Outhouse correspondent TerriG reports from the New Gen panel with Mark Hamill at New York Comic Con!
Earlier today, creator-brothers J.D. Matonti and Chris Matonti were joined by artist Ahmed Rashid, media specialist Jeff Gomez and creative consultant Mark Hamill to present their "transmedia universe," New-Gen, to a maximum capacity crowd at the New York Comic Con. The Matontis explained how New Gen stemmed from their youth in the form of rough sketches and a basic plot idea of two twins growing up and watching their "superpowers" manifest. It eventually went on to spawn an entire science fiction-fantasy world of characters and stories, some of which was presented at last year's NYCC and on Marvel.com.
What was most impressive about the panel was the high energy of the contributors. Each had nothing but the highest praise of the New Gen universe. Rashid stated that it was the "epic cinematography" of the project that initially attracted him because it had such potential to move from the print medium to television and film. Gomez (a Queens College alumni like myself!) stated that it is a cosmic fantasy universe not unlike Star wars in some ways.
This led to Mark Hamill's story about how he became creative consultant to New Gen, resulting from a meeting some years ago while he was working on a play in New York. The Matontis presented their ideas to Hamill and he was impressed with the potential, especially as an animated title, a medium which he has been invested in personally. He went on to relate his experience with Alec Guinness in Star Wars to the role he sees himself in with the New Gen project, basically wanting to bring that "Obi Wan mojo" to the table for the staff as a wise advisor-type.
Rashid went on to explain his background in indie comics and how he came to work with the Matontis, as well as his fascination with the "universal story" that New Gen presents that has color and race as no barriers to the storytelling. Jeff Gomez, as a "transmedia expert" explained how selling stories across multiple media platforms is an important way to carry a title today in the 21st century, tying in again how Star Wars is the prime example of a title which uses all different ways of reaching out to its audience, and how New Gen will bring that to the next level by implementing social media and the internet in new creative ways. His interest is in the fact that New Gen is a new property and transmedia promotion will help the audience relate to the characters in the universe in a uniquely organic manner.
In the Q&A segment, most attendees wanted to ask Mark Hamill about his personal experiences relating to Star Wars and animation properties like Batman and Samurai Jack. He managed to throw in a crowd pleasing Joker impression, as well as an equally impressive imitation of Dan Castellaneta of the Simpsons, along the way. He also went on to give adivce to aspiring writers to get involved from the ground level in their communities to learn their craft. Chris Matonti chimed in to give the "4 Cs" - curiosity, confidence, courage and constancy - as the traits most needed in those looking to get into the craft.
Overall, the panel gave a good look into the Hollywood-level talent force that will be behind New Gen and its upcoming properties. You can pick up the first volume of the graphic novel on Sunday at Comic Con yourself! See more at apngenterprises.com.
Written or Contributed by: TerriG