By David Nieves
Aspen Comics beat their own drum through the walls of Hall 9 today at SDCC. Panelsts included EIC Vince Hernandez, Beth Sotelo, Siya Oum, Jordan Gunderson, Giuseppe Cafaro, T.G Roberts, J.T Krul, Josh Reed, and Scott Lobdell. Festivities were led as usual by Frank Mastromro and Peter Steigerwald, kicking off with the traditional thunderous “aloha”.
While the company didn’t have a ton of new announcements, the panel went through much of their current offerings. Damsels in Excess was up first, written by Vince the book has exclusive SDCC covers that will be available through their online store in limited quantities. The Siya cover is the gorgeous and we’ll post the file in a bit.
That led into Siya talking about her book Lola xoxo. Her upcoming plans include a spinoff volume called “Wasteland Madam”. Afterwards an official volume 2 will be released but not solid dates were given for either book.
Peter Steigerwald’s long awaited Zoo hunters was once again teased. In Peter fashion once again “it’ll be out soon”.
Last years hit Jirni came back with a new volume. Writer J.T Krul promises more danger and excitement with a Conan like story in the upcoming final acts of the chapter. The collected edition for volume 1 will be available soon.
Seven to Die is the new Aspen novel by T.G Roberts. Her pitch for the story was a tale about a huge universe but focusing on the adventure of a girl exploring her new found mystic items.
Fathom has a Halloween comic called*Fathom: Adventures of Ernie. A coloring book for kids, Aspen is attempting to reach out beyond their young adult audience. Like the family they are he group chimed in saying, “Vince is still trying to solve the puzzles inside.”
Soulfire and Fathom will have big plans soon to be announced for next year. But they are putting out Marvel style source books for both the properties. The books are to get readers of their newer properties who don’t pick up the flagship line an enticing blueprint of their properties.
Another one of the more popular 10 -for-10 books, Legend of the Shadow Clan will get a brand new volume. No new updates were given on the EA Iris movie.
Dellec Volume 2 will come to retail this year. Once again Vince and Frank will be working together on the book. Shrugged also has plans to return but neither has a solid launch date.
A big announcement about the entire Aspen library will be made next month but today a deal was finalized with the digital publisher Madefire. More details need to be discussed but it looks like the entire Aspen library will get a fancy digital tratment. A Fathom mobile game is in the works. Aspen just signed a deal with a development firm to flesh out some new video games based on Aspen’s properties.
The lively audience Q&A closed their panel. Among some of the topics discussed were the company’s view of female characters. All of the panelist seemed to agree that it’s what they’re mostly known for to most people and sometimes that hurts sales among male readers. In Peter’s view male or female a good story is a good story.
One thing that we brought up was with the return of NBC’s *Heroes* would we see new digital transmedia material from the publisher or possibly bring back some of the old material. It’s a possibility but they would have to have talks with the network first.
Aspen’s panel was about to do their aloha send off when Scott Lobdell asked the crowd if they wanted to see an Avengers like book at Aspen Comics. Naturally everyone said damn right Scott! So it looks like we might get an announcement on something even newer from the publisher soon.
In last year’s SDCC Souvenir Book, a piece that I wrote for Aspen Comics 10 year anniversary made it in. It was an honor to be able to contribute to the celebration of their success and I’m awed that they recognized me for it during this year’s panel.