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Vertigo Goes Same-Day Digital, Announces Paul Cornell’s ‘Saucer Country’ [NYCC 2011]

Vertigo came to NYCC armed with a few announcements and plenty of updates this year, including news that many of its ongoing titles will accelerate its transition to a simultaneous digital and print release schedule beginning in November and continuing through 2012. The panel also broke news that Saucers, a series by Paul Cornell and Ryan Kelly that Cornell described on Twitter as “…The West Wing does The X-Files. It’s about a Presidential candidate who’s ‘abducted by aliens’…” adding, “Saucer Country is about the richness of UFO mythology and all its beautiful and chilling permutations.”Vertigo editors Karen Berger, Shelly Bond and Will Dennis were at the panel as well as creators Jason Aaron (Scalped), Jeff Lemire (Sweet Tooth), Scott Snyder (American Vampire), Douglas Rushkoff (A.D.D.), Chris Roberson (iZombie), Selwyn Hinds (Voodoo Child) Phil Jimenez (Fairest), Rebecca Guay (A Flight of Angels), Marzena Sowa and Sylvain Savoia (Marzi).

Berger announced that Vertigo would continue its process of transitioning series to release books same day digital as print. Beginning with Sweet Tooth #26, which is available now. Vertigo will be making books available as new storylines launch rather than starting same day digital releases mid-arc. According to The Source, the release schedule will flow as follows:

· SWEET TOOTH starting with issue #26 available now
· SPACEMAN the new mini-series by Brian Azzarello and artist Eduardo Risso will launch with issue #1 on sale Oct. 26. This exciting new series featuring award-winning talent will be available for a special price of $.99 – a first for digital pricing that makes this series a “can’t miss” event.
· THE UNWRITTEN beginning with #31 on sale Nov. 9
· iZOMBIE beginning with issue #19 on sale Nov. 16
· THE UNWRITTEN .5 issues beginning with #31.5 on sale Nov. 23
· FABLES beginning with the special holiday issue #112 on sale Dec. 21
· AMERICAN VAMPIRE beginning with issue #22 on sale Dec. 28
· HELLBLAZER beginning with issue #287 on sale Jan. 18

The panel then transitioned to talking about Vertigo’s upcoming titles, including A.D.D., Saucer Country, Marzi, Voodoo Child, Gone to Amerikay, Fairest, Spaceman and A Flight of Angels.

A.D.D.
Coming out at the end of January is a new book written by Douglas Rushkoff. The book is a way for Rushkoff to delve into his major area of interest, examining the societal ramifications of new media and new technology. A.D.D. follws a group of kids raised from birth to be video game testers, and examines how Attention Deficit Disorder might become an adaptive strategy rather than a bug in a situation that requires someone to break through the constant control of an entertainment.

Saucer Country
Writer Paul Cornell and artist Ryan Kelly are teaming up on this newly announced series described as “The West Wing meets The X-Files”. It follows the Mexican-American Governor of New Mexico Arcadia Alvarado. Her abduction by aliens on the eve of her presidential campaign changes her outlook on why she needs to become President. But leads the public to question her sanity. The series comes out in February.

Marzi
Writer Marzena Sowa’s autobiographical tale of her childhood in communist Poland is told through a series of vignettes illustrated by Sylvain Savoia. First published in France, the book is intended to appeal to readers of all ages.

Voodoo Child
Hinds talked at length about his new series which explores both the real life New Orleans and a supernatural mirror run by a court of voodoo demigods. The series follows a young woman framed for the post-Hurricane Katrina New Orleans murder of the queen of the voodoo court as she attempts to clear her name. Hines compared his take on Voodoo to Mike Carey’s take on Christianity in Lucifer, presenting its demigods as an Olympian-pantheon like cast of characters.

Gone to Amerikay
Writer Derek McCulloch and artist Colleen Doran’s graphic novel will be coming out in March. It follows three generations of Irish immigrants whose lives are intertwined by a mystery.

Fairest
Artist Phil Jimenez was on hand to talk about his work on the first arc of Fairest, the upcoming Fables spin-off title. Jimenez will team with writer Bill Willingham for the book’s first arc, a tale of Ali Baba and Sleeping Beauty. The series, with covers by Adam Hughes, begins in February of 2012.

Spaceman
Brian Azzarello and Eduardo Risso’s new nine-issue semi-monthly sci-fi series comes out with its first book at the end of October. The first issue will be sold for $1 in print and $0.99 digitally. Azzarello encouraged the crowd to “Do Vertigo a favor and make it outsell Justice League“, which drew huge applause from the audience.

A Flight of Angels
Fantasy painter Rebecca Guay brought together a team of artists to tell stories about angels, framed around a group of fairies who discover an injured angel and hold a tribunal to determine whether he should be saved or killed. Guay’s painted style changes from piece to piece to match stories bright and dark set in times from an ancient past to the present. The anthology releases November 2nd.

The panel then gave updates on current titles, including The Unwritten, Scalped, Fables, iZombie, Sweet Tooth and American Vampire.

The Unwritten
Mike Carey and Peter Gross’ series begins shipping twice a month for ten issues with the “Tommy Taylor and the War of the Words” arc. Whole numbered issues will follow protagonist Tommy’s fight against the cabal. While .1 numbered issues will be one-offs by a team of guest artists that focus on the supporting characters of the book.

Scalped
Scalped continues to build to its 60th and final issue, as the penultimate arc “Knuckle Down” ends and gives way to the final six issue arc, entitled “Last Trail.”

Fables
Berger excitedly invited readers to keep following Bill Willingham’s series that’s “better than those ripoff TV series”. Issue 112, an extended length Christmas special, will be the first same day digital release for Fables.

iZombie
Roberson was on hand to talk about the upcoming new arc. Which will include the series calming down after its recent big conflicts and a date for Spot following his life-changing personal discovery.

Sweet Tooth
Matt Kindt is taking over art duties from Lemire for a three issue arc to give Lemire time to write his DC Universe books. The three-issue flashback arc will reveal the origin of the book’s mysterious killer plague. Lemire comes back to art duties for issue 29, and is currently seeing the series as going on from 40-45 issues in length, although that’s not definite at this point.

American Vampire
The series’ next new arc will take the story to the 1950s, which Scott Snyder admits is a favorite time period for him and which will be the setting for several arcs. The first four-issue arc is framed around a Rebel Without a Cause-esque car race over a cliff and will introduce a new character, a rockabilly punk vampire hunter who bites vampires back with a set of carved wooden fangs.

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