Saturday, October 31, 2009

More Comic-Books-on-Mystery-Apple-Device Rumors

Gizmodo has a nice article about comic book industry figures hoping Apple's mysterious upcoming tablet will be a savior for the industry. An earlier Gizmodo article talked about Apple supposedly reaching out to print publishers concerning this rumored tablet.

Friday, October 30, 2009

VIZ Media Announces Jormungand



Press release from VIZ Media:
VIZ MEDIA LETS THE BULLETS AND ACTION FLY IN NEW MANGA SERIES JORMUNGAND

Death Is A Business And Business Is Good For A Crack Team Of Mercenaries; Staying Alive Becomes Even More Dangerous When A New Young Recruit Joins The Team

VIZ Media, LLC (VIZ Media), one of the entertainment industry's most innovative and comprehensive publishing, animation and licensing companies, will premiere the exciting new manga series JORMUNGAND to readers across North America next month. The new action adventure by Keitaro Takahashi will be published by VIZ Media’s Signature imprint and will release on November 10th. JORMUNGAND is rated ‘M’ for Mature Readers and will carry an MSRP of $12.99 U.S. / $16.99 CAN.

Jonah is a child soldier, born amidst the chaotic conflicts that rage across West Asia. His family was lost to a war fueled by weapons supplied by the so-called Merchants of Death – international arms dealers. Despite Jonah's hatred of weapons and violence, he employs them extremely well in the service of high-flying arms dealer named Koko Hekmatyar and her band of mercenaries. Their journey through the dark underbelly of the world's arms markets may lead to damnation, but will Jonah somehow make his way back to the light? Only one thing is certain: it's going to be a long, hard road out of hell... Death is their business, and business is good! In Volume 1, Koko Hekmatyar, the head of H&C Logistic Incorporated, introduces new recruit Jonah to her expert team of troubleshooters, and it isn't long before they find some trouble to shoot. An Eastern European government official holds up a shipment of aircraft parts that would shift the balance of power in the region. But the real trouble is that shipment belongs to Koko, and she's not about to miss an opportunity to make a profit, even if it means two nations go to war!

“JORMUNGAND takes its name from the fabled ferocious sea serpent in Norse mythology, and readers will be at the edge of their seats with this fierce band of mercenaries that live up to the name with an insatiable taste for trouble and gunplay,” says Gonzalo Ferrerya, Vice President, Sales & Marketing. “JORMUNGAND is a must-read for any action fan, and Keitaro Takahashi’s manga delivers plenty of bullet-riddled adventures as he fills each chapter with plenty of shady characters, double deals, and enough heavy metal weaponry to make any modern paramilitary jealous! Just remember to keep your head down and eyes glued to the page!”

Keitaro Takahashi’s debut manga, Ordinary±, won the Four Seasons Prize in 1999 and was subsequently serialized in Gekkan Afternoon magazine in Japan. Prior to creating JORMUNGAND in 2006, Takahashi worked as an illustrator for several books and he has drawn considerable acclaim for his striking, realistic and angular style.

For information on VIZ Media titles, please visit www.VIZ.com. [END]

VIZ Media Set to Launch Beast Master



Press release from VIZ Media:


VIZ MEDIA INVITES READERS TO A WALK ON THE WILD SIDE WITH THE NEW BEAST MASTER MANGA SERIES

It’s Animal Attraction When A High School Girl Meets A Cute Boy Who Is Not All He Appears To Be

VIZ Media, LLC (VIZ Media), one of the entertainment industry's most innovative and comprehensive publishing, animation and licensing companies, expands its popular SHOJO BEAT imprint with the release of Kyousuke Motomi’s BEAST MASTER manga on November 3rd. The new series is rated ‘T+’ for Older Teens and will carry an MSRP of $9.99 US / $12.99 CAN.

Leo Aoi looks like a crazy animal with wild eyes – and no one at his new high school will go near him! He does seem to have a special connection with animals, which intrigues overzealous animal lover Yukio Kubozuka. In reality, Leo isn’t nearly as frightening as he appears, but Yukio finds out that he goes berserk whenever he sees blood! Will Yukio be able to get through to Leo during one of these violent fits? Or will his ferocious side eventually devour her? The debut volume also includes a special bonus short story called FLY.

Manga artist Kyousuke Motomi debuted in Japan’s popular shojo manga magazine Betsucomi with No Good Cupid in 2002, and she is also the creator of Handsome! Beads Club. Her latest work, Electric Daisy, is also currently being serialized in Betsucomi.

“BEAST MASTER is part comedy, part romance, part drama and all fun as it adds a new twist to the idea of animal attraction,” says Gonzalo Ferreyra, Vice President, Sales & Marketing, VIZ Media. “Readers will empathize with Leo and his terrible secret and root for the tender relationship he forms with Yukio. Will she be able to tame Leo’s wild side? Will the pair find true love or will his secret destroy them both? Find out in this truly wild new series from VIZ Media!”

Bruce Lee Brand Expands





Bruce Lee Enterprises Announces Website Launch and Major Expansion of Brand

Projects Include Film, Television and Licensing

LOS ANGELES--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Shannon Lee, daughter of Bruce Lee and CEO of Bruce Lee Enterprises and LeeWay Media is announcing a major expansion of the Bruce Lee brand. Her organization has launched a flagship website, BruceLee.com, and is actively engaged in an ambitious program of licensing name and likeness rights and creating original film and television productions. Upon reacquiring her family’s merchandising rights from Universal Studios, Shannon has opened an in-house licensing division, Bruce Lee Enterprises (BLE), and LeeWay Media Group, a production company dedicated to the perpetuation of the Lee legacy through new media works.

BruceLee.com will be the beacon of all things Bruce Lee on the Internet,” said Shannon Lee. “The site will include everything from facts about Bruce Lee to digital content to merchandise. I’ll also be writing a blog. My father’s fans have been asking for a place to find information and communicate with each other. This site will be a meeting place for our community.”

LeeWay Media Group, the television and film production company, is actively coordinating a slate of film and television productions. Projects in development include a Chinese language biopic directed by noted Hong Kong director Andrew Lau, an animation project with Waddell Media and Ireland-based Flickerpix, a CG action film, and a Broadway musical from veterans David Henry Hwang (M Butterfly), Stuart Oken (Lion King), Director Bartlett Sher (South Pacific), and David Yazbek (The Full Monty).

Recently completed projects include a 50-part television biography of Bruce Lee that aired in China on CCTV and How Bruce Lee Changed the World, which aired on the History Channel.

Bruce Lee Enterprises (BLE), the licensing company, has been focused on a slate of merchandising and advertising deals that include Pepsi Cola, Nokia, Lucky Brand Jeans and Charter Communications. “The ethos of Bruce Lee - action, power, grace and style - provides a broad base appeal that we are just beginning to realize,” says Alex Stephens, VP of Licensing at BLE. “Bruce smashed racial, gender and generational barriers during his lifetime and our partners understand that his image enables them to market products to a broad and attractive demographic.”

BLE also announced that Greenlight, a media licensing, talent and rights representation consultancy has been selected to represent the rights of Bruce Lee for advertising and endorsements world-wide.

BLE has declared an aggressive program to protect the integrity of the Bruce Lee brand in the United States and internationally. Kris Storti, COO and General Counsel, will coordinate this program. Says Storti, “We are re-doubling our efforts around the world. We are absolutely committed to a vigorous protection of the Bruce Lee brand and our intellectual property, and plan to pursue legal action whenever necessary. This, unfortunately, includes the recently announced biopic by JA Media and Robert Lee.”

The Bruce Lee Foundation, (bruceleefoundation.org) a non-profit organization, will be holding a convention at the Sheraton Universal Hotel in Los Angeles, November 13-15 which is open to the public. Linda Lee Cadwell, Foundation Chairperson and wife of the late Lee says, “We continue to be moved by the outpouring of affection and respect for Bruce around the world.” The Foundation provides scholarships and educational programs, as well as a long term goal of creating the Bruce Lee Action Museum.

“Our goal is simple,” says Shannon. “It is to continue to inspire people through my father’s legacy. There is a lot of value in continuing to put that energy out into the consciousness.”

Stephen King to ACTUALLY WRITE a Comic Book

From Attention USA:

This coming March, Vertigo (imprint of DC Comics), will begin publishing American Vampire, a new comic book series with its first five issues co-written by Stephen King and Scott Snyder.

The Daily Beast spoke with its creator, Scott Snyder, and has a great image gallery of character sketches that we thought you'd want to see.

Story -> Stephen King's First Comic Book
http://www.thedailybeast.com/blogs-and-stories/2009-10-25/stephen-kings-new-chapter/

Gallery -> Character Sketches Media Gallery http://www.thedailybeast.com/blogs-and-stories/2009-10-25/stephen-kings-new-chapter/?cid=hp:mainpromo5#gallery=893;page=1
[END]

Vivid Entertainment to Finally Release "Shauna Sand Exposed"

From Business Wire:

Vivid Entertainment Will Move Ahead with Release of "Shauna Sand Exposed" Video as the "Star" Takes Control

LOS ANGELES--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Vivid Entertainment, the leading adult film studio, said today it will release the sexually explicit video "Shauna Sand Exposed" next Wednesday, October 28th after its "star" withdrew her threat of a lawsuit to block its distribution. The movie will be available in stores across the country and online at shopvivid.com.

On October 13th Ms. Sand's attorney threatened to sue Vivid to block release of the video, which shows her having steamy sex with her ex-boyfriend.

Steven Hirsch, co-chairman of Vivid, said he met with Ms. Sand in his office last Thursday. "We showed her the documents we had received from a third party that were authenticated by a handwriting expert and explained that we remained comfortable that we had the right to distribute the video. Shauna said she wanted to consult with her attorney and would get back to us the following day."

Hirsch said Ms. Sand called him on Friday and agreed not to pursue a lawsuit that could prove to be long and expensive. She told him that she was instructing her attorney to withdraw a cease and desist letter sent to Vivid earlier. "She said she had deliberated over the best course of action and ultimately decided to take over this matter herself and to authorize us to release her statement saying she will, in fact, work with us," he noted.

Ms. Sand said: "I made this video with my ex-boyfriend for our own enjoyment. But since Vivid obtained a copy and is moving ahead with distribution, I now feel it will be in my best interest to work with Vivid to make sure it is handled properly. I'm taking full control of this situation and that means there won't be any involvement by a third party. I'm proud of the way I look in the video. My ex-boyfriend was the cameraman, I edited it and added the music and so I have an interest in the final product."

Meanwhile, Mr. Hirsch said, interest in the video is building on the part of consumers and the adult video retail sales community. "We've got as much interest in this video as we have had in any of our other Vivid-Celeb titles, including Kim Karshashian, Jimi Hendrix and Pamela Anderson," he said.
Sand is the former wife of reality television star Lorenzo Lamas and has numerous acting credentials to her credit. The video, which shows her having sex with an ex-boyfriend earlier this year, was obtained by a third party who brought it to Vivid.

About Vivid:
Founded in 1984, Vivid is the world's leading adult film company and is celebrating its 25th anniversary this year. Vivid has always placed heavy emphasis on high quality erotic film entertainment and has created wide brand-name awareness through its films, innovative marketing and a licensing program that extends to advertising, apparel, book publishing and a range of other products. The studio's website vivid.com has a large and loyal following of fans of the Vivid Girls. [END]

Newsarama Sold Again

Apparently, Imaginova, Inc, the company that bought Newsarama about 2 years ago, has now sold the site to another company - Editor's note

From Business Wire:

TopTenREVIEWS Acquires Technology and Entertainment Web Sites Space.com, LiveScience.com and Newsarama.com

OGDEN, Utah--(BUSINESS WIRE)--TopTenREVIEWS today announced it has acquired the Consumer Media Division of Imaginova Inc., a privately held company based in New York City. Included in the acquisition are Space.com, LiveScience.com and Newsarama.com. As part of the ongoing expansion, TopTenREVIEWS has established the TechMediaNetwork to incorporate these properties.

TopTenREVIEWS, the 4th largest technology news site according to September 2009 U.S. comScore Media Metrix data, joins Space.com, LiveScience.com and Newsarama.com as TechMediaNetwork properties, a network encompassing technology, science and entertainment. Combined, 12.2 million people visit TechMediaNetwork sites each month.

“This acquisition expands TopTenREVIEWS' coverage as a trusted technology adviser and strengthens the company as a source of technology news,” said TopTenREVIEWS founder and CEO Jerry Ropelato. “We see strong potential for growth in traffic and revenue as a result of the synergy between the sites.”

TopTenREVIEWS is a privately held technology review Web site covering software, Web services, consumer electronics and entertainment, offering millions of reviews in more than 350 categories. With Space.com, LiveScience.com and Newsarama.com, TopTenREVIEWS expands its coverage to include news and information about technology, science and comic genre entertainment, in addition to content about purchasing the best technology and entertainment products. TopTenREVIEWS will expand its coverage of consumer reviews to include products and services related to the new properties.

“Creating TechMediaNetwork is a natural progression in our company’s goal to create a more comprehensive network of technology and entertainment news, information and purchasing advice,” said Stan Bassett, president of TopTenREVIEWS. “Our new tech network broadens our ability to educate people on a wider range of topics – from astronomy to health to computer security.”

The sites, each brand leaders in their markets, will remain fundamentally the same. The science properties syndicate original content to the following news portals: Yahoo!, MSNBC, AOL, USA Today and FoxNews.com. TopTenREVIEWS will also continue the relationships Imaginova had with the scientific community, including the National Science Foundation (NSF) and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), while expanding its technology and entertainment coverage.

Space enthusiasts visit Space.com for compelling content about space science, astronomy and exploration news. Launched in 1999, Space.com has enjoyed the past management participation of several key space-related public figures.
LiveScience.com is the leading source for groundbreaking developments in health, the environment and technology. It is the 2007 winner of the Online Journalism Award for Specialty Journalism among large Web sites, by the Online News Association (ONA). Known for its ability to convert often complex concepts into simple explanations, LiveScience attracts millions of visitors each month.

Newsarama.com provides comprehensive coverage and commentary of comics and genre-related entertainment. It won the 2008 Eisner Award for Best Comics-Related Periodical/Journalism. Entertainment Weekly included Newsarama in its list of "100 Greatest Websites," and the American Library Association lists it as a research resource in the field of comics.

Founded in 2003, TopTenREVIEWS.com provides consumers with side-by-side product and pricing comparisons to help them research, shop and purchase technology and entertainment products and services. To fuel growth, TopTenREVIEWS received a Series A investment from venture capital firms Highway 12 Ventures and Village Ventures in June 2008. The investment in TopTenREVIEWS built on the success of the initially self-funded company's vision to change the way consumers shop for technology and entertainment products and services by providing helpful, accurate and unbiased reviews and resources.

To learn more about TechMediaNetwork, visit http://www.techmedianetwork.com/.
For more information about TopTenREVIEWS, visit: www.toptenreviews.com/about-us.html.
For more information on LiveScience, visit: http://www.livescience.com/; Space.com, http://www.space.com/; and Newsarama, http://www.newsarama.com/.

TopTenREVIEWS is a trademark of TopTenREVIEWS Inc. All other names are used for identification purposes only and may be trademarks of their respective owners. [END]

Bluewater to Publish "Nanny and Hank"



Press release from Bluewater Productions:


BLUEWATER GETS A TASTE FOR BINGO AND BLOOD WITH “NANNY AND HANK”...OY GEVALT!


Nanny and Hank believed they would be spending their golden years enjoying the grandkids and playing mahjong and canasta at their seniors-only condo complex in Ft. Lauderdale. The 70 year old couple never thought they would be spending eternity as vampires in Bluewater Productions’ upcoming original limited series comic.


The light hearted horror series, “Nanny and Hank” follows the misadventures of a pair of curmudgeonly septuagenarians as they deal with planning a family vacation while quenching their thirst for blood.


“Call it a love letter to my grandparents. The main characters are based on my own grandparents, and it was a riot trying to insert some of the funny old family stories into a vampiric context,” said Bluewater president and series creator Darren Davis. “And yes, there names really were Nanny and Hank!”


Slated for a Spring 2010 release, this mini-series pairs writer Mark L. Miller , Ain’t It Cool News and Vincent Price Presents writer) with artist Steve Babb.
According to Miller, Nanny and Hank is a vampire story unlike any vampire story you've read before. As a rabid fan of the genre, I went out of my way to break away from some of the overused aspects of this type of literature, giving the story not only copious amounts of blood and action, but a strong heart that makes you laugh with and care about these characters.


“As a kid I remember finding my grandmothers false teeth in a cup of water. It freaked me out then, so you can imagine the kind of fun we had adapting that into the story,” Davis mused. “And don’t get me started on their dog Buttons.” [END]

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Al Columbia at Fantagraphics Bookstore 11/7

Press release from Fantagraphics Books:

Fantagraphics Bookstore & Gallery celebrates Al Columbia’s astonishing new graphic novel PIM & FRANCIE on Saturday, November 7.

Al Columbia is widely regarded among his peers as one of the most accomplished and influential artists working in comics today. On the occasion of the publication of PIM & FRANCIE, his most ambitious work to date, Fantagraphics Bookstore & Gallery is hosting a rare public appearance by the cartoonist on Saturday, November 7 from 6:00 to 8:00 PM.

PIM & FRANCIE represents a breathtaking vision of contemporary American art. Collecting over a decade’s worth of artifacts, excavations, comic strips, animation stills, storybook covers, and much more, this broken jigsaw puzzle of a book tells the story of title characters Pim and Francie, a pair of childlike imps whose irresponsible antics get them into horrific, fantastic trouble. Their loosely defined relationship only contributes to the existential fear that lingers underneath the various perils they are subjected to. Columbia’s brilliant, fairytale-like backdrops hint at further layers of reality lurking under every gingerbread house or behind every sunny afternoon. Never have such colorful, imaginative vistas instilled such an atmosphere of dread, and with such a wicked sense of humor.

Columbia’s work has been previously published by Fantagraphics Books in two issues of Biologic Show, as well as anthologies Zero Zero, Blab!, and most recently MOME. He currently resides in Connecticut.

The reception will feature an exhibition of recent work by Al Columbia from the collection of Scott Eder. Fantagraphics Bookstore & Gallery is located at 1201 S. Vale Street at the corner of Airport Way S. in the heart of Seattle’s historic Georgetown arts community. Please join us on Saturday, November 7 to welcome this exceptional artist to Seattle.

Listing Information:
AL COLUMBIA: PIM & FRANCIE
Art exhibition and book signing
Saturday, November 7, 6:00 – 8:00 PM
Exhibition continues through December 9, 2009
Fantagraphics Bookstore & Gallery
1201 S. Vale Street (at Airport Way S.) Seattle, WA
206.658.0110 www.fantagraphics.com
Open daily 11:30 to 8:00 PM, Sundays until 5:00 PM [END]

Free Disney App at App Store

From Business Wire:

Free Disney App Now Available on App Store

New App Brings Popular Disney Characters, Video, Music and Games to iPhone and iPod touch; Offers Innovative ‘Click2Life’ Feature and Syncs with Other Disney Apps

NORTH HOLLYWOOD, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Disney.com today announced it has launched an app for iPhone and iPod touch on the App Store. The Disney App features an array of high quality Disney content including areas dedicated to Characters, Music, Video and Games. Content in the app will be updated regularly, providing kids and families with instant access to the latest Disney news and entertainment.

The new Disney App will also offer innovative features including “Click2Life” which allows iPhone users to take pictures of images from the online version of Disney.com with their device that will then come to life within the app and turn into an animated image. Additionally, the Disney App will automatically discover other Disney apps and games available through the App Store, organizing all Disney-branded content within one destination on each device so users can easily access their favorite games and entertainment content.

Key content features within the new Disney App include:

Disney at your fingertips – instant access to the latest Disney news and entertainment.
Characters – interact with hundreds of Disney’s most popular characters through customizable photo frames and audio greetings that can be customized by users.
Music – listen to Radio Disney live, play “Name that Song,” watch music videos and purchase the latest Disney music from the iTunes Store.
Videos – watch new featured and original videos each week including Disney.com’s “Backstage Pass” and “Spotlight” segments.
Games and My Disney Apps – download and manage free and paid Disney games and other apps.

“While this app provides seamless access to all things Disney, delivering unmatched entertainment and information directly to mobile devices, we’re not simply recreating Disney.com on your iPhone or iPod touch,” stated Jason Davis, vice president, Disney.com. “Features like ‘Click2Life’ utilize iPhone’s revolutionary functionality to create exciting new ways to interact with Disney characters and content.”

The Disney.com App is available for free from the App Store on iPhone and iPod touch or at iTunes.com/WaltDisney along with an extensive line-up of other free and paid Disney Apps.

Already an online and mobile Web powerhouse, Disney.com reaches nearly 31 million unique visitors per month, ranking as the No. 1 Community-Family & Parenting site. Among mobile Web sites, Disney.com ranks as the No. 1 entertainment mobile site. Disney also has an expanding line-up of paid apps currently available in the App Store including Toy Story Mania!, Disney Fairies Fly, The Nightmare Before Christmas and Breakspin, among many others.

About Disney Online
Disney Online (http://www.disney.com/ or text MOBILE to DISNEY*), a unit of Disney Interactive Media Group, produces the No. 1 ranked community-family and parenting destination on the World Wide Web. Launched in 1996, Disney.com is the online and now mobile web gateway to all of the company's Disney-branded entertainment initiatives, providing comprehensive access to, and information about Disney movies, travel, television, games, music, shopping and live events.

In addition, Disney Online develops and publishes a range of online products and services including Pirates of the Caribbean Online, Disney's Toontown Online, Disney Fairies Pixie Hollow and Disney Club Penguin.

Sources:
Traffic: comScore Media Metrix September 2009
Mobile: m:metrics August 2009 and internal tracking *Msg. and data rates may apply.

If you’re under 18, get your parents’ permission first. [END]

Jump on Rosario+Vampire

I finished reading Rosario+Vampire, Vol. 10

I posted a review at the Comic Book Bin. This is a good jumping on point for new readers.



Lovely Complex at 15

I finished reading Love Com, Vol. 15 (Love*Com)

I posted a review at the Comic Book Bin.



Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Fantagraphics Books to Publish New Golden Age Collections



Press release from Fantagraphics Books:


FANTAGRAPHICS & EDITOR GREG SADOWSKI PARTNER ON SEVEN NEW BOOK COLLECTIONS OF CLASSIC COMIC BOOK MATERIAL

Fantagraphics Books is proud to announce that it has struck a deal with comics historian and editor Greg Sadowski to produce seven new collections of classic comic book material for the Seattle publisher. Sadowski is a Harvey and Eisner Award-nominated editor who has previously overseen the publication of the acclaimed collections SUPERMEN: THE FIRST WAVE OF COMIC BOOK HEROES 1936-1941, as well as B. KRIGSTEIN and B. KRIGSTEIN COMICS. He is a former staff editor and designer for Fantagraphics Books and currently works freelance from his home on San Juan Island in Washington State’s Puget Sound.

"Greg has written one of the landmark cartoonist biographies (and only the first half yet!) with B. Krigstein, and the collections of comics from the '40s and '50s that he's edited for us — B. Krigstein Comics and Supermen!, to date— have been meticulously assembled, with an eye toward selection, flow, and accompanying historical text. We're pleased that he's got such an ambitious agenda ahead,” says Fantagraphics Publisher Gary Groth, who acquired the books.

The books will be released one per season, beginning with FOUR COLOR FEAR: FORGOTTEN HORROR COMICS OF THE 1950s in June 2010 and produced in collaboration with comics historian John Benson (SQUA TRONT). The second book, due in Fall 2010, will be a collection of legendary artist Alex Toth’s work for Standard Comics in the 1950s. The remaining five books will be release in subsequent seasons, with exact schedules to be announced. The full list of books follows below.

FOUR COLOR FEAR: Forgotten Horror Comics of the 1950s
RELEASE DATE: June 2010
This full-color 304-page edition collects the finest horror comics of the pre-code era (1950-54). EC is the company that most fans associate with horror, but to the average reader there remain unseen a tremendous volume of genuinely disturbing, compulsive, and imaginative stories from publishers such as Ajax-Farrell, Atlas, Charlton, Fawcett, Quality, Standard and many more. Four Color Fear collects the best, and includes 40 full-sized covers. Featured are comic book legends such as Jack Cole, Steve Ditko, George Evans, Frank Frazetta, Alex Toth, Al Williamson, Basil Wolverton, Wally Wood, L.B.Cole, Matt Fox and many others. “In these types of compilations, I try to provide a service to the reader who has neither the time, inclination, nor bank account to purchase and sift through hundreds of golden age comic books to glean off that precious 10% - the most distinctive and worthwhile examples from a particular genre,” says Sadowski.

SETTING THE STANDARD: Alex Toth at Standard Comics 1952-54
RELEASE DATE: Fall 2010
“It's hard to overstate the influence of Alex Toth on the art of comic books,” says Sadowski. “Toth was from that first generation who grew up reading comic books, and he came to the medium armed with enough discipline, talent, and sheer love and respect for the medium to create a technique free of condescension, artifice, or shortcuts. His work at Standard first established him as the ‘comic book artist's artist.’” Learning his craft at Eastern and DC, Alex Toth arrived at Standard Comics in late 1951 with a fully formed, graphically impeccable technique perfectly suited to the comic book medium – honest, uncompromising, and free of condescension and artifice. Includes a biographical sketch and an essay on Toth’s approach to comic book storytelling, based heavily on his interviews and written correspondence.

THE ROAD TO PLASTIC MAN: The Golden Age Comics of Jack Cole 1937-41
RELEASE DATE: t.b.a.
“From his earliest days in comics, Jack Cole was one intense artist / writer. It just took him a few years to fully incorporate humor into his work, so this book tracks his artistic evolution leading up to Plastic Man,” says Sadowski. Jack Cole’s irreverent yet artistically first-rate approach to comic book art was a refreshing departure for a young industry that tended to take itself a bit too seriously. His work influenced many of his contemporaries, most notably Will Eisner, whose Spirit gradually assumed Cole’s intoxicating mixture of fun and high drama. The book begins with early “big foot” work for Centaur’s Funny Pages, then gives way to raucous adventure and crime stories before honing in on the nefarious Claw, the boy inventor Dickie Dean, and proto-superheroes the Comet, Daredevil, and Silver Streak.

AWAY FROM HOME: EC Artists at Other Companies
RELEASE DATE: t.b.a.
The key ingredient in what made EC the most celebrated comic book company of all time was its remarkable stable of artists: Reed Crandall, Jack Davis, George Evans, Will Elder, Al Feldstein, Jack Kamen, Bernard Krigstein, Harvey Kurtzman, Graham Ingels, Joe Orlando, John Severin, Basil Wolverton, Wallace Wood, and Al Williamson, as well as that of part-timers Frank Frazetta, Roy G. Krenkel, Alex Toth, and Angelo Torres. “This book collects the best non-EC art by the EC stable of artists, in other words, the cream of the 1950s crop. A lot of these guys were pals and they often collaborated, so there will be a healthy sampling of these fraternal efforts,” says Sadowski.

CREEPING DEATH FROM NEPTUNE: Basil Wolverton’s Sci-Fi and Horror Comics 1938-55
RELEASE DATE: t.b.a.
“Many of Wolverton's comics have been reprinted in a number of formats, but for years I've been waiting for a full-color compilation of his serious golden age work. Finally I decided to do it myself. Like the Cole book, this one is a no-brainer,” says Sadowski. Given the media coverage of his recent retrospective at New York’s Barbara Gladstone Gallery, it’s high time for a full-color anthology of Basil Wolverton’s serious comic book work. This edition covers all bases, from his early features, Space Patrol and Meteor Martin, into Spacehawk (“Lone Wolf of the Void”), and ending with the skewed master’s gloriously repugnant horror comics.

THE COMIC BOOK FRANKENSTEIN: The Monster According to Dick Briefer
RELEASE DATE: t.b.a.
“Dick Briefer had been involved in comic books since its earliest days. He was one of the first to work at Will Eisner and Jerry Iger's comic book studio in the mid-1930s. Like Eisner, Cole, and Wolverton, Briefer was responsible for the complete package: writing, layouts, pencils and inks, and often the lettering. He did his best work on FRANKENSTEIN, and this compilation should restore his status as one of the form's major pioneers,” says Sadowski. Briefer’s Frankenstein made its debut in 1940 in Prize Comics. He continually ramped up the monster’s humorous aspect, which in turn increased its popularity, and Frankenstein was rewarded with its own title in 1945. Then, with the horror craze in full swing in 1951, Briefer responded by reverting the character back to its frightening origins. This book will travel through Briefer’s complete Frankenstein series and shed light on one of comic books’ most gifted creators. [END]

Death Note Novel Now on Shelves



Press release from VIZ Media:


PLUNGE INTO THE FATAL LAST CASE OF LEGENDARY CRIME DETECTIVE IN NEW NOVEL DEATH NOTE: L, change the WorLd


L Has Twenty-Three Days To Live, And Twenty-Two Days to Save The World


VIZ Media, LLC (VIZ Media), one of the entertainment industry's most innovative and comprehensive publishing, animation and licensing companies, expands the thrilling psychological suspense of DEATH NOTE with the release of DEATH NOTE: L, change the WorLd, a new novel featuring the master detective from the hit animated and manga series. DEATH NOTE: L, change the WorLd is available now from SHONEN JUMP Fiction and carries an MSRP of $17.99 U.S. / $24.00 CAN.


In an alternative continuity in the DEATH NOTE setting, ace detective L's name has been placed in a Death Note. He has twenty-three days to bring a terrorist group to justice, or they will use a deadly new virus to change the world...by killing off most of humanity.


“DEATH NOTE: L, change the WorLd offers a fitting finale to the DEATH NOTE saga and contains many events that did not take place in the film,” says Gonzalo Ferreyra, Vice President, Sales & marketing, VIZ Media. “The author, who adopts the nom de plume ‘M’ in tribute to the eccentric detective, creates an intriguing alternate continuity that will intrigue fans of the anime and manga series as well as new readers. Any thoughts of a quiet hospice vanish as L sacrifices his life to save humanity. Edge of your seat suspense awaits readers in this gripping new novel!”


DEATH NOTE: L, change the WorLd features the same format as the original Japanese printing with a hardcover and clear acetate jacket with metallic ink. The cover art is by Takeshi Obata, the artists fo the DEATH NOTE manga series. DEATH NOTE is one of VIZ Media’s top 5 bestselling properties, with over 1 million copies of the manga sold in the U.S. The character of L is extremely popular with fans and has inspired various products such as apparel and stationery as well as spinoff novels and three live action DEATH NOTE films (available from VIZ Pictures).


For more information on DEATH NOTE, please visit Deathnote.viz.com.


Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Gunslinger Hime

I finished reading Kurohime, Vol. 14

I posted a review at the Comic Book Bin. Only half of this volume is devoted to the main narrative. The other half is a bonus story.



Monday, October 26, 2009

Al Gore and Nancy Pelosi Get Bio Comic Books


Press release from Bluewater Productions:

GORE, PELOSI STEP INTO THE SPOTLIGHT IN TWO NEW COMIC BOOK BIOGRAPHY


Former Vice President Al Gore and Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, two of the more polarizing figures on the modern political stage, will be the featured subjects of a pair of upcoming issues of Bluewater Productions’ biography comic series.


Political Power: Al Gore and Female Force: Nancy Pelosi, both scheduled for release in January, highlight the careers of two influential political figures that are shaping the debate on some of the most important issues of the day.
Gore’s story follows his rise as a privileged Senator’s son to his failed bid for the White House to his ascendancy as a prime mover in the climate change and global warming debate.


“What is fascinating about Al Gore is he is a contrast of opposites,” noted the issue’s author Scott Davis, “He’s a cagey politician, but given to sophomoric exaggerations. He’s the embodiment of Big Government and the idealistic conscience of the country.”


Similarly, Rep. Nancy Pelosi, according to writer Dan Rafter, evokes a “love her or hate her” reaction. “She is arguably the most powerful woman in government.”


Like Gore, Pelosi, who represents California’s 8th district (San Francisco), comes from a political family, which includes two mayors of Baltimore. However, forging her own political fortunes, she has risen through the ranks of the Democratic Party to become the first woman in American history to lead a major party in the U.S. Congress.

"What I find most intriguing about her, though, is the amount of anger she seems to inspire from her critics. In this biography, I was hoping to figure out, at least somewhat, why so many people delight in hating Nancy Pelosi." Said Rafter.


The issues are illustrated by Aldo Giordanelli Corbellini (Gore) Andrew Yerrakadu (Pelosi) and cover art is provided by Patricio Carbajal and Jim McDermott.


Both the Female Force and Political Power biography comic book series strive to present even-handed stories of prominent individuals responsible for shaping the political and cultural landscape. Both series launched in 2009.

What a Wonderful World if You Don't Week

I finished reading What a Wonderful World!, Vol. 2

I posted a review at the Comic Book Bin. I think this volume is much better than the first.


Goodwill Honey Hunting

I finished reading Honey Hunt, Vol. 3

I posted a review at the Comic Book Bin. This is probably my favorite shojo title, at the moment.


Saturday, October 24, 2009

Dark Horse Books to Publish Mogworld

Press release from Dark Horse Comics:

YAHTZEE CROSHAW’S MOGWORLD ARRIVES AT DARK HORSE IN 2010

CREATOR OF THE ESCAPIST’S ZERO PUNCTUATION BRINGS HIS FIRST NOVEL TO DARK HORSE

Coming soon from Dark Horse Books: Critical sensation Ben “Yahtzee” Croshaw (The Escapist’s Zero Punctuation Reviews) brings his signature acerbic wit to his debut novel, Mogworld.

Mogworld, a comedic fantasy novel with a twist, is the story of Jim, who, sixty years after dying in a magic-school mishap, is wrenched back to life by a renegade necromancer. All Jim wants is to die properly, once and for all—no easy task for a minor character in a MMORPG (Massively Multiplayer Online Role-Playing Game).

Croshaw’s animated Zero Punctuation reviews, which package prescient criticism with frenetic animation, off-color humor, and rapid-fire delivery, have made him a household name in the gaming community. Although Croshaw has covered a lot of creative and critical ground in his short career—before Zero Punctuation, he gained a reputation as an independent game designer and blogger, and he recently produced the pilot for a TV series, Game Damage—Mogworld is his first foray into published fiction.

“I love Zero Punctuation, and I had asked Yahtzee to pitch us a book about video games,” explains Mogworld editor Rachel Edidin. “The last thing I expected was a novel draft! And the next thing I knew, I was taking the manuscript home with me—less to finish it than because I had to see what happened next.”

Says Croshaw, “I’ve been trying to write novels ever since I first read Hitchhiker’s Guide at the age of eight, so this is a pretty big deal for me, and I’m very happy to be working with Dark Horse on this. Mogworld is an idea I’ve been kicking around ever since those dark, unproductive three months I spent playing World of Warcraft. It’s a bit of a cynical take on MMOs and the standard Tolkienesque ‘fantasy’ setting.”

Mogworld is announced in conjunction with Croshaw’s first stateside appearance at this weekend’s GameX show in Philadelphia. Mogworld is set to arrive on shelves in August 2010.

The Secret Origins of the Claymores

I finished reading Claymore, Vol. 15

I posted a review at the Comic Book Bin. This is a pivotal volume as the secrets of the Claymores, their masters (the Organization), and their adversaries, the Yoma are revealed.


Wild at 8

I finished reading Wild Ones, Vol. 8

I posted a review at the Comic Book Bin. The stories this time around are a little more sentimental than usual.


Friday, October 23, 2009

Marvel's Create Your Own Comic Book

Wired.com's GeekDad has a great piece on Marvel's "Create Your Own Comic" program at their Super Hero Squad site. Makes me wish I had a faster Internet connection.

Will Apple Create a Digital Comic Book Market?

The AppleInsider website has an intriguing article on the speculation about Apple's rumored upcoming tablet device. Some believe it could be a digital comic book reader because of more speculation about Apple's possible ties to start up company LongBox. I think this short piece is a must read.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Barnes and Noble Announces New eBook Reader

Press release from Business Wire:

Barnes & Noble Introduces nook™, its Wireless eBook Reader with E Ink® Display & First Color Touch Screen for Navigation

First Device to Allow Readers to Lend eBooks

Most-Connected eBook Reader Offers Free 3G Wireless and Wi-Fi Access to Over One Million eBooks, Newspapers and Magazines; Wi-Fi Enables Free In-Store Browsing of Complete eBooks

“Reading Now” Technology Provides Seamless Access to Content: Forget your nook? Pick up where you left off on your iPhone, PC or Mac

Taking Pre-Orders now for $259 at nook.com and in Barnes & Noble Stores; Device will be Available end of November

MEDIA ALERT: Barnes & Noble will conduct a teleconference, Wednesday, October 21, at 9:30 A.M. Eastern Time. William J. Lynch, President of Barnes & Noble.com (BN.com), will provide a short overview of the announcement and answer questions from the media on a first-serve basis. This audio-only call is open to all media and will be available via Webcast at www.barnesandnobleinc.com/webcasts. Dial-in number is 877-879-6203, passcode 6395456. Dial-in for international callers is 719-325-4753.
NEW YORK--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Barnes & Noble, Inc. (NYSE: BKS), the world’s largest bookseller, announced today the launch of nook, the Barnes & Noble eBook reader, which marries innovative technology and sleek minimalist design with access to the company’s digital store of over one million eBooks, newspapers and magazines.

nook features many industry firsts as it is the first Android™-based eBook reader and the first to offer a color touch screen for navigation along with a best-in-class E Ink display for an immersive, enjoyable e-reading experience. For fast connectivity, nook is the first eBook reader to provide, at no additional costs to customers, both 3G wireless access on AT&T’s mobile broadband network and access to Wi-Fi for Barnes & Noble in-store browsing and enjoyment. And to help friends share their joy of reading, nook is the first eBook reader to offer digital lending for a wide selection of eBooks.

“We asked our customers what they wanted in an eBook reader, and specifically designed nook to be the most full-featured, fun, stylish and easy-to-use eBook reader on the market,” said William J. Lynch, President of Barnes & Noble.com. “With our nationwide footprint, Barnes & Noble customers can see, touch and hold nook. Our 40,000 booksellers are ready to help customers discover how easy it is to download and read eBooks on nook, and what a pleasure it is to have access to their favorite eBooks, magazines and newspapers any time and anywhere.”

nook: The Device
The centerpiece of Barnes & Noble’s strategy to deliver any book, any time, anywhere, nook was created expressly with the reader in mind, with features and functionality to create an immersive, seamless and fun experience:

A Gripping Read, by Design
nook’s sleek, minimalist design puts the focus on the content, not the technology, and the combination of color and touch make navigation intuitive and simple. nook feels great in hand and features a contoured, easy-to-hold back. About the size and weight of a paperback book, nook is thin, small and portable. Its best-in-class E Ink Vizplex™ display is easy on the eyes with text as clear and crisp as a printed book. And with no glare or backlight and adjustable text size, you can read comfortably for hours without straining your eyes.

Color Touch for Easy Navigation
The beautiful lower color touch screen offers an immersive experience, inviting you to virtually browse through brilliant cover art, flip through an expansive library, or search using a virtual keyboard. nook presents the controls, navigation and keyboard you need, only when you need them.

Download eBooks Wirelessly
With fast 3G wireless and Wi-Fi access, nook is the most-connected eBook reader. Browse and instantly download eBooks, magazines and newspapers simply and seamlessly on AT&T’s 3G wireless network, the nation’s fastest, with no set-up required or additional wireless costs. Connect to the complimentary Wi-Fi, provided by the AT&T Wi-Fi network, in Barnes & Noble stores and download at broadband fast speeds.

Lend eBooks to Friends
With nook’s breakthrough LendMe™ technology, lend a wide selection of eBooks to friends free of charge, for up to 14 days at a time. Just choose the book you want to share and send it to your friend’s nook or iPhone, iPod touch, select BlackBerry® and Motorola smartphones, PC or Mac® with Barnes & Noble eReader software.

A Continuous Reading Experience
With “Reading Now,” your virtual bookmark, nook brings you back to the last book you’ve read, right where you left off. And it works across a range of devices. If you forgot your nook at home, Barnes & Noble’s free eReader software on your iPhone, select BlackBerry and Motorola smartphones or laptop lets you pick up where you left off, including annotations. And when you’re reunited with your nook again, the Reading Now page will be updated and ready to go. A Wealth of Content, in the Palm of Your Handnook can hold up to 1,500 eBooks and other printed content, and the sky’s the limit for your digital library when you use nook’s expandable memory slot. A 16GB MicroSD card holds up to 17,500 eBooks.

Portability and Personalization
You can also easily transfer PDF-format documents from your computer to access and read business documents, legal contracts and travel information on your nook. And transfer your photos to create custom screensavers.

Protect Your nook in Style
nook comes with a removable back cover you can personalize from a selection of four additional great colors. You can also choose from a range of accessories by renowned designers kate spade new york, Jack Spade, Jonathan Adler, Tahari and others. From classic and colorful portfolios to an innovative book light, Barnes & Noble will offer stylish and elegant accessories designed exclusively for nook both in stores and online.

Over One Million eBooks, Newspapers and Magazines

As part of nook’s introduction, Barnes & Noble has further expanded its wide selection of content to satisfy every reader.

Expanded eBookstore
From fiction to horror and romance to thrillers, with the launch of nook, Barnes & Noble’s eBookstore now offers the most eBook titles – over one million – with most bestsellers and new releases for just $9.99.

Your Daily Newspapers on nook
Read your “morning paper” any time, anywhere you go. Barnes & Noble now offers subscriptions to more than 20 newspapers, including The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post and Los Angeles Times. Barnes & Noble expects to offer, in digital form, subscriptions to every major U.S. daily.

Read Your Favorite Magazines
As the nation’s second largest retailer of magazines, Barnes & Noble is now pleased to offer its customers digital subscriptions. Enjoy reading publications including Forbes, Newsweek and The Nation on your nook, at home or on the go. Experience nook at Your Local Barnes & Noble

Barnes & Noble’s nationwide network of stores enables its customers to see nook and get hands-on demonstrations from its booksellers. Furthermore, nook owners get added benefits.

Stunning Retail Displays

Barnes & Noble has created stunning storefront displays for nook that begin rolling out tomorrow in its highest-volume stores including 17 College bookstores such as DePaul University, Harvard University, Southern Methodist University, University of Pennsylvania and Washington State University. nook will be on display at its fully staffed customer service centers in every store.

Dedicated Booksellers
Barnes & Noble’s 40,000 booksellers are ready to help customers get the most of their nook e-reading experience, demonstrate the eReader applications on other devices, and assist and support purchases, browsing and downloads in-store.

Free Complete eBook Browsing
Customers will also be able to browse complete eBooks for free on nook at any Barnes & Noble store, whether or not the actual book is in stock, beginning later this year. Plus settle into the cafĂ© and get exclusive in-store-only content, free eBooks, special offers and much more using Barnes & Noble’s complimentary Wi-Fi, provided by the AT&T Wi-Fi network.

Availability
nook, the Barnes & Noble eBook reader, will begin shipping at the end of November with a price of $259.00. Barnes & Noble is taking pre-orders now at http://www.nook.com/ and in stores starting tomorrow. In celebration of nook’s launch, Barnes & Noble will also offer a free eBook of Malcolm Gladwell’s widely acclaimed best-seller, “The Tipping Point,” for the first 10,000 customers to pre-order nook.

To learn more and experience nook, visit http://www.nook.com/. Follow our eBooks and other updates on www.bn.com/twitter. To learn more about the free Barnes & Noble eReader software and Barnes & Noble eBookstore apps, visit www.barnesandnoble.com/ebooks.

About Barnes & Noble, Inc.
Barnes & Noble, Inc. (NYSE: BKS), a Fortune 500 company, is the world’s largest bookseller and the nation’s highest rated bookselling brand. The company’s operations comprise of retail bookselling, college bookstore management, online retailing and book publishing. As of October 2009 the company operates 774 retail bookstores in regional shopping malls, major strip centers and freestanding locations in 50 states and 624 college bookstores serving nearly 4 million students and over 250,000 faculty on college & university campuses in 50 states. Barnes & Noble conducts its online business through its web site Barnes & Noble.com, which offers direct home delivery of millions of books, music cd’s and DVD’s. The company sells eBooks and digital content from its web site and from a wide range of platforms, including the iPhone, iPod touch and select BlackBerry® and Motorola smartphones.

Through its Sterling Publishing subsidiary, the company publishes over 500 titles annually, under a variety of imprints including Sterling, Sterling Children’s Books and Barnes & Noble Classics.

General information on Barnes & Noble, Inc. can be obtained via the Internet by visiting the company’s corporate website: http://www.barnesandnobleinc.com/.

Social Media Links:
Follow B&N on Twitter: www.bn.com/twitter
Become a fan of our Facebook Page: http://www.facebook.com/barnesandnoble
Subscribe to our channel: http://www.youtube.com/user/BNStudio

SAFE HARBOR
This press release contains “forward-looking statements.” Barnes & Noble is including this statement for the express purpose of availing itself of the protections of the safe harbor provided by the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995 with respect to all such forward-looking statements. These forward-looking statements are based on currently available information and represent the beliefs of the management of the company. These statements are subject to risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially. These risks include, but are not limited to, general economic and market conditions, decreased consumer demand for the company’s products, possible disruptions in the company’s computer or telephone systems, possible risks associated with data privacy and information security, possible work stoppages or increases in labor costs, possible increases in shipping rates or interruptions in shipping service, effects of competition, possible disruptions or delays in the opening of new stores or the inability to obtain suitable sites for new stores, higher than anticipated store closing or relocation costs, higher interest rates, the performance of the company’s online and other initiatives, the performance and successful integration of acquired businesses, the success of the company’s strategic investments, unanticipated increases in merchandise or occupancy costs, unanticipated adverse litigation results or effects, the results or effects of any governmental review of the company’s stock option practices, product shortages, and other factors which may be outside of the company’s control. Please refer to the company’s annual, quarterly and periodic reports on file with the SEC for a more detailed discussion of these and other risks that could cause results to differ materially. [END]

A Third Visit to Gestalt

I finished reading Gestalt, Vol. 3

I posted a review at the Comic Book Bin.



The Second Tsubasa Character Guide

I recently finished reading Tsubasa Character Guide 2

I posted a review at the Comic Book Bin. It's strictly for readers and fans.


Sunday, October 18, 2009

Inio Asano's New Wonderful World

I finished reading What a Wonderful World!, Vol. 1

I posted a review at the Comic Book Bin. I liked it, but I wish the focus would have been on a single character rather than an ensemble.


Still Crazy for this Dog Manga

I finished reading Inubaka: Crazy for Dogs, Vol. 14

I posted a review at the Comic Book Bin. This is an excellent read for dog lovers - whether they read comic books or not.



Friday, October 16, 2009

Ain't Nuthin' But a Man

So when President Barack Obama was in New Orleans, he spoke to a receptive audience. 4th-grader Tyren Scott asked him, "Why do people hate you? And why, aren't they supposed to love you, if God is love?"

Now, the answer is that many of the people who "hate" President Obama are just racist, embittered trash or slimy GOP retards. However, the President told him:

"...I'm a pretty tough guy. Are you a tough guy? You look pretty tough. So you've just got to keep going on going, even when folks are criticizing you, when you know you're doing it for other people."

Read here for more.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

I Reads You Review: BLACK LAGOON, VOL. 8


Creator: Rei Hiroe
Publishing Information: VIZ Media, paperback, 198 pages, $12.99 (US), $16.99 CAN, £8.99 UK
Ordering Numbers: ISBN: 978-1-4215-2779-6 (ISBN-13)

Black Lagoon is a seinen manga (comics for adult men) from manga-ka Rei Hiroe. A violent action series that uses action lines in the art for atmosphere, Black Lagoon focuses on four mercenaries who prowl the waters off the coast of Southeast Asia in a modified, 80-foot, Elco PT boat (a World War II torpedo boat) dubbed the Black Lagoon.

The Black Lagoon’s skipper and the leader of this quartet is Dutch the Boss, an African-American Vietnam veteran. Benny the Mechanic, an American ex-patriot on the run both from the FBI and the mafia, is the guy who basically operates the boat and handles the Black Lagoon’s complicated high tech electronics. The sole female of the crew is Revy, a foulmouthed gunslinger nicknamed “Two Hand.” Rokuro Okajima was a Japanese “salaryman” who was abandoned by his employers after the crew of the Black Lagoon kidnapped him; now, he is Rock and a member of the crew.

The current storyline, “El Baile de la Muerte,” began in Vol. 6 and takes up the entirety of Black Lagoon, Vol. 8. It revolves around a former Black Lagoon guest star, Roberta, the head matron of a prominent South American family and a former (supernaturally skilled) mercenary. Roberta has returned to Roanapur, Black Lagoon’s setting, seeking revenge for the killing of the head of the Lovelace family. Roanapur’s criminal overlords have marked Roberta for execution for fear that if she reaches and kills her target (a U.S. special operations unit called “Grey Fox”), she will bring the fury of the United States upon Roanapur. Rock and Revy lead a small motley crew, including the new head of the Lovelace family, Garcia (a boy), to find Roberta.

Black Lagoon is like a John Woo movie delivered with hurricane force. Half of every volume is a wild dance of gun play and a ballet of bodies contorting to deliver the kill shot. Rei Hiroe’s art offers a pandemonium of action lines and facial close-ups that probably are as close as printed graphics will every get to replicating the kinetic feel of the action movie.

It’s not as if the characters and their struggles aren’t interesting. The story of Roberta and the Lovelace family is a tragic one that references the political corruption, drug wars, U.S. interventionism, and poverty that seem to keep much of Latin America in third world status. Rock’s misfortunes alone are worthy of a graphic novel. But all that takes a backseat to the invigorating violence. This rip-roaring series is the comic book for the action-loving guy who doesn’t read comics but would try the right one. This is certainly the right one.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

I Missed Banned Books Week

Connie Schultz wrote this interesting and illuminating piece at Truthout about a banned book incident. Remember to enjoy and fight for the freedom to read.

Hellboy and Umbrella Academy on iPhone

Press release from Dark Horse Comics:

HELLBOY and UMBRELLA ACADEMY NOW AVAILABLE ON THE iPHONE

Dark Horse is proud to announce that Mike Mignola's Hellboy and Gerard Way's The Umbrella Academy are now available on the iPhone.

At the time of their publication, both Seed of Destruction and Apocalypse Suite were immediately renowned by critics as unique and talented debuts by independent creators.

Soon, industry heavyweights joined the chorus. Hellboy: Seed of Destruction is the beginning of the now legendary series Alan Moore calls, "a passport to a corner of funnybook heaven you may never want to leave."

Similarly, Grant Morrison calls The Umbrella Academy "one of the great new comic books of this decade," while Newsarama says the first volume of the series, Apocalypse Suite, is "flawless."

With two blockbuster Hellboy films by Guillermo del Toro and an Umbrella Academy movie in preproduction at Universal Studios, there's never been a better time to have the start of these monumental comics at your fingertips. A perfect way to introduce friends and pop-culture fans to two of the most important comics series today, or a great way to revisit the magic of amazing sequential art, the mobile editions of Seed of Destruction and Apocalypse Suite are a necessary addition for new and serious readers alike.

The first impressive issues of Hellboy and The Umbrella Academy are now available through the iTunes Store, with subsequent issues available soon. Seed of Destruction is available as four issues at $0.99 each, or as a bundle of all four issues for $3.99. The first issue of Apocalypse Suite is available for free, with issues #2–#6 only $0.99 each, or a bundle of all six issues for $4.99.

End of the 20th Century Boys?

I finished reading Naoki Urasawa's 20th Century Boys, Vol. 5

I posted a review at the Comic Book Bin. This volume depicts the much-anticipated doomsday plot... in an oblique way, but the story is not over.


Real Rolls to Sixth Volume

I finished reading Real, Vol. 6 (Real (Viz))

I posted a review at the Comic Book Bin. This series about wheelchair basketball and the wheelchair bound just keeps getting better.



VIZ Media Preps New Rumiko Takahashi


Press release from VIZ Media:
VIZ MEDIA PUBLISHES RIN-NE THE NEWEST MANGA SERIES FROM CELEBRATED MANGA CREATOR – RUMIKO TAKAHASHI

Volume One Of This New Series To Hit Store Shelves In the Same Month As The Japanese Release.

VIZ Media, LLC (VIZ Media), one of the entertainment industry's most innovative and comprehensive publishing, animation and licensing companies, will launch RIN-NE, the brand new manga (graphic novel) series from famed creator Rumiko Takahashi with the publication of the debut volume under VIZ Media’s Shonen Sunday imprint on October 20th. RIN-NE is rated ‘T+’ for older teens and will carry an MSRP of $9.99 U.S. / $12.99 CAN.

RIN-NE is the first manga series that will be available in stores at the same time as the Japanese release of the same volume. Through an unprecedented collaboration, RIN-NE is also the first manga series to appear simultaneously in Shogakukan’s popular WEEKLY SHONEN SUNDAY manga magazine in Japan and online on www.TheRumicWorld.com for North American fans. A new chapter is released each week for domestic fans to enjoy at the same time as their Japanese peers.

As a child Sakura Mamiya mysteriously disappeared in the woods behind her grandma’s home. She returned whole and healthy, but since then she has had the power to see ghosts. Now a teenager, she just wishes the ghosts would leave her alone! At school, the desk next to Sakura’s has been empty since the start of the school year. One day her always-absent classmate shows up, and he’s far more than what he seems!

RIN-NE is the first new manga from Takahashi since her epic INUYASHA (published domestically by VIZ Media) ended in 2008 in Japan. Shogakukan’s popular WEEKLY SHONEN SUNDAY manga magazine has featured Takahashi’s work since the early 1980’s. With over 170 million copies sold in Japan alone, Takahashi’s substantial catalog of work continues to be loved by legions of devoted readers.

The spotlight on Rumiko Takahashi's career began in 1978 when she won an honorable mention in Shogakukan’s annual New Comic Artist Contest for Those Selfish Aliens. Later that same year, her boy-meets-alien comedy series, Urusei Yatsura, was serialized in Weekly Shonen Sunday. This phenomenally successful manga series was adapted into anime format and spawned a TV series and half a dozen theatrical-release movies, all incredibly popular in their own right.
Takahashi followed up the success of her debut series with one blockbuster hit after another—Maison Ikkoku ran from 1980 to 1987, Ranma 1/2 from 1987 to 1996, and Inuyasha from 1996 to 2008. Other notable works include Mermaid Saga, Rumic Theater, and One-Pound Gospel. Takahashi won the prestigious Shogakukan Manga Award twice in her career, once for Urusei Yatsura in 1981 and the second time for Inuyasha in 2002. A majority of the Takahashi canon has 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. While her series are difficult to pin down into one simple genre, the signature style she has created has come to be known as the “Rumic World.” Rumiko Takahashi is an artist who truly represents the very best from the world of manga.

“Rumiko Takahashi is one of the most successful and celebrated manga creators of all time having produced multiple series that are massively popular and widely considered to be classics,” says Elizabeth Kawasaki, Sr. Editorial Director for VIZ Media. “RIN-NE again shows Takahashi’s talent for blending endearing characters with an imaginative plot that can be equally funny, dramatic and exciting. Takahashi’s skill as both an artist and storyteller has won over millions of fans around the world. With the promise of new plot twists and characters still yet to emerge, we look forward to RIN-NE becoming a new fan favorite.”

RIN-NE is also featured online on www.TheRumicWorld.com, the official North American web site for all Rumiko Takahashi-related news and information. Through an unprecedented collaboration with Shogakukan’s popular WEEKLY SHONEN SUNDAY manga magazine, which publishes RIN-NE in Japan, a new chapter is released each week for domestic fans to enjoy at the same time as their Japanese peers.

For more information on RIN-NE and other titles by Rumiko Takahashi please visit www.TheRumicWorld.com.

Tom Cruise and Cameron Diaz Unite for "Knight & Day"

From Business Wire:

Tom Cruise & Cameron Diaz in KNIGHT & DAY

Action-Comedy Now in Production from Director James Mangold

Its Working Title Was “Untitled Wichita Project”

Tom Cruise and Cameron Diaz are now before the cameras on the action comedy KNIGHT & DAY. The Twentieth Century Fox / New Regency co-production began principal photography under the working title “Untitled Wichita Project.”

James Mangold (“3:10 to Yuma,” “Walk the Line”) directs KNIGHT & DAY from a screenplay he co-wrote with Scott Frank (“Minority Report,” “Out of Sight”). (The writing credit is not final.) The film is produced by Cathy Konrad (“3:10 to Yuma,” “Walk the Line”), Steve Pink (“Grosse Point Blank”) and Todd Garner (“Paul Blart: Mall Cop”). Executive producers are Joe Roth (“The Great Debaters”), E. Bennett Walsh (“Kill Bill”) and Arnon Milchan (“Mr. and Mrs. Smith”).

In KNIGHT & DAY, Cruise and Diaz have a glamorous and sometimes deadly adventure, where nothing and no one – even the now fugitive couple – are what they seem. Amid shifting alliances and unexpected betrayals, they race across the globe, with their survival ultimately hinging on the battle of truth vs. trust. KNIGHT & DAY is now shooting in Massachusetts, and will also film on other locations around the world, including Spain, Austria and the tropics.

Also starring are Peter Sarsgaard (“An Education”) as a federal agent relentlessly pursuing the couple; Viola Davis (“Doubt”) as a CIA director trying to decipher the true purpose of their high-wire activities; Paul Dano (“There Will Be Blood”) as an eccentric genius behind a revolutionary technology; and Olivier Martinez (“Unfaithful”) as a ruthless arms manufacturer. Co-starring are Maggie Grace (“Taken”) and Marc Blucas (“Buffy the Vampire Slayer”).
Twentieth Century Fox will release KNIGHT & DAY on Fourth of July weekend (July 2nd), 2010

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Bryan Singer Wants to Direct Another X-Men Movie

In South Korea this past weekend, Bryan Singer, the director of X-Men and X2: X-Men United, talked about returning to the X-Men. He told a panel at the Pusan International Film Festival that he has talked to 20th Century Fox about directing another X-Men movie, according to the Associated Press via the San Francisco Chronicle's website. Singer jettisoned Fox and the X-Men film franchise to direct the mildly disappointing Superman Returns, which often came across as a hollow, unwanted and unneeded Richard Donner homage.

Johnny Ryan in Los Angeles to Promote New Graphic Novel


Press release from Fantagraphic Books:
Johnny Ryan's PRISON PIT takes over L.A. Oct. 21
Fantagraphics Books invites you to join them for a book release party for the release of Johnny Ryan's mind-blowing new graphic novel, PRISON PIT!

WHAT: Book Release Party/Signing
WHO: JOHNNY RYAN & MARC BELL
WHEN: Wednesday, Oct. 21 at 8PM
WHERE: FAMILY, 436 Fairfax Ave., Los Angeles, CA 90036
323.782.9221

Prison Pit is an original graphic novel from the pen of Johnny Ryan, best known for his humor comic, Angry Youth Comix. Prison Pit represents a marked departure from AYC or his Blecky Yuckerella weekly comic strip, combining his love for WWE wrestling, Gary Panter’s “Jimbo” comics, and Kentaro Miura’s “Berserk” Manga into a brutal showcase of violence, survival and revenge. Imagine a blend of old-fashioned role playing fantasy games like Dungeons & Dragons crossed with contemporary adult video games like Grand Theft Auto, filtered through Ryan’s sense of humor.

The book begins with C.F. (his full-name would be too horrifying to reveal here) being thrown into the Prison Pit, a barren negative-zone populated by intergalactic, violent monster criminals. In this first volume, C.F. gets into a bloody slorge war (a slorge is a giant slug that excretes a steroid-like drug called “fecid” that all the monster men are addicted to) with ultraprisoner Rottweiler Herpes and his henchmen Rabies Bloodbath and Assrat. The ensuing bloodbath is an over-the-top, hyperviolent yet hilarious farce worthy of Ryan’s inspiration, Kentaro Miura.

"Oh yes, it's finally here — Johnny Ryan's bloody sexual fight comic [Prison Pit Book 1], ...a two-fisted smash-up of international comics influence and the universal joy of tight-wound one-on-one combat, so tight that everything that comes out of a body becomes a weapon, and doesn't that have a way of mixing pleasure and pain? ... I liked this a hell of a lot." – Joe McCulloch, Jog - The Blog

"Perhaps the best and also craziest comic Johnny Ryan has made yet. Definitely adults only. There's no hidden meaning, deep metaphor, life lessons, etc. just crazy, funny action adventure. I hope he does 1,000 pages of this and it comes out as a huge weird omnibus." – Jeffrey Brown

"With nowhere near as much potty-mouth dialogue as in Ryan’s ridiculously scabrous Angry Youth Comix and Blecky Yuckerella, this combat-fantasy jape is a verbal pussycat in comparison, but that is offset by the nauseating blood, guts, and excretions splattered all over its ludicrously crude action. For splatter-movie fans and anyone trying to grok the splatter-movie ethos, not to be missed." – Ray Olson, Booklist [END]

Monday, October 12, 2009

New Rumiko Takahashi Set to Debut

I finished reading RIN-NE, Volume 1

I posted a review at the Comic Book Bin. I like this supernatural, high concept situation comedy, but I'd like to read more before I start dropping a solid judgment.


Sunday, October 11, 2009

The Final Gimmick!

I finished reading Gimmick!, Volume 9

I posted a review at the Comic Book Bin. This is the final volume of the series about a movie special effect whiz and his crew as they help people and fight crime using SFX. I'm kinda sad about the end, because the series could have run much longer.



Cincinnati Bengals Defensive Coordinator Suffers Family Tragedy

Vikki Zimmer, the wife of Mike Zimmer, died on Thursday, October 8th at the couple's home of still undetermined causes. The couple had been married for 27 years and have three children: two daughters and a son, Adam Zimmer, who is a defensive assistant for the New Orleans Saints.

Mike Zimmer is the current Defensive Coordinatory for the NFL's Cincinnati Bengals, and was the defensive backs coach when the Dallas Cowboys won Super Bowl XXX. I Reads You offers its prayers to Mike Zimmer and his family.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Dark Horse Offers Peak at Upcoming Charles Vess Art Book

Press release from Dark Horse Comics:

CHARLES VESS BRINGS YOU THE MOON

Charles Vess is one of the most revered artists in the field of fantasy and comic art. The three-time Eisner Award winner has worked on some of the most recognizable comic properties of all time, including Jeff Smith’s Rose and Neil Gaiman’s Sandman, a retelling of Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream, for which he and Gaiman shared the prestigious World Fantasy Award.
For over thirty years Vess has positioned himself, through his art, as the best fantasy illustrator in recent history.

Drawing Down the Moon: The Art of Charles Vess collects decades of the artist’s unparalleled work and is scheduled to be released by Dark Horse on December 23, 2009. The hardcover, full-color, 200-page book costs $39.99.

But as a special treat, Dark Horse is happy to announce that the entire book is now available on darkhorse.com for collectors, art connoisseurs, and newly introduced fans to browse for free.

“This book has taken a bit over two years from the completion of my initial layouts to actually seeing print,” said Vess. “So, in an effort to make certain that you know that the book will indeed be available this December, we are giving you a sneak peak of the entire 200 pages.”

“Above all,” Vess continued, “there’s the unique opportunity to view all the projects that you’d never have a chance to see except in a book like this: a 16’ bronze sculpture, event posters for local organizations, private commissions and previously unpublished paintings done just for the pure pleasure of doing them.”

Vess’s art immerses readers into a place of such fantasy and grandeur, one hopes to stay forever lost in the beauty. His masterful use of paint and brush stand out in an age of digital design, harking back to the golden age of illustration.

Dark Horse invites you to step into a realm of imagination and wonder. Anyone interested is welcome to join the magical journey.

To enter the world of Charles Vess, direct your browser to: darkhorse.com/features/ecomics and click on the Drawing Down the Moon icon.

Friday, October 9, 2009

Something is Really Wrong with These GOPeople

At a weekly GOP meeting, held at a gun range, of all places, Republican candidate, Robert Lowry, took shots at a target upon which the initials of his opponent - DWS (for Debbie Wasserman Schultz) - were scrawled. Other targets included those made to resemble gunmen wearing traditional Arab head scarves, the kaffiyeh.

Go here to laugh...and cry.

The Illumi-Nation: Common Nobel Peace Prize Misconceptions

The Associated Press via Yahoo! News provides the following list of misconceptions about the Nobel Peace Prize:

An award that generates as much interest as the Nobel Peace Prize is bound to be surrounded by myths. Geir Lundestad, secretary of the secretive committee that awards the prize, outlines for The Associated Press some of the most common misunderstandings:

• Myth: The awards committee announces a shortlist of candidates.
The committee does not release the names of any candidates and keeps records sealed for 50 years.

• Myth: A campaign for a particular candidate can sway the awards committee.
A campaign could have the exact opposite effect on the fiercely independent committee, which does not want to appear influenced by public pressure.

• Myth: Candidates can be nominated until the last minute.
The nomination deadline is eight months before the announcement, with a strictly enforced deadline of Feb. 1.

• Myth: Anyone can nominate a person or group for the Peace Prize.
No, although Nobel statutes on who can nominate were slightly broadened in 2003. They now include former laureates; current and former members of the committee and their staff; members of national governments and legislatures; university professors of law, theology, social sciences, history and philosophy; leaders of peace research and foreign affairs institutes; and members of international courts of law.

• Myth: The prize can be revoked if a laureate does not live up to the standards of the peace prize.
There are no provisions for revoking the prize.

• Myth: The prize can be awarded posthumously.
The prize was award posthumously only once — in 1961, to former U.N. Secretary-General Dag Hammerskjold, after he was killed in a plane crash in Africa. The rules were amended in 1974 to prohibit posthumous prizes.

• Myth: The prize is awarded to recognize efforts for peace, human rights and democracy only after they have proven successful.
More often, the prize is awarded to encourage those who receive it to see the effort through, sometimes at critical moments.

RNC Chair Michael Steele Determined to Prove that He is a Good House Nigga

The real question Americans are asking is, “What has President Obama actually accomplished?” It is unfortunate that the president’s star power has outshined tireless advocates who have made real achievements working towards peace and human rights. One thing is certain — President Obama won’t be receiving any awards from Americans for job creation, fiscal responsibility, or backing up rhetoric with concrete action.

Colored Republican National Committe Chairman Michael Steele issued the above statement about President Barack Obama receiving the 2009 Nobel Peace Prize.

President Barack Obama Wins Nobel Peace Prize

The complete text for the citation awarding President Obama the 2009 Nobel Peace Prize, as provided by the Associated Press:

The Norwegian Nobel Committee has decided that the Nobel Peace Prize for 2009 is to be awarded to President Barack Obama for his extraordinary efforts to strengthen international diplomacy and cooperation between peoples. The Committee has attached special importance to Obama's vision of and work for a world without nuclear weapons.

Obama has as President created a new climate in international politics. Multilateral diplomacy has regained a central position, with emphasis on the role that the United Nations and other international institutions can play. Dialogue and negotiations are preferred as instruments for resolving even the most difficult international conflicts.

The vision of a world free from nuclear arms has powerfully stimulated disarmament and arms control negotiations. Thanks to Obama's initiative, the USA is now playing a more constructive role in meeting the great climatic challenges the world is confronting. Democracy and human rights are to be strengthened.

Only very rarely has a person to the same extent as Obama captured the world's attention and given its people hope for a better future. His diplomacy is founded in the concept that those who are to lead the world must do so on the basis of values and attitudes that are shared by the majority of the world's population.
For 108 years, the Norwegian Nobel Committee has sought to stimulate precisely that international policy and those attitudes for which Obama is now the world's leading spokesman. The Committee endorses Obama's appeal that "Now is the time for all of us to take our share of responsibility for a global response to global challenges."

Boys over Flowers Epilogue Due Soon



Press release from VIZ Media:

VIZ MEDIA ANNOUNCES THE CAPTIVATING EPILOGUE TO BOYS OVER FLOWERS MANGA


Acclaimed Series that Helped Define the Shojo Manga Genre Concludes with a New Release that Contains Two Short Stories


VIZ Media, LLC (VIZ Media), one of the entertainment industry's most innovative and comprehensive publishing, animation and licensing companies, delights fans of shojo manga (graphic novels for girls) with the announcement of the upcoming release of BOYS OVER FLOWERS: JEWELRY BOX on October 13th. The new volume is rated ‘T’ for Teens and will carry an MSRP of $9.99 U.S. / $12.99 CAN.


BOYS OVER FLOWERS: JEWELRY BOX is a collection of two new short stories by Yoko Kamio, the creator of the acclaimed BOYS OVER FLOWERS series. The new epilogue takes place one year after the end of the original BOYS OVER FLOWERS story, which concluded with Volume 36. It also contains a section with some of the important events in the series that show the characters maturing, plus a special bonus strip!


“Yoko Kamio, one of the most beloved shojo manga creators of all time, just couldn't stay away from some of her favorite characters and we’re proud to announce the publication of BOYS OVER FLOWERS: JEWELRY BOX,” says Candice Uyloan, Product Marketing Director, VIZ Media “This volume serves as a fitting conclusion to a series that helped to establish the shojo manga genre in the U.S. and fans won’t want to miss this chance to get reacquainted with main character Tsukushi.”


Creator Yoko Kamio made her manga debut in 1986 with WAITING UNTIL 20 and her other notable manga series includes I REALLY REALLY LIKE YOU and MARY’S LAMB. Her seminal title BOYS OVER FLOWERS (published in the US by VIZ Media), followed the romantic and social dramas of a girl in high school, broke sales records selling over 35 million copies and went on to become the best-selling shojo manga in Japan. The series went on to win the 1996 Shogakukan Comic Award in the shojo category. BOYS OVER FLOWERS was also adapted into a successful animated series and live action film.


For more information on this title as well as other shojo titles from VIZ Media, please visit www.viz.com.