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SATURDAY, MAY 31, 2008


PHILADELPHIA -- Aspen Comics held a panel on Saturday afternoon at Wizard World Philadelphia.

Panelists include Peter Steigerwald, Vince Hernandez, Ale Garza, Frank Mastromauro, Micah Gunnell, J.T. Krul and Mark Roslin.

Highlights include:

* Mastromauro provide an updated on Michael Turner's health, saying he had "a huge procedure" for his cancer in February, with a recovery time of four to six months.

Mastromauro said Turner is eating better and can sit four to five hours at a time. "He's prepping to finish up the rest of Soulfire and hop on our Marvel project," he said.

* Fathom #1 will reach stores in August.

* Mastromauro said there was great feedback to Iron and the Maiden and hopes to do a sequel. Finding an artist will be a key. "It will definitely be something that wil be down the road," he said.

* Krul said Fathom #0 will show where the launching point of the new series is.

* The Fathom Vol. 2 trade paperback will be in stores next week.

* Mastromauro said there are new properties in development, leading with Executive Assistant: Iris, due in the winter.

* Hernandez and Gunnell have a new property that will be announced this summer and will launch early to mid-next year.

* Marcus To is working on Soulfire Vol. 2, which will pick up as soon as Turner completes the first volume.

* Mastromauro said Aspen has been approached by other publishers about crossovers, but there are no plans. "It has to be approached carefully," Steigerwald added.

* Krul said if had to pick one, he likes to write Soulfire more than Fathom because there's more room to explore with Soulfire.

* Garza on Fathom: "I'm definitely going all out, balls to the wall on it. Working with J.T. is great."

Garza said he is given a lot of double spreads with Fathom and he had to switch gears from his DC/WildStorm work. "The scale of everything has been real big," he said, noting he gives it more a widescreen treatment.

* Mastromauro said there are "a few movie things in the works," along with other ancillary projects.

* Steigerwald said NBC has been hitting up Aspen for a lot of Heroes materials. Twelve new characters will debut online and, depending on feedback, some of them could be integrated into the television series.

* The Ekos remains on the back burner. Mastromauro said it's written and will follow Turner's Marvel project, probably for 2010.

* Turner has 2 1/2 issues left on his Soulfire run.

* Soulfire: Shadow Magic is written by Hernandez with art by Sana Takeda. It will be five issues, with a #0. It isn't scheduled yet, but Takeda is halfway through the first issue and will likely launch early next year.

* Executive Assistant: Iris is also planned for early next year.

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