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A Happy Ending for ‘Sweet Tooth’, ‘Punk Rock Jesus’… And The Return Of Neil Gaiman’s ‘Sandman’ [Vertigo Panel [SDCC]

DC Entertainment’s final panel of the day focused on the Vertigo imprint, moderated by editor Karen Berger and featuring creators Sean Muprhy, Mike Allred, Rafael Albuquerque, Mark Buckingham,, Mike Carey, Jeff Lemire, Dan Abnett, Bill Willingham, Scott Snyder, and Dustin Nguyen, as well as editors Shelly Bond and Will Dennis. Sean Murphy discussed his Punk Rock Jesus series, Jeff Lemire promised a “not sad” ending to Sweet Tooth, and this guy named Neil Gaiman is doing a prequel to a comic book he started in 1989 called Sandman with J.H. Williams III.

No, really.Scott Snyder kicked the panel off by recapping much of what he said at DC All Access about American Vampire, while artists Rafael Albuquerque and Dustin Nguyen discussed their attempts to focus on atmosphere and storytelling.

Sean Murphy wasn’t present when the slide came up, but his Punk Rock Jesus was described as a science fiction story about a clone of Jesus who becomes a punk rocker. Berger is editing the series herself, and she stated that despite the imagery and name, it’s at its core a very sweet story about a boy and his mother, even more than religion or punk rock. When he came, Murphy spoke more about the book, describing it as being about religion and science and politics, and playing up the reality-show aspect, since this Jesus clone will be raised on a reality show. He stated he was going for a “higher nutritional content” with this book.

On Anthony Bourdain, Joel Rose and Langdon Foss’s Get Jiro!, she stated that Bourdain is a huge comic book fan. The story takes place in a futuristic Los Angeles ruled by chef warlords, with Jiro as a new chef in town, and operates as a send-up of modern foodie culture.

The “Cubs in Toyland” arc is continuing in Fables. Buckingham stated that his favorite of all of the cubs is Ambrose, but he also finds Blossom interesting due to being the closest to the natural world. The Werewolves of the Heartland OGN that Willingham is doing with Craig Hamilton and Jim Fern will finally be coming out on November 14.

The second arc of Fairest will be written by Lauren Beukes, a science fiction writer from South Africa, and will focus on Rapunzel, developed with Willingham in a consulting capacity as the curator of the Fables line.

Karen Berger also introduced Mat Johnson and Andrea Mutti’s graphic novel Right State, which is about an assassination attempt on the second black president of the United States. Dan Abnett discussed not wanting to do a story about vampires and zombies, but the story came to him anyway, built off of the idea of a zombie apocalypse in the 1860s leading to an English state where the upper classes elect to become vampires to deal with a world of zombies.

A four-cover triptych leading up to the final issue of Sweet Tooth, #40, was shown, with Lemire not commenting on the conclusion of the series other than pointing out that he comes up with his endings first, and that it’s “not a sad ending.”

Michael Allred spoke about the conclusion of iZombie, crediting Roberson’s long-form plotting and stating that, as a whole, the book hangs together incredibly well.

Neil Gaiman then delivered a prerecorded message discussing the lines from the beginning of the eighth issue of Sandman, as well as a panel from the Brief Lives trade paperback, where Morpheus is returning from a distant galaxy and is then trapped by Burress, leading up to the beginning of Sandman #1. In November 2013, to celebrate the 25th anniversary of the first issue of Sandman, Neil Gaiman will release a project with J.H. Williams III that explains what happened to Morpheus before the first issue of Sandman.

Williams then came out on the stage to effusively talk about how excited he is to work on this project (very). Berger claimed there are many surprises planned for the story — some of which she herself doesn’t know yet — and she, Williams and, well, the entire room pretty much seem over the moon about the fact that a new serialized Neil Gaiman Sandman comic is a thing that will exist.

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