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September 2001

Top Cow gets 'Battle of the Planets' comic
Posted Friday, September 28, 2001, 6:06PM CDT by Franklin Harris
Comic-book painter Alex Ross will oversee a new comic book series for Top Cow based on the cartoon "Battle of the Planets." According to Newsarama, Ross is working directly with Sandy Frank Productions, which holds the U.S. rights to the cartoon series. "Battle" is an English adaptation of the Japanese anime series, "Gatchaman." Alternate English versions of "Gatchaman" also include the cartoons "G-Force" and "Eagle Riders."

"Battle of the Planets" will start as a miniseries and will expand to an ongoing if sales are good. In addition to overseeing the project, Ross will provide cover art.

PR: Maxim magazine brings together an unlikely comic-book duo
Posted Thursday, September 27, 2001, 8:47PM CDT by Franklin Harris
PRESS RELEASE: The latest issue of Maxim (October 2001) sports a six-page feature on page 186 entitled "Get Ready for Super Sex", written by magazine humorist Myatt Murphy (creator of Two Over Ten, a new series due out in stores this November from Second 2 Some Studios) and one of the industry's hottest artists Andy Park (Tomb Raider from Top Cow).

If you're an avid comic-book reader, you'll appreciate the many
references made at almost every main-stream superheroes expense, from
the Fantastic Four, The Hulk, Batman, Superman and yes, even Plastic Man gets his due (like he wouldn't!) "The article may teach a guy how to get a piece of ass, but it's the two-page spread drawn by Park as the opener that kicks ass," says Murphy, "Nuff said!"

Ironically enough, one of the sex tips Murphy offers the reader on page 190 is so racy, the girl he interviewed for it wouldn't let him print her actual name and suggested he use a pseudonym. So Murphy changed it to Casey, the 17-year old heroine of Two Over Ten. "In the series, I always thought that Casey would most likely be a virgin," says Murphy, "Reading a quote affiliated to her about the 'right' way to grind a guy makes me as queasy as a father finding his kids' porno stash, but that's alright. She'll always be my baby girl. Sob!"

Murphy, who writes over fifty features a year for such mainstream
publications such as GQ, Cosmo, Maxim and Newsweek, has always made it a point to sneak superhero references in stories wherever he can. "I've gotten pictures of the Flash and Judge Dredd in Men's Health, spotlighted Joe Maduriera in Men's Health and Maxim and if you turn to page 263 of the same October issue of Maxim, you'll find another article about dating services where I mention legendary Batman artist 'Dick Sprang'", says Murphy, "I'll let your imagination wander how he's used, but all I ask is that die-hard Sprang fans send all hate mail with proper postage."

[Due out this November, a sneak peek of Two Over Ten can be seen on page 3 in the September issue of Previews or page 21 in the October issue of Previews. For more info on Andy Park, go to www.andyparkart.com.]

PR: 9-11: Emergency Relief benefit comic book
Posted Thursday, September 27, 2001, 8:43PM CDT by Franklin Harris
PRESS RELEASE: The terrorist attacks in New York City and Washington DC on September 11th touched people worldwide, and cartoonists have turned to art to express their grief. 9-11: Emergency Relief is a comic book project to benefit the American Red Cross featuring some of the comic world’s leading talents. From legendary creators such as Will Eisner to hot new talents such as cover artist Frank Cho, cartoonists from all areas of the cartooning world have joined together in this community effort. Scheduled for January 2002 release from Alternative Comics, 9-11: Emergency Relief is a collection of these cartoonists’ personal non-fiction accounts of their experiences related to the tragedy. "Cartoonists have been contacting each other regularly since the tragedy and have come up with this project," said editor Jeff Mason, "The cartoonists wanted to create a collection of thoughtful, introspective stories." At $14.95 and at 128 pages, all profits from 9-11 Emergency Relief trade paperback will be donated to the American Red Cross (ISBN: 1-891867-12-1; Alternative Comics). 9-11: Emergency Relief is just the first of a variety of benefit books that are in the early stages of planning. Comic book industry companies including Diamond Comic Distributors and Quebecor Printing have thrown their support behind this and similar projects.

The creators contributing to this project as of press time include: Jessica Abel, Jason Alexander, Tom Beland, Nick Bertozzi, Frank Cho, Daniel Cooney, Leela Corman, Guy Davis, Tom Derenick, Danny Donovan, Will Eisner, Evan Forsch, Dan Fraga, Jenny Gonzalez, Eric Wolfe Hanson, Tom Hart, Dean Haspiel, Danny Hellman, Marc Hempel, Phil Hester, Neil Kleid, James Kochalka, Michael Kupperman, A. David Lewis, Jon Lewis, Matt Madden, Mike Manley, Tony Millionaire, Gray Morrow, Scott Morse, Jason Narvaez, Josh Neufeld, Mike Avon Oeming, Evan Quiring, Harry Roland, Gail Simone, John Staton, Mark Stegbauer, Neil Vokes, Mark Wheatley, and Ashley Wood.

PR: Baltimore Comic-Con Adds Small Press Extra
Posted Thursday, September 27, 2001, 8:40PM CDT by Franklin Harris
PRESS RELEASE: The terrorist attacks of Sept. 11 may have forced organizers to cancel THE EXPO (aka SPX), North America's premier alternative comic-book festival, but small-press comics creators still have a place in the Mid-Atlantic to gather and sell their wares this fall. MARC NATHAN, the organizer of the second annual BALTIMORE COMIC-CON (and owner of Cards, Comics & Collectibles in Reisterstown, Md.), to help make up for the loss of SPX, has rented another ballroom at the Sheraton Baltimore North and added the SMALL PRESS EXTRA to the show. The Small Press Extra room will be open to all Baltimore Con attendees, and Nathan is making the tables within are free to artists and publishers.

"Sadly, this year's SPX has been cancelled. If you have ever attended SPX, you know how special it is. A lot of people depend on this show to make a living, and for some, this is biggest money-making show of the year," Nathan says. "We can help. Anyone who would have exhibited at SPX is invited as a guest of the Baltimore Comic-Con. Tables are free. We have space for all. All you need to do is let me know you are coming and spread the word! And, of course, everyone is encouraged to attend Small Press Extra. It's going to be a great show."

The small-press guests coming to Baltimore so far include Top Shelf Productions (Chris Staros), the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund, Atomic Books (representing Fantagraphics Books), Scott Mills, Renée French, Dean Haspiel, Carla Speed McNeil, Josh Neufeld, Nick Bertozzi, David Napoliello, Vince Sneed, John Gallagher, Steve Noppenberger, James Gownley, John LaFleur, Neil Fitzpatrick, Jason Wright, Ben Steckler, Farel Dalrymple, Ron Gravel, Michael Grassia, Jose Mochove, Rusty Rowley, Russ McIntosh, Zack Soto, Neil King, Kenpo Comics (Jeff Palmer), Brian Clopper, Sammy Harkham, Toby Craig, Bill Knapp, Robert Ullman, Chris Pitzer, Chris Hope, Justin Madson, D.T. Washington, Rich Watson, Brent Erwin, Martha Keavy, Paige Schieffelin, Rafael Navarro, Warren Faison Jr., Steve Hamaker, and Mark Coale. Among Baltimore Comic-Con's already-scheduled guests are Jim Steranko, George Pérez, Frank Cho, Adam Hughes, Matt Wagner, Frank Cho, Michael Avon Oeming, and Gray Morrow.

In addtion to the usual convention activities, including a room full of retailers selling back issues and discounted books and Q&A panels with various comics creators, at least one special auction will take place. FRANK CHO (Liberty Meadows) has donated the cover art, thumbnail sketch, color guide, and the printer's color-proof of the cover to 9-11: EMERGENCY RELIEF, a benefit project being produced by the Alternative Comics publishing company for the American Red Cross, to the convention. At the show, it will be auctioned off to benefit the Red Cross.

The Baltimore Con's exhibit halls, including the Small Press Extra room, at the Sheraton Baltimore North (903 Dulaney Valley Road, Towson, Md.) will be open 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Sunday, Oct. 28. Admission is $5. Tickets will be sold at the door.

Web sites: Baltimore Comic-Con, www.comicon.com/baltimore; 911: Emergency Relief, www.indyworld.com/relief.

'Cowboy Bebop' to return to Adult Swim
Posted Thursday, September 20, 2001, 5:18PM CDT by Franklin Harris
An e-mail from Cartoon Network posted in alt.tv.cartoon-network confirms that "Cowboy Bebop" will return to the Adult Swim block in a few weeks: "The Cowboy Bebop program was pulled from the current schedule due to an episode that was not appropriate to air at this time given the tragic events that took place at the World Trade Center and Pentagon last week. Cowboy Bebop is expected to return to the Adult Swim line-up within the next several weeks. Please check your local listings or AdultSwim.com for specific tune-in information."

Thanks to Hiroshi2k for posting this.

Miller's 'Dark Knight' strikes again in December
Posted Sunday, September 9, 2001, 9:47AM CDT by Franklin Harris
Newsarama reports that the first issue of Frank Miller's eagerly anticipated "Dark Knight Returns" sequel, "The Dark Knight Strikes Again," is on DC Comics' schedule for December. The three-issue series will ship every six weeks, and each 80-page issue will retail for $7.95.

Marvel institutes no-smoking policy
Posted Wednesday, September 5, 2001, 8:50PM CDT by Franklin Harris
During a conference call today, Marvel Comics President Bill Jemas said the company is instituting a no-smoking policy for its major characters in its main-line superhero comics. The policy will not effect the new, adult-oriented Marvel MAX line, but don't expect to see Nick Fury, Wolverine or The Thing smoking their formerly ubiquitous cigars in comics like "The Fantastic Four," Jemas said. When asked the reason for the policy, Jemas said, "We're told that smoking causes cancer."

'Jeepers Creepers 2' in development
Posted Wednesday, September 5, 2001, 8:44PM CDT by Franklin Harris
You knew it had to happen. "Jeepers Creepers" opened in first place at the box office this weekend and has already made back its modest budget. Now Variety reports that MGM/UA is already eyeing a sequel and possible franchise.

'Forbidden Planet' remake at DreamWorks
Posted Wednesday, September 5, 2001, 8:40PM CDT by Franklin Harris
A remake of the 1956 sci-fi film "Forbidden Planet" is again moving forward, this time at DreamWorks SKG, Variety reports. Richard Saperstein and Lindsay Dunlap are producing.

No 'Indy 4' until 2006
Posted Wednesday, September 5, 2001, 8:38PM CDT by Franklin Harris
In an interview with the French magazine Tele 7 Jour, George Lucas says he won't begin work on a fourth "Indiana Jones" film until the last of the "Star Wars" prequels is finished in 2005. "I don't know how I can manage to find time for 'Indy' before 2006," Lucas said. Of course, by then Harrison Ford will be 64 years old.


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