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What we're hoping to hear from 5 more comic book publishers at SDCC 2017

Contributed by
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Matthew Funk
Jul 13, 2017

San Diego Comic-Con is less than a week away, and everyone in the geek-iverse is going crazy either planning their trip or getting ready to follow every tidbit of news as it flies out of the convention center. There will be movie trailers, TV announcements, video game trailers and, of course, plenty of comic book news!

We already gave you our hopes and dreams for Marvel and DC earlier this week, and now it's time to get to everyone else. There are plenty of smaller publishers doing innovative and entertaining work outside of the superhero universes of the Big 2, and while they might not get headlines as big, they're just as worthy of our attention, because they're the ones who really push the industry forward.

So here are 5 announcements we hope to hear at San Diego Comic-Con from Image, IDW, Valiant, Dark Horse and BOOM! Studios. Of course, there are plenty of other publishers out there, so let us know who you're excited to hear from in the comments!

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1. VS FROM IMAGE COMICS

One of the most exciting new titles announced at Image Expo 2016 in Seattle was VS, from Drifter writer Ivan Brandon and Secret Wars artist Esad Ribic. It was described as taking place in a sci-fi future where war is broadcast for profit, and stars a warrior who is past his prime that realizes most people are just watching to see him lose. The concept sounds like a lot of fun, and the artwork shown was stunning, as is to be expected from Ribic. However, we've heard very little about the project since it was announced, so could we hear more about it next week in San Diego? Brandon has teased art from Ribic — and also his Drifter collaborator Nic Klein — as recently as July 3 on his Instagram account, so it's definitely still happening, It's only a matter of when …

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2. IDW'S PORTLAND OFFICE

At the end of last year, San Diego-based IDW Publishing announced that they'd be opening a new office in Portland, Oregon, where they'd be launching a new imprint called "Woodworks." It will be run by IDW's VP of Marketing Dirk Wood, and will feature a new line of comics as well as a curated pop-culture and comics magazine. We haven't heard anything more about the new line or any of the talent involved — or even when the new office will open so I can peer longingly through the windows — since it was announced in December, but if I were a betting man, I'd say we'll be finding out more in San Diego. It's IDW's hometown, and they've announced a joint party for the show between IDW:PDX and the equally mysterious Black Crown imprint from former Vertigo head Shelly Bond. IDW has a lot of great titles, but it will be really interesting to see how they spread their wings with these new ventures.

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3. MOVIE NEWS FROM VALIANT

Outside of Marvel and DC, the biggest and most well-known shared universe in comics is the Valiant Universe, home to X-O Manowar, Shadowman, Bloodshot and many others. Well, Valiant isn't content with just making great comics, they're also looking to bring their universe to the big screen. The company has films for Harbinger, Bloodshot, Harbinger Wars and X-O Manowar in various stages of development, but with Harbinger reportedly aiming for a 2018 release date, now is the time for Valiant to make headlines with a trailer, some casting announcements, an exact date … something! Fans have been teased with these characters coming to theaters for years now, and I'm hoping this year at San Diego is when all that patience finally pays off.

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4. KAREN BERGER AT DARK HORSE

Ever since Vertigo founder and legendary editor Karen Berger left the DC imprint years ago, fans and professionals alike have been anxiously waiting to see how she'd influence the comics industry next. She worked on Surgeon X last year at Image Comics, but that was just a single title, but in February we found out that she'd be curating a comics and graphic novel line for Dark Horse Comics! The prospect of the editor behind Sandman, Hellblazer, Y: The Last Man, Preacher and so many more classics in charge of a whole new line at a publisher that will almost certainly give her more breathing room than the Warner Bros.-owned DC is incredibly exciting. We know that the line will be called Berger Books, and that Berger herself will remain on the East Coast … other than that, the whole line remains a mystery. Could we find out the line's first titles at SDCC? Fingers crossed.

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5. MORE KLAUS FROM BOOM!

All I want from BOOM! Studios is Christmas in July. It may be too early to think about Santa Claus, but the publisher has released a series or one-shot for Klaus — Grant Morrison and Dan Mora's incredible reimagining of the Santa Claus myth — both in the last two years, so will we be getting another story this year? 2016's Klaus one-shot was a ton of fun and really showed how versatile the character can be, so it would be a shame if we didn't get more of him this year. However, Morrison is occupied editing Heavy Metal, while Mora is busy illustrating a new Power Rangers series, so they may not have time in their schedules for it this year. But hopefully BOOM! can bring a bit of Christmas magic to San Diego this summer and gift us with more Klaus.