John Cunningham, the moderator of the panel, began by announcing a few things. First was that the panel was being live streamed on the web. Then he announced that DC Entertainment had a NYCC App that every attendee should be using. He then proceeded to plus We Can Be Heroes movement and it’s indiegogo campaign. Finally he plugged DC All Access a weekly look at behind the scenes of the DC offices which would be available from the DC website.
From there he introduced the panelists; Scott Snyder (Batman, Superman Unchained, The Wake) Dustin Nguyen, Derek Fridolfs (Li’l Gotham), Lee Bermejo (Joker, Luthor) and Kyle Higgins (Nightwing, Batman Beyond Universe).
Li’l Gotham started the panel off. Dustin talked about the formats for the digital vs print. The panel breakdown differ between digital and print. Print divides art left and right, while the split digital comes from top and bottom. Li’l Gotham was originally pitched as a holiday book with 12 chapters, as a means for steady employment. It’s kept going on.
Snyder started off by talking about Batman #24. He explained the origin of Year Zero as DC came to Synder and Capullo and gave them the opportunity to retell the origin. They both loved Year One, but realized that it wasn’t applicable in the New 52, so it was a matter of “do you do the origin or let someone else do it?” They opted to do it.
Editor’s Note: DC Comics released a few pages of art at the panel including an interesting Harley Quinn page (see right).
Snyder reiterated that he loved Year One and tried his best to salvage as much of it as he could, before jettisoning everything he was holding onto and came up with Zero Year instead. He profusely thanked fans for being on his side.
Of his collaborator, Snyder said that Greg Capullo believes Scott punishes Bruce too much. He told the story of how when they first got the assignment for Batman, Capullo and Snyder clashed in terms of creative styles. But they found common ground that partnership has flourished to the point where they are friends outside of the industry.
Zero Year is a fast paced story with three main chapters. The first was Red Hood the second is The Riddler and also features the reinvention of an old school villain. The Riddler believes he’s the smartest person in the room and usually is. The Riddler is on a mission to make Gotham smarter. The second chapter also features a different relationship between Jim Gordon and Bruce Wayne.
Death of the Family has emotional repercussions. With the hardcover release, Snyder admitted that the story was always meant to be read as a complete story. It’s a meditation on Batman and The Joker. And he’s super proud of the collection, which features an acetate cover that reveals the Joker’s skinned face.
Snyder then spoke on The Wake. The Wake was always meant to be a book that allow for exploration on storytelling. The next issue is the end of the first part of the book. Issue #6 features a jump in time and begins the second chapter.
Then he touched upon American Vampire, which returns next year. Skinner and Pearl will both be in the book when it returns. It’s also meant as a jumping on point for new readers, and the cover for the issue references the debut issue. Snyder meant to take a break from the book, but didn’t realize how it would affect him. He was actually depressed for a spell when the book went on hiatus. It returns in March.
Then it was Kyle Higgins’ turn to talk. He started with Batman Beyond Universe. Higgins proclaimed his love for the freedom and the sandbox he’s allowed to play with in terms of the Batman Beyond Universe. He was a fan of the show and previous runs of the book. He wanted to see what he could bring form the show to the comics. In particular he loved the time jump that the show started with, where the viewer wasn’t sure exactly what happened to various characters. He tried to mirror that with his run on the book, featuring a one year later jump and it’s no longer Bruce and Terry but rather Dick and Terry.
In terms of Nightwing, Higgins wanted to build a world and a city that could be Nightwing’s own. The idea behind the Prankster comes from a place that would parallel Nighting. Higgins loves to parallel heroes and villains because it really defines the heroes. The Zero Year tie in is an Urban Fairy Tale, instead of the scary forest, it’s Gotham’s streets.
Lee Bermejo got a chance to talk about his upcoming Vertigo title, Suiciders. He’s writing and drawing it. And it’s the first time he’s playing around in a world that he created. IT’s the most liberating creative experience he’s had in comics. It’s also taught him to be an editor or sorts in that he has to decide what’s really important.
Suiciders is set 30 years after a disaster strikes Los Angeles. He didn’t want to do a disaster book, but rather a post apocalyptic book. In it L.A. cedes from the Union. New Angeles is in the valley and a walled medieval citadel. On the other side is Lost Angeles is the other side of the coin. There’s no law and total chaos. Suiciders is a story of two men. Bermejo describes it as The Fighter mixed with To Live and Die in L.A. In it he plans to amplify everything everyone loves about L.A.; nothing.
Cunningham also plugged that an Absolute edition of Luthor/Joker will be released on 10/23. Cunningham claimed it’s it favorite of the Absolute editions. Bermejo added that with the larger format you can get a better appreciation for Trish Mulvihill’s colors.
In the Q&A section of the panel, an attendee asked Snyder about Death of the Family, to which Snyder proclaimed his love for The Joker because he knows what your greatest fear is and wants to show you that you’re right to fear it and prove why you’re fear is true. Death of the Family was about Joker believing that Batman loves his villains more than his allies. So Death in the Family was about love, at which point Snyder added that when the Joker returns it will be about hate.
Snyder also shared that he’s leaving the repercussions of the death of Damien to Peter Tomasi, because he’s been doing just a great job with it.
Tags: Batman, Batman Beyond, DC Comics, Death of the Family, New 52 (DC Comics), Nightwing, NYCC, NYCC 2013, The Wake, Zero Year