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IDW Panel: 30 Days of Night, Godzilla, TMNT, Popeye, Code Word: Geronimo & More [Comic-Con]

Besides the exciting news of a Star Trek/Legion of Super-Heroes crossover written by Chris Roberson with art by Jeffrey and Phillip Moy (not to mention covers by Phil Jimenez), IDW Publishing shared with fans at Comic-Con International a number of other projects they can expect to see in the near future, including a new 30 Days of Night ongoing series; Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles by Kevin Eastman; Memorial, also by Chris Roberson; Monocyte by Menton3, Godzilla and much more.Rather than proceed through a standard slideshow, the IDW crew – led by Editor-in-Chief Chris Ryall and Director of Retail Marketing Dirk Wood – unveiled a colorful game wheel containing a number of subjects, titles and prizes for attendees to win. Among the prizes, Locke & Key temporary tattoos, handmade Locke & Key keys, a cameo in Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles where the winner was photographed as a model for TMNT co-creator and artist Kevin Eastman; free comics for all attendees; and a Locke & Key hardcover. When prizes ran out, attendees were given copies of Twilight turned in as part of IDW’s Sparkles for Blood campaign.

Steve Niles and Sam Keith will soon launch the first 30 Days of Night ongoing series. Niles explained that the series takes place 10 years after the original graphic novel and, as such, none of the characters of this series are aware of any events of the past. The cast will have to sort out what the vampires are up to, which includes some inter-vampire conflicts. Of Keith’s artwork, Niles said, “Sam’s doing some amazing stuff on it.”

Another new Chris Roberson project is Memorial. Featuring artwork by Rich Ellis, Memorial was described by Roberson as “a cross between Doctor Who and Sandman by way of Miyazaki. If that doesn’t appeal to you, there’s something wrong with you.” Memorial is envisioned as a series of miniseries like Locke & Key, and begins in February 2012.

The panel touched on the return of Kevin Eastman to Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles in a brand new series that he will co-plot and provide layouts for. The book will be scripted by Tom Waltz with finished art by Dan Duncan and debut in August.

Thom Zahler’s Love & Capes will return as a six-issue miniseries beginning in February. The book was recommended to IDW by legendary science fiction author Harlan Ellison, who reportedly said, “Love & Capes is the sweetest thing I’ve ever read, publish this god damn thing.”

Writer/artist Menton J. Matthews III aka Menton3 is working on Monocyte, a four-issue miniseries debuting in October. Written by Matthews with art by Kasra Ghanbari, the story is about “the horror of immortality.” Set far in the future, Monocyte finds Death with nothing to do and summoning a necromancer to bring balance back to the Earth. Menton3 said talking about Monocyte was “like trying to summarize Dune.” Ashley Wood provides cover art for issue #1 and Bill Sienkiewicz does issue #2.

Jack Avarice: The Courier was described as “James Bond meets Austin Powers meets Lord of the Rings and Back to the Future and everything that’s great and ’80s and fun.” The book was also compared to J. Scott Campbell’s Danger Girl. The five-issue series written, drawn, colored and lettered by Chris Madden will ship every week in November, with a trade paperback to follow shortly.

“This guy is a rising star in this business and you need to take a look at this book,” Ryall said. “It’s wonderful, funny writing and chock-full of action.”

Godzilla: Monster World is written by The Goon creator Eric Powell with Tracy Marsh. The duo struggled at first to devise a format for an ongoing Godzilla adventure, as opposed to the largely done-in-one style of the monster’s adventures, but eventually settled on a satirical tone. “It’s like Mad Max with monsters in it,” Powell said. Godzilla: Monster World will depict the process of society crumbling as Godzilla and his fellow monsters continue to fight each other. The art will be by Victor Santos, who replaces outgoing penciller Phil Hester.

A second Godzilla project, Gangsters and Goliath, was described as a Yakuza story with monsters in it. John Layman writes and Alberto Ponticelli draws the five-issue series. Issue #1 will come with a cover by Geof Darrow.

The IDW panelists were very excited about Dead Rising: Road to Fortune, a new four-issue miniseries that ties directly into the canon of Capcom’s popular zombie game series. Written by Waltz with art by Kenneth Loh, the comic takes place between Dead Rising 1 and Dead Rising 2: Case Zero, and it will specifically address the ambiguous ending of the former by picking up with Frank West and Isabella’s escape and what happens from there.

The panelists confirmed that the new Star Trek ongoing series will be supervised by screenwriter Roberto Orci and introduce characters and situations from the original Gene Roddenberry television series into the framework of the latest film by JJ Abrams. IDW’s comics will be the first stories of the film’s characters since its release.

Writer Joe R. Lansdale is at work adapting HP Lovecraft’s The Dunwich Horror for IDW, to be illustrated by Peter Bergting with covers by Menton3. The four-issue series is said to be more action-packed and exciting than Lovecraft readers might expect.

Steve Niles is working with Bernie Wrightson on Frankenstein: Alive, Alive, a sequel to the popular Mary Shelley adaptation created by Wrightson about 30 years ago. The book will take the form of a 13-issue miniseries to begin in 2012.

IDW’s Infestation event saw zombies invade the worlds of many of its licensed properties such as Ghostbusters, Star Trek, GI Joe and Transformers. Infestation 2 will find those properties interacting with each other and more: Danger Girl, TMNT, Weekly World News and Groom Lake will join the fray.

Steve Niles and Menton3 said that making jokes about the Infestation book ultimately led them to create Vampires Vs. Robots, about which little else was revealed.

Popeye will return to comics courtesy of IDW, whose co-founder and CEO Ted Adams will edit the series along with Craig Yoe. More details are forthcoming, but the project is meant to go on sale in early 2012.

The panelists also revealed that IDW is working on new comics starring KISS and The Crow.

IDW’s panel concluded with a presentation from Captain Dale Dye and his wife Julia Dye, Ph.D, about their work on Code Word: Geronimo, a graphic novel depiction of the U.S. military operation that resulted in the death of Osama Bin Laden. Dye, who is a veteran not just of the military but of Hollywood, where he’s consulted for and acted in many films and television series, said it was important to him that audiences see a dramatic telling of SEAL Team 6′s story because, in his words, “you have an extremely short attention span because you’re bombarded with media. What we’ve discovered is regardless of how well we do, you’re kind of like the Fox News cycle. It’s all over in 24 hours. We thought that was unfair to these terrific men who pulled off that raid.

“So how do we grab you? If we wait two years and write a big, in-depth tome, we’ve lost you. You won’t remember there was a raid. They said, try graphic novels. I said, oh god, what do you mean? The more we looked at it the more we discovered [a graphic novel] was a still-life movie. I’d written a lot of movies. We knew if we got it to you in the way that excites you, you would remember [SEAL Team 6].”

Dr. Dye added, “The raid came from more than one administration. From Democrats and Republicans and Libertarians. It came from Americans. We want to celebrate that.”

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