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SUNDAY, JULY 26, 2009


By Ernie Estrella

SAN DIEGO -- Oni Press panel announced several new projects at its panel at Comic-Con International. A large fleet of talent attended, including Ross Campbell, Jamie S. Rich, Greg Rucka, Bryan Lee O'Malley, Chris Schweizer, Brian Hurtt, Nunzio DeFilippis, Lee Walton , James Lucas Jones, Robbi Rodriguez, Cullen Bunn, Renee Lott, Anthony Johnston and Christopher Mitten.

Highlights included:

* An Oni Press iGoogle theme can now be applied to your Google Mail portal.

* Stumptown will premiere in October. Rucka described the series as a private investigator book. "It's not hardboiled crime, it's a private investigator who never knows when to shut up, who has an incredible run of bad luck," he said. "And the art is by Matthew Southworth. And it's in color. It's funny,and it's fun!"

The series will have a publishing schedule of four issues, followed by a four-month break.

A special Stumptown t-shirt is being sold at Comic-Con with a phone number. If you dial the number on the shirt, you will get a special message about the series.

* Rucka also announced Queen & Country: The Last Run, a story that takes bridges volume one and two.

* Frenemy of the State is a new mini-series following a wealthy heiress working for the CIA, co-created and co-written by Rashida Jones (The Office, Parks & Recreation), Nunzio DeFilippis and Christina Weir. Walton said, "Rashida came to us with a pitch that asks, 'What if Paris Hilton was recruited by the CIA?' She can do things in the field and no one would stop her." The mini-series will be in full color.

* The 6th Gun is a new supernatural western from the creative team behind The Damned, Cullen Bunn and Brian Hurtt tell the dark days of the Civil War and mystical six special pistols with different powers.

* Spell Checkers is a new original graphic novel series by Jamie S. Rich, who said it's "Mean Girls meet the Craft. Except, no lessons. It's always bad and always foul. It's like Buffy the Vampire Slayer without the do-gooder whining and the Craft without the crap goth clothes." Flashbacks scenes will be drawn by Joelle Jones and the present-day stories will be drawn by Nicholas Hitori De.

* Petrograd is a new historical fiction graphic novel exploring the death of Grigori Yefimovich Rasputin from Phil Gelatt (writer of Labor Days) and new artist Tyler Crook. The audience erupted in laughter when a page of interior art was shown and was told it was "depicting Alan Moore after he was told they're making a Watchmen 2."

* Polly & the Pirates will return with an original graphic novel next year. The series will still be written by Ted Naifeh, but now features the art of Robbi Rodriguez. Naifeh said, "We have a new artist in Robbi, and I couldn't be happier."

* The second volume of Labor Days will be released in the fall.

* Chris Schweizer's Crogan's March is the second in the series of the historical adventures. The First one was pirates, next one is about Legion soldiers.

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