|Hulk: Gray debuts in October - 18/07/2003|
|During last year's San Diego Comic-Con International, the fan-favorite and award-winning creative team of DAREDEVIL: YELLOW & SPIDER-MAN: BLUE - writer Jeph Loeb & artist Tim Sale - announced their next Marvel collaboration would be HULK: GRAY, the third title in their 'Marvel Spectrum' series of MARVEL KNIGHTS limited series. With the 2003 San Diego Comic-con kicking off this week, its as good as time as any to announce the six-issue mini will make its long-awaited debut in October, 2003 with the release of its first 2 issues. |
As in the best-selling YELLOW & BLUE series, HULK: GRAY will use a modern-day framework to expand upon - and reveal previously unseen moments from - a pivotal point in the HULK's past -specifically the days immediately following Bruce Banner's first transformation. According to Jeph Loeb, the story "explores how the monster unleashes Bruce's inhibitions, but also ruins his life!"
"One approach to the Hulk is to examine how he differs from his alter ego," explained Loeb an in interview with Newsarama.com last year. "The Hulk always was far more complex than just an 'id' on the loose. He had a distinct personality from Banner and hated Banner. He was, and to this day in some form still is, incredibly twisted. He saw Banner as his prison guard who kept him in a dark place. And Banner - at the beginning - really couldn't remember all of the things that the Hulk did. Stan and Jack had created something that was more than just Jekyll & Hyde and the duality of human nature. The Hulk had an agenda, as foggy as it could be, and that's where we begin. What did the Hulk want and why?"
And also like the previous series, the story is told through Tim Sale's stunning art, 7-pages of which will be previewed in full-color in next month's WIZARD MAGAZINE #144.
|Marvel on top of Diamond sales charts - 17/07/2003|
|Winter 2003 in comic book Direct Market kicked out the same way Autumn '03 ended, with Marvel Comics firmly atop Diamond's June '03 Actual sales charts. Led by ULTIMATE X-MEN #34, the start of Brian Michael Bendis and David Finch's debut story arc "Blockbuster", Marvel took 8 of the Top 10 chart positions, 16 of the Top 20 and 27 of the Top 50, on its way to capturing over 41% of the Unit Market Share. That marks the second month in a row Marvel has accounted for over 41% of ALL comics and graphic novels sold to readers in the Direct Market. |
Marvel's 41.46% unit market share also represents a nearly ten percentage point margin over its next nearest competitor, this despite shipping over 20% FEWER titles to the direct market that charted on Diamond's Top 300 Comics and Top 50 Graphic Novels list than DC Comics.
Outstanding individual performers include Ultimate Spider-Man #34; Wolverine #2 and Venom #2 (both of which remained in the Top 10 in their 2nd months); the two highest debuting new projects of the month - Spider-Man & Wolverine #1 and BORN #1, and the #1 selling graphic novel of the month, ULTIMATE SPIDER-MAN VOL. 6: VENOM.
Other notable Marvel projects represented on Diamond's June individual sales charts but that didn't affect the Comics & Graphic Novels Market Share report was the MARY JANE Prose Hardcover Novel - #2 on Diamond's Top Ten Book Sales Chart despite being early-released the last week of June, and the MARVEL UNIVERSE RPG GUIDE TO X-MEN Hardcover, ranked #4 on Diamond's GAMES sales chart.
|Cinescape Magazine launches partnership with Crossgen - 16/07/2003|
|Choosing the comic book industry's largest convention to launch its partnership with CrossGen Entertainment, Cinescape Magazine will debut its first CrossGen Comic Book Insert at San Diego's 2003 Comic-Con International. Every issue of Cinescape #72, officially going on sale August 3rd, will include a complete copy of JOHN CARPENTER'S SNAKE PLISSKEN CHRONICLES #1, the debut issue of the monthly series by Hurricane Entertainment and CrossGen's CGE imprint. Featuring a September 2003 cover date, 3,000 advance copies of the magazine - which will also feature an interview with SNAKE writer William O'Neil and artist Tone Rodriguez - will be handed out to fans who visit the CrossGen booth during this year's Comic-Con.|
"While the issue will still be about two weeks from hitting newsstands, what better place to launch the Cinescape/CrossGen program then at the Comic-Con International in San Diego?" said Cinescape Magazine Executive Editor Eric Moro. "We hope this new initiative will help win over readers who might be interested in the medium, but wouldn't normally go into a comic book shop. And with mainstream icon Snake Plissken in our corner, we can't go wrong!"
"What's the best way to reach potential new readers? Give them a free copy of your comic book!" stated CrossGen Director of Marketing & Communications Bill Rosemann. "We're proud to unite with top-notch partners such as Cinescape, and Snake is the perfect character to grab the attention of mass-market readers. As for who will get the next insert, Po Po (the talking monkey from WAY OF THE RAT) just jumped into my office, demanding his rightful place in the spotlight!"
Issues #1 and #2 of JOHN CARPENTER'S SNAKE PLISSKEN CHRONICLES, a monthly comic book series produced by Hurricane Entertainment through CrossGen's CGE imprint, can currently be ordered from Diamond Comics Distributors.
|Next Marvel Must Have is a Blockbuster - 11/07/2003|
|Writer Brian Michael Bendis has worked his magic again. Just a few months after taking ULTIMATE SPIDER-MAN to the top of the sales charts with the VENOM story arc (resulting in MARVEL MUST HAVES: ULTIMATE VENOM being the first MUST HAVE to sell-out and go back to press for a 2nd printing), Bendis and new regular series artist David Finch have ignited ULTIMATE X-MEN with the first two sold-out chapters of "BLOCKBUSTER", and a new MUST HAVE collection is in the works to help meet demand. |
ULTIMATE X-MEN #34 & 35, the first two chapters of the 6-issue story arc focusing on Wolverine and featuring guest-stars SPIDER-MAN, DAREDEVIL and the Ultimates' Black Widow, have both sold-out at Diamond and the high volume of backorders for these issues - which already showed sharp increases in preorders - indicates there is significant reader interest in the story arc still to be met.
In response, the 48-page MARVEL MUST HAVES: ULTIMATE X-MEN #34-35 (MAY035099) is available for order immediately and will go on sale August 6th, a week before ULTIMATE X-MEN #36 (JUN031602) reaches comic shops on August 13th (FOC 7/24).
"We run out of superlatives here at Marvel to describe the quality and the buzz that Brian Bendis brings to every project," said Marvel editor-in-chief Joe Quesada, "so the best compliment we can give him for his work on Ultimate X-Men is even accounting for the sales spike "BLOCKBUSTER" showed before it ever went on sale, we had this new MUST HAVE collection in the wings ready to go knowing there would be even MORE readers wanting to jump on board.
"And much of the credit should also go to David Finch. Not only is he doing the best work of his brilliant career on this book, he keeps turning in issue after issue, and ahead of schedule. If readers enjoy on-time books and consistent creators teams, they're in for a treat as Brian and David are planning a healthy run together."
MARVEL MUST HAVE: ULTIMATE X-MEN #34-35 will sport a new reader-friendly price of just $2.99 US and will be in stores early August. Ask the folks at Graphic Action to reserve you a copy.
|Oni Press Finds OMalley Lost At Sea - 9/07/2003|
|This October, Oni Press and Bryan Lee O’Malley wash up on the shelves of comic shops everywhere in the form of the new original graphic novel LOST AT SEA. O’Malley, who comic fans will remember as the artist of last year’s smash HOPELESS SAVAGES miniseries, GROUND ZERO, handles all aspects of this tale of a teenager named Raleigh, stuck on a cross-country road trip with three other kids she doesn’t know and doesn’t really want to know.|
"Bryan’s unique voice is a welcome addition to the chorus of comic creation," commented editor James Lucas Jones. "In LOST AT SEA, he’s mixed real emotion, compelling and witty characters, and a touch of the surreal into a haunting comic melody. Readers will find themselves falling into Raleigh’s song. She may think her problem is one of a kind, but anyone who’s been through the trials and tribulations of adolescence will know the truth."
|Silver Surfer #1 - 9/07/2003|
|He has the appearance of the alien and the power of a god, and beginning later this month the writing team of Stacy Weiss & Dan Chariton and soon-to-be superstar artist MILX will explore all the strangeness and mystery that entails with the debut of SILVER SURFER #1, a new ongoing series premiering July 30th. |
"In ancient times, the appearance of a shining silver humanoid in the skies would have precipitated the founding of a new religion," says series co-writer Stacy Weiss. "And in a way that's the key to our conception of the Silver Surfer. He's unlike other superheroes ... he's not of this Earth, and wasn't raised here. He's an alien - and, to Dan and me, he's a god.
"And like any god worth his salt, the Silver Surfer's actions defy human understanding. His manifestation in the real world inspires awe, which can be awful or awesome, depending on your point of view. Most of our characters are terrified. Our first arc is largely told from the perspective of a mother whose daughter is kidnapped by the Silver Surfer in what may at first appear to be a classic alien abduction scenario, but will unfold into something far more complex and intriguing as the story progresses."
SILVER SURFER #1, featuring a cover by Joe Jusko, goes on-sale 7/30 with a cover price of $2.25 US.
|Crossgen colourists swap series - 3/07/2003|
| Ask anyone in the industry and they’ll admit that CrossGen’s colourists are among the best in the biz. But you don’t become-and stay-the best by resting on your laurels. That’s why, looking to stretch their wings after long runs on their respective titles, the CrossGen Colouring Crew has decided to tackle new challenges by swapping series!|
Starting with the issue #21 in August, Eisner award-winner Laura Martin will blast into NEGATION, bringing her talented touch to the wild inhabitants of the Sci-Fi thrill-ride. Laura’s handpicked successor on RUSE will be Frank D’Armata, who-fresh off CRUX-will continue the distinct look of the Victorian mystery series. Nick Bell will veer off ROUTE 666 to sail the seven seas as he helps launch September’s all-new pirate series EL CAZADOR. Finally, to bring the movements full circle, James Rochelle will rocket from NEGATION into Bell’s spot on the acclaimed horror title ROUTE 666.
"RUSE is tough to let go," admitted Martin. "The creative team was one of the best and coolest group of guys I’ve ever had the privilege of working with. But there comes a point when a colourist needs a change, to embrace something completely different."
"From Victorian pastels to Negation-Space psychedelics-that’s about as drastic a change as I can get," continued Martin. "I’ve been a big fan of the book since the Prequel, so I’m itching to dust off the Sci-Fi section of my paint box and dive in. James Rochelle set up a heck of a precedent, though-it’s a little intimidating!"
"But who would I trust to take care of Simon and Emma? I chose Frank D’Armata," revealed Martin. "Frank’s one of the most diverse, talented, and underrated colourists at CrossGen, and he’s earned his shot at a book that I love. I can’t wait to see Frank bring his unique, velvety richness to the world of Partington."
"Every creative person is different," explained CrossGen Art Director Bart Sears. "Some like to grab a particular book, and run with it for years-the material never gets old to them, and they keep finding ways to keep their art fresh and exciting. Others yearn for a new challenge-after working on one project for a couple of years, they feel they have done everything they can with the work, and feel like their creative progress has come to a standstill…they need a change. We try to work with every creator here, not only to keep the individual as happy as possible, but also to keep his or her creativity at the highest possible level. Every artist at CrossGen has improved since they started here, and-amazingly, at least to me-month after month, issue after issue, they just keep getting better."
|Gaiman and Kubert in 1602 - 29/06/2003|
|Debuting in mid-October, 1602 is an 8-issue monthly limited series, set in a Marvel Universe in which, for reasons which will take a while to uncover, the whole Marvel Universe is starting to occur 500 years early! "Sir Nicholas Fury is head of the Queen's Intelligence, Dr Stephen Strange is her court physician (and magician), the Inquisition is torturing "witchbreed", many of whom have taken sanctuary in England under the wing of Carlos Javier, and now a mysterious treasure -- which may be a weapon of some kind -- is being sent from Jerusalem to England by the last of the Templars. Something that may save the world, or destroy it, which has already attracted the attention of such people as Count Otto Von Doom (known as 'The Handsome').|
"It's a race against time in a world in which time is the enemy -- It's not a What If or an Elseworlds. And it's really fun..." wrote series writer Neil Gaiman.
The interior images for 1602 are drawn by industry-veterans Andy Kubert and Richard Isanove. Cardstock covers are by Scott McKowen.
The first issue of 1602 will be 40 pages long, and all subsequent issues 32 pages. All 8 issues are cover-priced $3.50 US.
|Sidekicks and Hopeless Savages are back in new edition trades - 25/06/2003|
|First up, school is back in session! J. Torres and Takeshi Miyazawa’s SIDEKICKS return in a new edition of the first trade paperback with expanded content and now in the new Oni graphic novel size. Then, we have a new edition of Jen Van Meter’s Eisner-nominated first HOPELESS SAVAGES trade paperback in the Oni graphic novel size with a brand new cover.|
Reprinted in the new SIDEKICKS volume is the original TRANSFER STUDENT material, as well as last summer’s THE SUBSTITUTE one-shot and a long lost treasure pulled from the Oni vaults – the original eight-page short story featured in Torres’ own anthology series LOVE IN TIGHTS, which introduced Terry Highland! This new edition will be in stores on October 8, 2003.
In the book’s leading story, THE TRANSFER STUDENT, Terry is the new kid at Shuster Academy, but this isn’t like any school that she has ever been to before! The kids and the teachers all have superpowers and the students are being trained to become superheroes! Terry arrives at school and quickly learns that the use of your powers outside of class can get you expelled. So, when three teenage vigilantes by the names of "Biff," "Pow," and "Bam," burst onto the school scene, it sends the student body into an uproar. With Terry working on the school newspaper, she takes it upon herself to uncover the identities of these three mysterious students!
|Oni goes to Union Station with new crime graphic novel - 20/06/2003|
|While crime comics are becoming more and more popular amongst fans and creators, very few have tackled the true crime genre—the blend of fact and fiction where a writer and an artist take real-life evidence and piece it together to make a compelling account of what went down. UNION STATION is the newest entry in said genre. Written by Ande Parks (GREEN ARROW) and illustrated by Eduardo Barreto (THE SHADOW, BATMAN), UNION STATION is also the latest entry in Oni’s growing line of original graphic novels. The action is set to go down this coming October.|
Kansas City, 1933. Frank Nash is a petty criminal who has been pinched by the Feds and is being brought back into town by train. When FBI agent Reed Vetterli heads down to Union Station to meet Nash and escort him to Leavenworth, he has no reason to suspect that there will be any action. Neither does Charles Thompson, a rookie reporter who finds himself at the scene with his son. Little do they know that Frank’s buddy, Vern Miller, is going to bust him out. Nash may not be a big time player, but he’s still earned some loyalty. The resulting clash ends in a massacre, with no one knowing who pulled the trigger first—or even who pulled it at all. Rumor has it that Pretty Boy Floyd was on the scene, but no one knows for sure, and J. Edgar Hoover doesn’t particularly care. He just wants Floyd’s butt in an electric chair, and when Vetterli, Miller, and Thompson find themselves in the way of Hoover’s justice, they can’t duck for cover fast enough.
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