The New Comics Universe Blog

Tuesday, July 19, 2005

Superheroes Used To Save Energy

press release:
As Super Heroes capture the attention of moviegoers (Batman and Fantastic Four), gamers, and comic book fans and their growing legions on the Web, a "secret" research laboratory is also captivated by such Super Hero heroics.

The Alliance to Save Energy reveals that it has learned of top-secret experiments on Super Heroes to test their energy-saving Super Powers as the nation battles high energy prices, galloping demand, tight supplies, increased pollution, and energy security threats.

The Alliance's discovery occurred as the nonprofit international energy- efficiency organization was producing its new Super Powers TV, radio, and web campaign, reports Alliance Director of Communications and Marketing Rozanne Weissman.

"We were just doing some web searches, typed in, and seemed to enter a research laboratory site for a place we never heard of -- USUM, the abbreviation for Unit of Superhero Utilization Management," reports John Bell, senior vice president of Ogilvy Public Relations Worldwide, the Alliance's agency for the Super Powers campaign.

The microsite features research experiments with four Super Heroes -- Louise, better known as "StarBright" for her capability to light up a room without electricity, Gene - "RayBeam," who cooks with his super heat vision, Edith - "StormGirl," and Daryll - "ForceField Boy," -- with video or audio of those experiments, an analysis of the results, and an interactive component.

Clearly frustrated, scientists are noting on all the energy-saving experiments which have gone awry: "There must be a better way."

They are asking for HELP on the interactive web site: What Super Heroes might be tested and for what energy-saving Super Powers?

The Alliance to Save Energy is a coalition of prominent business, government, environmental, and consumer leaders who promote the efficient and clean use of energy worldwide to benefit consumers, the environment, economy, and national security.

Marvel's Moon Knight Press Release

press release:

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Moon Knight, the dark and mysterious Super Hero first introduced by Marvel in Werewolf by Night #32 in 1975, will be reintroduced in February 2006 in a spectacular new series by acclaimed author, Charlie Huston, best known for Caught Stealing and Bad Things in his Hank Thompson trilogy, and the highly anticipated vampire novel, Already Dead.

Huston, an avid comic book reader growing up with a penchant for darker material, will create a six-issue limited series entitled Moon Knight: The Bottom. The initial storyline centers on Marc Spector facing the idea that his time as a hero may be up. His knees are hamburger, his personal relationships are self-inflicted wreckage, and his god has abandoned him. But Moon Knight soon realizes he has a lot of unfinished business. Someone is gonna get their teeth kicked in.

Top 10 Artist David Finch, who helped catapult the New Avengers into the top spot of the sales chart since its debut, will illustrate the series! A member of Marvel’s “Young Guns,” Finch is one of the most sought-after artists in the market today, and working on Moon Knight is a dream come true for him.

“Moon Knight is a true cult favorite among Marvel fans,” said Joe Quesada, Editor-in-Chief of Marvel Comics. “We are thrilled to reintroduce the series into the Marvel Universe. With Charlie’s powerful storytelling and love of the original story, the new run not only will entertain long time Moon Knight fans, but also create a whole new audience of comic book readers.”

Charlie Huston added, “I’ve always been a huge fan of Doug Moench’s original Moon Knight series. His dark themes tackled complicated issues and served up moral quandaries for the men and women in tights. I don’t think it can be done any better than it was by Moench, but I will certainly try to do Moon Knight justice. One thing I will promise fans – it will be dark!”

Moon Knight has been one of the Marvel Universe’s most unique heroes. Faced with certain death, the mercenary Marc Spector collapsed before a statue of the Egyptian moon god, Khonshu. In exchange for saving his life, Khonshu conscripted Spector as his instrument of vengeance on Earth. As Moon Knight, Spector employs multiple personalities and a violent, sometimes deadly, brand of vigilante justice in the darkest corners of New York City.

Marvel EIC Joe Quesada Signs New Multi-Year Contract Renewal

press release:
Quesada To Also Assume The Role Of Chief Creative Officer, Publishing

New York, NY, July 19 – Marvel Enterprises, Inc. announced today that it has extended its contract agreement with Joe Quesada, Editor-In-Chief of the company’s Marvel Comics division. As part of the new deal, Mr. Quesada will also take on the added role as the Chief Creative Officer, Publishing.

Widely considered one of the comic book industry’s most recognizable and acclaimed talents, Mr. Quesada has helped spearhead a new golden age for Marvel Comics and solidified its leadership position in the comic book arena. "I’m thrilled to have Joe as a partner in this resurgence of interest in the comic book market," says Dan Buckley, COO and Publisher of Marvel. "Joe has been invaluable in taking Marvel Comics into new and inventive creative directions, and the fans are responding to that. Thanks in part to his efforts, Marvel Comics has seen four straight years of revenue growth."

During Mr. Quesada’s tenure, Marvel Comics has experienced a revitalization of the company’s most-renowned comic franchises, and has also attracted the best and brightest writers and illustrators from all fields including the literary, film, television and – of course- comic books.

"Over the next couple of years, my ultimate goals will remain further growing Marvel Comics’ leadership position and expanding our mainstream presence. I want comics to have the same consumer prominence as movies, TV and novels and in doing so continue to grow Marvel Comics as among America’s premiere storytellers," said Mr. Quesada. "The success we have had is truly a team effort. The company’s senior management, including Avi Arad and Alan Fine, has provided me and our publisher Dan Buckley with the opportunity to build Marvel Comics into more than just a comic book publisher. With their continued support, and the hard working editors, creators and staff, I am confident that Marvel Comics will continue to flourish as one of the most innovative and exciting literary outlets."

About Marvel Enterprises
With a library of over 5,000 characters, Marvel Enterprises, Inc. is one of the world's most prominent character-based entertainment companies. Marvel's operations are focused in three areas: licensing and entertainment (Marvel Studios), comic book publishing and toys. Marvel facilitates the creation of entertainment projects, including feature films, DVD/home video, video games and television programming based on its characters and also licenses its characters for use in a wide range of consumer products and services including apparel, collectibles, snack foods and promotions. Marvel's characters and plot lines are created by its publishing segment that continues to expand its leadership position in the U.S. and worldwide while also serving as an invaluable source of intellectual property.


press release:
Spirit of Will Eisner Lives on at Eisner Awards

The 17th Annual Will Eisner Comic Industry Awards were bestowed on Friday July 15 in a gala ceremony in the ballroom at the San Diego Convention Center. The awards event was dedicated to Eisner, who died in January. His presence was felt throughout the evening, as presenter after presenter shared thoughts about the late comics giant. The ceremony was preceded by a slide show of Eisner’s career and a video with taped tributes from many creators who couldn’t attend, including Frank Miller, Mike Mignola, and Dave Sim. Will’s widow, Ann, appeared briefly on stage to welcome everyone.

The Eisner award winners were spread out among a variety of creators and titles, with only a few projects winning two trophies. The multiple winners were Kyle Baker and Plastic Man (Best Writer/Artist Humor; Best Publication for a Younger Audience), Eric Powell and The Goon (Best Humor Publication, Best Continuing Series), Brian K. Vaughan and Ex Machina (Best Writer, Best New Series), Fables (Best Serialized Story, Best Cover Artist for James Jean), and The Complete Peanuts (Best Archival Project, Best Publication Design).

Dave Gibbons’s The Originals (Vertigo) took the Best Graphic Album–New category, while Jeff Smith’s massive Bone One Volume Edition was named Best Graphic Album–Reprint. The Best Single Issue award went to Dan Clowes’ Eightball #23, following in the footsteps of the 2002 win for Eightball #22. Similarly, Osamu Tezuka’s Buddha vols. 3-4 was awarded Best U.S. Edition of Foreign Material, the category won by vols. 1-2 last year.

Comic Book Artist won the Best Comics-Related Periodical for the fourth time, while the Best Comics-Related Book award went to Gerard Jones’s Men of Tomorrow: Geeks, Gangsters, and the Birth of the Comic Book. The first winner of the award for Best Digital Comic was Brian Fies for the autobiographical "Mom’s Cancer," and many members of his family were on hand to see him accept. Writer Sean McKeever (A Waiting Place, Mary Jane) took home the trophy for Talent Deserving of Wider Recognition.

Among publishers, DC Comics and its imprints had seven (plus five shared) winners, led by Plastic Man, Ex Machina, and Fables. The Best Penciller/Inker category was a tie between two DC artists: John Cassaday (WildStorm’s Planetary, along with Astonishing X-Men for Marvel) and Frank Quitely (Vertigo’s WE3). DC creators also took home the honors for Best Painter (Teddy Kristiansen for the graphic novel It’s a Bird . . .) and portions of Best Coloring (Dave Stewart) and Best Lettering (Todd Klein—his 12th win in the category). The Best Limited Series award went to Darwyn Cooke’s popular DC: The New Frontier.

Dark Horse can claim five winners along with shares of two others. Besides Powell’s The Goon, Dark Horse winners included Best Anthology (Michael Chabon’sThe Amazing Adventures of the Escapist), Best Writer/Artist (Paul Chadwick for Concrete: The Human Dilemma), and Best Short Story (Evan Dorkin and Jill Thompson’s "Unfamiliar").

The Peanuts and Eightball wins gave Fantagraphics three awards. Marvel shared in three awards (Penciller/Inker, Lettering, Coloring), but no other publisher had more than one winner.
Sergio Aragonés presented the Hall of Fame Awards. The judges’ choice awards went to the Golden Age artist Lou Fine and to the Asterix team of René Goscinny and Albert Uderzo. The four elected inductees were Johnny Craig, Hugo Pratt, Nick Cardy, and Gene Colan. Both Cardy and Colan were present to accept their trophies. Adele Kurtzman accepted for Craig.

Besides Aragonés, Eisner presenters included Denis Kitchen, Jill Thompson, Scott McCloud, Joss Whedon, Michael Uslan, Michael Chabon, Pia Guerra, Dave Gibbons, and Jeff Smith. All made introductory comments about Will Eisner, from amusing anecdotes to heartfelt gratitude.
Among the other awards given out over the evening were the Comic-Con’s Clampett and Manning awards. The Bob Clampett Humanitarian Award, presented by Bob’s daughter Ruth, went to George Pérez for his donation of artwork to raise money for several charities, especially A.C.T.O.R. The Russ Manning Promising Newcomer Award went to Chris Bailey, writer/artist of the all-ages title Major Damage, published by Sky Dog Press.

New this year was the Bill Finger Award for Excellence in Comic Book Writing. The chair of the awards jury, Jerry Robinson, presented the first Bill Finger Awards to Jerry Siegel (accepted by his widow, Joanne) and to Arnold Drake, who roused the crowd with a hilarious a caeplla song about the San Diego Comic-Con.

The Will Eisner Spirit of Comics Retailing Award was presented by Joe Ferrara. This year’s winner was Night Flight Comics of Salt Lake City, owned by Mimi Cruz and Alan Carroll. CBLDF board member Greg Ketter presented the Fund’s Defender of Freedom Award to Denis Kitchen, founder of the Fund, who spoke about the fact that 20 years after its inception the Fund is needed more than ever.

The major sponsor for the 2005 Eisner Awards is The principal sponsors are Century Guild, Diamond Comic Distributors, Gentle Giant, Isotope, and Odd Lott. Supporting sponsors include Alternate Reality Comics (Las Vegas), Atlantis Fantasyworld (Santa Cruz, CA), Comic Relief—The Comic Bookstore (Berkeley, CA),, Flying Colors Comics & Other Cool Stuff (Concord, CA), Quebecor Printing, and Star*Reach. Ballots were tabulated by Mel Thompson and Associates.

Following is a complete list of the 2005 award winners. More information on the awards can be found at
Winners, 2005 Eisner Awards:

Best Short Story: ""Unfamiliar," by Evan Dorkin and Jill Thompson, in The Dark Horse Book of Witchcraft (Dark Horse Books)

Best Single Issue (or One-Shot): Eightball #23: "The Death Ray," by Dan Clowes (Fantagraphics)

Best Serialized Story: Fables #19-27: "March of the Wooden Soldiers," by Bill Willingham, Mark Buckingham, and Steve Leialoha (Vertigo/DC)

Best Continuing Series:The Goon, by Eric Powell (Dark Horse)

Best Limited Series: DC: The New Frontier, by Darwyn Cooke (DC)

Best New Series: Ex Machina, by Brian K. Vaughan, Tony Harris, and Tom Fesiter (WildStorm/DC)

Best Publication for a Younger Audience: Plastic Man, by Kyle Baker and Scott Morse (DC)

Best Humor Publication: The Goon, by Eric Powell (Dark Horse)

Best Anthology: Michael Chabon Presents The Amazing Adventures of the Escapist, edited by Diana Schutz and David Land (Dark Horse)

Best Digital Comic: Mom's Cancer, by Brian Fies

Best Graphic Album—New: The Originals, by Dave Gibbons (Vertigo/DC)

Best Graphic Album—Reprint: Bone One Volume Edition, by Jeff Smith (Cartoon Books)

Best Archival Collection/Project: The Complete Peanuts, edited by Gary Groth (Fantagraphics)

Best U.S. Edition of Foreign Material: Buddha, vols. 3-4 by Osamu Tezuka (Vertical)

Best Writer: Brian K. Vaughan, Y: The Last Man (Vertigo/DC); Ex Machina (WildStorm/DC); Runaways (Marvel)

Best Writer/Artist: Paul Chadwick, Concrete: The Human Dilemma (Dark Horse)

Best Writer/Artist—Humor: Kyle Baker, Plastic Man (DC); Kyle Baker, Cartoonist (Kyle Baker Publishing)

Best Penciller/Inker (tie): John Cassaday, Astonishing X-Men (Marvel); Planetary (WildStorm/DC); I Am Legion: The Dancing Faun (Humanoids/DC); Frank Quitely, WE3 (Vertigo/DC)

Best Painter/Multimedia Artist (interior art): Teddy Kristiansen, It’s a Bird . . . (Vertigo/DC)
Best Coloring: Dave Stewart, Daredevil, Ultimate X-Men, Ultimate Six, Captain America (Marvel); Conan, BPRD (Dark Horse); 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)

Best Cover Artist: James Jean, Fables (Vertigo/DC); Green Arrow, Batgirl (DC)
Talent Deserving of Wider Recognition: Sean McKeever (A Waiting Place; Mary Jane; Inhumans; Sentinels)

Best Comics-Related Periodical: Comic Book Artist, edited by Jon B. Cooke (Top Shelf)

Best Comics-Related Book: Men of Tomorrow: Geeks, Gangsters, and the Birth of the Comic Book, by Gerard Jones (Basic Books)

Best Publication Design: The Complete Peanuts, designed by Seth (Fantagraphics)

Hall of Fame: Judges’ choices: Lou Fine; René Goscinny and Albert Uderzo; Voters’ choices: Nick Cardy, Gene Colan, Johnny Craig, Hugo Pratt

Other awards presented:

Bob Clampett Humanitarian Award: George Pérez

Russ Manning Promising Newcomer Award: Chris Bailey (Major Damage)

Bill Finger Excellence in Comic Writing Award: Jerry Siegel, Arnold Drake

Will Eisner Spirit of Comics Retailing Award: Night Flight Comics, Salt Lake City; Mimi Cruz and Alan Carroil, owners

CBLDF Defender of Liberty Award: Denis Kitchen

Monday, July 18, 2005

Millar & Dodson Team Up With Electronic Arts

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press release:
EA’s Super Hero Fighting Videogame to Feature Character Back-story Written by Millar and Artwork by Dodson

At Comic-con 2005, Electronic Arts (NASDAQ: ERTS) announced today that acclaimed comic writer, Mark Millar, and artist, Terry Dodson, will be joining the roster of top comic book talent, including Jae Lee, on the development of Marvel Nemesis™: Rise of the Imperfects™.

Set to release this fall, the game features multiple Super Heroes™ from the Marvel Universe as well as a new set of characters created by EA called, “The Imperfects™.” Millar’s past works include the hit Marvel Comics’ series, Ultimate X-Men, The Ultimates, and Ultimate Fantastic Four, the highest-selling comic launches in the year they were released. He is also currently working on two major screenplays. EA is working closely with Millar to create the back-stories for the new family of Super Heroes as well as the story-line for the single player mode in the game. “It’s been an incredible experience to see this new family of Super Heroes come to life from initial stages of character development to the videogame screen,” said Millar.

“Videogames are not all about mashing buttons anymore; they’re filled with intriguing stories and memorable characters. I’m thrilled to be a part of this project.” Dodson’s credits include Marvel’s X-Force, House of M and Marvel Knights Spider-Man. Exclusive to the PSP version of Marvel Nemesis: Rise of the Imperfects, Dodson has helped with the character concept designs of the Marvel Super Heroes appearing in the game including Spider-Man, Wolverine and Captain America. Captain America will be an exclusive character only available for the PSP.

Dodson is also working on the front-end interface for the PSP version. Jae Lee is lending his artistic talents on Marvel character concept designs and the game interface for the PlayStation®2 computer entertainment system, Xbox® videogame system from Microsoft and Nintendo GameCube™ versions. Lee has illustrated high-profile comic titles including Spider-Man, Uncanny X-men, and X-Factor.

Marvel Nemesis: Rise of the Imperfects is being produced at EA Canada and developed by Nihilistic Software. For more information on the game, please visit: Screenshots can be found at