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Sunday, August 28, 2005


TORONTO -- Marvel Comics' "Big Guns" panel at the Canadian National Comic Book Expo on Sunday at the very least featured a panel of talent that will probably never be repeated. C.B. Cebulski was joined by writer J. Michael Straczynski and artists Steve McNiven and Skottie Young for a question-and-answer session of wide variety.

Following are some highlights:

* McNiven said that he'll be doing covers as well as interiors for New Avengers #16-21.

* Straczynski said that his first story in Amazing Spider-Man after "The Other" will involve identity theft. "It's not a Spider-Man problem, it's a Peter Parker problem," Straczynski said. "They've his license, his credit card number, his social security number. It's going to be a lot of fun."

* Straczynski on why events like "The Other" are important to comic books: "If you're writing in a monotone, people will eventually tune out. You want to spike it every now and then and have some really dramatic happen."

* Straczynski said he remains on his as-yet-unnamed television project with Marvel. "If things keep going the way they've been going, we could be on the air in January," he said.

He also noted that he's been approached about a DC Comics-based television project.

* Cebulski said Marvel's subscription program has experienced "a boom."

* Cebulski said Daredevil: Father, the delayed mini-series by editor-in-chief Joe Quesada, is definitely on track. "I drop in once a week and I've seen Joe at his drawing table," Cebulski said.

* The future of Doctor Strange will be discussed at an upcoming Marvel retreat, Straczynski said.

* On this issue of exclusivity, Young, who is not exclusive and also works for Cartoon Network, said he likes the freedom of choice in his project.

Stracyznki, who is exclusive, said he likes the simplicity of communication involved as well as feeling part of the Marvel family.

McNiven, who also is exclusive, said it enables him to line up future projects with assurance there will be consistent work.

* Straczynski said he hasn't seen the Fantastic Four movie, but he approves of what was done in the Spider-Man movie and that the film versions don't alter his plans for his stories.

* Straczynski said that the Hyperion and Nighthawk mini-series will bridge the gap from the MAX Supreme Power series and the upcoming one under the Marvel Knights imprint.

* Young said he and New Warriors Zeb Wells have been friends for awhile and have been looking to work on a project together and are intuitively on the same wavelength in producing the mini-series. "When I get the scripts, I laugh," Young said. "And I know exactly what to draw."

* Stracyznski said he likes to experiment with his artists, and that Colleen Doran is using a Tolkien approach in part of the second issue of his Icon mini-series, The Book of Lost Souls.

Lord of the Rings

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