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Friday, August 8, 2003

WIZARD WORLD CHICAGO: ULTIMATE MARVEL PANEL

An Ultimate Fantastic Four title, co-written by Mark Millar and Brian Michael Bendis and drawn by Adam Kubert, will launch in December, it was announced at Marvel's Ultimate Universe panel at Wizard World Chicago on Friday.

The book's launch will be part of a month Marvel is calling "Ultimate Starts." The month will include The Ultimates starting with a new #1 in a second volume, a new arc starting with a double-sized Ultimate Spider-Man #50 and the appearance of the Ultimate versions of Angel, Dazzler, Havok and Forge in Ultimate X-Men #44.

Marvel also announced that David Mack will sharing writing duties with Bendis for four issues of Ultimate X-Men and then Mack will take over the book on his own. For much more news from the Ultimate panel, CLICK HERE.

WIZARD WORLD COVERAGE

The Continuum begins its coverage of Wizard World Chicago on Friday with bulletin updates. Look for updates throughout Friday and the weekend.

To kick things off, here's a preview of the Fathom: Dawn of War: Beginnings, a Wizard World release to tease the three-issue mini-series that will lead into the relaunch of Fathom.

Check back here later Friday for much more news.



SCION'S PRINCE VALIANT TRIBUTE

Scion #39, the last issue for Ron Marz and Jim Cheung, is presented in a special format as an homage to Prince Valiant.

Designed in the style of the Sunday newspaper strips by Hal Foster, which ran from 1937 to 1971, this stand-alone issue gives a nod not only to Foster's lush artwork, but also to his innovative use of detailed images paired with blocks of texts.

Marz said he was always a huge fan of the Valiant strip, and decided that he and Cheung's final issue of Scion would be the perfect place to deliver this personal homage.

"We wanted to do something special and something unique," Marz said. "A lot of inspiration was drawn from Prince Valiant and we wanted to do the issue in the style and format of Hal Foster. So you have to turn one side to read it and it's all double-page spreads with narrative text in the style of the Prince Valiant strips."

The issue reaches stands on Sept. 3.

CrossGen has released six preview pages (three double spreads) from the issue. Click on the thumbnails below for larger images.





FUTURE COMICS FOCUSES ON TRADES

Future Comics has announced it will cease publication of its regular monthly titles and concentrate efforts on mass-market trade paperbacks.

This new initiative will be effective after the August cover-dated books.

"It has become rather obvious that consumer tastes are gravitating towards the trade paperback format," said Bob Layton, Future's president and editor-in-chief. "While the direct market continues to decline, mass market interest in the genre is on the increase. We've prided ourselves on breaking new ground, whether it's self-distribution, returnability or, in this case, creating material exclusively for the mass market. Europe and Japan have embraced this format for decades and statistics clearly show that the U.S. is heading in the same direction.

"In the last year, revenues from the mass market has eclipsed that of the entire direct market with a 30 percent growth projected for 2004. And as an independent publisher, Future Comics is in a more advantageous position for making a major shift in its business plan than are the larger, publicly-owned companies.

"Our test marketing with mass market bookstores has been very successful. That, and the skyrocketing costs of producing the 22-page monthly format, makes this move a no-brainer."

Future plans to release all-new trades in a variety of formats, from digests to graphic novels, beginning in October. There will be a line of trade books directly tied into Future's licensing, movie and television deals.

According to Future, it will honor all subscriptions as soon as the new material begins to hit the bookstores, by providing either those new publications or refunds to their customers. "We're not entirely washing our hands of the direct market," Layton said. "There will be several special projects that will be published in the traditional comics format and distributed through the normal direct market channels, starting in February. Distributors and retailers are welcome to order all of our products (mass or direct) from us. All we're doing is shifting the company's focus away from the monthly, 22-page package."



JEREMIAH'S SECOND SEASON

Jeremiah returns for its second season on Showtime on Sept. 19 at 10 p.m., MGM Television has announced.

"Our second season is everything we wanted the first season to be," said executive producer/writer J. Michael Straczynski at the recent Comic-Con International.

Sean Astin joins the returning Luke Perry and Malcolm Jamal Warner in the Jeremiah cast as Mr. Smith.

"Mr. Smith is a guy who hears from God on a regular basis," Straczynski said. "You're never he really sure if he really hears from God or he's just nuts. We walk a very fine line. He's a really cool addition to our show this season.."

Tired of life and the horrible things that are happening to the world and himself, Mr. Smith tries to commit suicide and is drowning, when he hears a voice say, "Not yet. We have work to do." And he is washed ashore.

"Why would a wave washing him up on shore scare everybody?" Straczynski said. "Well, it was a lake."

Straczynski said he thought new episodes of Jeremiah will likely run straight through the November sweeps.



LARROCA DRAWS X-WOMEN FOR DYNAMIC FORCES

Dynamic Forces has announced a newly commissioned piece of art by new Uncanny X-Men artist Salvador Larroca. The piece, created exclusively for DF, and featuring the X-Women, both new and class, is set for an October release.

"We have been after Sal to put pencil and ink to paper for quite some time now," said Nick Barrucci, President of Dynamic Forces. "From his studio in Spain he's truly created a masterpiece featuring the fantastic X-Women."

"X-Women United" marks the first Larroca Lithograph for DF, although Barrucci said that, "We'll be working on other projects together, and fans should definitely sign-up for our inaugural release."

The piece features Jean Grey, Storm, Psylocke, Sage, the White Queen, Rogue, Jubilee, Shadowcat (with Lockheed) and Rachel Summers in Phoenix mode.

Measuring 18 inches by 24 inches and printed on archival 80lbs. Gallerie Silk Stock, the piece will cost $19.99.

Look for more Larroca news soon here in The Continuum.

get transformers @ tfaw.com


CLAYPOOL COMICS FOR NOVEMBER

Following are Claypool Comics' solicitations for November, with information coming from the company.

SOULSEARCHERS #63

By Peter David, John Heebink and Al Milgrom, cover by Amanda Conner and Steve Leialoha.

To save the Weasel Band, newlyweds Bridget and Baraka travel to the foggy backstreets of England's spooky Whitechapel district, where Bridget and the mystery villain play a deadly game of "tag," in "A Ripping Good Time!"

32 pages, black and white, $2.50.

ELVIRA #127

By Frank Strom, Todd Smith, Louis Lachance, Kurt Busiek and Richard Howell.

Dracula's daughter Vladia wants to get married -- at Elvira's Vegas stage show -- but what about the local madman who's kidnapping vampires, in "With This Ring ... I Thee Bled!" Also, Elvira's pal Shaboo the Elephant Boy returns, in "The Jungle Line!"

32 pages, black and white, $2.50..

BRIEFLY

  • According to DC Comics, The Flash #200, Batman: Death and Maidens #1, Empire #1 and Formerly Known as the Justice League #2 have all sold out at the publisher.

  • Frank Dirscherl, the writer/creator of The Wraith, has announced the formation of Trinity Comics to facilitate the publication of his series The Wraith, which was set to previously be published under the Alliance Comics banner.

    "The split with Alliance Comics is completely amicable," Dirscherl said.

    "Trinity Comics is about the three of us - myself, and artists John Jett and Craig Shepard, thus the significance of the name and logo. I would never have contemplated taking this step without the two of them onboard. They're such huge talents, and The Wraith is nothing without these guys."

    Trinity Comics will publish solely The Wraith as an ongoing, quarterly series of 110-page trade paperbacks, starting in December with a first issue featuring a cover by Matt Haley.

  • Coming Friday: Wizard World Chicago news -- and much more!!!


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