It seems that at every major comic convention, IDW is afresh with announcements of new comic releases, media growth, and more. This year is no different, as the publisher and media company is eager to share all manner of information regarding a number of upcoming titles, as well as their mysterious collaborative imprint with Shelly Bond, known only so far as Black Crown.
Collected at this Year’s IDW panel are: Sarah Gaydos, group editor; David Hedgecock, Editor-in-Chief; Chris Ryall, Chief Creative Officer; And Scott Tipton, writer of comics such as Star Trek; Aubrey Sitterson, writer of comcis such as G.I. Joe. Chris Ryall began by discussing some of the companies exciting new releases. “Have anyone read Locke and Key by Gabriel Rodriguez?” he asked. The series in question is, in my opinion, fantastic and visually mesmerizing. “He has a story of his own that he is very excited for, and so are we. It’s called Sword of Ages.” The story of Sword of Ages follows that of Excalibur, “the sword of legend.” Before King Arthur, and before the sword is ever placed in stone, the sword belongs to a faraway planet, years and years before it makes it’s way to Earth. Ryall added “It’s unlike anything he’s done before.” IDW is hoping for an October release.
Following digital comic trends, it appears IDW will be soon getting an app on Microsoft’s XBOX One consoles. Sarah Gaydos said that this will be more of a “soft-release,” as more additions and changes will be rolling out for it after its eventual release. No other information about the app is currently available, but more will be made known in the days leading up to its sometime release this year.
Utilizing its vast access to the Hasbro franchise universe, David Hedgecock discussed how IDW will be launching this July Rom VS. Transformers: Shining Armor. The older franchise character will finally cross paths with other metallic beings unlike himself. Hedgecock also said that, “There will be an introduction of a new, important character in the Hasbro mythos.”
For the world of G.I. Joe, Aubrey Sitterson had much to say on his comic. “G.I. Joe is the oldest Hasbro franchise… wait, no. I was once CORRECTED by someone, who told me it is actually Mr. Potato Head who is the oldest franchise.” After some bantering and kidding about an impeding Mr. Potato Head comic, Sitterson went on. “Let’s just say G.I. Joe is ONE of the oldest franchises… When I got this project, I just saw how [it] didn’t quite fit anymore with the other Hasbro universes.” To rectify this, it was decided on that big changes would be made to the comic, both in story and visuals. “We are working on re-workings of many of the character’s looks, the comic’s colors, the artwork in general… we even have a Transformer on the G.I. Joe team now.” So far, three issues are out for the comic, with of course plans of more to soon follow.
The biggest and most anticipated news of the panel however was that regarding the mysterious Black Crown, a branding collaboration with IDW and the industry fixture Shelly Bond. Ms. Bond was mysteriously missing from the table, until she popped out from the front row of the crowd and plopped herself at the main table. Also called to the table was a woman by the name of Tess Fowlerand, who’s importance was soon to be made known.
Of the imprint news, Sarah Gaydos said we have to wait until June. However, for Black Crown’s first comic, that’s where Bond and Fowlerand came into the picture. “I’m very, very happy to announce that Black Crown’s first monthly comic is called Kid Lobotomy!” The project itself was described by Shelly Bond as, “If King Lear meets Kafka by way of Frankenstein.” The preliminary art gives the impression of gothic-horror with a dash of Lovecraft. The story is being written by British writer Peter Milligan, while the artwork is done by Tess Fowlerand.
Kid Lobotomy is to represent the aim of Shelly Bond’s Black Crown, an imprint meant for dark and gothic stories. Taking it a step further, Bond also shared that all her stories will exist in the same universe, with a pub aptly named “The Black Crown” as a sort of joining point for all of them. Here, we will even see the various characters of the eventual later comics talking and interacting with each other. “I’m very proud of what IDW has allowed me to do, will allow me to do with this,” she said brimming with pride.
Indeed a great many things are instore for IDW, as is always the case. The “crown” for IDW this year I feel will be this new imprint. More news is supposedly slated for June, while Black Crown itself and Kid Lobotomy will have to wait until October to be fully realized.
Nicholas Eskey is an avid reader and writer. When not contributing to The Beat, he works on his personal projects, the latest being a fantasy novel called “My Personable Demon.” He lives in San Diego, California, and is frequently bossed around by his cat.