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TV Guide picks Astonishing X-Men Vol. 1 Trade as Top Holiday Gift - 26/11/2004
Thinking outside the box, the American TV Guide has included Marvel’s ASTONISHING X-MEN VOL. 1: GIFTED TPB in their gift guide for TV lovers. Citing the legions of Buffy fans, TV Guide lists Astonishing X-Men as a showcase of the sharp writing that’s become synonymous with Joss Whedon.

Said Marvel’s Director of Marketing John Dokes, "We’re thrilled that TV Guide has selected this book for their Holiday pick, and it once again highlights the relationship of A-List Hollywood talent and Marvel Comics. Combining that talent with superstars like artist John Cassaday has proven to be a winning combination."

"These are the most phenomenal orders for trade paperbacks we’ve ever had." said Marvel’s Sales and Marketing Manager David Gabriel. "We’d like to thank retailers and the fans for their incredibly strong support of this title, clearly they love this book...also special thanks to trade editors Jeff Youngquist, Jennifer Grunwald, Mark Beazley and everyone in our Manufacturing department for making this trade available for the Holiday's on December 15th!

Joss Whedon and John Cassaday’s Astonishing X-Men has been at the top of the sales charts since it launched in May…and Wizard Magazine has just announced it as their 2004 Book of the Year. The second story arc, "Dangerous", starts with issue number 7, on sale late December!

Love as a Foreign Language Vol. 2 from Oni Press - 24/11/2004
Oni Press is pleased to announce the second installment of J. Torres & Eric Kim’s LOVE AS A FOREIGN LANGUAGE. Slated for a February release, the new 72-page graphic novel continues the story of Joel’s Korean adventure. He spends his days teaching English to a variety of age groups. His nights are spent dreaming of Hana, the school’s new secretary. But will his pining pay off or would he be better off on a plane back to Canada?

"In the past two or three years I’ve mostly worked on comics about super powered teenagers," commented Torres. "I really enjoy that stuff, but I also wanted to get back to my roots. My first series COPYBOOK TALES was a slice-of-slice comedy about growing up and finding your place in the world. I return to those themes with this, plus I explore a romantic relationship that somewhat resembles my own sometimes, er, laughable love life."

"And here I would have assumed your love life was more funny sob-sob than funny ha-ha," added editor James Lucas Jones. "LOVE AS A FOREIGN LANGUAGE provides the perfect outlet for J.’s wit and heart and J. gives Eric Kim the chance to show off his impressive cartooning skills. The pair has a special kind of chemistry and people are already sitting up and taking notice."

"The critics are almost tripping over themselves to praise this book," added Oni Press publisher Joe Nozemack. "It got a 10/10 and ‘Best of the Week’ from the Fourth Rail.’s Augie DeBlieck said ‘I care about these characters and want to see more.’ And’s Greg McElhatton got into the act, too, calling the book ‘a winner from start to finish.’ We know that the second book is going to live up to the high expectations the first volume created."

"LOVE AS A FOREIGN LANGUAGE is a perfect gateway comic. Joel is a likable protagonist that’s easy to relate to," Jones concluded. "His story give superhero fans an easy-in to a broader comics world while the subject matter and presentation is an ideal entry for manga readers looking to expand their horizons."

LOVE AS A FOREIGN LANGUAGE is a quarterly graphic novel series. The second installment retails for $6.95 US and features an all-new, color cover by Eric Kim. It’s available this February.

Anime catalogue online - 20/11/2004
The Madman catalogue of anime DVDs being released in November and December is now online and available from the Graphic Action anime section. Highlights of November include:
  • The 10 DVD Astro Boy Deluxe Collection in special collector's edition tin case.
  • Volume 1 of fan-favourite R.O.D - The TV Series. The first volume is also available in a book-style collector's box.
  • Production I.G's latest super-wacky anime Dead Leaves
. Visit the anime section to see what's new.

Marvel announces third variant cover for Avengers #1 - 15/11/2004
The response to Marvel Comics’ make-over of their blockbuster super hero team the Avengers has been nothing short of phenomenal. As unveiled in USA Today, Marvel’s “Dream Team” of costumed classics like Captain America, Spider-Man, Wolverine, Iron Man, Spider-Woman, and Luke Cage has set fire to fans’ imaginations and has led to intense interest in The New Avengers #1. Due to popular demand, Marvel will go back to press on this introductory issue...and they’ve got it covered with yet another spectacular treat for frantic followers of this newest super-team.

The third variant cover of The New Avengers #1 will feature an extra-special new cover by none other than Marvel Editor-in-Chief Joe Quesada.

The variant cover’s amazing origins are linked to the star-studded alternate covers for The New Avengers #1-6; it’s Quesada’s original sketch for the complete six-part art that’s formed by the covers. Fans will be able to possess this titanic image in two distinct formats: Quesada’s new cover and by linking the 6 alternate covers together as one.

Marvel is also pleased to announce that retailers orders are not tied in to any of the other variant printings of The New Avengers #1...but fans will still want to grab theirs fast because when word gets out, this new printing of the introduction of the greatest super-team ever is going to FLY!

This additional version of The New Avengers #1 is due in comic shops in mid-December. Visit to view every one of these legend-in-the-making covers.

Star Wars Episode III Trailer - 5/11/2004 is reporting that the Star Wars Episode III teaser trailer will be screened with 'Taxi' in Australia from November 11th.

Hoyts currently has the info on their Taxi film page.

The 'Revenge of the Sith' trailer can also be seen today (November 5th) when it airs on the 'Today' show.

Seattle Weekly Covers Fantagraphics - 4/11/2004
The Seattle Weekly recently ran a long cover feature on alternative comics publisher Fantagraphics in its September 15-21 issue, complete with David LaChappelle-esque photographs of several staff members. Written by Michaelangelo Matos with photographs by Kevin P. Casey, "Saved By the Beagle" never made a man in a "Doofus" t-shirt look sexier, we assure you.

The feature focused on the twin histories of Fantagraphics and alternative comics, eventually spinning a story of the little-publisher-that-could by exposing how the company shot from near-bankruptcy to relative prosperity with the help of its fans, the comics community, benefit concerts and Peanuts. It also includes a Fantagraphics "Top Ten" list by critic Douglas Wolk. The piece even ends on a guardedly inspirational note from noted cynic Kim Thompson.

For the full article, see

Dan Clowes Chews on Apple - 4/11/2004
Dan Clowes' unorthodox trajectory to stardom (at least insofar as cartooning is an unorthodox route to fame under any circumstances) takes a surprising twist in a new ad spot for Apple computers. Errol Morris, best known for the excellent documentary Fog of War, directs the series of ads, which feature Clowes and fellow celebs Tony Hawk, Kelly Slater and DJ Qbert chatting about how they have "switched" to Apples for professional reasons. Clowes describes his Apple as a "perfect robot pal". Aw!

Meanwhile, it was also recently announced that Clowes will write the film Backyard Resistance for producer Scott Rudin and Paramount Pictures. The film will center on a trio of youngsters who made a shot-by-shot remake of Raiders of the Lost Ark called Raiders of the Lost Ark: The Adaptation. Earlier this year, Rudin secured the life rights to the Mississippi trio behind the film -- Chris Strompolos, Eric Zala and Jayson Lamb -- after Vanity Fair published an article about them. The three began the project while on summer vacation in 1982, finishing it seven years later, shooting on a VHS camcorder and using backwoods Mississippi locales.

To see Dan Clowes expound on how he uses his computer, go to

Watson Tackles Diapers, Dads and Drama in New Oni Mini - 3/11/2004
Oni Press is pleased to announce the February debut of LITTLE STAR, a rollicking six-issue drama comic from the creator of Oni's critically acclaimed LOVE FIGHTS and BREAKFAST AFTER NOON. This all-new series returns Watson to familiar ground--the interpersonal relationships that drive us and define our lives. But while BREAKFAST AFTER NOON examined the ups and downs of a romantically involved couple and their changing world, LITTLE STAR looks at a different type of bond--one between father and child.

"I really wanted to tell a story from the father's perspective," Watson commented. "Simon Adams experiences the dirty diapers and sleepless nights along with the joy, panic, and the occasional cute moment. It seems like whenever fathers are characterized in fiction they're either incompetent or absent. I wanted to present a more accurate picture."

"LITTLE STAR is another fine example of Oni's 'real mainstream' sensibility," said Oni Press editor in chief James Lucas Jones. "You won't find anything else like it in comics, but parenthood is a subject constantly tackled by books and movies and television. Andi is mining classic yet fertile territory and the results are both touching and tickling." (Read More)

Searching for a Way Out in Next Exit - 27/10/2004
Where does your mind go when it wanders? In Next Exit, a new comic book series by Christy Lijewski coming in November from SLG Publishing, that place is Alkaline, a world built on dreams and memories. Retrab and Markesh are trapped in Alkaline, and they're after what everybody else is after, too: an exit. A map that Retrab wins in a chess game just might point the way to one, but she and Markesh must travel through Alkaline's bizarre cities and terrain in order to find it. The two find themselves tangling with wacky dream logic, monsters, scantily-clad lady mayors, and the sinister powers-that-be in Alkaline, all the while building a close friendship.

"I have exceedingly vivid dreams," Lijewski said, explaining the idea behind Next Exit. "I wake up and can remember everything that happened. However, it usually doesn't make a whole lot of sense. I like the idea that a world made of memories wouldn't totally make sense to an outside viewer, just like dreams don't make sense once you wake up." Lijewski was also inspired by Alice in Wonderland, another story set in a dream-land. "I wanted the chance to write a story that would allow me to create my own Wonderland-ish world," she said.

Lijewski first explored Alkaline in "Doors," a story she entered into TokyoPop's Rising Stars of Manga contest. She won honorable mention with it, and decided to develop it into a whole comic book series. "I realized I had so much more that I wanted to do with the story," she said, "and so much more I wanted the characters to experience. I had barely scratched the surface of the world and wanted the chance to actually tell the whole story as I'd intended it."

Manga is an obvious influence on Lijewski, who admires the wide variety of stories and art styles encompassed by that label, but she doesn't feel that Next Exit is manga. "I'm a pasty white girl who draws comics -- not manga -- and I'm not trying to say otherwise," she said. "I draw in a style I'm comfortable with, and I hope people who are usually turned off by manga can realize that and maybe give my comic a chance anyway."

SLG's editor-in-chief Jennifer de Guzman doesn't think that will be a problem. "Christy has a very kinetic art style to go along with Next Exit's story, which is at times fast-moving and frenetic and at other times quiet and poignant," she said. "It's a story that's completely accessible and engaging because it's fun and has emotional resonance. Christy knows how to play up those elements in a way that's charming and not in-your-face obvious."

The first issue of Next Exit is slated for release on November third, and the comic will published on a bi-monthly schedule. A preview of the series is available at SLG Publishing's website,

Food and Faith in Loyola Chin, from SLG in December - 12/10/2004
"My mom used to warn my brother and me to never argue while eating," Gene Yang says, musing on the inspiration for his new graphic novel Loyola Chin and the San Peligran Order. "Otherwise, the food would turn into insects in our bellies. I was convinced from an early age of the mystical powers of food."

Yang explored this theme in his previous graphic novel Gordon Yamamoto and the King of the Geeks, published earlier this year, but he uses it to explore more deeply into questions of faith in Loyola Chin and the San Peligran Order. The graphic novel, which will be released in December from AmazeInk comics, tells the story of a high school sophomore who discovers a way to visit other realms through what she eats before sleeping. On one of these sojourns, she meets a mysterious man named Saint Danger -- a saint who has lost his faith -- who has a plan to save humankind. Loyola must examine her own heart and as herself what makes us better human beings -- our intelligence, or our compassion? (Read More)

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