By David Nieves
On a stage much too small to hold thirteen people, Aspen Comics landed in room 9 of the San Diego Convention Center to officially celebrate 10 Years of Aspen Comics.
Kicking things off are Aspen’s co-owners Peter Steigerwald and Frank Mastromauro leading the crown in a thunderous “Aloha!” Peter introduces Aspen’s newest writer superstar Brian Buccellato, alongside David Wohl, Beth Sotello, Siya Oum, David Schwartz, Alex Konant, Johnathan Marks, Paulo Pantolena, J.T. Krul, Mike DeBalfo, Mark Roslan and Editor –in –chief Vince Hernandez. [Whew! - Steve]
After the Michael Buffer-like introductions of everyone by Steigerwald, the audience were shown slides of current and new Aspen announcements. David Wohl started by talking about Legend of the Shadow Clan’s success. After starting the 10-for-10 initiative this year, Shadow Clan will get a volume two follow up in early 2014.
J.T Krul talked and thanked the crowd for their support of Jirni, so much so that a follow up volume will also happen for Jirni in 2014.
Vince flipped through lots of gorgeous Charismagic slides, while no new additions were announced; the audience was teased with a Charismagic themed giveaway.
Aspen designer and writer of the surprise hit BubbleGun talked about some of the influences for the book. “Comes from my love of Sci-fi”, said Roslan. The cover to issue five delighted the crowd. Roslan also teased surprises coming up in the series.
The company’s founder the legendary Michael Turner created Aspen’s flagship title Fathom fifteen years ago. Now the company is relaunching the title with All-New Fathom, which debuted at this year’s San Diego Comic Con. Some gorgeous Fathom art was shown that really honors the style of what Turner created more than a decade ago.
Aspen unearthed an unused Turner sketch of Aspen Matthews that will be the cover of Fathom issue four.
Mastromauro showed some art and gave a rundown on his new book debuting next month, Overtaken.
Brian Booch scooched in at the end of the stage to talk about his run on the upcoming Executive Assistant Iris. “The story will go more in depth with the character”, said Buccellato.
A slightly different logo for October’s Trish Out of Water was shown off by Vince Hernandez. “A tale of a young girl whose body’s changing” was the tagline sold by Hernandez.
Rounding out the 10 for 10 announcements was the new artwork shown off for All-New Soulfire. No new story details were given but the group promised to ramp up the excitement of the book.
Aspen’s only ongoing EA Assassins will introduce new deadly assassin named Daisy. Still a flower name but a occasion.
Aspen unveiled an unannounced book called #Cosplay. By Hernandez, Mastromauro and DeBalfo. It’s exactly what the title says with the image showing girls dressed up as various mainstream properties. The book will come out early next year.
More details were give about last week’s tease of LOLA XOXO. Artist and writer Siya Oum has been working on this post apocalyptic tale for the last two years.
The Beth Sotelo kickstarter for Grump was talked about. In her words, “it’s about a boy no one wants to play with.” You can find a link to it by clicking through here.
No word on special pricing for their 2014 books, but there is a plan for something special.
With that the panel concluded with yet another thunderous crowd chant of “Aloha!” With that Aspen is off to work on their next ten years of epic storytelling.
Also if you read this years Comic-Con souvenir book, you’ll find a history of Aspen Comics told by yours truly.