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Monday, October 3, 2005


Top Cow Productions wrapped up comics presentations at Wizard World Boston on Sunday.

Editor-in-chief Jim McLauchlin talked the audience through a slide show and was joined by City of Heroes artist David Nakayama for the question-and-answer session.

Following are highlights:

* City of Heroes #6 will be a flip-book, featuring a six-page back-up story based on the City of Villains game. Game designer Sean Fish of Cryptic Studios is writing the story, and McLauchlin said he would be interested in doing a City of Villains title.

David Nakayama returns as artist in City of Heroes #7, joining new writer Dan Jurgens on a three-issue arc. "It's a storyline that takes a darker tone and it's more of a detective story," Nakayama said. "He (Jurgens) challenges me on every page and I think my art's getting better and better."

The cover of City of Heroes #8 will feature the shape-shifting villain Proteon.

Troy Hickman is also writing three issues of City of Heroes.

* McLauchlin said that Hunter-Killer is currently Top Cow's top-selling title. Eric Basaldua steps in for Marc Silvestri to draw Hunter-Killer #7-9. Silvestri will continue to provide covers, with Jim Lee (#7) and John Cassady (#8) providing variant covers.

The origin and motivation of James Morningstar will be revealed, as well as his fascination with time and clocks.

McLauchlin said that Hunter-Killer writer Mark Waid's recently announced exclusive with DC Comics will not prohibit him from continuing on Hunter-Killer.

* McLauchlin said reaction has been strong to Freshmen and that creators Hugh Sterbokov and Seth Green would like to go beyond the planned mini-series' six issues. "We're on the cusp of that, but I don't know if we're going to do it," McLauchlin said.

Rodolfo Migliari's cover to Freshmen #6 is based on a John Buscema Avengers cover.

* The four-issue Magdalena series is targeted for next year. The series is written by Ron Marz and painted by Keu Cha.

* Pitt/The Darkness, by Paul Jenkins and Dale Keown, is a four-issue mini-series targeted for summer or fall of 2006. McLauchlin said the art has been completed and colored for the first issue. "We'll get the entire series done before we solicit it," he said.

* Witchblade #92, the 10th anniversary issue, has been expanded by two pages. McLauchlin said a surprise, unannounced artist will contribute. "Another established character from another publisher will have something to do with the origin of the Witchblade," McLauchlin said.

Mike Choi is drawing the first five and last five pages of the story, with other artists -- including Marc Silvestri, Brandon Peterson, George Perez and Chris Bachalo -- providing two pages each. McLauchlin said that both Cha and Migliari are painting their two pages.

Steve Sadowski is providing the art for Witchblade #94-95, and Terry Dodson is taking over as cover artist. Steve McNiven is providing a variant cover for Witchblade #95.

Marz continues as writer, and another major story is building toward Witchblade #100.

* Cyberforce will relaunch next year in the February-April time frame. Marz is writing and Pat Lee is providing art.

* McLauchlin said relaunching Aphrodite IX is "high on our list of priorities for next year."

* Rising Stars: Untouchables, by Fiona Avery and Brent Anderson, is now being targeted for the middle of next year. McLauchlin said three of the five issues are completely finished.

* McLauchlin said that, especially with so many exclusive contracts at Marvel and DC, Top Cow will continue to pursue talent outside the comics industry, like Necromancer writer Joshua Ortega.

* Top Cow offered special editions of Hunter-Killer #4 and Witchblade #89 at the convention.

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