Wednesday, March 12, 2003
TOP COW'S ANIMATED DIVISION
Top Cow Productions is launching a new corporate division this August focusing on animation for its character base. The initiative is being spearheaded by the launch of an "animated" style comic written by Paul Dini, and with art by a roster headed by Darwyn Cooke.
The initiative is also supported by a major toy launch from Palisades Toys featuring Witchblade, Magdalena and The Darkness.
The toy assortment, scheduled for simultaneous launch, comes with four figures:
* Sara Pezzini: In her sexy civilian garb, complete with jeans and halter top.
* The Darkness: Presented in an all-new light.
* Magdalena: With hood, cape, and sword.
* Sara Pezzini in Overcoat: Exclusive to Wizard & ToyFare magazines, this version has a long flowing overcoat and alternate hairstyle. The 4.5-inch scale figures will come blister carded and will have a suggested retail of $10 each.
"This has snowballed into a much larger project," Palisades president Michael Horn said. "What started out as a unique interpretation of a great character base has become a major project for two companies."
The Witchblade Animated comic is written by Dini. "I'm thrilled to be doing this and it'll be fun to put my own little bit of a spin on the characters," Dini said. "I promise it'll be fun, it'll be dangerous, and there will be lot of surprises."
"Hands down, there is no one better to handle this kind of story than Paul Dini," said Top Cow editor-in-chief Jim McLauchlin. "He was our first, last, and only choice."
The comic art will be handled "studio style," with Kim Possible cartoon storyboard artist David Bullock doing layouts, Cooke handling pencils, and J. Bone laying down inks.
"We were lucky enough to get some of the top names in the animation field to work on this book," McLauchlin said. "The result will be a great story, with an authentic style that looks like it jumped off your Saturday morning screen."
NEW EXILES ARTIST
Clayton Henry begins his run as artist of Exiles in May with Exiles #26, the beginning of a two-part story arc, "Hard Choices."
"The name Clayton Henry may not ring a bell with readers right now, but in just a few months that's all going to change, and fans in the know can check out his first work in Exiles," said series editor Mike Raicht.
"We already have Clayton's first two issues in hand and it just gets better and better page by page. He's bringing a great animation flavor to the book and Exiles couldn't be in better hands. Fans are in for a real nice surprise."
Exiles #22 goes on sale May 7.
Click on the images for larger and fuller images.
VAMPIRELLA TRADING CARDS
Dynamic Forces has signed an agreement with Harris Publications to create a new trading card series based on Vampirella.
The artists lined up by Dynamic Forces range from current Vampirella comic illustrators to long-time contributors. Artists include Mark Texiera, Amanda Conner, Jimmy Palmiotti, J. Scott Campbell, Joseph Michael Linsner, Jae Lee, Tim Sale, Gary Frank, Ray Lago, Alan Davis, Mark Farmer, Joe Quesada, Bill Sienkiewicz, David Mack, Rick Mays, Joe Jusko and Adam Hughes.
"I want this to be one of the best card set available," Vampirella publisher Jonathan Rheingold said. "We have has incredible artwork published over the last few years featuring the top talent and hottest new creators around, and we're going to provide the best art available to help make sure the fans get what they deserve in the Vampirella Trading Card Set. It is an exciting time in comics and it is great to be working with Dynamic Forces on this project. I'm thrilled that they worked with some of the greatest artists to created this series and that they're including autographed cards by some of these artists as well as signed cards by Vampirella models Julie Strain and Maria DiAngelis!"
Dynamic Forces president Nick Barrucci said, "Vampirella is one of the most recognizable female icons in comics. She is also one of the strongest and best female characters out there."
The trading card set consists of 72 base cards plus six chrome chase cards as well as six signed cards in every box. A hand drawn sketch card will also be included in every box.
Also planned as an added bonus is a special box topper is a limited edition Vampirella comic featuring a Jeph Loeb and Tim Sale collaboration. The story which original appeared in 1999 is entitled "Looking for Mr. Goodwin."
BUFFY THE VAMPIRE SLAYER UPDATE
UPN has released two images in conjunction with the ending of the seven-year run of Buffy the Vampire Slayer.
The network's description of the images is as follows: "The Ubervamps prepare for the final, cataclysmic showdown."
The show will end production in April, with the final episode scheduled for Tuesday, May 20 at 8 p.m. (ET/PT).
The total number of Buffy episodes will be 144. Discussions regarding the future of the Buffy franchise and a possible spin-off are ongoing.
NEW GAGNÉ HARDCOVER
Gagné International Press will release Michel Gagné's eighth hardcover book in June.
Gagné recently completed a stint on Detective Comics with the back-up story, "Spore." He is currently designing the special effects for the upcoming Star Wars: Clone War animated short films. Between both projects, he found the time to complete his new full color graphic storybook The Towers of Numar.
"I wrote the story for The Towers of Numar over two years ago, and I just couldn't nail an illustration style," Gagné said. "After moving to the Pacific Northwest last fall, I got a total bust of inspiration and all the pieces fell together."
The book tells the story of Meeka, an awesome little creature with a constant need to create. Eventually, her compulsion leads her to a feat of engineering so great, that it changes not only the fate of her world, but the very foundation of the universe.
The book is full color, 8" x 10" and retails at $14.95. It will be available at the Gagné International Press booth at San Diego Comic-Con and can also be ordered directly from their website.
FIRST LOOK: SIGIL #34
Sigil #34 will arrive in stores on Wednesday from CrossGen Comics. The issue is written by Chuck Dixon, with art by Fabrizio Fiorentino and Don Hillsman II and colors by Andrew Crossley.
Here's how CrossGen describes the issue:
"Humanity's last hope for survival is a grizzeled space soldier with a second chance at glory. After centuries of interstellar warfare, the humans of the Planetary Union have a new cause for hope. Samandahl Rey, galactic mercenary, who wields the world-changing power of the glowing Sigil burned into his chest. The Sultan Ronolo and the Saurian war-criminal Hrad flee into deepest space. But even here, where the stars grow thin and space is dark, they aren't safe from the vengeance of Samandhal Rey. They're also not safe from each other as it's every man (or lizard) for himself."
Sigil #34 will be 32 pages and will cost $2.95.
"Getting the H-E-R-O Double Feature out before issue #3 hits the stands is just the solution I was hoping for," said Will Pfeifer, writer on the series. "Word of mouth is building on the book, and I'd hate for potential fans not to be able to get the issues they've heard about. This way, they can see where artist Kano and I are headed in the first two issues, then pick up the continued story just two weeks later."
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