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Monday, August 11, 2003


ROSEMONT, Ill. -- Brian K. Vaughan's first creator-owned project since Y: The Last Man, a six-issue mini-series called Ex Machina, will be released through the Cliffhanger imprint, it was announced at WildStorm Productions' panel at Wizard World Chicago on Sunday.

The series, drawn by Tony Harris, is described as "The West Wing meets Unbreakable." Ex Machina introduces Mitchell Hundred, better know to the citizens of New York as the super-hero The Great Machine. But Mitchell faces his greatest challenge when he decides to run for mayor.

"I came up with this before Arnold," said Vaughan, referring to Arnold Schwarzenegger's campaign for California governor.

"Y: The Last Man has a set ending. We have a five-year plan, but I didn't know if it would last six issues. I hope Ex Machina turns out he same way. I am pouring in as much passion into it as I did Y."

In other news from the panel:

* WildStorm editor Scott Dunbier said that WildStorm plans on doing Top Ten and Tom Strong stories after Alan Moore's "retirement" from the America's Best Comics line.

"He likes to be kept in the loop with the guys I'm talking to, but he's all for it," Dunbier said.

"I can't ever see him really retiring. He's going to do another novel and then some performance art."

Dunbier said that, in addition to the previously announced third volume of League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, Moore is talking about fourth and fifth volumes. He said to look for an Absolute Edition of the second volume "somewhere down the line."

* Dunbier said that John Cassaday has turned in the art for the first half of Planetary #17 and that that issue will have "startling revelations."

* A Sleeper trade will reach stores in December. The series was planned to be 12 issues, but Dunbier said he wants the book to continue.

* Jimmy Palmiotti said that The Twilight Experiment, the six-issue mini-series he is writing with Justin Gray, is "our ultimate super-hero universe." Palmiotti likened Juan Santacruz's art to "a next-generation Mike Golden."

* The second collection of Sam Kieth's The Maxx is targeted for a February release.

* Dunbier said he hopes to collected the first two issues of Arrowsmith in a bumper edition.

* The new volume of 21 Down, now part of the Eye of the Storm line, will likely start in March, Palmiotti said.

* J. Scott Campbell and Andy Hartnell are re-teaming with Phil Noto on another Danger Girl special. Dunbier said he hopes Campbell's new project will be released in the second half of 2004.

* Global Frequency will be collected in two volumes, each consisting of six issues.

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