By Amanda Steele

The Image Comics: We Believe in Vision panel was full of creators, both writers and artists, talking about their previous and upcoming comics. 

The list of panellists: 

Jason Aaron (Southern Bastards, The Goddamned) 
Gerry Duggan (Dead Rabbit, Analog) 
Jen Bartel (Blackbird) 
Kieron Gillen (The Wicked + The Divine, Die) 
Stephanie Hans (The Wicked + The Divine, Die) 
Joe Casey (MCMLXXV, Jesus Freak) 
Daniel Warren Johnson (Space Mullet, Murder Falcon) 
Jeff Rougvie (Gunning for Hits: Music Thriller) 

The panel began with Image announcing a new comic, Gunning for Hits: Music Thriller. The creator of the comic, Jeff Rougvie, was on the panel and talked about how his background in the music industry as a music producer was the inspection for this comic. The first issue will come on January 9th. Fans can already enjoy the Spotify playlist that will accompany the series. Image will also be creating a Twitter account for the main character.  

Next in line was Jason Aaron who talked a little about the upcoming issues of Southern Bastards. He explained that the upcoming issues will introduce new characters including some who are player on the football team. 

Aaron talked about creating the book and how growing up in the south served as the initiation.  

“It’s a book about a place we both love and fear all at the same time. It’s everything we adore and hate about where we’re from.” 

Gerry Duggan talks about his comic, Analog, which is a cyberpunk neo-noir story. He gave a sneak peek into the second arc of the series saying that it is “is going to get more into some of the characters and how they ended up there. We have an end in mind, and we think that might be three but maybe four.” 

Duggan also talked about the upcoming comic, Dead Rabbit, which he says is “set against the post middle class America where everyone is deciding which bills to pay that month.” 

Jen Bartel talked about collaborating with Sam Humphries to create Blackbird, noting that “we started working on Blackbird back in 2016 before I knew what it really meant to commit to an ongoing comic.”  The artwork for Blackbird was stunning work, full of neon colors and atmosphere, and I’m definitely looking forward to getting my hands on this comic which came out on Wednesday.   

She also talked about drawing inspiration for the story from L.A. 

“We really wanted to show a side of L.A. that doesn’t get a light shined on it I would say. We spend a lot of time around north Hollywood. Back roads and abandoned buildings. It’s not the L.A .that you immediately think of.”  

Next up was Joe Casey who touched a little on MCMLXXV, another comic where setting was a big factor. This series is set in New York in 1975 and takes place in “a corrupt manhattan full of weird gangs and monsters.” 

According to Casey, he wanted to make “a superhero that is more of a folktale. Something that had a different kind of resonance that a guy with a cape and as mask.” 

Daniel Warren Johnson talked about his upcoming comic, Murder Falcon, which he says is “about the human power of music.”  

To round out the panel, Kieron Gillen and Stephanie Hans talked about the upcoming, Die. 

This was definitely the most intriguing portion of the panel, and the pages of the comic that were previewed were beautiful and mysterious. I definitely have to read this as soon as it comes out because it looks amazing. The audience was defiantly enjoying this part of the panel, too.  

According to the Gillen, “Die is basically a story about in 1991, six teenagers sat down to play a role-playing game. They disappeared without explanation. There were no clues. They had vanished.” 

Gillen called it a “Goth Jumanji” and notes that he works with some similar themes to those in The Wicked + The Divine.  Gillen said he wants to explore the question of “how does it feel to be trapped in a world we didn’t make to be caught in the systems that are destroying us?”  

 Gillen’s humor definitely came through strongly on the panel, and he was pretty impressed with himself that he created a DnD comic that is called DIE. Gotta love that play on words.