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NEWS ARCHIVE

April 2002

'Transformers,' Steve Ditko get mainstream notice
Posted Tuesday, April 30, 2002, 6:24AM CDT by Franklin Harris
CNN has published an online story about the rebirth of interest in "The Transformers." You can read the full story here.

Meanwhile, the Los Angeles Times published a story Monday about Steve Ditko, the reclusive co-creator of "Spider-Man."

Diesel passes on 'The Fast and the Furious 2'
Posted Monday, April 29, 2002, 7:43PM CDT by Franklin Harris
According to Variety, Vin Diesel has decided he will not return for "The Fast and the Furious 2," which will proceed without either him or director Rob Cohen. Paul Walker, however, is returning to star in the sequel, which starts shooting in October.

'Sub-Mariner' gets screenwriter
Posted Friday, April 26, 2002, 9:22AM CDT by Franklin Harris
According to the Hollywood Reporter, screenwriter David Self has signed a seven-figure deal with Universal Studios to write and executive produce a live-action feature film based on Marvel Comics' undersea hero Namor, the Sub-Mariner. The Reporter quotes Self saying, "This is not going to be like any comic book movie you've ever seen. It will not be a men-in-tights movie. We're going for a hard sci-fi feel."

Artisan to film 'The Punisher'
Posted Wednesday, April 24, 2002, 10:42AM CDT by Franklin Harris
Artisan Entertainment is pushing ahead with a film adaptation of "The Punisher," based on the Marvel Comics character, according to Variety. Jonathan Hensleigh will direct the film, which will ignore the previous "Punisher" film starring Dolph Lundgren.

Goyer writing script for 'Blade 3'
Posted Wednesday, April 24, 2002, 10:36AM CDT by Franklin Harris
According to Variety, New Line Cinema has hired David Goyer to write "Blade 3." Goyer is also the screenwriter for the first two "Blade" movies.

'Pitch Black 2' to start filming later this year
Posted Wednesday, April 24, 2002, 10:33AM CDT by Franklin Harris
According to Variety, the sequel to the sleeper-hit sci-fi/horror movie "Pitch Black" will begin filming later this year.

Indy 4 to start filming in 2004?
Posted Wednesday, April 24, 2002, 10:31AM CDT by Franklin Harris
Variety columnist Michael Fleming reports that George Lucas, Harrison Ford and Steven Spielberg are trying to get Tom Stoppard to write the screenplay for the fourth film in the "Indiana Jones" series, and they want to start shooting in 2004, after Lucas completes filming on "Star Wars: Episode III."

Star Wars: Special, SPECIAL Edition???
Posted Wednesday, April 24, 2002, 10:28AM CDT by Franklin Harris
The rumors appear to be true. It looks like George Lucas is going to alter once again his original "Star Wars" trilogy as soon as he finishes work on the prequel saga. Composer John Williams spilled the beans to a Dutch magazine, saying that he will be inserting the Imperial March theme into the score of "Star Wars: Episode IV -- A New Hope." This "special, special" edition will probably go directly to DVD rather than to theaters.

Source: Cinescape Online

Kevin Smith, Stracsynski sign exclusive Marvel deals
Posted Monday, April 22, 2002, 9:13AM CDT by Franklin Harris
Newsarama is reporting that Kevin Smith ("Clerks") and J. Michael Straczynski ("Babylon 5") have each signed exclusive, two-year deals with Marvel Comics. The deals will not impact Stracsynski's announced projects for Top Cow and Wildstorm but will at least delay Smith's proposed revival of "The Brave and the Bold" for DC Comics. Smith will take over writing chores on Straczynski's "Amazing Spider-Man," while Straczynski moves to a new, ongoing Spider-Man title called simply "Spider-Man." Paul Jenkins remains as writer on "Peter Parker, Spider-Man," as far as anyone outside Marvel knows at this time.

Del Toro's 'Hellboy' movie gets green light
Posted Monday, April 22, 2002, 9:05AM CDT by Franklin Harris
Ain't It Cool News is reporting that director Guillermo Del Toro ("Blade II") finally has been given the green light for his long-awaited film adaptation of "Hellboy," based on Mike Mignola's comic book of the same name. Ron Perlman, the choice of both Del Toro and Mignola, will play the title role.

Dolph Lundgren is retiring from showbiz
Posted Friday, April 19, 2002, 9:05AM CDT by Franklin Harris
Dolph Lundgren, 44, has announced that he is retiring, according to Entertainment Weekly. He starred in such forgettable genre films as "Universal Soldier," "The Punisher" and "Masters of the Universe." His retirement comes as a shock to those of us who didn't know he was still alive.

Burrows under consideration for 'League'
Posted Friday, April 19, 2002, 8:59AM CDT by Franklin Harris
Producers of the "League of Extraordinary Gentlemen" film are considering Saffron Burrows ("Deep Blue Sea") for the role of Mina Murray Harker, according to IGN Filmforce.

Fraser to be the next Man of Steel?
Posted Friday, April 19, 2002, 8:55AM CDT by Franklin Harris
Superhero Hype reports that Warner Bros. is set to offer the role of Clark Kent/Superman in director McG's new "Superman" film to Brendan Fraser ("The Mummy Returns").

Polanski to return to U.S., face sex charges
Posted Thursday, April 18, 2002, 11:58AM CDT by Franklin Harris
According to a report in the British press, director Roman Polanski is set to return to the United States to face sex charges dating from the 1970s.

Polanski, now 68, was arrested in 1977 for allegedly having sex with a 13-year-old girl at the home of Jack Nicholson. He was charged with six offences, including rape, and pleaded guilty to having sex with a minor. However, he fled to France before sentencing and has remained overseas ever since.

According to a Los Angeles TV station, he is planning to return after reaching an agreement with the Los Angeles district attorney's office that he will avoid a prison sentence for the sex charges.

Among Polanski's films are "Chinatown," "Rosemary's Baby," "The Fearless Vampire Killers" and "The Ninth Gate."

PR: TNN to launch prime-time adult animation block
Posted Wednesday, April 17, 2002, 10:26AM CDT by Franklin Harris
PRESS RELEASE: NEW YORK /PRNewswire/ -- An original animated series from Emmy Award-winning actor/director Kelsey Grammer will headline a new adult animation block to be unveiled on The New TNN in early 2003. The block will also include a new series from comic-book legend Stan Lee. The announcement was made Tuesday by Diane Robina, Executive Vice President & General Manager for The New TNN: The National Network

Headlining The New TNN's adult animation block is GARY THE RAT, a 30-minute original animated series starring Kelsey Grammer as the voice of the title character. Gary is a New York attorney who is so unscrupulous and immoral that he wakes up one morning to discover that he's turned into a rat. Rob and Mark Cullen are the writers and creators of the series and serve as co-executive producers; Grammer is co-executive producer. The series is produced by Grammnet Productions.

Also joining the block is the acquisition of the groundbreaking THE REN & STIMPY SHOW. This animated series features an ornery asthma-hound Chihuahua, Ren, and his trusting feline sidekick, Stimpy, and updates the anarchic physical comedy of the great Warner Brothers cartoons of the '40s and '50s. It's cutting edge, classic cartoon madness from famed creator John Kricfalusi ("The Jetsons," "The New Adventures of Mighty Mouse" and The Rolling Stones' music video "Harlem Shuffle").

"The broadcast networks have all but abandoned adult primetime animation, and we see this as an opportunity to build a new night of programming with innovative, edgy adult animated projects for a generation that grew up on animation," said Robina.

"We've turned to a remarkable lineup of talent for projects that boast contemporary humor and new types of characters," said Kevin Kay, Executive Vice President, Production, The New TNN. "Along with renowned comic book artist Stan Lee and animators Arlene Klasky, Gabor Csupo, and John Kricfalusi, we're tremendously excited to develop projects with names new to the genre, including Grammer and 13-time, Emmy Award-winning television producer Ed. Weinberger."

The New TNN's other animated projects in development include:

STRIPPERELLA is a 30-minute animated series from Stan Lee, the famed creator of "Spider-Man," and features Pamela Anderson as a stripper by night and a superhero by later night. Lee is known to millions as the man whose super heroes propelled Marvel Comics to its preeminent position in the comic book industry. Among his co-creations are "Spider-Man," "The Incredible Hulk," "X- Men" and "The Fantastic Four."

JOE DUFFY, an animated series from award-winning veteran writer/producer Ed. Weinberger ("The Cosby Show," "The Mary Tyler Moore Show," "Taxi"). Duffy is a modern-day Archie Bunker who works as a limo driver and spends time trying to understand why he was cursed with what he thinks is a crazy family -- a lesbian daughter, a son in the clergy and the latest addition, an Asian foster child. The series is produced by Nelvana Productions.

THE IMMIGRANTS is a 30-minute series produced by Klasky Csupo Productions ("Rugrats," "The Wild Thornberrys," "Duckman"). The series tells the story of recent Russian immigrant Vlad Krashenko, who forges an unlikely friendship with streetwise Mexican immigrant Flaco, and the residents of the Vista del Mar Apartments, as they chase and tackle the American dream in the heart of Hollywood, CA, USA.

Kevin Smith to promote comics on 'Leno'
Posted Wednesday, April 17, 2002, 7:29AM CDT by Franklin Harris
Newsarama reports that Kevin Smith ("Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back") will appear on the June 24th airing of "The Tonight Show With Jay Leno." Smith will be promoting his upcoming Marvel Comics miniseries, "Spider-Man/Black Cat: The Evil That Men Do." According to Marvel, this is the first time that "The Tonight Show" has booked a guest who is there primarily to plug a comic book.

Jim Shooter's Marvel deal falls apart
Posted Wednesday, April 17, 2002, 7:25AM CDT by Franklin Harris
Newsarama reports that former Marvel Comics Editor-In-Chief Jim Shooter is on the outs again with his former employer. So, his planned "Avengers" miniseries is now a no-go. Hell finally thawed out.

Damon Knight, 1922-2002
Posted Tuesday, April 16, 2002, 12:23PM CDT by Franklin Harris
Author and critic Lawrence Watt-Evans reported in the rec.arts.sf.written discussion group that writer Damon Knight, whose credits include the classic "Twilight Zone" episode "To Serve Man," died Sunday night. See Locus Online for a full obituary.

Nona Gaye fills in for Aaliyah in 'Matrix' sequels
Posted Tuesday, April 16, 2002, 12:10PM CDT by Franklin Harris
E! reports that Nona Gaye, daughter of Motown legend Marvin Gaye, will take over the late singer/actress Aaliyah's role in "The Matrix Reloaded" and "The Matrix Revolutions."

Whitaker to host new 'Twilight Zone'
Posted Tuesday, April 16, 2002, 12:05PM CDT by Franklin Harris
Variety reports that actor-director-producer Forest Whitaker will act as the on-screen host for UPN's updated "Twilight Zone" series pilot. He will also have a role as one of the series' producers.

Warner Bros. to film live-action 'Akira' movie
Posted Saturday, April 13, 2002, 8:53AM CDT by Franklin Harris
According to the Hollywood Reporter, Warner Bros. has teamed with director Stephen Norrington on a live-action adaptation of the classic Japanese anime film "Akira," with Norrington writing the story and directing. Jon Peters is producing.

Paramount buys John Carter of Mars rights
Posted Friday, April 12, 2002, 9:48AM CDT by Franklin Harris
According to Variety, Paramount Pictures has purchased the rights to make films based on Edgar Rice Burroughs' other famous man of action, John Carter, Warlord of Mars. (Burroughs, of course, is best known as the creator of Tarzan.) Producers Jim Jacks and Sean Daniels ("The Mummy") plan to turn three of the best known books into a movie trilogy, starting with the first John Carter adventure, "A Princess of Mars." The film rights had been at Disney, but Disney never acted on them.

Warner Bros. gets ready for live-action Looney Tunes
Posted Wednesday, April 10, 2002, 8:10PM CDT by Franklin Harris
Warner Bros. is preparing a new live-action/animation combo movie (like "Space Jam") for a December 2003 release, according to The Hollywood Reporter. Joe Dante ("Gremlins") has been hired to direct the untitled Looney Tunes film, which starts shooting in July.

B-movie actor John Agar dies at 81
Posted Wednesday, April 10, 2002, 10:00AM CDT by Franklin Harris
Reuters reports that John Agar, who appeared in John Ford-directed Westerns before settling into a career in B-grade sci-fi and horror flicks, died earlier this week at age 81. His films include "Revenge of the Creature," "The Mole People" and "The Brain from Planet Arous."

'Kavalier and Clay' comic book coming
Posted Tuesday, April 9, 2002, 6:30AM CDT by Franklin Harris
Entertainment Weekly reports that DC Comics will publish a comic book based on the Escapist, the fictional superhero from Michael Chabon's award-winning novel, "The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay."

Tim Burton's 'Ed Wood' comes to DVD at last!
Posted Tuesday, April 9, 2002, 6:23AM CDT by Franklin Harris
DVD File reports today that Tim Burton's missing-in-action film "Ed Wood," starring Johnny Depp, will finally bow on DVD on August 13. Alas, while "Ed Wood" will be presented in its original theatrical aspect ratio, the DVD will have few, if any, extras. It will be budget priced at $19.95 retail.

'Transformers' Season 1 DVD set bows on April 23
Posted Tuesday, April 9, 2002, 5:27AM CDT by Franklin Harris
PRESS RELEASE: Los Angeles, CA -- Rhino Home Video debuts THE TRANSFORMERS, the hugely popular animated series that aired on network television for seven years and spawned a whole new category of "transforming" toy, on DVD this April 23, 2002.

The DVD release includes the entire first season of the series - the story of an army of Autobots that transform into massive fighting machines to defend Earth from the Decepticons - in a special boxed set, featuring an extensive bonus features disc, two limited-edition cels of the show's favorite characters and a ten-page booklet that details each episode.

The first season of 16 newly remastered episodes will appear together for the first time in their original chronological order (based on airdate), and also will be available in a VHS boxed set day and date. The DVD boxed set is priced at $59.95, the VHS boxed set retails for $49.95, and each of three individual DVD volumes is available for $19.95. Every DVD volume features animated menus and Dolby Digital 5.1 audio.

The bonus features DVD includes more than two hours of extras that take you behind-the-scenes into the show's history and creation. Included are:

* Animation test outtakes
* Alternative sequences
* TRANSFORMERS restoration comparison
* The original script from Transport to Oblivion
* Easter Eggs
* Anomalies and bumpers, including a Japanese bumper
* A Taste of Botcon 2001 - a mini-documentary of the Transformers
Convention


TRANSFORMERS BOXED SET
Pre-order date: March 26, 2002 Format: DVD/VHS
Street date: April 23, 2002 Running Time: 530/400 Minutes
Catalog#: R2 976039/R3 976039 Suggested Retail Price: $59.95/$49.95

TRANSFORMERS Season 1 Part 1
Pre-order date: March 26, 2002 Format: DVD Only
Street date: April 23, 2002 Running Time: 125 Minutes
Catalog#: R2 976034 Suggested Retail Price: $19.95

TRANSFORMERS Season 1 Part 2
Pre-order date: March 26, 2002 Format: DVD Only
Street date: April 23, 2002 Running Time: 125 Minutes
Catalog#: R2 976035 Suggested Retail Price: $19.95

TRANSFORMERS Season 1 Part 3
Pre-order date: March 26, 2002 Format: DVD Only
Street date: April 23, 2002 Running Time: 150 Minutes
Catalog#: R2 976036 Suggested Retail Price: $19.95

'Spider-Man 2' confirmed for 2003 start
Posted Monday, April 8, 2002, 8:42PM CDT by Franklin Harris
Variety reports that Columbia Pictures has signed deals with stars Tobey Maguire and Kirstin Dunst, director Sam Raimi and producers Laura Ziskin, Avi Arad and Ian Bryce for "Spider-Man 2," which will go into production early in 2003. Alfred Gough and Miles Millar, who wrote "Shanghai Noon" and executive produce The WB's "Smallville," have agreed to write the screenplay.

Bullock gives up on 'Wonder Woman?'
Posted Friday, April 5, 2002, 12:10PM CST by Franklin Harris
According to New York Post gossip Liz Smith, I can finally stop worrying about Sandra Bullock starring in any "Wonder Woman" movie. Writes Smith: "Sandra Bullock, who I always think of as the personality she assayed in 'Miss Congeniality,' tells me that she never had such a party as I recently reported (people arriving as their favorite heroes). 'But it's a wonderful idea!' says Sandra, adding, 'Unfortunately, the idea of my doing Wonder Woman also bit the dust.'"

Other reports have indicated that Bullock was unhappy with script development on the project, so if her statement to Smith is any indication, she may simply have given up on it.

Customer response saves Top Shelf comics
Posted Friday, April 5, 2002, 7:54AM CST by Franklin Harris
Top Shelf Productions send out this e-mail thanking its customers and supporters, who appear to have helped the company through its recent (and short-lived) financial crisis. On a personal note, let me add that you should still check out the Top Shelf Web site, as you'll find a great many excellent graphic novels there, including Alan Moore's "From Hell"

- Franklin Harris



Dear Comics Fans,

What a difference a day makes. On Tuesday morning at 8:00AM, April 3rd,
Top Shelf was effectively put out of business, and on Tuesday evening by
8:00PM, April 3rd, Top Shelf was remarkably back in business. There are
not words suitable to express how honored and thankful we are that
within 12 hours this amazing comics community took it upon itself to
bring us back to life. And in this case, it might also be said that the
power of the internet was fully realized.

On Tuesday, after we made the announcement of our book trade distributor
filing for Chapter 11 (and the subsequent fatal impact that this had on
our own operation), we received over 200 phone orders and 850 on-line
and email orders to boot. This staggering 1000 orders has not only made
us operational again (and put several thousand copies of our graphic
novels into circulation), but has also reaffirmed to us that the comics
industry is back, revitalized, and ready to take on the world. We're
even estimating that over 100,000 people received the news or were
personally involved in the discussion of this on-line event on that day.

With this overwhelming support, combined with the (now contradictory)
fact that Top Shelf has always prided itself that every order would ship
out the very next day, we ask for your patience in letting us get all of
these graphic novels, comics, and CDs to you. We hope to have everything
shipped out within the next few weeks. In the meantime, if all this
activity has made you curious about our books, we would encourage you to
ask for them at your local retailer, so that everyone along the chain,
retailers and distributors alike, can also benefit from this spur of
interest. And while this interest in diversity is at the forefront of
everyone's mind, we encourage you to continue in the exploration and
discussion of comics from all the publishers doing quality work these
days: DC Comics, Marvel, Dark Horse, Image, CrossGen, Viz,
Fantagraphics, Slave Labor, Oni Press, NBM, Drawn & Quarterly, Cartoon
Books, Alternative Comics, Highwater Books, the publishers we represent
(like Eddie Campbell Comics, etc.), and all the rest (that we apologize
for not having the space to mention by name today).

If we've learned anything over these last seven years - and witnessed it
absolutely this week - we're all in this together. And the growth and
development of this amazing medium is in the most capable hands
possible: the fans of this industry.


http://www.topshelfcomix.com

PR: Spider-Man Collector's Program offers product and artwork for fans
Posted Thursday, April 4, 2002, 10:34AM CST by Franklin Harris
PRESS RELEASE: TIMONIUM, Md.--(ENTERTAINMENT WIRE)--April 4, 2002--"With great power comes great responsibility." Words Spider-Man, a.k.a. Peter Parker, has come to live by. Now, generations of loyal fans of the web-slinging Marvel Comics' superhero will have an opportunity to purchase unique memorabilia and merchandise through the Spider-Man Collector's Program.

Available exclusively at select specialty and comic book outlets and on the web at http://www.sony.com/Spider-Man and http://www.diamondcomics.com starting in March, avid Spider-Man fans will be able to purchase a variety of collectibles, including individual images of artwork that helped inspire the highly-anticipated Spider-Man feature film.

Merchandise from the Collector's Program, which features pencil sketches from legendary artist Bernie Wrightson that helped inspire the feature film, will include apparel (t-shirts from Changes), art (two lithographs from Dynamic Forces) with a limited number of each design autographed by Bernie Wrightson, shot glasses (from National Entertainment Collectibles Association) and a poster (from Funky Posters).

The Collector's Program will kick-off with a special online voting contest and feature four original sketches that were created by Mr. Wrightson as "inspiration" for the feature film. Starting April 5th and running through April 12th, fans can log onto the official Spider-Man website, www.sony.com/Spider-Man, and vote for their favorite Bernie Wrightson design. Final results will be announced on the Spider-Man website on April 19th. The two winning designs will then be used to create two collectors edition t-shirts. Limited quantities of the exclusive t-shirts will be available only at http://www.sony.com/Spider-Man.

"Spider-Man has been a worldwide icon for nearly forty years," stated Bernie Wrightson. "And it is extremely exciting for me to have created some of the artwork that helped inspire the feature film and that will be used in this special program."

To further enhance the Spider-Man Collector's Program experience, Diamond Comics, the worldwide leader in comic book distribution, will sponsor a Spider-Man Collector's Program Contest in their April Preview Catalog. The contest will consist of four to six questions from the Spider-Man movie storyline that are sure to be known by avid Spider-Man fans. Participants will place their answers on a post card and either enter at their local Diamond Comic supported comic book store or mail their answers directly to Diamond Comics. Winners will be chosen randomly from the entrants who answered all the questions correctly. Prizes will include Spider-Man the movie video games, movie posters, a "Making Of" book by Ballentine Del Ray Publishing and a trade paperback by Marvel Comics.

To help find the Spider-Man Collector's Program merchandise, Diamond Comics has also set up a Comic Shop Locator Service in which collectors and fans can call 1-888-COMICBOOK or visit http://www.diamondcomics.com to find a retailer nearest them.

Spider-Man will be released nationwide by Columbia Pictures on May 3, 2002.

'Iron Giant: SE,' 'Time After Time' coming to DVD
Posted Thursday, April 4, 2002, 5:37AM CST by Franklin Harris
The Digital Bits is reporting that Warner Bros. will be releasing severeal long-awaited DVDs later this year: "You'll also be happy to learn that Warner plans to release The Iron Giant: Special Edition and a Gremlins: Special Edition later this year, along with DVD editions of Time After Time and Wolfen." ("Time After Time" is a great time-travel film that has been missing in action. Now if we can just get a proper DVD release of "The Final Countdown.")

Cartoon Network to air more 'Big O,' 'G Gundam'
Posted Wednesday, April 3, 2002, 8:42PM CST by Franklin Harris
Toon Zone has confirmed that a second season of the anime series "Big O" is on the way to Cartoon Network's Toonami block, along with "G Gundam" and the previously announced new incarnations of "Transformers" and "He-Man."

Sci-Fi Channel announces miniseries prospects
Posted Wednesday, April 3, 2002, 8:30PM CST by Franklin Harris
From the Sci-Fi Channel Web site: The SCI FI Channel announced that it is developing an ambitious slate of original miniseries and movies, including several backdoor pilots for possible series. Anchored by its upcoming 20-hour epic miniseries Taken, from DreamWorks Television and Steven Spielberg, SCI FI said it will air four major movie or miniseries events a year, starting in 2003. A list of miniseries and movies follows.


  • Battlestar Galactica. This four-hour miniseries re-imagines the classic '70s SF TV series. Ronald D. Moore (Roswell) wrote the script, with Breck Eisner (Taken) attached to direct. Distributed by USA Cable Entertainment, the project will be executive produced by David Eick.

  • Myst. The four-hour miniseries is inspired by the best-selling video game and uncovers an ancient civilization that existed for thousands of years beneath the surface of the Earth--a civilization that created magical books allowing one to travel to other worlds. A Mandalay Television Pictures production for SCI FI, Myst is executive produced by Elizabeth Stephen with Rand Miller and Susan Bonds of Cyan, in association with Columbia Tri Star Domestic Television.

  • The Forever War. Based on Joe Haldeman's Hugo and Nebula-award-winning classic novel, this four-hour miniseries is an epic love story that spans a thousand-year war. The miniseries will be executive produced by Oscar-winning visual effects supervisor Richard Edlund (Star Wars), with Peter Sussman and Ed Gernon executive producing for Alliance Atlantis. John Fasano (Alien 3) wrote the script.

  • The Chronicles of Amber. Based on Roger Zelazny's best-selling 10-volume series, this four-hour miniseries tells the story of a royal family with amazing powers over time and space, which is plagued by in-fighting as it tries to unite against a sinister enemy. Richard Christian Matheson will write the screenplay. Tom Patricia of Patriarch Pictures will serve as executive producer.

  • On the Seventh Day. The seven-hour limited series takes place in the year 2850 in a an overcrowded world in which the government has assigned people only one day a week to live, while spending the remaining six days in cryogenic suspension. Gary Sherman (First Wave) will executive produce and write the original series, to be distributed through USA Cable Entertainment.

  • Colosseum. In this two-hour original movie, modern-day fight promoter Tommy Pettigrew finds himself transported back in time to the Colosseum of Rome in the year 95 AD. Sam Egan (Jeremiah) wrote the script; Mario Azzipardi directs. Egan and Azzipardi will executive produce with Matt Loze.

Sci-Fi Channel announces 'Children of Dune' cast
Posted Wednesday, April 3, 2002, 8:27PM CST by Franklin Harris
Following up its popular miniseries adaptation of Frank Herbert's novel "Dune," The Sci-Fi Channel has announced its cast for a six-hour sequel, "Children of Dune":


Susan Sarandon will headline the cast of the SCI FI Channel's upcoming miniseries sequel Frank Herbert's Children of Dune, based on Dune Messiah and Children of Dune, the second and third novels in Herbert's six-volume saga. Sarandon will play Wensicia, a ruthless princess eager to restore her deposed family to the throne, in the six-hour miniseries, which is the sequel to last year's Frank Herbert's Dune.

Other cast includes returning players Julie Cox as Princess Irulan, Barbara Kodetova as Chani, Ian McNeice as Baron Harkonnen, P.H. Moriarty as Gurney Halleck and Alec Newman as Paul Atreides. New additions include Alice Krige (Star Trek: First Contact) as Lady Jessica, Edward Atterton as Duncan Idaho, Steven Berkoff as Stilgar, Jessica Brooks as Ghanima, Daniela Lunkewitz as Alia and James McAvoy as Leto II.

John Harrison (Frank Herbert's Dune) adapted Herbert's books. Greg Yaitanes (The Invisible Man) will direct. Frank Herbert's Children of Dune is scheduled to begin production on April 3 in Prague, with a four-month shooting schedule, and is slated to air in 2003.

Sci-Fi Channel gets 'X-Files,' 'Roswell' reruns
Posted Wednesday, April 3, 2002, 8:22PM CST by Franklin Harris
The Sci-Fi Channel has acquired the rights to air reruns of all nine seasons of "The X-Files" and all three seasons of "Roswell." In an eight-year deal, Sci-Fi will share "The X-Files" with TNT and will air all 202 episodes starting in the fall.

Sci-Fi also bought the rights to "Roswell" in an exclusive five-year deal. Roswell, recently cancelled by UPN, will also debut on Sci-Fi this fall.

David Nutter to direct 'Witch Mountain' remake
Posted Wednesday, April 3, 2002, 8:14PM CST by Franklin Harris
David Nutter ("Disturbing Behavior") will direct a remake of "Escape to Witch Mountain," based on the novel by Alexander Key and first filmed by Disney in 1975, reports The Hollywood Reporter. Nathan Skulnik is writing the script.

LPC bankruptcy threatens Top Shelf comics
Posted Wednesday, April 3, 2002, 8:04PM CST by Franklin Harris
The announcement Tuesday that book distributor LPC Group has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection threatens at least one comic-book publisher, according to this e-mail sent out today by Top Shelf Productions:

Dear Comics Fans,

We have just been informed this week that our book trade distributor has
filed for bankrupcy (Chapter 11). They will continue to operate and
hopefully recover - and we will support this all we can (as our industry
needs them, and they are good people) - but unfortunately, this has
happened at a time when they owed us an enormous sum of money (over
$80,000.00 minus returns). And to make matters worse, the most recent
check they cut us, for almost $20,000.00, bounced this week, in turn
causing the last 30 checks we wrote to printers, conventions,
cartoonists - practically every aspect of the business - to bounce (or
be held) in turn.

To put it bluntly, even with all the hard work we've put in over the
years, if we don't raise $20,000 this month, it could realistically
force us to suspend publishing operations for the foreseeable future.
It's hard to believe but a big domino has fallen right on top of us at
the worst time possible. So, that leaves us no choice but to be honest
and ask for your help.

If 400-500 of you can find it in your hearts to each spend around fifty
bucks on our core list of books below, this would literally pull us
through - We mean that. We've got such a strong future schedule, and so
many cool things to announce soon (including two more Alan Moore
projects and two Film & TV projects), that I'd hate to think that we'd
have to pull the plug right before we just were about to arrive.

In any event, if you can find it in your hearts to help us out, we will
be eternally grateful. We'll be manning the phones personally on this
"drive," and we'll also be sure to keep you informed -- hopefully
letting all of you know in three-to-four weeks that everything's okay
(with your help, that is.).

On behalf of Brett Warnock and myself.

Truly, your friend thru comics,

Chris Staros
Top Shelf Productions
PO Box 1282
Marietta, GA 30061-1282
USA

(770) 425-0551
staros@bellsouth.net
http://www.topshelfcomix.com
http://www.topshelfcomix.com


**************************************************

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depending on weight)

PHONE IN CREDIT CARD ORDERS TO:
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OR

E-MAIL CREDIT CARD ORDERS TO:
STAROS@BELLSOUTH.NET

OR

MAIL CHECKS TO:
TOP SHELF PRODUCTIONS, INC.
PO BOX 1282
MARIETTA, GA 30061-1282
USA

OR

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HTTP://WWW.TOPSHELFCOMIX.COM
(for our widest selection of books)


THE TOP SHELF BOOKS (the short list):

ALAN MOORE & EDDIE CAMPBELL:
FROM HELL (GN, MOVIE COVER): $35.00
FROM HELL (GN, ORIGINAL COVER): $35.00
SNAKES & LADDERS (CB): $5.95
THE BIRTH CAUL (CB): $5.95
THE HIGHBURY WORKING CD (ALAN MOORE LIVE): $20.00
ANGEL PASSAGE CD (ALAN MOORE LIVE): $20.00
HIGHBURY & ANGEL PASSAGE POSTERS: $10.00 ea.

EDDIE CAMPBELL:
ALEC: HOW TO BE AN ARTIST (TP): $13.95
ALEC: THREE PIECE SUIT (TP): $14.95
ALEC: THE KING CANUTE CROWD (TP): $14.50
BACCHUS COLOR SPECIAL (CB): $2.95
BACCHUS-VOL1: IMMORTALITY ISN'T FOREVER (TP): $10.95
BACCHUS-VOL2: THE GODS OF BUSINESS (TP): $9.95
BACCHUS-VOL3: DOING THE ISLANDS WITH BACCHUS (TP): $17.95
BACCHUS-VOL4: THE EYEBALL KID (TP): $8.50
BACCHUS-VOL5: EARTH, FIRE, AIR, WATER (TP): $9.95
BACCHUS-VOL6: 1001 NIGHTS OF BACCHUS (TP): $13.50
BACCHUS-VOL9: KING BACCHUS (TP): $12.95
BACCHUS-VOL10: BANGED UP (TP): $13.95
BACCHUS #1, #5-#8, #10, #12-#39, #41-#60 (CB): $2.95 EA.
FROM HELL / BACCHUS / ALEC ORIGINAL ART (EMAIL INQUIRIES)

GARY SPENCER MILLIDGE:
STRANGEHAVEN: ARCADIA (TP, VOL-1); $14.95
STRANGEHAVEN: BROTHERHOOD (TP, VOL-2): $14.95
STRANGEHAVEN #13: $2.95 EA.
STRANGEHAVEN #1-#3, #5-#12: $2.95 EA. (REPRINTED IN TPs)

CRAIG THOMPSON:
GOOD-BYE, CHUNKY RICE (GN): $14.95
DOOT DOOT GARDEN (SMALL BATCH): $7.00
BIBLE DOODLES (SMALL BATCH): $7.00

ALEX ROBINSON:
BOX OFFICE POISON (GN): $29.95

ED BRUBAKER:
A COMPLETE LOWLIFE (GN): $12.95

GLENN DAKIN:
ABE (GN): $14.95

MATT KINDT & JASON HALL:
PISTOLWHIP (GN): $14.95
MEPHISTO (CB): $3.95

JAMES KOCHALKA:
KOCHALKA'S SKETCHBOOK DIARY VOLS #1 & #2 (CB): $7.95 ea
THE PERFECT PLANET (GN): $14.95
PARADISE SUCKS (GN): $5.95
MAGIC BOY & THE WORD OF GOD (CB): $3.95
PEANUTBUTTER & JEREMY #1 (CB): $2.95
PEANUTBUTTER & JEREMY #2: THE FLIBBLEDIBBLE FILE (CB): $2.95
MERMAIDS (CB): $2.95
SUNBURN (CB): $2.95

PETE SICKMAN-GARNER:
HEY, MISTER: AFTER SCHOOL SPECIAL (TP, VOL-1): $7.95
HEY, MISTER: CELEBRITY ROAST (TP, VOL-2): $9.95
HEY, MISTER: THE FALL COLLECTION (TP, VOL-3): $12.95
HEY, MISTER #3 - #4 (CB): $2.95
HEY, MISTER: BEHIND THE GREEN DOOR (CB, #5): $2.95
HEY, MISTER: THE TROUBLE WITH JESUS (CB, #6): $2.95
HEY, MISTER: EYES ON THE PRIZE (CB, #7): $2.95
HEY, MISTER: DIAL 'M' FOR MISTER (CB, #8): $3.50

TOM HART:
THE COLLECTED HUTCH OWEN (TP): $14.95
NEW HAT STORIES: BANKS/EUBANKS (GN): $9.95
THE SANDS (GN): $14.95

PETER KUPER:
SPEECHLESS (FULL-COLOR HC): $19.95
TOPSY TURVY (TP): $9.95

RENÉE FRENCH:
THE SOAP LADY (HC): $19.95

SCOTT MILLS:
BIG CLAY POT (GN): $12.95

JOSUÉ MENJIVAR:
CICADA (GN): $12.95
BROKEN FENDER #1, #2 (CB): $2.95 EA.

JOSH SIMMONS:
HAPPY (CB): $3.50
CIRKUS NEW ORLEANS (SMALL BATCH): $7.00

STEVE LAFLER:
BUGHOUSE (GN): $14.95
BAJA (GN): $9.95

BRIAN BIGGS:
DEAR JULIA, (GN): $12.95
DEAR JULIA, SHORT FILM (VIDEO): $15.00

DEAN HASPIEL:
A BOY IN MY POCKET (CB): $2.95
DAYDREAM LULLABIES: A BILLY DOGMA EXPERIENCE (TP): $7.95
OPPOSABLE THUMBS (CB): $4.95
KEYHOLE #5, #6 (CB): $2.95 EA.

BRETT WARNOCK -- TOP SHELF (THE ANTHOLOGY):
UNDER THE BIG TOP (#8, AN): $14.95
ON PARADE (#7, AN): $6.95
TOP SHELF #5-#6 (AN): $6.95 EA.
TOP SHELF #1-#2 (AN): $5.00 EA.

CHRIS STAROS:
EXPO 2001 (INCLUDES A 23-PAGER BY CHRIS): $7.95
THE STAROS REPORT - 1996 & 1997 (ZINE): $4.95 EA.

SMALL BATCH:
BETTER LUCK NEXT CENTURY (DYLAN HORROCKS): $7.00
SMUDGES (P. SHAW): $7.00
BERN & EDWINA (PAT MORIARITY & DAVID GREENBERGER): $7.00

ACTUS:
HAPPY END (FULL-COLOR HC): $21.95
ACTUS BOX (BOXED SET OF 5 COLOR GRAPHIC NOVELLAS): $31.95
FLIPPER #1 & #2 (AN): $11.95 EA.
JETLAG (AN): $14.50

STRIPBURGER:
STRIPBUREK (AN): $17.95
MINIBURGER (BOXED SET OF 12 MINICOMICS): $19.95
XXX STRIPBURGER (AN, ADULTS ONLY): $13.95
STRIPBURGER #25, #26, #27, #29 (AN): $7.00 EA.

DEE VEE:
DEE VEE #2-#14, LIC SPEC, #2001 (CB): $3.00 EA.

ALTERNATIVE COMICS:
9-11 EMERGENCY RELIEF (AN, VARIOUS): $14.95

JORDAN CRANE:
THE LAST LONELY SATURDAY (GN): $8.00

DAVID CHOE:
BRUISED FRUIT (FULL-COLOR TP): $20.00

KURT WOLFGANG:
WHERE HATS GO (GN): $8.00

JEFF NICHOLSON:
THROUGH THE HABITRAILS: $14.95

MISC. COMIX:
TALES OF THE GREAT UNSPOKEN (AARON AUGENBLICK): $3.50
JACK'S LUCK RUNS OUT (JASON LITTLE): $3.50
EYE SPY (CHARISE MERICLE): $5.00
CLOCK #1, #2, #3 (PAUL SHARAR): $3.00 EA.
RED CALLOWAY'S BIG BANG (SET OF #1-#4) (PAUL SHARAR): $10.00

SILK-SCREENED POSTERS:
NEIL GAIMAN'S THE LAST ANGEL (BY CRAIG THOMPSON): $20.00
TOP SHELF: THREE ROBOTS (BY MARTIN ONTIVEROS): $20.00
TOP SHELF: MAN WITH MARTINI (BY BRETT WARNOCK): $10.00
TOP SHELF: THE BOXER (BY FRANKIE SIRK): $10.00



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