EW’s own Nisha Goplan served as a moderator for the panelconsisting of some of the biggest, most creative names in comics today: JimLee, John Cassaday, Matt Fraction, Mike Mignola, Robert Kirkman, Colleen Doran,and Grant Morrison.At this kind of event — where news and announcements take a back seat toquestions like, “Why do you work in comics?” and “Who inspiresyou?” — watching these guys interact was half the fun. Whether it was Kirkmanneedling Morrison about his reading-in-the-bath(tub) habits (Kirkman: “Isthat where you wrote Seaguy?”)or Morrison asking Doran to go into greater detail about her Aquaman crush(Morrison: “Beard or no beard.” Doran: “As long as he’s slick.”)fans got a chance to experience the personalities behind their favorite books.

Perhaps the most interesting questions had to do with the ways in which recent Hollywood exposure and interest has begun to change themedium itself. Some creators, like Morrison and Fraction, sounded frustrated that many now view comics as merely a stepping stone to film. Fraction pointedout that comics don’t need to worry about silly things like physics orreality, so why follow the same cinematic rules? The best question, however, came from the audience: One person asked the panelists who they thought were the up-and-comers to watch; the Luna Bros(Girls), Jonathan Hickman (Nightly News), Jason Aaron (Scalped), and Derek McCulloch (Stagger Lee) were some of the names they offered.

And even though this was not the place for any announcements, a few tellingpieces of info did drop:

1. In response to a question about the origin of the infamous six-pagesplash of the Batcave in All StarBatman and Robin, Jim Lee mentioned that he’s working on a similar splash forthe Gotham City skyline in a future issue.

2. Speaking of ASBAR, while it was originally planned as an eight-issue miniseries, it will now likely wrap up at 20 issues, Lee mentioned. “See you in five years!” he said.

3. Grant Morrison noted that he pitched a Superman movie last year, but itdidn’t take.

4. Regarding the next (and last!) issue of Planetary, John Cassaday managed to dodge the question during the panel. Afterward, however, he was overheard telling a fan that he is working on it now, but there are noconcrete plans for its release yet.

5. Following a question about whether he would return to penciling after writing forso long, Mike Mignola mentioned that he just finished penciling a comic forthe first time in years, but he didn’t say what it was.

6. And as to whether or not BPRD and Hellboy will be reunited, the cagey way Mignola said “no” spoke volumes: “I don’t see it happening, really,sort of. There’s some weird s— coming up.” Take from that what you will.

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