San Diego Comic-Con: Ghostbusters 101

Comics and future Ghostbusting were shown and teased.

A panel listed to be “of Biblical Proportions!” convened on Thursday, July 20 at the San Diego Comic-Con. Moderated by Tom Waltz and featuring Ivan Reitman, Erick Burnham, Dan Schoening, and two spokespeople from Hasbro, future plans and toys were discussed.

Ivan Reitman received the majority of questions from Waltz, as well as from the audience. This shouldn’t be surprising given he was the director of the original two films and a producer on all three films. Right out of the gate, Waltz asked if Reitman liked the newest film. “I like the women in the newest film…I thought if there was a way to bring the (original) characters back it would be fun.” Since it didn’t happen in the film, “I thought it would be great to try it out in comics. IDW was doing the original characters so effectively…” This lead to the creation of Ghostbusters 101. This caused comic book writer Burnham to say, “The only guilt (about the series) I felt was adding a half dozen new characters for Dan to have to draw.” Reitman chimed in, “I love Kate McKinnon’s character. I love her in the comic with Spengler. They gave me a lot of ideas for another film.” This generated strong applause from the audience.

At this point it was announced that there would be a new Ghostbusters comic from IDW in October, focusing on the new female characters. It immediately follows Ghostbusters 101, with the characters using their equipment in better ways after meeting with the original team. The ghosts in the series will focus on each character’s nightmares and fears. Burnham said that Kevin’s dreams will be very interesting. Kelly Thompson will be the writer, Corin Howell the artist, and Valentina Pinto the colorist.

An animated special was brought up by Reitman as something that was being planned. He also said he would like to see ghostbusting from a ghost’s point of view.

Burnham was asked what team-up has been trickiest for the franchise and he stated that the cartoon series The Real Ghostbusters was difficult to meld with the film characters. Artist Dan Schoening stated his three favorite characters to draw: Ray, Egon “for his ice cream hair,” and Holtzmann “She’s like a Looney Tunes character.”

The Ghostbusters-Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles comic book crossover from 2014 was brought up and a second one announced. There will be a deluxe collection of the first series with a second crossover planned for November. It will be weekly with a different artist on each issue. The story will effect both series and have repercussions on each title after it concludes. It will be written by Burnham and Waltz, featuring art by Schoening, Pablo Tunica, Tadd Galusha, Mark Torres, and Charles Paul Wilson III.

The Hasbro spokespeople revealed the Ninja Ghostbusters action figures that will be Target store exclusives. Raphael will be Zeddemore, Leonardo is Stantz, Michelangelo is Venkman, and Donatello Spengler. Each figure will be 6″, fully articulated, and come with a proton pack, spectral blaster, PKE meter, a ghost trap, and a unique ghost per figure.

Q & A with the audience then began. 2019 is going to be the 35th anniversary of the original film, with Reitman saying the studio is working on some things. When asked if he considers the videogame from 2009 to be the third film with the original cast, Reitman said “No.” There won’t be a re-edit of the original film for release. “I’m really happy with both (films I directed). There’s very little (shot) not in the original films.” China as a marketplace was brought up, prompting Reitman to say, “We’re playing with the idea of what a ghost is like in China. The films have never played in China. The DVDs have found their way into living rooms due to the film’s global appeal over time. I would love to show the films in China.” The passing of Harold Ramis lead to the reveal that recreating characters in the same fashion as done in Rogue One is being discussed. When the audience oohed that possibility, Reitman yelled, “Hint!” One of the last questions asked was if Slimer was going to be introduced as a friend in the Prime series (the original film). Waltz quickly said, “No.” Reitman added, “Paul Feig kind of tried it in the last film. We’ve actually tried to think of a ghost as a ghostbuster.”

With the panel concluded, the franchise looks to be in good hands for its upcoming anniversary and beyond.



Patrick Hayes was a contributor to the Comic Buyer's Guide for several years with "It's Bound to Happen!" and he's reviewed comics for TrekWeb and TrekCore. He's taught 8th graders English for 20 years and has taught high school English for five years and counting. He reads everything as often as he can, when not grading papers or looking up Star Trek, Star Wars, or Indiana Jones items online.
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