Aron Head, whose own blog you can check out here, is providing us on-the-scene reports from Wizard World Texas this weekend in Arlington, Texas.
Saturday is the meat and potatoes of most conventions, and Wizard World Texas is no different. Great, huge, sweaty gobs of people plowed through the Arlington Convention Center (Huge because, hey, most of us are; and sweaty because DFW weather’s been a bit wonky this November and the climate control was a bit off). Lots and lots of people.
I started the day by attending he “Web Comics: Development and Marketing” panel comprised of DJ Coffman (cartoonist, Hero by Night and Yirmuhmah!) and Christian Beranek (writer, 20%) among others. The subject of the forum, developing and marketing webcomics, was explored based on personal experience. Both Coffman and Beranek encouraged building community by participating in forums and posting on people’s blogs. Also, they agreed that it is difficult to build a community of fans absent regular, daily updates.
Weekly – or less frequent – updates just won’t cut it, the panel concurred.
Coffman related that he takes reader feedback into account on storylines, adjusting them mid-stream based on what the fans suspect. This way he ensures surprise twists.
When asked the strengths of web comics versus printed, the panel cited immediacy as the biggest plus to the web medium. With the three month lead time to list with Diamond, the web allows for more instant topicality. Also, DJ Coffman mentioned that in his experience, humor comics do much better on the web than in print.
The next panel I attended was Top Cow’s. Marvel is nowhere to be seen at WWTX and while DC has sent DiDio and a few others, they do not have much of a presence at the show. Top Cow is really the one that showed up. And it showed in the audience’s robust applause in appreciation for Top Cow’s turnout.
Marc Silvestri (owner, Top Cow), Phil Hester (writer, The Darkness), Michael Broussard (artist, The Darkness) were all up at the dais while Matt Hawkins (president, Top Cow) and Rob Levin (editorial VP, Top Cow) led the discussion. Much was made of Broussard’s fine artwork for The Darkness.
Just a year ago he was selling luggage. Now he’s a big time, well-thought-of funny book artist.
“Y’know,” Hester – who sketched through much of the panel – chastised the artist, “You’re supposed to suck for a few years.”
After Thanksgiving, Top Cow expects to announce a second season of Witchblade Anime. Hawkins has meetings in Japan to discuss the matter after the holiday. They hope to shape a deal that will include The Darkness as a recurring character in the show.
The first of two Phil Hester projects was announced in the panel.
Hester will be working on a Daredevil/Magdalena crossover. Magdalena will be hunting a demon that only blind lawyer/Hell’s Kitchen vigilante Matt Murdock can see.
The second Hester project announcement was made over at the “DCU: Counting Down to Final Crisis” Panel.
Hester, as reported on Newsarama earlier today, will be drawing El Diablo written by Jai Nitz (Heaven’s Devil).
DiDio led the panel, muddling through the presentation sans digitally projected graphics due to some technical difficulties.
Other revelations at the DC panel include:
* Bruce Gordon will be making an appearance in an upcoming issue of Eclipso.
* Booster Gold will endeavor to return Barbara Gordon to her former glory as Batgirl.
* There will be no JLA Movie announcement at WWTX.
* There might be a new ION series.
* But there are no plans for a Kyle Rayner ongoing.
* Grant Morrison will remain on Batman throughout 2008 and beyond.
When asked about Wonder Woman, DiDio stated that his job is to make Wonder Woman the best that it can be.
“What can we do to make Wonder Woman special?” He asked rhetorically, then answered: “Put it out monthly.” To which there was much applause and cheering from the enormous crowd.
DiDio was also asked about the recent internet rumors that Batman, Wonder Woman, and Superman will become New Gods. He answered: “Oh God, that’s a bad idea!”
Also, DiDio revealed a possible spoiler. When discussing the current Batman storyline, he asked if we were to the point where the relationship between Sensei and Ra’s Al Ghul has been established? Startled gasps echoed through the room and Bob Wayne (VP Sales, DC) banged his head against the table.
This is my fourth Wizard World Texas in the last five years. I have to say that this is the biggest crowd I have seen. The DC panel was very nearly standing room only and the dealer room was packed all day. The folks in Artist’s Alley happily had long lines as well.
I spoke to Brad Bankston of Austin Books & Comics. He reported robust sales. He’s been polling his fellow dealers and their reports are similar. Business at Wizard World Texas 2007 is good!
I’m back for more Wizard World tomorrow.