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  • Recent News
    Last update: June 29, 2002


    IMAGE COMICS GEARS UP FOR '80S GRAND SLAM
    Masters of the Universe to Debut in November


    After months of speculation, Image Comics has announced that MV Creations has obtained the exclusive license to develop comics based on the MASTERS OF THE UNIVERSE property from Mattel, Inc. (NYSE:MAT). Image will begin publishing the new adventures of He-Man and his counterparts beginning in November 2002.

    "We couldn't be more pleased to add MASTERS OF THE UNIVERSE to the Image roster," commented Image Publisher/Vice-President Jim Valentino. "We hit one out of the park and sparked the '80s nostalgia boom last year with the return of GI JOE, followed that up with MICRONAUTS and BATTLE OF THE PLANETS, and this makes it a grand slam!"

    "It's a dream come true for all of us here," said Val Staples, President of MV Creations. "We've been working closely with Mattel via our Website www.he-man.org for almost two years to relay important brand news to the fans. Then, early this spring we completed a special promotional comic and other exciting promotional items to be released later this year with the toy line. Producing the new comic series was more than we ever could have hoped for."

    MASTERS OF THE UNIVERSE will make its debut at Image Comics as a four-issue limited series that is centered around the animated cartoon feature by Mike Young Productions airing in August during the Toonami block on Cartoon Network. The new comic book series will approach the stories from a more mature angle, with intense action and emotional depth.

    After the conclusion of the initial Cartoon Network special depicting the never-before-told story of how Prince Adam become He-Man, a regular series will launch, focusing on the saga of the MASTERS OF THE UNIVERSE, exploring the individuality of popular characters while introducing fans and collectors to the less-than-campy side of this well-loved franchise.

    "The direction of the story and the quality of the art is very important to Mattel," Staples noted. "They are mindful of the fans, and they do not want to limit the creative possibilities of the comic. This makes producing the series even more enjoyable for the entire creative team.

    "While the comic must revolve around the saga of the new toy line and cartoon, the story within won't be treated as just a rehash of the past. We will explore areas fans have wondered about for years, and the comic will lead up to things no one ever expected."

    MASTERS OF THE UNIVERSE will be written by Staples with some surprise guest writers also contributing over the course of the series. Penciling the series is Italian artist Emiliano Santalucia, whose talent and passion is certain to take the American market by storm. Santalucia will be joined by inker Marco Failla, also from Italy, and the perfect complement to Emiliano's pencils. Colors are by Jason Keith, of CrossGen fame, one of the youngest and brightest superstar colorists in the industry today, and lettering will be handled by the inimitable Dreamer Design.

    MASTERS OF THE UNIVERSE #1 will feature three covers: one by Santalucia, one by J. Scott Campbell, and a special wrap around cover by renowned painter Earl Norem. Many longtime MASTERS OF THE UNIVERSE fans should recall that Norem painted the posters/covers for the old MASTERS OF THE UNIVERSE magazine, and he's coming out of retirement specifically to be part of the series' relaunch.

    "We are very excited to have Image Comics and MV Creations on board for the relaunch of Masters of the Universe," said Mattel's Marketing Director, Geoff Walker. "This is one of the largest action figure launches in Mattel's history. The role of comic books in extending the storyline to our fans is very important. Image and MV Creations have shown the passion for He-man that we believed necessary to create an incredible comic. Additionally, fans of J. Scott Campbell and Earl Norem are in for a special treat with their interpretations of He-man."


    VIOLENT MESSIAHS WORKS DOUBLE-TIME
    Michael Turner Contributes Special Variant Cover to Benefit ACTOR


    Image Comics announced today that the first issue of VIOLENT MESSIAHS: LAMENTING PAIN will feature a special alternate cover by FATHOM artist Michael Turner and that proceeds from its sales will go to ACTOR (A Commitment To Our Roots). This stunning piece depicts VIOLENT MESSIAH's newest vigilante, Scalpel, bathed in eerie moonlight and awash in a sea of blood.

    "Personally speaking, VIOLENT MESSIAHS has been one of my favorite books right from the get-go, so I'm very happy we could do a fundraiser in conjunction with the title," said ACTOR President Jim McLauchlin. "It's also great to link up talented creators such as Michael Turner and Peter Stiegerwald with the VM crew, and expand everyone's circle of friends. I think Mike and Peter did a stunning job on this piece. I hope we sell a boatload of copies and raise a lot of dough for the cause."

    "We have been staunch supporters of ACTOR since its inception, and VIOLENT MESSIAHS artist Tone Rodriguez has donated original art for each of their auctions in the past," added VIOLENT MESSIAHS editor Jan Utstein-O'Neill. "When Jim came to us with the idea of doing something special for VM: LAMENTING PAIN #1, we were more than happy to help. And, of course, working with artists of Michael and Peter's caliber only makes it sweeter."

    Image Publisher/Vice-President Jim Valentino (who also sits on ACTOR's Board of Directors) added that Image is always eager to help promote ACTOR and its goals. "ACTOR is one of the most worthwhile charities in our industry's history. I'm very proud of the support it has received from the VM crew and others here at Image. This is a variant cover that everyone can and should support."

    VIOLENT MESSIAHS: LAMENTING PAIN is available for order in the August issue of Diamond's Previews and will ship in September 2002. In the meantime, the long-awaited trade paperback collection of the first series VIOLENT MESSIAHS series, THE BOOK OF JOB, will be available in stores on July 3.

    ACTOR (A Commitment To Our Roots) is dedicated to providing relief and support to many of the talented creators who helped found the comic book industry. Many Golden Age or Silver Age creators toiled in comics' earlier days for low pay and with a nonexistent pension plan. Today, many of these people who laid the groundwork that today's industry works on may be in financial need. Be it due to age, health, or just low salaries with no retirement plan, they may need a hand. ACTOR provides a safety net for former comic creators in need. ACTOR is dedicated to helping creators with emergency medical aid, financial support, and entrance back into paying work.

    ACTOR's 501 (c) (3) paperwork, making it an official non-profit organization, was approved by the federal government in February, 2001.

    For more information or to send donations to ACTOR please contact: ACTOR (A Commitment To Our Roots) 11301 Olympic Blvd, #587 Los Angeles, CA 90064 310 268 1530


    BATTLE OF THE PLANETS #1 BREAKS 150,000

    Celebrations erupted at Top Cow when initial numbers for the debut issue of the Battle of the Planets revamp by Alex Ross, Munier Sharrieff, Wilson Tortosa and Udon Studios exceeded 150,000. Battle of the Planets #1 is set to ship into retail stores the second week of July.

    "This was about twice what I had projected for initial sales of the book, so I announced the sales over the loudspeaker of our office when they came in and everyone cheered," says Top Cow President Matt Hawkins. "In this case, it was nice to be wrong."

    "We're all really excited about the initial orders for Battle of the Planets," says Top Cow Editor-in-Chief David Wohl. "It's nice to see that the fans and retailers have as much faith in this as Alex, Munier, Wilson, Udon, and all of us at Top Cow have for this book! It's truly been a pleasure to work on and I hope it'll be just as much fun to read!"




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