By Zack Quaintance

DC held a Jinxworld panel over the weekend at Rose City Comic Con in Portland, or, as I thought of it in my head, a panel starring Brian Michael Bendis and His Amazing Friends! See, Jinxworld is Bendis’ long-time creator-owned imprint for which his wife Alisa Bendis acts as publisher, and it had a strong presence at the con all weekend, with signings, special variants, and giant cardboard comic covers scattered through the venue (never far from a craft beer spot, because, hey, Portland).

There wasn’t any BREAKING NEWS (how many days until New York Comic Con, again?), but Bendis and his murderers row of collaborators did sort of elucidate the present and future of Jinxworld. as well as (in my opinion) its role within the wave of imprints coming from DC. Bendis is one of the many, many comics creators who live in Portland, and so he also took Rose City as occasion to share new Jinxworld covers (which I’ve included photos of here) and other tidbits.

Perhaps most interesting for fans of Jinxworld—and really, creator-owned comics in general—was the insight into its future and how being at DC has changed things. Jinxworld had largely gone dormant at the end of Bendis’ time at Marvel, but it’s back with four books (Pearl, Scarlet, Cover, and United States of Murder Inc.) as well as a forthcoming Powers original graphic novel that’s currently without a release date. Whereas in the past, Bendis said he maybe felt a need to write lengthy runs, the future of Jinxworld is more casual.

“I’m running out of years and I want to do a lot of stuff,” Bendis said. “So, it’s going to be a mixture of series, and mini-series, and graphic novels. Just whatever the story dictates, we’re going to go with that…it may be that we go monthly with one of these titles that’s a mini-series right now, we’re not sure, we’re debating.”

Overall, a picture of Jinxworld emerged as an imprint heavy on craft, one grown from a group of veteran creators who have cumulatively had a massive influence on superhero comics since the early 2000s. Three of Jinxworld’s four current titles feature fully-painted artwork, and one of those books, Cover, is even a comic that’s literally about being a famous creator of comics.

“There are so many movies about movies, rock and roll, or other creativity,” Bendis said, “but there’s nothing that expresses what it’s like to be a comic creator and how unique and special it is…the freedom, the weirdness…we’re going to take you around the world that we’ve been in and through all the things we’ve seen and done.”

As a long-time fan of comics and of meta stories, Cover looks like the standout of the bunch to me (although Pearl was also strong). Anyway, here’s a little more about Jinxworld, plus some other miscellany from RCCC.

About Cover: Artist David Mack said it’s weird to draw himself, who is essentially being written based on Bendis perceptions of him from like 23 years of friendship, which means there’s a lot of truth to the character but maybe not as much as Bendis thinks. The book is based on experiences Mack and Bendis have had working with government agencies as cultural attaches.

About Pearl: During the Q&A, a fan noted the first word in Bendis and artist Michael Gaydos’ Alias was the f-word (first time it was ever printed in a Marvel comic, btw), while the first word in the duo’s new book Pearl is “hi.” Bendis said that wasn’t intentional but it is perhaps telling.

About Scarlet: Artist Alex Maleev went for an easy hometown pop, saying, “This is a book for you, because you live in Portland!” Big cheer. There was also much talk of a TV adaptation for Scarlet (to be filmed in Portland). Bendis said development is somewhat far along, and that Maleev’s excellent cover for Scarlet #3 (unveiled there) is likely going to be the show’s poster.

Other bits from Rose City:

Donny Cates recently met Alan Moore by finding his house and knocking on the door (which was described as the type of door you’d expect Moore to have).

Mat Johnson (writer of Incognegro, Incognegro Renaissance, Papa Midnite) was once asked to write a Batman-Superman one-shot and essentially turned in a script that was Bruce and Clark starring in My Dinner With Andre. That comic was never made (obviously), but holy hell would I read that.

Greg Rucka and Michael Lark’s Eisner-winning Captain America short “Post Mortem” from 2010’s I Am An Avenger #2 is still poignant, and you can find the script on Rucka’s website.

The Bendis family is moving (staying within Portland). You know that odd stuff that piles up in your house but you don’t want to throw it away? They gave it to fans at Bendis’ spotlight panel. Attendees got books, an old typewriter, the Bendis family karaoke machine, a bronze clock shaped like a helicopter, and all manner of other detritus my own wife would have shaken her head at vigorously had I brought it home.