At the IDW panel at WonderCon on Friday afternoon, Shelly Bond and Tess Fowler had a big announcement, the first book from the Black Crown imprint, Kid Lobotomy written by Peter Milligan and drawn by Tess Fowler.
Bond asked why Tess Fowler was on the panel, and so Shelly Bond came up to talk about that very question. She said she’s very excited to be part of the IDW crew, gave the short version of how she got involved with IDW. She got an e-mail from Ryall the day after she left Vertigo, even though she’d never met him, offering her a job. She pitched an imprint, and the rest is history.
Tess Fowler was asked to explain things, and she said she is working on Kid Lobotomy, a book written by Peter Milligan. It will be a debut monthly series from Black Crown.
Ryall said that Black Crown has been spoken about, but this is the debut title that sets the tone and defines what Black Crown will be. Bond describes the book as “King Lear meets Kafka by way of Young Frankenstein”. She thinks we’ll really enjoy it. It’s Peter Milligan doing things that fans will really respond to, Ryall added.
Fowler described the book as “gothic horror” and “very scary” that she hopes will keep you up at night. Delving into Milligan’s brain is “not safe at all”, she laughed.
Bond said the series is about a young guy whose father is a hotelier and all he wants is for his son to be happy. His son has had a bad couple of years, so he gives his son a hotel to run. He wants to be successful and helpful for the people who stay there, but things aren’t so simple. It’s a “haunted house on crack with cannibalism”, Fowler added.
There’s a mysterious female character whose the “Boba Fett” of the series, Fowler said.
“Torn from the deeped region of my hippocampus and hurled at an unsuspecting world, this is different from anything I’ve written and unlike anything you’ve read”—Peter Milligan said remotely, and Bond faked his British accent to read it out to the panel and give Milligan equal representation on the panel.
This series begins in October.
Talking about the Black Crown logo, Bond had the audience look at the screen. The logo has been designed by Philip Bond, and says “everything about what Black Crown is about”. She wanted “all the bravado and swagger” of the Rolling Stones tongue logo. An hour later, Bond had come up with the concept, and felt he nailed it one go. That’s how she feels about it, she “likes it just a little”.
Black crown pins and stickers were present in the panel.
Asked what the ultimate goals are for Black Crown, Ryall joked that in 10 years every book will be a Black Crown book. They want to start slowly, and build them out based on appetite, he added.
Asked if Black Crown will be genre-specific, Bond said that each of the books under the imprint have a “very distinctive flair”, said Bond. She likes genre work with “an unexpected twist”, Bond said. Horror, dark fantasy, crime thrillers, are high on the list. The books “meet at the cross street of comics and chaos”, she said, and she wants them to be books you re-read and buy extras to give to friends and strangers.
Bond feels that one of the things Black Crown can do is celebrate the comic book as an art form and as a craft.
Ryall said that IDW does a lot of creator-owned books already, so these books are going to be “of a type”, and within their own grouping. The promo book at SDCC will give readers a sense of what that is.
It’s a title and a philosophy, Bond said, and there will be a street as part of a shared landscape where a pub called The Black Crown resides. They are setting the pub on a street with real estate that correlates to the Black Crown imprint. You might have the “Atomic Turntable Record Shop” and that houses a character who might have a cocktail at the Black Crown pub once in a while, Bond said. It’s going to be a fun environment for people to interact, she said.
Asked if characters from the different titles at Black Crown will interact, Bond said “Yes, absolutely”.
You can find a full account of IDW’s announcements at WonderCon right here on Comicon.com.