IDW Artist Editions WonderCon 2014 Panel
Scott Denbier took the stage Saturday evening to show us all of the new IDW Artist Editions that are going to kill our wallets soon and in the future. While other sites have reported the new announcements, that is only part of the story of these great panels. I always try to cover not only the new announcements but any updates on previously announced projects and some possible speculation as to what might be in the future that Scott can’t officially talk about.
We first got to see the final cover art for the Peanuts Artists Edition that will be 140 pages and a total of 264 strips. We also learned that there is more plans for more Artist Edition of newspaper strips that are being planned. Of course the big question was one of them possibly Calvin and Hobbes. Scott said that was pretty unlikely because when he worked for Wildstorm they tried to get Watterson to do prints and they sent samples of other artwork to show to him to his publisher. The art was returned with a letter saying that it would never happen.
The Jack Kirby New Gods Artist Edition should be in stores in a couple of weeks and Scott had a copy that we could look at. It was beautiful and beyond even my expectations. There are folds outs and he had a great story about the art for the first issue of the New Gods. He was scanning most of the art for the first issue from a private collector and he was talking to an artist friend about it and said “I bet you don’t have page 13″ because he had it. Then a few days later he was talking to another artist and the same thing happened because they had page 20. So he was down to only missing page 8 from the issue and was talking to another artist and telling him the story and he told Scott “That’s not going to happen with me”
Scott reviealed the cover for the Jim Steranko Nick Fury Agent of Shield. He said that Steranko himself was doing the design of the book and that was a first. There will be four editions of the book. The first is the regular print run then a special signed edition. There will be two remark versions, one with a small head sketch that might be about 150 copies. Then a full sketch edition that might be about 10 copies. It should be out in time for San Diego Comic Con in July.
Next was the Hellboy Artist Edition and it will be 200 pages and have the very first Hellboy story and a rare promotional story that was in a giveaway book that was very limited at the time. Mignola was concerned about the early artworks look but Scott said that people would want to see it because it’s a part of history.
Scott showed off some pages from the Watchmen Artifact Edition and the page was one that was given to Neil Gaiman from Dave Gibbons and Alan Moore with their signatures on the bottom. The conversation came up about the recent announcement of the DC Comics and Graphitti Design’s Gallery Editions and if that would have an effect on IDW getting more. Scott said that there contract was always non exclusive and they still have a great relationship with DC and that they would still be doing DC projects and that both companies continue to work on books such as the Superman Silver Age Dailies.
We got to see some of the cover for the Marvel Covers Artist Edition and it has some really great ones in it. There will be 130 covers in the book and there might possibly be some unpublished ones. There are going to be some Moon Knight Bill Sienkiewicz cover in the book. I asked if there was a chance that maybe in the future there could be some Sienkiewicz art because he painted a lot of his artwork. Scott said he would love to do his New Mutants work but didn’t know if would happen.
Now Scott was ready to announce the new projects and the first one up was an Artist Portfolio Edition of Walter Simonson’s Lawnmower Man adaptation of the Stephen King story. It was from the Marvel Comics Bizarre Adventures Magazine published in 1981. I would be 22 pages including the cover and should be available this July just in time for San Diego Comic Con and Simonson is planning to be there also.
Scott announced the book that he has always wanted to do as an Artist Edition. Walter Simonson’s Manhunter. This has been a dream project for Scott for a long time. It will include all of the Manhunter stories including the final silent one that was done after Archie Goodwin passed away before it could be fully scripted. There will be 8 pages that are from photostat’s because those pages were stolen years ago and have never been located. It will also include some other Simonson DC Comics stories including Batman, Dr.Fate, Metal Men and Captain Fear. This is a book that has been asked for in every Artist Editions panel I have ever been too and so the crowd was very excited about this announcement.
The final announcement was a John Buscema’s SIlver Surfer. The book is scheduled for an October release. Scott was only able to find 2 pages from the first issue and the book will be composed of the later issues. He didn’t have a page count yet because they are still trying to track down artwork for the book.
After the announcements Scott opened the floor to questions and here is a round-up of some of them. He is planning to do more Artifact books because there are projects that he has the rights to but unable to come up with full issues. When asked about a DC Cover book he said that he would love to do one but no firm plans. The possibility of DC horror artist was talked about and I made the suggestion that a cover book might be easier to put together and he said that was a good idea. He did say that there are pages of original artwork that he is scanning and that IDW may never get the rights to do them but they are being archived just incase. Sergio Aragones name was brought up and Scott said that there was a good possibility of a book but it might not necessarily be an Artist Edition but possibly something else. A lot of names were mentions like Jim Aparo and Alan Davis he liked them but no firm plans but, someone did bring up Art Adams name and he smiled and it seemed that something could be brewing on that one. That is speculation on my part.
I asked him what his favorite edition has been and he answered the question but in a different way. He was very proud of the Limited Edition version Daredevil by David Mazzucchelli because of all the special printing that the book had and how it could really go wrong. He really loved the fact that they were able to put braille on the cover. The Mad Artist Edition cover was to have a printing indentation for the monsters footprint on the cover and it’s there slightly but not the way that he wanted. He said that everyone is always asking when some of the previously announced editions were coming out and he said that they are being worked on and that some are slower to get together than originally planned. So be patient with him. He did say that there would be another announcement at the Big Wow Show in San Jose that will be on May 17th and 18th. So if you are going to that show then make sure that you go to the panel. It’s fun and informative.