On the opening day of WonderCon in Anaheim, California, IDW held a panel called “Find Your Heroes”, and social media posting seemed to suggest that this panel would include a number of announcements for the publisher, including further information about the new Black Crown imprint at the publisher, helmed by Shelly Bond.
Sarah Gaydos moderated the panel with David Hedgecock, Chris Ryall, Scott Tipton, Aubrey Sitterson, and Tess Fowler. Dirk Wood joined the panel later on.
Ryall said that today IDW announces that Gabriel Rodgriguez’ new project will be Sword of Ages, coming in winter 2017. It’s a King Arthur saga, looking at the history of a sword. It’s set on another planet and is the origin of a sacred sword, Ryall said. It’s “fully unfettered Gabriel”, Ryall said.
Gaydos announced that Infinite Loop will be returning to IDW in September, from Elsa Charretier and Pierrick Colinet, with artist Daniele Dinicuolo. It’s tentatively called “Nothing But the Truth”.
Starting soon, Xbox One is going to be hosting an IDW app where you can read comics on that platform. This is a beta launch that will be expanding.
Coming in 2018, there’s going to also be a George Takei graphic novel featuring the actor and activist’s life story including the history of his family in Japanese internment camps.
Rom vs. Transformers: Shining Armor will be coming in July from IDW, and will introduce a new character who will be prominent moving forward, David Hedgecock said. Christos Gage and John Barber will be writing, and Alex Milne will be on art. There’s going to be a Tom Whalen cover month, an artist whose Chris Ryall noticed online, particularly his very popular work for Mondo.
Also coming this summer, in June, is Transformers: Salvation, which is the ending of the trilogy that’s been rolling out. The Dinobots story that’s been continuing over the past couple years is coming to a conclusion.
Micronauts: Wrath of Karza is coming up in April, and in this series Earth becomes a target. Written by Cullen Bunn and Jimmy Johnson, with art by Andrew Griffith.
Aubrey Sitterson spoke about G.I. Joe as the oldest of the Hasbro franchises, and it was a huge part of Hasbro’s success. They are going to be bringing back characters, and bringing characters who have never appeared in this universe before, changing features.
Kull Eternal is also coming up in June, written by Tom Waltz, with art by Luca Pizzari.
Judge Dredd: The Blessed Earth is arriving in April.
Clue will be coming up in June, based on the game.
X-Files Origins in also arriving in June, and Gaydos said it’s geared slightly more toward a young adult audience, so if you have younger readers in your life, it’s a good way to introduce them to the world of X-Files.
Jem Infinite is arriving in June, as a Jem/Misfits crossover, written by Kelly Thompson with art by Stacy Lee and Jenn St. Onge.
Wynonna Earp is coming up for season 2 in June, but on April 1st, the show’s season 1 is arriving on Netflix. Season Zero is currently coming to comics.
There’s going to be an overall push from IDW called “Creator Visions”, Gaydos said, with books like Helena Crash, Kill Shakespeare, Cosmic Scoundrels, Animal Noir, and more receiving attention for their creator-owned unique quality.
Bringing up Shelly Bond’s imprint Black Crown, Gaydos said there will be more information coming soon.
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”.