By Nisha Gopalan
February 26, 2007 at 12:00 PM EST

With a toothpick in his mouth and Shaun of the Dead t-shirt on his chest, EW contributor Stephen King strolled into New York Comic-Con like a rock star. Some bastard genius over at the Con hired two armed Stormtrooper “bodyguards” to escort in this Main Attraction, then lord over the mosh pit of photographers, creating a lightning-storm of flashes worthy of a Cannes premiere. (Two thoughts: We’re fairly certain those troopers’ guns weren’t real, and EW senior editor Marc Bernardin insists this lends itself to an Altamont joke.) Joined by Marvel honcho Joe Quesada, ridiculously talented artist Jae Lee, and an editor named Ralph Macchio (gee, he’s never heard that one before), the King shrugged off the ruckus with his usual confident dude-ness and held court at a Q&A panel in honor of Dark Tower, Marvel Comics’ adaptation of his fantasy series.

“No.” That was his response to the very first question — of the most vexing sort, asking if King would pony over an autograph in exchange for a $800 donation to his favorite charity. Thankfully, that didn’t kill the mood. Between ribbing Quesada for calling him “Mr. King” (he prefers more casual options such as “Your Honor” or “Your Lordship”) and casually dropping the word “man” about as many times as Tommy Lee is wont to say “bro,” King continued to answered any and all curiosities.

Apparently, King’s affair with nerddom may still be simmering. On the possibility of other Towercomics, he replied, “There’s always more stories.” He later adds thathe and Marvel have also been “kicking around” the idea of turning The Stand into a series. Ecstatic cheer. Oh, and he’s planning to rewrite the whole Towerseries, viewing the existing text as a “work in progress.” Befuddledsilence. Finally, time for the true test: Asked what his favoritecomics are, he made the Con proud by citing fine longer-form fair like Preacher, V for Vendetta, and The Sandman, also adding in Marvel’s Spider-Man.

Asked to elaborate on rumor of a big-screen Tower,King proclaimed that he doesn’t “give a s— about movies.” Previousadvances to turn the property into a film by Hollywood heavyweightssuch as writer-director buddy Frank Darabont — who adapted the King’s The Shawshank Redemption and The Green Mile — have gone unrequited. But King does give a s— about Lostcreators J.J. Abrams and Damon Lindelof. “I trust those guys,” saidKing, before unveiling the big scoop of the day: He sold them the Tower option rights for 19 bucks.