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SUNDAY, MAY 21, 2006


NOVI, Mich. -- "It's the most fun I've had drawing comics in years."

Joseph Michael Linsner flipped through the pages at his table at the Motor City Comic-Con, and, yeah, it did look fun. Energetic pages of Black Cat, Spider-Man and Wolverine in action brought a smile to an onlooker's face.

The project is Claws, a three-issue mini-series announced by Marvel Comics this past week with its August solicitations. Written by Jimmy Palmiotti and Justin Gray, Claws presents a different side of Linsner's art.

"I just spent three years working on the Dawn mini-series Three Tiers, and I needed a change of pace," Linsner said.

"Jimmy Palmiotti and I had always talked about working on a project together, and I asked him to come up with a story where Black Cat and Wolverine meet. I picked those two chraracters because I've always liked them."

In the mini-series, Wolverine and Black Cat are captured and transported to a remote desert island, where find themselves at the center of a deadly game. A team of rich hunters have slapped down some serious cash for the opportunity to hunt the most dangerous prey on the planet and they're backed with high-tech weapons.

The key to Logan and Felicia's survival just might be their ability to cooperate long enough, and there might even be a spark of romance before the adventure is over.

From the first image released by Marvel, it's apparent that Linsner tweaked Black Cat's appearance for Claws.

"Axel Alonso is my editor on this, and he's allowed me to go nuts," said Linser, who has almost completed the third issue. "I really wanted to do something light-hearted."

The mini-series is colored by Jason Keith and will have cardstock covers.

Follwing Claws, Linsner returns to fare he's more well-known for with Dark Ivory, a three-issue romantic goth vampire mini-series targeted for spring 2007.

"I'm not sure where it will be published yet," said Linsner, who will next appear at Wizard World Philadelphia in two weeks.

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