Wednesday, September 30, 2009

CSI Manga - Miss it at Your Own Risk

I had the pleasure of reading TOKYOPOP's OEL/Global Manga CSI: Intern at Your Own Risk

The review is up at Comics Bulletin. This is not the first comic book based on CBS' long-running series, CSI: Crime Scene Investigation. IDW published some CSI miniseries about mid-decade. I think some were collected in trade paperbacks. Still, this is my first CSI comic book experience, and I am frankly flabbergasted that this is so well done, even if the concept (CSI interns having free run of the crime lab) is far fetched. I hope TOKYOPOP publishes a sequel.



Howard Chaykin's Power & Glory is Back!

In this CBR article, acclaimed writer/artist Howard Chaykin talks about the return of his out-of-print work, including the recently re-released Power & Glory. Apparently Midnight Men (formerly of Marvel/Epic's Heavy Hitters line) and Black Kiss (formerly of Vortex Comics and then Eros Comix) will also be returned to print.

Power and Glory



From Me to Review

I finished reading Kimi ni Todoke: From Me to You, Volume 2

I posted a review at the Comic Book Bin. It's a good shojo manga (comics for teen girls) series, but nothing special, so far.



TOKYOPOP to Publish U.S. Edition of "Shutter Island" Graphic Novel

Press release from TOKYOPOP:

TOKYOPOP & WILLIAM MORROW PRESENT: SHUTTER ISLAND Graphic Novel

Dennis Lehane's masterpiece of mystery and suspense is brought to life for the first time as a graphic novel

TOKYOPOP and William Morrow, an Imprint of HarperCollins Publishers, are thrilled to announce the release of the graphic novel adaptation of SHUTTER ISLAND, Dennis Lehane's bestselling novel. International comic book artist Christian de Metter's dramatic artwork, crafted in a noir, painterly style, compliments this edition of the dark, chilling story, which also marks the debut of Lehane in the graphic novel market.

SHUTTER ISLAND is set in 1954. U.S. Marshal Teddy Daniels and his partner, Chuck Aule, are sent to Shutter Island to find a mass murderer who has escaped from Ashcliffe Hospital, a fortress-like federal institution for the criminally insane. As their investigation deepens, and an intense hurricane bears relentlessly down on the island, the marshals are forced to piece together clues to a shocking puzzle hidden within Shutter Island. And as hints of radical experimentation add more sinister undertones to an already bizarre case, the investigation takes the marshals on a twisted journey in which the line between sanity and madness disappears...

"SHUTTER ISLAND's paranoia and overall creepy vibe is tailor-made for a graphic novel, and Christian De Metter's art work is haunting, even unforgettable," observes Dennis Lehane.

"It's an honor to publish a graphic novel with an author of such stature as Dennis Lehane," says Marco Pavia, TOKYOPOP Associate Publisher. "In all candor, I'm a huge Lehane fan, and I was stunned at how De Metter's artwork enhanced the prose experience, adding a discernable layer of anxiety to this unnerving and, ultimately, profoundly moving story."

Originally published in France, the SHUTTER ISLAND graphic novel was listed as a 2009 Official Selection at the annual Angoulême BD Festival, the Cannes of the comic world. TOKYOPOP and William Morrow will promote the graphic novel with an extensive online marketing campaign that will include online comics previews, a book trailer, and a Dennis Lehane interview.

The TOKYOPOP/William Morrow co-publication will be on sale January 5, wherever books are sold, and timed to release before the feature film from Paramount Pictures, directed by Martin Scorsese and starring Leonardo DiCaprio.[END]

Shutter Island Graphic Novel
Shutter Island



VIZ Cinema Screen Naruto Shippuden Movie


Press release from VIZ Media:
VIZ CINEMA TO HOST THE EXCLUSIVE THEATRICAL PREMIERE OF NARUTO SHIPPUDEN THE MOVIE

World’s Most Popular Ninja Returns To The Big Screen In A Dangerous New Mission Where Death May Be The Only Way To Succeed

VIZ Cinema, the nation’s first and only movie theatre dedicated to Japanese films and anime, has announced a special U.S. theatrical premiere of NARUTO SHIPPUDEN THE MOVIE on October 6th and 7th. Two showings are scheduled each day, at 5 p.m. and 8 p.m., and will be presented as part of the theatre’s Weeknight Anime People programming.

In the newest animated adventure, which is the fourth in the popular NARUTO movie series, a powerful spirit that once threatened to destroy the world is back! Naruto’s mission is to protect a priestess named Shion, who is the only one with the power to seal away the monster. She also has the uncanny ability to predict someone’s fate, and her latest prophecy is that Naruto will die. His only hope is to abandon Shion, but that’s not Naruto’s style. He decides to challenge her prediction head on, but it may very well cost the young ninja’s life!

VIZ Cinema is a 143-seat subterranean theatre owned and operated by VIZ Pictures and located in the basement of the NEW PEOPLE building in the heart of San Francisco’s historic Japantown. The theatre features plush seating, digital as well as 35mm projection, and a THX®-certified sound system. Ticket information and details on all of October’s films are available at: http://www.vizcinema.com/.

The NARUTO Shippuden manga and animated series pick up two years after Naruto left to train with his teacher and mentor Jiraiya. Now a teenager, the stories in the new series take a more mature and sometimes darker approach as Naruto returns to the Hidden Leaf Village to reunite with his old friends and discover that they are stronger than before – and maybe even stronger than he is! For Naruto, the spirit of a nine-tailed fox spirit trapped inside him is a metaphor for adolescence. There is a powerful force in this spunky teenager and he must learn to conquer it and overcome his own uncontrollable spirit and emotions while battling an array of villains and completing near-impossible missions. VIZ Media is scheduled to release the DVD of NARUTO SHIPPUDEN THE MOVIE on November 10th.

Created by Masashi Kishimoto, NARUTO was first introduced in Weekly Shonen Jump magazine in Japan in 1999 and quickly became that country’s most popular ninja manga targeting tweens and teens and has sold more than 92 million copies to-date. NARUTO has also become an international phenomenon captivating millions of fans across North America, Europe and South America. VIZ Media publishes the manga series (rated ‘T’ for Teens) and distributes the animated counterpart (NARUTO rated ‘T’ for teens, and NARUTO Shippuden rated ‘T+’ for older teens) which are some of the company’s most successful properties. NARUTO is a co-production of TV TOKYO, VIZ Media parent company Shueisha Inc., and Pierrot Co., Ltd.
For more information on NARUTO Shippuden, and to view NARUTO Shippuden episodes (subtitled), please visit the official NARUTO website at http://www.naruto.com/.

NEW PEOPLE offers the latest films, art, fashion and retail brands from Japan and is the creative vision of the J-Pop Center Project and VIZ Pictures, a distributor and producer of Japanese live action film. Located at 1746 Post Street, the 20,000 square foot structure features a striking 3-floor transparent glass façade that frames a fun and exotic new environment to engage the imagination into the 21st Century. A dedicated web site is also now available at: http://www.newpeopleworld.com/.

VIZ Media Bags Vampire Knight Anime Rights

Press release from VIZ Media:

VIZ MEDIA BECOMES MASTER LICENSOR FOR GOTHIC ANIMATED SERIES VAMPIRE KNIGHT

Broadcast, Home Entertainment, Streaming, DTO, And Merchandising Rights To Hit Anime Series Based On Popular Manga Title Licensed For North America

VIZ Media, LLC (VIZ Media), one of the entertainment industry's most innovative and comprehensive publishing, animation and licensing companies, has announced that it has acquired the domestic TV, Home Entertainment, Streaming, DTO, and Merchandising rights to the hit VAMPIRE KNIGHT animated series.

With this license VIZ Media will hold the rights to VAMPIRE KNIGHT for TV (including IPTV and VOD) and Home Video (all platforms including Blu-ray), Streaming, DTO and Merchandising (including digital Merchandise and mobile).

VAMPIRE KNIGHT is based on the best-selling gothic-romance manga series created by Matsuri Hino. Cross Academy is attended by two groups of students: the Day Class and the Night Class. At twilight, when the students of the Day Class return to their dorm, they cross paths with the Night Class on their way to school. Yuki Cross and Zero Kiryu are the Guardians of the school, protecting the Day Class from the Academy's dark secret: the Night Class is full of vampires!

Matsuri Hino burst onto the manga scene with her title Kono Yume ga Sametara (When This Dream Is Over), which was published in LaLa DX magazine. Hino was a manga artist a mere nine months after she decided to become one. With the success of her popular series CAPTIVE HEARTS and MERU PURI, Hino has established herself as a major player in the world of shojo manga. VAMPIRE KNIGHT is currently serialized in LaLa magazine in Japan and was also serialized in Shojo Beat magazine in North America. The VAMPIRE KNIGHT manga series is currently published in the US by VIZ Media and continues to keep its place in the Top Ten on The New York Times Best Selling Manga List.

For more information on VAMPIRE KNIGHT please visit www.shojobeat.com/manga/vk.

Disney to Unveil New Mitchel Musso Music Video

Press release from Business Wire (because I'm a fan of the show, "Hannah Montana"):

Disney Channel to Premiere Mitchel Musso’s New Music Video Tuesday, September 29

—"Shout It" the Second Single from Musso’s Recording Debut, Premiered Monday, September 21 on Radio Disney—

BURBANK, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Disney Channel will premiere Mitchel Musso’s new music video, "Shout It,” from his self-titled debut album on Tuesday, September 29 during the 4:30 PM episode of JONAS. "Shout It” made its debut on Radio Disney on September 21.

The music video for the song features footage of Musso and his band performing live at The Fillmore New York at Irving Plaza. Additional footage was shot on the road during Musso’s first headlining national concert tour which wrapped last week on September 24 in New Orleans. "Shout It" features vocals by brother Mason Musso (Metro Station), who’s currently on tour with Miley Cyrus, and was written by Tim Myers and Mitchel Musso.

Mitchel Musso, who plays the character "Oliver Oken" on the Emmy-nominated hit Disney Channel series “Hannah Montana” released his self-titled Walt Disney Records solo album in June which debuted at #19 on the Billboard Top 200 chart. The debut single “Hey” shot to #8 on the iTunes Pop chart and was #23 overall the week the album was released; over 225,000 digital singles have been downloaded to date. “Hey” was Mitchel's fifth straight track to hit the Top 10 on Radio Disney's Top 30 chart. Mitchel currently has over 300,000 followers on Twitter and over 3,000,000 song plays on MySpace.

On September 12, Musso performed an online concert live from The Fillmore in New York with Ustream on Facebook and broke new ground by broadcasting in 16:9 HD. The event featured the concert and backstage interviews, and streamed live on Mitchel’s Facebook® Pages using the Ustream on Facebook application. The broadcast resulted in nearly 200,000 total views and 47,000 viewer hours. [END]

Mitchel Musso




A Man Crush Gone too Far?

Apparently Black male supermodel Tyson Beckford was on Bravo's "Watch What Happens Live," and someone called in to the show to ask him, "If you had to spend the night with a man, who would it be and why?" This is how he answered the question:

"I don't actually go that way, though I notice a lot of people think I do. But umm, you know what, if Imma do it, I'm going for [Barack] Obama. If I got with him, I could run the country. If I was that way, Obama, I'd be gunning for you brother! I'd be the one in control. That's if I was that way. Who you gonna go for? Will Smith? Somebody pretty like that? Not to say Obama's not pretty. But I'd go straight for Obama because you got power then. You could run red lights and just wild out. And I'd have Michelle [Obama] hold the camera!"

From AOL Black Voices Buzz.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Bluewater Productions to Co-Produce Stephenie Meyer Collectible


Press release from Bluewater Productions:
98331 GEAR AND BLUEWATER TEAM UP FOR 2ND EXCLUSIVE VERSION OF FEMALE FORCE: STEPHENIE MEYER

Forks, WA based 98331 GEAR has teamed up with Blue Water Productions to release a special edition of the highly popular Female Force comic book featuring Stephenie Meyer.

“We are very excited for this opportunity to work with such talented artists. At 98331 GEAR we pride ourselves on having high quality, unique items for Twilight fans to purchase”, said Staci Chastain, one of the owners. “We carry very few of the mass produced merchandise, opting to carry higher-end versions. Our clientele is finicky and we like that about them. This is why we chose to team up with BlueWater Productions when approached. They offered a totally unique cover to a wildly popular comic book”.

The comic, written by Ryan Burton (“Flying Saucers vs The Earth”) examines Meyer’s rise to popularity, her “Twilight” saga novels, the launching of the successful movie franchise and her future plans. According to Burton, a very recognizable and iconic vampire will serve as the story’s narrator.

The title is being drawn by Dave MacNeil and the 98331 GEAR cover is painted by Matt Bellisle. The first Exclusive cover for another Forks store, "DAZZLED BY TWILIGHT" which was done by Azim.

Chastain continues, “We are very excited about our cover, we feel the artist really took our request to be different to heart in designing it. Already we have people asking when the graphic novels will be available for purchase. And for those of you who want to have something just a bit more exclusive we will also be offering a very limited edition foil cover. There will only be 100 of these EVER made so get your hands on them while you can as they most definitely will not last”.

Meyer, Named USA Today's "Author of the Year" in 2008, is the first author of fiction featured in the Female Force series. The series, to date, has published biographies on such influential women as Hillary Clinton, Michelle Obama, Oprah Winfrey, Sarah Palin and Princess Diana.

Female Force offers a broad examination of strong and influential women who are shaping modern history and culture.

The monthly comic book series, launched earlier this year, has drawn considerable media attention, including features on CNN, MTV, MSNBC, Fox News, and “Live with Regis and Kelly.” It has also been featured in such periodicals as People Magazine, Entertainment Weekly, Chicago Tribune, USA Today and thousands of blogs and other media outlets.

About 98331 Gear:
Forks is the best town in the world. With a population of less than 4,000, located in one of the only temperate rainforests in the world and some of the most pristine wilderness you will ever find, it’s no wonder werewolves are native to the area, and vampires love it here! So if you’re looking for authentic “Forks,” you have found the place.

The place online that is locally owned, operated and based in Forks, WA. All the merchandise is 100% original and reflective of the attitude of the area. What you will find is quality straight from the heart of “Twilight Country.” Every package will be shipped from Forks, Washington, bearing the 98331 zip code.
Store location, 124 Sol Duc Way, Forks, WA 98331 next time you’re in town, or give us a call at 360-374-4335. Or check out the website: 98331gear.com

About Bluewater Productions:
Bluewater Productions Inc. is one of the top independent production studios of comic books, young adult books and graphic novels. Its extensive catalog of titles includes the bestsellers “10th Muse” and “The Legend of Isis.” Bluewater publishes comic books with legendary filmmaker William F. Nolan and sci-fi icon William Shatner.

Bluewater aims to unite cutting-edge art and engaging stories produced by its stable of the publishing industry’s top artists and writers.

Following its commitment to green publishing, Bluewater comic books are printed on Forest Stewardship Council certified paper. FSC certification guarantees that the paper used in Bluewater books contains fiber from well-managed and responsibility harvested forests that meet strict environmental and socioeconomic standards.

For more information, visit www.bluewaterprod.com.[END]

Final Inuyasha Anime Episodes Get U.S. and Japan Simulcast


Press release from VIZ Media:
VIZ MEDIA ANNOUNCES INUYASHA THE FINAL ACT SCHEDULED TO STREAM IN THE U.S. SIMULTANEOUS TO AIRING IN JAPAN

Final Episodes Of Smash Hit Anime Based On Rumiko Takahashi Manga To Be Available On VIZ Media’s SHONEN SUNDAY Web Site Mere Hours After Episodes Air in Japan

VIZ Media, LLC (VIZ Media), one of the entertainment industry's most innovative and comprehensive publishing, animation and licensing companies, delighted anime fans at New York Anime Festival yesterday with an announcement of the near simultaneous Japanese/American simulcast of the action-packed conclusion to the INUYASHA animated series-INUYASHA THE FINAL ACT.

Beginning on October 3rd, INUYASHA THE FINAL ACT (subtitled) will stream on ShonenSunday.com/anime and Hulu.com mere hours after it airs in Japan. A new episode will air every Saturday thereafter. INUYASHA THE FINAL ACT anime is rated ‘T” teens.

INUYASHA is a hit TV anime series based on the manga by famed creator Rumiko Takahashi, who won the prestigious Shogakukan Manga Award for INUYASHA in 2002. Many of the Takahashi titles have been adapted into other media such as anime, live-action TV series, and film. Takahashi’s manga, as well as the other formats her work has been adapted into, have continued to delight generations of fans around the world. Distinguished by her wonderfully endearing characters, Takahashi’s work adeptly incorporates a wide variety of elements such as comedy, romance, fantasy, and martial arts. Rumiko Takahashi is an artist who truly represents the very best from the world of manga. Please visit the new official North American web site for all Rumiko Takahashi-related news and information located at http://www.therumicworld.com/.

When an enchanted well draws her into the past, Kagome, an ordinary modern schoolgirl, finds her destiny tied to the doglike half-demon Inuyasha and a mythical gem called the Shikon Jewel, or "Jewel of Four Souls," of which the smallest shard can grant the user unimaginable power.

Throughout their quest to restore the shattered Shikon Jewel, Inuyasha and Kagome have never faced an enemy more deadly or more cunning than the demon mastermind Naraku. With the Shikon Jewel nearly whole and in Naraku’s hands, the race to collect the remaining shards intensifies and a battle of epic proportions is brewing on the horizon...

Featuring the works of some of the top shonen manga creators in the world today, Shonen Sunday magazine in Japan provides the content for some of VIZ Media’s most impressive new titles. The magazine recently celebrated its 50th anniversary since its first issue arrived on newsstands in March of 1959. RIN-NE is the brand new Shonen Sunday manga series by Rumiko Takahashi and the first series ever to be published simultaneously in Japan and North America.

“INUYASHA is one of the longest running anime series in North America and we’re very proud to present the final episodes of this epic adventure to fans in the U.S. mere hours after episodes air in Japan,” says Ken Sasaki, Vice President Strategy & Business Development, VIZ Media. “Rumiko Takahashi created a classic with INUYASHA, and ShonenSunday.com/anime will be THE online destination where INUYASHA fans can watch all 167 previously available episodes, as well as follow the newest episodes from INUYASHA THE FINAL ACT!”

VIZ Media publishes multiple series by Rumiko Takahashi, including her brand new manga series RIN-NE, the INUYASHA manga, INUYASHA ani-manga and THE ART OF INUYASHA. For more information on the INUYASHA anime please visit ShonenSunday.com.

Inuyasha - Season 1



The Gentlemen's Alliance Crossed Out

I finished reading The Gentlemen's Alliance +, Volume 10

I posted a review at the Comic Book Bin. I loved the art, as usual, but the story was a trip. All that backstabbing and the awful family obligations - you'd think these were real families!



New Winnie-the-Pooh Due Soon


Press release from PRNewswire:
Fans Get Sneak Peek at New Winnie-the-Pooh

Penguin Young Readers Group reveals cover and first chapter of highly-anticipated sequel to the original Winnie-the-Pooh books Return to the Hundred Acre Wood on sale October 5, 2009

NEW YORK, Sept. 28 /PRNewswire/ -- Dutton Children's Books, an imprint of Penguin Young Readers Group, today revealed the much-anticipated cover and first chapter including art of Return to the Hundred Acre Wood, the first authorized sequel to A.A. Milne's Winnie-the-Pooh and The House At Pooh Corner in more than 80 years. This is the first glimpse readers will have of the new book, which was announced in January 2009. No review copies have been released, and the manuscript has been under lock and key at Penguin since it was delivered earlier this year. The remainder of the book is embargoed until October 5th when it lands in stores nationwide.

Written by David Benedictus and illustrated by Mark Burgess, Return to the Hundred Acre Wood continues the adventures of Christopher Robin, Winnie-the-Pooh, Tigger, Piglet, Eeyore and friends. Egmont Publishing will publish the book simultaneously in the UK. Penguin Audio will publish an audio version of the book read by Grammy Award-winner Jim Dale. The book has an announced first printing of 300,000.

The first chapter of Return to the Hundred Acre Wood, including new art by Mark Burgess, can be viewed at www.penguin.com/pooh.

Across the country, fans young and old are rediscovering the charm of Winnie-the-Pooh. Bookstores nationwide have created "Pooh-tiques", dedicated spaces for Winnie-the-Pooh and friends. Many of these stores are hosting Pooh tea parties leading up to October 5. Tea parties include honey flavored food, count-the-honey-candies-in-the-jar contests, story times with favorite Pooh books, bring-your-favorite-bear-from-home story times, and activities such as "pin the tale on Eeyore."

Dutton's Publishing History With Winnie-the-Pooh:
Dutton officially introduced Christopher Robin and his "silly old bear" to the US in 1926 with the publication of Winnie-the-Pooh by A.A. Milne and illustrated by E.H. Shepard. However Pooh had a significant walk-on role in 1924 with the publication of When We Were Very Young by A.A Milne with illustrations by E.H. Shepard. Milne and Shepard went on to collaborate on two more titles: Now We Are Six in 1927 and The House At Pooh Corner, which introduced Tigger, in 1928. Together, these four books form the basis of the original Pooh books. Newly-designed editions of all four books were published September 3rd.
Author David Benedictus' manuscript was inspired by his familiarity with Winnie-the-Pooh's adventures after having worked on Audio CD adaptations of previous Winnie-the-Pooh stories. David has collaborated with illustrator Mark Burgess to create what is sure to become another treasured Winnie-the-Pooh book. Grammy Award winner Jim Dale will read the audio version of the book, which will be released simultaneously by Penguin Audio.

Writer David Benedictus adapted and produced the audio adaptations of Winnie-the-Pooh starring Dame Judi Dench, Stephen Fry and Jane Horrocks. His second novel was filmed by Francis Ford Coppola. He has worked as assistant to Trevor Nunn at the RSC, was Commissioning Editor for Drama series at Channel 4, and ran The Book At Bedtime for BBC Radio.

Illustrator Mark Burgess has illustrated countless classic children's characters including Paddington Bear and Winnie-the-Pooh. He also designs greetings cards, web sites, animations and special warm places for his cat to sleep.
Dutton Children's Books is one of the oldest continually operating children's book publishers in the United States. Established more than 150 years ago, the imprint publishes approximately 75 hardcover titles each year, for children from preschool through high school. Dutton is home to such perennial classics as Winnie-the-Pooh, Judy Blume's Fudge novels, Newbery Award-winners such as The Westing Game and My Side of the Mountain, and Caldecott winners and honor books including Rapunzel by Paul O. Zelinsky.

Penguin Group (USA) is the U.S. affiliate of the internationally renowned Penguin Group. Penguin Group (USA) is one of the leading U.S. adult and children's trade book publishers, owning a wide range of imprints and trademarks including Berkley Books, Dutton, Frederick Warne, G. P. Putnam's Sons, Grosset & Dunlap, New American Library, Penguin, Philomel, Plume, Puffin Books, Riverhead Books and Viking, among others. The Penguin Group is part of Pearson (FTSE: PSON; NYSE: PSO). Pearson is an international media company with market leading businesses in education, business information and consumer publishing. For more information, visit www.pearson.com.

Monday, September 28, 2009

Nick Simmons at Long Beach Con

Press release from Radical Publishing:

NICK SIMMONS, STAR OF A&E TV’S GENE SIMMONS FAMILY JEWELS, TO SIGN AT THE FIRST ANNUAL LONG BEACH COMIC CON!

Nick Simmons, star of A&E’s GENE SIMMONS FAMILY JEWELS and creator of INCARNATE, will be at the Long Beach Comic Con on Saturday, October 3rd from 1:00 P.M. to 3:00 P.M. in the "Center Court" signing area next to the Golden Apple/Atomic Comics booth #555.

Be the first to get a signed copy of issue #2 of Incarnate, which debuts at the Long Beach Comic Con and has reviewers such as Ain’t It Cool News calling it “…not your typical horror story, blending action and cool in even helpings.”

They cannot die. They feel no pain. They hunger for human flesh. They are Revenants. Centuries ago, the Revenant known as Mot was worshipped as a God. Now, he walks the Earth in search of a purpose to his immortality – but when a secret society discovers a way to kill Revenants, Mot and his fellow immortals must make a choice: Hunt or be hunted. Nick Simmons’ breakout American Manga title reveals a world that challenges even the imagination, planting its tongue firmly in cheek, then biting it off... and swallowing it.

About Long Beach Comic Con:
A convention celebrating comic books located at the Long Beach Convention Center, Long Beach, California.LBCC is an experience unlike other comic conventions. Developed by some of the industry’s most ardent supporters, it’s a gathering of professionals, fans, artists, celebrities to enjoy all aspects of comic books and pop culture.

About Radical Publishing:
In a world of publishing where the market is always hungry for the next fresh property, one new publisher is looking to shake things up and is delivering exciting creative products with a bold new business approach. Aptly named, Radical Publishing is leveraging on its experienced leadership, dynamic crew and unique business infrastructure to create that vital connection throughout the media space.

Founded by Barry Levine and Jesse Berger, Radical Publishing is a manufacturer of the next generation of premium comic book products, with a focus on high-concept stories and artwork by marquee and newly discovered talent. In addition, the quality of the work ensures a longer shelf life for each property as a collective library of high concepts. [END]

If you're not reading Nick Simmons's Incarnate comic book miniseries from Radical Comics, then, you simply must!

Monkey D. Luffy's Back!

I finished reading One Piece, Volume 22: Hope!! (One Piece (Graphic Novels))

I posted a review at the Comic Book Bin. I admire the art by One Piece creator Eiichiro Oda, but I'm not a big fan of the manga. It's just not my thing... at least for now.



Sunday, September 27, 2009

Seth Green to Pimp Butterfinger Candy Bar


Press release from Business Wire:
Seth Green Named as Official ‘Mouthpiece’ for BUTTERFINGER®, First Celebrity to Represent Brand in Nearly a Decade since Bart Simpson
Emmy-nominated writer/producer, director and actor Green collaborates with iconic candy bar brand

GLENDALE, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--On the heels of his two Emmy® award nominations, Seth Green will take on one of the sweetest roles of his career yet: BUTTERFINGER® Mouthpiece. An acclaimed writer/producer, director and actor, Green lends his clever and comedic personality to Butterfinger this year, collaborating with the iconic candy bar brand on new creative projects this fall.
The announcement of Green as “Butterfinger Mouthpiece” comes on the heels of the brand reintroducing the tagline “Nobody’s Gonna Lay A Finger On My Butterfinger” as part of its new national TV ad campaign and its recent call for irreverently funny one-minute video entries in the “How Far Would You Go To Protect Your Butterfinger Bar?” video contest. Aiming to discover a directorial talent, the ProtectYourButterfingerBar.com contest will reward the top video creator with $25,000 and a potential opportunity for their video to air as a national 15-second commercial for Butterfinger. (Consumer voting for the top video ends today.)

“I’ve been eating all kinds of Butterfinger candy all my life,” said Green, who has enjoyed a phenomenal pop-culture presence for more than two decades, “so this union seems not only natural, but predestined.”

Green appeared last week on NBC’s “Last Call with Carson Daly,” where he leaked the news of his love for and involvement with Butterfinger. Aside from using his voice and creative talents for Butterfinger, Green currently is voicing ‘Chris Griffin’ on Fox’s animated hit, “Family Guy” and hundreds of characters on “Robot Chicken,” the latter of which earned him his two most recent Emmy® nominations in the categories of Outstanding Voiceover and Outstanding Animated Production. Green is widely known for his scene-stealing roles in film and television.

“Butterfinger has been a fan and supporter of comedic talent, such as Seth Green for years – as evidenced by our promotions highlighting clever, irreverent humor, and The Butterfinger Comedy Network on Yahoo!,” said Tricia Bowles of Nestlé Confections & Snacks. “The casting of Seth Green as our official ‘Butterfinger Mouthpiece’ or spokesperson made perfect sense for a brand that honors humor and praises the punch line.”

About Seth Green:
Named "Best TV Actor" by Entertainment Weekly and E! Entertainment Television polls, Green is one of the busiest actors in Hollywood. He is executive producing, writing, directing and lending multiple voices each week to the Emmy®-winning animated series, "Robot Chicken," a hit show on Cartoon Network's Adult Swim, and he executive produces and voices a character on “Titan Maximum” debuting September 27 on the same network.
Green will be seen next co-starring with Robin Williams and John Travolta in Disney's upcoming film, "Old Dogs,” opening November 25, and starring in Disney’s “Mars Needs Moms” in 2011. Green was the lead in Paramount's sleeper-hit comedy, "Without A Paddle" and the indie film, "Party Monster." He earned rave reviews for these and for his starring turns in "Knockaround Guys," "Can't Hardly Wait,” "The Italian Job," "America's Sweethearts," "Rat Race," and all three "Austin Powers" films. In addition to his numerous television roles, he has made several appearances on "Entourage,” mocking his nice-guy reputation. Aside from Green's other accolades, he has reached the pinnacle of showbiz success in the most tangible medium – multiple action figures made in his likeness by the industry's top toymakers.

About Butterfinger:
Butterfinger is a one-of-a-kind candy bar with the crispety-crunchety, peanut-buttery taste people love. No other candy bar comes close to the intense flavor and texture of a Butterfinger. Keep up with the latest news about Butterfinger at Facebook.com/Butterfinger or follow its sweet tweets at Twitter.com/ButterfingerMmm.

About Nestlé USA:
Named one of “America’s Most Admired Food Companies” in Fortune magazine for the twelfth consecutive year, Nestlé USA provides quality brands and products that bring flavor to life every day. From nutritious meals with LEAN CUISINE® to baking traditions with NESTLÉ® TOLL HOUSE®, Nestlé USA makes delicious, convenient, and nutritious food and beverage products that enrich the very experience of life itself. That’s what “Nestlé. Good Food, Good Life” is all about. Well-known Nestlé brands include: NESTLÉ® TOLL HOUSE®, NESTLÉ®NESQUIK®, NESTLÉ® COFFEE-MATE®, STOUFFER’S®, LEAN CUISINE®, HOT POCKETS® and LEAN POCKETS® brand sandwiches, NESCAFÉ®, NESCAFÉ®TASTER’S CHOICE®, NESTLÉ® JUICY JUICE®, BUITONI®, DREYER’S/EDY’S®, NESTLÉ® CRUNCH®, NESTLÉ® BUTTERFINGER®, and WONKA®. Nestlé USA, with 2008 sales of $10 billion is part of Nestlé S.A. in Vevey, Switzerland — the largest food company in the world with a focus on Nutrition, Health & Wellness — with 2008 sales of $101 billion. For product news and information, visit NestleNewsroom.com.

Roman Polanski Arrested in Switzerland

Some of you dear readers may be only old enough to know Roman Polanski (if you know of him) for winning a "Best Director" Oscar in 2003 for The Pianist (2002). However, Polanski has had a criminal case for a sexual offense hanging over his head since 1977. He's lived in Paris for decades to avoid an arrest warrant in the U.S.

Well, an article at CNN.com has the details.

Cancer Vixen is Back!

I finished reading Cancer Vixen: A True Story

I posted the review at the Comic Book Bin. This is the paperback edition of the hit 2007 hardcover. A memoir/graphic novel by Marisa Acocella Marchetto, Cancer Vixen details Marchetto's 2004-05 breast cancer ordeal. The book is all the more relevant now because Marchetto had lost her health insurance just prior to her diagnosis. She couldn't get new coverage because of her "pre-existing condition," until she got married and fell under her husband's apparently gold-plated insurance. In the beginning, Marchetto had to pay out of pocket - with the help of friends and family...


For those who care about the business side of the Disney Marvel Union


Press release from Business Wire:
Marvel Sets Record Date for Stockholders Entitled to Vote on Disney Merger
NEW YORK--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Marvel Entertainment, Inc. (NYSE: MVL), a global character-based entertainment and licensing company celebrating the 70th anniversary of its founding in 1939, today announced that it has set September 29, 2009 as the record date for the determination of stockholders entitled to vote at its upcoming special meeting of stockholders. At the special meeting, Marvel’s stockholders will be asked to adopt the merger agreement entered into by Marvel and The Walt Disney Company (“Disney”), which provides for a merger in which Marvel will become a wholly-owned subsidiary of Disney. The meeting date for the special meeting has not yet been determined. Depending on when Marvel is able to schedule the special meeting, Marvel may have to adjust the record date to ensure that the record date is not more than sixty days prior to the date of the special meeting, as required by Marvel's by-laws.

Important Merger Information and Additional Information:

This communication does not constitute an offer to sell or the solicitation of an offer to buy any securities or a solicitation of any vote or approval. In connection with the proposed transaction, Disney filed a Registration Statement on Form S-4 with the SEC on September 22, 2009 that includes a preliminary proxy statement of Marvel that also constitutes a preliminary prospectus of Disney. These materials are not yet final and will be amended. Marvel will mail the proxy statement/prospectus to its stockholders once it is final. Investors are urged to read the definitive proxy statement/prospectus regarding the proposed transaction when it becomes available, because it will contain important information. You may obtain copies of all documents filed with the SEC regarding this transaction, including the definitive proxy statement/prospectus when it becomes available, free of charge at the SEC's website, www.sec.gov, or by directing a request when such a filing is made to The Walt Disney Company, 500 South Buena Vista Street, Burbank, CA 91521-9722, Attention: Shareholder Services or by directing a request when such a filing is made to Marvel’s proxy solicitor, MacKenzie Partners, Inc., 105 Madison Avenue, New York, New York 10016 or by calling Mackenzie Partners, Inc. at (800) 322-2885 (toll free) or (212) 929-5500 (call collect).

Disney, Marvel, their respective directors and certain of their executive officers may be considered participants in the solicitation of proxies in connection with the proposed transaction. Information about the directors and executive officers of Marvel is set forth in the preliminary proxy statement/prospectus contained in the Registration Statement on Form S-4 filed by Disney on September 22, 2009. Information about the directors and executive officers of Disney is set forth in its definitive proxy statement, which was filed with the SEC on January 16, 2009.

Moonstone Books Announces Return of Airboy


Press release from Moonstone Books:
Look! Up in the sky! It’s not a bird, it’s a plane! And what a plane it is! Airboy’s “Birdie” returns this January and he’s not flying solo.

Writing legend Chuck Dixon once again mans the stick for the adventures of Airboy in Moonstone’s all new Air Fighters #1.

Flying in Airboy’s squadron you’ll see Sky Wolf, Black Angel, Flying Dutchman, Bald Eagle, Flying Fool, Iron Ace and Captain Midnight as they take on the original Axis of Evil in the air, on the ground and anywhere else their fight for freedom takes them.

With stories navigated by Tom DeFalco, Martin Powell, Jeff Limke, Len Kody, Mike Bullock and Joe Gentile, the Air Fighters will once again earn their wings by making the skies safe for liberty!

For more information on Airboy and the Air Fighters, navigate your patrol to www.moonstonebooks.com/air.asp then cool your jets on the newly remodeled Moonstone Forums at www.moonstoneforums.com to join the discussions!

You mean his halo didn't protect him?!

Tim Tebow suffers a concussion in the Florida at Kentucky game.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Regal Theatre Chain Announces Toy Story 3D Showings

As some of you may already know, Disney is re-releasing Toy Story and Toy Story 2 in selected theatres as a 3D double feature. Movie theatre chain Regal Entertainment has announced their intentions for the Toy Story double feature in the following press release:

Regal Entertainment Group Presents Toy Story 1 & 2 Double Feature in Disney Digital 3D at 269 Locations

Advance tickets on sale now

Regal Entertainment Group (NYSE: RGC), a leading motion picture exhibitor owning and operating the largest theatre circuit in the United States, announced today that tickets are on sale now for the double feature of Toy Story and Toy Story 2 in Disney Digital 3D. Regal Entertainment Group will offer this digital 3D presentation at 269 locations across the country utilizing the RealD cinema system. This special engagement is available at Regal Entertainment Group theatres for two weeks only October 2-15.

“Regal is excited to have Woody, Buzz, Jessie and all the beloved Toy Story characters back in our theatres. This special double feature will provide a fun day at the movies for the entire family. The unique 3D presentations will certainly add to the enjoyment as moviegoers can experience Toy Story in a whole new way,” stated Dick Westerling, Senior Vice President of Marketing and Advertising for Regal Entertainment Group.

Disney-Pixar’s Toy Story takes moviegoers back to that fun-filled journey, viewed mostly through the eyes of two rival toys— Woody (voice of Tom Hanks), the lanky, likable cowboy, and Buzz Lightyear (voice of Tim Allen), the fearless space ranger. Toy Story 2 picks up as Andy heads off to Cowboy Camp, leaving his toys to their own devices. Things shift into high gear when an obsessive toy collector named Al kidnaps Woody. At Al's apartment, Woody discovers that he is a collectible from a 1950s TV show called “Woody's Roundup," and he meets the other prized toys from that show - Jessie the cowgirl (voice of Joan Cusack), Bullseye the horse and Stinky Pete the Prospector.

Audience members will utilize comfortable, lightweight glasses to view the film’s 3D effects. These glasses can be taken home as souvenirs of the movie or recycled after guests exit the presentation. Visit investor.regalcinemas.com/releases.cfm for a complete list of Regal Entertainment Group theatres offering Toy Story 1 & 2 double feature in 3D. Tickets are available online at: REGmovies.com.

TOKYOPOP's New Titles for Winter 2009

Press release from TOKYOPOP announcing new manga series:

TOKYOPOP Presents: The Winter 2010 Publishing Lineup

Bestselling creators, fan favorites, and an extraordinary assortment of shojo and shonen titles fill the first four months of 2010

TOKYOPOP is thrilled to unveil its manga and graphic novel offerings for the first four months of 2010 -- a year packed with new titles from fan-favorites Tachibana Higuchi, Tanaka Suzuki and Benjamin, as well as soon-to-be-treasured works from creators new to the U.S.!

In January, TOKYOPOP will release HAPPY CAFÉ by Kou Matsuzuki, which follows the exploits of the workers of Café Bonheur, a delightful neighborhood pastry shop. The shop's newest employee, Uru Takamura, her surly superior, Shindo-kun, and her sleepy colleague Ichiro-kun, try to make the world a little brighter with some tasty treats in this delightful romantic shojo comedy that will appeal to fans of ME & MY BROTHERS and MAID SAMA.

February brings us PORTRAIT OF M & N, starring two students in high school with something to hide. Created by the bestselling manga-ka of GAKUEN ALICE, Tachibana Higuchi, M and N refer to Mitsuru and Natsuhiko: she's masochistic; he's narcissistic. All they want is to be normal high school students!

Prepare for Tim Burton's Alice in Wonderland (March 5, 2010) manga style with ALICE IN THE COUNTRY OF HEARTS. In this inventive retelling of the classic tale, Alice is dragged down the rabbit hole into a frightful world, where the fairytale-like citizens wield dangerous weapons for an insidious cause. Unable to return home, will she be able to happiness in a world full of danger and beautiful young men?

Just in time for Valentine's Day comes REMEMBER from international superstar Benjamin, the creator of ORANGE. These profoundly moving stories depict the essence of romance and loss, and the risky consequences of throwing one's heart into life. With a truly unique painterly art style, this gorgeous full-color collection also includes illustrations by Benjamin, his artist notes and pictures, all making for an excellent addition to TOKYOPOP's graphic novel line.

DEADMAN WONDERLAND by Jinsei Kataoka and Kazuma Kondo, the creators of EUREKA SEVEN, also releases in February. DEADMAN WONDERLAND follows Ganta, a middle school student who witnesses the murder of his classmates -- and then is convicted for it and sent to death row... Watch the exclusive manga trailer at www.TOKYOPOP.com/DeadmanTrailer.
March's manga releases come in like lions, leading off with the .HACK//CELL novel, written by Ryo Suzukaze and illustrated by Akira Mutsuki. .HACK//CELL follows Midori, an Edge Punisher who hires herself out as a professional victim so that players can attempt to kill her without resistance.

Also in March, look out for HANAKO AND THE TELLER OF THE ALLEGORY by Sakae Esuno, the creator of FUTURE DIARY. This chilling manga follows a detective who investigates allegories that have turned into physical manifestations of people's fears and beliefs in urban myths.

HARU HANA by Yuana Kazumi, the creator of THE FLOWER OF DEEP SLEEP and MILLION TEARS, also hits bookstores in March. HARU HANA tells the story of Hana Yamada, who has just moved to Tokyo and isn't doing as well as she'd hoped. Her new school life starts poorly, and to compound her various problems, she breaks out in hives whenever a hot guy touches her!
April showers the manga universe with more .HACK -- this time.HACK//4KOMA, a collection of four-panel comics. The laugh-out-loud funny 4KOMA features the adventures of the cast of the first two .HACK video games and is a must-have for all .HACK aficionados.

And finally, KOKAKU DETECTIVE STORY by Yoshisugu Katagiri, which follows a flashy young samurai named Kokaku. While he may fight corruption and gambling as a part of the Black Crow family, what he really wants to do is lie around and eat chili peppers!

Hotwire Hardcover Collection Coming



Press release from Radical Publishing:

RADICAL COLLECTS THE CRITICALLY ACCLAIMED HOTWIRE


In the near future, the living and the dead share the same space. Known as “Blue Lights,” the non-living are mostly harmless, roaming the streets, hiding from city lights, scuttling in the shadows. But when they begin to appear as ghostly weapons of mass destruction, Metro Police has only one person for the job: Alice Hotwire, Detective Exorcist. Underfunded, undermanned and under investigation, her department is the only thing standing between the city and certain destruction.


Radical Publishing is proud to announce a hardcover edition of Hotwire: Requiem for the Dead, available this November. Written and illustrated by Steve Pugh (Preacher: Saint of Killers) and co-created by legendary writer Warren Ellis (Planetary, Transmetropolitan), Hotwire: Requiem for the Dead tells the story of a detective exorcist who must uncover a supernatural mystery and a new form of ghostly terrorism.


Called “an all around phenomenal book,” by Ain’t It Cool News, and “one of the most entertaining bangs for your buck,” by Newsarama, the hardcover edition of Hotwire: Requiem for the Dead collects all four issues of the critically acclaimed series in a special “director’s cut” edition with additional story pages. Also included in this collection are newly remastered tales from Alice Hotwire’s past, featuring never-before-seen pages and amazing newly painted artwork, as well as newly unearthed, previously unreleased pages written by co-creator Warren Ellis; an extensive gallery showcasing the evolution of the character; a spotlight gallery of artwork from celebrated artists Steve Pugh, Stjepan Sejic (Witchblade), Jelena Djurdjevic (The Immortal Iron Fist) and Garry Leach (Judge Dredd, Marvelman); an in-depth interview with co-creator Steve Pugh as well as a dustjacket showcasing an all new cover by Steve Pugh.


Hotwire: Requiem for the Dead hardcover trade will be 128 full color pages for $19.95 and is available to order in the September 2009 Diamond Previews catalog (Diamond order code: SEP090956).

Friday, September 25, 2009

Didn't know about this...

Apparently, Scream 4 is going to happen: here and here. Neve Campbell will be involved, but to what extent remains a mystery.

Yes, I care. I've been desiring a fourth Scream flick since I saw the third one several years back.

Phony Romo?! Good one!!!

I am not a fan of sportwriter Jay Mariotti, national columnist for Fanhouse.com and a regular panelist on ESPN's "Around the Horn" (and formerly of the Chicago Sun-Times). He irritates and annoys me. Maybe it's the whiny, nasally voice. Still, he's often dead-on in his commentary and opinions, as he is in his "Phony Romo is Bust" column for Fanhouse.

Tony Romo, the starting quarterback for the NFL's Dallas Cowboys, was annoited as the next-big-thing by a sports media always looking to discover the next great Cowboys quarterback. One of my best pals said that years ago, but I must admit that I was also taken by Romo's come-out-nowhere, from-nobody-to-somebody, overnight sensation story, and I was in denial every time my friend criticized Romo.

I don't particularly care anymore whether Romo does turn out to be a big deal or not. I'm a Pittsburgh Steelers fan anyway.

Where's Naruto?

I finished reading Naruto, Volume 46 (Naruto (Graphic Novels))

It was so good that I could have read two more volumes worth, right then and there. I posted a review at the Comic Book Bin. But I didin't have the words to describe the pure joy and thrills I got from reading this.


Thursday, September 24, 2009

Fellowship of the Takerus

I finished takeru: OPERA SUSANOH SWORD OF THE DEVIL Volume 2

I posted a review at the Comic Book Bin. I liked the first volume, but the creative team seems to be hitting its stride with the five chapters that make up this second volume. After getting the introductions out of the way in Vol. 1, the team can focus on storytelling. Plus, the art is not as muddled as it was in the first volume; the compositions are much clearer.



Wednesday, September 23, 2009

So Joe Quesada Did Speak Publicly about the Disney Acquisition

In his "Cup O' Joe" column at Comic Book Resources, Joe Quesada spoke about The Walt Disney Company's acquisition of Marvel Entertainment. Quesada answered questions in an interview conducted by Kiel Phegley.

Highlights - well, there was really only one as far as I'm concerned:

1. When did Joe first learn of an impending acquisition?

Joe Quesada: A small group of us on the creative side were approached by Ike about the idea of a merger almost a month ago. We were told that Bob Iger and the team at Disney wanted to meet with us. It was a small group which also included Dan Buckley and Kevin Feige. On the Marvel end of things, we were asked to go and see if we felt that this was a merger that would be beneficial to Marvel in all areas, especially creatively. Personally, I was more than floored and incredibly flattered to have been invited, and meeting the gang at Disney was a thrill. I was incredibly impressed with everyone we met, all of them amazingly sharp and all had as much a love of Disney as we had of Marvel.

Some of the rest of Quesada's answers are interesting, though they don't shed much light on much of anything.

Congressman Joe Wilson's Neo-Confederate Past

In "Joe Wilson's Dixie Partisans," writer Joe Conason at Truthout offers a deeper perspective on U.S. House of Representatives member Joe Wilson (R-S.C.), now infamous for shouting "You lie" to President Barack Obama during his recent speech before a joint session of Congress. Conason's article lends credence to those who have claimed that Wilson is bigot.

Highlights:

Nothing surprising there, however, to anyone familiar with the Wilson entourage and outlook. The consultant behind the excitable right-wing congressman is Richard Quinn, long a central figure in both South Carolina Republican politics and the "neo-Confederate" movement, notably as editor and publisher of a periodical called The Southern Partisan.

Long before Quinn started selling those Joe Wilson tees, his magazine used to market T-shirts denigrating Abraham Lincoln, which displayed a portrait of him above the slogan "Sic Semper Tyrannis" - the phrase shouted by John Wilkes Booth after shooting the Civil War president. No doubt Quinn considered that to be an expression of "patriotism," too, although not to the United States of America.

Del Rey's Secret Saturdays on the March

I finished The Secret Saturdays 1: The Kur Stone

I posted the review at The Comic Book Bin. This is best film-comic (the art is made of stills from the animation, rather than being drawn, like in a traditional comic book) yet from the Del Rey/Cartoon Network publishing deal.



I Reads You Extra: The Village Voice on the Bushwick 32

This Village Voice article on the mass stop-and-frisk arrest by the New York Police Department of 32 students in May 2007 is a great read. It gets even better towards the end as the author, Elizabeth Dwoskin, recounts how the good guys (the students and one of their teachers) win.

Ethnic Humor #1: Seven Degrees of Coonass

Forwarded to me and passed around by people who would probably be referred to as "coonass," and would not be angry unless the persons calling them that were not one of the group:

SEVEN DEGREES OF COONASS

FIRST DEGREE: Boudreaux and his wife were asleep when the phone rang at 2 in the morning.Boudreaux picked up the phone, listened a moment and said "How should I know, that's 200 miles from here!" and hung up.The wife said, "Who was that?"Boudreaux answered, "I don't know, some man wanting to know if the coast is clear."

SECOND DEGREE: Two Cajuns are walking down the street. One notices a compact on the sidewalk and leans down to pick it up. He opens it, looks in the mirror and says, "Hmm, this person looks familiar." The second Cajun says, "Here, let me see!!" So the first Cajun hands him the compact. The second one looks in the mirror and says, "You dummy, it's me!"

THIRD DEGREE: Boudreaux suspects his wife of cheating on him, so he goes out and buys a gun. He goes to his house unexpectedly and when he opens the door he finds her in the arms of another man. Well, Boudreaux is really angry. He pulls out the gun, and as he does so, he is overcome with grief. He takes the gun and puts it to his head. His wife yells, "No, honey, don't do it!!!"Boudreaux replies, "Shut up, you're next!"

FOURTH DEGREE: Boudreaux was bragging about his knowledge of state capitals. He proudly says, "Go ahead, and ask me, I know all of them." A friend says, "OK, what's the capital of Wisconsin ?" Boudre aux replies, "Oh, that's easy: W."

FIFTH DEGREE: What did the Cajun girl ask her doctor when he told her she was pregnant?"Is it mine?"

SIXTH DEGREE: Boudreaux, a Cajun in his fourth year as a LSU Freshman, sat in his US Government class. The professor asked Boudreaux if he knew what Roe vs. Wade was about. Boudreaux pondered the question then finally said, "That was the decision George Washington had to make before he crossed the Delaware "

SEVENTH DEGREE: Returning home from work, Boudreaux was shocked to find his house ransacked and burglarized. He telephoned the police at once and reported the crime. The police dispatcher broadcast the call on the radio, and a K-9 unit, patrolling nearby, was the first to respond. As the K-9 officer approached the house with his dog on a leash, Boudreaux ran out on the porch, shuddered at the sight of the cop and his dog, then sat down on the steps. Putting his face in his hands, Boudreaux moaned, "I come home to find all my possessions stolen. I call the police for help, and what do they do? They send me a BLIND policeman."

A Crash Course in Yaoi Manga

Over at Graphic Novel Review, Shaenon K. Garrity is writing a series on yaoi manga. So far, it's quite well written, and Part 1 is a History of Yaoi.

Digital Manga Has Trip for Aspiring Manga Creators

A press release from Digital Manga Publishing's "Pop Travel Japan":

Pop Japan Travel Presents “The Mind Over Manga Tour” for Aspiring Manga Artists & Art Lovers”

Pop Japan Travel, originator of the best pop-culture tours of Japan, is excited to announce the tour that every manga lover should join, the Mind Over Manga tour. On this amazing tour, you'll get to visit the land where manga originated, and go to a manga cultural event like no other, Comitia 90! At Comitia, amateur and professional artists alike create and sell their own manga called "doujinshi", and you can see the up and coming stars of Japan right there! Tour attendees can even make their own doujinshi to sell at Comitia, and Pop Japan Travel will take care of the table space and booth costs for it's attendees so that they can sell their own books to the Comitia 90 audience! Even if you don't make your own doujinshi, there's tons of things at Comitia to keep you occupied, and Pop Japan Travel will even make arrangements to visit a hot spring, or do some shopping once you've had your fill of the convention.

On the tour you'll also get to see the Toei Animation gallery, as well as do some shopping in pop-culture meccas Shibuya and Harajuku! On the optional tour extension* to Kyoto, you'll get to visit the amazing Osamu Tezuka Museum, to see amazing works by the proclaimed "Godfather of Manga". The Mind Over Manga Tour is a ton of fun, and you can check out the tour memories from last year on the Pop Japan Travel site under Tour Memories (http://www.popjapantravel.com/tours/memories)

The Mind Over Manga Tour takes place from November 11th-20th, and you still have time to sign up and join the fun! The tour signup deadline is October 9th, so don't miss the opportunity to join a group of fellow manga lovers, artists, and pop culture aficionados to participate in a cultural event that has been captured in multiple manga, and regarded the world over. The Mind Over Manga tour is $1988 plus tax and fuel charge. Or you can meet the tour group in Japan for a land only price of $1598. Contact Pop Japan Travel for more information at travel@popjapantravel.com, or visit us online at http://www.popjapantravel.com/!

Pop Japan Travel looks forward to having you join us for an amazing time in Japan.

DIGITAL MANGA'S POP JAPAN TRAVEL is the original and premiere provider of pop culture themed tours of Japan. Since 2003, PJT has operated more than 15 tours with themes focused on Japanese anime, manga, games and more. Pop Japan tours offer a careful balance of the hyper-modern world of J-pop culture and the rich traditions of ancient Japan, and PJT is the ONLY tour agency to provide exclusive experiences such as visits to anime and game studios, meetings with manga artists, and more. Pop Japan Travel tours are organized in cooperation with IACE Travel, one of Japan's largest travel agencies.

*Tour extension subject to extra charge. Contact Pop Japan Travel for more information.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Ku Klux Klowns, indeed

Truthout's William Rivers Pitt offers his usual excellent, pithy writing in his essay, Ku Klux Klown. It's about that ridiculous 9/12 rally, anti-tax (really anti-Black President ) protest put together by corporate pimp, Dick Armey, and championed by sobriety trainwreck, Glenn Beck.

Highlights:

Well, nobody said you have to be smart in order to become a hero to the far right. In fact, it helps to be dumber than a sack of hair, if only to match wits with the kind of people who were marching this weekend holding signs that read "Bury Obamacare With Kennedy." Stay classy, GOP.

Frum was being nice, actually, because he knows better than anyone what took place in Washington this weekend. It was a Klan rally minus the bedsheets and torches. These people don't even have enough shame to hide their faces anymore. If more Republicans like Frum don't come forward to denounce such activities from their right flank, that right flank is going to finish the job of taking over the GOP, and hard as it is to believe, this kind of obnoxious craziness is going to seem quaint by comparison to what will be coming next.

A Progression Christian on Regressive Christians

I'm diggin on this article at the Religious Dispatches website, written by Peter Laarman, on the "religion of whiteness." HA!

A highlight on nostalgia: A time when white men [could] take certain things for granted, like the right to be ill-informed and obtuse but still receive deference and some degree of social privilege.

Go. Read.

Hey, Kids! New Yu-Gi-Oh!

I just finished Yu-Gi-Oh! R, Volume 1 (Yu-Gi-Oh! (Graphic Novels))

I posted a review at the Comic Book Bin. I have to admit that I wasn't crazy about getting this in a box of review copies from VIZ Media's PR guy. When I first looked at the book, all I really noticed was the big "R." It took me a while to realize that it was a Yu-Gi-Oh! book; then, I was really in a bind. Ugh! Yu-Gi-Oh!

But I gave it a chance. I have to say that I wouldn't mind reading more...as long as I got them free. Ha!



More Jack Kirby Estate Links

Jack Kirby's heirs (his four children) are seeking to reclaim the copyrights on the characters Kirby co-created for Marvel Comics back in the early 1960's as reported by several sources last week. Here, are some more links related to that story:

Kevin Melrose of Robot 6 at Comic Book Resources:
http://robot6.comicbookresources.com/2009/09/jack-kirbys-heirs-seek-to-reclaim-copyrights-to-some-marvel-characters/
Melrose update:
http://robot6.comicbookresources.com/2009/09/confirmed-jack-kirbys-heirs-want-a-piece-of-spider-man/

Nat Gertler on the bad assumptions about the Kirby estate's rights reclamation efforts: http://www.gertler.com/nat/tv/?p=1425

The Hollywood Reporter's blog:
http://www.heatvisionblog.com/2009/09/jack-kirby-lawsuit-details.html

I Reads You Review: LOVE SHARE (YAOI)


Creator: Aoi Kujyou
Publishing Information: June Manga, paperback, 198 pages, $12.95 (US)
Ordering Numbers: ISBN: 978-1-56970-759-3 (ISBN-13); 1-56970-759-6 (ISBN-10)

Boys’ love (or “BL”) is a genre of manga for women, although some stories are appropriate for teen readers. BL depicts love between two male characters. Boys’ love has two subsets: shounen-ai stories depict romantic love; yaoi also portrays romantic love between males, but is generally graphic in its depiction of sexuality.

Love Share is a yaoi manga from creator Aoi Kujyou. This story of ex-lovers does feature depictions of both romance and sexuality, but I’d call those depictions more rowdy than graphic. The two leads seem caught in a storm of passions, and like a passing storm, Love Share ebbs and flows in its powers to be engaging and gripping.

Love Share is the story of Matsuyama Kazushi and his on-again, off-again love Izumi Ogiwara. Kazushi has always been level-headed and hard-working. Izumi came into Kazushi’s life when he was still in high school, and while Kazushi may never have wanted his life to be taken over by the carefree rogue, he couldn’t resist Izumi. However, Izumi likes to run away when things get serious.

As the first chapter begins, one of Izumi’s lovers has confronted him, which Kazushi, now Izumi’s ex, witnesses. Suddenly, Izumi seizes the opportunity to be back in Kazushi’s life, and Kazushi reluctantly, at first, allows the fires of their passion to burn again. After a strange phone call, Izumi disappears again, but this time there seems to be more to it than just Izumi’s need to leave before a relationship turns serious. Kazushi is determined to solve the mystery, because if he doesn’t, he believes that whatever is troubling Izumi might make him leave for good.

It’s nice that Aoi Kujyou is willing to take a basic plot – a young man restarts a relationship with his ex-lover – and turn it into something more – the reason for the lover’s failure to commit are not shallow. The problem is that Kujyou isn’t willing to engage the potential in her story. She might establish motivation, but she executes the story in a way that conveys impressions rather than character and drama.

It’s even in the graphix (sequential art as storytelling). Kujyou draws vistas in which figures morph into cityscapes into sketchy close-ups of the characters. There are pages in which the individual panels look like stills from a flashy music video, depicting a torrid love scene. Love Share features elegant graphic design and the compositions emphasize style over drama. Love Story is as pretty as it could be, but it is not all it can be.

B- is the grade for Love Share (Yaoi)



Monday, September 21, 2009

Del Rey Manga Info on "The Secret Saturdays" Film-Comics


Press release from Del Rey Manga:
THE SECRET SATURDAYS: THE KUR STONE – PART 1

After the successful debut of the Ben 10 Alien Force and Bakugan Battle Brawlers film-comics in Fall 2008, Cartoon Network Enterprises and Del Rey Manga are bringing the hit property, The Secret Saturdays, to comics form with THE SECRET SATURDAYS: THE KUR STONE PART 1.

Christina Miller, vice president, Cartoon Network Enterprises says, “The Secret Saturdays features great animation and action, two qualities that lend themselves to a rich publishing program. As a key part of the brand’s consumer products launch this fall, we look forward to building on the success we have had to date with Del Rey Manga to create a strong The Secret Saturdays publishing program.”

The Secret Saturdays series, which debuted in October 2008, found its home on Cartoon Network’s “Action Fridays” animation block, and its combination of family life, fantastical creatures, and action-packed adventures appealed to a large audience. The Saturdays, a family of cryptozoologists, dedicate themselves to protecting secret artifacts and mysterious, hidden monsters, cryptids, across the world. Their adventures – which take them from ancient ruins to bottomless caves – have led to encounters with some of the weirdest and wildest creatures on the planet. In THE SECRET SATURDAYS: THE KUR STONE PART 1, Zak Saturday and his parents, Doc and Drew, must rely on their powers and their knowledge of cryptids to stop the nefarious V.V. Argost from recovering the dreadful Kur Stone, and stop him from unleashing an ancient evil on the world.

“With its rich characters and intriguing stories, The Secret Saturdays is the latest Cartoon Network series to achieve widespread international popularity,” says Mutsumi Miyazaki, director of licensing and acquisitions for Del Rey Manga. “We believe that this new film-comic will bring new fans to The Secret Saturdays, and we look forward to building further success for the franchise while expanding our strong partnership with Cartoon Network.”
Del Rey Manga
August 25, 2009
ISBN 978-0-345-51694-7; $7.99 [END]


Where the wild things are - Animal Academy Volume 2

I finished reading Animal Academy: Hakobune Hakusho Volume 2

I posted a review at the Comic Book Bin. TOKYOPOP has created quite a nice backlist of manga for preteen and juvenile readers, and right now, I'd say that Animal Academy is at the top of the list.



Thank you, Dave Matthews

In an interview with CNN, Dave Matthews has something to say about racism and American politics. Here is the main highlight:

CNN: President Carter said he thinks that a lot of the animosity directed toward President Obama is race related.

Dave Matthews: Of course it is! I found there's a fairly blatant racism in America that's already there, and I don't think I noticed it when I lived here as a kid. But when I went back to South Africa, and then it's sort of thrust in your face, and then came back here -- I just see it everywhere. There's a good population of people in this country that are terrified of the president only because he's black, even if they don't say it. And I think a lot of them, behind closed doors, do say it.

Maybe I'm paranoid about it, but I don't think someone who disagreed as strongly as they do with Obama -- if it was Clinton -- would have stood up and screamed at him during his speech. (Shakes his head) I don't think so.

CNN: Everything has gone to such a frenzied pitch.

Matthews: I think a lot of it has to be on the press. We give the podium to a lot of people who shouldn't have the podium. The message that's delivered the loudest and in the most entertaining way is the one that we're going to put on because that's what we want. We want ratings more than we want to deliver information. That's just where the culture's gotten.

There's no way that Walter Cronkite, as a young journalist, no way Ed Murrow would be hired to do news today. Not a chance.

CNN: Because they're too low-key? Because they're not bombastic?

Matthews: Because they're thoughtful, and they're patient, and they're tying to tell you a truly balanced story. They're trying to impart information. I don't think that's the goal [now] because it's not a good business plan.

Everyone's outraged all the time. Why are you outraged? There's war -- there's always been war, as long as most of us have been alive. There have always been people being abused, there's always been horrible things in the world. Why are we outraged? We should just be quiet and figure it out, and work it out together. ... There's no solution in Washington as long as people are shouting like that. [END]


The Dave Matthews Band is probably touring in support of Big Whiskey and the GrooGrux King.


I Reads You Review: SPY VS SPY! MISSIONS OF MADNESS




Creators: John Ficarra (editor); Antonio Prohias (cartoonist)
Publishing Information: Watson-Guptill Publications, paperback, 192 pages, $11.99 (US); $13.99 (CAN)
Ordering Numbers: ISBN: 978-0-8230-5050-5 (ISBN)

Anyone who has read MAD Magazine is familiar with Spy vs. Spy. It is the wordless comic strip featuring two spies, Black and White, who have been constantly fighting and conspiring against each other for decades. Spy vs. Spy’s hooks are that the two spies are always creating ever inventive ways of foiling, hurting, and trying to do away with one another and that they look identical except that one wears white and the other black. One of the most famous features in Mad, Spy vs. Spy has appeared in almost every issue of the magazine.

Antonio Prohias began producing Spy vs. Spy for MAD in 1961, and he drew the strip for 26 years until he retired. [The strip is currently drawn by Peter Kuper.] There were “pocket-sized” paperback collections of Spy vs. Spy episodes going back to 1965; however the early collections are now out of print. In August 2009, Watson-Guptill brought three of those books back into print, two for the first time in more than 40 years.

The third of the three books, Spy vs Spy! Missions of Madness, was originally published as The Fourth MAD Declassified Papers on Spy vs Spy (Warner Books, 1974). The episodes included in Missions of Madness are longer, more like comedy sketches than gag strips. The book’s opening sketch, “The Model Detective” concerns a rather complicated plot by Black Spy to make White Spy believe in vampires, which will lead to White making a rather explosive discovery.

As funny as this and other of the longer sketches in this collection are, Prohias’ skill as a consummate draftsman and inventive graphic designer take center stage. Prohias’ drawing of the model house in the “The Model Detective,” is certainly impressive, but to have the compositional skill to fit it into the panel with larger elements will stir the reader. The panels with the submarine in “Depth’s Charge” flaunt Prohias’ ability to manipulate composition and graphic design and will also further boggle the mind.

The truth of the matter is that Spy vs Spy! Missions of Madness and the other two books (Danger! Intrigue! Stupidity! and Masters of Mayhem) aren’t just MAD collections; they’re also fine art books about Antonio Prohias.

A is the great for Spy vs Spy Missions of Madness





Geoff Johns dining on the corpses of Alan Moore castaways?

Rich Johnston offers highlights of Alan Moore's interview with the website, Mania. Of particular interest is Moore's assertion that DC Comics' current hit event miniseries, Blackest Night, is based on some old stories he did in Tales of the Green Lantern Corps Annual 2 and are reprinted in DC Universe: The Stories of Alan Moore



Family Guy didn't win... 2009 Emmy Winners

It would have been so cool if FOX animated series, "Family Guy" had won "Outstanding Comedy Series," which "30 Rock" won, again.

61st Annual Emmy Awards (2009)
Outstanding Drama Series: Mad Men
Outstanding Comedy Series: 30 Rock
Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series: Bryan Cranston - Breaking Bad
Outstanding Lead Actor in a Comedy Series: Alec Baldwin - 30 Rock
Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series: Glenn Close - Damages
Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Series: Toni Collette - United States of Tara
Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series: Michael Emerson - Lost
Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series: Jon Cryer - Two and a Half Men
Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series: Cherry Jones - 24
Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series: Kristin Chenoweth - Pushing Daisies
Outstanding Reality Competition Program: The Amazing Race
Outstanding Reality Program: Intervention
Outstanding Host for a Reality or Reality Competition Program: Jeff Probst - Survivor
Outstanding Miniseries: Little Dorrit
Outstanding Lead Actor in a Miniseries or a Movie: Brendan Gleeson - Into the Storm
Outstanding Lead Actress in a Miniseries or a Movie: Jessica Lange - Grey Gardens
Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Miniseries or a Movie: Ken Howard - Grey Gardens
Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Miniseries or a Movie: Shohreh Aghdashloo - House of Saddam
Outstanding Made for Television Movie: Grey Gardens
Outstanding Variety, Music or Comedy Series: The Daily Show With Jon Stewart
Outstanding Variety, Music or Comedy Special: The Kennedy Center Honors
Outstanding Directing for a Drama Series: Rod Holcomb, "And in the End" - ER
Outstanding Writing for a Drama Series: "Meditations in an Emergency" - Mad Men
Outstanding Directing for a Comedy Series: Jeff Blitz, "Stress Relief" - The Office
Outstanding Writing for a Comedy Series: "Reunion" - 30 Rock
Outstanding Directing for a Miniseries, Movie or Dramatic Special: Dearbhla Walsh - Little Dorrit (Part 1)
Outstanding Writing for a Miniseries, Movie or Dramatic Special: Little Dorrit
Outstanding Directing for a Variety, Music or Comedy Series: Bruce Gowers, "Show 833" (The Final Three) - American Idol
Outstanding Writing for a Variety, Music or Comedy Series: The Daily Show With Jon Stewart
Outstanding Directing for a Variety, Music or Comedy Special: Bucky Gunts - Beijing 2008 Olympic Games Opening Ceremony
Outstanding Writing for a Variety, Music or Comedy Special: Chris Rock - Kill The Messenger
Outstanding Guest Actor in a Drama Series: Michael J. Fox - Rescue Me
Outstanding Guest Actor in a Comedy Series: Justin Timberlake - Saturday Night Live
Outstanding Guest Actress in a Drama Series: Ellen Burstyn - Law & Order: Special Victims Unit
Outstanding Guest Actress in a Comedy Series: Tina Fey - Saturday Night Live
Outstanding Special Class Program: Beijing 2008 Olympic Games Opening Ceremony

Summer of the Dead

Associated Press (AP) writer Jake Coyle offers an interesting article about all the famous people, public figures, and notable persons who died this summer ("Ceaseless deaths of the famous mark summer '09). Although Coyle begins the list in late May (which must be the new beginning of summer) with the death of Dom DeLuise, he does manage to round up a shockingly large list of notable demises:

David Carradine, Walter Cronkite, Farrah Fawcett, John Hughes, Michael Jackson, Senator Edward M. (Ted) Kennedy, and Patrick Swayze are the ones that personally touched me.

Coyle inserts the usual complaint about the excessive coverage of Micheal Jackson's death (June), although I think the coverage of Michael's passing and related matters was far less irritating than the coverage of President Ronald Reagan's death back in 2004.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Kirby Estate Goes Siegel on Marvel/Disney

Rich Johnston is reporting that the estate of Jack Kirby has sent notices to Marvel Entertainment and the Walt Disney Company terminating coyrights to the characters he created or co-created for Marvel Comics, which includes film franchises the Hulk and the X-Men.

Bob Greene Sez, Don't Play Chicken with Politics

In this commentary for CNN.com, Bob Greene joins the list of public figures asking for more civility in our political discourse. That won't happen, and our "political atmosphere" will remain turbulence-filled. Still, this commentary is interesting if for no other reason than Greene's recollection of an experiment he tried during the Barack Obama-John McCain race last year.

MST3K Alum Joins Bluewater Productions


Press release from Bluewater Productions:
MST3K ALUM MARY JO PEHL JOINS BLUEWATER’S CAST OF COMIC CREATORS
For four years she was part of a cruel cabal subjecting a lone astronaut and his robot buddies to a series of tortuously bad B-movies, but now Mary Jo Pehl is sharpening her wit for a new comic book project with Bluewater Productions.
Pehl, best known as a writer and character Pearl Forrester from the cult show Mystery Science Theater 3000, is penning an original limited series comic entitled “Jailbait.”
Written as a tongue-in-cheek B-movie serial, “Jailbait” follows the adventures of an all-female undercover organization looking to hunt down predatory perverts by any means necessary and prevent children from becoming targets. It has been described as “To Catch a Predator” meets “Charlie’s Angels” meets Ed Wood’s “The Violent Years.”
“The story may be firmly rooted in satire and Mary Jo’s unique humor will be keep you laughing, but it has a serious message about keeping kids safe from predators, both online and off,” said Bluewater president and title creator Darren G. Davis. “In each issue we will provide information on important resources parents and children need to know; phone numbers of organizations and law enforcement.”
Slated for a first-quarter 2010 release, this four-issue mini-series, pairs Pehl with artist Alejandro Figueroa (Watchmen spoof “Whatmen?”) and cover artist Azim Akberal.
“There’s a great story there to be told, and I hope to do it with honesty, accuracy and humor, and well-rounded characterizations.” Said Pehl, who is currently a writer/producer for the direct-to-DVD comedy series, Cinematic Titanic, which takes on badmovies in the same spirit as MST3K.
Pehl has also written numerous magazines and newspapers, and has appeared in several anthologies, including “Life's A Stitch: The Best of Contemporary Women's Humor,” and “Travelers' Tales: The Thong Also Rises.” In addition, her commentaries have aired on NPR's “All Things Considered” and “Weekend America.”
And yes, in case it has been nagging you for 4 years, her name was the answer to 2 across in the April 18, 2005 issue of the TV Guide crossword puzzle.
About Bluewater Productions
Bluewater Productions Inc. is one of the top independent production studios of comic books, young adult books and graphic novels. Its extensive catalog of titles includes the bestsellers “10th Muse” and “The Legend of Isis.” Bluewater publishes comic books with legendary filmmaker Ray Harryhausen and have recently launched a series in partnership with sci-fi icon William Shatner.
Bluewater aims to unite cutting-edge art and engaging stories produced by its stable of the publishing industry’s top artists and writers.
Following its commitment to green publishing, Bluewater comic books are printed on Forest Stewardship Council certified paper. FSC certification guarantees that the paper used in Bluewater books contains fiber from well-managed and responsibility harvested forests that meet strict environmental and socioeconomic standards.
For more information, visit www.bluewaterprod.com.
All images copyright their respective creators and/or owners.