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Thursday, April 19, 2001

IMAGE COMICS SOLICITATIONS UPDATE

Image Comics has provided The Continuum with preview artwork for its July solicitations.

For a complete rundown, CLICK HERE.

UPCOMING BLACK PANTHER

Black Panther writer Christopher Priest has provided The Continuum with updated descriptions on Black Panther #34 and #35.

Here's the description for Black Panther #34:

"Gorilla Warfare begins as the Black Panther and his new handler, Henry Peter Gyrich, race to the ancient, forbidden city deep within the sub-zero frozen realm of the Crystal Forest to save Queen Divine Justice from the malevolent Man-Ape! Also: revealed at last, what the heck is up with Everett K. Ross? Ross awakes to find his entire life has been co-opted by the nefarious Mephisto! Guest-starring the man called Vibraxas and The Defenders. More stuff than you can shale a banana at from Deadpool team emeritus Priest and Jim Calafiore."

Here's the description for Black Panther #35:

"Gorilla Warfare continues with the battle of the century. The deadly, murderous Man-Ape versus-- Henry Peter Gyrich? We're not kidding and it's a no-holds-barred battle royale in the frozen tundra of the Crystal Forest as time runs out for Queen Divine Justice and Vibraxas, and The Black Panther works furtively to prevent a full-scale civil was in Wakanda. Meanwhile, a sorcerously-modified Ross battles The Defenders! Think you know the winners of these bouts? Think again! This monkey business brought to you by Priest (and) guest-artist Jim Calafiore."

CRYPTKEEPER ON KIDS' WB!

The Cryptkeeper from Tales from the Crypt will host an "ExScreamly Scary Saturday" on Kids' WB! on Saturday, April 28.

Each episode in the network's lineup that morning will be "spooky-themed."

Comics-related episodes that day include "Shadowed Past" On X-Men: Evoluiton at 9:30 a.m.; "The Next Gen" on The Zeta Project; "Grounded" on Static Shock; and "The Circus Parade Syndrome" on Men in Black at 11:30.

Other episodes that day will include "Sphinxes" on Max Steel at 8; "Illusion Confusion" on Pokemon: The Johto Journeys at 8:30; "Tiger and Pussycat, Part 1" on Jackie Chan Adventures at 9; and "Fowl Play" on Pokemon: The Johto Journeys at 10.

OUT THERE/NINJA BOY PREVIEW

DC Comics has announced the release of an eight-page preview of two new monthly comics series, Out There and Ninja Boy.

The four-color preview is scheduled to be in stores April 25 and also will be given away to consumers visiting the DC Comics booth at WonderCon, Pittsburgh Comicon, Comics 2001 in Bristol, and other events throughout the summer.

Out There is a new ongoing series from Cliffhanger, by the Crimson team of Brian Augustyn, Humberto Ramos and Sandra Hope. Out There #1 is scheduled to be in stores on May 23.

Ninja Boy is a new ongoing series from WildStorm Productions by Allen Warner, Ale Garza and Dan Norton, scheduled to be in stores on Aug. 1.

The preview consists of the covers of both series' premiere issues, two story pages from those issues and house ads.

GORILLA SIGNS OFF

Kurt Busiek has an issued an open letter regarding the end of Gorilla Comics.

"As of the end of May, we'll be closing down the ApeNation web site. With no Gorilla projects on the schedule at the moment beyond Tales of Tellos, there simply isn't enough stuff coming out from Gorilla to justify keeping it open -- it's already been a while since we were able to justify maintaining it regularly, as some of you have already noticed.

"As for the rest of Gorilla... well, there really isn't anything else to shut down. We had intended Gorilla to be a fully-funded, formally and legally structured publishing company, but as has been reported before, once we were under way it turned out that our financial backer didn't have the financing he said he did, and wasn't able to get it. At that point, the idea of Gorilla as an actual legal entity evaporated, without it ever having happened. But the creators that had joined Gorilla had made announcements and even solicited books, and we were unwilling to walk away from that, leaving those promises unfulfilled. So we decided to finance our own books out of our own pockets -- to hope that the books would do well enough to sustain themselves on that kind of shoestring, but in any case to get them out, to deliver what we said we would.

"And the end result, as you know, was delayed books, production difficulties and more. Some of us fared better than others. But we all gave it our best shot.

"In the end, though, there are no corporate officers, no editors, no promo guys, no offices to close or contracts to dissolve. We each did our books on our own hook, banded together as allies, as friends. And there's no need to dissolve that.

"And the best part -- for all the difficulties, all the delays -- is that Gorilla was fully-creator-owned, and we all had complete control and complete freedom on our books. And we still do. We all created something new, and ape or no ape, we all still own what we did, and can continue it or not as we can best manage, through Image or any other company we choose to strike a deal with. We all made something -- we're all proud of that -- and what we made still exists.

"We'd like to thank everyone at Image Comics -- notably Jim Valentino, Anthony Bozzi, Brent Braun and Traci Hale -- for all their help and support, and everyone at Comicraft -- including Richard Starkings, Eric Wong, Jason Levine and the lovely and talented John Roshell, designer and webmaster of ApeNation -- for going way, way, waaaaay above and beyond the call of duty in making Gorilla happen, for as long as it did. Thanks to the retailers who supported us, the cons who welcomed us, the reviewers and reporters who helped spread the work. And of course, a major jungle-roar thank-you to all the readers who picked up and enjoyed the books -- without you, there's not much point to any of it.

"What follows, through the links below, are some farewell messages from the various Gorilla creative teams. But this is just farewell from this part of the jungle. Make no mistake -- we're all still here, we're all still making the best comics we know how to make, and we hope you'll check out what we do, wherever we are."

Busiek listed the following links: EMPIRE: Messages from Mark Waid and Barry Kitson at http://www.apenation.com/news/empire.html.

CRIMSON PLAGUE: A message from George Perez at http://www.apenation.com/news/crimson.html.

SHOCKROCKETS & SUPERSTAR: Messages from Kurt Busiek and Stuart Immonen at http://www.apenation.com/news/shocksuper.html.

SECTION ZERO: A message from Karl Kesel at http://www.apenation.com/news/section.html.

TELLOS: A Message from Todd Dezago at http://www.apenation.com/news/tellos.html.

BRIEFLY

  • DC Comics has notified subscribers to Martian Manhunter that #36 will be the last issue of the title.

  • A week after the announcement of the third printing of Green Arrow #1, DC announced that Green Arrow #2 is going back to press for a second printing. The new printing is scheduled to be in stores on May 2.

  • CrossGeneration Comics has received Diamond Gem Awards for Comic Book Publisher of the Year (2000) Under 5 Percent Market Share and New Publisher of the Year (2000). The awards are voted on by retailers using Diamond Comic Distributors.

    "We are extremely pleased that the retail community has acknowledged us in this regard," said CrossGen publisher and CEO Mark Alessi. "It just shows that quality and consistency does not go unnoticed. We sincerely thank all of the retailers that voted for us. With the help of our valued retailers, next year we'll compete in the Over 5 Percent Market Share category."

  • The singing group Eden's Crush from The WB's Popstars will perform in the season finale of Sabrina, The Teenage Witch on Friday, May 18.
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