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FRIDAY, JULY 21, 2006


SAN DIEGO -- "I'm down here and I'm smiling and I'm feeling good."

The crowd at Aspen Comics' panel at Comic-Con International gave Michael Turner a big round of applause.

Turner, who has had off-and-on bouts with cancer for some six years after being diagnosed withs chondrosarcoma in his right pelvis., had explained that 6-7 weeks ago he had a small recurrence in the spine area. Doctors "cleared everything out" three weeks ago, Turner said, and "Everything's lookin great."

Turner, who is on crutches and looked a bit weary, said he is eager to return to the drawing board and "very excited" to finish up final three issues of his Soulfire run. He said he would spend a few hours each day at the convention.

Aspen's Frank Mastromauro then ran through a massive slide show.

Highlights included:

* Former studio mate Talent Caldwell is providing a cover for Soulfire: Chaos Reign #1 in two weeks. The Wizard World Chicago cover will be by Turner and Peter Steigerwald.

"The story get backs to the primal days of magic, sort of a King Kong meets Soulfire book," Turner said.

* Francisco Herrera is working on a new -- as yet untitled -- Soulfire project that will likely launch in the spring.

* The Soulfire: Dying of the Light trade paperback will be released in October, with a new Micah Gunnell cover and a seven-page story created exclusively for the trade.

*Shrugged #4 will have four covers -- by Gunnell, Turner, Marcus To and Koi Turnbull -- that interlock into one image.

* The third volume of Fathom is targeted for 2007. Before that will be a Kiani mini-series drawn by To.

* Mastromauro said there likely will be another swimsuit issues and that the Aspen Seasons books will continue.

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