SDCC: Vertigo: Defy Panel

DC Comics‘ Vertigo imprint has been through some big shakeups lately, with longtime Executive Editor Karen Berger leaving and Shelly Bond taking the helm. They’ve also announced a whole slew of new books in the last few weeks.

Now, at San Diego Comic-Con, Vertigo’s top talent sat down to talk about what’s happening for the DC’s cutting-edge wing. The panel included Shelly Bond, Scott Snyder (The Wake, American Vampire, a little title called Batman), Jeff Lemire (TrilliumAnimal Man, Justice League Dark), Mark Buckingham (Fables, the upcoming Deadboy Detectives), Mark Andreyco (the upcoming Fairest arc), Sean E. Williams (the current Fairest arc), Simon Oliver (Collider), editor Mark Doyle, and Vertigo group editor Will Dennis.

Casual mention was made of the new Sandman: Overture, although that series has its own panel coming on Saturday.

Scott Snyder talked about the American Vampire anthology coming in August. He said the story Becky Cloonan contributes to the book involves Skinner Sweet lurking around a movie set in the golden age of cinema. Other stories take place in the Jazz Age and in the 40s. Snyder mentioned he might be susceptible to giving spoilers because he woke up early to fly in from New York. Gail Simone‘s story will focus on Hattie.

Scott next thanked everyone for the success of The Wake, saying he had long want to work with Sean Murphy, and just needed the right project. The series focuses on topics that are important to Snyder, such as loneliness and why we are here.

Jeff Lemire talked again about Trillium (coming August #7). He’s experimenting with different styles, including watercolor. Every page of the first flipbook issue mirrors the opposite page.

Shelly read a message from the absent Bill Willingham (Fables) which joked that he was declaring war on Jeff Lemire because Canada still has Twinkies before thinking all his fans. From there, Bond and Buckingham discussed, the upcoming Fables storylines, “Camelot”, which focuses on Rose Red’s role as a paladin of hope and her efforts to establish a new Camelot. They also reiterated that Fables #134, which features Bigby and Boy Blue on the cover, is an actual story with those characters, not a dream sequence.

Mark Buckingham also talked about The Deadboy Detectives. The series will take time to get to know the characters, who have previously only appeared in short arcs, which focused on individual cases. There will also be a young tech-savvy girl detective (no mention of wrather she is dead too).

“The Unwritten Fables” arc of The Unwritten allows writers and artists from each series to collaborate with each other. Both series are suited to mixing characters because of the metafictional qualities.

Sean E. Williams said someone dies in every issue of his arc of Fairest, “The Return of the Maharaja”.

The next Fairest arc will focus on Cinderella, and be written by Mark Andreyco with art by Shawn McManus. Dickory the mouse will also play a large role in the story.

The upcoming Fairest: In All the Land graphic novel  is a murder story told by the magic mirror. Phil Noto, Adam Hughes, Tony Akins, Buckingham, Fiona Ming, and others will contribute to the book.

Simon Oliver talked about his book, Collider, coming July 31. He emphasized that in the world of the book, the breakdown in the laws of physics is very public; everyone is aware, and must adapt. Scott Snyder said he wanted to “shill” for the series. He has read the first three issues and described situations where gravity is suspended in a high school and where a pocket universe is forming in the middle of Minnesota.

Bond moved on to The Witching Hour, the new Vertigo anthology coming in October. Will Dennis emphasized the role of anthologies in calling attention to new creators and voices.

Coffin Hill, by Caitlin Kittredge with art by Inaki Miranda, is also coming in October. The concept is, “What if the Kennedy curse extended all the way back to the Salem witch trials?” It focuses on a society girl who unlocks a curse that destroys her town.

Will Dennis talked about several other series:

Hinterkind has been in the works for a number of years. It’s a post-apocalyptic story where the last remnants of humanity are losing touch with each other. When they venture out, they discover that the old creatures — fairies, orcs, dragons — have all reemerged. These tribes do not necessarily get along with each other.

The Discipline, by Peter Milligan, was wryly compared to “Downton Abbey”. It taps into the popularity of dark erotic fiction. It’s an adventure story which explores “dark sexual themes.”

Suiciders, by Lee Bermejo, is coming in December. It’s Bermejo’s first time writing and drawing a monthly series. It takes place in a post-apocalyptic Los Angeles (the rest of the country is fine, but cuts L.A. loose). This society creates a series of gladiator style games. Dennis described it as mixing our current fascination with celebrities with a “Mad Max” style setting.

We’ll have more from SDCC tomorrow.

Zac Boone spent two hours yesterday sitting obliviously next the cast of Teen Wolf. Follow him on twitter.