Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Archaia Talks ‘Space 1999′ and other Titles at C2E2

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Archaia Entertainment, on hand at Chicago’s comic book and pop culture expo (C2E2), gave graphic novel fans an advanced view of greatly anticipated titles during an informative panel discussion.  Stephen Christy, the Editor-in-Chief of Archaia, was accompanied by writer Charles Soule (“Strange Attractors”), editor Joe Lefari (“Hawken”), artist Royden Lepp (“Rust”), writer Andrew E. C. Gaska (“Space: 1999 – Aftershock and Awe”), writer Jim McCann (“Return of the Dapper Men”), artist Janet Lee (“Return of the Dapper Men”), writer Nate Cosby (“Cow Boy”) and artist/writer David Petersen (“Mouse Guard”).

Gaska gave fans a look at his upcoming sequel to the British science fiction series “Space 1999.”  Titled “Space 1999: Aftershock and Awe,” Gaska’s story will re-imagine “Space: 1999″.  “In the pilot episode, we find out the that moon has been launched out of orbit, due to an accident.  The first half of the book will show how this happened and the second half of the book will be a retelling of the pilot episode.  Originality, the pilot was three hours that got whittled down to 45 minutes. We managed to go back to the original scripts and turn the graphic novel into a more accurate rendition of what the pilot episode was to be.”m

“Strange Attractors,” a new book written by Charles Soule, will debut this Fall and will reveal the author’s experiences in New York City.  Dubbed  ‘Harry Potter’ meets ‘Good Will Hunting’ by the author, Soule told the audience  “I’ve been living in New York City for the past 16 years, since I went to school there, so I wanted to make a book about how complex and complicated it is.    “Its got all of these systems layered on top of each other and it was something that I wanted to explore in a story.  Its about this old mathematician that figures out all of these systems in the city and uses it to create an engine to keep the balance of the city in check and helps the citizens live their lives Down the line.   He foresees a major disaster that is going to destroy the city if he doesn’t stop it.  He would normally be able to do this, but he’s too old and he’s terrified to let this happen.  So he tries to find someone to take this job over and replace him as this new hermit that will be willing to dedicate themselves to help save the city.”

Joe Lefari talked up the adaptation of the upcoming video game “Hawken,” a first-person shooter game  hitting stores on 12-12-12.  “It is a free to play game that was developed by six guys, headed by Khang Le, an Eisner-nominated artist for his work on the ‘Flight’ anthologies.  Since the game is a first person shooter, the only way you can see this world, when you’re playing, is through the windshield of a cockpit.”  He said there is a 200 page bible that encompasses hundreds of years of history and mythology to go with the game, acting as a narrative counterpart of the game, allowing a more complete experience.  To find out more about the “Hawken” world,  “what’s at stake, who these people are and why they’re fighting, you have to read the book.”

“Its a gritty, dark, genuine world, much more in the vein of ‘Blade Runner,’ ‘Ghost in the Shell,’ ‘Tekkon Kinkreet,’ ‘Nausicaa: Valley of the Wind’ and many others” Lefari said.

Christy briefly discussed the hardcover Archaia is releasing for this summer’s Free Comic Book Day.  The give-away will contain new stories from Petersen’s “Mouse Guard,” McCann and Lee’s “Dapper Men,” Lepp’s “Rust,” Cosby’s “Cow Boy” and Jim Henson’s “Labyrinth.”  After explaining this, he led into Lepp’s “Rust,” which just saw the first of its four volumes released.

“I know I left people on a cliffhanger ending for the first one, but that’s what I love to do. I love when something has a cliffhanger ending,” Lepp said, leading into his description of what’s to come in part two. “Volume two will be out by the end of the summer this year. There’s a new villain in the second volume that was really fun to draw. I won’t say anymore than that because I don’t want to spoil a single thing.”

Christy briefly discussed Lee’s “Alphabet Wonderland,” an ABC book that contains the characters from Lewis Caroll’s “Alice and Wonderland.”  The final product is a board book.

Petersen talked up “Legends of the Guard,” which he says will contain art from a number of artists, including Eric Canete, Bill Willingham, Christian Slade and Stan Sakai . “That’s one of the things that I love about doing the ‘Legends’ book is that it allows me the opportunity to work with other artists,” Petersen said. “It also give other artists have fun in the ‘Mouse Guard’ world.  It explores stories that I don’t have time to tell but is able to enrich the universe.”

“The Black Axe” miniseries will end his year and go into a hardcover collection filled with bonus material and pin-ups.  The art for the pin-ups include Alex Sheikman, Shawn Rubin, Duncan Fegredo, Charles Paul Wilson, Shane Vidaurri and Mike Mignola.  “Mike promised me a pin-up four years ago, and every time I’d ask for it, he was always busy. We always wanted to let people know but I wanted to make sure that I had the pin-up in my hands before we announce it. Well, now I’ve got it in my hands.”

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