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SUNDAY, APRIL 23, 2006

PITTSBURGH COMICON: DC COMICS ONE YEAR LATER PANEL

MONROEVILLE, Pa. -- The cover to Hawkgirl #54 teased it, but series artist Howard Chaykin confirmed it on Saturday at the Pittsburgh Comicon.

"We're going to be bringing Hawkman back," Chaykin said. "He will be back soon, soon-ish...we're going to start the reintroduction soon."

Chaykin and Firestorm artist Jamal Igle were the only guests for the DC: One Year Later panel. Instead of the usual slide show and fast-paced teases that are the norm for DC's panels, this one was more of an intimate question-and-answer session, with both artists talking about their work and DC Comics in general.

Chaykin admitted that using Hawkman presents certain challenges.

"The problem with the character is that they kept adding things, instead of replacing things," he said. "He has had a tremendous amount of baggage."

Chaykin said that the goal for he and series writer Walter Simonson has been to streamline the characters.

"Kendra is a 23-year-old woman and she has much more real problems, which I find more interesting that reincarnation," he said.

In other notes from the panel:

* Igle described Firestorm's costume as "Ronnie Raymond meets TRON." He said he did a bunch of sketches and then went over them with writer Stuart Moore and editor Michael Siglain.

"It was a collaborative process," he said.

Igle wanted to keep one part of the original costume for certain.

"I'm a fan of the big, puffy sleeves, so I brought them back," he said.

* Chaykin has had he own costumes concerns, specifically with Hawkgirl's headpiece. "That headpiece is ridiculous," he said. "I used as a model a viking's helmet. So it is a helmet and it actually protects her."

* Chaykin said he is working on a project involving Batman and Catwoman. "I want the costumes to work in the real world," he said.

* Igle talked about the changes in Jason in the One Year Later Firestorm.

"We've taken Jason from the point of being this insecure, untested kid and suddenly a year later there's no doubt he's a super-hero," Igle said.

Igle said that confidence will be reflected in his art, even when Jason's in his civilian mode.

* Igle said to look for Firestorm to become more integrated into the DCU.

* Chaykin drew New Avengers #21, featuring Captain America.

"One of the reactions I got was that the fight scenes were really visceral, which is surprising, because that's what I do," he said.

* Chaykin said his experience as showrunner for Mutant X was "an absolute toxic waste dump," prompting his return to comics. "After the shock of being fired, I realized I didn't want to go back to show business," he said.

* Chaykin was asked if he would be interested in doing an All Star book. "Yes, I think it would be a hoot," he said, adding he is a fan of All Star Superman.

Igle said he'd like to work on an All Star Flash. "It would be Barry Allen CSI," he said.




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