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Saturday, July 24, 2004


SAN DIEGO -- DC Comics packed the stage with more than a dozen panelists for its Vertigo panel at Comic-Con International on Saturday morning.

Following is a rundown of projects discussed:

* Angel Town is a five-issue mini-series by crime novelist Gary Phillips and artist Shawn Martinbrough. Here's how DC describes the book:

"This gritty, neo-noir tale stars private investigator Nate Hollis who must take on poisonous politicos, ruthless gangsters and crooked cops in the sun-drenched streets and shadowed suites of Los Angeles, city of lost dreams."

"It's sexy, it's got crime and it's got a real L.A. vibe to it," said editor Will Dennis.

* Brian Azzarello teams with Marcelo Frusin for the new ongoing series Loveless, a Western coming next year. Set during the reconstruction period, Loveless follows the life of Wes Cutter, who returns to his small Missouri town to find that the only thing worse than war is peace.

"It's hard to describe. It's a Western, but it's not," Azzarello said. "It walks like a duck and talks like a duck, but it ain't a duck.

"It's a Spaghetti Western for the PBS crowd, with a lot of politics and a lot of violence. A helluva lot of violence."

Azzarello said the book is like "Bonnie and Clyde on horseback."

Vertigo executive editor Karen Berger said that Azzarello renewed his exclusive contract with DC Comics for three years.

* Jill Thompson's The Dead Boy Detectives is targeted for next summer. From the pages of The Sandman: Season of Mists, Edwin Paine and Charles Rowland, the dead British teenagers who run a makeshift detective agency, travel stateside in an original manga mystery guest-starring Death.

* Pride is a 128-page original graphic novel, written by Brian K. Vaughan and drawn by Niko Henrichon and set for release next year.

Here's how DC describes the book:

"In war-torn Iraq, many casualties have gone unreported ‹ among them, an escaped pride of lions. This struggling family of four great cats must find a way to stay together and avoid the deadly conflict thatıs exploding around them in a world they can never hope to comprehend."

* Cliff Chiang, who rotates with Javier Pulido as artist of Human Target, said that his next arc will involve a cult with "a manufactured and pop star-looking messiah." "The Second Coming" runs in #14-16.

The second Human Target trade paperback will hit stands in November.

* The creative team behind the Oribter -- Warren Ellis and Colleen Doran -- returns next spring with Stealth Tribes, a futuristic original graphic novel.

Here's how DC describes the book:

"The worldıs growing more and more strange -- and the Stealth Tribes are the best example of this weirdness. Download a file disguised as a piece of music that opens into a molecular storm of information, and you're in the Tribe. Across the nation, people are joining the Stealth Tribes ... and taking part in increasingly bizarre rituals that are as close their fingertips."

"Page 5 will make you go, 'Ow!'" Doran said.

* Sloth is a graphic novel by Gilbert Hernandez. Teenaged Miguel Torres escapes his miserable life by willing himself into a yearlong coma. When he awakens, he can move only at a snail's pace. As his life turns more and more surreal, Miguel must face the horrifying truth about his family while struggling with his own somnambulant existence.

* The adaptation of Neil Gaimanıs Neverwhere will be as a nine-issue mini-series written by Mike Carey, with art by Glenn Fabry.

* A new Fables hardcover original graphic novel, 1001 Nights of Snowfall, is slated for next year. A collection of short stories written by Bill Willingham with artists including Charles Vess.

"We'll learn why Snow never wants the dwarves mentioned," Willingham said. "We'll learn a lot about the backstory of the key players."

In the monthly book, Bill Willingham and artists Mark Buckingham & Steve Leialoha launch a new 4-part storyline. "The Year After" begins as Snow White finally goes into labor, and the magical nature of her pregnancy becomes an event that no one expected. A special, new character is introduced: Bigbyıs estranged father, the North Wind.

* A story in 100 Bullets will focus on Wylie Times. "I just love that character," Azzarello said, adding the story will "end very, very badly."

* Witching #5 will be a Halloween story, drawn by Mark Buckingham.

* Y: The Last Man artist Pia Guerrera said that a four- or five-issue arc will feature Yorick's "long-awaited arrival in San Francisco."

"We'll learn more about the plague, Yorick's involvement in the plague and a lot of big things," she said.

* Phil Jimenez said his Otherworld project should be out early next year.

* New Swamp Thing writer Joshua Dysart said his first arc will be called "Love in Vain," a four-parter. "We're going to go back to the EC horror roots," Dystars. "It's going to be thoughtful, but at the same time, it's going to be scary and it's going to be gross."

* DC displayed art from Dave Gibbon's The Originals and Grant Morrison's Vimanarama.

* Steven Seagle is writing the Constantine film adaptation, with art by Ron Randall and Jimmy Palmiotti.

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