Panels, Off-Site & Exclusives With IGN’s Joey Esposito

Interviews, San Diego Comic Con

IGN has transformed from a content provider to becoming news themselves with the annual festivities that they bring to San Diego and this year is no exception. The team works hard day after day to bring us news on everything that fans want or need to know from the newest tech, movies, tv, comics, and video games. Although he was pressed for time this week I was fortunate to be able to get a quick Q&A session in with Comics Editor (and comic creator) Joey Esposito before he made his way into town. Here is what he had to say.

When Nerds Attack: Which projects are you most looking forward to hearing about at Comic-Con?

Joey Esposito: Well first, I have to pimp the project for the panel that I’m moderating – Stan Lee and Todd McFarlane’s team-up with music superstar Yoshiki for Blood Red Dragon. It should be a really cool book with some vastly different pop culture icons coming together for something unique.

But honestly, DC should be the star of the show. It’s a really unique moment for them and I think they have a chance to blow it out of the water. What I’m most excited for, despite the fact there are over 100+ TV shows this year, is the fact that comics have so much buzz going into the show. We’ve seen comics get overshadowed quite often at SDCC, but thanks to DC’s balls out initiative, the spotlight is back on them.

Some other lower profile things I’m pumped to hear about are what Mattel has coming up, both with the DCU and WWE, as well as Sony’s teaser footage for Amazing Spider-Man.

WNA: DC recently announced that they are starting the line over with new first issues. What do you expect the crowds will be like during the DC panels when they open the floor for questions?

JE: It’s going to be interesting for sure. Lots of people are excited, and some are understandably apprehensive. I’m fully expecting a nice mix, which will hopefully generate some good discussion. One thing that I’ve always loved about DC’s panels is that they actually engage with the fans, going so far as to actually ask them to join the panel. I think with 4 different panels focused solely on these new titles, lots of new questions and concerns will be raised and subsequently discussed. Hopefully for the fans not in attendance, those discussions will be communicated effectively.

I think it’s important to remember that despite what questions are asked – from the token continuity hounds, in particular – no one has actually read these books yet. It’s all completely speculative. Does the new Superman sound bizarre? Yes. But we haven’t read it yet, so why are we complaining? It could be the greatest thing ever and there’s a majority of “fans” that have already written it off. Being a fan of comics isn’t about exclusivity – the industry is in a funk. You won’t have a hobby if we can’t grab new readership. That’s what DC’s initiative is about. As longtime fans, if we have to sacrifice a little continuity to freshen things up and make it accessible, then so be it.

WNA: Aside from the panels that you are a part of, what are your top picks on the official schedule that fans should check out?

JE: Like I mentioned, the New 52 panels should each generate a lot of interesting discussion. I also think that the screening of the new animated movie, Batman: Year One, is a must attend. It’s always awesome to say that you saw something before everyone else! For fans that aren’t quite so into superheroes and such, I’m excited that Dark Horse is delivering an Axe Cop panel on Sunday. If you haven’t read Axe Cop, it’s a webcomic-turned-print comic that’s written by a 6 year old and illustrated by his older brother. It’s amazing.

WNA: How about unofficial events that are taking place in the city? I know you guys have something you will be working on.

JE: Well, we’ve got the IGN Oasis from Thursday to Saturday, and we’ll be having a Meet-and-Greet on Saturday from 3-5. We’re also having tons of signings in such in that same spot – Grant Morrison, Robert Rodriguez… you know, no big deal. There are lots of other parties and what not going on, I’m not sure it’s even possible to get to see everyone I want to see! But in terms of that, you can follow any of the IGN editors on Twitter over the weekend and we’ll be tweeting like crazy. You’ll be able to triangulate our positions and stalk us for sure.

WNA: What kind of digital coverage can those at home expect from you and your staff? Will there be live video of IGN panels streaming on the site?

JE: We’ve got all angles covered from movies to TV to comics to games. We won’t have live streaming video, but there will be TONS of video coverage going up throughout the weekend. We’ve got a lot of great stuff planned.

WNA: At your panels will you allow fan questions to be asked live via social media?

JE: I can only speak for myself here, but I always open the proverbial floor up for questions. Probably the night before my Stan Lee/McFarlane/Yoshiki panel I’ll put out a call for questions on Twitter, and I’ll incorporate some into the panel itself. I’m sure the other guys are open to the same.

WNA: For those who will be in town, are there any restaurants you feel they should check out?

JE: Honestly, this is my first trip to San Diego! So I’ll be Yelp-ing it up like crazy. If anyone’s got suggestions, be sure to hit me up on Twitter with that too!

WNA: I know it is a little early to ask but is there anything you hope to have in place for the 2012 San Diego Comic-Con that you just did not have time for this year?

JE: Honestly, right now I think we’re mostly just concerned with getting through this one alive. But we’re always looking to expand coverage and grow bigger and better.

WNA: Are there any exclusives that have caught your eye?

JE: I will be buying the hell out of Mattel’s DCU Swamp Thing exclusive, the Hot Wheels Back to the Future exclusive, and Hasbro’s Revenge of the Jedi 12 figure pack. So much awesome.

Leave a Reply