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Thursday, June 26, 2003

IMAGE / DREAMWAVE FIRST LOOKS

For covers and four-page previews of Image Comics and Dreamwave Productions titles arriving in stores on Wednesday CLICK HERE.

Titles include G.I. Joe vs. Transformers #1, Battle of the Planets #11, Savage Dragon #108 and NecroWar #1.



TEEN TITANS ANIMATED UPDATE

Glen Murakami, producer of Cartoon Network's Teen Titans animated series, said that Robin will not be associated with Batman in the show.

"In Teen Titans, we don't even really think of Robin as part of the 'Batman and .' team," he said. "I'm trying to treat him as a brand new character that people have never seen before. He's the leader instead of the sidekick. He's independent. He's not in the shadow of his father figure, nor is he going to react in the same way Batman might."

Murakami's comments were part of a question-and-answer provided by Cartoon Network about the series, set to launch on July 19. To read the complete interview, CLICK HERE.

In other Teen Titans news:

* To read character descriptions from the show, including villains, CLICK HERE.

* Ron Perlman, who is currently filming Hellboy, does the voice of Slade, the Titans' arch-nemesis. Wil Wheaton does the voice of Aqualad, and Clancy Brown and Tom Kenney are also providing guest-voices.

* Directors on the show include Michael Chang, Ciro Nieli and Alex Soto. Writiers include David Slack, Amy Wolfram, Rob Hoegee, Adam Beechen, Tom Pugsley, Greg Klein, Rick Copp and Marv Wolfman.

* Look for more on Teen Titans on Friday here in The Continuum.



HULK MOVIE UPDATE

Kerry Gonzalez, 24, of Hamilton, N.J., pleaded guilty Wednesday to making a bootleg copy of The Hulk movie and posting it on the Internet before the movie was released in theaters.

Gonzalez faces up to three years in prison. He pleaded guilty to a single count of copyright infringement.

Officials at Universal Studios, which produced the film, alerted the FBI in early June when the pirated copy of the movie - a workprint without final effects -- began circulating online.

"We are deeply grateful to the FBI and the Department of Justice for their prompt action in finding and punishing the individual responsible for posting a version of The Hulk on the Internet," said Karen Randall, executive vice president and general counsel, Vivendi Universal Entertainment.

In other Hulk news:

* The Hulk earned $5.1 million at the box office on Tuesday, pushing its total to $73.3 million so far. Barring a catostrophic drop-off, the film should pass the $100-million mark this weekend.

* Among the products currently featuring the character are Mountain Dew 12-packs of cans and Slim Jim cannisters. Click on the thumbnails for larger looks at the packaging.

* To read the now-complete interview with director Ang Lee, CLICK HERE.

* To read an interview with producers Gale Anne Hurd and Avi Arad, CLICK HERE.

* To read an interview with star Eric Bana, CLICK HERE.

* For 120 other stills from the movie, CLICK HERE.



STEVE NILES' WAKE THE DEAD

Writer Steve Niles is teaming up with IDW Publishing again for Wake The Dead, a horror mini-series drawn by Milx.

According to IDW, Wake The Dead is just what happens when Victor discovers a way to reverse the death process. Doing so he starts a whole new way of living that can only be described as "death defying."

"Basically Wake The Dead is a re-telling of ALL the Frankenstein stories I've ever read, or watched. It's like a story created out of the bits and pieces of other stories, so in a way, Wake The Dead is a Frankenstein monster all its own," Niles said. "I wanted to capture the essence of the original book as far as the youth of the characters and the price paid for playing God, but I think we've still managed to create an original and really freaky story."

"Milx is a rare find, a skilled craftsman who brings it all to every page with meticulous detail and care," said Jeff Mariotte, IDW's editor-in-chief. "From the interior of a house to the process of reviving a dead pig, he puts you on the spot and makes you believe it. Combine that talent with a script by Steve Niles, and you know you're in for a terrifying treat."

Wake The Dead is a five-part monthly mini-series, premiering in September, at a retail price of $3.99.

THE PUNISHER MOVIE UPDATE

According to The Hollywood Reporter, Mulholland Drive star Laura Harring is set and Rebecca Romijn-Stamos (Mystique in X2) is in negotiations to join the cast of Artisan Entertainment/Marvel Studios' The Punisher.

Harring will play "the ruthless, vengeful wife" of the film's villain, Howard Saint, played by John Travolta.

Saint is a man involved in the criminal underworld who has managed to conceal his violent beginnings and become a paragon of society until a darker, vengeful side emerges after his son is brutally slain.

Thomas Jane stars in the lead role. Filming for The Punisher is set to begin next month in Florida, with Jonathan Hensleigh directing.



ALAN MOORE HORROR FROM AVATAR

Avatar Press has announced that it will publish a career-spanning series of comic-book horror stories with Alan Moore's Yuggoth Cultures and Other Growths.

The three-part, 40-page-per-issue series begins in September from Avatar with stories by Moore and artwork from creators including Bryan Talbot, Val Semieks, Oscar Zarate, Jacen Burrows, Juan Jose Ryp and Mike Wolfer.

The series features classic and little-known comic book stories from throughout Moore's career, some hard-to-find tales that have appeared only in comic books outside the U.S., and some surviving stories from the tragically-lost Lovecraftian Moore epic Yuggoth Cultures, which will be seen here in comic book form for the first time. The series will include such gems as the now-completed first part of Moore and Talbot's Nightjar, a story started 20 years ago which was supposed to appear in UK comic book Warrior, the anthology where other Moore classics such as Miracleman and V For Vendetta appeared.

"Perhaps because it was a symptom of the strangeness of existence or perhaps because it was an unnerving reminder of the cyclic nature of life, but it was really bloody weird returning to and finishing a work that I'd started and abandoned when I was a young underground comic artist trying to break into the mainstream," Talbot said. "It was definitely weird inking a page drawn on yellowing watercolor board that another me had penciled over twenty years ago. It's not that I'd forgotten drawing it: I could remember penciling those panels, on some, even the music that was playing at the time (a pretty common phenomena), but it did give me a peculiar frisson all of its own.

"I don't know how he had heard about it but William Christensen go tin touch, asking if I still had the artwork for the lost Warrior story Nightjar. Warrior was the groundbreaking UK comic art periodical published by Dez Skinn (now editor/publisher of Comics International) where Alan Moore made his name before being headhunted by DC Comics, bringing his unique and magisterial talent for writing sequential art universal acclaim. Alan was already contributing Marvelman (later Miracleman) and V For Vendetta and he and I had talked about collaborating on a strip for Warrior for a while. We decided upon a horror piece. I started drawing from his script, fitting it in around paying work until, to be mercifully brief, Alan and Dez fell out big time. As a result, Alan stopped contributing to Warrior and Nightjar, now with no home, was shelved. Nightjar would have been Alan's first horror work. Many of the ideas he is playing with here emerge later in Swamp Thing, his concept of an urban sorcerer eventually manifestingitself in the form of John Constantine."

As for the Lovecraftian fragments from the series, those stories are also emerging from a lost project of a different kind.

"Yuggoth Cultures was originally intended as a series of texts that would have been inspired by HP Lovecraft's poem cycle Fungi from Yuggoth," Moor said. "Unfortunately, when the texts were about half completed, I left the only copy of three or four of them in a London taxi cab. Since it was impossible to reconstruct, the work went on hold, remaining incomplete.

"Originally, The Courtyard was part of the proposed Yuggoth Cultures package, but there were some other interesting little fragments left over, and I suppose that what's gathered in this series is a collection of those and other interesting fragments. Things from projects that were, for one reason or another, never completed, which perhaps which hold some interest in their own right. I'm looking forward to seeing what is done with them."

Although several of the stories in this new series were scripted by Moore for comic books, the stories originally written for the Yuggoth Cultures series of texts are being adapted by frequent Moore collaborator Antony Johnston in consultation with Moore.

"As a Moore fan from the Warrior days myself, I'm proud to be bringing this career-spanning range of Moore work to a whole new audience," Avatar Press editor-in-chief William Christensen said. "There are a number of comic book stories here that are either long out of print or never saw print in the first place, and others that only saw print long ago in now-obscure UK comic books. And as for the Lovecraftian stories, we'll be taking the same care and painstaking collaboration with Moore himself in adapting them to sequential form that made Alan Moore's The Courtyard one of the most critically-acclaimed indy projects of the year."

BRIEFLY

  • The Anime Network, the first dedicated anime network in the nation, announced plans to invade Anime Expo, being held July 3-6 at the Anaheim (Calif.) Convention Center, tapping into the throngs of anime fans that attend the event to further validate consumer demand for the network to cable operators.

    The "Demand the Anime Network" campaign, which combines a direct mail component targeting cable carriers across the country with a sweepstakes opportunity for consumers to win a 2004 Honda Civic Si, and a sneak preview of Anime Network's new High-Definition anime programming will highlight the company's participation at Anime Expo.

  • Coming Friday: DC news -- and much more!!!


    Comic Book Superheroes Unmasked DVD Comic Book Superheroes Unmasked DVD

    Industry insiders like Stan Lee and Neil Gaiman (The Sandman) reflect on the way their colorful creations reflect society at large.

    Special Offer! Order Comic Book Superheroes Unmasked on DVD or VHS, and receive the limited edition History Man Comic Book FREE!!! (Hurry - offer good while supplies last!)



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