Cup o' Joe logoAs is now customary, Joe Quesada's "Cup o' Joe" panel on Friday began with several exclusive Comic-Con announcements regarding upcoming Marvel titles and creators.

The first of these was the announcement that artist Phil Jimenez has signed exclusively with Marvel, and will soon be applying his talents to a certain wall-crawler.

Next up was the announcement that Marvel has extended their relationship with Top Cow so fans can expect Marc Silvestri to be doing more for the company in the future.

Aspiring artists will be excited to hear that Marvel announced ChesterQuest, an international talent search "for the best talent the world has to offer" according to C.B. Cebulski, who is overseeing the program. Cebulski guarantees that by the end of the six-month search, twelve new pencilers will have been hired at Marvel. The artwork of the talent search winners will be first showcased at the NY Comic-Con in 2008.

The fourth announcement was the one that was most exciting to me. Taking over from Joss Whedon and Michael Ryan on Runaways in January will be Strangers in Paradise's Terry Moore along with artist Humberto Ramos. Moore was not on hand, but his own spotlight panel occurred immediately following the Marvel announcement and you can read about his plans for Runaways (and much more) in my report on that panel.

A few exchanges of note occurred in the audience Q&A, the first of which was that Orson Scott Card's Ultimate Iron Man 2 will "hopefully, hopefully be out next year."

Playing to his crowd, Quesada took a shot at the Distinguished Competition while gloating over Marvel's victory in the annual SDCC softball game. Of their 18-9 trouncing of DC, Quesada quipped, "a margin almost as wide as our market share." Ouch!

Quesada mentioned that there are discussions underway regarding the launch of a series of genre titles (horror and hardboiled crime were specifically referenced), which is something that may come together over the next few months. Marvel is currently considering packaging and formats which would be attractive to bookstores as well as to comic shops.

On a final note, in response to a fan's question regarding the status of the infamously delayed Hulk vs. Wolverine mini-series from Lost scribe Damon Lindelof, Quesada replied that he "just got another script from Damon two weeks ago and the next one should be coming soon." Release dates won't be set, however, until the sixth and final script is in hand. In conclusion, Quesada referenced the rumored upcoming Hollywood writers strike by saying, "if that happens, I'm on his doorstep."