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The comics of Comic-Con, part 3: Much more than superheroes

With all of the TV and movie news coming out of Comic-Con, it’s easy to miss the flurry of comic book news that started it all. Be sure to read part one, which covered preview night and day one of the convention. Part two covers the various Marvel announcements made over the weekend. The third and final part is a recap of the convention’s (mostly) non-superhero news.

A disclaimer: Comic-Con is more than a hype parade. While a lot of new things are announced at comics conventions, panels aren’t just trailers for upcoming books. Creators answer questions, discussions are held, and fans are engaged. So note that if a publisher doesn’t seem to have much going on in a news roundup like this (for example, DC didn’t announce a single new book), it doesn’t necessarily mean they didn’t have a big presence. Also, many publishers present (like Dynamite Entertainment) chose to announce their upcoming titles before the convention.

For a feel of what SDCC is all about from a comics point of view, read this excellent piece by David Brothers.

On to the news:

TITAN COMICS
Riding high after launching a number of new Doctor Who comics at the start of the year, UK-based Titan Comics announced a number of new creator-owned titles at this year’s convention. Scheduled to debut in 2015, the books vary in tone and genre, from sci-fi adventure Thunder Hunter by Mark A. Nelson, to environmental horror book Surface Tension by Jay Gunn.

DRAWN & QUARTERLY
Drawn & Quarterly had a number of titles to talk about this year. From a special 25th-anniversary retrospective to new books like Shigeru Mizuki’s Hitler, the publisher’s track record of putting out interesting new alternative comics and collecting lesser-known but still vital work remains consistent.

FANTAGRAPHICS BOOKS
The sole new book announced by Fantagraphics Books is a print version of Liz Suburbia’s webcomic Sacred Heart (which you can still read for free in its original format). It’s a story about teens trying to keep their small town together after all the adults disappear. An interesting wrinkle: Comics Beat reports that Suburbia will be entirely redrawing the graphic novel for the print edition.

DARK HORSE
While Dark Horse announced most of their comics in the 12 days leading up to the convention (like Fight Club 2), the publisher released a master list of all their new titles the day SDCC began. Check it out here.

BOOM! STUDIOS
The folks at Boom! sure like to tease. Just before the convention, the publisher stoked curiosity with a teaser image that turned heads: Grant Morrison was starting a project with the publisher. Bleeding Cool’s coverage of SDCC’s Boom! panel reports more of the same going down—a number of acclaimed creators teasing new books at the publisher without saying much about what they’d be. Among the creators doing the teasing were Mark Waid, Paul Jenkins, JG Jones, and Roger Langridge.

IDW
From G.I. Joe to Samurai Jack, IDW has established itself as a place where licensed characters from movies and TV get a lot of love. As such, some of the new titles announced out of SDCC are downright crazy, with the weirdest team-ups you’ve ever heard of. Angry Birds/Transformers, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles/Ghostbusters, and Star Trek/Planet of the Apes crossovers are all real things that are happening. And they’re also putting out an Orphan Black comic. Check out the full list of announcements here.

'Star Trek': Life after Khan begins with IDW's 'After Darkness'

Image credit: IDW Publishing

The “new” mythology of Starfleet began with the brand-reviving J.J. Abrams film Star Trek in 2009 and extended with Star Trek Into Darkness  this summer, but the canon is not limited to those silver screen cornerstones — the events chronicled in the Paramount videogame  also “count as canon” (as Trek producer and writer Roberto Orci has pointed out on many occasions) as do the events in the Star Trek comic books from IDW Publishing, the fourth largest comic book publisher in America (since 2011) and a brand that just posted the best market-share month in its 14-year history.

Issue No. 22 of the IDW Trek series arrives this week at stores and, as the After Darkness title suggests, it takes the story beyond the events depicted in Star Trek Into Darkness and, in doing so, becomes the first official Trek tale in any medium to take the story baton past the most recent film’s Khan story.

And (with Orci’s guidance as the creative consultant on the comics series) it may hint about the priorities for the next cinematic mission. To learn more about the spirit of the IDW series, we mind-melded with writer Mike Johnson (who is teamed with artist Erfan Fajar on story pages and the gifted Tim Bradstreet on select covers) to find out if he’s in Federation space or out of his Vulcan mind.
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