Just thought this might compliment yesterday's post on the new Xbox:

From Xbox2-news:
"We've spent today doing a little more digging. It seems the Xbox 360 will use AES Encryption (XeCryptAesCbc), executable files are XEX and not XBE (xshell.xex) and after studying the kernel there is everything in place for backwards compatibility.

It can all change of course but interesting all the same."

also, from gamesradar:

As well as the standard console, an additional $100 will bag you a hard drive (which is said to fit into a port near the top of the machine), WebTV and, intriguingly, backwards compatibility - meaning that the basic Xbox 360 won't be able to play current-gen Xbox games.

The $100 add-on is, in part, supposedly designed to offset the additional costs of allowing Xbox 360s to play Xbox titles.

As for the WebTV element, this will provide internet and email access via your TV, as well as streamed music and video channels.

The price will vary from $299 (min price, no HD), $399 (with HD).


April 26th, 2005 - Acclaimed artist Ed Benes, whose run on SUPERMAN begins with next month's issue #217, has extended his exclusive agreement with DC Comics for an additional three years."I'm really honored to know that DC wants to continue to work with me," says Benes. "I'm even more honored to have the chance to have the chance to draw Superman. It's a dream come true for me! And with Supes came the chance to work with some of the greatest professionals that I've ever met: Mark Verheiden, who writes truly amazing stories, Eddie Berganza and Tom Palmer, Jr., my editors who take very good care of me, and Rod Reis, a Brazilian fellow who's the colorist of the book! I hope to continue working with DC for many years to come. So far, it has been a blast!" "Following Jim Lee is not easy, but Ed is doing a phenomenal job," says Group Editor Eddie Berganza. "I've loved his stuff since he was doing GEN13 and SUPERGIRL, and that's nothing compared to what he's bringing to the table on SUPERMAN! Ed's known for his hot women, and he's got some great storytelling and powerful action going on too... and yeah, the ladies are still fine!"

Watch for SUPERMAN #217, coming to comics shops on May 11!

I happened to check out Peter David's blog earlier when I saw this intresting tidbit:

When "Friendly Neighborhood Spider-Man," the new Spidey series coming from Marvel late this summer, hits the stands, it will be launching with a different creative team than previously announced: Mike Wieringo as artist, and yours truly as writer.

I'm really excited about this, since it's been years since I've written on ongoing Spidey title and fans have been asking when, or if, I'll ever have the opportunity again. I'm pleased to be working with Ringo, whose art I've very much enjoyed, and am grateful to editor Tom Brevoort for offering me the assignment (and Joe Q, naturally, for giving the final OK). Spidey was my very first comic work for Marvel, and it's great to be back.

PAD

First the Hulk, now Spidey? I can't wait to see his return to the web-slinger, only 4 months to go...

UPDATE:
Here's what Mike Wieringo had to say on his blog:

The last few days have been a real thrill-- watching the comments pile up and realizing how many folks were pouring in to weigh in with their opinions. And checking my daily stats software, the individual visits have just SKYROCKETED over this whole thing. I hope people will continue to stop by and check out the blog offerings, even after all the 'radioactivity' over this subject has died down. This blog has become a lot of fun for me, and very special to me as well-- and I enjoy the idea of sharing it with as many folks as possible. From a PERSONAL standpoint-- as far as my depiction of Spider-Man goes-- I'm just going to let it happen organically. I'm going to let flow from my pencil what will, and I think that'll be the best way to handle it. I'm not going to force anything one way or another. I'll be the most satisfied by NOT forcing it. Watching everything unfold the last few days has really shown me the power that SPIDER-MAN still holds in the hearts of his fans. I think that all the recent discussion ends up underlining that it's not the artist, or the style that artist uses-- it's the power of the CHARACTER. SPIDER-MAN is just as much an icon now as he ever was-- and maybe more so.

As you've no doubt heard by now, Peter David will be the writer of the new SPIDER-MAN comic-- and the book also has a name: FRIENDLY NEIGHBORHOOD SPIDER-MAN. I think the name is a great one, implying lots of fun, and I'm sure Peter's stories will embody that spirit. The guys at WIZARD magazine were interested in using the sketch art for Peter I did several posts back for a piece about the book in an upcoming issue, but I really didn't like that initial take-- so I did something else that would (at least in MY eyes) look better. It's got a similar element in it with Peter jumping and changing into his SM suit-- but I also added a little color to the sketch to jazz it up.

The Spectre returns to the DCU in DAY OF VENGEANCE #1, which sold out at
DC Comics over a week before arriving in stores on April 27.

Now, DC sends this issue back to press for a new printing featuring a
powerful new color cover by comics legend Walter Simonson!

DAY OF VENGEANCE #1 Second Printing (FEB058476) reprints the story by Bill Willingham with art by Justiniano & Walden Wong. This new printing is
scheduled to arrive in stores on May 25.

"This is wonderful news, but also a bit worrisome," says Willingham.
"I've just started writing the sixth and final issue of DAY OF VENGEANCE,
and now the pressure's doubly on to make this end with a bang. I don't
like to brag, but DAY OF VENGEANCE is a series that should come with
safety belts - it's going to be a wild ride. The entire magic corner of
the DC Universe is going to be turned over, crunched, munched and whacked
upside the head a few times."

"Like the other three miniseries spinning out of COUNTDOWN TO INFINITE
CRISIS, sales momentum for DAY OF VENGEANCE is very strong," says Bob
Wayne, DC's VP - Sales. "Retailers should place their orders for this new
printing as soon as possible, as well as increasing orders on the coming
issues."

DAY OF VENGEANCE #1 Second Printing (FEB058476) is available for order now and is scheduled to arrive in stores on May 25 with a cover price of $2.50
U.S. As always, check out the Day of Vengeance mini-site here.


Marvel Comics has announced a 50/50 variant cover for Fantastic Four #527, the first issue by the new creative team of J. Michael Straczynski and Mike McKone.

The issue stars the "Distant Music" arc in which a conflicted Reed is presented an intriguing offer.

Fantastic Four #527 is scheduled to be in stores on May 25. In addition, Marvel is preparing a Director's Cut version of the issue, scheduled for release on June 22, the same day as Fantastic Four #528. The issue will include the contents of the regular edition of #527, as well as a script, interviews and sketch art. It will cost $3.99.


TeamXbox and Engadget are confirming that these are official pictures of the Xbox 360. Although the system could (and probably will) look different by the time it launches later on this year, this is probably what gamers are likely to see on the MTV unveiling on May 12 and what we'll spend time with at E3 next month. Looking at the DVD tray, it occupies almost half of the length of the console - suggesting that the Xbox 360 will be far smaller and sleeker than the current Xbox console. That, and a huge power button confirms it'll be a tiny machine. Check out the mid-sized & monster-sized closeup pics to get a clearer look.


Microsoft's regular response? "Microsoft don't comment on rumors and speculation." Also note the dev-kits resemble Apple's G5.

Elijah Wood will host a half-hour global premiere, with a performance from The Killers, airing exclusively on MTV channels around the world on May 12 and 13.


April 11, 2005, New York City, N.Y.—MTV: Music Television and Microsoft® Corp. today announced a global marketing alliance to unveil the next-generation Xbox® video game system on MTV channels in the United States, Asia Pacific, and Europe, all within a 24-hour window, a first for the videogame industry.

The highly anticipated console will be revealed to videogame fanatics, music lovers, and MTV viewers via a high-energy half-hour program titled “MTV Presents: The Next-Generation Xbox Revealed.” The special will be hosted by entertainment icon, seasoned gamer, and Xbox fanatic Elijah Wood, known globally for the Academy Award-winning Lord of the Rings film trilogy. Island Records’ renowned Las Vegas rockers The Killers will deliver electrifying performances throughout the special.

The global broadcast will premiere Thursday, May 12, 2005, at 9:30 P.M. Eastern in North America and on Friday, May 13, 2005, in other regions around the globe (local air times below).

Viewers will get an exclusive look at the Xbox vision for the next generation—one that ensures that the user experience is always connected, always personalized, and always in high definition. The special will feature never-before-seen, action-packed gameplay of future Xbox games; a peek into the future of the Xbox Live™ online gaming service; backstage celebrity interviews; and exclusive insider footage on the making of the next-generation console.

The inside look at the next-generation Xbox will continue at MTV.com, where after the special, viewers will find extended event coverage, including behind-the-scenes video, photos, and other special extras. MTV.com will also provide ongoing in-depth coverage of the next-generation Xbox, highlighting the latest news, product details, and previews of hot next-generation games.

“We recognize and celebrate our viewers’ passion for gaming and are excited to be working with Microsoft to launch such a significant entertainment product,” said John Shea, executive vice president, Integrated Marketing and Sponsorship Development, MTV Networks Music Group. “We’re proud that Microsoft considers MTV the premier global network to launch its new Xbox gaming console and reveal the first look to MTV viewers around the world.”

“Just as MTV revolutionized the way the world experiences music, the next-generation video game console from Xbox will spark a revolution in how consumers experience games and other forms of digital entertainment,” said Peter Moore, corporate vice president, Xbox Worldwide Marketing and Publishing, Microsoft. “We are ecstatic about our alliance with MTV and unveiling a video game platform in a way that has never been done.”

“MTV Presents: The Next Generation Xbox Revealed” will be broadcast around the world. Local market times are as follows:

North America
Thursday, May 12, at 9:30 P.M. Eastern (21:30)

Japan/Asia
Friday, May 13, at 11:30

Europe
France: Friday, May 13, at 19:00
Germany: Friday, May 13, at 19:00
Italy: Friday, May 13, at 23:30
Netherlands: Friday, May 13, at 19:30
Poland: Friday, May 13, at 21:00
Portugal: Friday, May 13, at 20:00
Romania: Friday, May 13, at 20:00
Scandinavia: Friday, May 13, at 22:00
Spain: Friday, May 13, at 21:30
U.K.: Friday, May 13, at 20:00

Australia
Friday, May 13, at 19:00


Press Release

Macomb, MI, April 19, 2005 – Eagle One Media, a multi-media company is proud to announce it has acquired the license from Abrams Gentile Entertainment to produce a DVD digital comic based on the hugely successful Micronauts toy line of the 70’s and 80’s. Titled MICRONAUTS: REVOLUTION this action adventure story for all ages is set for release on DVD in July 2005 with a retail price of only $ 12.99. Eagle One Media is also making available a Special Offer to Micronaut fans.

Termed a DVD Digital Comic this unique DVD product will utilize the stunning visual artwork and storyline from six acclaimed comic book issues published by renown Devil’s Due Publishing and with the blending of animation, professional voice-over for the characters, music, sound and special effects, create a flowing viewable product that simply plays on any DVD player device. The DVD Digital Comic will have a run time of 90+ minutes for the viewer with a quality on par of a motion picture release that can be purchased for less then the cost of the printed comic book version.

Based on popular Micronauts toy line of the 70’s and 80’s, MICRONAUTS: REVOLUTION will give viewers a first rate action adventure tale as a band of rebel Micronauts lead by the hero Acroyear and lone abducted human from Earth try to survive and take on a universe under the control of the tyrant Baron Karza and his evil empire.

With digital imagery, surround sound, and animation, fans of the Micronauts will be able to fully experience in a whole new way a fantastic adventure in the “Microverse” saga. Fans can also expect within the DVD bonus features such as bios and drawings of some of the main Micronaut characters and a cover gallery as well.

SPECIAL OFFER: To celebrate the release of MICRONAUTS: REVOLUTION on DVD, Eagle One Media is offering a FREE Micronaut 36 piece trading card collector set produced by the Hero Factory to the first 500 individuals who visit the eagleonemedia.com website and register to reserve their own copy of the DVD. This unique card set will be included within the individual’s future DVD order at the time of shipping.

About Eagle One Media, Inc.:

Eagle One Media, Inc., a multi-media company, develops and produces DVD digital comic products based on licensed media properties for the retail marketplace. Currently set for release in June 2005 is the DVD digital comic THE TERMINATOR: HUNTERS AND KILLERS, based on the classic blockbuster sci-fi motion picture. The company also distributes comic book CD-ROM and DVD comic products. The complete product line is available to retailers and distributors, and directly consumers through its website www.eagleonemedia.com.

For more information on Eagle One Media, visit www.eagleonemedia.com or by sending an e-mail to info@eagleonemedia.com.

™ 2005 Takara Co., Ltd/Abrams Gentile Entertainment, Inc. Licensed by Character Vision, Inc. Los Angeles, CA 90016. All Rights Reserved.

Press Release

(Los Angeles, April 20, 2005) – In a revolutionary move for the manga industry, Seven Seas Entertainment announced today the release of 155 pages of downloadable manga content specifically converted for optimal viewing on the new Sony PSP.

The entire first chapters of the four flagship Seven Seas titles -- Amazing Agent Luna, Blade for Barter, Last Hope and No Man’s Land -- have been been made available on Gomanga.com for manga fans to download and read via the Sony PSP’s built-in photo viewer. Each special preview consists of thirty to forty pages of story and gives readers on-the-go the perfect opportunity to sample the Seven Seas titles.

All visitors need do to access this free content is to visit Gomanga.com, download their choice of four zip files and simply follow the included instructions for transfering the manga to their PSP’s memory stick.

About Seven Seas Entertainment, LLC:

Seven Seas Entertainment is the first publisher in the United States to be devoted solely to the creation of original manga in the Japanese style. Established in 2004, the company has debuted its first three titles -- Amazing Agent Luna, Blade for Barter, and No Man’s Land -- in early 2005, and has an impressive array of new manga lined up. Seven Seas launched its web site, www.gomanga.com, in October 2004, and it has become a daily stop for visitors eager to read manga online and contribute to an ever-growing forum community.


Marvel Comics has released the cover to the first issue of the eight-issue House of M series by Brian Michael Bendis and Olivier Coipel. The cover is by Esad Ribic. House of M starts in June.

click here for a bigger image.


Official Press Release

The excitement of COUNTDOWN TO INFINITE CRISIS continues with the early sell-out of VILLAINS UNITED #1 more than two weeks before reaching stores on May 4!

Now, DC Comics rushes this issue back to press for a new printing featuring a striking new sketch cover spotlighting The Secret Six by interior artist Dale Eaglesham.

VILLAINS UNITED #1 Second Printing (FEB058477) reprints the story by Gail Simone with art by Eaglesham & Wade von Grawbadger. This new printing is scheduled to arrive in stores on May 18.

"A new printing means infect... I mean, entertaining a whole new group of readers," says Simone. "Now if people say I sold out, I can say it's a good thing! This has been one of the most fun projects I've ever worked on, and I think people's eyes are going to explode when they see the art by Dale Eaglesham and Wade von Grawbadger. Being bad has never looked so good!"

"Retailers and readers have responded very strongly to VILLAINS UNITED and the other COUNTDOWN-related miniseries," says Bob Wayne, DC's VP - Sales. "We urge retailers to order both this new printing and more of upcoming issues to meet reader demand."

VILLAINS UNITED #1 Second Printing (MAR050424) is available for order now and is scheduled to arrive in stores on May 18 with a cover price of $2.50 U.S. To ensure delivery on that date retailers must place orders by Sunday, May 8; please note that quantities will be limited and may sell out before May 8. DC recommends that retailers place orders as soon as possible to avoid missing out. As always, check the Villains United mini-site here.

Comic Book Superheroes Unmasked

"Comic Book Superheroes Unmasked" will debut on The History Channel on Monday, June 23 at 9 p.m. (ET/PT).

The special is hosted by Shane West, star of The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen movie.

Comic Book Superheroes Unmasked was granted unprecedented access to comic books published by DC and Marvel Comics from the late 1930's to the present. Featured are interviews with many of the most influential comic book writers and artists of the past 50 years, including Stan Lee, Will Eisner, Denny O'Neil, Michael Chabon, Jim Steranko, Kevin Smith, Frank Miller, Neil Gaiman and Joe Quesada.

According to The History Channel, the program was designed to bring visual depth, energy and movement to classic comic book images while still preserving the integrity of the artwork." If you can't wait, buy the DVD here.


Ultimate Super Heroes, Ultimate Super Villains, Ultimate Super Vixens

Bravo will air a three-part special, Ultimate Super Heroes, Ultimate Super Villains, Ultimate Super Vixens, on three consecutive nights starting May 26 at 10 p.m. ET. Narrated by Adam West, who played Batman in the hit TV series, Ultimate Super Heroes celebrates the heroes, villains and vixens who have created powerful impressions on fans throughout the years.

The special features more than 50 experts, including comic-book creators, filmmakers and producers and actors who brought these characters to life, as well as a top-20 countdown in each category. Lou Ferrigno will discuss The Hulk's relatable human side, and Mark Hamill will talk about his total commitment to creating the fantasy that surrounded Star Wars.

Ultimate Super Heroes will look at characters from comic books, movies, television and video games, based on their longevity, iconic pop-culture status and their overall "cool factor," Bravo said.


Press Release

Ghostbusters News Update : April 11th 2005

Ghostbusters Legion Hard Cover Collector's Limited Edition is now available for order at www.88mphstudios.com

This Limited Collector's Edition is packed with material, including; all four issues of the "Legion" mini-series, the twelve page San Diego Comic-Con 2004 Exclusive "The Zeddemore Factor" short story, in COLOR for the first time, never before seen characters case studies, and a preface by Ghostbusters co-creator Dan Aykroyd!

This may be very well be the only time 88MPH collects the "Legion" mini-series in a single volume.

Ordering now is important, therefore we invite all Ghostbusters fans to spread the word and order this once in a lifetime offer.

Please visit our website at : www.88mphstudios.com for more information on how to order.

Official Press Release

Be among the first to visit the all-new dcdirectonline.com, the official DC Direct website, which has an exciting new look and is now completely searchable. It's loaded with images of your favorite action figures, statues, replicas, posters, prints and more.

Don't miss the special spotlight on collectibles based on the upcoming blockbuster, BATMAN BEGINS.

Fans will easily be able to find the products they are looking for by just typing in a keyword.

Do you have a burning question about your favorite DC Direct product? Ever wanted to ask the DC Direct staff about your favorite character? Now is you chance to "Ask DC Direct"! This new column will allow visitors to send questions directly to the creative staff and talent behind their favorite DC Direct items. We'll post new replies to your letters on the site on a regular basis.

And, for the first time ever, fans can view select DC Direct items from multiple angles and even in closeups!

"The DC Web Team went all out in creating the new searchable DC DIRECT site, knowing how passionate our fans are for up-to-date and accurate information on these cool products", says Richard Bruning, DC's Senior VP - Creative Director. "We have additional features planned for the future that will continue to excite DCD collectors for a long time to come."

The site also includes pages for new releases, newly announced products, and backlist favorites. DC Direct items are listed by category as well, including Action Figures, Statues, Props and Replicas, Posters and Prints, and the DC Direct Gallery.

Visit http://www.dcdirectonline.com today!


Official Press Release

BURBANK, Calif.-April 22, 2005-Today, Warner Bros. Pictures unveiled the first image from the highly anticipated action adventure "Superman Returns," starring newcomer Brandon Routh as the Man of Steel.

Following a mysterious absence of several years, the Man of Steel comes back to Earth in the epic action-adventure "Superman Returns," a soaring new chapter in the saga of one of the world's most beloved superheroes. While an old enemy plots to render him powerless once and for all, Superman faces the heartbreaking realization that the woman he loves, Lois Lane, has moved on with her life. Or has she? Superman's bittersweet return challenges him to bridge the distance between them while finding a place in a society that has learned to survive without him. In an attempt to protect the world he loves from cataclysmic destruction, Superman embarks on an epic journey of redemption that takes him from the depths of the ocean to the far reaches of outer space.

Directed by Bryan Singer ("X2: X-Men United," "X-Men," "The Usual Suspects"), "Superman Returns" stars Brandon Routh, Kate Bosworth ("Beyond the Sea," "Blue Crush"), James Marsden ("X2: X-Men United," "The Notebook"), Frank Langella (HBO's "Unscripted"), Academy Award-winner Eva Marie Saint ("North By Northwest"), Parker Posey ("Best in Show"), Kal Penn ("Harold & Kumar Go to White Castle"), Sam Huntington ("Detroit Rock City") and Oscar-winner Kevin Spacey ("Beyond the Sea," "American Beauty," "The Usual Suspects").

Singer said that he wanted to return to “something classic” for the costume, hence the absence of a sculpted costume as seen in other superhero films which showing abs, pecs and occasionally, nipples. Singer noted the Max Fliesher cartoons as well as the George Reeves television series and the original Superman movies as inspirations for the look of the costume.

"With X-Men, although they had extraordinary powers, they also had physical weaknesses, the suits were for protection as well as costume. Superman is the Man of Steel. Bullets bounce off him, not his suit."

Other changes in the costume:

• The character's S insignia is slightly smaller and higher on his chest, and instead of being painted on, it's more of a three-dimensional plate.

• The insignia is added to Superman's belt buckle.

• Costume designer Louise Mingenbach preserved the blue, red and yellow motif, but the shades are slightly darker than the bright primary colors of the comics. Superman's yellow belt is more golden, and his cape is a deep scarlet.

Singer said that Routh made the costume, explaining that the actor brought it to life, and that clearly, the costume reveals that Superman, in Singer’s vision is not afraid.

A Warner Bros. Pictures presentation of a Peters Entertainment production, in association with Bad Hat Harry Productions, a Bryan Singer film, "Superman Returns" stars BRANDON ROUTH, KATE BOSWORTH, JAMES MARSDEN, FRANK LANGELLA, EVA MARIE SAINT, PARKER POSEY, KAL PENN, SAM HUNTINGTON and KEVIN SPACEY. Directed by BRYAN SINGER, the film is produced by JON PETERS, BRYAN SINGER and GILBERT ADLER. The screenplay is by MICHAEL DOUGHERTY & DAN HARRIS, and the story is by BRYAN SINGER and MICHAEL DOUGHERTY & DAN HARRIS. The executive producer is CHRIS LEE. The director of photography is NEWTON THOMAS SIGEL A.S.C.; the production designer is GUY DYAS; the film is edited by JOHN OTTMAN and ELLIOT GRAHAM; the costume designer is LOUISE MINGENBACH; and the music is by JOHN OTTMAN. The film is based upon Superman characters created by JERRY SIEGEL & JOE SHUSTER and published by DC Comics.

Superman Returns will be released on June 30, 2006 by Warner Bros. Pictures, a Warner Bros. Entertainment Company. Click here for a bigger image.

Red Sonja #0 Hits Comics Shops Wednesday, April 27!

April 21, 2005, Runnemede, NJ - Just in time for Free Comic Book Day, Dynamite Entertainment has announced that the introductory issue of their Red Sonja ongoing series -- Red Sonja #0 a special 16 pages of original story and art available for a quarter - will be in comic book shops this coming Wednesday, April 27, 2005.

"Well, break out the chain mail and sharpen your swords because we are declaring the 27th to be "She-Devil With a Sword Day" at comic shops around the county," proclaimed Dynamite Spokesperson J. Allen. "We're relieved the big day is finally upon us and we even managed to cook up a few surprises for this special introductory issue! On to #1!"

Written by two of the best writers working in comics today - Michael (Thor) Avon Oeming and Mike (Ultimate Elektra, Lucifer, Neil Gaiman's Neverwhere) Carey and illustrated by up and coming superstar Mel Rubi, Red Sonja #0 also features two great colorists completing Sonja's world - Richard (Origin) Isanove with Caesar (Sojourn) Rodriguez!

In issue #0, Sonja's enters a town with no name and a Red Storm enters with her!

Red Sonja #0, the top ordered item in February Previews for April shipping, will now ship with two covers. Both covers feature the beautiful Greg Land artwork, with one cover featuring a black background and the other cover featuring a white background. Regarding the two cover, Dynamite Entertainment acknowledges and is incredibly grateful for retailers support of this new project and wanted to help them by giving them two ways to sell and display the introductory zero issue.

Fans and Retailer should note that all retailers' orders have been split across two newly created cover codes. Issue #0 will be shipping with two covers along with the incentive covers - featuring RRP Editions by (Rare Retailer Premium) Greg Land cover and the "Sneak Peak" Alex Ross high end cover - and Reorder copies will also be made available under these two codes: FEB058469 E RED SONJA CVR A #0 and FEB058470 E RED SONJA CVR B #0. The issue is sold out from Dynamite Entertainment, but it is our understanding that a few copies may be left at the distribution level.

"I think the creative team is superb and besides that, Red Sonja is one of my favorite characters ever! I also think that the timing for the #0 issue is great-I'm going to order a bunch of extra copies for free comic book day!"
-- Jimmy Hayes
Graham Cracker Comics, IL

"Conan is Hot! Red Sonja will be hotter! Especially with the team Dynamite has on the book. And the cover artists, unbelievable! It's icing on the cake. At only a quarter each, I'll give it out to all of our customers.
-- Loop
Stormwatch Comics, NJ

For more information on Dynamite Entertainment, including more Army of Darkness and Red Sonja product, please visit the Dynamite Entertainment website at http://www.dynamiteentertainment.com/
Note to everybody:this issue only costs 25 cents! Its definitely a great jumping on point so pick it up!


Press Release

UDON to unleash Ultra High Quality art prints at Toronto Convention this weekend!

UDON is proud to announce that they will be offering a series of high quality, limited edition Capcom art prints. To kick things off, UDON will be debuting the first 4 prints in the series at the Toronto Comic Con (www.hobbystar.com) this weekend (April 24)!

Each print is limited to 500 numbered copies and the first 4 prints will feature the fabulous painted art of Chun-Li, Vega and Rose by Jo Chen, and Akuma by Arnold Tsang (as seen on the covers of the popular power foil covers).

“One can immediately see the distinctive difference in the quality of our prints compared to the other standard lithographs or prints on the market,” says UDON Chief of Operations Erik Ko. “We are using a 95 lb thick felt art paper, and each print will be in the large size of 19 X 25 inches. We worked very closely with the printer to ensure that the art is reproduced at an extremely high standard and the resulting prints are absolutely gorgeous! This is simply the best quality you can get!”

And to make things even better, it is only retailing for USD24.95 each. Each copy will be hand numbered and strictly limited to 500 copies each--a highly collectible item that no Street Fighter® fans or art collectors should miss!

For those collectors who might not be able to make it to the show this weekend, UDON has made an exclusive deal with www.herofix.com to offer these 4 prints online.

Street Fighter ®&© 2005 CAPCOM U.S.A., INC. All Rights Reserved.



PRESS RELEASE

Legendary Comic Strip Coming To Multiple Video Game Platforms

SANTA CLARA, Calif., (April 20, 2005) – Leading video games publisher and developer Namco Hometek Inc. today announced that United Media has awarded Namco the interactive entertainment publishing rights to "Peanuts," the renowned comic strip created by Charles M. Schulz. The partnership allows Namco to create and publish games featuring "Peanuts" characters and properties, including Charlie Brown, Snoopy, Peppermint Patty, Linus and Pigpen for all current and upcoming game platforms through 2009.

“'Peanuts' is one of the most celebrated comic strips of all time, and Charlie Brown and his friends have firmly cemented their place as American icons of the highest order,” said Jeff Lujan, Business Director at Namco Hometek, Inc. “We relish this opportunity to continue these beloved characters’ storylines through the medium of games and are honored to introduce this cherished property to an all-new generation of gamers.”

Debuting in just seven newspapers in 1950, "Peanuts" has since been enjoyed by millions of readers and viewers worldwide. Today the popular strip can be read in over 2400 newspapers in 75 countries and 21 languages worldwide. Charles M. Schulz’s unique art style and endearing characters have inspired an entire generation of cartoonists, while becoming a perennial favorite with both parents and children through compilation books, television specials, and countless consumer products.

“Namco has proven its ability to translate franchises to the video game format with respect and care,” said Jean Sagendorph, Licensing Manager at United Media. “Working with such a capable partner will allow us the opportunity to grow the 'Peanuts' property in this popular category, as well as reach new audiences.”

For more information about Namco and its products visit www.namco.com



About United Media
Peanuts is licensed and syndicated by United Media. United Media (UM) is a worldwide licensing and syndication company that focuses on building brand equity around a wide range of creative content. The company recently signed Televisa, a leading Spanish speaking media company, to represent the US rights to the company’s children’s telenovelas, as well as its long-running hit television series “El Chavo.” It also added "D.I.C.E." and "Tamagotchi Connection," two new properties from industry toy leader Bandai America, Inc. United Media licenses and/or syndicates other properties, including "Precious Moments," "Raggedy Ann & Andy," "Jakers!" "The Adventures of Piggley Winks," "Arthur," and "Dilbert." United Media is an E.W. Scripps Company.

About Namco Hometek Inc.
Namco Hometek Inc. is the U.S. consumer division of Namco Limited, a Tokyo-based world leader in the high-tech entertainment industry. Based in Santa Clara, CA, Namco Hometek Inc. is an award-winning video games publisher for next generation game consoles. Namco has created some of the industry's greatest video game franchises: "Tekken(R)," "SOULCALIBUR(R)," "Dead to Rights(R)," "Pac-Man World(TM)," "Ridge Racer(R)," "Time Crisis(R)" and "ACECOMBAT(TM)." For more information about Namco and its products log onto www.namco.com


Press Release

Warner Bros. Animation's Popular Teen Super Heroes Appear in Crime-Fighting Action Games on Multiple Platforms

EDISON, N.J., April 20 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment has awarded Majesco Entertainment a licensing agreement for video game rights to the highly popular Warner Bros. Animation Teen Titans television series, based on DC Comics characters, airing on Cartoon Network and Kids' WB. Developed by Artificial Mind & Movement (A2M), the exciting superhero action adventure published by Majesco and licensed by Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment, is scheduled for release later this year on Game Boy® Advance and in 2006 for play on the Xbox® video game system from Microsoft, PlayStation®2 computer entertainment system, and Nintendo GameCube(TM).

"Teen Titans characters are widely popular in both comic books and on television, and we are excited to introduce these young superheroes to the video game audience," said Ken Gold, vice president of Marketing at Majesco. "We are confident that Teen Titans will appeal to video game players of all ages as it promotes the important themes of friendship, teamwork and perseverance throughout this action-packed game."

"The Teen Titans super heroes lend themselves to being strong videogame characters with their action and humor filled adventures," said Jason Hall, senior vice president of Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment. "We look forward to working with Majesco on quality games that will appeal to action adventure players, as well as the fan base of the television series and the comic books."

In Majesco's Teen Titans, players switch control in real time between heroes Robin, Starfire, Beast Boy, Cyborg and Raven, so that they can capitalize on the Teen Titans' unique moves and abilities. The action takes place in a crime-ridden city featuring the notorious villains Slade, Overload, Jinx, Gizmo, and Mammoth. While advancing through hostile environments in this multi-player and multi-level game, players will uncover an in-depth storyline containing many exciting twists and turns.

More information about Teen Titans and Majesco's entire line-up of products can be found online at http://www.majescoentertainment.com.

About Majesco Entertainment Company

Headquartered in Edison, NJ, Majesco Entertainment Company (Nasdaq: COOL - News) is an innovative provider of digital entertainment products and content. The Company's three main product lines include Games, which includes highly anticipated titles such as Advent Rising and Psychonauts; Videos, which highlights the Company's platform-independent video compression technology; and Gadgets, which includes innovative digital entertainment products like Frogger TV Arcade. More information about the Company can be found online at http://www.majescoentertainment.com.

About Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment

Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment Inc., a Warner Bros. Entertainment Company, is a premier licensor and a developer of entertainment content for the interactive space across all current and future platforms, including consoles, PC-based gaming and wireless applications.

About DC Comics

DC Comics, a Warner Bros. Entertainment Company, is the largest English-language publisher of comics in the world and home to such iconic characters as Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman and the Sandman. These DC super heroes and others have starred in comic books, movies, television series (both animated and live-action) and cyberspace, thrilling audiences of all ages for generations.


Press Release
Readers can sample one of WildStorm's most exciting new titles for FREE with the EX MACHINA SPECIAL EDITION #1, scheduled to arrive in stores on May 4!

This special edition reprints the Eisner Award-nominated debut issue of EX MACHINA, written by Brian K. Vaughan and illustrated by Tony Harris & Tom Feister. It features a sensational brand-new sketch cover by Harris.

"Tony, Tom, JD and I spent almost a year developing every aspect of this first issue, and we're still tremendously proud of it," says Vaughan. "I'm very grateful to all the readers and retailers who've been so supportive of our series, and to everyone at DC and WildStorm for going to such amazing lengths to get the book into even more new hands."

Check out what the critics are saying about EX MACHINA:

"Brian K. Vaughan's masterful mix of super-heroics with politics blends seamlessly into an engrossing tale of power versus super-powers, with a city of 10 million caught in the middle." — Wizard Magazine

"Terrifically intriguing." — Entertainment Weekly

"Intertwines super-powers with nasty backroom dealings and quirky N.Y. political history" — Washington Post

"Set somewhere between The West Wing and an alternative future, this tale asks the question: What if the mayor of New York was a super-hero? Vaughan (Y: THE LAST MAN) and Harris (STARMAN) answer with intelligence and dash... This vastly entertaining first collection should have readers eager to read future volumes." — Publishers Weekly

"[EX MACHINA] has become a surprise hit." — New York Daily News

"Engaging... a fun ride." — New York Resident

"The book is sprinkled with fascinating tidbits about the history of New York amidst a sea of everyday issues that Hundred and his staff have to deal with, from trash-transfer stations to a difficult governor... one of the best comics to come out in a good while..." — Nashville City Paper

"Inventive." — The Newark Star Ledger

Watch for EX MACHINA SPECIAL EDITION #1 coming to comics shops May 4!


SORRENT LAUNCHES INUYASHA MOBILE GAME

Leading Mobile Publisher Launches Mobile Game Based on Popular Animation Series from VIZ Media


SAN MATEO, Calif. – April 19, 2005 –Sorrent, Inc., a leading creator
and global publisher of mobile entertainment, and VIZ Media, a global
provider of animation entertainment and merchandise licensing, today
announced the launch of a mobile entertainment suite based on the
wildly popular Japanese animation TV program and one of the top-selling
graphic novel series in America – INUYASHA. The mobile game captures
the energy and excitement of the successful animation series.

INUYASHA fans will now be able to bring their favorite animation
characters with them wherever they go through Sorrent’s mobile game.
Fans can traverse environments based on feudal Japan, encounter
familiar friends and well-known enemies, battle evil demons and relive
favorite themes from the best-selling anime series. The mobile game,
which is available on every major wireless carrier in the US, gives a
side-scrolling perspective reflective of the characters and themes from
INUYASHA. Fans can play as two of the series’ heroes, INUYASHA and
Kagome, and have the ability to unlock and play as additional
characters once they’ve mastered the game.

According to IGN.com, “For fans of the manga and anime, INUYASHAis a
no-brainer. It's an action-filled romp that treats the source material
with great respect.”

“Withthe INUYASHA mobile game, we aimed to give the millions of
dedicated fans a way to relate to the storyline and characters they
love no matter where they are,” said Robert Nashak, vice president of
production, Sorrent. “The INUYASHA mobile game includes some of the
most progressive gameplay around and is yet another example of the
high-caliber, critically-acclaimed capabilities of Sorrent’s production
team.”

INUYASHA, created by world-famous manga artist Rumiko Takahashi, is
taking a popular place in the hearts of American audiences and is one
of the top-rated animated series on Cartoon Network’s Adult Swim block.
INUYASHA was also named No. 1 anime for 2004 by icV2 - the premiere
news and information provider for pop culture retailers. In addition,
VIZ Media has sold more than one million copies of both INUYASHA DVDs
and graphic novels and released the first INUYASHA movie,"Affections
Touching Across Time," on DVD in September 2004.

“The launch of the mobile game enhances the world of INUYASHA for fans
and continues the momentum for licensing this successful brand,” said
Cynthia Money, vice president of consumer products, VIZ Media. “Sorrent
has captured the essence of INUYASHA and effectively translated that
into an engaging mobile experience true to the graphic novel and
animation series.”

About VIZ Media, LLC
Headquartered in San Francisco, CA, VIZ Media, LLC (VIZ Media), is one
of the most comprehensive and innovative companies in the field of
manga publishing, animation and entertainment licensing of Japanese
content. Owned by three of Japan’s largest creators and licensors of
manga and animation, Shueisha Inc., Shogakukan Inc., and Shogakukan
Production Co., Ltd. (ShoPro Japan), VIZ Media is a leader in the
publishing and distribution of Japanese manga for English speaking
audiences in North America and a global licensor of Japanese animation.
The company offers an integrated product line including, magazines such
as SHONEN JUMP and SHOJO BEAT, graphic novels, videos, DVDs, audio
soundtracks and develops and markets animated entertainment from
initial production, television placement and distribution, to
merchandise licensing and promotions for audiences and consumers of all
ages.

second print cover

Spinning out of the blockbuster hit COUNTDOWN TO INFINITE CRISIS, OMAC PROJECT #1 sold out at DC Comics nearly two weeks before its in-store date of April 20.

Now, DC Comics offers a new printing of this incredible issue, written by Greg Rucka and illustrated by Jesus Saiz. THE OMAC PROJECT #1 Second Printing will feature a variant version of the original cover by Ladrönn, which pictures Batman holding Blue Beetle's goggles.

THE OMAC PROJECT #1 Second Printing is available for order now and is scheduled to arrive in stores on May 18.

"This is so damn cool I'm at a loss for words," says Rucka. "The momentum coming off COUNTDOWN TO INFINITE CRISIS has been incredible, and it's a testament to the work that everyone involved put in on that book that this one's already off to the races! I think people are going to be thrilled — and surprised — by what we've got in store for THE OMAC PROJECT."

For more information, visit The OMAC Project minisite.


DEVIL’S DUE’S G.I. JOE CONTINUES TO SELL OUT

Issues 40 & 41 are gone, baby, gone!


Chicago, IL – Apr 18, 2005 – As the buildup to G.I. JOE: AMERICA’S ELITE, the new G.I. JOE series, grows, the current series is selling out faster and faster.G.I. Joe #40 and #41, parts 5 and 6 of the “Union of the Snake” storyline, have sold out as of last week.


“We know the excitement builds as we head toward the conclusion of the current G.I. JOE series with issue #42 and #43 and the beginning of a new era with G.I. JOE: AMERICA’S ELITE,” said Josh Blaylock, President of DDP. “We’re ending it with a bang as some characters will not live to see the birth of America’s Elite, so fans will not want to miss the final two issues’ “Rise of the Red Shadows” storyline. Retailers should make sure they have plenty on hand.”



Issue #42 ships in May followed by #43 in June. Each double-sized 42-page issue will cost $4.50. June also will see the release of the Joe Casey-written and Stefano Caselli-penciled G.I.JOE: AMERICA'S ELITE #0, priced at an amazingly low 25¢. Issue #1 follows in July. Exclusive preview images can be seen in the near future at www.devilsdue.net.



Devil's Due. Reminding everyone that pop culture IS our culture.

Press Release:

KATY KEENE RETURNS ON FREE COMIC BOOK DAY
Just in time for FREE COMIC BOOK DAY, Archie Comic Publications is proud to announce the return of one of its classic characters: Katy Keene!

Katy begins her 60th anniversary celebration in style, as she returns to Riverdale in the BETTY AND VERONICA FCBD EDITION by writer/artist Dan
Parent. The story, "Model Citizen," sees Katy return as Riverdale regular Ginger's assistant at Dazzle Magazine. An aspiring model, Katy is hoping to learn the rules of the fashion world, and when Archie's gal pals get in the mix, you know hilarity will ensue! Along the way, reader fashions will be worked into the story as a tip of the hat to past Katy Keene tales.

The chance to bring Katy back was a no-brainer, according to Parent.

"When the idea to bring Katy back was first floated, I jumped at the chance," Parent explained. "Simply put, she's a classic character. And what better time to bring her back than Free Comic Book Day?"

Katy debuted in Wilbur Comics #5 and quickly became the queen of glamorous comic book women. Unlike other pinup ladies from the past, Keene brought a new level of interactivity to her fans. Every page of every Katy story featured designs created by fans and also credited them! A tradition Archie Comic Publications continues to this day in the fashion pages of the newly-revamped BETTY AND VERONICA SPECTACULAR.

"This was the ideal moment to put the spotlight on Katy again," said Michael I. Silberkleit, Chairman and Co-Publisher for ACP. "We've made a commitment to create content geared toward all-ages, and Betty and Veronica have lead the way in connecting with a younger, female fanbase. It was time for Katy to be a part of that as well."

As for future plans involving the rejuvenated supermodel, plans are still in the formative stages.

"We hope to have more Katy news to announce in the coming months," hinted Richard H. Goldwater, Editor in Chief and Co-Publisher for ACP. "It's an
exciting time for Archie Comics and their readers!"

The BETTY AND VERONICA FCBD EDITION will be available on May 7 to coincide with FREE COMIC BOOK DAY 2005 at all participating comic book stores. To learn more about FREE COMIC BOOK DAY and to find the comic book store nearest you, please visit their website:

http://www.freecomicbookday.com.



ATLANTA, April 13, 2005 — POWERade and DC Comics unveil today a Web "first": the first of four new online comics starring LeBron James as "King James," the world's newest superhero. Each POWERade online comic available at http://www.flava23.com features LeBron drawn by a dynamic DC Comics art team — uniting one of the NBA's hottest talents with the coolest talents in comic books. The POWERade online comic translates still comic book pages into animated Flash pages that use LeBron's voice, audio clips and interactivity to create a dramatic, serialized story. The first online comic, "The Offer," features all new content written by Ron Perazza with art by fan favorite comic book artist Rick Leonardi (BATGIRL). The first 12-screen Webisode of "The Offer" will premier on April 13, with an additional Webisode rolling out each week for five weeks. The Website also will feature a "Hack the Hetairia" game and instant-win Sweepstakes. Prizes include a trip to New York for the winner to be drawn into a future issue of a "King James" comic book.LeBron's King James superhero persona first appeared last summer in the popular DC Comic, "King James." At 20 years old, LeBron James has already achieved many "firsts": first "prep to pro" player to score 25 points in his pro debut; youngest player to score 56 points in a game; youngest player to score 1,000 career points; the first superstar athlete to create his own sports drink flavor — POWERade FLAVA23.

Now he's the first superstar comic book hero to bring his game to the courts and the Web.Extending LeBron's super exploits to the Web was a natural progression for POWERade," said Mary Herrera, Director of Marketing for Sports & Energy Drinks in North America. "These online comics demonstrate the non-traditional approach the POWERade brand takes to sports and marketing — challenging convention and anticipating consumer interest."POWERade will support the online comic launch with a highly targeted digital campaign. DC Comics will support with a trade ad in SPORTS BUSINESS JOURNAL on April 18 and advertisements in DC Comics' monthly comic books in May 2005. "LeBron James is one of the most popular and charismatic players in the league today. To satisfy demand for the "King James" comic book, DC Comics is printing over three million copies for what was the most expansive sports-related custom comic book we have ever created," said David McKillips, Vice President, Advertising & Custom Publishing, DC Comics. "Now the POWERade online comics allow us to expand on that audience, while continuing the adventure and introducing King James' fans to the exciting DC Comics' storytelling of creators like Rick Leonardi, Shawn Martinbrough, and Yanick Paquette."POWERade FLAVA23 is the first sports drink flavor to be created by a professional athlete.

LeBron introduced his first version, POWERade FLAVA23 SourBerry, in 2004. POWERade is a brand of The Coca-Cola Company, the world's largest beverage company. Along with Coca-Cola, recognized as the world's most valuable brand, the Company markets four of the world's top five soft drink brands, including Diet Coke, Fanta and Sprite, and a wide range of other beverages, including diet and light soft drinks, waters, juices and juice drinks, teas, coffees and sports drinks. Through the world's largest beverage distribution system, consumers in more than 200 countries enjoy the Company's beverages at a rate exceeding 1 billion servings each day. For more information about The Coca-Cola Company, please visit our website at www.coca-cola.com.

DC Comics, a Warner Bros. Entertainment Company, is the largest English-language publisher of comics in the world and home to such iconic characters as Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman and the Sandman. These DC super heroes and others have starred in comic books, movies, television series (both animated and live-action) and cyberspace, thrilling audiences of all ages for generations. DC Comics' Web site is located at www.dccomics.com.

April 14th, 2005 -

With the new GREEN LANTERN #1 just over a month away, DC Comics announces that this hotly anticipated debut issue will sport a spectacular variant cover painted by superstar artist Alex Ross!

"I'm not sure whether I was asked to do this cover or I volunteered, because I'm so devoted to Hal Jordan, but I'm thrilled to be a part of this project," says Ross. "GREEN LANTERN has what I look for in comics: a respect for the past and an embracing of an archetypal character."

Ross's cover serves as a companion piece to the cover by series artists Carlos Pacheco & Jesus Merino. Retailers will receive the two covers in a 50% split.

GREEN LANTERN #1 is written by Geoff Johns, with interior art by Carlos Pacheco & Jesus Merino. It is scheduled to arrive in stores on May 25.

For more information, visit the GREEN LANTERN minisite. Click here for a bigger image.

Press Release

Writer Brian K. Vaughan tops the list of nominees for the 2005 Will Eisner Comic Industry Awards with seven nominations for his work. Five of the nominations are for his new series from WildStorm, Ex Machina, in which an ex-superhero becomes mayor of New York City (Best New Series, Continuing Series, Single Issue, Serialized Story), while two are for the longer-running Vertigo series Y: The Last Man (Continuing Series, Serialized Story). Vaughan is nominated for Best Writer, while Ex Machina also received a nod for Best Coloring (by J. D. Mettler). The art team on Ex Machina, Tony Harris and Tom Feister, share four nominations.

Close behind Vaughan with five nominations is Kyle Baker-although three are competing against each other: Best Humor Publication for Plastic Man, Kyle Baker Cartoonist, and the graphic novel Birth of a Nation. Baker is also up for Best Title for a Younger Audience for Plastic Man, as well for Best Writer-Artist-Humor.

Also tapped for five nominations is John Cassady, cited for Best Penciller/Inker on both Astonishing X-Men and Planetary. Astonishing X-Men is nominated for Best Serialized Story, New Series, and Continuing Series, while Planetary is up for Best Serialized Story. Astonishing's writer, Joss Whedon, is also nominated for Best Writer, giving him four total nods.

Two other creators have four nominations: Eric Powell for The Goon (Best Single Issue, Continuing Series, Humor Publication, and Writer/Artist-Humor) and Stan Sakai (Best Writer/Artist and Lettering for Usagi Yojimbo; Best Comics-Related Book and Publication Design for The Art of Usagi Yojimbo).

Chris Ware is up for three awards for McSweeney's Quarterly #13: Best Short Story, Anthology, and Publication Design. He is also the topic of the Best Comics-Related Publication nominee: Chris Ware, by Dan Raeburn. Other creators with three nominations are Frank Quitely for WE3 (Best Limited Series, Penciller/Inker, Cover Artist); Seth (Best Graphic Album-Reprint and Best Publication Design for Clyde's Fans vol. 1 and Publication Design for The Complete Peanuts); and Juanjo Guarnido for Blacksad Book 2 (Best Graphic Album-New, Best U.S. Edition of Foreign Material, and Best Painter).

Creators with two nominations each include Geof Darrow, Dan Clowes, Warren Ellis, Pia Guerra/José Marzan Jr., Troy Hickman, Teddy Kristiansen, David Lapham, Steve Niles, Johnny Ryan, art spiegelman, Ben Templesmith, Doug TenNapel, Craig Thompson, Brian Wood/Becky Cloonan, and Michael Zulli.

DC and its various imprints racked up the most company nominations, with 22 full nominations and shares of several others. The nominations for Ex Machina and Planetary give DC's WildStorm imprint 7 full nominations, while DC's Vertigo line has 11 full nominations, including multiples for Y the Last Man, Fables, WE3, and the graphic novel It's a Bird. Dark Horse, boosted by the four mentions each for Powell and Sakai, has 16 full nods plus several partial ones. Image did well with 10 nominations, including two each for Doug TenNapel's graphic novel Tommysaurus Rex and the Troy Hickman anthology Common Grounds.

Next among the publishers is Fantagraphics with eight nominations, including two each for Dan Clowes (Eightball), Johnny Ryan (Angry Youth Comix), and The Complete Peanuts. The nominations for Astonishing X-Men give Marvel five-plus nods, while the Wachowski Brothers' new company, Burlyman, snagged five nominations (three for Geof Darrow's Shaolin Cowboy). Mainstream publisher Pantheon has four nominations (two for art spiegelman's In the Shadow of No Towers), followed close behind with three-plus mentions each for IDW (led by Steve Niles and Ben Templesmith's 30 Days of Nights: Return to Barrow), Top Shelf, and iBooks (three of them for Blacksad Book 2). McSweeney's and Drawn & Quarterly each have three nominations. The remaining nominations are scattered among 22 other publishers.

This year's judges added a new category, Best Digital Comic, for which they nominated six webcomics: Steve Bryant's Athena Voltaire, Peter Branting's Bento & Starchky, Kazu's Copper, Les McClaine's Jonny Crossbones, Brian Fies's Mom's Cancer, and Matt Forsythe's ojingogo. In the Hall of Fame category, the judges' choices for 2005 are Golden Age artist Lou Fine and the creators of Asterix: René Goscinny and Albert Uderzo. A complete list of the 2005 nominations is provided below.

The panel of judges consisted of writers Tom McLean (Variety, "Bags 'n' Boards" blog) and Tom Russo (Entertainment Weekly, Premiere); retailer Gib Bickel (The Laughing Ogre, Columbus, Ohio); graphic novel librarian and reviewer Kat Kan; and cartoonist/webmaster Steve Conley (Astounding Space Thrills, comicon.com).

Ballots will be going out in late April to comics creators, editors, publishers, and retailers. The results will be announced in a gala awards ceremony on the evening of Friday, July 18 in Ballroom 20 at the San Diego Convention Center. The ceremony will be dedicated to the late Will Eisner and will feature several tributes to the man in whose name the awards are given.

Sponsors for the 2005 Eisners include mycomicshop.com (major sponsor), Diamond Comics Distributors and Quebecor Printing (principal sponsors), and Alternate Reality, Atlantis Fantasyworld, Comic Relief-The Comic Bookstore, Comics Unlimited, Flying Colors, and Star*Reach (supporting sponsors).

The Eisner Awards are presented under the auspices of Comic-Con International, San Diego, a nonprofit educational organization dedicated to creating awareness of and appreciation for comics and related popular art forms. primarily through the presentation of conventions and events that celebrate the historic and ongoing contributions of comics to art and culture. Jackie Estrada has been administrator of the Awards since 1990. She can be reached at jackiee@mindspring.com. More information about the Eisner Awards can be found at www.comic-con.org.

MASTER NOMINEE LIST, 2005 Eisner Awards

Best Short Story
"Eve O' Twins," by Craig Thompson, in Rosetta 2 (Alternative)
"Glenn Ganges: Jeepers Jacobs," by Kevin Huizenga, in Kramer's Ergot 5 (Gingko Press)
"God" (story on wrap-around dust jacket) by Chris Ware, in McSweeney's Quarterly #13 (McSweeney's)
"The Price," by Neil Gaiman and Michael Zulli, in Creatures of the Night (Dark Horse Books)
"Unfamiliar," by Evan Dorkin and Jill Thompson, in The Dark Horse Book of Witchcraft (Dark Horse Books)
"Where Monsters Dine," by Troy Hickman, Angel Medina, and Jon Holdredge, in Common Grounds #5 (Top Cow/Image)

Best Single Issue (or One-Shot)
Demo #7: "One Shot, Don't Miss," by Brian Wood and Becky Cloonan (AiT/Planet Lar)
Eightball #23: "The Death Ray," by Dan Clowes (Fantagraphics)
Ex Machina #1: "The Pilot," by Brian K. Vaughan, Tony Harris, and Tom Feister (WildStorm/DC)
Global Frequency #12: "Harpoon," by Warren Ellis and Gene Ha (WildStorm/DC)
The Goon #6: "Ilagarto Hombre!," by Eric Powell (Dark Horse)

Best Serialized Story
Astonishing X-Men #1-6: "Gifted," by Joss Whedon and John Cassaday (Marvel)
Ex Machina #2-5: "State of Emergency," by Brian K. Vaughan, Tony Harris, and Tom Feister (WildStorm/DC)
Fables #19-27: "March of the Wooden Soldiers," by Bill Willingham, Mark Buckingham, and Steve Leialoha (Vertigo/DC)
Planetary #19-20: "Mystery in Space/Rendezvous," by Warren Ellis and John Cassaday (WildStorm/DC)
Y: The Last Man #18-20: "Safeword," by Brian K. Vaughan, Pia Guerra, and José Marzan Jr. (Vertigo/DC)

Best Continuing Series
Astonishing X-Men, by Joss Whedon and John Cassaday (Marvel)
Ex Machina, by Brian K. Vaughan, Tony Harris, and Tom Fesiter (WildStorm/DC)
The Goon, by Eric Powell (Dark Horse)
Stray Bullets, by David Lapham (El Capitan)
Y: The Last Man, by Brian K. Vaughan, Pia Guerra, and José Marzan Jr. (Vertigo/DC)

Best Limited Series
DC: The New Frontier, by Darwyn Cooke (DC)
Demo, by Brian Wood and Becky Cloonan (AiT/Planet Lar)
30 Days of Night: Return to Barrow, by Steve Niles and Ben Templesmith (IDW)
WE3, by Grant Morrison and Frank Quitely (Vertigo/DC)
Wanted, by Mark Millar and J. G. Jones (Top Cow/Image)

Best New Series
Astonishing X-Men, by Joss Whedon and John Cassaday (Marvel)
Doc Frankenstein, by the Wachowski Brothers and Steve Scroce (Burlyman)
Ex Machina, by Brian K. Vaughan, Tony Harris, and Tom Fesiter (WildStorm/DC)
The Shaolin Cowboy, by Geof Darrow (Burlyman)

Best Publication for a Younger Audience
Amelia Rules!, (Renaissance Press) and Amelia Rules! What Makes You Happy (iBooks) by Jimmy Gownley
Courtney Crumrin in the Twilight Kingdom, by Ted Naifeh (Oni)
Owly, by Andy Runton (Top Shelf)
Plastic Man, by Kyle Baker and Scott Morse (DC)
Tommysaurus Rex, by Doug TenNapel (Image)

Best Humor Publication
Angry Youth Comix, by Johnny Ryan (Fantagraphics)
Birth of a Nation, by Aaron McGruder, Reginald Hudlin, and Kyle Baker (Crown)
The Goon, by Eric Powell (Dark Horse)
Kyle Baker, Cartoonist, by Kyle Baker (Kyle Baker Publishing)
Plastic Man, by Kyle Baker and Scott Morse (DC)

Best Anthology
Common Grounds, by Troy Hickman and others, edited by Jim McLauchlin (Top Cow/Image)
The Dark Horse Book of Witchcraft, edited by Scott Allie (Dark Horse Books)
The Matrix Comics, vol. 2, edited by Spencer Lamm (Burlyman)
McSweeney's Quarterly #13, edited by Chris Ware (McSweeney's)
Michael Chabon Presents The Amazing Adventures of the Escapist, edited by Diana Schutz and David Land (Dark Horse)

Best Digital Comic
Athena Voltaire, by Steve Bryant www.athenavoltaire.com
Bento & Starchky, by zer0 (Peter Branting) http://www.noapologiespress.com/zer0comics/bento.htm
Copper, by Kazu www.boltcity.com/copper_home.htm
Jonny Crossbones, by Les McClaine www.evilspacerobot.com/co...nes/index.htm
Mom's Cancer, by Brian Fies www.momscancer.com/eisner.htm
ojingogo, by matt forsythe www.comingupforair.net/comics/ojingogo.html

Best Graphic Album-New
Blacksad Book 2: Arctic Nation, by Juan Diaz Canales and Juanjo Guarnido (iBooks)
It's a Bird . . ., by Steven T. Seagle and Teddy Kristiansen (Vertigo/DC)
The Originals, by Dave Gibbons (Vertigo/DC)
Suspended in Language, by Jim Ottaviani and Leland Purvis (GT Labs)
Tommysaurus Rex, by Doug TenNapel (Image)

Best Graphic Album-Reprint
Age of Bronze: Sacrifice, by Eric Shanower (Image)
Bone One Volume Edition, by Jeff Smith (Cartoon Books)
The Book of Ballads, by Charles Vess and others (Tor)
Clyde Fans, by Seth (Drawn & Quarterly)
In the Shadow of No Towers, by art spiegelman (Pantheon)
Locas, by Jaime Hernandez (Fantagraphics)

Best Archival Collection/Project
The Complete Cartoons of the New Yorker, edited by Robert Mankoff (Black Dog & Leventhal)
The Complete Peanuts, edited by Gary Groth (Fantagraphics)
DC Comics Rarities Archives, vol. 1, edited by Dale Crain (DC)
Krazy and Ignatz, edited by Bill Blackbeard and Derya Ataker (Fantagraphics)
Russ Manning's Magnus, Robot Fighter, vol. 1, edited by Katie Moody, Mike Carriglitto, and David Land (Dark Horse Books)

Best U.S. Edition of Foreign Material
Barefoot Gen: A Cartoon Story of Hiroshima, vols. 1-2, by Keiji Nahazawa (Last Gasp)
Blacksad Book 2: Arctic Nation, by Juan Diaz Canales and Juanjo Guarnido (iBooks)
Buddha, vols. 3-4 by Osamu Tezuka (Vertical)
Persepolis 2: The Story of a Return, by Marjane Satrapi (Pantheon)
Tokyo Tribes, by Santa Inoue (TOKYOPOP)

Best Writer
Steve Niles, 30 Days of Night: Return to Barrow; 30Days of Night: Bloodsucker Tales; Aleister Arcane (IDW); Freaks of the Heartland; Last Train to Deadsville (Dark Horse)
Greg Rucka, Queen & Country (Oni); Gotham Central (DC)
Brian K. Vaughan, Y: The Last Man (Vertigo/DC); Ex Machina (WildStorm/DC); Runaways (Marvel)
Joss Whedon, Astonishing X-Men (Marvel)
Bill Willingham, Fables (Vertigo/DC)

Best Writer/Artist
Paul Chadwick, Concrete: The Human Dilemma (Dark Horse)
Dan Clowes, Eightball #23 (Fantagraphics)
David Lapham, Stray Bullets (El Capitan)
Stan Sakai, Usagi Yojimbo (Dark Horse)
Adrian Tomine, Optic Nerve #9 (Drawn & Quarterly)

Best Writer/Artist-Humor
Kyle Baker, Plastic Man (DC); Kyle Baker, Cartoonist (Kyle Baker Publishing)
Phil Foglio, Girl Genius (Airship Entertainment)
Scott Kurtz, PvP (Image)
Eric Powell, The Goon (Dark Horse)
Johnny Ryan, Angry Youth Comix (Fantagraphics)

Best Penciller/Inker or Penciller/Inker Team
Charles Adlard, The Walking Dead (Image)
John Cassaday, Astonishing X-Men (Marvel); Planetary (WildStorm/DC); I Am Legion: The Dancing Faun (Humanoids/DC)
Geof Darrow, Shaolin Cowboy (Burlyman)
Cary Nord/Thomas Yeates, Conan (Dark Horse)
Frank Quitely, WE3 (Vertigo/DC)

Best Painter/Multimedia Artist (interior art)
Juanjo Guarnido, Blacksad, Book 2: Arctic Nation (iBooks)
Teddy Kristiansen, It's a Bird . . . (Vertigo/DC)
David Mack, Kabuki (Marvel)
Ben Templesmith, 30 Days of Night: Return to Barrow (IDW)
Michael Zulli, Creatures of the Night (Dark Horse Books)

Best Coloring
Peter Doherty, Shaolin Cowboy (Burlyman)
Steven Griffen, Hawaiian Dick: The Last Resort (Image)
Laura Martin, Astonishing X-Men (Marvel); Ministry of Space (Image); Planetary (WildStorm/DC); I Am Legion: The Dancing Faun (Humanoids/DC)
J. D. Mettler, Ex Machina (WildStorm/DC)
Dave Stewart, Daredevil, Ultimate X-Men, Ultimate Six, Captain America (Marvel); Conan, BPRD (Dark Horse)l DC: The New Frontier (DC)

Best Lettering
Todd Klein, Promethea; Tom Strong; Tom Strong's Terrific Tales (ABC); Wonder Woman (DC); Books of Magick: Life During Wartime; Fables; WE3 (Vertigo/DC); Creatures of the Night (Dark Horse)
Stan Sakai, Usagi Yojimbo (Dark Horse)
Dave Sim, Cerebus (Aardvark Vanaheim)
Craig Thompson, Carnet de Voyage (Top Shelf); "Eve O' Twins" in Rosetta 2 (Alternative)

Best Cover Artist
Kieron Dwyer, Remains (IDW)
James Jean, Fables (Vertigo/DC); Green Arrow, Batgirl (DC)
Tony Moore, The Walking Dead (Image)
Frank Quitely, Bite Club; WE3 (Vertigo/DC)
Michael Turner, Identity Crisis (DC)

Talent Deserving of Wider Recognition
Frank Cammuso (Max Hamm, Fairy Tale Detective)
Bosch Fawstin (Table for One)
Matt Kindt (Two Sisters; Pistolwhip)
Sean McKeever (A Waiting Place; Mary Jane; Inhumans; Sentinels)
Raina Telgemeier ("Smile," Takeout)

Best Comics-Related Periodical
Comic Art, edited by M. Todd Hignite (Comic Art)
Comic Book Artist, edited by Jon B. Cooke (Top Shelf)
Draw!, edited by Mike Manley (TwoMorrows)
Indy Magazine online (www.indyworld.com), edited by Bill Kartalopoulos (Alternative)

Best Comics-Related Book
The Art of Usagi Yojimbo, by Stan Sakai (Dark Horse Books)
Chris Ware, by Daniel Raeburn (Monographics/Yale University Press)
Give Our Regards to the Atom Smashers, edited by Sean Howe (Pantheon)
Men of Tomorrow: Geeks, Gangsters, and the Birth of the Comic Book, by Gerard Jones (Basic Books)
Strangers in Paradise Treasury Edition, by Terry Moore (HarperCollins Perennial)

Best Publication Design
The Art of Usagi Yojimbo, designed by Cary Grazzini (Dark Horse Books)
Clyde's Fans, designed by Seth (Drawn & Quarterly)
The Complete Peanuts, designed by Seth (Fantagraphics)
In the Shadow of No Towers, designed by art spiegelman (Pantheon)
McSweeney's Quarterly #13, designed by Chris Ware (McSweeney's)

Hall of Fame
Judges' Choices: Lou Fine; René Goscinny and Albert Uderzo

Four will be selected from:

Matt Baker
Wayne Boring
Nick Cardy
Yves Chaland
Gene Colan
Johnny Craig
Reed Crandall
Floyd Gottfredson
Frank Hampson
Graham Ingels
Robert Kanigher
William Moulton Marston
Hugo Pratt
Frank Robbins

Marvel Comics released news today of a new series of six Dollar Digests. The digests will be 64 pages of black and white digests. The books will retail for $1.00 and may contain "abridged to fit format" stories of three classic Marvel Comics.

The first six digests will include Spider-Man, Fantastic Four, the Avengers, the Hulk, and the X-Men. The digests are:

SPIDER-MAN: AMAZING FANTASY DOLLAR DIGEST
Collects AMAZING FANTASY #15, AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #1, #2

FANTASTIC FOUR: FIRST FAMILY DOLLAR DIGEST
Collects FANTASTIC FOUR #1-#3

AVENGERS: ASSEMBLE DOLLAR DIGEST
Collects AVENGERS #1-#3

SPIDER-MAN: DOCTOR OCTOPUS DOLLAR DIGEST
Collects AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #3,#4,#5

HULK: HULK SMASH DOLLAR DIGEST
Collects HULK #1-#3

X-MEN: CHILDREN OF THE ATOM
Collects X-MEN #1-#3

These books will be on sale June 8th. The format will be digest size measuring 4 7/8 x 6 9/16.


Spider-Man 2 will debut on Cinemax on Sunday, June 4 at 10:30 p.m.

Other dates for the sequel include Sunday, June 5 at 4:20 a.m.; Monday, June 6 at 10:30 a.m.; Tuesday, June 7 at 5:15 a.m.; Wednesday, June 8 at 8 a.m. and 10 p.m.; Thursday, June 16 at 10 a.m. and 10 p.m.; Friday, June 17 at 4:30 a.m.; Tuesday, June 21 at 12;30 p.m. and 10 p.m.; and Friday, June 24 at 10 a.m. and at 7:45 p.m.; and Saturday, June 25 at 3:35 a.m.

The network will also air Max on the Set: Spider-Man 2 on Wednesday, June 8 at 1:45 p.m.
Spider-Man 2 will also air on HBO later this year.


Press Release

Company to Release All 130 Episodes This Summer

Initial Two-Disc, 10-Episode "Best Of" Collector’s Edition
To Premiere, July 12th, and Be Featured at San Diego Comic-Con

Los Angeles, CA – One of the most requested—and anticipated—animation series ever created is heading to DVD. The recent agreement between BCI Eclipse, a Navarre Corporation Company, and UK media company Entertainment Rights granted BCI the license to distribute all 130 episodes of the classic "He-Man and the Masters of the Universe" animated series on DVD. BCI Eclipse is currently working on an initial two-year release strategy, and the first, two-disc set—available July 12th during the week of the 2005 San Diego Comic-Con International convention—will be a special, 10 episode Collector’s Edition, and include a groundbreaking number of extra features. The announcement was made today by Greg Glass, Senior Vice President, BCI Eclipse.

"As studios and independent suppliers release television programming on DVD, one of the most requested shows for DVD release over the years has been the original ‘He-Man and the Masters of the Universe,’" said Glass. "We have not only acquired the rights to this classic ‘80s, iconic animation series, but have spent many hours interviewing virtually all of the key players in the creation and production of the series. The initial Collector’s Edition is just the beginning of what ‘He-Man’ fans will see over the course of the next 18 months."

Mike Heap, CEO, Entertainment Rights, added, "We had the opportunity to work with a number of partners for ‘He-Man and the Masters of the Universe’ and decided to partner with BCI because of their innovative marketing approach to He-Man. The extraordinary level of demand for this release underlines the level of affection the public holds for He-Man and its position in the market as a classic brand."

"The Best of He-Man and the Masters of the Universe" will feature five of the all-time best episodes from season one (disc one) and five of the all-time best episodes from season two (disc two). The "best of" episodes were chosen in part by "He-Man’s" multitude of fans through voting on the www.He-Man.org website. In addition, each disc in the Collector’s Edition will feature documentary interviews with a variety of talent involved with the original series, including Emmy-award winning writers, directors, artists, and others working behind the scenes. These first two documentaries, produced and directed by best-selling entertainment writer Andy Mangels, are the beginning of a 16-part documentary series produced by BCI Eclipse for release in future "season" box sets.

The two-disc set will also include two 4" x 6" He-Man art cards, which will feature one-of-a-kind renderings of He-Man and the Masters of the Universe characters drawn by two of the world’s most famous comic book artists. These first two cards will be part of a collector series of 16 cards released throughout the "season" box set series – each displaying the work of another world-famous comic book artist.

The Collector’s Edition will include two exclusive art cards by Bruce Timm and Adam Hughes. Timm is one of the world's finest animators, well known for his contributions building the modern DC Comics cartoon franchise. Timm landed his first animation job in 1981 with Filmation Studios where he worked on He-Man and the Masters of the Universe, She-Ra Princess of Power and a variety of others. He also illustrated a number of the mini-comics that came with the toys from Mattel, before going on to an Emmy-award winning career on shows such as Batman, Batman Beyond, Superman, Justice League and Teen Titans. Hughes is one of the greatest artistic contributors in the field of comics today, and has won multiple Harvey and Eisner Awards in the comic book industry. Primarily known as a ‘good girl’ artist, his credits include Justice League, Wonder Woman, Star Trek, Tomb Raider and Gen 13, as well as countless covers and pin-ups for just about every comic company. Hughes was recently chosen to illustrate Warner Bros. Wonder Woman film poster.

Beginning this fall, BCI Eclipse will begin releasing the complete, 130 episode series in multi-disc "season" box sets, each including an abundance of extras that, altogether, will make up the most comprehensive collection of extras ever produced for a classic animation DVD series. Consulting with BCI on the project and providing extra content is Val Staples, the owner of www.he-man.org , the internet’s largest portal for the He-Man and the Masters of the Universe fan community, the owner of MVCreations graphic design company, and the publisher of the recent Masters of the Universe comic. Producing the special features documentaries and most of the extra content is entertainment writer Andy Mangels, a best-selling novelist, and author of Animation on DVD—The Ultimate Guide.

"He-Man and the Masters of the Universe" is a landmark in children’s television history, being the first nationally syndicated television program based on a successful toy line. Originally produced from 1983-1985 by world renowned Filmation Studios and syndicated until 1990, the show has experienced consistent popularity over the years, demonstrated by its two subsequent animated series which from 1990-1991 and from 2002-2004. The series has also experienced an exceptional multi-year run as a successful toy and merchandising line for Mattel.

BCI Eclipse is a leading independent entertainment video and audio supplier. Since 1988, BCI has continually redefined the standards and concepts of this industry, often introducing national success categories through its intuitive mass marketing skills.

Its vast collection of titles represents both exclusively licensed titles from around the world, as well as in-house produced CDs and DVDs. BCI offers a wide variety of the best value-priced CDs and DVDs being sold. For over 15 years, BCI Eclipse has brought the finest music and movies to homes at a value price.

Press Release

DC Comics regrets to announce the discontinuation of its Humanoids and 2000 A.D. titles.

The company's respect for the Humanoids and 2000 A.D. stories, characters and talent, however, continues unabated, and we hope both lines are welcomed by a U.S. publisher better able to find deserving audiences for these titles.

The final Humanoids titles to be published by DC Comics will be THE INCAL VOL. 2: THE EPIC JOURNEY TP (APR050385) and TRANSGENESIS 2025 VOL. 1: ANCESTOR PROGRAM TP (APR050387), scheduled to arrive in-stores in June.

The final 2000 A.D. titles to be published by DC Comics will be THE BALLAD OF HALO JONES TP (APR050382), THE COMPLETE INDIGO PRIME TP (APR050383), and ROGUE TROOPER VOL. 2: FORT NEURO TP (APR050384), scheduled to arrive in-stores in June.

Titles from both lines published by DC Comics prior to these dates will continue to be available as backlist items.


Cartoon Network has released its schedule for May 2-June 5 and it includes three new episodes of Justice League Unlimited.

On Saturday, May 21, "Task Force X" will air. Five incarcerated super villains are offered suspended sentences if they can survive an impossible mission -- to steal a deadly weapon from the Justice League's satellite headquarters.

On Saturday, May 28, "The Balance" will air. Wonder Woman and Hawkgirl must put aside their feud and go to the depths of Tartarus where the evil sorcerer Felix Faust establishes dominion over Hades.

On Saturday, June 4, "Double Date" will air. Green Arrow and Black Canary race to stop The Question and Huntress from killing organized crime lord Tobias Whale.

A new episode of Teen Titans, "The Prophecy," is scheduled to air on Saturday, June 4.

For more listings check the link.

From Newsarama-

While its assets were sold to a Disney subsidiary in October, CrossGen’s bankruptcy proceedings continue to lumber along, with the Tampa-based former comic publisher finally filling and seeking approval for its plan of reorganization. CrossGen filed the disclosure (the meat of the reorganization plan) on February 15th, supplemented it on April 1st, and saw it approved by the Florida Bankruptcy Court, Middle District, on April 4th.

Overall, the plan lists assets currently at $972,233, resulting fro the sale of its properties to Cal Publishing/Disney in October, and total liabilities of $10,798,888. As with other bankruptcies, there will not be enough capital to cover all claims, however, the plan filed, as stated by the debtors, allows for a greater recovery of claims than is likely to be achieved through other plans or liquidation – namely, Chapter 7.

The Joint Disclosure Statement, filed to give holders of claims adequate information to make an informed judgment about the plan, lays out a financial history of CrossGen in greater detail than has been seen to date.

Running through the history, then – CrossGen was formed in May of 1999, with an initial investment by Mark Alessi of $4,000,000. This start-up was supplemented in January of 2001 when Safe Harbor Managed Account 101A invested $4.5 million in exchange for 20% of CrossGen’s stock. Alessi continued to loan CrossGen money prior to the filing of bankruptcy in June of 2004, topping his investment off at $11 million, in total.

In January of 2003, Blue Ridge Investors II, LLP (CG’s primary pre-filing secured lender) loaned the company $1,025,000. While the loan was against collateral including accounts receiveable, inventory, and other assets of CrossGen, by the time the companyu filed for bankruptcy protection, it owed Blue Ridge $1,086,261. A portion of that has been paid off, and Blue Ridge is currently owed $700,000. CrossGen has since sued Blue Ridge, alleging that the investors “failed to perfect its security interest in CrossGen’s registered copyrights and any proceeds from the sale of CrossGen’s intellectual property and seeks to avoid Blue Ridge’s security interest accordingly.”

In January of 2004, Dee Gee Entertainment lent CrossGen $300,000 against collateral including the properties Ruse, Route 666, and Sojourn. When CrossGen filed in June of 2004, it owed Dee Gee $318,000. As with Blue Ridge, CrossGen has sued Dee Gee, alleging that the investors failed to perfect its security interest in CrossGen’s registered copyrights, and seeks to avoid Dee Gee’s security interest accordingly.

Blue Ridge and Dee Gee make up CrossGen’s largest secured creditors, while Alessi, trade creditors, American Express, ADP, and the IRS (for payroll taxes) make up the former publisher’s largest unsecured creditors. According to the disclosure, prior to filing in June of 2004, the total outstanding unsecured debt totaled $13,250,000.

The disclosure goes on to explain what happened, with the economy circa 2003 taking the brunt of the blame. The statement says that by the end of 2002, CrossGen held an approximate market share of 6%, and was the third largest publisher in the United States [the factual reality behind this statement appears, at the surface, suspect, as Diamond’s market share numbers for 2002 showed CrossGen to hold 3.21% share of the market in both dollars and units, and ranked at the 5th largest publisher, behind Marvel, DC, Image, and Dark Horse]. The disclosure also states that aggressive expansion by Marvel and DC exerted pressure on CrossGen and other smaller publishers, reducing their market shares. As CrossGen began to suffer (though cost-cutting moves were enacted), it found fewer and fewer larger entertainment companies wanted to partner with it.

The damage began to show, according to the disclosure, in the second quarter of 2003, when the company did not have adequate liquidity to pay trade vendors. At the same time, Blue Ridge, as a condition of its loan to the company, “swept” CrossGen’s bank accounts, resulting in returned checks, bank fees, and other financial problems. CrossGen’s weakening financial conditions resulted in vendors limiting the amount of credit extended, or time period for credit repayment, and to only continue business dealings with the Tampa company on a cash-only basis.

Through 2003, CrossGen sought investors, and, according to the disclosure, nearly had financing secured on several occasions, but in each instance, the deal fell through.

The financial history of the company ends with the sale of CrossGen’s assets to Cal Publishing (a Disney subsidiary) for $1,000,000. Blue Ridge and Dee Gee have agreed to have their calims attached to the proceeds of the sale.

In summary, CrossGen’s plan for payment of its creditors is the “pot” plan, that is, all monies from the sale of assets ($972,233 from Cal Publishing) and any other monies will be placed into a single account from which amounts owed to secured creditors and administrative expenses will be drawn first, and then unsecured creditors will be paid.

Holders of secured claims (totaling $1,492, 064.33) are:

Tom Alessi: $1,172,000
Oldsmar Self-Storage: $1,307
CitiCaptial Commercial Corporation: $17,981.44
Pinellas County Tax Collector: $775.89

The debtor will recommend that the Liquidating Trustee file objections to all of the claims, as, CrossGen contends, the claims have never been secure, or are no longer secure due to the surrender of collateral. In regards to the secured claim of Dee Gee, CrossGen and Dee Gee have agreed to divide the claim into a secured claim of $161,425.55 and an unsecured claim of the same amount. If CrossGen is successful in court against Blue Ridge, the investors’ claim will be reclassified as unsecured.

Currently, the Administrative Expense Claims stand at $263,000, and is expected to increase until the final payout date arrives.

The amount owed in Priority Claims stands at $641,378.96 – this is the amount owed to the IRS and former employees and consultants who filed as such. The disclosure states that CrossGen will object to claims which are not entitled to Priority status, including those filed by the IRS and Florida Department of Revenue.

After the above are paid, unsecured creditors (including the bulk of former employees) will be paid. CrossGen roughly estimates that over $9 million is owed in this category, and lays out the plan for repayment, though it is, generally speaking, just mechanics, as the total amount that will be actually paid out will more than likely be completely exhausted far before reaching the unsecured creditors category, as was seen in the Chaos! Comics bankruptcy.

Final proofs of claim by creditors must be filed by May 6th, 2005. By the same date, those who accept or object to the plan, as filed must notify the court. A hearing on the confirmation of the plan is scheduled for May 16th.