NYCC 2019: Angst, Twitter Nonsense, And More At DC World’s Finest Panel

by James Ferguson

The star-studded DC World’s Finest Panel kicked off with introductions. Moderator Amy Dallen, host of DC Daily, asked the panelists for their strangest hobby to break the ice. There was a lice joke after sharing a hat before things got moving. The other panelists included Joshua Williamson, Kami Garcia, Mitch Gerads, Joelle Jones, Tom King, and Evan “Doc”Shaner. Going with the World’s Finest theme, Dallen asked the panels which creators lived up to that name. Names like Joe Kubert, Darwyn Cooke, Alex Toth, and Will Eisner were thrown out quickly.

To further break the ice, Dallen asked if the panelists knew each other. This went into a weird direction where people compared stories about trains and cocktail parties. It led to Gerads talking about his journey into comics that began with “drawing nonsense on Twitter” with Shaner and a few other artists that have blown up in the past decade like Francesco Francavilla and Gabriel Hardman. It goes to show just how great networking can be.

Since the topic was World’s Finest, Williamson was asked to talk about The Flash. There’s a big storyline brewing where the Rogues take over Central City. He joked that it’s nothing like City of Bane at all, to which King said that City of Bane is nothing like the 3rd Batman movie. Dallen asked Williamson who would be Flash’s partner in his version of World’s Finest and he said it would be Batman because they’re both science nerds. They’d go back to the Bat Cave and talk about science.

Williamson spoke about his work on the Flash with artist Howard Porter. All of the big things he’s done with the character have been with Porter. He also pointed out that Porter would be at NYCC for a single signing and asked everyone please tell him how much they love his work because it’s a big deal.

Garcia spoke about Joker / Harley: Criminal Sanity, an upcoming DC Black Label book debuting on October 9th. She wanted to do a teen Joker in her young adult book, Raven, but was shot down, then the opportunity with Black Label came up. Garcia said she didn’t think anyone would let her do this at first. She submitted a lengthy pitch that included a profile of the Joker, whom she finds frightening. “A sane Joker to me is 1000% more terrifying.” She’s described this as a dream project, but she’s on a lot of lists now due to the research.

Garcia came from the prose world and actually started with a co-writer, so she’s used to collaboration. This is a completely different experience due to the artwork. It creates a whole new, incredible feeling. She asked for artist Gabriel Picolo for Raven and DC reached out, yet he didn’t reply because he thought it was a joke.

After a joke about the non-marriage between Batman and Catwoman, Jones jumped in to talk about the Catwoman series she writes and illustrates. She doesn’t really write scripts. She just sits down and goes. “I can be lazy until the last minute and then I just do it.” Dallen asked about what crazy things she wants to do with the character. Jones said that after working with another artist, she missed drawing so much that she’s added all kinds of stuff because she wants to draw everything. “The plot will make sense somehow.”

Jones wants to do an homage to all of Catwoman’s previous costumes over a set of issues. She’s dug into fashion to look at these designs, drawing inspiration for writing.

King was asked how he shares the character with Jones. He said that Jones is an amazing writer and he just tries to get out of her way. When asked what makes him most excited, he joked “killing people, not having people get married, and nine panel grids.” His real answer is the reaction of the readers and what the comics mean to them.

Strange Adventures was up next, from King, Gerads, and Shaner, debuting in 2020. King said when Vision came out and it was a big hit, he was under a lot of pressure to do it again. When Mister Miracle came out, it was a similar setup. (Quick aside, there’s a Mister Miracle movie on the way, which King is writing.) Strange Adventures is his attempt to do it one more time. It’s “an attempt to talk about our times through this medium.”

The idea came as King and Gerads were finishing Mister Miracle. King was at Gerads’ house during the latter’s son’s baptism (King is the godfather). After flipping through the books on Gerads’ shelf, King kept asking what character he wanted to do next. He threw out Adam Strange and the next morning King had a whole pitch outlined, including Shaner’s involvement.

There’s a reason there are two artists involved as they deal with two different realities. There’s a myth to Strange’s life out on Rann and the reality is his life on Earth. We got to see some brand new art which looks great. King pointed out that we’re only seeing half of the book right now because there’s a second character that has not yet been revealed. That’s why it’s called Strange Adventures and not Adam Strange.

As a new page was shown, King quipped “Oh look, Tom wrote a white guy lying on a bed feeling angst” which was met with laughter from the audience.

Shaner is coloring himself for the first time on Strange Adventures. He’s done his own covers for awhile but not interiors. This has been a great experience for him.

A fan asked what the panelists least favorite part of writing or drawing is. Williamson said the very beginning of writing is the worst. He likes to try and figure out most of it before he sits down to write. King pointed out that when you write comics, a brilliant person draws it, then you get a lettering pass and you might have doubts about your talent when you read your own writing. His favorite issue ever was Sheriff of Babylon #5 and that was re-written a bunch of times.

Another fan asked Garcia about what makes someone like the Joker attractive to someone like Harley. She pointed out that her book is not a romance by any means. The Joker is not attractive. This was met with applause. I’m also glad to hear this because Harley is better off without him.

The panel was asked about ideas that seemed great at the time but they had second thoughts about it once it hit the page. Everyone agreed that this happens all the time.

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