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Friday, May 19, 2000


The Fox network on Thursday announced that a live-action version of The Tick will serve as a midseason replacement series for the 2000-2001 television season.

Here's how Fox describes the show, which stars Patrick Warburton in the title role:

"Wherever villainy rears its great, big, ugly head, wherever evil sets its giant ill-smelling foot, it is there you will find The Tick! Evil comes in many forms - be it a man-eating cow or Joseph Stalin, but you can't let the package hide the pudding. Evil is just plain bad. You don't cotton to it, you just gotta smack it on the nose with the rolled-up newspaper of goodness! Bad dog! Bad dog!

"For Arthur, the accountant-turned-reluctant crimefighter, and The Tick, the big blue defender of justice, being a superhero means you never know where the day will take you. You may find yourself halfway around the world in the shark-infested waters of true-to-life living. Or you may find yourself going down to the store for a lozenge. You never know. No! You gotta ride that wave, you gotta suck that lozenge! Cause if you don't, who will?"

The cast also includes David Burke as Arthur, Liz Vassey as American Woman and Nestor Carbonell as Bat Manuel.

The series is created by Ben Edlund, who also created The Tick comic and the Fox Kids animated series. Edlund, Barry Sonnenfeld (who also directs) and Barry Josephson are the exectuve producers.

The series is produced by Sonnenfeld-Josephson in association with Sony Pictures Television.


David Goyer, announced Thursday as writer of the Ghost Rider movie from Marvel and Crystal Sky Entertainment, couldn't reveal too much about the project.

"We are talking and there has been an approach discussed, but I have not negotiated a deal with the various parties, so it's a little premature," said Goyer, who has also written Blade and its upcoming sequel.

Goyer had written a Ghost Rider script several years ago when the property was at another studio.

"We may use my earlier script as a starting point, but the direction we're going with the story would simplify things drastically," Goyer said. "More Road Warrior than Marvel Universe."

Goyer's previous script included the Johnny Blaze version of Ghost Rider, who will likely also be featured in this one, according to the release on Thursday. See Thursday's Continuum report for more details.


The MutantWatch campaign, the pseudo-political campaign Twentieth Century Fox is using to promote the X-Men movie, has reached newspapers in addition to the recent television commercials.

Fox has mailed newspapers a letter from Dr. Peter S. Bloch, "founder of MutantWatch 2000 Coaliton" in addition to the 30-second commercial on VHS tape. In keeping with the deadpan nature of the campaign Bloch's letter warns recipients of "an alarming new problem - a problem that left unchecked, could develop into a crisis of epic proportions."

This "problem," of course is mutants, and the letter mentions the www.mutantwatch.com address and a phone number.

In very small type at the bottom, it reads "Sponsored By The Stop The X-Men Campaign."

In other X-Men movie news:

  • Toy Biz's X-Men movie action figures have begun to reach stores.

  • Marvel.com's ShowBiz column will soon be going twice-a-week to accommodate more X-Men movie stories.


    Will Meugniot, producer of the first and only season of Spider-Man Unlimited, told The Comics Continuum that all 13 episodes of the show were completed.

    Earlier this week, The Continuum had reported that only nine episodes were fully finished.

    Meugniot, who now works at Stan Lee Media, said that was incorrect.

    "Actually, even though my new job at Stan's started before the last few episodes of SU were through post production, there were overseas delivery commitments, and all 13 were finished and delivered a while ago," Meugniot said.

    "As to whether they'll ever air in the States, no one knows..."


    Lazarus Five #1, the first issue in a five-issue mini-series ships on May 24 from DC Comics. The issue is written by Dan Jolley, Tony Harris and Ray Snyder, with art by Dusty Abell and Jim Royal.

    Here's how DC describes the book:

    "They are eating away the boundaries between their world and ours: a research site flattened by a giant tentacle reaching up from deep inside the Earth; rips in the sky that pour out mutated beetles. The three-dimensional insects known as humans will be exterminated by the Decayed Ones...unless they can be stopped by the resurrected heroes known as the Lazarus Five.

    "Each issue of Lazurus Five features a painted cover by Harris and is told from a different team member's perspective, beginning with issue #1, in which forensic pathologist Morty Yoculan dies, only to be brought back as one of the souls who stand against the extradimensional Decayed Ones: the Inquisitors. Inducted at the moment of death, Morty is given another chance to make a difference, becoming the fifth member of the Inquisitors' highest echelon -- the Lazarus Five. But if Morty and the rest of the Five can't stop the Decayed Ones, his new life isn't going to be a long one."

    Lazurus Five #1, edited by Peter Tomasi, will be 32 pages and will cost $2.50.



    Fanboy Entertainment announced on Thursday night that Sidekicks #1 has been expanded from 32 pages to 40 pages without a change in the $2.75 price.

    "J. (Torres) and Takeshi (Miyazawa) have a story to tell, and what a fabulous story it is," said Fanboy Entertainment's publisher, C.B. Cebulski. "The first issue was supposed to be 32 pages, but Takeshi ran a little wild, and the book clocked in at 35 pages. What we originally planned, as was announced in an earlier press release, was that the eight pages originally seen in the Preview Edition were going to be removed and J. and Takeshi were going to rework the story with new art to make it shorter.

    "But after the three of us got together in Chicago at Anime Central last weekend, plans changed. The previews were snatched up and the fan reaction was overwhelming. After reviewing all the original art for Sidekicks #1 and trying to formulate a plan, we all agreed that book should be left as is, unchanged."

    According to Cebulski, readers will be able to see Sidekicks as it was originally meant to be read.

    "I'd been pondering the expansion idea for a while, ever since J. first informed me of the page crunch. I saw CrossGen came out and did the same thing recently. I've heard their actions received a really positive response from the fans and retailers, so we felt that there was no harm in our trying something similar,", Cebulski said. "Eight more pages of story for the same price. Who's going to complain about that?"

    Cebulski also announced artists who will be providing variant covers in equal ratio to the regular covers by Miyazawa. Kia Asamiya provides the alternate cover for #1, Ed McGuinness provides the alternate cover for #2 and Mike Wieringo and Keron Grant provide the alternate covers for #3.

    Cebulski also said that the Sidekicks lettering has been changed.

    "Takeshi handlettered the eight-page Sidekicks Preview Edition himself," he said. "Personally, I loved it. It was fun and original. However, reaction to it for the most part has been negative. It's about the only complaint we received about the book. Most people said they thought it was hard to read. But I guess that's a bonus benefit of having done the preview book. We've now gone back in and relettered the whole book to make it clearer and more legible. I guess it's better we found out sooner than later."

    Sidekicks #1 goes on sale in June.


    Due to what CrossGeneration Comics calls "a clerical error in the home office of Diamond Comic Distributors," copies of the CrossGen Chronicles #1 Customer Review Copy will not be shipped as originally planned.

    CrossGen originally intended all retailers to receive two copies of this special issue through Diamond the week prior to the release of Chronicles #1. Now the distribution of these issues is uncertain. According to Diamond, all retailers should receive at least one copy with many receiving more than the intended two.

    According to CrossGen, Diamond was given approximately 8,600 copies of this Customer Review Copy to distribute two per retail account. It appears that a Diamond clerical mistake resulted in a data set-up error that somehow interpreted them to be not just the Review Copies, but the actual Chronicles #1 order as well, even though it was a week early. Being that the amount of copies was significantly lower than the actual ordered amount, retailer's orders were filled based on a significant allocation. Retailers received an invoice telling them that their orders for Chronicles had been allocated due to a short print and that they were being charged for a portion of the copies.

    In actuality, the first issue of CrossGen Chronicles will not be allocated, but has been overprinted by better than 50 percent to meet CrossGen's commitment to its retailers to be able to fill immediate reorder demand. Retailers who received this invoice will receive a credit on their following week's statement.

    Diamond has assured CrossGen that all retailers will receive their full orders for CrossGen Chronicles #1, plus any advance reorders they place by Friday, May 19, on the intended ship date of May 24. No allocations will occur. Diamond has also assured CrossGen that this error will not affect the shipments of Customer Review Copies for Mystic #1 on May 31, Sigil #1 on June 7, Scion #1 on June 14, or Meridian #1 on June 21.

    "These are the types of things that happen when you try to be innovative," said CrossGen director of sales and marketing, James Breitbeil. "Recognizing the importance of this Review Copy to CrossGen's launch, a Diamond response team, lead by Mark Herr, worked diligently over the past several days to minimize the damage caused by this inadvertent clerical error."


  • Fantagraphics Books has reported that the Ghost World film has wrapped shooting, and director Terry Zwigoff is now in the editing room, Editing should be completed by the end of August or beginning of September, at which point MGM will set a release date for the picture, which stars Thora Birch, Scarlet Johanssen, Steve Buscemi, Brad Renfro, David Cross, Teri Garr and Bruce Glover.

    Birch is currently promoting the film at the Cannes Film Festival. A 15-minute preview of the film is being shown to international distributors.

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