Thursday, September 18, 2008 – Top Cow Productions, Inc. announced today that the winners of the 2008 Pilot Season campaign are Twilight Guardian by writer Troy Hickman and artist Reza and Genius by writers Marc Bernardin and Adam Freeman and artist Afua Richardson.
For over a month, fans went to the Top Cow website, the Pilot Season website or other sites once per day, every day, to vote for their favorite 2008 Pilot Season one-shots. Pilot Season is an annual initiative Top Cow began in 2007 that borrows its concept from the television industry: Six “pilots” are submitted for consideration to be “picked up for a season,” except instead of TV executives deciding their fates, it’s the fans! 2007’s top two vote getters, Cyblade and Velocity, will debut with new series later this year. 2008’s winners will debut with new series in 2009.
Twilight Guardian and Genius beat out Urban Myths by Jay Faerber and Jorge Molina, The Core by Jonathan Hickman and Kenneth Rocafort, Alibi by Joshua Hale Fialkov and Jeremy Haun and Lady Pendragon by Matt Hawkins and Eru.
Twilight Guardian is about an average woman with a particular kind of OCD that drives her to patrol a nine-block area in her neighborhood every night, and about the other “night people” and situations she encounters because of it. Genius asks the question, “Alexander, Hannibal, Napoleon, Patton. What if the greatest military mind of OUR generation was a 17-year-old girl who grew up on the tough streets of an urban war zone?” Both books resonated with a majority of the voters and their creators are ecstatic, excited and even surprised.
“Holey crullers! I really don’t know WHAT to say,” said Troy Hickman. “I feel like I did once at a convention years ago when I somehow wound up on an elevator with Mr. Curt Swan, and I remember thinking, ‘Something’s gone terribly wrong. They’ve accidentally let me on the IMPORTANT elevator!’ The creative teams on the other Pilot Season comics are just terrific, some of the most talented people working in this, or any, medium, and I feel so proud to even be included in this competition. And big congrats to Genius for winning the other spot!”
“I’m shocked, really,” said Adam Freeman. “Genius is not a traditional comic and I suppose that is one of its greatest assets as well as its biggest obstacle. We weren’t sure how readers would react but we knew it was a story we were passionate about. Kudos to Top Cow for being the only publisher willing to take that risk with us. Someone wiser than me once said, ‘Never underestimate your audience’ and, truth be told, we did a little on this one. We didn’t think people would ‘get it’ but apparently they did.”
“Hell, I’m just thrilled to have won something,” added Marc Bernardin. “Seriously though, it’s like Adam said: We knew Genius was an uphill battle, but every now and then, those uphill battles get WON.”
“I blew my voice squealing like a happy pig for a half hour and came up with at least five victory dances,” exclaimed Afua Richardson when she found out Genius was one of the winning titles. “I feel like I won one for all the oddballs out there—all the artists left of center, for the chicks who fight stigmas in comics, all of them!”
Now that the winners have been declared, the creative teams will work with Top Cow’s editorial department to start planning out their series, which will debut in 2009.
“Issue #1 of Genius sparked a few pretty heated debates in some circles but that was only the first act to a much larger story,” explained Freeman. “There is a lot more to tell. I am very curious how the future issues will be received because, trust me, this book is not going where you think it is.
“We’re going to dip a bit into Destiny’s back-story and the forces that combined to make her the woman she is today,” teased Bernardin. “And we’re going to show just how bloody revolution can be.”
“I look forward to a) seeing what happens next; b) getting the chance to work with Marc and Adam again; and c) really getting a chance to show my stuff,” asserted Richardson. “I just really want put my best foot forward on this.”
“Well, now comes the fun part: making comic books,” conveyed Hickman. “Let’s see if we can take Twilight Guardian where comics haven’t gone before. I don’t want to give anything away, but I promise you there will be comedy, and drama, and plenty of the unexpected. Maybe she’s a Skrullâ€¦”
“Everyone here at Top Cow wants to wish a hearty congratulations to the teams on Twilight Guardian and Genius for a hard-won victory in this year’s Pilot Season,” proclaimed Top Cow Publisher Filip Sablik. “It was an incredibly close race across the board and these two teams campaigned hard for the fans’ votes. The fans have spoken and we’ve already got the wheels in motion to give them more of what they want!”