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IDW Publishing held a panel at New York Comic Con called "IDW: The Ultimate Panel" that was teased as the "most explosive panel ever." Although the hyperbole was done in jest, the IDW panel did end up being immensely newsworthy as the panelists – IDWers Greg Goldstein, Chris Ryall, Dirk Wood and Scott Dunbier along with writer/artist Darwyn Cooke – broke news about new "Artists' Editions" and Parker projects.
Although IDW publishes a number of popular original series and series based on licensed characters, it has also made a name for itself by publishing large-format, deluxe Artist's Editions. These are books that reprint the original artwork from the illustrator, usually for a particular project or story. The Artist's Editions published so far have varied greatly, from John Romita's The Amazing Spider-Man to Sergio Aragone's Groo the Wanderer. They have also won numerous awards due to the quality and care IDW puts into them.
At the "IDW: The Ultimate Panel," the panelists announced three major new Artist's Editions. First, they revealed that Jack Kirby's groundbreaking New Gods saga from DC Comics would be published as an Artist's Edition. New Gods was part of Kirby's project in which he created the "Fourth World," featuring such memorable characters as Darkseid and Orion. Next the panelist showed a video from Dave Gibbons where the artist told the crowd that Watchmen, his collaboration with Alan Moore that has been hailed as one of the greatest comics ever, would be published in a similar format. This edition will be called "Artifact Edition" because it will be not include all of the pages from Watchmen. The panelists mentioned that deciding to create an Artifact Edition line was important because it allowed them to publish important original comic artwork even if the set is incomplete.
At this point, IDW invited legendary artist Jim Steranko to the stage. Steranko helmed an iconic and hugely innovative run on Nick Fury, Agent of S.H.I.E.L.D. in the 1960s and 70s. Steranko's work with Marvel will be published as two different Artist's Editions due to the different sizes of some of the art. Steranko Nick Fury, Agent of S.H.I.E.L.D., measuring 15" x 22", will be published in May 2014. Another volume, called Steranko Nick Fury & Captain America and measuring at 12" x 17", will be published later. Steranko also told a long story that concluded with the news that he would be creating a new comic book for IDW in the future.
Although this would generally be more than enough news for a single panel, IDW had much more in store. With Cooke on stage, IDW discussed a number of new projects of the writer/artist's adaptions of Richard Stark's Parker series. IDW will be releasing Cooke's graphic novel adaption of Stark's Slayground. Although this had been previously announced, Cooke discussed the work, which will be published in December 2013, at length, calling it one of his favorite Parker novels. The new announcement was that IDW would be republishing the original Parker prose novels by Stark in hardcover with design and illustrated covers by Cooke. There will also be some illustration inside the novels, opening up the crime/noir classics to an entirely new audience.