Panelology: San Diego CCI 2009 Round Up

by Brandon

In case you have been buried under a stack of Alpha Flight comics the past few days, The San Diego Comic Con wrapped up this past weekend. This weekend marked a huge landmark for the convention. Comic-Con International turned 40 this year. While the focus on comic books has been lessened in recent years by the influx of other media such as television, movies, and video games, there was plenty of comic book news to be had by all.

Welcome to the 21st Century!
While comic book news updates during big conventions like CCI are hardly a new thing, the pace at which updates hit the Internet this year was bordering on frantic. In addition to comic book news sites, social networking sites like Facebook and Twitter also were alight with constant updates. Contributing to the insane amount of up-to-the-second updates was the fact that iGoogle provided free wireless throughout the convention hall. Though some fans reported spotty reception, those of not in attendance were plenty happy with the deluge of updates we received throughout the weekend.

Also in 21st Century news, it appears Dark Horse will be releasing some of their Star Wars titles for download on the ever popular iPhone. Dark Horse will start out modestly by releasing three stories from their back catalogue. Stories from Empire, Legacy, and Clone Wars will be released first. If all goes well, expect more iPhone comics from Dark Horse in the future. I guess the impact of this announcement really depends on two things. One, do you like Star Wars? Two, and more importantly, do you have an iPhone? If you're like me, an iPhone is really beyond the realm of my interest. I'm going to be interested in seeing how well this program works. And why only Star Wars? Dark Horse has plenty of great books. It just seems odd that these stories would be the one they would pursue. But congratulations to Dark Horse for pushing their technology experiments one step further!

The trend appears to be continuing throughout the medium as well. CBR has an interesting look at the prevalence of digital comics. The future is here, or at least it's coming. These new developments could be tempting especially if they cost less than $4 an issue.

The announcement from Marvel that they own the rights to Mick Anglo's Marvelman is without a doubt the biggest news to come out of CCI. Hand's down. I'd dare any DC, Image, or indie fanboy or fangirl to give a comparable story. Anything? Yeah, I didn't think so. The announcement has left readers with more questions than answers. What does this mean for the Alan Moore and Neil Gaiman Marvelman/Miracleman stories? Will there be new material soon? How many reprints can fans expect? Regardless of the questions, it is damn exciting news to hear that new Marvelman material will be coming down the pike despite years of legal wrangling. I'll comment more on this issue later this week.

Kirkman's Progress
I believe Robert Kirkman has already arrived as a major creative force, but if anyone needed any more proof, just take a look at his presence at CCI this year. While news of the end of his Astonishing Wolf Man comic saddened many fans, that sadness was eventually washed away by some interesting preview art for Haunt from Todd McFarlane. Whether you love Todd or loathe him (personally, I'm more the latter), this book at least sounds interesting. With Kirkman backing up the Toddster on writing duties, I think this will sell like hotcakes when it finally sees the light of day in October.

Vertigo Commits to Crime
An odd, yet welcome, announcement came from DC/Vertigo that they will be making a new crime line. Listen to the audio podcast from the panel by clicking here. In a way, I'm glad to see Vertigo putting an emphasis on the crime genre. This is the perfect place for a new focus like this. However, was it really necessary to create a new alternative comic book line within an already established alternative comic book line? DC doesn't exactly have a great track record with this type of line. Remember Helix? Paradox? Piranha? Minx? Focus? Yeah... Vertigo has already had some strong crime comics in the past. It's just a bit odd that they would want to underline it even more. Vertigo is an established name within the medium. Adding the title "Crime" to it doesn't really do anything besides giving it a cosmetic boost.

Dark Reigning on the Blackest Night
Did you know DC has a huge event going on right now involving all of the ROY G. BIV color spectrum called Blackest Night? Did you know Marvel has a mega non-event event going on right now called Dark Reign? Sweet. Jesus. The guys at DC could hardly shut the hell up about the damn event. Same with Marvel. You couldn't throw a stone at the convention without hearing about Blackest Night or Dark Reign. I mean, Sweet Jesus! Guys, I know you're the professionals and all, but this just seems like a situation of the tail wagging the dog instead of the other way around. Can't we just tell good stories without there being a thousand tie-ins?

The Mandalorians Are a' Coming!
The second season of Star Wars: Clone Wars had a new preview trailer that was premiered at CCUI this past weekend. In a word, I would have to say it was awesome. If I had to use two words, I would probably say it was flipping awesome. It looks as if the handlers for the television show are doing all they can to bring a darker feel to this season. The bounty hunter angle looks to figure in heavily to this season's plot. Oh, and there were Mandalorians.

That's not all folks!
It really isn't all! These were just the highlights as I saw them. There were tons of media presentations from television, movies, and video games represented here that I just don't give a rat's ass about. You might, you sick and twisted reader, you. Be sure to check out San Diego Comic Con International's website for more details on the actual convention. Newsarama, Comic Book Resources, IGN, and Bleeding Cool also have a plethora of CCI news for your viewing pleasure. Be sure to check those sites out for exhaustive coverage of the comings and goings of CCI.

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