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During the Friday programming of WonderCon 2017, DC held a panel to discuss their new imprint “Young Animal.” Rock musician and comic book writer Gerard Way curates the imprint and was on hand to discuss the first months. Young Animal is an eccentric and mature corner of the DC Universe. It takes the literary and more explicit approach of Vertigo Comics and applies it to characters within the DC Universe. Way, who is currently writing the Young Animal title Doom Patrol, was present, along with Jody Houser (writer, Mother Panic), Cecil Castellucci (writer, Shade, the Changing Girl) and Jon Rivera (writer, Cave Carson Has a Cybernetic Eye).
Way discussed his role as curator and said that he was involved in most phases. He reviews scripts, has a hand in the marketing and works with DC on the general direction of Young Animal. Consequently, Way has found it hard to balance his writing on Doom Patrol. The comic has fallen behind schedule, so Young Animal made the decision to delay the next few issues, so that Way and artist Nick Derrington could catch up and then Doom Patrol would be back on schedule.
Houser discussed how Mother Panic is set in Gotham, which allows her to reflect the world of Batman without really being part of it. Violet (Mother Panic) dislikes Batman to a degree, and though Houser has long been a big fan of Batman, she liked that angle. She said that Gather House, the mysterious experimental school, would continue to play a major role in the series. Houser was bringing in the lesser-known Batman villain Ratcatcher (an idea suggested by Way).
Castellucci delved into the next arc of Shade…, which involves her leaving town and travelling to Gotham. She said that she was going to explore more of Loma, the alien who has used the Shade madness to travel to Earth. Shade, the Changing Girl #7 would also feature guest artist Marguerite Sauvage. The back-up story will focus on Loma’s favorite Earth TV show “Life with Honey.”
Rivera said Cave Carson was currently in a dark place, due to recent events in the comic. However, that might change a bit due to guest star Superman, who will appear in Cave Carson Has a Cybernetic Eye #7. Rivera said it was a thrill to write Superman and Lois Lane. He added that he never thought he’d have that opportunity. Additionally, Rivera hinted that Carson and Superman have not had the most cordial relationship, so the story should be entertaining.
Young Animal announced a fifth title would be joining the line-up. Michael Allred (Silver Surfer) will draw Bug!: The Adventures of Forager, written by Lee Allred. Way stated that there would be some Golden Age DC heroes appearing in Bug!: The Adventures of Forager, such as Sandman and the original Blue Beetle.
Way also discussed an interesting upcoming promotion. For Record Store Day, Young Animal would actually be producing an album. This would contain both previews of the four existing Young Animal series and music made by Way. Keep checking in at Entertainment Fuse for more WonderCon 2017 coverage!