The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen
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Friday, July 18, 2003
EDITOR'S NOTE: COMIC-CON INTERNATIONAL
The Continuum will provide full coverage direct from Comic-Con International this week in San Diego.
For a report from Preview Night on Wednesday, including an interview with Mike Mignola about the Hellboy movie, and updates on The Punisher and Lady Death movies, CLICK HERE.
See below for news from Thursday's activities.
COMIC-CON: WILDSTORM PANEL
A third League of Extraordinary Gentlemen series and a new book from J. Scott Campbell were among the highlights of WildStorm's panel at Comics-Con International in San Diego on Thursday.
For a complete roundup of the WildStorm panel, also including Astro City news and images of new projects, CLICK HERE.
COMIC-CON: CROSSGEN PANEL
At Comic-Con on Thursday, CrossGen Entertainment announced Abadazad, a coming-of-age fantasy tale written by J.M. DeMatteis and marking the return to comics of artist Mike Ploog.
The series, which launches in December from CrossGen's Code 6 imprint, marks the first monthly art from Ploog in more than 20 years.
Here's how CrossGen describes the book:
"In the tradition of The Wizard of Oz and The Chronicles of Narnia, Abadazad reveals the story of Kate, a teenaged girl riddled with guilt over the mysterious disappearance of her younger brother five years ago. Now, given a glimmer of hope, Kate must travel from home and undergo dangerous and terrifying trials in order to rescue the person she holds most dear."
"Abadazad is a dream project that I've nurtured for years," DeMatteis said. "It's a chance to tell a rich, character-driven fantasy tale in the tradition of L. Frank Baum, J.M. Barrie, C.S. Lewis, Dr. Seuss, Madeleine L'Engle and so many other great writers whose work has touched and inspired me - and stuff my children's heads full of wonderful dreams. A story that can nurture an 8-year-old imagination - and be accessible and entertaining to adults, as well.
"At a time when so many comics seem to be about limiting the audience, about playing to the familiar, about creating an 'adult' and 'edgy' image, I am delighted to find that CrossGen understands the need for material accessible to a broad audience. I'm also happy to see that the company is wildly enthusiastic about finding new and innovative ways to reach that audience."
"At times funny, touching and exciting, Abadazad will appeal both to adults and younger readers who enjoy contemporary fantasy," said Code 6 managing editor Ian Feller. "J.M. has long dreamed of writing this story, and it's clearly showing in the work he's submitted. As J.M. wrote in his original pitch, this is the type of story that he can read with his 8-year-old daughter.
"As for Mike Ploog, he's coming back to comics to illustrate Abadazad - he's that enthusiastic about it. And any time a legend the likes of Mike Ploog is excited about a project, you have to stand up and take notice."
After the panel, Feller told The Continuum that Ploog is currently working on character designs. It's also possible another artist will be used to draw the more realistic scenes to contrast with Ploog's fantasy art.
For much more news from CrossGen's panel, CLICK HERE.
HELLBOY MOVIE UPDATE
Inkworks will be producing a set of trading cards based on next year's Hellboy movie.
At Comic-Con, the company is giving away free packs of five promotional cards, featuring Hellboy, Abe Sapien, Liz Sherman, Kroenen and Grigori Rasputin.
An Inkworks representative told The Continuum that a release date for the set has not been scheduled yet, but it will likely be sometime next spring. The Hellboy movie is scheduled to open Memorial Day weekend.
For a look at all five promo cards, along with character descriptions from the backs, CLICK HERE.
Look for more Hellboy movie news from Comic-Con this weekend in The Continuum.
MARVEL COMICS FOR OCTOBER
Marvel Comics has released its solication information for October.
For a complete listing, with cover images, CLICK HERE.
ROB ZOMBIE'S COMIC
Rock and roll star and movie and music video director Rob Zombie is branching into comic books, teaming up with MVCreations and CrossGen Entertainment and writing a five-issue horror-based series Rob Zombie's Spook Show International.
Illustrated by comic-book veteran and Zombie favorite Gene Colan, the first chapter frees the evil Zombie from his eternal slumber…now all will feel his wrath! The second and third stories, illustrated by Will Conrad and Eddy Barros, deliver bone-chilling back-stories based on Zombie's movie House of 1000 Corpses! In addition, artist Kieron Dwyer pencils an adventure of espionage, kidnapping, monsters and strip clubs as Zombie welcomes readers to the haunted world of Super-spy, El Superbeasto.
The 40-page issue features a pin-up by painter Dan Brereton and a cover by J. Scott Campbell.
"We're thrilled to be working with Rob in bringing his spectacular stories and creations to life," said MVCreations President Val Staples. "As the credit boxes of each issue will show, there are a ton of talented comic book pros who jumped at the opportunity to work with someone of his caliber. Rob's work has made a huge impact on the music industry and now he is sure to have a similar impact on comic books. With a musical genius like Rob helming the re-introduction of horror stories back into mainstream comic books, you can be sure that audiences around the world will be on the edge of their seats."
Rob Zombie's Spook Show International #1 will arrive in stores on Oct. 29.
Zombie, who is doing the voice of Dr. Connors/The Lizard in Friday's episode of MTV's Spider-Man animated series, is scheduled to appear at Comic-Con on Friday.
ANTONY JOHNSTON DOMINATES AT ONI IN 2004
Oni Press on Friday announced that Antony Johnston has three graphic novels on the Oni publishing schedule for the first half of 2004.
"Antony is a versatile and challenging writer," Oni Press editor James Lucas Jones said. "He's not content with working in just one genre. Already he's proven he can do romantic comedy, horror, and all-ages material. Next year he'll show that he can do anything."
First up on the schedule is Spooked. The first volume in this series of graphic novels is set for a February release, and it's being drawn by Too Much Hopeless Savages artist Ross Campbell. Spooked is the story of Emily Spook, an artist who draws inspiration from the ghosts living in her head. It's a pretty good arrangement, until she suddenly finds herself host to a murder victim, and he wants her help to find his killer.
"As a character, Emily gives me the freedom to write a rich, multilayered story," said. "She's an artist, a cynic, a runaway, a misanthrope and a loner... but she desperately wants to be normal. So as well as the ramifications of her bizarre talent/curse, I can look at her day-to-day life and the dark secrets behind her artistic impulses. Not to mention the ghosts to whom she plays host, who have their own tales. These are the elements of mystery and horror which are often overlooked, but also provide the most fun for me as a writer."
"In the hunt for an artist, we were looking for someone that could handle both the dark nuances of these stories and also have enough chops to pull off showing Emily's own artistic side," Jones continued. "Jamie was working with Ross Campbell on Hopeless Savages and had a bunch of his storytelling samples lying around. As soon as I saw it, there was no question in my mind who should be drawing Spooked."
Spooked is followed immediately in March by Julius, an urban retelling of the Julius Caesar story drawn by Brett Weldele. Standing firmly on the bloody streets of modern crime, Julius is a crime lord who is about to have his kingdom violently ripped from his hands.
"Shakespeare's plays are still around after all this time because he knew his way around a good story," Johnston said. "All the best stories speak to something fundamental about the human experience, and there will always be ambitious men who seek their own success at the expense of others. Gangsters rule our cities today the way the Caesars governed Rome, and as we all know, this story never ends well."
"I love Brett's art, and his work on Shot Callerz convinced me he'd be a great choice for Julius. He has a real grasp on how to convey grime... and crime. And he also draws some of the toughest tough guys in comics."
Finally, in May, the triptych will be rounded out by Closer, a horror comic book done in collaboration with Mike Norton and Leanne Buckley, a veteran artist who has worked for White Wolf. A group of people are invited to a remote island by an enigmatic scientist, and as it usually goes with such situations, discover all sorts of terrible things.
"Sometimes working in horror is like trying on a pair of familiar gloves," said Jones. "Once you realize the gloves fit, you can do anything you want with your hands. While Antony and Mike are trying on a classic scenario in Closer, what they do with it is entirely unique to them."
"Mike has made such a name for himself drawing giant robots, it's easy to forget he got his break drawing real people," Johnston said. "Now we're going to see how he handles those real people in extreme and horrifying situations. Plus, Leanne will be adding all sorts of nuances and shadows to bring out the terror. I'm very, very excited about this book!"
E-mail the Continuum at RobAlls@aol.com
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