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Monday, April 16, 2001


Josie and the Pussycats, the live-action movie based on the Archie Comics characters, was a disappointment at the box office in its opening week, placing seventh.

The movie, from Universal Pictures, brought in $5.2 million. Playing in 2,556 theaters, Josie and the Pussycats averaged just $2,034.

"It's a little soft, but these things happen," Nikki Rocco, head of distribution for Universal, told The Associated Press. "It's an inexpensive film, so hopefully we won't get hurt too badly on this investment."

Films finishing in front of Josie and the Pussycats included Spy Kids with $12.8 million; Along Came a Spider with $11.3 million; Bridget Jones's Diary with $10.8 million; Joe Dirt with $8.2 million; Blow with $8.0 million; and Kingdom Come with $7.5 million.

Josie and the Pussycats was rated PG-13 for "language and mild sensuality," and Archie Comics publisher Michael Silberkleit posted an open letter on the company's web site regarding the rating.

"We were, frankly, a little surprised ourselves that the film got a PG-13 rating," he wrote. "We thought it would end up being rated PG. In fact, we worked very hard to keep 'elements' out of the film that would make it inappropriate for the younger members of our loyal comic audience. Rest assured we made a lot of 'cuts.'"

Silberkleit continued:

"The absolutely worst use of language that I can recall (and I've seen the movie a number of times) is a double entendre use of the word 'pussy' (we tried hard to keep even this out - but we felt younger kids simply wouldn't even realize, or be offended by, the joke). I honestly do not recall anything inappropriate for young kids. After they have screened the movie themselves and deemed it appropriate for younger audiences, members of the production crew are bringing children as young as 6.

"As one of our executives said to me: 'If I let my kids watch Dawson Creek, I'll let them watch this - they are pretty much the same.'

"As for 'mild sensuality' - well, you've surely seen by now the outfits that the girls wear (if you haven't, surf around our site a little, we've got pictures of them plastered all over our website). Their clothes are right out of the preteen/teen clothing catalogs that come into all of our homes almost every week. And nobody (to my knowledge) thinks those catalogs are inappropriate for children under 13.

"So we have absolutely no idea what the ratings folks meant when they said there is 'mild sensuality' in the film.

"Admittedly, when your film stars three very pretty young ladies and has a great supporting cast as well, it's sure to be perceived as being a 'hot' film. But that doesn't make it sensual (mildly or otherwise). There is more sensuality in many Saturday morning television shows than there is in our movie."

A new Josie and the Pussycats animated series is in development at DIC.


Blue Line Pro Comics has announced it will be the new publisher of Paul Sizer's Little White Mouse.

"As soon as I saw LWM, I was hooked," said Bob Hickey, publisher of BLP Comics. "I meet Paul about a year ago when we started Sketch. I told Paul if he ever needed a publisher for LWM, that I had an open spot for him if he wanted it."

BLP Comics and Sizer will begin a new monthly four-issue series with the first BLP Comics installment of Little White Mouse: Entropy Dreaming #1 starting in August.

"I've seen the second issue of the new mini-series and Paul has outdone himself by adding gray tones to LWM, giving it somewhat of a distinct manga feel," Hickey said. "I believe readers will be very happy with what they see."

BLP Comics also will be re-packaging the previous two LWM series into trade paperbacks. Plans are to have one available by the holidays.


Thunderbolts #51 will arrive in stores on Wednesday from Marvel Comics. The issue is written by Fabian Nicieza, with art and cover by Patrick Zircher and Al Vey.

Here's how Marvel describes the issue:

"This issue features a rescue mission into the heart of Latveria, a star-spangled guest-star, an armor-clad gunslinger and the usual quotient of shocks and surprises."

Thunderbolts #51 will be 32 pages and will cost $2.25.



X-Force #114 will arrive in stores on Wednesday from Marvel. The issue is written by Ian Edginton, with art by Jorge Lucas and a cover by Ariel Olivetti.

The issue is part one of the two-part "Epitaph" story that leads into the next X-Force.

X-Force #114 will be 32 pages and will cost $2.25.



Defenders #4 will arrive in stores on Wednesday from Marvel Comics. The issue is written by Erik Larsen and Kurt Busiek, with art and by Ron Frenz and Scott Hanna.

Here's how Marvel describes the issue:

"For the third time in a row: a classic Defender returns - but not in the way readers think. As Pluto's legions of the dead storm the realm of the living, the truth about Valkyrie is revealed. Plus, in all likelihood, the Hulk will smack Namor upside the head."

Defenders #4 will be 32 pages and will cost $2.25.



Fantastic Four: The World's Greatest Comics Magazine #5 will arrive in stores on Wednesday from Marvel Comics. The issue is written by Erik Larsen, Eric Stephenson and Kurt Busiek, with art by Keith Giffen, Ron Frenz, Gordon Purcell, Joe Bennett, Al Gordon, Joe Sinnott and Bruce Timm and a cover by Larsen.

Here's how Marvel describes the issue:

"Continuing Marvel's year-long celebration of the FF's 40th Anniversary in the classic Lee/Kirby tradition. As the Fantastic Four come to grips with the fact that they're being manipulated by a hated enemy, the Hulk goes on a riotous rampage, setting the stage for a classic clash between ol' Jade Jaws and the ever-lovin' blue-eyed Thing."

Fantastic Four: The World's Greatest Comic Magazine #5 will be 32 pages and will cost $2.99.



  • Tom Derenick told The Continuum he will be drawing Robert Weinberg's Nightside for Marvel Comics. "I haven't actually started drawing anything yet with the exception of character sheets," Derenick said.

  • The Agency, by Paul Jenkins and Kyle Hotz, will launch in July from Top Cow's Minotaur Press imprint. The book is a futuristic tale of special operative, designed, built and trained to handle which police cannot.

  • In August, Alternative Comics will release of True Swamp: Stoneground and Hillbound, Jon Lewis' all-new follow-up to 2000's True Swamp: Underwoods and Overtime, which was named #9 on Time Magazine Online's list of the Year's Best Comics.

    Like its predecessor, Stoneground and Hillbound is a 64-pager.

    Here's how Alternative describes the book:

    "Lenny the Frog, in search of a new job, journeys to the hidden grotto of a visionary sculptor who has mastered the medium of clay but not the medium of social interaction. Next to this creature, Lenny looks like the very picture of balance and sanity-- can our frog handle working in such conditions? Meanwhile, we get a good look at Miln the Tortoise's work-in-progress: a cross-species study of the swamp's traditions of death and the afterlife. Her latest bit of research has her tracking down a crow-and-marsupial team who are rumored to have actually visited The City: impossible, of course, but then didn't Lenny the Frog claim the very same thing? Elsewhere, Cartucci, collector of human relics and unscrupulous eavesdropper, learns of the existence of the kind of treasure a collector could gladly give his tail for-- unfortunately, it happens to be the central artifact of the swamp's largest and most fundamentalist religion: the church of Natural Science."

  • Top Cow will collect its Magdalena mini-series in July.

  • Coming after midnight: DC Comics for July - and much more!!!
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