BOOM! Studios helped kick off the first day of the 32nd annual WonderCon 2018 in Anaheim, California with a well, bang. With five announcements, the jam packed afternoon panel flew by.
The panel was moderated by Filip Sablik (president of publishing & marketing, BOOM! Studios) and included panelists: Matt Gagnon (editor-in-chief, BOOM! Studios), David Walker (Planet of The Apes), Sarah Kuhn (Clueless), Josh Trujillo (Dodge City), Carly Usdin (Heavy Vinyl), and Ben Blacker & Ben Acker (The Thrilling Adventure Hour).
The first announcement from BOOM! was that there will be more The Thrilling Adventure Hour comics coming our way. Announced by Ben Blacker, who said he and Ben Acker will be starting with Beyond Belief. A story about a pair of married mediums who just want to be left alone with each other and their drinks but keep getting interrupted.
The first question for the panelists was to tell everyone what they are working on for BOOM! David Walker is currently writing Planet of the Apes: Ursus which he says is a childhood dream come true. It’s a story he says he’s had in his head since he was in first grade. BOOM! has been publishing Planet of the Apes since 2010. Ursus dives into an original character from Planet of the Apes, something Walker says has been a continuity challenge given that there is 50 years of history attached to the series, “I wanted to make it as easy as possible without making it a huge expository dump.”
Sarah Kuhn is busy writing more Clueless! Kuhn explained it like this: “It’s like Saved by the Bell: The College Years, it’s what comes next.” Kuhn talked about how she makes the graphic novels relevant to today’s audience. For Kuhn, it was a question of identifying what appealed to Kuhn when the movie was originally released some (almost) 25 years ago and then thinking about what continues to resonate? Kuhn says she found a lot of inspiration from Jane Austen’s Emma, both of which are both coming of age stories. Kuhn says one of the most challenging components of writing Clueless was making sure the language was correct. Kuhn says she and her writing partner Amber Benson, had assistance from the UCLA library which had a linguistic reference book of 90s slang.
Trujillo is busy writing more Dodge City which he says is a little bit like the teenager hit drama series DeGrassi and a little bit anime Dragon Ball Z. Carly Usdin says for Heavy Vinyl Usdin says she combined a bit of the 1990s cult classic film Empire Records and popular chapter books, The Babysitter’s Cub. Usdin says she essentially mashed them together to create Heavy Vinyl, a story about a bunch of teen girls who work at a record store and fight crime.
BOOM! Studios second announcement of the panel was a new year long series in partnership with the Jim Henson company called Beneath the Dark Crystal.
The third announcement is a new horror series called Bone Parish. It’s a story that takes place in New Orleans about a family that starts to sell a new drug created from the ashes of the dead. The side effect of taking the drug is you see the images of the dead person you ingested. Yikes! This new series has a planned will be release of July 2018.
As time was running out the final two announcements came quick. The final announcements included a new comic book for their children’s imprint Kaboom! called RuinWorld. And lastly, for fans for Giant Days, a YA Novel slated to come out in August.
You can find BOOM! Studios at WonderCon over at booth #1301.