[ECCC '14] Dark Horse Talks Building Better Characters

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Or… The Annual Handsome Men Gathering Panel

Greg Rucka, Michael Avon Oeming, Bryan JL Glass, Curt Pires, Frank Barbiere, Jai Nitz, Adam Warren gathered at Emerald City to talk character in their respective Dark Horse titles. It was a candid chat that allowed each creator to articulate their unique spin on character within the framework of their individual titles.

Greg Rucka started things off talking about “Veil.” He pitches how strange the book is, but he doesn’t want to give too much away. He promises that issue two will give some answers about what she is and where she is from and there will be more rats. It’s not going to get easier if you don’t like rats. Rucka has a rat issue that he is working out but they are important to the story. Scott Allie and Greg talked about Tony’s style, his pitch was originally very different. The series is about how men look at and treat women. Issue four has a death within it that is so cool and so ghastly, if Tony pulls it off then we’ll be really chilled. Greg comments that Veil is one of the most challenging things he’s ever worked on. He developed his own language for the book. He said this is book that filled him with fear, and that fear is a great motivator. He finished by saying the arts don’t reward complacency, we reach to write something tomorrow that is better than today.

Matt Kindt takes the stage to talk “Mind MGMT.” Issue 20 just hit. It’s about spies with mind powers. About a woman who’s trying to find out about who this organization was. Mind MGMT is going to be a new starting point in July with issue 24.

Micheal Avon Oeming on “The Victories.” His take on realistic superheroes. The idea grew through therapy. He would talk about friends and family, using those issues in relation to characters. Mix with ancient aliens and stuff, and you have the book. He said issue 15 would be the end of the series, completing one full story. He writes and draws everything himself. Scott serves as almost a writing partner, not just an editor. The series is done with the dark world, and aims to bring everything back to Faustus.

Adam Warren talked about “Empowered” with Brandon Graham on the newest oneshot. More advanced planning in the future with focus on different characters, empowered volume nine is loosely slated for a year from now. Came from a place of being tired writing damsels in distress.

“Furious” with Bryan J Glass focusing on the tabloid trash celebrity, Furious looks at herself with superpowers and realizes she is a monster. The premise of the character was nailed down, and then the passing of Whitney Huston cemented it. The implosion of Celebrity insanity inspires the five issue miniseries. Furious wants to be the beacon, she wants to inspire others, and the news media dubbed her as “Furious.”

Frank Barbiere’s “The White Suits,” has been in development since 2011. Toby’s art is unbelievable. The White Suits disappear after terrorizing Russia. A female FBI agent chases the white suits, and the amnesiac protagonist follows her. They each have their own motivations. It’s a four issue mini, that’s half over. Toby is a legend. This is his book.

“Dream Thief” with Jai Nitz. It’s a book about a bad dude who gets possessed by murdered ghosts when he sleeps. He murders the people that killed the ghosts. He wakes up in a room with a dead body. Greg Smallwood does pencils, inks, colors, and letters on the book. He and Jai have a 50/50 collaboration where they break everything down and how the story changes based on his killings. They put things back together for John Lincoln. It’s a reverse Quantum Leap. Dream Thief 2 is coming out in June. “Dream Thief: Escape.”


Curt Pires and Jason Copeland announce, “Pop.” They take manufactured popstars literally. El is one of the pop stars that are breeded in this gigantic plantation and she escapes before she’s due to be sold. She meets the local stoner who’s about to kill himself. Spring Breakers as an inspiration, gazing into the abyss of popstardom.