Monday, November 30, 2009

Interscope Records Announces Eminem's Relapse Version 2.0

From PR Newswire:

Eminem to Release Relapse: Refill on December 21st

SUPERSTAR HIP-HOP ARTIST RELEASES HIS CHART-TOPPING ALBUM RELAPSE WITH FIVE UNRELEASED TRACKS TO TIDE FANS OVER TILL RELAPSE 2

Multi-platinum hip-hop artist Eminem will release Relapse: Refill on December 21st, 2009, on Aftermath/Interscope Records. This re-release of Eminem's chart-topping fifth studio album includes seven bonus tracks, including the single "Forever," also featuring Drake, Kanye West, and Lil Wayne (previously found on the More Than A Game soundtrack), "Taking My Ball" (also released only with the DJ Hero video game), and five never-before-heard tracks.

"I want to deliver more material for the fans this year like I originally planned," Eminem says. "Hopefully these tracks on The Refill will tide the fans over until we put out Relapse 2 next year." Eminem has been busy in the studio creating even more new material since Relapse was released. "I got back in with Dre and then a few more producers, including Just Blaze, and went in a completely different direction which made me start from scratch. The new tracks started to sound very different than the tracks I originally intended to be on Relapse 2, but I still want the other stuff to be heard."

One of the most anticipated albums of the year, the platinum-selling Relapse entered the Billboard Top 200 album chart at No. 1 in May 2009 and sold more than 618,000 domestic copies in the U.S. in its first week. Relapse is also the top selling hip-hop album of 2009. The first song to debut from the album, "Crack a Bottle," was released in February and set a first-week record for digital sales at the time, while the first official single and video, "We Made You," debuted in April. The best-selling hip-hop artist of the SoundScan era, Eminem has sold more than 75 million albums worldwide. His previous studio album, Encore, reached No. 1 and dominated the charts in late 2004. The Grammy-nominated disc was certified quadruple-platinum, generated four Top 40 Hot 100 hits, and has sold more than 11 million copies. In October 2008, Eminem published Eminem: The Way I Am, a compilation of thoughts, stories and memorabilia that entered the New York Times bestseller list at No. 11. [END]

Radical Comics for January 2010

Press release from Radical Comics:

ALADDIN: LEGACY OF THE LOST #1 (1 of 3)
Writer IAN EDGINTON
Series Illustrators PATRICK REILLY and STJEPAN SEJIC
64 pages, FC, $4.99

From the mystical city of Shambhalla to the ends of the Earth comes a tale of magic, mystery and the motivations of power. It is the world of Ala ad-Din, better known as ALADDIN.

Thief, gambler, liar and cheat, Aladdin’s reckless soul falls under the eye of the sorcerer Qassim, who has spent his life scouring the sands for the Dreaming Jewel. This lost relic of shattering power will enable Qassim to steal the magic of the Djinn of the Lamp and reshape the world in his own malicious design. But to do so, he requires a mystical ability carried within Aladdin's blood...power that not even Aladdin himself knows about. An epic adventure that twists the classic saga into dark, unexplored territories with multi-Eisner nominated writer Ian Edginton!

Featuring covers from Marko Djurdjevic (Dark Reign: The List – Avengers), Arthur Suydam (Marvel Zombies) and a limited edition 1:10 incentive cover from Clayton Crain (X-Force)

Aladdin #1 Cover A – Marko Djurdjevic; Diamond Code: NOV090903
Aladdin #1 Cover B – Arthur Suydam; Diamond Code: NOV090904
Aladdin #1 Incentive cover (1:10) Clayton Crain


LEGENDS: THE ENCHANTED ISSUE #0
Creator and Writer NICK PERCIVAL
Illustrator NICK PERCIVAL
24 pages, FC, $1
Following the same standard for our debut miniseries Hercules: The Thracian Wars and Caliber: First Canon of Justice, Radical Publishing presents a special $1 introductory issue for the upcoming hardcover graphic novel by award-winning illustrator Nick Percival (Dead of Night).

You think you know them… Think again!

Violently ripped from the pages of folklore emerge the Enchanted, supernatural immortals living in a dark, steampunk, creature-infested world where nature, technology and foul magic are in constant conflict. When the twisted, burnt remains of the half-wooden, half-mechanical warrior, Pinocchio are discovered, wolf-hunter Red Hood and giant-killer Jack realize the fragile rules of their existence have been shattered. With the help of the other Enchanted (the mercenary Goldilocks and psychic exterminators Hansel and Gretel), Jack and Red team up on an adventure to stop whatever, or whoever, is destroying their powers and murdering their kind.

The last time Radical debuted their $1 books, they quickly sold out and had to go to a second printing. Don’t miss out again on this limited, one-time-only event!

Legends #0 Cover A – Nick Percival; Diamond Code: NOV090906


Offered Again

HERCULES: THE THRACIAN WARS (Trade Paperback)
Writer STEVE MOORE
Artist ADMIRA WIJAYA
Colors by SUNNY GHO and SIXTH CREATION
ISBN: 0-9802335-9-3 ISBN-13: 978-0-9802335-9-9
Price: $14.95 (C: $17.99); Page Count: 156; Format: TPB, Full Color
Diamond Code: NOV090907

Collecting the five-issue miniseries in a new deluxe trade paperback format that has Ain’t it Cool News calling it, “One of the most strongly written versions of the character ever to hit comics.” This paperback edition includes an in-depth interview with writer Steve Moore as well as character renderings and a gallery of artwork from Jim Steranko, Arthur Suydam, John Bolton, Clint Langley, Stjepan Sejic, Clint Langley, Greg Broadmore of Weta Workshop and more. Soon to be a major motion picture produced by Spyglass Entertainment and Peter Berg’s production company Film 44.

From the pen of Steve Moore (Dr. Who, Jonni Future) comes a tale of Hercules in his darkest hour. When the Thracian King summons the Greek hero and his six battle-worn companions to mold the Thracian army into a bloodthirsty, ruthless killing machine, the Son of Zeus rushes to answer the call of war and gold. But within the nation of Thrace lies an epic tale of murder, deception and sacrifice that shows how far from grace he’s fallen – and what he must accomplish for redemption. [END]

New Moon on Monday

I finished reading New Moon (The Twilight Saga, Book 2)

I posted a review at the Comic Book Bin. Saw the movie, too, and there's also a review of it at the Bin.


Sunday, November 29, 2009

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Madea's 10 Rules for Thanksgiving Dinner at Her House

The following was a chain email purportedly from Tyler Perry's beloved character Mabel "Madea" Simmons:

10 RULES FOR THANKSGIVING DINNER AT MY HOUSE

1. Don't get in line asking questions about the food. 'Who made the potato salad? Is it egg in there? Are the greens fresh? Is the meat in the greens turkey or pork? Who made the macaroni and cheese? What kind of pie is that; who made it? Ask one more question and I will punch you in your mouth, knocking out all your fronts so you won't be able to eat anything.

2. If you can't walk, or are missing any limbs, sit your ass down until someone makes your plate for you. Dinner time is not the time for you to be independent. Nibble on them damn peanuts and walnuts to hold you over until someone makes you a plate.

3. If you have kids under the age of twelve, I will escort their little asses down to the basement and bring their food down to them. They are not going to tear up my damn house this year. Tell them that they are not allowed upstairs until it's time for Uncle Butchie to start telling family stories about their mommas and papas. If they come upstairs for any reason except that they are bleeding to death, I will break a foot off in their asses.

4. There is going to be one prayer for Thanksgiving dinner! JUST ONE! We do not care that you are thankful that your thirteen year old daughter gave birth to a healthy baby or your nephew just got out of jail. Save the talk for someone that gives a damn. The time limit for the prayer is one minute. If you are still talking after that one minute is up, you will feel something hard come across your lips and they will be swollen for approximately 20 minutes.

5. Finish everything on your plate before you go for seconds! If you don't, you will be cursed out and asked to stay your greedy ass home next year.

6. BRING YOUR OWN TUPPERWARE!! Don't let me catch you fixing yourself a plate in my good tupperware knowing damn well that I will never see it again! Furthermore, if you didn't bring anything over, don't let me catch you making a plate period or it will be a misunderstanding.

7. What you came with is what you should leave with! Do not leave my house with anything that doesn't belong to you. EVERYBODY WILL BE SUBJECTED TO A BODY SEARCH COMING AND GOING OUT OF MY DOMAIN!!!

8. Do not leave your kids so you can go hopping from house to house. This is not a DAYCARE CENTER. There will be a kid parent roll call every ten minutes. Any parent that is not present at the time of roll call, your child will be put outside until you come and get him or her. After 24 hours, I will call ACS on you ignorant ass!!

9. BOOK YOUR HOTEL ROOM BEFORE YOU COME INTO TOWN!! There will be no sleeping over at my house! You are to come and eat your dinner then take your ass home or to your hotel room. EVERYBODY GETS KICKED OUT AT 11:00 pm. You will get a 15 minute warning bell ring.

10. Last but not least; ONE PLATE PER PERSON!! This is not a soup kitchen. I am not trying to feed your family until Christmas dinner. You will be supervised when you fix your plate. Anything over the appropriate amount will be charged to you before you leave. There will be a cash register at the door. Thanks to Cousin Alfred and his greedy ass family, we now have a credit card machine. So Visa and Mastercard are now being accepted.

Happy Thanksgiving! [END]

Muhyo Begins the Fusion

I finished reading Muhyo & Roji's Bureau of Supernatural Investigation, Vol. 14 (Muhyo and Roji's Bureau of Supernatural Investigation)

I posted a review at the Comic Book Bin. Gets better with each volume.


Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Fantagraphics Books to Publish Stephen Dixon Collection



Press release from Fantagraphics Books:

FANTAGRAPHICS BOOKS ANNOUNCES THE ACQUISITION OF STEPHEN DIXON’S WHAT IS ALL THIS?, A COLLECTION OF MODERN FICTION


Fantagraphics Books is proud to announce the acquisition of What Is All This?, a 900-page collection of previously uncollected short fiction by two-time National Book Award Nominee (1991, 1995) Stephen Dixon. The collection will be published in May, 2010 and mark the third entry in Fantagraphics burgeoning line of literary fiction, following Alexander Theroux’s Laura Warholic (2007) and Monte Schulz’s This Side of Jordan (2009). Along with Theroux, Dixon is the second National Book Award nominated-author to publish new fiction through Fantagraphics.


“Stephen Dixon is one of the great secret masters — too secret. I return again and again to his stories for writerly inspiration, moral support and comic relief at moments of personal misery, and, several times, in a spirit of outright plagiaristic necessity: borrowing a jumpstart from a few lines of Dixon has been a real problem-solver in my own short fiction. Please read him, you.” — Jonathan Lethem


Dixon is one of the most acclaimed authors of short stories in the history of American letters. He has published previously through acclaimed independent literary presses like McSweeney’s and Melville House, as well as corporate houses like Henry Holt. His work, characterized by mordant humor and a frank attention to human sexuality, has earned him a Guggenheim Fellowship, the American Academy Institute of Arts and Letters Prize for Fiction, the O. Henry Award, and the Pushcart Prize. Fantagraphics Books is proud to present his latest volume of short stories, a massive collection of vintage Dixon, eschewing the modernism and quasi-autobiography of his I-trilogy and instead treating readers to a pared-down, crystalline style more reminiscent of Hemingway.


“Dixon is one of the few writers whose new work I will put everything aside to read, which is to say he is in the company of Alice Munro, Lorrie Moore, and Lydia Davis…. Put aside whatever you're reading, and read him.” — J. Robert Lennon


“This is our third book of prose fiction —after Alex Theroux’s Laura Warholic and Monte Schulz’s This Side of Jordan— and readers may notice that the common denominator among these books is that language itself serves as the animating literary force,” says acquiring editor and Fantagraphics co-publisher Gary Groth. “Dixon’s finely chiseled sentences cut to the quick of people’s lives. None of these stories have been collected in any book; they have appeared in a wide variety of literary journals over almost 40 years and Dixon has entirely rewritten all of them. Dixon admirers will be cheered to learn that these stories comprise a wholly original work.”


Centrally concerning himself with the American condition, Dixon explores in What Is All This? obsessions of body image, the increasingly polarized political landscape, sex —in all its incarnations— and the gloriously pointless minutiae of modern life, from bus rides to tying shoelaces. Using the canvas of his native New York (with one significant exception that affords Dixon the opportunity to create a furiously political fable) he astutely captures the edgy madness that infects the city through the neuroses of his narrators with a style that owes as much to Neo-Reaist cinema as it does to modern literature. What Is All This? will be published in hardcover, designed by Fantagraphics award-winning Art Director Jacob Covey. “Stephen Dixon is one of the few writers who completely challenged, then changed how I think about writing and reading,” says Covey. “He was the first writer I recognized as making Art that was as viscerally relevant as painting or music. Designing a book for someone who was so formative to me is one of the rarest and most intimidating opportunities I can imagine.”


“I have read a lot of Dixon’s writing. If I didn’t like his writing I would not have read so many things of his.” — Tao Lin


Stephen Dixon was born in 1936 in New York City. He graduated from the City College of New York in 1958 and is a former faculty member of Johns Hopkins University. In his early 20s, he worked as a journalist in radio, interviewing such monumental figures as John F. Kennedy, Richard Nixon, and Nikita Khrushchev. His witty, keenly observed narratives and sharply hewn prose have appeared in every major market magazine from Harper’s to Playboy and have earned him two National Book Award nominations —for his novels Frog and Interstate. He still hammers out his fiction on a vintage typewriter.


Fantagraphics Books (www.fantagraphics.com ) has been the world’s leading publisher of comics and graphic novels since 1976, with titles by Robert Crumb, Charles M. Schulz, Joe Sacco, Daniel Clowes, Chris Ware and many others. In 2007, the company launched its prose division, beginning with novels by Alexander Theroux (Laura Warholic) and Jules Feiffer (a reissue of the noted artist’s 1963 novel, Harry, the Rat with Women). [END]

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Dark Horse Announces Creative Team for New Terminator Comics

Press release from Dark Horse Comics:

ZACK WHEDON BREATHES NEW LIFE INTO TERMINATOR

DARK HORSE ANNOUNCES CREATIVE TEAM ON HIGHLY ANTICIPATED NEW SERIES

In 2029, Kyle Reese will be sent to 1984 to stop a T-800 from killing the mother of the resistance, Sarah Conner. But before his future son will send him back in time, Kyle Reese was simply another survivor in a desolate future.

In a brand-new series, Zack Whedon (Dr. Horrible, Deadwood, Fringe, Rubicon) brings his sharp writing skills to one of the most celebrated sci-fi properties in history to tell the story of a man struggling to live in a world with little food, water, or hope.

Never before has the iconic character from James Cameron’s first Terminator film been explored with such depth and humanity. Readers will have the opportunity to follow Kyle Reese and his closest allies as they face insurmountable odds in a world run by cold, calculating machines bent on destroying the last memory of what it means to be a human being.

In a world wrought with Hunter Killer Drones, T-600s, T-800s, H-K’s and a host of other terrifying technology, a small band of friends must find a way to keep the Resistance breathing amidst an eviscerated landscape devoid of nearly all life. Kyle Reese, the father of the future, leads these rebels with only the slightest promise of peace and the most basic of mortal codes – never give up.

The two, three-issue arcs will be drawn by Andy MacDonald (NYC Mech, Punisher War Journal) with covers by renowned illustrator Massimo Carnevale (Y: The Last Man).

“It’s an honor to be a part of the on-going Terminator saga, and to have the talents of Andy MacDonald and Massimo Carnevale helping me in bringing this story to life,” said writer Zack Whedon.

The much-anticipated first issue from the dynamic creative team will be released from Dark Horse Comics in March 2010.

Dark Horse’s successful Termintor Omnibus Vol. 1 & 2 are currently available at a retail price of $24.95.

T1, THE TERMINATOR, ENDOSKELETON, and any depiction of Endoskeleton are trademarks of StudioCanal. ©2009 StudioCanal. All Rights Reserved. [END]

Paranormal Activity on DVD at Year's End

Press release from Paramount Pictures:

THE CHILLING SURPRISE HIT THAT HAD FANS EVERYWHERE “DEMANDING IT” MANIFESTS ON DVD AND BLU-RAY

The Supernatural Thriller Comes Home December 29, 2009 Including an Unrated Version with a Shocking Alternate Ending Not Seen in Theaters

HOLLYWOOD, Calif. – The “truly scary” (Roger Ebert, Chicago Sun-Times), edge-of-your-seat horror film PARANORMAL ACTIVITY will make its presence known on DVD and two-disc Blu-ray December 29, 2009 from Paramount Home Entertainment. Hailed as “a horror phenomenon” (Richard Corliss, Time) and “one of the scariest movies of all time” (BloodyDisgusting.com) the hypnotic and harrowing film drove filmgoers to demand that it play in their cities, ultimately earning over $100 million at the domestic box office. Loaded with suspense and punctuated by moments of sudden and unexpected horror right up to the shocking ending, PARANORMAL ACTIVITY is more frightening to watch at home, even with the lights on.

Written and directed by Oren Peli, the intense and chilling story follows a young, middle-class couple who become increasingly disturbed by a presence that may or may not be demonic, but is certainly most active in the middle of the night. Especially while they sleep. The DVD and two-disc Blu-ray include the original theatrical version of the film, plus an unrated version with a shocking alternate ending not seen in theaters. The Blu-ray also includes a digital copy of the theatrical version.

PARANORMAL ACTIVITY DVD & Blu-ray:
The PARANORMAL ACTIVITY DVD is presented in widescreen enhanced for 16:9 televisions with Dolby Digital English 5.1 Surround and Spanish 5.1 Surround (theatrical version only) and English, French and Spanish subtitles. The two-disc Blu-ray is presented in 1080p high definition with English 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio and Spanish 5.1 Dolby Digital (theatrical version only) and English, English SDH, French and Spanish subtitles. Special features include:
o Unrated version with alternate ending not seen in theaters
o Digital copy of theatrical version (Blu-ray only)

PARANORMAL ACTIVITY
Street Date: December 29, 2009
S.R.P.: $29.99 U.S (DVD); $40.99 U.S. (Blu-ray)
Runtime: 86 minutes
U.S. Rating: R for language
Canadian Rating: 14A for frightening scenes and coarse language; not recommended for children [END]

Monday, November 23, 2009

The Return of Yokaiden

I finished reading Yokaiden 2

I posted a review at the Comic Book Bin. This is one of the better recent Global Manga titles originating in the U.S.


Bloom County Returns in a Library of American Comics Series

I finished reading Bloom County Complete Library Volume 1 (Library of American Comics).

I posted a review at the Comic Book Bin.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Radical Comics Presents Fourth Issue of Hecules: The Knives of Kush


Press release from Radical Publishing:
HERCULES: THE KNIVES OF KUSH #4 (4 of 5)
Writer STEVE MOORE
Artist CRIS BOLSON and MANUEL & LEONARDO SILVA
Colorist DOUG SIROIS and CLIFF CRAMP & STEVE FIRCHOW
Letterer TODD KLEIN
28 pages, FC, $2.99

The electrifying battle you’ve been waiting for! Hercules, son of the Thunder God, Zeus, versus Khadis, Lord of Lightning! When Autolycus and Iolaus return from a vital reconnaissance mission, King Seti rallies his troops for an all-out assault on Amenmessu’s forces. While the Egyptian King gathers his army, Hercules and his companions continue their search for the traitor within the palace walls. But when the thunder and lighting rain down upon the battlefield, Hercules must summon the strength of his father and defeat the Lord of Lightning – no matter what the cost.

Featuring covers by Clint Langley and J.P. Targete. Diamond Code – Langley cover: AUG091037 Diamond Code – Targete cover: AUG091038 [END]

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Truthout Asks, Veterans Day or Rulers Day?

In a Truthout op-ed, writer Bob Richards takes a look at the propaganda of Veterans Day. Here, are some highlights:

If you want to thank anyone for your rights and freedoms, thank an activist. No soldier ended segregation in the 1960's. No sailor got women the vote. No National Guardsman got you the 40-hour week or took children off the shop floors or out of the mines. No, they were called out by the states to kill the very people who were fighting for the rights they eventually won for you.

So, here we are at war to get Unocal's dream pipeline route across Afghanistan secured and prop up that ex-Unocal employee's stolen election. Then there's still that war we don't talk about so much anymore. The one that the lie to get us in there changed nearly every day, when the truth may have been as simple as the Decider told us himself, that Saddam tried to kill his daddy, and that he would use that war for his own ends.

I was formerly acquainted with a combat vet who held similar opinions about the celebration of Veterans Day.

Bleach the Slashing Opera

I finished reading Bleach, Vol. 29 (Bleach (Graphic Novels))

The book's release is still a week-and-a-half away, but I posted a review at the Comic Book Bin.


Moonstone Books to Release Phantom-Captain Action #1


Press release from Moonstone Books:
PHANTOM-CAPTAIN ACTION #1 (of2)
Story: Mike Bullock
Art: Reno Maniquis
Cover A: Art Thibert
Cover B: Mark Sparacio
Cover C:Michael Gilbert
32pgs, color, $3.99
Together again for the first time! The Phantom and Captain Action were forever united in the 1960s when the original Captain Action toy was released with a Phantom costume, allowing Cap to transform into the Ghost Who Walks. Now, for the first time, the two timeless titans collide in the first concussive crossover ever created.

When an international intelligence cartel makes a surgical strike for global control, UN committee member Diana Palmer-Walker and her legendary husband are all that stands in their way, but when the Ghost Who Walks goes missing, the only one Diana can turn to is none other than - Captain Action. Don’t miss history in the making!
(Covers A & B available separately)
**RETAILER INCENTIVE: for every 5 copies purchased (total of covers A&B), the retailer can purchase one copy of the Michael T. Gilbert variant, retail = $3.99

***If a total of 8 or more copies are purchased (of a total of covers A,B & C), then the retailer can order one FREE copy of Cover C! [END]

Brilliant Blue Finale

I recently finished reading Brilliant Blue Volume 2 (Yaoi) (v. 2)

I posted a review at the Comic Book Bin.


Friday, November 20, 2009

That Venomous Comic Called Deadlocke


This week, Dark Horse Comics released, Deadlocke, the comic book tie-in to the young adult novel, Venomous, which is also apparently currently being adapted into film. This must be a big deal, because not only has Dark Horse done press for this comic book, a media relations company, Razzle media, has also been sending out press releases for Deadlocke, including the following:
About Deadlocke: In modern-day New York City, a ragtag group of rebellious teens throws its annual raucous Weimar bash filled with debauchery, booze, and bloody knuckles. Going for the first time is Locke Vinetti, a newcomer to this band of bored rich kids--a loner who usually prefers to escape into the world of his alter ego comic book creation, Deadlocke.

Under the tutelage of the group's charming but unpredictable ringleader Casey, Locke has learned to express his art, and his angst, in ways he never thought possible. As the violent energy of Deadlocke continues to storm up inside of him, Locke must learn to control his newfound strength at the risk of losing Renee, the darkly beautiful girl of his dreams. Determined to prove that Deadlocke's rage will overpower Locke's love, Casey provokes Locke in a brutal rooftop battle where their lives, and their souls, hang in the balance.

Based on the Simon & Schuster young adult novel Venomous by Christopher Krovatin, Deadlocke teams comic writer Arvid Nelson (Rex Mundi, Kull) with Nick Stakal (Criminal Macabre) in a story of a young man coming to terms with his own demons in a search for his true identity. [END]

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Orion Books to Release Joshua Smeaton's Haunted


Press release from Joshua Smeaton:
Haunted, the Xeric winning debut graphic novel by Joshua Smeaton is now available for preorder from Orion Books.

What did you do for Halloween when you were 12? Trick-or-treat, bob for apples or run from a psychotic ghost bent on ripping out your soul?

It was supposed to be a night of carefree fun for a group of jr. high friends. All they had wanted was to sneak into the high school Halloween party thrown at an abandoned mansion. Unfortunately they aren’t the only uninvited guests.

Haunted is an adventure story about a group of kids that get trapped in a mansion with a murderous ghost. The story is a fantastical thrill ride with moments of calm made all the more enjoyable with its colorful vibrant art.

Haunted is a 104-page full color graphic novel priced at 12.95, ISBN 978-0-615-31563-8. Scheduled to be released January 2010. It is available in the November Previews catalog. Order Code: NOV090896.

Boys' Love Supernatural

I finished reading Night Head Genesis 1

I posted a review at the Comic Book Bin.


The Boy Dylan Illustrated Songbook

I finished reading Bob Dylan Revisited

I posted a review at the Comic Book Bin.


Tuesday, November 17, 2009

I Do So Want a Copy of The Polar Express

Press release from Business Wire:

Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Celebrates 25th Anniversary of The Polar Express

Interactive holiday calendar marks 25th year of holiday classic

BOSTON--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Houghton Mifflin Harcourt announced the 25th anniversary of award-winning children's book creator Chris Van Allsburg's classic book, The Polar Express. This first-person narrative of a magical Christmas Eve journey, richly illustrated with Van Allsburg's lush artwork, tells a heartwarming story of childhood faith that has become a cherished part of millions of families' holiday traditions.

To honor this landmark anniversary, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt has created an interactive online Polar Express Activity Calendar, based on the book, to count down the 25 days until Christmas. The calendar's daily family-friendly delights include a recipe for Polar Chocolate Nougat Caramel Squares, reindeer craft instructions, online games and mazes and the chance to win holiday bells and signed books. A free Calendar widget, embeddable on blogs and websites, is also available at http://www.polarexpress.com/.

"We couldn't be more proud to celebrate the 25th anniversary of this iconic picture book," said Betsy Groban, senior vice president and publisher of Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Children's Book Group. "After all these years, I still get goose bumps every time I read it. Happy anniversary to The Polar Express and to its genius creator, Chris Van Allsburg."

The Company has also published an anniversary hardcover edition of The Polar Express that includes a letter from the author, companion CD with narration by actor Liam Neeson and a new keepsake ornament featuring Van Allsburg's first-ever full-length illustration of the story's Conductor.

In the quarter-century since The Polar Express was first published, this simple story of belief and hope has sold millions of copies worldwide, received a Caldecott Medal and been adapted into a feature film. Most important, it remains a steadfast reminder to readers young and old of the true magic of Christmas.

To view the Polar Express Activity Calendar, share family holiday traditions, and preview Van Allsburg's works, visit http://www.polarexpress.com/. For author information, visit http://www.chrisvanallsburg.com/.

About Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Boston-based Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company is a global education leader and the world's largest publisher of educational materials for pre-K–12 schools. The Company publishes a comprehensive set of best-in-class educational solutions, ranging from research-based textbook programs to instructional technology to standards — based assessments for students and educators. The Company also publishes an extensive line of reference works and award-winning literature for adults and young readers. With origins dating back to 1832, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt combines its tradition of excellence with a commitment to innovation. To learn more about Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, visit http://www.hmhpub.com/. [END]

Full Meal Alchemist

I finished reading Fullmetal Alchemist, Vol. 21 (Fullmetal Alchemist (Graphic Novels))

I posted a review at the Comic Book Bin.


Mean Joe Gets Clio... Finally!

Pittsburgh Steelers "Mean" Joe Greene won advertising's prestigious Clio Award for his famous toss-the-jersey-at-the-kid commercial, but he'd never received the trophy, until recently. Who had that damn trophy for three decades! - L

Press release from Business Wire:

Coca-Cola Presents Steelers Legend “Mean” Joe Greene with Overdue Accolade for Iconic Commercial

Greene Reunites with Co-Star from Classic 1979 Ad

PITTSBURGH--(BUSINESS WIRE)--“Mean” Joe Greene, star defensive tackle for the Pittsburgh Steelers during the team’s first four Super Bowl championships, was honored before the Steelers-Bengals game on Nov. 15 for some of his most celebrated work OFF the field.

This year marks the 30th anniversary of the iconic “Mean Joe” TV ad for Coca-Cola, which featured the feared lineman limping down a tunnel to the locker room, followed closely by then-nine-year-old Tommy Okon, who offered a battered Greene his ice-cold bottle of Coca-Cola. As a gesture of thanks, Greene tossed his coveted jersey to the boy, who stood in amazement after encountering his hero.

For his role in the commercial, Greene earned the prestigious Clio award in 1980, recognizing creative excellence in advertising. However, he wasn’t available to accept the award at the time and never received the hardware during the ensuing 30 years. Coca-Cola recently secured the trophy and joined Steelers President Art Rooney II in presenting it to Greene in a special pre-game ceremony at Heinz Field. As part of the event, Greene and Okon, the former child actor who co-starred in the commercial, reunited for the first time in years.

“It was a special moment when we were able to finally present this Clio award to Joe,” said Bea Perez, senior vice president of integrated marketing, Coca-Cola North America. “His work in our 1979 commercial tugged at people’s heartstrings and created tremendous affection for both Joe and Coca-Cola. His accolades are well-deserved and long-overdue, and we’re proud to help get the award in the hands of its rightful owner.”

“The Coca-Cola commercial was a defining point in my life,” said Greene.

“Before, football fans knew who I was and talked about my performance on the field. Afterward, all of America seemed to know who I was and people still talk to me about it nearly every day. It was a great experience, and finally receiving the Clio is the icing on the cake.”

Since its original airing, the ad has been universally lauded. TV Guide named it one of the best commercials of all time, and it was listed among the most innovative, creative and effective commercials by the American Association of Advertising Agencies. Tens of thousands of people sent letters to The Coca-Cola Company in response to the ad, leading Coca-Cola to launch a promotion called “Win the Shirt Off My Back” which gave replica jerseys to fans by the thousands. Hollywood producers also capitalized on its popularity and developed a made-for-TV-movie called “The Steeler and the Pittsburgh Kid.” In it, Greene and his fictional football team adopt a nine-year-old boy who dreams of one day becoming quarterback for the Pittsburgh Steelers.

In fact, the ad struck such a chord with fans in the United States, Coca-Cola repeated the concept with sports standouts in nations around the world, including Italy, Thailand, Argentina and Brazil. In January 2009, Coke Zero took a new twist on the beloved spot, creating an ad featuring current Steelers great Troy Polamalu which debuted during the Super Bowl.

“Mean” Joe Greene
Greene, who made up one quarter of the vaunted Steel Curtain in the 1970s, has six championship rings with the Pittsburgh Steelers – four as a player and two as a special assistant for player personnel. Following his Hall of Fame playing career, Greene spent 16 years as an assistant coach for the Steelers, Dolphins and Cardinals.

About The Coca-Cola Company
The Coca-Cola Company is the world's largest beverage company, refreshing consumers with nearly 500 sparkling and still brands. Along with Coca-Cola, recognized as the world's most valuable brand, the Company's portfolio includes 12 other billion dollar brands, including Diet Coke, Fanta, Sprite, Coca-Cola Zero, vitaminwater, POWERADE, Minute Maid and Georgia Coffee. Globally, we are the No. 1 provider of sparkling beverages, juices and juice drinks and ready-to-drink teas and coffees. Through the world's largest beverage distribution system, consumers in more than 200 countries enjoy the Company's beverages at a rate of nearly 1.6 billion servings a day. With an enduring commitment to building sustainable communities, our Company is focused on initiatives that protect the environment, conserve resources and enhance the economic development of the communities where we operate. For more information about our Company, please visit our Web site at http://www.thecoca-colacompany.com/. [END]

Monday, November 16, 2009

New Avengers Take on Dark Avengers in Annual

Press release from Marvel Comics:

The New Avengers Must Rescue Hawkeye From The Dark Avengers

Spinning out of Dark Avengers and New Avengers, Clint Barton (AKA Ronin) is Norman Osborn’s prisoner…but the mightiest women of the Avengers intend to change things! New Avengers Annual #3, from award winning writer Brian Michael Bendis and red hot artist Mike Mayhew present the team of Jessica Jones, Spider-Woman, Mockingbird and Ms Marvel on a quest to save their captured comrade—no matter the cost! But are the Avenger’s playing right into Norman Osborn’s hands.

Critics continue to praise New Avengers, with IGN.Com raving, “Bendis has proved to be one of the most consistent comic book writers; not only of his generation, but in the history of the form. Across myriad titles and years worth of work, the man has produced dependably good, and oftentimes great, comic books.”

Will Jessica Jones and her teammates be able to save one of their own or will their daring attempt be met with disaster? The fate of Clint Barton will forever change the Avengers and New Avengers Annual #3 has the answers!

NEW AVENGERS ANNUAL #3 (OCT090535)
Written by BRIAN MICHAEL BENDIS
Pencils and Cover by MIKE MAYHEW
Rated T+ …$4.99
FOC – 11/12/09, On Sale – 12/02/09

To find a comic shop near you, call 1-888-comicbook or visit www.comicshoplocator.com

Marvel Entertainment, Inc. is one of the world's most prominent character-based entertainment companies, built on a proven library of over 5,000 characters featured in a variety of media over seventy years. Marvel utilizes its character franchises in licensing, entertainment (via Marvel Studios and Marvel Animation) and publishing (via Marvel Comics). Marvel's strategy is to leverage its franchises in a growing array of opportunities around the world, including feature films, consumer products, toys, video games, animated television, direct-to-DVD and online. For more information visit www.marvel.com. [END]

Dark Horse Comics Announces New Hire

Press release from Dark Horse:

DARK HORSE ANNOUNCES NEW SENIOR DIRECTOR OF MARKETING

MICHA HERSHMAN JOINS THE DARK HORSE MARKETING DEPARTMENT AFTER 13 YEARS WITH BORDERS GROUP

It was announced today that Micha Hershman has joined the Dark Horse marketing department. In his thirteen-year tenure with Borders Group, Hershman developed an extensive professional experience with comics, graphic novels, science fiction, horror, and related merchandise. After handling the buyer duties for the chain’s rapidly growing graphic-novel section, he became the category director for the company’s pop-culture section. Having engineered highly successful retail and online marketing campaigns for such recognizable brands as Star Wars, Lord of the Rings, and Twilight, and managed the children’s and fiction marketing teams, Micha comes to Dark Horse armed with both the experience and the passion needed to grow the brand’s presence in all markets.

“Dark Horse is a world-class organization, unmatched in its dedication to comics, their creators, and their fans,” said Hershman. “I couldn’t be more excited to join Mike Richardson and his team.”

“We are extremely happy to have Micha here at Dark Horse,” said President Mike Richardson. “The experience, knowledge, and enthusiasm he brings to our marketing team will be a huge resource as we look to grow Dark Horse over the coming years.”

Micha Hershman arrives in his new position at Dark Horse later this month. [END]

Marvel Comics Launches New Series Named S.W.O.R.D.

Press release from Marvel Comics

The Astonishing X-Men Join S.W.O.R.D To Save Earth

Blasting out of Astonishing X-Men and Secret Invasion, the intergalactic S.W.O.R.D. organization now boldy takes you where no series has gone before—with the X-Men’s Beast & Lockheed along for the ride! Enter the extra-sized S.W.O.R.D. #1, from rising stars Kieron Gillen (Thor) and Steven Sanders (Five Fists of Science), as former Avengers-liason Henry Gyrich joins the enigmatic Agent Brand as top dog in space—but why does he think that ridding Earth of all aliens will save it? What will his plan do to the very fabric of the Marvel Universe? And just what does the arrival of Beast mean for S.W.O.R.D.? The answers arrive in the extra-sized S.W.O.R.D. #1, featuring a cover from superstar artist John Cassaday (Astonishing X-Men). Plus, don’t miss a bonus story by the acclaimed creative team of Gillen and artist Jamie McKelvie featuring the incomparable Lockheed!

S.W.O.R.D. #1 (SEP090475)
Written by KIERON GILLEN
Penciled by STEVEN SANDERS & JAMIE MCKELVIE
Cover by JOHN CASSADAY
Rated A …$3.99
FOC—10/22/09, On-Sale—11/18/09

To find a comic shop near you, call 1-888-comicbook or visit www.comicshoplocator.com

Marvel Entertainment, Inc. is one of the world's most prominent character-based entertainment companies, built on a proven library of over 5,000 characters featured in a variety of media over seventy years. Marvel utilizes its character franchises in licensing, entertainment (via Marvel Studios and Marvel Animation) and publishing (via Marvel Comics). Marvel's strategy is to leverage its franchises in a growing array of opportunities around the world, including feature films, consumer products, toys, video games, animated television, direct-to-DVD and online. For more information visit www.marvel.com. [END]

Return of a True Manga Classic

I finally finished The Ghost in the Shell Volume 1

I posted a review on the Comic Book Bin. This is one of the first releases from Kodansha Comics, the American shingle of Kodansha.


Saturday, November 14, 2009

A Game of You

I finished reading Game X Rush Volume 2

I posted a review at the Comic Book Bin. This is a quirky, off-beat, bishounen manga that is surprisingly very good.


Friday, November 13, 2009

Could Apple be the New Newstand?

Does Apple really want to sell magazines? asks Macworld's "MacWord" in another article on the rumored Apple reader.

Vivid Offers Cool Mil to Film Carrie Prejean's Fake Boobs

Press release from Business Wire:

Vivid Renews $1 Million Offer to Carrie Prejean to Star in an Adult Movie

LOS ANGELES--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Vivid Entertainment Group, the world's leading adult film studio, has renewed its $1 million offer to Carrie Prejean to star in one of its upcoming movies.

"We originally made the offer in May when Carrie was making headlines during the controversy over her statements during the Miss USA Pageant. She didn't get back to us at the time," said Steven Hirsch, co-chairman of Vivid. "Now that it's been revealed that she has actually made her own sex tape we know her reluctance certainly wasn't based on any fear of performing sexually for the camera. She's a beautiful woman with plenty of talent and we still believe that a video featuring her would be a best seller."

Mr. Hirsch said he has no opinion on her religious or personal beliefs. "We're doing this simply because she's hot and has a certain star quality."
He said any movie in which she appeared would be distributed under the Vivid-Celeb imprint which is known for titles starring such personalities as Shauna Sand, Kim Kardashian and Ray J, Jimi Hendrix, Vince Neil and others.

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]

Female Force Stephenie Meyer Sells Out


Press release from Bluewater Productions:
FEMALE FORCE: STEPHENIE MEYER SELLS OUT AND GOES BACK TO A SECOND PRINTING

The Female Force: Stephenie Meyer graphic novel has sold out in a single day after being released on Wednesday. The biography comic featuring the author of the “Twilight” saga Stephenie Meyer will be immediately going to a second printing.

“Despite our increased production on this graphic novel, our distributor ordered more than we had or planned,” said Bluewater president Darren G. Davis.

The 40-page graphic novel collector's edition includes the history of Forks; the Washington peninsula town where her stories take place as well as other bonus material not found anywhere else.

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 title has been reviewed favorably by the Los Angeles Times, Ain't It Cool News as well as Booklist.

Bookstores can continue ordering the book. The ISBN number for the Female Force: Stephenie Meyer graphic novel is: 978-1427641847.

Next month Bluewater will be releasing a graphic novel of “Harry Potter” writer, JK Rowling. “Bluewater expects the same response. The book is tracking well for us.” Davis added. [END]

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Kitchen Booty Call

I finished reading Exotic And Delicious Fate (Yaoi)

I posted a review of his yaoi manga at the Comic Book Bin. This is a very good read.


VIZ Media Offers Shojo Manga for the Holidays

Press release from VIZ Media:

VIZ MEDIA MAKES IT A HOLIDAY SEASON OF SHOJO WITH FUN NEW RELEASES

Selections Make Thoughtful Gift Ideas to Delight Even the Most Discerning Fan

VIZ Media, LLC (VIZ Media), one of the entertainment industry's most innovative and comprehensive publishing, animation and licensing companies, presents several new shojo manga (graphic novel) titles that fans and gift givers of all types might consider for wish list priority this holiday season.

The releases include THE ART OF GENTLEMEN’S ALLIANCE †, a collection of lavish drawings and designs from the hit series by famed shojo artist, Arina Tanemura. New manga title, BEAST MASTER, as well as the latest volume of the popular gothic high school drama VAMPIRE KNIGHT, and the VIZBIG omnibus editions of FUSHIGI YUGI and HOT GIMMICK.

“Shojo manga fans have much to look forward to during this year’s holiday season, with a variety of selections that make wonderful gift ideas to suit any budget,” says Gonzalo Ferreyra, Vice President Sales & Marketing, VIZ Media. “Many of these series have dramatically expanded the core Shojo audience, receiving universal renown and acclaim. From VAMPIRE KNIGHT, which has become a national bestseller, to the launch of the wild new manga, BEAST MASTER, and gorgeous new omnibus editions of other shojo favorites, bookstore shelves have never been stocked with so much must-read Shojo manga!!

The VIZBIG editions each compile three volumes from the original graphic novel series, presented in a in a larger 5-3/4 x 8-5/8 size (larger than the standard 5 x 7-1/2 manga) with special features including new cover art, bonus color pages and added content such as author interviews, updated text and character art. The new editions serve as comprehensive introductions for new readers to some most-loved shojo manga titles, or a great way for seasoned fans to revisit favorite titles from a new perspective.

BEAST Master Vol. 1 • Rated ‘T+’ For Older Teens • MSRP: $9.99 US / $12.99 CAN • Available November 3rd
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, Yuiko Kubozuka. In reality, Leo isn’t nearly as frightening as he appears, but Yuiko finds out that he goes berserk whenever he sees blood! Will Yuiko 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 2002 in Japan’s popular shojo manga magazine Betsucomi with No Good Cupid, and she was also the creator of Handsome! Beads Club. Her latest work, Electric Daisy, is also currently serialized in Betsucomi.

VAMPIRE KNIGHT Vol. 8 • Rated ‘T+’ For Older Teens • MSRP: $9.99 US / $12.99 CAN • Available Now!
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 dorms, 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 composed of vampires!

In Volume 8 of this best-selling series by Matsuri Hino, after trying to recall her past, Yuki’s hallucinations become more vivid and she tries to strangle Zero during a fit of temporary madness. Locked in her room, all she can see is a world dyed in blood, but things will become really dangerous when the vampire Kaname comes for her and tells her it’s time to wake up and sinks his fangs into her neck!

THE ART OF GENTLEMEN’S ALLIANCE † • MSRP: $19.99 US / $27.00 CAN • Available November 17th
Renowned manga artist Arina Tanemura exemplifies the shojo style with this collection of highly stylized artwork presented with a swirl of billowing ribbons, romance and heartbreak. The glossy illustrated edition features designs for all the major characters from THE GENTLEMEN’S ALLIANCE † and includes exclusive art for the North American edition and a full color double-sided, fold-out poster. Tanemura is a prolific manga artist and the creator of several popular shojo series such as I-O-N, TIME STRANGER KYOKO and FULL MOON (all of which are published in North America by VIZ Media).

HOT GIMMICK VIZBIG Edition, Vol. 3 • Rated ‘T+’ For Older Teens • MSRP: $17.99 US / $24.00 CAN • Available December 15th
Miki Aihara turned the manga world upside down with her salacious, outrageous, and funny hit series which concludes in this final VIZBIG omnibus edition. If you think being a teenager in America is hard, wait until you read HOT GIMMICK These Tokyo boys and girls are really messed up!

FUSHIGI YUGI VIZBIG Edition, Vol. 4 • Rated ‘T+’ For Older Teens • MSRP: $17.99 US / $24.00 CAN • Available December 15th
Read the manga by creator Yuu Watase that helped to define the shojo genre! Fifteen-year-old Miaka Yuki is transported back to an ancient Chinese kingdom by an old library book called The Universe of the Four Gods. Following the legend of the book, Miaka becomes the Priestess of Suzaku and must find her seven Celestial Warriors before she can save the kingdom and return home. In the latest VIZBIG volume, with one of the Celestial Warriors lost forever, Miaka and her men are more desperate than ever to obtain the two Shentso-Paos in order to summon Suzaku. But once Miaka has one in her grasp, it’s stolen away by the Seiryu Warrior Nakago. Miaka goes to Nakago to get it back, but he assaults her. Believing she is no longer worthy of becoming Tamahome's bride, Miaka flees on her own, only to be saved by a man whom she initially thought was her enemy. Meanwhile, Tamahome falls under the Seiryu Warrior Tomo's power of illusions.

For more information on VIZ Media titles please visit www.Viz.com.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

VIZ Media to GoGo


Press release from VIZ Media:
VIZ MEDIA OFFERS AN EMOTIONAL MIX OF THE REAL AND IMAGINARY IN THE DEBUT OF TAIYO MATSUMOTO’S GOGO MONSTER

New Manga Release Blends Bold Art And A Clever Story Of A Young Boy Who Tries To Balance His Own Lonely World With a Fantastic Supernatural Realm Only He Can See

VIZ Media, LLC (VIZ Media), one of the entertainment industry's most innovative and comprehensive publishing, animation and licensing companies, has announced the upcoming release of Taiyo Matsumoto’s celebrated manga GOGO MONSTER on November 17th. GOGO MONSTER will be published by the company’s VIZ Signature imprint, rated ‘T’ for Teens, and will carry an MSRP of $27.99 U.S. / $36.00 CAN.

Third grader Yuki Tachibana lives in two worlds. In one world, he is a loner ridiculed by his classmates and reprimanded by his teachers for telling stories of supernatural beings that only he can see. In the other world, the supernatural beings vie for power with malevolent spirits who bring chaos into the school, the students' lives, and even nature itself.

“Taiyo Matsumoto’s clever stories and striking art have placed him among the best of a new generation of influential manga artists and we are privileged to present GOGO MONSTER to U.S. audiences,” says Gonzalo Ferreyra, Vice President Sales & Marketing, VIZ Media. “This story continues to show Matsumoto’s fascination with youth as he seamlessly blends themes of alienation with the paranormal. For anyone with an overactive imagination or has even just daydreamed during class, GOGO MONSTER offers an emotional tale that shows how what we see and imagine, whether real or imaginary, shapes our personality in profound ways.”

Taiyo Matsumoto made his manga debut in the Japanese magazine Comic Afternoon with the short story STRAIGHT. He went on to travel throughout France and became heavily influenced by the French comics he studied there including those created by pioneering European artists like Moebius and Enki Bilal. Matsumoto has become internationally acclaimed for stories that capture the essence of disaffected youth and adolescent alienation. His other notable works include BLUE SPRING, NO. 5 and TEKKONKINKREET: BLACK & WHITE, which are all published in North America by VIZ Media. TEKKONKINKREET won a prestigious Will Eisner Award in 2008 and was also adapted for an animated feature film. Another Matsumoto manga story, PING PONG, was turned into an award-winning live action film that is available from VIZ Pictures.
For more information on other VIZ Signature titles please visit www.VizSignature.com and www.Sigikki.com.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Basketball Great Kareem Abdul-Jabbar Has Cancer

Los Angeles Lakers great Kareem Abdul-Jabbar announced that he has been diagnosed with a form of blood cancer - chronic myeloid leukemia - according to the CNN. Although Abdul-Jabbar won't give the details of his prognosis, the disease was apparently caught early.

Abdul-Jabbar was the legendary 7-foot-2 center who led the UCLA Bruins to three NCAA men's basketball championships. In the NBA, he won one title with the Milwaukee Bucks and five with the Los Angeles Lakers before retiring in 1989. He was inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in 1995.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

What's with the Name Jormungand?

I finished reading Jormungand, Vol. 1

I posted a review at the Comic Book Bin. This is for the Black Lagoon and Dogs: Bullets & Carnage readers.


Wicked Book Series at DreamWorks

Press release from Business Wire:

DreamWorks Studios Acquires Rights to Young Adult Book Series “Wicked”

LOS ANGELES--(BUSINESS WIRE)--DreamWorks Studios has acquired the rights to the young adult book series “Wicked” it was announced today by Mark Sourian and Holly Bario, Co-Presidents of Production for the studio. Aaron and Matthew Benay have signed on to write the adaptation based on their own pitch. The Gotham Group will produce.

A New York Times bestselling series and published by Simon & Schuster, “Wicked” is a five book series written by Nancy Holder and Debbie Viguié. The first two books, “Witch” and “Curse,” were published in 2002, followed by “Legacy” and “Spellbound” in 2003. The fifth book, “Resurrection,” was published this past summer.

Story follows the journey of a young woman who learns she is a descendent of a powerful coven of witches. Complications arise when she falls in love with a boy who turns out to be a member of a rival coven sworn to destroy her family.
“’Wicked’ has all the elements for a great movie--adventure, mystery, star-crossed lovers, bitter enemies, and the supernatural,” said Mark Sourian. “Aaron and Matthew came in with an intriguing take on the books and a story that we feel will really speak to all audiences.”

Aaron and Matthew Benay, who are brothers, wrote the script for “1906,” which Pixar, Warner Brothers, and director Brad Bird are readying for release in 2012.

Best-selling author Nancy Holder has published sixty books and more than two hundred short stories. She has received four Bram Stoker awards for fiction from the Horror Writers Association, and her books have been translated into more than two dozen languages. She has written or co-written twenty Buffy and Angel projects based on the characters from the “Buffy the Vampire Slayer” film and television series.

Debbie Viguié is author of the Once upon a Time novels “Scarlet Moon” and “Midnight Pearls,” as well as the Sweet Seasons novels “The Summer of Cotton Candy,” “The Fall of Candy Corn,” “The Winter of Candy Canes,” and “The Spring of Candy Apples.”

About DreamWorks Studios
DreamWorks Studios is a motion picture company led by Steven Spielberg and Stacey Snider in partnership with The Reliance Anil Dhirubhai Ambani Group. The new company is a continuation of DreamWorks Studios which was formed in 1994 by Steven Spielberg, Jeffrey Katzenberg, and David Geffen. The company expects to put into production 5 to 6 films per year.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

eaZE Does It

I finished reading Ze Volume 3 (Yaoi)

I posted a review at the Comic Book Bin. I didn't enjoy this as much as I did the previous volumes.


Return of the Genbu Priestess

I finished reading Fushigi Yûgi: Genbu Kaiden, Vol. 9 (Fushigi Yugi (Graphic Novels))

I posted a review at the Comic Book Bin.


VIZ Media to Release VIZBIG Editions of InuYasha



Press release from VIZ Media:

INUYASHA MANGA LOOMS LARGER-THAN-LIFE IN NEW VIZBIG EDITION


Rumiko Takahashi’s Award Winning Manga Series To Be Published In An Omnibus Edition


VIZ Media, LLC (VIZ Media), one of the entertainment industry's most innovative and comprehensive publishing, animation and licensing companies, continues the momentum behind its hit INUYASHA brand with the announcement of the release of Rumiko Takahashi’s original manga series in new VIZBIG omnibus editions. Published by the company’s SHONEN SUNDAY imprint, INUYASHA VIZBIG Volume 1 debuts November 10th, is rated ‘T+’ for Older Teens, and carries an MSRP of $17.99 U.S. / $24.00 CAN.


Each omnibus edition features three volumes of the original graphic novel series presented in a larger 5-3/4 x 8-5/8 size (larger than the standard 5 x 7-1/2 manga). The new editions serve as comprehensive introductions for new readers to some best-known titles, and a great way for seasoned fans to revisit favorite manga series from a new perspective. The VIZBIG INUYASHA series is also presented in a right-to-left reading format, just like the original manga counterpart.


After falling into an old well and into ancient Japan, Kagome discovers that her destiny is linked to the dog-like half demon called Inuyasha! As Kagome learns more about her connection to the past and to Inuyasha, she comes into conflict with the terrible demons that are drawn to the Shikon Jewel, including Inuyasha's own half brother, Sesshomaru. Finding the shards of the Shikon Jewel is going to require powerful magic, strange allies, and a strong heart. Kagome's got plenty of heart, but she's going to need Inuyasha's help for the rest of it, and he may not be so willing to lend a hand!


“INUYASHA brought creator Rumiko Takahashi renowned fame throughout the world and the series has been enjoyed by millions of readers in Japan and North America,” says Elizabeth Kawasaki, Senior Editorial Director, VIZ Media. “Our new VIZBIG release is a comprehensive way for new and old fans alike to catch up on the adventures of Inuyasha and Kagome in a whole new way and also makes a wonderful gift for that extra special fan this holiday season.”


INUYASHA brought creator Rumiko Takahashi tremendous international acclaim and won the prestigious Shogakukan Manga Award in 2002. The story was also adapted into a long running animated series (distributed domestically by VIZ Media). Episodes from the action-packed series conclusion – INUYASHA THE FINAL ACT – currently stream on ShonenSunday.com/anime and Hulu.com mere hours after they air in Japan. For more information on the INUYASHA animated series please visit www.ShonenSunday.com.


Many of Rumiko Takahashi’s 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 of her work, has 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 official North American web site for all Rumiko Takahashi related news and information located at www.TheRumicWorld.com.

Friday, November 6, 2009

Good Guide Almighty

I finished reading The Official xxxHOLiC Guide

I posted a review at the Comic Book Bin. This is such a useful guide that it made me want to read this long-running manga series from CLAMP.


Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Disney Announces New Rick Riordan Book Series

Press release from Business Wire:

Disney Book Group Announces New Series by Best-Selling Author Rick Riordan— The Kane Chronicles

The Kane Chronicles, Book One: The Red Pyramid releases May 4, 2010

WHITE PLAINS, N.Y.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Rick Riordan, creator of the 7 million copy-selling blockbuster Percy Jackson & the Olympians series, introduces readers to The Kane Chronicles, a new fantasy bringing ancient Egyptian mythology to life in a vivid modern-day setting.

On May 4, 2010, the eagerly-awaited new series from Disney Book Group’s Disney-Hyperion imprint launches with The Kane Chronicles, Book One: The Red Pyramid (ISBN: 9781423113386; ages 10 and up) and a simultaneously released audio edition. When a magical accident unleashes the Egyptian gods on the modern world, siblings Carter and Sadie Kane discover that they are the only ones who can put things right. As descendants of the greatest Egyptian magicians, they must find a way to defeat the evil god Set before he can destroy them.

Last summer, Rick Riordan’s best-selling Percy Jackson & the Olympians series concluded with the fifth and final installment, Percy Jackson & the Olympians, Book Five: The Last Olympian. To date, the series has sold more than 7 million copies in the US and has been sold into 32 different language markets.

Based on the first book in the series, Percy Jackson & the Olympians: The Lightning Thief will hit theaters on February 12, 2010. Directed by Chris Columbus, the film’s cast includes Logan Lerman, Brandon T. Jackson, Alexandra Daddario, Sean Bean, Pierce Brosnan, Steve Coogan, Rosario Dawson, Catherine Keener, Kevin McKidd, Joe Pantoliano, and Uma Thurman.

Rick Riordan is the author of the New York Times #1 best-selling Percy Jackson & the Olympians series: The Lightning Thief; The Sea of Monsters; The Titan's Curse; The Battle of the Labyrinth; and The Last Olympian. His previous novels for adults include the hugely popular Tres Navarre series, winner of the top three awards in the mystery genre. He lives in San Antonio, Texas, with his wife and two sons. For more information on Rick visit: http://www.rickriordan.com/

Disney-Hyperion Books is an imprint of Disney Book Group (DBG); additional DBG imprints include Disney Editions, Disney-Jump at the Sun Books, and Disney Press. DBG is part of Disney Publishing Worldwide, the world's largest publisher of children's books and magazines, with over 250 million children’s books and over 400 million children's magazines sold each year. Headquartered in White Plains, NY, Disney Publishing Worldwide publishes books and magazines in 85 languages in 75 countries.

I Reads You Review: HIGH SCHOOL DEBUT Volume 6



Creator: Kazune Kawahara
Publishing Information: VIZ Media, paperback, 192 pages, $8.99 (US), $10.50 CAN
Ordering Numbers: ISBN: 978-1-4215-1733-9 (ISBN-13); 1-4215-1733-9 (ISBN-10)

The heroine of High School Debut is Haruna Nagashima, a high school girl who was a tremendously talented and prolific athlete in junior high school. Now, a high school student, Haruna has changed her focus from athletics to boys. She consults fashion magazines and shojo manga (comics for teen girls) for advice on everything from what to wear to how to attract a boyfriend. It doesn’t work because she can’t get even one boy to make a pass at her.

Haruna finally gets an idea. When she wanted to get better at sports, she found an athletics coach. So, she thinks, if she wants to get better at attracting boys, why not hire a love coach. Haruna recruits the very popular upperclassman, Yoh Komiyama, as her dating coach. He agrees to help her as long as she doesn’t fall in love with him… but how will Yoh feel when boys start hitting on Haruna?

Eventually, Haruna and Yoh became a couple, and many were the tests of their love’s strength and endurance. High School Debut, Vol. 6 presents the biggest test. Yoh’s former girlfriend from junior high school, Makoto Kurihara, has returned, and Haruna has unknowingly befriended her. Helping Makoto reconnect with her old flame, Haruna is too clueless to realize that she is helping Yoh’s ex-girlfriend reestablish contact with him. Yoh insists that he’s through with Makoto, but Haruna wonders if he is really being honest.

High School Debut is a high school shojo romance similar to Aya Nakahara’s Love*Com, as both are about mismatched couples. The reader would not be blamed for doubting that the taciturn Yoh and the frantic, chatterbox Haruna will last as a couple. That, of course, is the draw of High School Debut. The tenuous nature of the Haruna/Yoh relationship is what’s at stake in this series, and lovers of such tales of shaky romances will enjoy this.

Although High School Debut, in a sense, is standard fare, creator Kazune Kawahara tells the story in a way that transforms teen romance into a pot boiler of a soap opera. Her graphic storytelling mixes taut compositions (especially on the figure drawing) and atmospheric toning and sparkly effects. That makes for a visually sparkling romance.

A Legacy Worth Following

I finished reading Legacy

I posted a review at the Comic Book Bin. This is a fun to read superhero novel, featuring an original superhero, although The Raptor is sort of like Batman with Iron Man tech.


TOKYOPOP Announces Books for Next Summer

Press release from TOKYOPOP:

TOKYOPOP Presents: A Blazing List of Manga for Summer 2010

New manga from FRUITS BASKET creator Natsuki Takaya and the conclusions to Jim Henson's RETURN TO LABYRINTH and LEGENDS OF THE DARK CRYSTAL highlight a glorious summer for manga lovers

Tohru Honda's adventures may have come to a close with volume 23 of the bestselling shojo manga on Pekopon, but that doesn't mean the world of FRUITS BASKET is over. TOKYOPOP will shower bookstores in May with two offering from Natsuki Takaya. The second and final official fan book FRUITS BASKET BANQUET is a feast for anyone who wants to find out everything about Tohru, Kyo, Yuki, and the rest of the FURUBA gang (warning: spoilers abound!). Not to be outdone this month, TOKYOPOP presents MY SONG, YOUR SMILE, JUST BECAUSE: STORIES FROM THE CREATOR OF FRUITS BASKET*, filled with unforgettable tales from Takaya-sensei, including a side story to TSUBASA: THOSE WITH WINGS.

May also brings up the most amazing superhero: RATMAN by Sekihiro Inui, the creator of COMIC PARTY and MURDER PRINCESS. RATMAN tells the story of Shoto Katsuragi, who is a superhero fanatic. Unfortunately for him, he's too short to achieve his dream of becoming just like his idol, Mr. Thunder...That is, until he's tricked into participating in a mad science experiment!
The hot action continues with .HACK//LINK by Megane Kikuya, on sale in July. The World has been closed for three years following the events of .HACK//G.U., and no one is more excited for the release of The World R:X than Tokio Kuryuu. But little does Tokio know that his life will never been the same once he gets his hands on a copy!

Also in August comes the release of THE QUASAR OF STIGMATA by the bestselling artist of MY-HIME. QUASAR inspired the anime that will release in January 2010. The manga takes place in a near future, and follows the trials and tribulations of two students from a Japanese Eastern Orthodox school. The students and the whole school are confronted with an all-out war between the Church and the Adepts, a sect of powerful individuals. Filled with violence that's not for the faint of heart, the manga also takes a cue from MY-HIME with a liberal dose of fan service!

Rounding out the summer are two offerings from TOKYOPOP's bestselling publishing program with the Jim Henson Company. In the thrilling conclusion to LEGENDS OF THE DARK CRYSTAL, Lahr and Neffi travel to the crystal castle to rescue their friends and family. And in the stunning final volume of the New York Times Bestselling manga, RETURN TO LABYRINTH, will Toby be able to save the labyrinth and his kingdom?

And that's just a taste of things to come this summer. Check back with TOKYOPOP.com and Twitter.com/TOKYOPOP for up-to-the-minute news. [END]

EC Comics Library Enters New Media Development Deal

Press release from Business Wire:

Notorious EC Comics Library Creeps to EMO Films

Shingle to Rep Comics Brand for Film, Radio and Television

LOS ANGELES--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Joel Eisenberg and Timothy Owens’ EMO Films has formed a specialty division, EC Film, Radio and Television, Ltd., in association with rights-holder William M. Gaines Agent, Inc., to exploit the notorious EC comics library in all related media platforms. Titles included in the deal are “Tales From the Crypt” (based on the original works, as opposed to the HBO intellectual property version), “Vault of Horror,” “Haunt of Fear,” “Weird Fantasy,” “Shock SuspenStories,” “Two-Fisted Tales” and the remaining horror, science fiction, crime, humor and dramatic library, with the exception of “Mad Magazine,” presently owned by Time-Warner.

Deal was brokered by Eisenberg and Cathy Gaines-Mifsud, the daughter of EC publisher William M. Gaines, representing William M. Gaines Agent, Inc. Corey Mifsud, Cathy’s son, has been assigned VP of Development for the new company.

William Maxwell Gaines is widely considered one of the most influential figures in comic book history. Gaines' father, M.C. (Max) Gaines, was the publisher of Educational Comics (EC), offering such parent-friendly fare as “Picture Stories From The Bible.” When the elder Gaines died in 1947 as a result of a freak boating accident, the younger Gaines, who was studying to become a chemistry teacher, unwillingly took over the family business. Losing most of the old guard and hiring an anti-establishment band of writers and artists, Bill canned the educational titles, changed the E in EC to Entertaining, and focused his efforts on maintaining a primary line of horror, crime and science fiction books. The new EC was an immediate though short-lived smash.

By 1955 a festering backlash against comics, spearheaded by psychiatrist Fredric Wertham, had picked up steam. Though Wertham argued that comic book violence led to juvenile delinquency, the EC brand was not all blood and guts. Stories about racism, substance abuse and war crimes were glossed over, however, by the lurid imagery of the line’s most successful titles. A Senate investigation followed, which led to the end of the classic EC era.

“This is a phenomenal opportunity for EMO Films,” says Eisenberg. “The amount of source product here is staggering, and we look forward to both developing projects in-house and setting up the material with outside entities.”
EMO Films’ recent release, the Columbine-themed “April Showers,” has set sales records on its digital release platforms. [END]

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Fourth Quarter Books from VIZ Media

Press release from VIZ Media:

VIZ MEDIA SERVES UP SCIENCE FICTION, ACTION FANTASY, ROMANCE AND JAPANESE CUISINE FOR NEW FOURTH QUARTER MANGA RELEASES

New Titles Span A Variety Of Genres To Delight Fans Of All Ages And Interests

VIZ Media, LLC (VIZ Media), one of the entertainment industry's most innovative and comprehensive publishing, animation and licensing companies, has previewed an array of new manga (graphic novel) releases scheduled to debut throughout the Fourth Quarter of 2009. The new titles span a diverse range of genres everywhere from science fiction, fantasy/adventure, and crime thrillers to shojo (comics for girls) and teenage coming-of-age stories.


The new manga titles debuting are as follows:
YU-GI-OH! r, Vol. 1 · Rated ‘T’ for Teens · MSRP: $9.99 US / $12.99 CAN · Available Now!

YU-GI-OH! R is the shocking manga-only sequel to Yu-Gi-Oh!: Duelist and the prequel to Yu-Gi-Oh!: Millennium World. Volume 1, with story and art by Akira Ito, begins when the follower of an old enemy returns to take revenge. Yugi Muto must duel to save a friend's life, but can he overcome the power of the three "Jashin," the terrifying Evil God Cards? Creator Kazuki Takahashi built an action-packed adventure based on themes of friendship and fighting, and combined lots of weird and imaginative monsters to make YU-GI-OH! an international smash hit that spawned a real-world card game, multiple video games, and three anime series. Exclusive bonus card in the first print run!



RIN-NE, Vol. 1 · Rated ‘T+’ for Older Teens · MSRP: $9.99 US / $12.99 CAN · Available Now!

RIN-NE is the brand new series from celebrated manga creator Rumiko Takahashi (INUYASHA). 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, then one day her always-absent classmate shows up, and he’s far more than what he seems!

WHAT A WONDERFUL WORLD, Vol. 1 and Vol. 2 · Rated ‘T+’ for Older Teens · MSRP: $12.99 US / $16.99 CAN · Available Now!
A poignant collection of intersecting vignettes depicting twenty-something angst, Inio Asano’s WHAT A WONDERFUL WORLD explores the various ways that modern life can be at once ridiculous and sublime, terrible and precious, wasted and celebrated. In Volume 1, what begins with a college dropout bored of her mediocre routine soon becomes a fantastic series of stories about the unexpected ways that different lives intersect. Filled with magical realism in the face of the cold reality of daily modern life, at their core these stories are about young people discovering something precious amidst the chaos of existence.

BEAST MASTER, Vol. 1 · Rated ‘T+’ for Older Teens · MSRP: $9.99 US / $12.99 CAN · Available November 3rd
Leo Aoi looks like a crazy animal with wild eyes, and he goes berserk whenever he feels threatened and sees blood. That doesn't stop animal-lover Yuiko Kubozuka from befriending him, however. In fact, Yuiko is the only person Leo will listen to when he has one of his violent fits...

DEATH NOTE: L, change the WorLd (Novel) · MSRP: $17.99 US / $24.00 CAN · Available Now!

DEATH NOTE: L, Change the WorLd introduces the unwritten chapter of DEATH NOTE and reveals how the legendary detective “L” (Kenichi Matsuyama) spends the final 23 days of his life. The story begins as L takes on the “Kira” case, in which countless criminals are dying under mysterious circumstances. L successfully solves the case and stops Kira, but only after sacrificing his life, leaving him with only 23 days left to live. For his final case, L faces down a bio-terrorist group trying to wipe out humanity with a deadly virus ten times more potent than Ebola. As L tries to formulate an antidote with a scientist, he must also save the lives of two children who have no one else to turn to.

The DEATH NOTE novel features the same format as the original Japanese printing with a hardcover and clear acetate jacket with metallic ink. DEATH NOTE is one of VIZ Media’s top five 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 two live action DEATH NOTE films (available from VIZ Pictures).

POKÉMON: Giratina & the Sky Warrior! Ani-Manga, Vol. 1 · Rated ‘A’ for All Ages · MSRP: $11.99 US / $15.99 CAN · Available November 3rd

Shaymin, the Gratitude Pokémon, usually leads a peaceful life in forests and among flowers. But when it gets swept up in a great battle between Legendary Pokémon Giratina and Dialga, it accidentally becomes part of a struggle to maintain the delicate balance between the Real World and an alternate dimension called the Reverse World. Ash, Dawn and Brock join the fight and soon discover that there's more to Shaymin than meets the eye!



INUYASHA (VIZBIG), Vol. 1· Rated ‘T+’ for Older Teens · MSRP: $17.99 US / $24.00 CAN · Available November 10th
Rumiko Takahashi’s epic manga adventure INUYASHA is given an omnibus VIZBIG treatment that combines the first three volumes of the smash hit series. Pulled back in time to Japan's ancient past, Japanese high school girl Kagome finds her destiny linked to a dog-like half-demon named Inuyasha, who remembers Kagome's previous incarnation as the woman who killed him - and to the Shikon Jewel, or "Jewel of Four Souls," which can fulfill the greatest dreams of any man or monster. Now Kagome and Inuyasha must work together to search for the scattered shards of the jewel before everyone's nightmares are given the power they need to come true. Beginning October 3rd, fans can also catch animated episodes of INUYASHA THE FINAL ACT (subtitled) on ShonenSunday.com/anime and Hulu.com mere hours after they air in Japan.

GO GO MONSTER, Vol. 1 · Rated ‘T’ for Teens · MSRP: $27.99 US / $36.00 CAN · Available November 17th
Third grader Yuki Tachibana lives in two worlds. In one world, he is a loner ridiculed by his classmates and reprimanded by his teachers for telling stories of supernatural beings that only he can see. In the other world, the supernatural beings vie for power with malevolent spirits who bring chaos into the school, the students' lives, and even nature itself.

This gorgeous edition is available in hardcover format with a four-color slipcase.

GO GO MONSTER was created by Taiyo Matsumoto, whose other works include BLUE SPRING, NO. 5 and TEKKONKINKREET: BLACK & WHITE, which are all published in North America by VIZ Media. TEKKONKINKREET won a prestigious Will Eisner Award in 2008 and was also adapted into an animated feature film.

OISHINBO THE JOY OF RICE, Vol. 6 · Rated ‘T’ for Teens · MSRP: $12.99 US / $16.99 CAN · Available November 17th
Japanese cuisine is the star in this appetite-inducing series that has sold more 100 million copies in Japan. In this volume, Tōzai newspaper writer Shiro Yamaoka and his colleagues look into the single most essential food in Japanese cuisine: rice. Cultivated for millennia, a staple meal in itself and the basis of countless other dishes, rice is an important component not only of the Japanese kitchen but also of Japanese culture. When Yamaoka is asked by Tōzai's head chef for help in coming up with a new rice dish, what starts out as a simple culinary request rapidly grows into a disquisition into the past, present and future of Japan's food culture.

THE ART OF GENTLEMEN’S ALLIANCE †, ARINA TANEMURA ILLUSTRATIONS · MSRP: $19.99 US / $27.00 CAN · Available November 17th

Renowned manga artist Arina Tanemura created this acclaimed series that exemplifies the shojo style with highly stylized artwork and romantic plot twists presented with a swirl of billowing ribbons, romance and heartbreak. The gorgeously illustrated edition features designs for all the major characters from THE GENTLEMEN’S ALLIANCE † and also includes two exclusive images for North America, author commentary, and a double-sided, full color fold-out poster. Tanemura is a prolific manga artist and is also the creator of several popular shojo series such as I-O-N, TIME STRANGER KYOKO and FULL MOON (all of which are published in North America by VIZ Media).

BUTTERFLIES & FLOWERS, Vol. 1 · Rated ‘M’ for Mature Audiences · MSRP: $9.99 US / $12.99 CAN · Available December 1st

Choko Kuze is the sensible daughter of a venerable family who went bankrupt. She joins a real estate company as an entry-level office worker, but her eccentric boss is harder on her than anyone else in the company! After hearing him inadvertently call her "milady," she realizes he was the young servant boy she knew as a child. At work he's a tyrant, but after hours he insists on treating her like a lady of the nobility. Is romance even possible for a couple locked in such a crazy role reversal? [END]

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