Over drinks Saturday night, Paul Pope shared his passionate belief in the importance of quality all-ages comics, soPaul Pope's Battling Boy it's no surprise that his next major work will be just such an endeavor. He's busily writing and drawing Battling Boy, to be published by First Second. He also shared his concept of graphic singles to complement graphic albums – expect to hear more about that soon. Finally, Pope confirmed that director Stephen Daldry's Kavalier and Clay movie (for which he'd been working on what would be the on-screen comics content) currently remains in development limbo.

Speaking of Paul Pope, what promised to be a terrific panel this morning, "NYCC Comics School: Form vs. Function," featuring Pope, Matt Madden and Jason Little discussing the formal dynamics of making comics with moderator Calvin Reid of Publishers Weekly Comics Week ended up being one of the (few) disappointments of an excellent con. The panel was disappointing not because it didn't live up to its promise, but because -with the sole exception of its moderator- the program organizers neglected to notify the participants that they'd even been scheduled for the panel. Reid engaged the sizeable crowd in a lively discussion for twenty-five minutes before calling the game on account of, well, no team having been fielded.

Speaking with DC marketing veep John Cunningham at the DC booth this afternoon, he remarked that no disasters had befallen them, thus it had been a good show. To which I replied, "well, except for your fearless leader's gaffe yesterday." Cunningham surprised me with his response, restoring an air of mystery to the 52 finale: "If you recall, the question was about two characters, and in his confusion, Dan said 'yes' ... but only one of those two is true." So, let the speculation begin: Who's returning to the land of the living, Barry Allen or Jason Todd? Comics Alliance is betting it all on Barry.

New releases announced at the Wildstorm/CMX panel included: Alan Moore: Wild World collection, collecting all of Moore's WildCats, Spawn, Voodoo, Deathblow and more, wrapped in a cover by Michael Golden; Gon returns this July, in a slightly different format; Samurai Commando, I Hate You More than Anyone, and King of Cards were among the other forthcoming new CMX releases; Danger Girls: Body Shots is due in April; Grant Morrison and Jim Lee's WildCats #2 is actually coming up – Morrison and Lee are purportedly "getting back on track" schedule-wise with the book this year"; an Absolute volume collecting all of the Jim Lee WildCats is in the planning stages; an announcement regarding The Boys is expected "in the next week or so"; and for news on Ex Machina and a surprise title which Brian K. Vaughan has written, check out my BKV spotlight post.

My opening Friday report ended with a rather creepy image. Allow me to make up for that now by wrapping up my report of the final day of the 2007 NYCC with just about as uplifting and hopeful an anecdote for which one could hope. Some thirty minutes before the show closed, as I was waiting for Dooley so we could make a final run through artist's alley, I was fortunate enough to witness the following scene, which literally unfolded right in front of me: A young boy, maybe five years old, is walking out of the show holding hands with his father, who has two bags of loot draped over his shoulder. The young boy excitedly says to his dad, "every year" and, for added emphasis, repeats himself, "every year." His dad, beaming all the while, replies, "Every year, we'll come back. You and me, buddy."

Ain't comics great?