Meltzer wrote that I liked was his essay on THE JUDAS CONTRACT, which a is a charming little fanboy "squee" essay. So I mentioned that, and we talked Titans for awhile, and talked about how anyone of a certain 5-year age range (like 36-41) just loves those Wolfman/Perez Titans. He was actually a nice guy, not that I wouldnt think he would be. But really, no trace of ego at all.

Also, he asked DC if they wanted him to tie up some loose ends in JLA... like Vixen's powers and the Geo-Force/Deathstroke plot... and they said no. DC told him they had plans for Geo-Force/Deathstroke... but they never materialized. So now it will be part of his WILL AND TESTAMENT one shot.


SDCC 2008: Starfire by Joe Benitez

Here's a Starfire piece by current TITANS artist, Joe Benitez. Joe said he will be using a more "realistic" style in future TITANS issues, less cartoony. I mentioned how that would probably suit the series a little better, since Titans fans are accustomed to a semi-realistic style, like Perez, Jimenez and McKone.


SDCC 2008: Green Lantern by Joe Staton

Here's a Green Lantern commission from classic comic book artist, Joe Staton. This is one of my favorite pieces from the show!


SDCC 2008: Troia by Aaron Lopresti

Here's a Troia sketch from Aaron Lopresti. Troia just appeared in this week's WONDER WOMAN #23, where she was used very effectiveely in 2 scant pages.


Thursday, August 07, 2008

SDCC 2008: The Tick by Ben Edlund

Sppon! A sketch of the Tick by its creator, Ben Edlund. I talked with Ben a bit about teh excellent Venture Brothers, since he also collaborates with those guys.


SDCC 2008: Wolverine and the X-Men

With the nature of the lines that day, I decided to attend the "Sarah Silverman" panel (which was entertaining in and of itself) and already be in the room for the premiere of the new animated X-Men series, "Wolverine and the X-Men"

As IGN (spoilerish) reports in its recap: " At this year's San Diego Comic-Con, Marvel unveiled it's latest revamp of an X-Men animated series, answering the call of the fans of the '90s series with the next mutant saga, Wolverine and the X-Men. The cartoon is due out on Nickelodeon next year, but for now, those in attendance were treated to the first three episodes as everybody's favorite mutants fought the good fight with one of the world's most popular comic characters helming the team."

The series is done by the same folks who brought us "X-Men: Evolution", which started out weak and then became a great show in seasons 2-4. The creative team admitted that "X-men: Evolution started light, but [with "Wolverine and the X-Men"] we launched right in." They said they were able to create a show with very little network interference.

For those wondering, there is a reason why the show is called "wolverine and the X-Men"; Wolverine is forced into a leadership role after a series of tragic and time-bending events. There are nods to many classic X-Men storylines along the way - featuring familiar x-concepts like Genosha, "Days of Future Past", the Massachusetts Academy, the Brotherhood and more.

Each episode is stand-alone, but is part of a larger-tapestry storyline, much like the X-Men comic book series. The creative team mentioned that the first season will comprise 26 episodes, and "about 21 of them" are driven by the continuity of a large season one epic.

The White Queen is used to good effect in the storyline, even touching on the current Scott/Emma relationship in the comics. She's a mysterious character who join the X-Men for reasons that may not be entirely altruistic. The show deftly combines her defining character moments to create a very intriguing character.

The show also features some elements of the X-Men movie lore, like the close bond shared by Wolverine and Rogue... As well as hints of a Iceman/Kitty Pryde relationship. The Wolverine/Jean/Cyclops triangle is also evocative of the X-movies.

The first three episodes were very solid, and used many characters from the comics, including Rusty, Boom Boom, Dust, Domino, Toad, Avalanche and many, many others. This may be the best, most-loyal adaption of the X-Men franchise. X-fans should be pleased!


SDCC 2008: Saturday

Saturday was a big day for panels for me! After being denied the Dr. Horrible Joss Whedon panel, I was determined to get a seat at the Joss Whedon Dollhouse panel (with stars Eliza Dushku and Tahmoh Penikett, no less).

First, I attended the full panel for Ben 10: Alien Force (the report is a few scrolls down on this blog).

Then I waited in line and got in The Dollhouse panel early! Mission accomplished. I was disappointed they didn’t have any new footage – only the trailer that’s been online for a few weeks. They are completely reshooting the pilot, so I guess that’s why. Still, Joss, Eliza and Tahmoh were charming and entertaining for the 40-minutes of Q&A. I can’t wait for a weekly Joss Whedon TV fix again!

Next up, I attended the “A Look Back and Forward at DC Universe Animated Original Movies” panel, with Bruce Timm, director Lauren Montgomery (Superman Doomsday), voice director Andrea Romano and Nathan Fillion (who is playing Steve Trevor in the upcoming Wonder Woman DTV). Newsarama reports: "DC gave fans a brief first glimpse at its upcoming “Wonder Woman” animated feature, kicking off a discussion with fans at the San Diego Comic-Con in which fans and panelists talked about which characters they’d next like to see come to DVD."

"[...] A long-discussed adaptation of “Teen Titans: The Judas Contract” is on hold, Noveck says, because fan support hasn’t been broad enough to vault it past other titles. " I asked Bruce Timm about the status of TEEN TITANS: JUDAS CONTRACT, and he said it didn't ever make it past script development. Sadly, it sound like there are absolutely no plans for this one!

The good news is this: the preview footage from the Wonder Woman DTV looked way cool!

I tried to get into the panel for “Pushing Daises” but I could tell it was already a lost cause – with a huge line snaking around the corner and an already almost-full room. People waited for hours and were turned away. Crazy!

I went to the floor for a bit and scored some sketches (including the Humberto Ramos one below). Then I caught the end of the “Legion of Super-Heroes 50th Anniversary” panel, which was fun. The pros were all Legion fanboys and fangirls at one time, so it was like an old school Comic-Con panel.

I really, really wanted to see the preview of the new X-Men cartoon, “Wolverine and the X-Men”, so I sat through an entertaining “Sarah Silverman” panel to make sure I got a seat. It was good! Full report next post. After X-Men, it was some more drinking with the gang at the Hyatt. And still two days to go....


Wednesday, August 06, 2008

SDCC 2008: Impulse by Humberto Ramos

Comic-Con is sometimes frustrtaing with lines and missed opportunities... but for once, I was in the right place at the right time ... and I scored an Impulse sketch from Humberto Ramos! Humberto Ramos!!! I love Humberto's stuff and his version of Impulse just made the character!

I miss Bart.


SDCC 2008: Nightwing by Ray Dillon

This Nightwing commission is from Ray Dillon.


SDCC 2008: Robin by Paul Adam

This Robin commission is from Paul Adam. I miss animated Titans!


SDCC 2008: Nightwing by Phil Hester

Here's a nifty sketch I got at the HERO Initiative booth by all-too-brief NIGHTWING artist, Phil Hester.


SDCC 2008: Marvel Girl by Coleen Coover

Coleen Coover is doing the charming back-ups in X-MEN FIRST CLASS, so I had her draw this Marvel Girl. Cute!


Monday, August 04, 2008

SDCC 2008: Ben 10 by Duncan Rouleau

The creators of Ben 10 - Man of Action - were in full force at San Diego. Artist Duncan Rouleau drew me this nifty Ben 10 sketch. I've become a fan of the show in the past year, and I'm still catching up on old episodes while I'm enjoying Ben 10: Alien Force. Good stuff!


SDCC 2008: Glen Murakami on BEN 10: ALIEN FORCE

left to right: Greg Cipes (Kevin), Dwayne McDuffie, Dee Bradley Baker (Aliens), Tramm Wigzell

left to right: Glen Murakami, Ashley Johnson (Gwen),Yuri Lowenthal (Ben), Greg Cipes (Kevin)

Producer Glen Murakami (TEEN TITANS) was in San Diego to promote "Ben 10: Alien Force."

Here's the panel description: "Ben 10: Alien Force and The Secret Saturdays Sneak Peek— Join über-cartoon-creator-genius Glen Murakami and his crew as they discuss their hit new Cartoon Network show Ben 10: Alien Force. It's your chance to get the inside story on all the new alien heroes—and, of course, all the bad guys! Accompanying Glen are story editor Dwayne McDuffie and voice talents Yuri Lowenthal (Ben), Ashley Johnson (Gwen), Greg Cipes (Kevin), and Dee Bradley Baker (Aliens). And that's just half the excitement! Jay Stephens will also be on hand to talk about his mysterious and cool new show The Secret Saturdays."

The panel was moderated by Cartoon Network producer, Tramm Wigzell. "Ben 10" viewers may actually recognize him as the inspiration for J.T., the meeker half of the J.T./Cash pair. (Parenthetically, Cash is based on producer, Sam Register.)

The creators are currently working on the third season of "Ben 10" Alien Force", so it looks like the new series received a vote of confidence from Carton Network. There are also plans for a live-action "Ben 10: Alien Force" movie.

The panel discussed the shift from "Ben 10" to "Ben 10: Alien Force." Glen Murakami imagined "Ben 10: Alien Force" as "Scobby Doo" meets "X-Files," citing the strong mystery-meets-sci-fi nature of the program. He also likened it to the "old school 70s teen character driven" shows.

The team was asked why so many scenes take place in the dark, and Murakami mentioned that he likes shows that take place at night. It had the element of teens sneaking out and getting into trouble. It also added to the air of mystery.

The creators talked about "Alien X", an alien transformation from the opening credits. It's the one alien form Ben hasn't used, and there's a reason for that. This alien is so powerful, Ben is afraid to use it.

The team was also asked about the nature of Gwen's "magic," and how her current energy-based abilities didn't coincide with that. DcDuffie mentioned that "the characters on the show don't always have perfect knowledge." The creators are "way past the second season" now, and explained that the "knowledge of their powers and who they are" will change as the series progresses.

Many episodes contain information that will pay off later on. The creators stressed that "there are no filler episodes." Each episode contributes in some way to the mythology. It's all important. They will also re-introduce some characters from the previous "Ben 10" series, and we will see what became of them. We will also see old and new Plumber kids in future episodes.

The creators gauged audience interest to see if fans wanted to see what happened while Kevin was in the null void. They did. The team said they talked about showing Kevin's null void time.

The panel was opened up for questions, and children were encouraged to come up and ask questions. Let me tell you, these kids are smart! They asked better questions than most fanboys.

One kid asked what Alien Xs powers were. The creators gave a vague answer, and the kid relented "now, how about a real answer?" So impressed, the creators mentioned that Alien X can stop time.

Another kid asked why the futures seen in "Ben 10" didn't coincide with what we see in "Ben 10" Alien Force." The panelists mentioned that those were possible futures, and the episode "Paradox" begins to show how the future is ever-changing.

Another kid asked why Kevin doesn't use his absorbing powers like he used to. The creators mentioned that there is actually a very good reason why Kevin doesn't absorb energy. They also mentioned that Gwen is pure energy, and playfully wondered if that could cause problems for the would-be couple....

Greg Cipes and Ashley Johnson had a lot of fun fielding questions about the Kevin-Gwen relationship. Cipes mentioned how Johnson has become his default "animated girlfriend" in Teen Titans and another series as well. Johnson mentioned that Gwen is just waiting for Kevin to actually ask her out, and mentioned that in real life, she herself wouldn't be so patient to wait on a guy.

Yuri Lowenthal was asked what his most difficult role was. He cited Superman, since its such an iconic character. Yuri was very much in "Ben 10" spirit, wearing a replica of Ben's famous green jacket to the panel.

The panel also showed a sneak peek of "Secret Saturdays." Creator Jay Stephens explained that the show is largely inspired by family adventure series in the 1960's, like "Jonny Quest" and The "Herculoids." The show itself features a mom who specializes in mysticism and a dad who is a scientist, and a kid who believes in both diciplines. As the series begins, the kid begins to accompany his adventurous parents in investigating secret paranormal and super-science mysteries. It looks pretty entertaining from the preview clip.

Two of Ben's aliens at the Cartoon Network booth!


SDCC 2008: Who Watches the Watchmen ship?

Who Watches the Watchmen ship? Everyone at San Diego, that's who. Check out Night Owl's ship, which was on display all Comic-Con...


Friday, August 01, 2008

SDCC 2008: Kid Flash by Carlo Barbieri

Wow! This is a fantastic (free!) sketch done by Carlo Barbieri. I wanted him to draw Bart Allen, since he was the artist for IMPULSE at the end of its run. I also remembered he did a version of Bart-as-Kid-Flash during a YOUNG JUSTICE crossover story.... so I asked him to draw a Kid Flash. This is one of my favoritest pieces from the show!


SDCC 2008: Ravager by Hume

Wildstorm artist Oliver Hume did this nice looking Ravager!


SDCC 2008: Spectacular Spider-Man

Friday featured a panel for "Spectacular Spider-man", which is a fantastic animated version of the Spider-man mythos. Season two will feature the debuts of Kraven the Hunter, Mysterio and the Molten Man. It will also feature the return of many of the villains of season one, including Green Goblin, Venom, Vulture, Sinister Six and others.

IGN did a pretty good job of summarizing the panel here.

To add to their coverage, the team also explained their take on Gwen. They wanted to actually go back and re-imagine who these characters would have been in high school, since in the comics, MJ, Gwen and Harry don't come into the picture until Peter was in college. They surmised that Gwen would be more nerdy in high school, before she blossomed into the smart bombshell we know her as in her college days. Likewise, Harry and MJ have been re-imaged to reflect "what we think they might have been" in high school.

There was an amusing moment when Vanessa Marshall read her "face it tiger, you just hit the jackpot" line. Everyone just lost it.

They also talked about the awesome and infectious theme song from Tenderbox. The band did the song completely on their own, lyrics and all. Most impressive!

The team also mentioned that they are trying to do justice to the DVD package art, and tried to make them look like comic books themselves (with the character designs from the show), not overly-airbrushed versions of the cartoons.

One person asked if Gwen would die, and Greg Johnson answered that he couldn't answer that whether it was even true of not. He said they look to the comics for inspiration, and you will see certain things used, and others not.

The team also promised more character development for Flash Thompson, Jonah, MJ and Gwen in season two. Harry will also return in season two.

The team also mentioned that they had deep discussions about making Harry the Goblin before Norman Osborn becomes the Goblin. Deep, long, argumentative discussions, joked Johnson. Ultimately, they stand by the story the way it unfolded. One reason they did it that way was to do a version of the seminal Harry Osborn drug story of the 70s. The team also assured viewers that all the elements would come into play as the Green Goblin saga continued to unfold.


SDCC 2008: Friday

Friday was more crazed than Thursday, per usual. I tried to get into the "Batman: Brave & Bold" panel, but it was filled to capacity. That would be something I would hear for the next two days. Thank goodness for technology and Comic Book Resources. You can see the full report and trailer here.

I was able to attend the "Spectacular Spider-man" panel (more on that later), so that was fun. I completely missed the Joss Whedon panel because I was in line for over an hour! This is a massive problem with the San Diego Con the last two years. You are no longer "guaranteed " to get into any panel, so you spend a lot of time in lines, hoping to get in.

They should really find some way around this; Maybe Friday and Saturday should be "Hollywood" days with expanded rooms or something... Because there were a lot of disappointed fans who spent a lot of time in line for nothing!

The good news is that I did get to attend the "Family Guy" and "American Dad" panel, which included a preview of the new "Cleveland" show (looks good).

I later saw the informative and entertaining " How To Make Webcomics: Live!" panel.

After that, I had some dinner at a Grill & Bar type place with some of my peeps, then it was back to the Hyatt for a drink... or two... or three....


SDCC 2008: Lilith by Amy Hadley

I caught up with Amy Hadley at the DC Booth. Amy is doing an awesome job on the new MADAME XANADU series. I had Amy draw Lilith, since I've always thought Madame Xanadu should be revealed as Lilith's mother. How cool and perfect would that be?