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C2E2: Wrap-Up, News and Horror Comics

Posted on April 20, 2010 by Monica Valentinelli

We are back from C2E2, held in Chicago’s gorgeous McCormick Center, and we have quite a bit we’d like to share with you. In this post, we’ll highlight a few dark fantasy, science fiction and horror comics and relay news about publishers.

Several publishers, including Zenoscope Entertainment, were offering a title or two set in their version of Wonderland. Zenoscope, who will also be producing the CHARMED comic, specializes in dark fantasy comics as seen through their GRIMM’S FAIRY TALES line. So if you like Alice, you may want to check out their series of different WONDERLAND comics.

You might recognize Boom! Studios from their comics designed for kids, but Boom! Studios is no stranger to the darker genres. We had a chance to meet a few of their writers including: David Alan Mack, Keith DeCandido and Michael Alan Nelson. Right now, Boom! Studios is offering fans of genre comics a broad selection of titles including their series of CTHULHU TALES and ZOMBIE TALES. They also offered quite a few media tie-in comics that include FARSCAPE, 28 DAYS LATER, DIE HARD and JENNIFER’S BODY.

Boom! Studios, along with Top Cow Productions, Dark Horse and Neil Gaiman have partnered with Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab (BPAL) to offer perfume oil blends that were created as signature character fragrances. Most of these partnerships result in a donation to either the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund or The Hero Initiative. Mark Waid’s IRREDEEMABLE, Top Cow Production’s WITCHBLADE, Dark Horse’s HELLBOY and several fragrances from NEIL GAIMAN were at the the BPAL booth.

Speaking of Dark Horse, we learned that in honor of Cinco de Mayo there will be a brand new HELLBOY comic set in Mexico. There will also be a brand new story arc for the BPRD that will change the characters’ lives forever so you’ll definitely want to check out the “King of Fear” preview for an inside look. Both Mike Mignola and Guy Davis had made an appearance at this year’s show. You could tell that they’re both really excited about the upcoming changes. It will be interesting to see how fans respond to the new BPRD story.

Of course, we can’t mention horror comics without shining the spotlight on Alan Moore’s NEONOMICON that will be coming out from Avatar Press. This brand new title is the sequel to THE COURTYARD and will be produced in full color with art by Jacen Burrows and a script by Alan Moore. Avatar Press also works with writers like Warren Ellis, George R.R. Martin, Max Brooks and a few other luminaries. You might want to check out some of their other horror titles when you get the chance to see what they have in store. Be sure to read the Avatar Press C2E2 Wrap-Up for more news about what they announced at the show.

Many fans enjoy our coverage of MOUSE GUARD and KILLING PICKMAN from Archaia Comics. Archaia had quite a few announcements at the show. For starters, they have signed a deal with iVerse to provide new digital comics for fans on several different devices including the iPad. They also announced a line called “Black Label” to distinguish any titles that involve a partnership to help distinguish the media tie-in comics from their other work. One graphic novel that has been getting a lot of buzz is TUMOR, which was the first serialized comic released on the Kindle. Written by Joshua Hale Fialkov and Noel Tuazon, the first hard covers debuted at C2E2 and were signed and hand-numbered. If you’re looking for digital, right now it is only available on the Kindle. We were excited to see a preview of LUCID, a concept created by Zachary Quinto that features the work of Michael McMillan and debut artist Anna Wieszczyk. There’s an older article about LUCID on Comic Book Resources, so be sure to check out CCI: Zachary Quinto on his Archaia Partnership to get some background on this upcoming comic.

Top Cow Productions had a big appearance at the show as well. NFL football star Lance Briggs from the Chicago Bears spoke about his love for THE DARKNESS. Be sure to check out Lance’s Comic World to see him on a cover of THE DARKNESS. (Mind you, things do not end well for Lance’s character…) Several of the Top Cow Productions writers and artists were on hand to offer their thoughts about the show. Top Cow artist Jeremy Haun had this to share with us about his thoughts on C2E2, “The amount of talent and scale for a first show is just incredible.”

The big news from Top Cow Productions is that their Top Cow Universe is changing with a new series entitled ARTIFACTS. Debuting on Free Comic Book Day, ARTIFACTS will bring together its signature characters, including Sara Pezzini from WITCHBLADE, into one series. We had a chance to sit down with Top Cow Productions, so watch for more news in the coming weeks.

Personally, my thoughts on the show were that C2E2 had met our expectations for the first year. The panels were entertaining, but I felt that the access to food was a big factor in how late people wanted to stick around. The show was probably one of the best organized conventions I had ever been to; the shuttles to and from the hotels were really convenient and the venue was perfect for a show of this type. The biggest thing that surprised me was that I felt that the emphasis for the larger publishers was on other forms of media; Marvel had a heavy focus on Iron Man 2 and the video game. DC did give out preview issues of comics and supported its signature characters, which was nice to see, but there was very little to purchase.

I enjoyed being able to stroll through the Artist’s Alley and the row of Webcomics to connect with some of the artists. I also thought it was neat that there were artists like Adam Hughes, Mike Mignola, Guy Davis, etc. on hand to sign autographs. While I didn’t wait in line the two or three hours required to get autographs, I felt that the panels really made up for that lack of face-to-face time.

Really, I thought that Mike Bullock from Moonstone Books said it best. “This show has been a good opportunity to connect with new fans, but it was also a great way to offer a chance for existing fans to come to this first show and meet us.”

Certainly, publishers like Moonstone Books are a big hit with all fans of the genre including gamers, especially since they produced the VAMPIRE THE MASQUERADE comic and now IDW will be publishing the DUNGEONS and DRAGONS comic.

It’s a great time to get into the world of comics, so be sure to stay tuned here at for updates and contests.

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