Seattle gets a sneak peek at the birth of a universe tonight, with Emerald City Comic Con hosting a special event for 3 Worlds/3 Moons, the new publishing venture founded by Jonathan Hickman, Mike del Mundo, and Mike Huddleston. All three, along with special guest host Nick Spencer, are present for tonight’s separately-ticketed event at the Pacific Northwest show, as they talk about the origins of the new venture, as well as what fans can expect from upcoming releases.
Popverse will be here for the entire two-hour event, which includes a meet-and-greet, exclusive giveaways, and a Q&A portion – not to mention what’s being described as “a fireside-chat style evening event,” which sounds absolutely charming – to keep you up to date of everything said and any and all news broken. Whether you’ve a newcomer to 3W/3M or someone anxiously counting down the minutes until the release of Villars, this is the place to be.
We’re going to be liveblogging from here on AA Stage (well, we’re in the audience), so keep refreshing the page for all the latest, or come here when it’s all over to catch up on everything in one sitting.
Interested in checking out what else Popverse is up to this weekend in Seattle? Check out all of our ECCC coverage to date.
Our live coverage of this event has finished.
Good evening, fellow travelers. We're all getting ready for the 3 Worlds/3 Moons VIP event here at ECCC '22. Expect updates throughout the entire event, including a Q&A session featuring Jonathan Hickman, Mike del Mundo, and Mike Huddleston.
Things are still setting up for the event, but what's expected for those lucky guests to this event are photo opportunities, a "fireside chat" - we can but hope there's a fireside projected on the sizeable screen beside the panel table - and exclusive swag. It's an event open to subscribers to the 3W/3M Substack, to reward the faithful who've been supporting the project.
And now the first of the guests have started arriving, greeted by a cheery Hickman, del Mundo, and Huddleston to get their photos taken with the team.
The arrival of a Moon Knight cosplayer makes me wonder when we're going to see the first 3W/3M cosplayers. Bring those del Mundo/Huddleston designs to life already!
Looks like we're nearing the end of the photo line, which means that the Q&A session is very close for those following along at home.
"Everyone check your pictures, make sure they're not shitty," jokes Hickman.
"I do not give you consent to record this," Hickman jokes as the ECCC team preps to record the panel. He warns the crowd not to confess to any crimes.
"What would you guys like us to do?" asks Hickman. "Longer Q&A? Rundown of everything else?" Jokes that Huddleston and del Mundo are "already bored of me, they're already sketching."
"It's been a really, really interesting year at 3 Worlds/3 Moons," Hickman says. "Substack came to us and said would you like some money? I said, maybe."
"We told you guys that we were going to spend a big chunk of time behind the scenes, building things," Hickman says, promising that books are about to be sent out to subscribers. "But I think we should probably take a minute to talk about what you thought the experience was like," addressing del Mundo and Huddleston.
Hickman says that the team have had a "phenomenonal" year creating stuff, but they've been holding books back for the proper launch. "We've spent the last several months talking about how to put this stuff out in the world." Promises a "killer" second year.
Hickman says that he was "such an asshole" about how the books looked and smelled. "It's important that the book smells like a beautiful book." A poorly-printed book has no smell, apparently. "This is what you came here for," Huddleston jokes.
"The first year has been really fulfilling," Huddleston says, calling his previous collaboration with Hickman (Image's Decorum) "the best experience I'd had as a professional artist." "This is how my wife sounds as well. I'm a good partner," Hickman interrupts.
Huddleston was brought into the fold after del Mundo and Hickman were on board. "At the very beginning, we were just scrambling because the date was set," he says of the Substack's launch. The idea was to let subscribers have input from the very beginning. "I think it became fulfilling in a way that none of us expected," he says.
"Now that we're seeing all this material come together and being interpreted by other artists, it's been very exciting," he adds, calling the first year "home run after home run after home run." "I mean, I'm pretty for it," he adds.
"We worked through Zoom for a year," Huddleston says of del Mundo. "We didn't meet until San Diego." "It's about time for you guys to have your first fight," Hickman jokes. "You do know kung fu, don't you?" Huddleston asks del Mundo. Apparently, he does. Del Mundo also used to do "breakdancing shit," per Hickman.
"Breaking is a mishmash of different artforms," del Mundo says. "Breakdancing, if you really need to find me [online], you can find me."
Del Mundo says that he started working on 3W/3M at the end of his Marvel contract, and he didn't know what to expect, calling it "more freeing and creative" than what he'd been able to do at the House of Ideas. "The fact that we were becoming conceptual designers... that was something brand new. It's been awesome."
"We had an interview yesterday and they gave me a question of what's the most challenging thing, and I couldn't think of anything, because everything's been crazy fun," del Mundo says.
Huddleston gives credit to Hickman for being creatively open that gives them the room to create whatever they want to create.
"Look up Deadly Mike E-Boy" jokes del Mundo when Hickman complains that he can't find del Mundo breakdancing online. Del Mundo, staying on topic, says that he's excited for 3W/3M next year. Hickman says that they'll be launching 3 ongoings, and 2 graphic novels, "like French BD [bande desinee]." There will also be some "gamifying" of the universe, with an interactive game experience based on 3W/3M, so that things will be reflected in the books.
It's a bad example, Hickman says, but if there was an election in the world of 3W/3M, subscribers would get to decide who wins. "My favorite thing about working with people who are ambitious is that they understand the difference between let's do the work and make some money, and let's do something bigger." He's already hinting at an even more ambitious third year. "We want to be able to pivot at a moment's notice. If we feel really good about the gamification, we'll do more of that, or if we're killing it in the French market, we'll do more of that."
Hickman asks the crowd if they want to suggest an artist to work with. Someone suggests Esad Ribic. "I actually wrote something for him the other day. It's fucking awesome," Hickman teases. Someone else suggests James Harren.
More suggestions: Chip Zdarsky. Hickman goes on a tangent, saying that he was thinking about Chip on the plane flight here. "I'm starting a little film production company with my son," he says, and says that he'd talked about it with Zdarsky. He wants to make a film called Zdarsky that casts him as an avant-garde cult leader.
Hickman is going deep in explaining the mockumentary about Zdarsky, which involves him as a cult leader who kills those who aren't creative enough for him. "I haven't pitched it to him, but I know that Chip would get a little erect about this."
Pascal Ferry, Tomm Coker, Max Fiamura, Simone di Meo, and Daniel Warren Johnson have also just been suggested by the crowd. Brian Stelfreeze, too. "Brian's good," Hickman says. Russel Dauterman and Ryan Ottley have been named. Mitch Gerads is also suggested. "Whaat, yeah" says Huddleston. Tony Parker, Josh Cassara, James Stokoe are the last names mentioned. "Okay, I'm done typing," Hickman says. "That actually is a huge help," Huddleston says, cryptically.
And now it's a Q&A! First question, what sperpower would the creators want? "Flying for me," del Mundo says. "I'd just look at the birds all day." "It'd be tough, man," Hickman says, adding that he wants to say telepathy, but would anyone really want to know what people think of them? "Some kind of bullshit mind control." Huddleston says that he wants charisma. "That's that rapist dude from X-Men, right?" says Hickman.
Second question: what is your favorite brand of barbecue sauce? "Does Hot Ones count?" asks Hickman, saying that he once got sent a box after mentioning the brand on Twitter. "I was just talking about it, and they were like, here's some gifts."
Hickman wants to know if Huddleston is a sweet barbecue sauce person or a hot barbecue sauce person. The important answer: he's a sweet guy, but he wants it to be as hot as possible. Splitting the difference!
"Do they have barbecue sauce in Canada?" Huddleston asks del Mundo. "Yeah, we have HP," he says. Hickman seems surprised the others don't have more barbecue opinions.
We're at the barbecue sauce discussion period of the Q&A, for those keeping track. Hickman likes sweet barbecue sauce. "Anyone with questions about something other than food?"
Does Hickman have a secret Twitter account? "If one of them @bigfatbutts? Because yes it is," he says, before adding, "what's amazing is how much more productive I've become [since leaving Twitter]." He's not actually on Twitter, although he's thought about returning for the World Cup. "I know if I get sucked in, I'm going to be in trouble."
Are Tini Howard, Al Ewing, and Ram V still involved with 3W/3M? Tini's doing something right now, Hickman says, teasing other writers being involved in the future projects. "Actually, Al just turned in a really cool new thing." New writers are about to be hired.
After the Hickman era of X-Men grew so quickly, will 3W/3M grow as quickly? "Absolutely not interested in it becoming that big," Hickman says. "We probably will be very methodical how we roll everything out."
"We'll probably have a publishing schedule like [House of X/Powers of X]," Hickman says, saying that subscribers will have access to everything in some form. Says that would be a question for editor Stephen Wacker who's not here tonight. "We don't want to fuck it up by making it confusing or boring. Am I allowed to cuss on this thing?"
Huddleston says that he doesn't want the project to get too large, because he and del Mundo art direct everything and the two of them want to keep their hands on everything.
It will grow "as big as the story needs," but there's no intent to make this a massive universe of books at once, Huddleston says. "I don't think we're gonna screw it up, but if we screw it up, we can fix it immediately," Hickman says.
Are there plans to release monthly comics? "I think the answer to that is, yes eventually," Huddleston says. "We are talking to publishers, talking about the best way to let other people read the books," Hickman says, suggesting European publication might come before mainstream release in the US. "It's super important to us that we make beautiful, discreet books."
What is the panel's favorite superhero? Del Mundo says that it's Wolverine. "Is it really Wolverine?" asks Hickman, surprised. Huddleston says that it's Apocalypse, and Hickman says that he would've picked Apocalypse. "At Marvel, it would be Magneto, at DC, it would be Timber Wolf, Hickman says. (Surprise, but awesome suggestion, writes this Legion of Super-Hero fan.)
What is Hickman's relationship to faith, a subject that comes up a lot in his work? "I'm from the South, I grew up in the church," he says, calling himself a romantic. "We literally did a two hour lunch that was this conversation." Says "what's so funny is that I'm so full of shit that I turned to Mike Huddleston and said, this is what I believe, and I can't remember what I said."
Huddleston also doesn't remember what Hickman said. "I am a total romantic," Hickman says. "I don't write that way, because the way that I write -- this sounds super commercial -- but the number of people who write character-driven stories is a lot. The number of people who write worldbuilding stories is less. The reason I write how I write is good for the career, right? If I just wrote my own stuff, it tends to be more romantic than otherwise."
"I'm a sentimental, romantic kind of person. I like to believe in creative forces," Hickman says, although he also just said, "I'm a lover, not a fighter," even if he couldn't finish that without laughing.
"When we were talking at lunch, I do want to believe in UFOs and sasquatch[es]," del Mundo said. "Nobody wants to hear what you believe in, Mike Huddleston," Hickman jokes. Huddleston grew up in a Southern Baptist household, although he's not religious now. "I don't think I'm as romantic as they describe themselves, but everything that [Hickman] says that he believes, I share."
Any more interview material on 3W/3M? "Do you like it when we do watch the movies, the interviews, the livedraws?" Hickman asks the audience. There's murmured approval. People want "more podcast-y stuff," it's generally agreed, although Hickman worries about "crawling up [my] own ass."
"You want to know my church? Grant Morrison, that's it," Hickman says. (Seems fair enough.)
They're currently trying to rework how to do livedraws; do they take questions ahead of time to answer, do they change when they stream? "Am I boring?" asks del Mundo. (He's not.)
"Who votes for Mike Huddleston to get into the livedraw?" It's nervewracking, Huddleston says.
"We were taking the year doing anthologies" Hickman says of the plans for the first year of 3W/3M, saying that letting other artists handle del Mundo and Huddleston designs was part of the plan. "We kind of wanted to try that out." The series moving forward will be one artist per title.
"The book that I'm doing on my own will still be like Decorum is," Huddleston says, adding that he'll still be varying his art style depending on what's best for the story.
"We wanted it to be a wild line-up" of artists collaborating, Hickman says.
What does gamification mean? "We have a lot of ideas, I don't want to talk about it with any specificity right now," Hickman says, adding that there are very ambitious plans. "Is there anything that when I say that gives you the hives?" Someone in the audience says "NFTs."
"We did those elections in the X-Men stuff, and it was really kind of polarizing. The user feedback was through the roof, and I based that on old Legion of Super-Heroes voting for who's going to lead the team," Hickman says. "But the second time they did it, it didn't do as well, and I think the reason for that was that people wanted more of the first vote."
If you could take the 3W/3M approach and apply it to an earlier project, what project would it be? "Everything that we've worked on before is corporate stuff, right?" Hickman says. "Oh man, I'd want to do something like Mass Effect, some big sci-fi shit that you could take and blow up."
"I play a lot of Fortnite with my kids, and I got offered that Fortnite gig, and I turned it down. Because I am not good at Fortnite," Hickman says.
Huddleston says that he'd do Scooby-Doo. "One of the covers that I did for Decorum is a complete homage to Scooby-Doo, and you just didn't realize it," he tells Hickman. "It even has the house from Scooby-Doo on it."
Del Mundo says that his childhood is the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. "That's the first thing that came to mind." "We could crossover. Scooby-Doo and Ninja Turtles," Huddleston says. "Oh God," Hickman moans.
Last question? What is the biggest writing problem Hickman has had, and how did he overcome it? "I don't even know how to answer that."
Real last question: would the 3W/3M community ever move to something along the lines of an internet forum? Perhaps, Hickman teases. "I think we're going to roll that out after all these conventions."
And that's it! The team is moving into the signing session, and we're closing down the liveblog while that goes on. Thank you for following along all. Let's all think about Mike Huddleston drawing Scooby-Doo all night.