We could probably go on forever with various interesting snippets from Comic-Con 2009—until next year’s con, at least—but we have to wrap this up soon so we can get on with covering the rest of the universe. So here are the last little important sci-fi news bitties from this year’s Comic-Con:
▪ Jeff Smith, whose epic graphic novel Bone is on track to be released as a Warner Brothers movie, spent a year boning up on quantum physics fundamentals for his current comic serial RASL. “I love the new wave of theoretical physics,” he told SciNoFi. “I’m a devotee of Carl Sagan, Stephen Hawking, Brian Greene, and Michio Kaku. It wasn’t a hardship to do the studying.”
The story mixes string theory, M theory and parallel universes with science conspiracy theories. “The glue between them is RASL, an inter-dimensional art thief,” he adds. “You have a guy with thermo-magnetic pads on his shoulders so he can step through parallel dimensions—add a shot of rye whiskey in his gut and he’s ready to go.”
▪ Boom! Studios’ ongoing comic series of Philip K. Dick’s Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? sold out so fast, it went into a second printing on the same day. It’s not an adaptation—rather, it features the full text of the original story spread across 24 issues. “We wanted to show fans how different the original story was from Blade Runner,” said Boom! CEO Ross Richie. “It delves into topics still relevant today: what does existence mean and if you’re not human, can you be recognized as a person?”
Legendary illustrator Bill Sienkiewicz—a Comic-Con special guest who earned a standing ovation at the end of his solo panel—did cover art for the first four issues. “We’re huge fans of his, so it was an opportunity to work with one of our heroes,” said Richie. Meanwhile, Sienkiewicz was such a hit with the Dick estate, they’re discussing future projects.
▪ Two Radical Publishing projects offer opposing takes on technology dependence. In writer Rick Remender’s and artist Greg Tocchini’s The Last Days of American Crime, the government broadcasts a signal that prevents humans from doing anything unlawful. In writer Steve Niles’ and artist Zid’s City of Dust, police have to adapt to old-school detective work when the technology they’ve come to rely on to solve crimes stops working.
▪ With The Stuff of Life (about DNA); T-Minus (the space race); and Bone Sharps, Cowboys and Thunder Lizards (paleontology), Minneapolis artists Zander Cannon and Kevin Cannon have forged a cottage industry illustrating comic-style books about science. Their next project is Evolution: The History of Life on Earth (Hill & Wang), written by Jay Hosler, an assistant professor of biology at Juniata College in Huntington, Penn. “All of our books are heavily vetted by real scientists making sure they’re accurate,” says Cannon.
▪ Jimmy Diggs—the “Jackie Robinson of Star Trek writers” who’s written the most freelance Star Trek episodes—just sold his first film, a Gothic horror Western called Sundown. He’s now writing Star Trek: Seven Deadly Sins for Simon & Schuster, slated for publication in March, based on his article in Star Trek: Communicator (the defunct fan-club mag). “It’s the story of seven villains, told from their perspectives, each representing one of the seven deadly sins of man,” he said. “What intrigues me is how science and technology change the human condition—or how humans make it relevant to their lives.”
—SciNoFi special Comic-Con correspondent Susan Karlin