NYCC 2012: Vertigo Panel Announces New Titles And More

After a relatively slow period for DC’s boutique arm Vertigo, the imprint had some big announcements at New York Comic Con, as well as more talk about some of their upcoming projects. On the panel were writers Bill Willingham (Fables), Jeff Lemire (Sweet Tooth), Brian Azzarello (Spaceman), and Scott Snyder (American Vampire), artists R.M. Guera (Scalped, Django Unchained) and Ryan Kelley (Saucer Country), all moderated by Executive Editor Karen Berger.

Things kicked off with Snyder talking about American Vampire, and that the title will be taking a “definite” hiatus as the series hits its mid-point. The book will take a year off while they get ahead on the art and writing; though the team will work together on some minis and one-shots, as well as working together on some main DCU projects. The last issue will be #34, followed by the (slightly less than a year) long break. between #34, and the next issue, there will also be a massive time-jump.

The other reason for the break is that Snyder will be doing a mini-series with Sean Murphy called “The Wake.” We’ll have a chat with Snyder about this up soon (if not already), but the pitch is that it’s a horror sci-fi story about human evolution that takes place on the bottom of the ocean.

Moving on to Fables, Willingham plugged that after a “downer” story arc, the next one will be a bit lighter, and titled, “Snow White.” Naturally, it’ll focus on Snow White, leading up another downer in issue #125. There’s also an original graphic novel called “Werewolves of the Heartland,” coming soon that focuses on Bigby Wolf. “Most of it you get from the cover,” joked Willingham. “It’s Bigby, he’s fighting werewolves, he’s in the heartland.”

Next up was Sweet Tooth, with Berger showing off the cover to the final issue. “I’ve always known the ending of this story, this chapter has always been fully formed in my head,” said Lemire, adding that it’s a double-sized issue at forty pages.

Then it was time for another announcement: Lemire will be writing and drawing a new series called ‘Trillium,’ which we’ll again have another chat about in a moment. The ten issue maxi-series is about “The last love story ever told,” following two narratives: one in the future, and the other during World War I. The characters in both time periods meet, fall in love, and destroy the universe.

Turning to Spaceman and the dialect used in the book, Azzarello said he’s interested in how language sounds, and evolves. “I like how you speak,” said Azzarello. “I don’t always like what you have to say, but I like to listen to you.”

Then for some cool news, starting in issue #50 of The Unwritten, some of those characters will end up in the world of Fables, for five issues. The “Event” will be contained in Unwritten, but readers will want to be caught up with Fables, said Willingham, who promptly left (he had another panel).

Berger then showed off some art from Joe Kubert’s very last story, which will be in the upcoming anthology “Ghosts.” The story was written – and drawn – by Kubert shortly before he passed away.

Guera then talked about the Django Unchained comic. The first chapter will be out before the movie, with the next four chapters coming out over the next few months. Jason Latour will be doing a flashback issue, with each issue stretching over 35-40 pages each. Guera also noted that they’ll be making some departures from the movie, and delving more into the character of Django. Berger also showed off a variant cover for the first issue by Jim Lee.

Then it was time to talk the Sandman prequel, which drew big applause from the audience. However, other than showing off the cover in the correct orientation (it was misaligned in San Diego), there wasn’t much new to say. Berger did note that it takes place before Sandman #1, when the character has been through a “devastating war in the cosmos.” Berger added that we’ll see the Endless in the book – as well as their parents.

Then it was time for some Q&A! Here’s the highlights:

– On what will happen in Hellblazer #250, Berger was mum, but said it would be big.

– When asked about doing more Vertigo books, the hilariously cranky Azzarello, who had been chiding the audience for not picking up Spaceman all panel long, yelled, “Buy my f**king books!” As the laughter died down, the fan who asked shouted, “I bought Before Watchmen for you!” Again, to huge laughs from the audience. We do have fun at these, don’t we?

– Asked about merchandise, Berger said she would talk to DC marketing about a stuffed animal Sweet Tooth. No joke.

And that was it! See you soon, friends.