Alright, boys and girls, here's some of the juice we picked up at Wizard World Chicago this past weekend (the secret info we're not supposed to know is at the bottom of this post!):
Ultimates 2 #12 (and now #13 also) WILL ship sometime in this century. Joe Quesada confirmed it. He also said that he'd love to see that series done already.
When asked about upcoming events in Marvel's Civil War, Steve McNiven (series artist) said, "You ain't seen nothin' yet." Rumors abound that there are a couple of huge shockers in store, including the deaths of two major Marvel characters: Mary Jane (Peter Parker/Spider-Man's wife) and.....Captain America. Needless to say, if you thought my Spider-Man: The Other rant was fierce, wait til you hear what I have to say if they kill off Captain America.
Dabel Brothers Productions, the house that puts out awesome books like George RR Martin's The Hedge Knight and several titles from Orson Scott Card, is owned and staffed by some seriously cool people. One of their newer books, Ptolus (by Monte Cook), is absolutely gorgeous. If you're even remotely a fantasy fan, you MUST pick this book up. Also, they've got a new Laura K. Hamilton comic, Anita Blake: Vampire Hunter, coming out soon, and orders on that are through the roof. Check it out!
Jeph Loeb, former DC guru and now big time Marvel man, is hilarious. Oh, the things he said.
They're using some special digital painting process on Joe Maduriera's pencils on Ultimates 3 (provided Ultimates 2 ever ends), and it looks beautiful. I'm not a big fan of Joe Mad's, but that looked pretty cool.
DC was cooler than Marvel at the panels this year. They're not going to try to get into any My-Great-Big-Summer-Blockbuster-Crossover-Event-Is-Bigger-Than-Yours contest with Marvel like they couldn't resist doing in the '90s. Thank God. No huge events from DC next year.
Jill Thompson, formerly of Scary Godmother, is one of the artists on the upcoming Fables: 1001 Nights of Snowfall HC from DC Vertigo, and she's extremely cool. She also drew me a beautiful picture of Snow White from the series.
Bill Seinkewitz, one of the more stylized and off-the-wall (yet popular) artists in recent comics history, is extremely cool to talk to. What a nice guy! He drew me a great Hulk sketch (where the Hulk closely resembles a gorilla). Awesome.
Franchesco, artist on the recently released Erik Larson penned She-Dragon title from Image, is an extremely personable guy and highly impressive artist. He's one of the nicest people I've ever met at a convention anywhere. Support this guy!
Ape Entertainment picked up a couple of the better books that Speakeasy was publishing before they went belly up, including Athena Voltaire (female Indiana Jones, more or less) and The Black Coat (Revolutionary War era Batman, more or less). These guys were also awesome to talk to, and their books are excellent reads. Support these fellas too!
Next year, probably late in the year, there will be a Jean Grey limited series. Since she's dead and has been for a year or two, this comes as a little bit of a surprise. Don't know who will be writing it, but...GREG LAND will be the artist on the book. That's right, fan-favorite uber artist Greg Land will be bringing Jean Grey back to life. Marvel has made no announcements about this book whatsoever yet - not even that plans for it exist, let alone who the artist will be - You heard it here first!!