ECCC 2011: The Dark Horse Panel

So before getting to any of the other announcements from the Dark Horse Panel, the big news which came towards the end was that Guy Davis, the longtime artist and collaborator with Mike Mignola and John Arcudi on B.P.R.D. is leaving the book, with the free ECCC-exclusive B.P.R.D.: Hell on Earth story being the last work by the artist for the series. Series editor Scott Allie says that it’s hard to overestimate Davis’ impact on the look and feel of the book—he and Mignola visually defined the look and feel of the universe, with Davis getting extra credit for lending a sense of animation and subtle refinement to characters like team leader Abe Sapien and the spectral Johannes.

The new series artist will be illustrator and video game artist Tyler Crook, who’ll be jumping on with the upcoming B.P.R.D.: Hell On Earth: Monsters, which is coming later this year. Check back on Tuesday for our retrospective interview with Guy Davis’s on his BPRD work and on Wednesday, we’ll be talking with new series artist Tyler Crook about his upcoming work on the title as well as showing off some preview art from Monsters.

In other B.P.R.D. news, pyrokinetic character Liz Sherman will be getting her own one-shot next month, titled The Dead Remembered, written by editor Scott Allie and drawn by Karl Moline (Buffy Season 8, Fray).

Speaking of Buffy and Angel, both series would be getting new number 1’s, with Buffy starting Season 9 in late September and Angel making its move from IDW in August. On Buffy, the editors noted that Season 8 had become a little unwieldy at 40 issues and that Season 9 would run around two years or 25 issues.

There was also a raft of The Guild news with series star Felicia Day in attendance. DH will be publishing a series of one-shots throughout the year, each co-written by Day and putting the spotlight on individual members of the series. The aim of the one-shots is to create a bridge between the characters’ origin stories and the beginning season 1 of the series. The Guild: Tink is the first one up with its release this week, sporting a cover by Peter Bagge, with interior art by 5 different artists to tell the story Tinkerballa and her many, many lies.

Following Tink, series director Sean Becker co-wrote an issue exploring the character of Bladezz, and in December, actor Sandeep Parikh will be scripting a one-shot about his character Zaboo leading directly into the first episode of Season 1.

Next up was certainly the most chaotic panel of the con, as Axe Cop co-creators Ethan and Malachi Nicolle took the stage to talk about their series, make robot noises, and give away candy. The 6-year-old Malachi seems almost entirely fueled by candy and raw imagination, and it’s easy to see how his unique voice is in part responsible for the creation of the book. Also, it was totally Malachi’s birthday. Series editor Shawna Gore explained that during the production of the series, she never sees scripts—just out of order pages sans dialog.

Gore also noted that the first trade was completely sold out and that a second printing was about to be a hard-to-find item as well, and Ethan said that he was currently brainstorming new crossover opportunities for the series including another one with Chris Hastings’ Dr. McNinja. Speaking of the good Doctor, Hastings' series will be getting published through Dark Horse starting in May.

Dark Horse is also currently running a miniseries based on the popular Mass Effect game series called Evolution which reveals the back story of the mysterious Illusive Man, which apparently has direct implications on the game. Finally, Scott Allie announced that Eric Powell’s The Goon would be returning with a bi-monthly schedule after its recent sporadic publication and Steve Niles’ Criminal Macabre will be coming back this summer.

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