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Sunday, August 28, 2005

CANADIAN NATIONAL COMIC BOOK EXPO: ASPEN PANEL

TORONTO -- Even in a marketplace dominated by Marvel Comics and DC Comics, Aspen Comics' Michael Turner said there's plenty of room for his company to grow.

"I'm confident that if something is good, it's going to be around," Turner said on Saturday at the Aspen panel at the Canadian National Comic Book Expol.

Turner admits that he himself "helped create the monster" with his work at DC and an upcoming project at Marvel.

"There are so many remakes out there," Turner said. "Everybody likes to see new things. They're going to come back around where people are going to want to see new stuff, and we're going to be right there with a bunch of it."

Aspen debuted Soulfire #5 at the show -- the issue will be in stores this week -- with two cover versions, including one created especially for the Expo.

In other notes from the panel:

* Turner was asked whom he would cast in a live-action Fathom movie, which is in development with LightStorm Entertainment for Fox.

"Jessica Alba was in the running for a while because she's worked with James Cameron in the past," he said. "Right now, I'm leaning toward an unknown. She just has to be a really good actress.

"Plus, the movie's skewed toward a younger story. It's almost a prequel story. She's 18 years old."

Turner, who's recently taken a meeting on the film, said casting won't be an issue until the script is firmed up.

* Fathom artist Koi Turnbull will also be doing the covers starting with #5. "I'm comfortable with these characters now," Turnbull said. "In issues 4, 5 and 6, you'll see that comfort."

* After Turner's soon-to-be-named six-issue mini-series with Marvel Comics, he wants to turn his focus to Ekos, the series written by Geoff Johns for Aspen. "It's even cooler now than it was then," he said of the delayed project.

* Turner said that he still plans to work with DC Comics, and has several covers lined up, including Supergirl.

Peter Steigerwald said that Aspen's work for other companies -- including a video-game project -- is simply a case of what the studio wants to work on. "If the other stuff benefits us, great," he said.

* Frank Mastromauro said that Aspen-based action figures are "a when not an if," and Turner added that usually a toy line needs another media push, i.e. a movie, for launching.

* Mastromauro said he was very happy with the sell-out status of the Grace statue, which will be followed by a Kiani statue.

* Now that an issue with clasps havs been worked out, Mastromauro said he hopes to have Aspen necklaces in stores before Christmas.

* A collectible card game featuring Fathom is in the works, as are three Fathom mini-busts.

* Turner said that in Soulfire #6, "It just goes crazy." A second Soulfire series will be in the works before the first one is concluded, Turner said.

Lord of the Rings


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