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MONDAY, JULY 27, 2009


By Ernie Estrella

SAN DIEGO -- Dark Horse Comics made one announcement after another on Saturday at its Comic-Con International panel.

Panelists included Jim Shooter, Gerard Way, Scott Allie, Jim Shooter, Eric Powell, Randy Stradley and Mike Richardson.

Following are highlights:

* Way kicked off the panel by announcing Umbrella Academy Volume Three: Hotel Oblivion. Way said,"In the second volume, Dallas the Academy develops into where it's supposed to be and it gets more weirder. There's a lot of crazy new stuff."

Way also announced a new mature readers title, The True Lives of the Fabulous Killjoys, co-written with Shaun Simon and with art by Becky Cloonan. Way described the series as a "long, violent, six-issue odyssey"

* One of the big revelations was a partnership with Classic Media to start from scratch and reinvent Doctor Solar: Man of the Atom, Magnus Robot Fighter 4000AD and Turok Son of Stone with Jim Shooter, who previously reinvigorated these same properties in the 1990's Valiant Comics imprint.

* Novelist Janet Evanovich will write an original graphic novel, Alexandra Barnaby, for 2010.

* At the beginning of 2010, comics will be launched from Mike Mignola's novel, Baltimore, which was released in 2008. Mignola and Christopher Golden are going to write the book, with Ben Stenbeck supplying the art.

* Eric Powell's Goon is crossing over with Adult Swim's Metalocalypse. Powell joked that he wanted to do "a crossover that was a deconstruction of a crossover, which doesn't make any sense."

* In the tradition of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Star Wars, Aliens, and Predator, Dark Horse is banking that Mass Effect 2 will be its next big license. Mac Walters served as lead writer for the video game, and will be the writer for the comics as well.

* One-shots Dr. Horrible and The Cabin in the Woods will join Buffy in the growing ventures between Dark Horse and Joss Whedon.

* Patton Oswalt will write a upcoming Serenity comic.

* Whedon will write Buffy the Vampire Slayer #31, and Brad Meltzer will write #32.

* Felicia Day, star of Whedon's Dr. Horriblešs Sing-Along Blog. will bring join forces with Dark Horse to produce a comic based on her show, The Guild.

* More One-Shots include Conan: The Weight of the Crown, written and art by Darick Robertson, and Sugar Shock with Whedon and Fabio Moon, in October.

* European crime noir Blacksad will be published for the first time in English in 2010. It is the story about an anthropomorphic cat detective, by Juan Diaz Canales and Juanjo Guarnido.

* Rafael Grampa will return with the post-apocalyptic tale, Furry Water, and his debut indy hit, Mesmo Delivery.

* Publishing more American manga comics longer than any other publisher, Dark Horse scored the CLAMP library and will re-release Chobits in four large volumes, at 800 pages a piece. CLAMP is an all-female mangaka group who has produced manga comics since the 1980s, and Dark Horse will celebrate their 20th Anniversary.

* Once a breeding ground for new comics, Dark Horse Presents was an anthology where Concrete and Sin City were born. Since 2000 it found new life on Myspace and the internet, but in 2010, DHP will return in print.

* The partnership between Dark Horse Entertainment and Universal Studios strengthens with a handful of feature films in the works including The Secret, Freaks of the Heartland, Fear Agent, Arch Enemies and Criminal Macabre.

* Another big movie on the fast track is the Umbrella Academy movie which is being written by Mark Bomback, who recently wrote the screenplay for Diehard 4: Live Free or Die Hard and Race to Witch Mountain.

* Japanese manga, Corpse Delivery Service will be made into a film, and is a story about how to make a buck by helping dead people. MPD - Psycho is on track to make the jump to the big screen too.

* The Last Dragon is an original graphic 128 pg. novel by Jane Yolen and Rebecca Guay.

* Jim Arcudi and Rick Leonardi will bring back the Aliens vs. Predator line with Three World War.

* Dark Horse is celebrating 10 years of the Goon, 15 years of Hellboy, and 25 years of Usagi Yojimbo.

* Randy Stradley was tickled pink by a Slave Leia at his side when he announced he is bringing the entire Star Wars line overseas and onto iPhone / iTouch app stores. Some of the comics that will be available are Star Wars Legacy: Betrayal, and the one-shot Star Wars Clone Wars: Shipyards of Doom.

* Dark Horse will archive the daily Archie's strips into deluxe hardcovers. Other hardcover collections include Ultimate Yoshitaka Amano Final Fantasy Collection, and the Art of Blade of the Immortal.

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