C2E2 has invaded Chicago and we’re liveblogging the “Making Comics the Avatar Way” panel, which should be kicking off momentarily. Get ready to start hitting reload.
Jim Kuhoric looks to be doing this solo.
They start from the point of what the other publishers won’t let the creators do.
It’s not all extreme, but that’s one niche they fill with fans.
“Extinction Parade” Max Brooks on Vampires vs. Zombies is coming up. It’s his take on vampires as aristocrats. It will come out before the World War Z movie.
Q: What’s the take on new technology on comics?
A: You can use digital or traditional methods. Digital art can save a little time, but they do both. Lettering is all digital.
Q: What about Garth Ennis and Dicks?
A: There’s a new series, he’s seen scripts, but it hasn’t been scheduled yet. More Ennis to come later in the year.
Garth came back to Crossed to launch the ongoing. They’re trying to bring new talent on it.
Garth has a sci-fi book with a horror twist this summer. (An alien vibe.) A war story is coming up. Something in the vein of “Beasts of Burden.” Q3/Q4.
Garth is writing/directed Crossed webisodes, with an eye on a film. Original webcomics will accompany those.
Uber is doing well for them. Hitler unleashes supersoldiers towards the end of the war.
Kieren Gillen is also doing a title for them called “The Heat” that will be announced this summer.
Extinction Parade is based on a short story Brooks wrote that he’s expanding. 11 issues at this point. He has some more projects in the hopper.
George R.R. Martin is working on something original and superhero-related for them.
Sequel to Absolution in the works.
New Alan Moore book, “Providence” is in the works. A sequel to Necronomicon.
Boundless was the “Lady Death imprint.” It’s on hiatus. They’re going to relaunch it as an imprint and set of titles early next year.
Back to Q&A
Q: How do you get creators?
A: Sometimes they seek them out, sometime they’re approached. They’ll talk to anyone.
It’s good to come in with a plan, but you don’t necessarily need to come in with an artist. The hardest part is connecting with who you’re dealing with. Connecting with the editor is half the battle. Also know what sort of thing a publisher does (giving a unicorn portfolio to Avatar is given as an example of a mismatch).
Q: Do you need to have a collaborator?
A: You need to be able to show what you’re trying to do. To show them your vision.
Q: Question of art style.
A: The owner has a specific mindset, so it’s easier to bring something like what they do, but they’re open to other styles.
Q: More stuff from Warren Ellis?
A: It’s all about what his schedule allows for. They have a great relationship with him.
Q: Who would you like to see on Crossed?
A: Tim Seeley. Max Brooks. They have two years worth in the pipeline.
Q: Have you turned down anything for being too extreme?
Q: How heavy is the editing?
A: Fairly hands off, but correcting little things like Fahrenheit instead of Celsius if the book is set in the U.S. Sometimes they’re a sounding board.
Q: Creator writes question
A: It’s all spelled out in the contract. They mix and match between creator-owned and work for hire.
Q: Do you work with agented creators?
A: Sometimes. Lawyers want to get the most money for the clients, so just as long as everyone understands what the money pool really is.
Q: Why don’t you do more mainstream stuff?
A: The owner says people know what Avatar is and what Avatar does.
Todd Allen wears a lot of hats. At various times he’s been (alphabetically), a bouncer, college professor, humor columnist, Internet producer and an NBA/WNBA Beat Writer, among other things. He’s the author of Economics of Digital Comics. You should probably read it.