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Crossgen signs with Endeavor - 12/08/2003
CrossGen Entertainment, one of the world’s leading publishers of comics and graphic novels, has been signed by Endeavor, widely considered one of the leading agencies in the entertainment industry, for representation in the world of film, television and video games.

The pact adds Endeavor to CrossGen’s Hollywood "A-Team," which includes Branded Entertainment’s president Michael E. Uslan and VP F.J. DeSanto, executive producer of the Batman film franchise, and entertainment counsel, attorney Nancy Newhouse-Porter. Uslan and Porter will continue their work in ushering CrossGen’s properties into other mediums, with Endeavor providing a powerhouse punch of talent and connections that will complete the task of moving CrossGen more firmly into the mass consumer entertainment industry.

Endeavor co-founders Rick Rosen and Ariel Emanuel will be handling CrossGen’s client relationship, along with a team of Endeavor agents from the worlds of film, television and video games. (Read More)

Soulwind released in one volume - 11/08/2003
This November, nearly three years since the series first concluded, Oni Press will be printing the entirety of Scott Morse’s SOULWIND as one book. Originally published as five graphic novels, THE COMPLETE SOULWIND is a 520-page epic, spanning time and space—both literally. The fantasy/science-fiction adventure has a legendary sword at its center—a sword capable of bending the fabric of our universe. What begins as the tale of a young boy who has been chosen to wield it ends up veering into territory that unravels the myths behind creation, the things we worship, and the nature of storytelling itself.

"SOULWIND, for many years, was my big project," Morse said. "This was the story that drove me, it was my main avenue of creation. It took some time to get it all out, but I think, in the end, all the effort was worth it. It’s always been intended to stand as one large piece of work, and I think when people have it under one cover, they’ll be able to see how the puzzle pieces fit together in ways they may not have noticed when they read them all separately."
(Read More)

Serenity Rose conjures up new series - 6/08/2003
When you can float through the air and conjure up monsters out of ectoplasm, you're bound to attract attention. But Ms. Serenity Rose, the local witch of Crestfallen (The Spookiest Li'l Town in the U.S. of A., population 231), isn't especially thrilled about being an object of curiosity and adoration. So what's a witch to do when she has to dodge goblins and Goths, deal with a bad case of social phobia and, under the advice of her court-appointed therapist, keep a journal to "work through the negativity"? In Sera's case, the answer is "make a comic book."

SLG Publishing's new quarterly series, serenity rose, is the personal journal of witch, introvert and cynic Serenity Elizabeth Rose, as related to Aaron A. In issue one, to be released in October 2003, Sera introduces herself, her life, and her world as she shows you a day in her life, from flying her kid sister to school to discovering that there are people out there who care about the same thing she does ? her art.

In taking on the responsibility of telling Sera's story, aaron a. describes himself as "positively giddy with glee to share my (semi-authorized) adaptations of this excruciatingly shy little recluse's most private, personal, intensely intimate secret diary with great hordes of leering strangers." However, he admits his motivations are not entirely without self-interest. "When I told Ms. Rose the news, she promised to turn my skeleton to marshmallow ASAP," he says. "I shall be a living peep!"

Creators of Reality Check, Ranklechick and His Three Legged Cat, and the forthcoming Shutterbox and long-time fans of serenity rose Rosearik Rikki Simons and Tavisha Wolfgarth-Simons share Aaron A.'s enthusiasm. "Serenity rose has much of what Tavi and I look for in an illustrated book, comic or otherwise: an impressively-designed and affectionate mix of cute and spooky," says Simons. "What makes Aaron A.'s entirely original march into this (often mishandled) genre so wonderful is the impassioned defense of all things cute."

Even with the comic's devotion to the cute side of spooky, serenity rose is a more introspective story than is usually presented in the "spooky-cute" genre of books, according to SLG's editor-in-chief, Jennifer de Guzman. "Sera's cynicism and need to isolate herself are endearing quirks," she says, "but they're also her defense against interacting with the world. Through Aaron A.'s storytelling and art she gets to tell her story and form a kind of connection with people she might have shut herself away from." Sera's magical abilities contribute another dimension to the story, she adds, "But this isn't cartoon or children's books magic, spells and incantations kind of magic. It's a part of who Sera is, and only one of the reasons she's such an interesting character."

Serenity rose is a 24-page black-and-white comic book, published quarterly beginning in October 2003. It will retail for $2.95 US. A preview of issue one is available at the SLG Publishing website, www.slavelabor.com. More information about serenity rose can also be found at the comic's website, www.heartshapedskull.com.

Supreme Power #1 Preview - 4/08/2003
On Wednesday, August 6th, comic book history will be made with the release of Marvel's newest ongoing MAX series, J. Michael Stracyznski & Gary Frank's SUPREME POWER. Look for details regarding SUPREME POWER's record-breaking achievement next week. In the meantime, enjoy the following preview of the first seven pages of SUPREME POWER #1, a comic book Comics Buyer's Guide called, "wonderful", "thought-provoking", and "an easy recommendation", "Grade A".

And don't forget the limited edition SUPREME POWER #1 (SPECIAL EDITION). In addition to the full 22-page story from the standard edition, this 88-page volume ($4.99 cover price) also includes:
  • A special variant cover by JOE QUESADA.
  • 15 pages of character sketches, and concept & design art by Gary Frank.
  • The FIRST-EVER full-color reprints of AVENGERS Vol. 1, #85-86, featuring the original appearance of the Squadron Supreme, the classic Marvel team that inspired SUPREME POWER.
  • Plus an introduction by Ralph Macchio, editor of Mark Gruenwald's landmark Squadron Supreme maxi-series.
Read on to see four preview pages from SUPREME POWER #1. (Read More)

Queen and Country Vol. 4 hits stands this October - 1/08/2003
Greg Rucka and Oni Press are pleased to announce the fourth collection of the popular QUEEN AND COUNTRY series in both regular edition softcover and limited edition hardcover formats. Continuing the tradition of rotating artists on each story arc, Jason Alexander (EMPTY ZONE) joins Rucka on this trudge through Europe’s seedy side, as secret agent Tara Chase is forced to walk the narrow line between corporate espionage and service to her nation.

British Intelligence operative Tara Chace is accustomed to working in the shadows cast by world governments, but when Colin Beck, one of the Queen’s most affluent subjects, is blackmailed by a French conglomerate trying to nab an important business contract with an explicit videotape starring Beck’s daughter, Tara’s espionage turns to the corporate variety. Little do the blackmailers know, the sex and lies they captured on videotape involved one of Tara’s school-time friends, giving the agent extra incentive to foil the company and protect the interests of the Crown.

To add to the stress of Tara’s job, her relationship with fellow Minder Ed Kittering seems to be deteriorating. She knows in her heart that the relationship can’t interfere with her job, and she also knows that if it goes on any longer, it will start to. What does a girl to do when she realizes she is using a man she doesn’t love, but who truly loves her back? (Read More)

Wolverine latest Marvel Must Have - 28/07/2003
Under the creative direction of writer Greg Rucka & artist Darick Robertson, May's relaunch of Wolverine topped Diamond's Top 100 Comics Charts as the best-selling book of that month, rapidly selling out at comics stores everywhere, and creating significant backorders for WOLVERINE #2 (which also finished in June's Top 10) and issue #3. To help comic shops meet the ongoing reader demand for these consistently sold-out and critically-acclaimed issues, Marvel offers Marvel Must Haves: Wolverine #1-3 (JUN035056).

This 80-page Must Haves edition (cover price $3.99 US) collects the first three issues of the series (which carried a collective retail price of $6.75 US), in which Logan pursues the killers of an innocent girl and ends up in the world of high-stakes gun shows and black market firearms. Marvel Must Haves: Wolverine #1-3 is scheduled to go on-sale on August 13th, and will remain in print as an "evergreen" item to satisfy future reader demand.

Wolverine #4 (JUN031600D4, $2.25 US) has also been moved back in the schedule one week - from August 20th to its new on-sale date of August 27th, in order to give comic shops more time to accurately gauge interest. Ask the friendly staff at Graphic Action to reserve you a copy of Marvel Must Haves: Wolverine #1-3 and Wolverine #4.

Marvel to participate in Free Comic Book Day 2004 - 25/07/2003
The American comic convention season got into full swing this past week and as key industry players have gotten the chance to meet face-to-face over the next few months, one of the more important items on the agenda of Diamond, the publishers and comic book retailers is 2004's FREE COMIC BOOK DAY 3. As decisions are being made by the FCBD committee and participants regarding dates and content, Marvel Comics have announced that they fully intend to participate in the event that provides free comics (that have already proven themselves as bestsellers in the mass market) to readers who haven't yet discovered comics in their local comic shop or bookstore.

"For Marvel Comics, Free Comic Book Day is a rare opportunity for the entire industry to coordinate our efforts to expand the comic book marketplace," wrote Marvel spokesman Michael Doran. "Our mission statement is not to distribute books to our existing customers (Marvel fills this need with our special 25-cent issues and beginning soon the new MARVEL PREVIEWS), but to focus efforts on attracting lapsed comic book readers and especially brand new readers into our fold with our high-quality product."

"To this end Marvel Comics is dedicated to working with Diamond, comic book retailers, our fellow publishers and any and all new partners that can help distribute free comics to even more new customers than in year's past so they too can experience the hidden treasures found in their local comic book shop."

A sneak peek at 1602 - 23/07/2003
Marvel have released a first look at a preview sequence from 1602 #1, a limited series written by Neil Gaiman and illustrated by Andy Kubert and Richard Isanove, with covers by Scott McKowen.

Here is what a panel of comic book retailers had to say about 1602 #1 in Comic Buyer's Guide's advanced review:

"After three readings of this preview, its safe to say Gaiman does not disappoint. Nuances that the reader might miss on first reading keep surfacing, and it's a safe bet that there will be more as the series progresses. Elizabethan England was certainly not a place that I expected to find the Marvel Universe transported to, but the characters work well there. A tour de force of the highest order. A+"

"The ORIGIN art team has also delivered a beautiful package here. This series will truly be an event; don't miss it. A+"

Read on to see six, full-colour preview pages from the first issue of 1602. (Read More)

Marvel Knights 1602 - 22/07/2003
New York Times best-selling author and comic book legend NEIL GAIMAN's long-awaited Marvel Knights limited series 1602 is just a little more just 3 weeks away, set to debut on August 13th. Featuring art by the ORIGIN team of Andy Kubert and Richard Isanove - with cardstock covers by Scott McKowen - the 8-issue series takes place in the year 1602, in the final days of the reign of Queen Elizabeth I. But if the series is set 400 years in the past, how are familiar contemporary Marvel Universe stars like Nick Fury, Daredevil, Dr. Strange and the X-Men exerting great influence over those times?

According to Gaiman, that's the question at the heart of his story...

"Although 1602 will look at first glance like a 'What If...?' story, it actually isn't," Gaiman said during a recent Marvel press conference. "If you read it much more as a puzzle and an adventure, things will become more apparent as the story goes on. We'll learn how the world got this way, whether we can get it back, and what it means."

But in addition to being tremendously satisfying for long-time fans of the Marvel Universe, Gaiman also wrote the series as a fun, all-ages romp - created to be highly accessible and appeal to Marvel fans as well as those who don't know a Spider-Man from a Black Widow.

Second chance to catch the wave! - 18/07/2003
This fall comic fans who haven't yet experienced the first wave of Marvel Tsunami titles can jump-on board these already new reader-friendly new titles. All of the initial launch books - RUNAWAYS, SENTINEL, MYSTIQUE, VENOM, NAMOR & HUMAN TORCH - begin brand new story arcs in October.

To mark the occasion, as well as Marvel's continued commitment to the titles, four of the six titles will ship 2 issues in October - some with new creators like Venom's Paco Medina and Mystique's Michael Ryan. Plus, each issue beginning a new story arc will feature a special 'metallic ink on black' enhanced cover, at no extra charge to readers or retailers!

"Each title in that first TSUNAMI wave has already achieved a success in their own right in the comics' community," said Marvel Marketing Communications Manager Michael Doran, "from break-out critical successes like SENTINEL (recently awarded an "A+" for its first 4-issues by Comics Buyer's Guide) and RUNAWAYS (reviewed in this week's ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY), to break-out sales success like VENOM (both issue #1 and #2 placed in Diamond's Top Ten Sales Chart for May and June). And the better news is interest in mainstream outlets continues to grow.

"From libraries to major books chains like Borders and Waldens - who at their request earlier this month offered the SENTINEL & RUNAWAYS MARVEL MUST HAVES (their first MMH edition) and began offering all the TSUNAMI titles - word is spreading and is expected to continue to spread when the first TSUNAMI trade paperbacks are released later in the fall."

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