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Friday, Aug. 25, 2000


Ralph Winter, producer of the X-Men live-action movie, said on Thursday that he would be interested in returning for the sequel.

"Haven't been asked yet but of course would be interested," Winter told Rob Allstetter for his Marvel ShowBiz column. "We have a great cast in place and wonderful possibilities for a sequel.

"Scheduling might be an issue since I am currently prepping Planet of the Apes, but then again it may take them awhile to write a great script! Who knows?"

Although it's been reported - and will likely be accurate - that X-Men will be released on home video and DVD on Tuesday, Nov. 21, Peter Staddon, senior vice-president marketing at Fox, said that the date is "not confirmed yet."

Staddon said the release date for X-Men on home video and DVD will officially be announced the second week of September.

"It will be a special edition and it will contain material not seen in the theatrical release," Staddon said. "Both the VHS and DVD will have material not seen before."

Look for more X-Men movie news soon here in The Continuum.


Daredevil/Spider-Man #1 will ship in November from Marvel Comics. The issue, the first in a four-issue series, is written by Paul Jenkins with art by Phil Winslade.

"This is going to be a breakthrough book for Phil," said Marvel Knights editor Joe Quesada. "Phil is one of those artists that has been talked about in hushed tones within the creative community. We've all been in awe of his skills for some time now but always felt that he really needed the right project to show them off. I can assure you that this is that project. By the time it's done I'll guarantee you that there will be a whole big new audience of Phil Winslade fanatics."

"He's just brilliant," said Jenkins of Winslade.

Here's how Marvel describes the first issue:

"Daredevil and Spider-Man are two of New York's coolest -- and most contrasting-crimefighters. What could bring these two famous heroes together? How about a move against their mutual foe, the Kingpin? And how surprising is it when said move comes from the likes of the re-vamped Gladiator, Owl, Copperhead and Stiltman?"

Daredevil/Spider-Man #1 will be 32 pages and cost $2.99.



Carl Barks, the most famous of all Disney comic-book artists and the creator of Scrooge McDuck, passed away at his home in Grants Pass, Ore. early Friday after a long illness. He was 99.

Barks wrote and illustrated almost 500 Donald Duck comic books between 1942 and 1966. At its peak in the 1950s, Barks' Donald Duck stories as featured in Walt Disney's Comics and Stories sold more than three million copies a month in the U.S. Another 20 million copies a month were sold in foreign editions.

Said Roy E. Disney, vice chairman of The Walt Disney Company said: "Carl Barks was one of the most gifted artists and inventive storytellers ever to work for Disney and the undisputed 'Comic Book King.' When it came to creating imaginative tales for Donald Duck, Uncle Scrooge and the other classic Disney characters, no one ever did it better. He challenged our imaginations and took us on some of the greatest adventures we have ever known. His prolific comic book creations entertained many generations of devoted fans and influenced countless artists over the years. Carl's joyful humor and stylish storytelling will certainly be missed but his timeless tales will stand as a legacy to his originality and brilliant artistic vision."

Born on March 27, 1901 and raised on an Oregon farm, Barks worked at various vocations before becoming a freelance artist in the late 1920s. In 1935, he started at The Walt Disney Studios as an in-betweener, drawing frames between action in animated cartoons. Within a few months, he was transferred to the story department, where he helped create stories for the animated shorts. His favorite character was Donald Duck and he went to work providing animation for some of the character's earliest films. In all, Barks collaborated on three dozen Donald Duck shorts -- including "Modern Inventions," "Good Scouts" and "Timber" -- and helped the temperamental duck skyrocket to superstardom.

In 1942, Western Publishing, producer of the Disney comic books, hired Barks to draw the first original Disney comic book, "Donald Duck Finds Pirate Gold." The following year, Barks illustrated the lead story for Western's monthly Walt Disney's Comics and Stories. For the next 24 years, he wrote and drew almost every Donald Duck story in that publication. He focused on the everyday adventures of Donald and his nephews -- Huey, Dewey and Louie -- and added a colorful cast of supporting characters that included Gladstone Gander, Gyro Gearloose and Scrooge McDuck.

Uncle Scrooge, the eccentric globetrotting "jillionaire" first appeared as a bit player in the 1947 story, "Christmas on Bear Mountain." Barks recalled, "Scrooge's wealth generated so many gag situations he was soon upstaging Donald."

In 1966, Barks retired from full-time comic book work but continued his association with Disney's ducks. Five years later, in 1971, The Walt Disney Company granted him unprecedented permission to paint Donald Duck in oils, bringing the Duckburg clan to the world of fine art. At age 70, the artist attempted his first oil painting and went on to paint nearly 150 works.

Barks' work has been collected in several hardbound coffee-table books -- "The Life and Times of Scrooge McDuck" (1981), "The Fine Art of Walt Disney's Donald Duck" and the 30 volume "Carl Barks' Library."

His comic book creations took on a whole new life when they became the basis for the popular Disney animated television series, "DuckTales," which premiered in 1987 and ran for many years in syndication and on network TV. A feature film starring Scrooge McDuck, called "DuckTales: The Movie, Treasure of the Lost Lamp" was released in 1990.

Barks was honored by the Studio in 1991, when he became part of select group to receive the "Disney Legends Award."

Barks is survived by his daughter, Dorothy, from Bremerton, Wash., as well as a granddaughter, a grandson, a niece and several great, great grandchildren. A memorial service is planned for next week in the artist's hometown.


Jim Krueger, writer of Universe X, said "people are going to flip over what happens" in the Spidey: A Universe X Special one-shot due in November.

"Basically, Venom goes off in search of her father, Peter Parker," Krueger said, "and finds him caught in one of Spiders Man's illusions. She has to enter the illusion to get him back. But it's the illusion world itself that'll freak fans out."

The art is by Jackson Guice, and John Romita Sr. is inking and finishing half of the book, which includes a Gwen Stacy story.

Marvel released the cover image to Spidey by Alex Ross this week with its November solicitations. "Alex totally outdid himself," Krueger said.

Krueger also noted that Ross is getting involved with the Marvel movies.

"I know he did some designs for the Spidey movie," Krueger said. "I know he'd like to do something for the Fantastic Four."

Following the Spidey special in December will be a Universe X: Cap special.

"Cap is reunited with Bucky. And that's all I'm saying," Krueger said.

Asked to expound, Krueger said: "People can read whatever they want into it. But there is one part of it that's a flashback. And for all the people who have wondered what I'd do if I wrote the regular Cap book, this is it. The Red Skull will do the very worst thing he could do to Cap. Death would be a mercy. Which, of course, is why the Red Skull would never do that."

Krueger said he is also finishing the script for the fifth Universe X special - Iron Men. He said he has found writing the specials to be "a blast."

"They let me focus," he said. "Each special is a story that needed more than 10 pages of Universe X to tell."


During an online chat on Thursday night, Wesley Snipes said he'll be going before the cameras in February for the Blade sequel.

"This one is better than the first one," Snipes said. "We haven't even started, and I'm telling you it's good. Bananas from start to finish, bang, bang, bang, bang, bang."

Snipes also reiterated his intentions for a Black Panther movie.

"We were going to do that first but we ran into some problems, and Blade came up and it came before Black Panther," Snipes said. "Hopefully we'll get started before the end of next year."


Image Comics publisher Jim Valentino announced a December release for Lazarus Churchyard: The Final Cut, a 128-page trade paperback by Warren Ellis and D'Israeli.

The book supplants the long-out-of-print earlier edition by bringing together the core stories, and finishing the collection with a brand-new story.

The story centers around Lazarus Churchyard, a "suicide-crazed unkillable junkie trapped in a future so disgusting that it makes him the good guy by default."

"Ellis has established himself as a peer among a select group of writers able to sell a book on their names alone," Valentino said. "Lazarus Churchyard: The Final Cut clearly shows why.

"Internationally acclaimed artist, D'Israeli, enhances the writing with his often grotesque, always brilliant illustrations. Image Comics is proud to offer this new version of Lazarus Churchyard to a new Ellis-hungry audience."

Lazarus Churchyard: The Final Cut will cost $14.95.


DC Comics has announced it will not be releasing a Watchmen 15th Anniversary Edition or Watchmen action figures.

The announcement came after Watchmen creators Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons pulled their support of the projects.

In a release DC said:

"DC initiated plans for a fifteenth anniversary celebration of Watchmen in collaboration with Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons. Subsequently, they've informed us that they'd prefer not to participate and it wouldn't be a party without them. Therefore, DC will not proceed with its previously announced plans for a Watchmen hardcover or Watchmen action figures."


Following are Claypool Comics' solicitations for December, with information provided by the company:


By Frank Strom, Tod Smith and Bruce Patterson, photo cover.

Elvira's forced into the middle of a deadly domestic clash, as Santa Claus' evil first wife hijacks the holiday, forces the elves out on strike, and even tries to eliminate the Mistress of the Dark. It's got elves, giant nuclear ants, vikings, and reindeer -- and it's all in this year's annual book-length yuletide yok-fest "Whine and Spirits."

32 pages, black and white, $2.50.


By Richard Howell and Ricarod Villagran, cover by Howell and Steve Leialoha.

The Ventucrats, a secret society that will gamble on anything, proffer a wager that could cost challenger "Lucky" Garner his life: He has to stay alive for one week in Fear City. Meanwhile, chance also plays a part in Dr. Ralston's tenuous reconciliation with Hermano, the Vampire King and the cautious holiday celebrations of the town's populace. It's all in "The Wolf Got My Feet!"

32 pages, black and white, $2.50.


By Peter David, Amanda Conner, Neil Vokes, Jim Mooney, John Heebink, Ricardo Villagran and Michael Weaver, cover by Conner.

The series showcases the lives of a motley group of ghostbusters in a city that's become synonymous with paranormal overactivity, the small Connecticut township now nicknamed Fear City. The gang includes: Bridget, a former Olympic athlete; Baraka, a fire-demon from an Arabic Hell; Janocz, a gypsy teen who can transform into monstrous forms, Kelly, an apprentice witch, and Peter P. Peterson, an accountant with a magic bag. This hugely engaging collection features issues #7-12 of the Soulsearchers' monthly comic, including the three-part "Toadies" saga, in which the SS group breaks up, only to find that their separate paths each lead them into conflict with the Cult of Drek and its leader, the Schlockmeister. "The Weirdest Link," an album issue, recounts some of the members' early highlights, including Baraka's ouster from Hell, and then there's the matter of the mutated creatures living in Mystic Grove harbor, and the spectacle of Bridget and Baraka's first real date ("A Date that Will Live in Infamy!"). Also included are several special text features.

152 pages, black and white, $12.95.


  • Graphitti Designs' Hellboy action figure will be available in December. The figure was based on designs by Hellboy creator Mike Mignola and sculpted by Norm DeCarlo. The figure, which has 17 points of articulation, comes with the following accessories: removable tattered cloth trench coast, replacement hand sword and gun.

  • Kurt Busiek said he will be writing next year's Avengers annual.

  • Coming Monday: X-Men animation news - and much more!!!
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