Saturday, July 15, 2006

Dark Horse Comics Ocober 2006 solicitations

APPLESEED ID
Written and art by Shirow Masamune.

A collection of sketches, studies, and schematics, Appleseed ID is a must-have companion book for fans of the cyberpunk saga Appleseed and its legendary creator, Shirow Masamune, the manga mastermind behind such classics as Appleseed, Dominion, and Ghost in the Shell. Sit back and relax as Shirow takes you on a guided tour of one of his most beloved worlds, exploring the people, places, organizations and, of course, technology that make the universe of Appleseed the sci-fi hotspot that it is. Feel like taking a break from Shirow's examination and explanation of his creations, and of his own creative process? Then take a browse through this book's beautiful color galleries, or follow Deunan and Briareos on a high-stakes adventure with the short story "Called Game."

144 pages, black and white, $14.95, in stores on Dec. 20.


BANYA: THE EXPLOSIVE DELIVERY MAN VOLUME 2
Written and art by Kim Young-Oh.

Young Kong is entrusted with a delivery of great importance, and Banya schemes to free Mei from her captors. Instead of fighting fire with fire, Banya fights monsters with monsters! The delivery men of the Gaya Desert Post Office have only one motto: "Fast. Precise. Secure." Banya, the craziest and craftiest of the bunch, will stop at nothing to get a job done. Known as the "Explosive Delivery Man" for his daring, dedication, and diligence, Banya promises, "There isn't a delivery I can't make!" Whether it's transporting a rare artifact or reuniting a mother with her long-lost son, Banya will speed through war-torn deserts and mysterious forests, relying on flexibility, daring, and wits to complete his missions--no matter what the odds!

184 pages, black and white, $12.95, in stores on Dec. 20.


BLADE OF THE IMMORTAL #118
Written and art by Hiroaki Samura.

"The Sparrow Net," part 1 of 4. Hyakurin, disturbed by her recent encounter with Giichi, takes a break to drink and cry on a stranger's shoulder. Döa and Isaku have two surprise reunions. One will reinforce deep-seated beliefs and long-term goals. The other will have them fighting for their lives in the streets of Edo! Deep in an underground cell, Manji is imprisoned and tortured -- all in the name of "modern Japanese medicine."

Hiroaki Samura's hilarious "Biography" text piece continues, with exclusive pinups, and this issue features another color back cover by Stan Shaw that will link up with other covers to form an exciting, extended image!

32 pages, black and white, $2.99, in stores on Oct. 11.


BOTTOMFEEDER
Written by B.H. Fingerman.

In this debut novel by B. H. Fingerman, you will find a comical and creepy foray into the life of a working-class vampire. A man can go missing in New York City. A life can disappear. Teeth can sharpen, skin go pale, eyes reject the sun. One day, you're human. The next, you're a vampire, with an undying taste for blood. Set in the New York of prostitutes, junkies, and lonely hearts, Bottomfeeder tells the story of Philip, a smart-ass in a dead-end job, whose life takes an unusual turn after he tangles with a vampire. Now, spurred by a bloodlust stronger than his humanity, he haunts the abandoned streets alone, trying to maintain a semblance of normalcy while looking for prey.

224 pages, $12.95, in stores on Dec. 13.


CLASSIC PEANUTS CHARACTER #1: CHARLIE BROWN

Charles Schulz's Peanuts has won acclaim as one of the most popular comic strips of all time. Printed worldwide to this day, the familiar characters from this masterwork have been the basis for all sorts of entertainment, publishing, corporate identity, and merchandise projects. Dark Horse Deluxe is joining in the fun by creating a special series of limited-edition statues of vintage Peanuts characters.

Inspired by "syroco" sculptures that were popular in the 1930s and Œ40s, the new statuettes from Dark Horse are designed and manufactured in a style consistent with the earlier figures. The first of the statues will feature a new rendition of none other than Charlie Brown. Produced in a limited edition of hand-numbered copies, the figure is fully painted and ready to display. Lucy will be the second release, followed by Linus and the rest of the gang in a pattern of monthly releases.

Each hand-numbered statue comes carefully packaged in a full-color, litho-printed tin box. Also included is a small booklet about each character and a vintage-style pinback button.

5 inches tall, limited to 1,200, with booklet and button, $39.95, in stores on Nov. 15.


CONAN #33

Written by Timothy Truman, art by Cary Nord, colored by Dave Stewart, cover by Tony Harris.

Timothy Truman makes his debut as the regular writer of the Conan ongoing with a skull-shattering story of mad dogs, scheming priests, and humanoid abominations! With the beautiful Jiara in tow, Conan journeys west, away from the treacherous City of Thieves and into the jagged, desolate hills of Zamora. Yet lurking amidst the rocks are adversaries hungry for his flesh, his purse, and his soul. A day of death and pain has dawned for the Cimmerian, and when it ends, the wild, the wicked, and the foolish shall fear one name--Conan!

40 pages, $2.99, in stores on Oct. 18.


CONAN: BOOK OF THOTH

Written by Kurt Busiek and Len Wein, art by Kelley Jones.

Writers Kurt Busiek and Len Wein, creator of Wolverine and Swamp Thing, team up with the grandmaster of horror art, Kelley Jones, to tell the horrifying origin of Thoth-amon‹Conan's greatest adversary!

In the dank alleys of a decaying city, a beggar child conjures visions of a future where, instead of spitting on him in the streets, the rich and privileged cower in fear of his terrible authority. Through cunning, murderous means, he ingratiates himself into a benevolent priesthood, only to turn the church and the nation itself over to the terrible snake-god, Set!

This essential piece of the Conan mythos reveals the secrets behind the dread sorcerer Thoth-amon for the first time!

192 pages, $17.95, in stores on Dec. 13.


CONAN AND THE SONGS OF THE DEAD #4

Written by Joe R. Lansdale, art by Timothy Truman, colors by Dave Stewart.

Out of the burning desert and into the biting forest, Conan travels at the advice of a nomadic tribe with the knowledge of how to use his hard-won treasures to unlock the way to a much grander prize. Yet within the wooded darkness hides a grave and bloody threat. Into the stinking bowels of the earth Conan and his party will be driven, where guardians who were once men protect an ancient and powerful secret.

32 pages, $2.99, in stores on Oct. 25.


CRYING FREEMAN VOLUME 4

Written by Kazuo Koike, art by Ryoichi Ikegami.

Cult leader Naiji Kumaga is poised for a hostile takeover of Japan. He has the tools--1,000 submachine guns in a land with few firearms--but needs expert hands to wield them, and the assassins of the 108 Dragons definitely have what it takes. Kumaga's plan: capture the Dragons' leader, Crying Freeman, and replace him with a trained double. Snatching the world's deadliest killer is a tall order, but maybe not too tall for the merciless giant, Tohgoku Oshu!

408 pages, $14.95, in stores on Dec. 13.


DARK HORSE COMICS: THE FIRST TWENTY YEARS

Written by Mike Richardson, Frank Miller and Paul Chadwick, art by Mike Mignola, Arthur Adams, Eric Powell and more.

Over the course of its two-decade publishing history, Dark Horse has blazed a trail through the comics industry, setting the precedent for creative freedom and creator rights while consistently delivering the most daring and cutting-edge graphic storytelling. Now celebrating our twentieth year, we take a look back at the writers, artists, and characters who have made Dark Horse the international publishing presence its become, and a look ahead at the up-and-coming talents who will influence generations to come. Dark Horse Comics, 20 years down and we're only getting started!

400 pages, $24.95, in stores on Dec. 13.


THE ESCAPISTS #4

Written by Brian K. Vaughan, art by Jason Alexander and Steve Rolston, colors by Matt Hollingsworth and Dave Stewart, cover by Alexander.

In the comic-within-a-comic, Jason Alexander brings Max and Case's gritty new vision of the Escapist to life as samurai-wielding female warriors take Luna Moth hostage. Silence may be golden, but why do these beautiful assassins have their mouths sewn shut?! And what isn't Luna Moth telling her would-be rescuer?

Back in the real world, artist Steve Rolston depicts the growing irritability between Max, Case, and Denny as our heroes go up against the worst villain of all time--a high-powered corporate lawyer!

32 pages, $2.95, in stores on Oct. 11.


FRAZETTA SNOW GIANTS STATUE


ReelArt Studios and Dark Horse Comics present Frazetta's Snow Giants, the first of a four-statue collection inspired by the original artwork of one of the world's most beloved fantasy illustrators, Frank Frazetta. The fully hand painted statue as sculpted by Tony Cipriano depicts one of Frazetta's most famous works and was personally overseen and approved by the master. This amazing statue is minutely detailed, stands 17" tall, and comes packaged in a full-color box. Edition size has not ben determined at the time of solicitation.

17 inches, $350, in stores on Nov. 29.


GHOST IN THE SHELL 1.5: HUMAN-ERROR PROCESSOR #1
Written and art by Shirow Masamune.

Deep into the twenty-first century, the line between man and machine has been inexorably blurred as humans rely on the enhancement of mechanical implants and robots are upgraded with human tissue. In this rapidly converging technoscape, the covert-ops agents of Section 9 are charged to track and crack the most dangerous terrorists, cybercriminals, and ghost hackers. And speaking of ghosts, when supposedly dead people start turning up walking and talking, Section 9 begins to look into the possibility that corpses are being "puppeted" from a remote location, and some serious powerbrokers may be pulling the strings.

Ghost in the Shell 1.5: Human-Error Processor presents for the first time in America the "lost" Ghost in the Shell stories, created by Shirow Masamune after completing work on the original Ghost in the Shell manga and prior to his tour-de-force, Ghost in the Shell 2: Man-Machine Interface, but never collected until now. Focusing on Section 9 agents in their daily battle against technocrime, Human-Error Processor has all the mind-twisting cybermadness you've come to expect from Ghost in the Shell but set in a more police-procedural context with action and suspense galore.

This first issue features part one of "Fat Cat," the first of four Ghost in the Shell tales.

24 pages, black and white, $2.99, in stores on Oct. 18.


THE GOON VOLUME 5: WICKED INCLINATIONS
Written and art by Eric Powell.

The tide has turned in Goon's war against the undead hordes of the Zombie Priest--or has it? With Buzzard now preventing the harvest of any fresh corpses from the cemetery, the Priest grows desperate. So desperate, that he unleashes incantations of previously unseen power to create a whole new breed of minion--one that may be beyond even the strength of the Goon to contain. But one pays a price for conjuring such evil into the world, and the Zombie Priest quickly discovers that the cost of such power may be far more than he bargained for.

136 pages, $14.95, in stores on Dec. 13.


HELLBOY ANIMATED STATUE: ABE SAPIEN

The awesome aquatic adventurer of the B.P.R.D. is emerging as a finely crafted, full-size collectible statue.

IDT Entertainment is creating a new Hellboy Animated series. Along with creative producers Mike Mignola and Guillermo Del Toro, with voices provided by Ron Perlman and Selma Blair, the two direct-to-video episodes will follow in the footsteps of the comics and successful studio film.

The perfect counterpart to Dark Horse's previously solicited Animated Hellboy statue, Abe Sapien is in a related action-oriented pose, indicative of the atmospheric scenery of the series and the fast-paced sleuthing of Hellboy and his team. Placed together, they work as a set, but each stands alone just fine. Sculpted by top talent Tony Cipriano, this limited-edition piece is true to the animated version from webbed fingers to gills.

10 inches tall, $150, in stores on Nov. 22.


HELLGATE: LONDON #0
Written by Ian Idginton, art by Steve Pugh, colored by Dan Jackson.

Few video games have enjoyed such a frenetic buzz around their release as the upcoming Hellgate: London, and with good reason‹they haven't had the awesome talent of former Diablo developers and executives working on an inaugural release! Now together as Flagship Studios, these formidable creative minds have developed a groundbreaking game that's guaranteed to become another best-selling franchise.

Ian Edginton, the author of Scarlet Traces and the recent War of the Worlds webcomic adaptation, teams with Superman and Preacher artist Steve Pugh to explore this demon-ravaged metropolis in comics form. Hellgate fans will eat up the realistic flavor that both UK creators bring to the work, and Flagship has had hands-on approval every step of the way.

MI5 agent Lyra Darius discovers a human charnel house in the heart of London while tailing Lord Sumerisle, the recently resigned Home Office Minister for Internal Affairs. She's soon entangled in a bloody intrigue with Knights Templar, and everything is building up to All Hallows Eve!

24 pages, $2.99, in stores on Oct. 11.


JONNY CROSSBONES: DEAD MAN AT DEVIL'S COVE
Written and art by Les McClaine.

In the spirit of all-ages, globe-trotting adventure comics like TinTin and classic, serial newspaper strips, Jonny Crossbones: Dead Man at Devil's Cove is a good, old-fashioned, rip-roarin' adventure story, brought to us by Eisner-nominated artist Les McClaine. Jonny is a young auto mechanic drifting through a quiet life in his hometown of Rocky Hill, USA, until a chance meeting with his childhood hero, Doc Fiveash, draws him into a race against unscrupulous foes in search of a long-lost pirate treasure! Jonny teams up with the Doc's fetching niece, Gretchen Fiveash, and they travel across the world to find clues to the treasure's location. Our two brave heroes are shot at, kidnapped, and entangled in a dark plot as this engaging story brings the craftsmanship and thrills of yesteryear's cartoons to a modern audience.

144 pages, $14.95, in stores on Dec. 13.


KING KONG
Written by Christian Gossett, art by Dustin Weaver, cover by Dave Dorman.

One of the biggest motion pictures events of all time explodes off the comics page in this epic adaptation of Peter Jackson's King Kong! Director Carl Denham has one chance to make the film of his dreams‹hire an unknown actress, kidnap his writer, and board a tramp freighter for the mysterious Island of the Skull. But when hostile natives capture actress Ann Darrow, Denham and his crew will face horrors from giant spiders to bloodthirsty dinosaurs to get her back. Yet, nothing can prepare them for the revelation of the mighty wonder in whose clutches Ann truly remains‹King Kong!

96 pages, $12.95, in stores on Nov. 1.


KOTOBUKIYA PRINCESS LEIA SOFT VINYL MODEL KIT

Dark Horse continues its import program of the award-winning large vinyl Star Wars figures. Consisting of six easy-to-assemble pieces, Princess Leia is 10 inches tall.

One of the most alluring female character costumes ever, Princess Leia's slave outfit made an impression on millions of people when she appeared on the screen in Return of the Jedi in 1983. Owing its popularity among teenage boys to a combination of carefully placed metal and fabric, Leia's new look proved to be an overwhelming favorite.

Not to be outdone by other sex symbols, Leia did not sit idly by Jabba's side as her friends were threatened, rather, she strangled her captor with her own slave chains. Our heroine is celebrated in this stunning, realistically rendered vinyl model kit.

10 inches, $99.99, in stores on Nov. 15.


LANKHMAR BOOK 1: SWORDS AND DEVILTRY
Written by Hideyuki Kikuchi.

One of the most influential and critically acclaimed fantasy writers of all time, Fritz Leiber pioneered the sword-and-sorcery genre! In the ancient city of Lankhmar, two men forge a friendship in battle. The red-haired barbarian Fafhrd left the snowy reaches of Nehwon looking for a new life while the Gray Mouser, apprentice magician, fled after finding his master dead. These bawdy brothers-in-arms cement a friendship that leads them through the wilds of Nehwon facing thieves, wizards, princesses, and the depths of their desires and fears. Superb writing and brilliant, believable characterizations highlight the first entry in Leiber's seminal series.

272 pages, $8.95, in stores on Dec. 13.


LITTLE LULU VOLUME 13: TOO MUCH FUN
Written and art by John Stanley, art by Irving Tripp.

The good times never end for this gaggle of suburban heroes mastering the treacherous terrain of school, the beach, and of course, Main Street. Junior detective Tubby tackles a case, Lulu regales the troublesome tot Alvin with a tall tale of the wicked Witch Hazel, Annie gets even with the fellers from the clubhouse, and much more!

Collecting issues #54-58 of the Dell Comics' series Marge's Little Lulu, originally published between November 1952 and March 1953, this brimming volume features some of the funniest comics in known captivity.

208 pages, black and white, $9.95, in stores on Dec. 13.


OH MY GODDESS! VOLUME 25
Written and art by Kosuke Fujishima.

Ever since a cosmic phone call brought the four literal young goddesses Belldandy, Urd, Skuld--and, like an occasional vowel, Peorth‹to live in college student Keiichi's residence, his personal life has been turned upside down, sideways, and sometimes even into strange dimensions!

The appearance of the Fifth Goddess has heralded a darker turn in the story--as we are reminded that behind the adorable form of chibi-Hild lies a fearsome demonic intent. Her surprise attack on the goddesses begins by unleashing the beast Tenshikui, the Eater of Angels, which strips the angelic companions from Urd and Peorth's bodies! The stricken pair cannot survive long in this state . . . and Belldandy is the next target. But the Fifth Goddess is of a different order than her comrades‹not a Norn, but a grim Valkyrie, she stands holding a long axe to defend the fallen!

176 pages, black and white, $10.95, in stores on Dec. 13.


OLD BOY VOLUME 3
Written by Garon Tsuchiya, art by Nobuaki Minegishi.

The deadly game of cat-and-mouse continues! Imprisoned for a decade without trial or explanation‹and then released just as unceremoniously‹and now armed with a cell phone that his former torturer has provided for him, will Goto be able to hunt down the truth behind his decade in hell, or will he become even more his tormentor's plaything? No doubt, Goto's adversary still has a few surprises in store, and if Goto wants answers, he'll have to fight like the devil to get them.

216 pages, black and white, $12.95, in stores on Dec. 6


PATH OF THE ASSASSIN VOLUME 4
Written by Kazuo Koike, art by Goseki Kojima.

War! Ninjas! Love! Political intrigue! It's all packed into Path of the Assassin. Drafted by classic samurai manga creators Kazuo Koike and Goseki Kojima of Lone Wolf and Cub fame, Path of the Assassin is the story of a young shogun on his way to unite Japan, and the trusty ninja assigned to protect him. Be it in crafty maneuverings of war, political push and pull, or bedroom adventures, young Hattori Hanzo will not be kept from his duties.

Published in the popular pocket-sized manga format, Path of the Assassin packs historical fiction and fine art in yet another classic samurai series from Dark Horse.

304 pages, black and white, $9.95, in stores on Dec. 27.


THE PERHAPANAUTS: SECOND CHANCES #1
Written by Todd Dezago, art by Craig Rousseau.

They're back! Still glowing from the heat of their first mind-numbing miniseries, those prowlers of the paranormal -- The Perhapanauts -- are back to confront more creepy cryptozoological creatures and extradimensional entities! (No, the fact that the team is mostly made up of the same mythic monsters isn't lost on us . . .)

A Bigfoot, a chupacabra, a ghost, and a psychic, all agents for the enigmatic BEDLAM (Bureau of Extra-Dimensional Liabilities and Management), tear it up as they continue the fight to keep us safe from the unseen horrors in our closets and the things that go bump in the night!

Join The Perhapanauts as they delve into the mysteries of the unknown and the unexplained and answer questions like why there're more lines on your left palm than on your right!

32 pages, $2.99, in stores on Oct. 25.


THE PLAYBOY INTERVIEWS: LARGER THAN LIFE
Edited by Stephen Randall and the editors of Playboy magazine.

Fame: It's a world unto itself. Only certain people -- the lucky few -- are permitted entrance. Their notoriety and influence shape our views on politics, art, commerce, music, even the way we dress and speak. Our lives become defined by how we were before they existed and how we see ourselves after. Everyone remembers where they were the first time they heard the Beatles, watched Muhammad Ali step into the ring, or how they sat in amazement as Marlon Brando filled the big screen. For the last 40 years, Playboy magazine has gone into the living rooms and into the minds of America's glittering few, capturing in candid interviews the thoughts and emotions of these historic men and women at the height of their fame. Now, Playboy and M Press are honored to collect the interviews of 14 people who shaped the world, who can truly be called Larger Than Life.

400 pages, $22.95, in stores on Dec. 13.


REIKO THE ZOMBIE SHOP VOLUME 5
Written and art by Rei Mikamoto.

When Reiko Himezono transfers to a new school, Saint Cross Gakuen, she's confronted with a whole new set of faces. Fitting in might be a bit of a problem, though, since everyone she meets seems to want her dead! Of course, Reiko won't go down without a fight. As a Zombie Shop, she can raise the dead and call up obedient zombie servants from the very depths of Hell itself! But is she powerful enough to handle the dangers that wait for her around every school hall corner, or will this Zombie Shop be closed down for good?

184 pages, black and white, $12.95, in stores on Dec. 13.


REX MUNDI #2
Written by Arvid Nelson, art by Juan Ferreyra.

Rex Mundi is a murder mystery set in a 1930s Europe where sorcerers stalk the streets at night and the Roman Catholic Church never lost its grip on power. Master Physician Julien Saunière must uncover the two-thousand-year-old secret of the Holy Grail before all the world is drenched in blood!

In this issue, Julien and Genevieve flee Paris, on the run from the Holy Inquisition and the agents of the Duke of Lorraine. Their destination: a small town in the south of France where they will uncover the true nature of the Holy Grail. That is, if they survive the trip . . .

Meanwhile, the Prussian army swarms into the heart of France, within shelling distance of Paris itself! Has the Duke of Lorraine overestimated his prospects in the unfolding war?

32 pages, $2.99, in stores on Oct. 18.


SAMURAI STATUE

Based on the original Dark Horse comic book character created by Ron Marz and Luke Ross, both of whom have been actively involved in this sculpture from its inception, the fantastically detailed work depicts Asukai Shiro, a Japanese samurai from the year 1704.

His saga of pursuit and revenge, in order to rescue his lost love, Lady Yoshiko, inspired one of Dark Horse's most popular series of 2005. Working with one of the best sculptors in the field, Ruben Procopio, Dark Horse captured every nuance and color of the character. Posed in battle, amidst the detritus of feudal combat, this masterpiece was a challenge to create.

11.25 inches, limited to 950 pieces, $175, in stores on Oct. 25.


SATSUMA GISHIDEN VOLUME 2

Written and art by Hiroshi Hirata.

Japan's samurai past is riddled with stories of great fighting prowess and deeply ingrained systems of honor and discipline. But behind the stern demeanor was a society coming apart at the seams. Clashes in class systems and the need for a nation to come together threaten to break up the old ways of warring samurai‹these are tales of such struggles. This is the story of Japan's history, and the beginning of the end of the samurai era.

280 pages, black and white, $14.95, in stores on Dec. 20.


SCARLET TRACES: THE GREAT GAME #4
Written by Ian Edginton, art by D'Israeli.

With the British forces poised to deliver a death blow to their Martian foe, the implacable aliens reveal they've been playing a long game all their own and now the Earth itself is forfeit. For photographer Charlotte Hemming, she's no longer recording history but becoming part of it, as she joins in a last, desperate stand on the Moon! Don't miss the thrilling final issue of Scarlet Traces: The Great Game!

32 pages, $2.99, in stores on Oct. 11.


STAR WARS: DARK TIMES #1-- THE PATH TO NOWHERE
Written by Welles Hartley and Mick Harrison, art and cover by Douglas Wheatley, colored by Ronda Pattison.

"For over a thousand generations the Jedi Knights were the guardians of peace and justice in the Old Republic. Before the dark times, before the Empire."

--Ben Kenobi

The dark times are here. Even as the worlds of the former Republic are drawn into the iron grip of Palpatine's Empire, the galaxy seems adrift in a sea of chaos, lawlessness, and despair.

On Coruscant, Darth Vader waits for his Master to reveal his vision for the future. But is there a plan beyond obtaining power? On New Plympto, Jedi Master Dass Jennir leads a Nosaurian army in a war they have already lost. Is this what it now means to be a Jedi?

Dark Times #1 is the gateway to a new era in Star Wars history, an era where the future is grim, evil is on the rise, and all paths seem to lead nowhere . . .

32 pages, $2.99, in stores on Oct. 25.


STAR WARS: KNIGHTS OF THE OLD REPUBLIC #10
Written by John Jackson Miller, art by Brian Ching, colored by Michael Atiyeh.

Secret motivations and a troubled history are revealed in this standalone story of fear, neglect, and betrayal in the Old Republic! After the great Sith War, one Jedi dedicated herself to training only the most gifted seers in hopes of foretelling and preventing the return of the Sith. But obsession with her mission led to oversight elsewhere, allowing dark influences to take hold amidst the Jedi order. Now, events have been set in motion that cannot be undone, the consequences of which will rewrite the fate of the entire galaxy!

32 pages, $2.99, in stores on Oct. 25.


STAR WARS LEGACY #5
Written by John Ostrander, penciled by Jan Duursema, inked by Dan Parsons, colored by Brad Anderson, cover by Adam Hughes.

A galaxy-shaking secret is revealed in the heat of battle! Old friendships will be strained to the breaking point, unlikely new alliances will be formed, and the relentless forces of evil will pursue their dark ends with even greater vigor and purpose. In a universe on the brink of either destruction or salvation, it is the actions of an unexpected few that will determine the fates of all. The previously uncharted future of Star Wars takes a surprising turn in this latest issue of Legacy‹be there!

32 pages, $2.99, in store on Oct. 3.

VAMPIRE HUNTER D VOLUME 6: PILGRIMAGE OF THE SACRED AND THE PROFANE
Written by Hideyuki Kikuchi, art by Yoshitaka Amano.

Granny Viper is a "people finder," a searcher for lost souls along the roads of a forbidding wasteland. Her latest mission: the safe return of a young woman named Tae, kidnapped eight years ago by vampire Nobility and held in Castle Gradinia on the Frontier's far border. But rescuing Tae is only half the battle‹Viper knows she and the girl can't cross the formidable expanse to the town of Barnabas alone. After making the fatal mistake of hiring the mercenary Bullow Brothers to help her, Granny turns to the legendary Vampire Hunter D for salvation. As they traverse the bleak desert between the Inner and Outer Frontier, the two women and D find themselves in a race for their lives. And they soon discover how cruel the desert is‹and how very ruthless the Bullow Brothers are . . . Features six illustrations by the renowned Yoshitaka Amano, illustrator of Neil Gaiman's Sandman: The Dream Hunters.

280 pages, $8.95, in stores on Dec. 13.


WHO WANTS TO BE A SUPERHERO?
Written by Stan Lee and Welles Hartley.

Dark Horse Comics has teamed with the Sci Fi Channel, Nash Entertainment, and comics legend Stan Lee to turn real-people-turned-superheroes into actual comic book superheroes!

For the show Who Wants to Be a Superhero?, Dark Horse and Glass House Graphics joined forces to create a first-issue comic book cover for each of the eleven contestants. The winner of the reality TV show (still to be determined as of this writing) will appear in their own comic-book adventure.

Over the course of six weekly episodes, Stan Lee will put a group of would-be superheroes through their paces, testing them on courage, character, and compassion. Some heroes will fall, while one will emerge triumphant. Who will be a superhero? We don't know yet, but ,somebody is going to live every comics fans' dream!

32 pages, $3.50, in stores on Oct. 4.


WORLDS OF AMANO
Written and art by Yoshitaka Amano.

Worlds of Amano provides a rare look inside the creative process of one of the most influential popular-culture artists working in Japan in the last thirty years.

Originally published in France, Worlds of Amano presents a unique overview of Yoshitaka Amano's diverse work. This vast introduction allows one to take in the full measure of the immense talent of this famous Japanese illustrator, who is so well known for his designs of the Final Fantasy video games.

Eclectic and apparently without limit, Amano's art is stunning. Drawing on numerous projects from over the last thirty years with many rarely seen illustrations, this book captures the rare beauty and inspiration of Amano's vision.

156 pages, $27.95, in stores on Dec. 13.

Friday, July 14, 2006

Pop Culture Roundup July 14, 2006

Take the Last Train to Cashville!

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As announced yesterday, Gemstone Publishing will be reprinting the classic EC Comics line in "archive" hardcover editions. I think this great news. But, like some other folks--including Joanna over at Comics Worth Reading--I have some reservations about this part of the news:

The EC Archives editions will present these stories with all-new colors based on the originals, but utilizing new methods of shading and texture to enhance and improve each story's impact.

I'm not a fan of most modern, computerized comic book coloring. In many cases, all the hues and shades tend to overpower the art, particularly when it's added to older stories originally presented in "flat" color. But I also get the sense that this archive line is a labor of love on Gemstone's part, so maybe the use of modern colors will be respectful of the original colors and subtle.

I'm thinking we'll see something akin to the new colors added Gemstone's current reprintings of Carl Barks' classic Donald Duck comics: Bright, expressive, but not distracting.

Joanna also isn't keen on the EC Archives including the comics' original house ads, etc. I'm actually glad this is the case. Those old house ads are popular with fans, as evidenced by their regular appearance on the Web, such as on the DC Archives board, Dial B for Blog, here, etc. Such surrounding elements help recapture the period in which the comics first appeared.

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On NPR: Downloadable concerts by Gomez and the Bad Plus.

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Original "Star Wars" films on DVD details

As mentioned a while back, the original versions of first three "Star Wars" movies (i.e. the ones that didn't suck) will be out on DVD Sept. 12.

These are the versions originally shown in theaters without all the CGI ickiness Director George Lucas insisted on adding later on.

The new releases are double DVD sets, including the original cuts and the new-and-unimproved versions, plus some extras. Here are the specs:


Star Wars Episode IV - A New Hope (1977 & 2004 Versions, 2-Disc Widescreen Edition)


Disc 1:
* Widescreen Feature (Enhanced Trilogy Version)
* Commentary by George Lucas, Ben Burtt, Dennis Muren and Carrie Fisher
* Easter Egg - Credit Roll
Disc 2:
* Widescreen Feature (For Both Versions Full Screen and Widescreen) - original theatrical movie version in dolby 2.0 surround
* XBox Playable Game Demo
* Lego Game Trailer


Star Wars Episode V - The Empire Strikes Back (1980 & 2004 versions, 2-Disc Widescreen Edition)


Disc 1:
* Widescreen Feature (Enhanced Trilogy Version)
* Commentary by George Lucas, Irvin Kershner, Ben Burtt, Lawrence Kasdan, Dennis Muren, and Carrie Fisher
* Easter Egg - Credit Roll
Disc 2:
* Widescreen Feature (For Both Versions Full Screen and Widescreen) - original theatrical movie version in dolby 2.0 surround
* XBox Playable Game Demo
* Lego Game Trailer


Star Wars Episode VI - Return of the Jedi (1983 & 2004 versions, 2-Disc Widescreen Edition)


Disc 1:
* Widescreen Feature (Enhanced Trilogy Version)
* Commentary by George Lucas, Lawrence Kasdan, Ben Burtt, Dennis Muren, and Carrie Fisher
* Easter Egg - Credit Roll
Disc 2:
* Widescreen Feature (For Both Versions Full Screen and Widescreen) - original theatrical movie version in dolby 2.0 surround
* XBox Playable Game Demo
* Lego Game Trailer

All three sets are available for pre-order now from Amazon, click the above links for details.

DVD: Abbott and Costello Show 100th Anniversary

I'm thinking it's the 100th anniversary of either Abbott or Costello (who was born first?) not the show, since TV wasn't around a century ago. Anyway, details are scant other than that this set exists and will be out Sept. 5.

As you can see on the cover art, the set includes 26 episodes from the show's first season on five disks. It's available for pre-order now from Amazon.

DVD: Flintstones season 6

The sixth season of "The Flintstones" is due out Sept. 5 and available now for pre-order from Amazon.

Details:

For those who leave no stone unturned, here's the sixth and final season of the greatest archeological dig in cartoon history. And its 26 episodes are treasure well worth excavating! Exploring every realm of popular parody, The Flintstones delighted kids but tickled adults even more with howlingly funny takeoffs of such "trendy" TV shows as Bewitched (with the voices of Elizabeth Montgomery and Dick York in Samantha), award-winning movies (My Fair Freddy and The Treasure of Sierra Madrock) and kitschy spoofs of Hollywood royalty in Return of Stoney Curtis. The show's writers even had the foresight to project into the future, as in The Long Long Long Weekend, guest-starring the series' newest character, space alien Gazoo.

DVD: Teens Titans, The Batman season 2 sets

The complete second seasons of "Teen Titans" and "The Batman" are out Sept. 12. Click the links to pre-order from Amazon now.


Teen Titans - The Complete Second Season

Dangerous enemy or lifelong friend? That's the question of Season 2 when Terra, a free-spirited teen with awesome earth-manipulating powers, rolls into town. As a skilled fighter, she makes a powerful addition to the Titans' fight against crime, and as a fun-loving, no-holds-barred hero, she jives instantly with their team chemistry. But the Titans aren't the only ones interested in recruiting the new girl. Robin's archnemesis Slade is on the prowl for an apprentice, and the combination of Terra's volatile powers and personal vulnerability make her a perfect target for his twisted plans. Trusting this newcomer could prove to be a fatal mistake for the Teen Titans! Throughout 13 action-packed adventures from the hit TV series (and Bombastic Bonuses too), this Deluxe 2-Disc Edition is earth-shattering entertainment!


The Batman - The Complete Second Season

Riddle me this: who's the latest villain to set his sinister sights on Gotham City? Riddler, of course, and only The Batman has the answers to stop this enigmatic evildoer. In these 13 action-packed episodes from the hit TV series, Gotham's greatest protector stumps Riddler and other favorite villains like Joker, Mr. Freeze and Penguin, and his obsession with justice earns the trust of up-and-coming police detective Jim Gordon. When Gordon offers The Batman a tentative alliance ? "Just help me make this city safe for my daughter" ? another piece of the legend falls into place! Swoop onto this Deluxe 2-Disc Edition with All Season 2 Adventures plus Exciting Extras. See justice done as no other hero can deliver!

DVD: Tomorrow Show--Tom Snyder's Electric Kool-Aid Talk Show

It's another theme-oriented collection of interviews and musical performances from Snyder's "Tomorrow Show." The last disk focused on punk/new wave performers while this one features various 60s-era folks.

Contents include:

• Interviews with:
--The Grateful Dead
--Dr. Timothy Leary
--Ken Kesey
--Tom Wolfe
• Four live performances by The Grateful Dead:
--On The Road Again
--Cassidy
--Dire Wolf
--Deep Elem Blues

The disk is out Sept. 26 and available for order now from Amazon.

Thursday, July 13, 2006

EC Comics "Archives" officially announced

We mentioned the prospect of hardcover, "archive" collections of classic EC Comics quite a while back. Now it looks like official word of the reprints is out:

EC COMICS RETURN IN STUNNING NEW FORMAT

Weird Science launches a new hardcover EC Archive series available this October!

(Baltimore, MD) - July 13, 2006 - Once unjustly maligned as a cause of escalating teen delinquency during the '50s, the EC Comics line - created by publisher William Gaines and a host of some of comics' most legendary artists - is now considered by scholars, fans, and collectors alike as a milestone achievement in graphic storytelling, years ahead of its time. These comics entertained millions during their all-too-short runs and influenced some of our generation's most talented writers, filmmakers, and artists. They have inspired cartoons, movies, TV series, and countless parodies and tributes, and now these classics of the 20th century are set to return, presented in a stunning new format for the 21st century!

EC Crypt and Gemstone Publishing are proud to present the first volume in The EC Archives, launching in October 2006 with Weird Science Volume One! Previous collected editions of the classic EC Comics line reproduced the stories in black-and-white which, although showcasing the beautiful line art rendered by such EC greats as Graham "Ghastly" Ingels and Wally Wood, did not preserve the wonderful coloring expertly applied by EC and Marvel Comics veteran, Marie Severin. The EC Archives editions will present these stories with all-new colors based on the originals, but utilizing new methods of shading and texture to enhance and improve each story's impact. The reproduction of these volumes will be the best ever presented, as each of The EC Archives will be shot directly from the original EC art!

Weird Science Volume One kicks off the series in October with a 212-page hardcover volume collecting the first six issues of the legendary Sci-Fi comics series! Included are stories by Al Feldstein, William Gaines and more, with art by legendary illustrators Wally Wood, Harvey Kurtzman, Joe Orlando, Jack Kamen, Al Feldstein and others. Each volume will also include all of the original EC advertisements, editorial pieces, and even letters pages, to give readers a true idea what made EC one of the most influential comic book lines ever created.

"The EC Comics line was a classic in its day, "said Publisher Russ Cochran. "It is still popular with collectors and has been an influence on everyone from comic creators to filmmakers in Hollywood."

One filmmaker in particular who holds the EC Comics line in high regard is legendary Star Wars creator, George Lucas, who provides a nostalgic foreword for this first volume. One can assume that comics such as Weird Science helped to expand the imagination of a young George Lucas, steering him towards an eventual journey to A Galaxy Far, Far Away.

And Lucas isn't alone in his appreciation for the EC Comics line. His own friend and frequent collaborator, Steven Spielberg, provides the foreword for the second volume in the series, Shock SuspenStories Volume One, which will be released in November 2006. Thereafter, fans and collectors can expect additional volumes such as Tales from the Crypt Volume One in December 2006, Two-Fisted Tales Volume One in January 2007, and additional volumes to follow throughout 2007!

All volumes are priced at $49.95 and will be available at bookstores and comic book specialty stores.


Here's a preview of cover art:

Pop Artifact! Vac-U-Form



Vintage DC Comics House Ad



See the Best Batman Sites on the Web.

Pop Culture Roundup July 13, 2006

Bedazzled presents some more Syd Barrett-era Pink Floyd vids.

--------------------

Booksteve remembers those great digest-size issues of Adventure Comics DC published back in the early 80s. Man, I miss Adventure. I was long-time fan of the title, starting with the Spectre run, through Aquaman, etc. All that great Jim Aparo art...

--------------------

Via Mike Sterling: A Palm Springs art gallery is hosting a Batman-themed exhibit with paintings by Adam West, among others. Observation: Adam West--not a great painter.



--------------------

The New York Times checks in with Jack Larson and Noel Neill, who played Jimmy Olsen and Lois Lane on the 1950s "Superman" TV series and who appear in cameos in "Superman Returns."

---------------------

Dial B for Blog blends my two fave obsessions: Comic books and the Beatles.

---------------------

Billboard has details on Bob Dylan's upcoming album, Modern Times.

---------------------

Pre-order action figures July 13, 2006

Complete List of Marvel Legends Action Figures
Complete List of DC Direct Action Figures

Here's a look at action figures available via your local comics shop or via the TIP!-supporting links below:

Batman Lego Sets
--The Batmobile: Two-Face's Escape (7781)
--The Batman Dragster: Catwoman Pursuit (7779)
--The Batwing: The Joker's Aerial Assault (7782)

Buffy the Vampire Slayer
--Sunnydale High School Playset
--Buffy the Vampire Slayer Action Figures: Xander, Cordelia and Xander w/ Patch
--Buffy the Vampire Slayer Action Figures: “Destiny” Angel and “Destiny” Spike Set of 2
--Buffy the Vampire Slayer Action Figures: Pylean Princess Cordelia
--Buffy the Vampire Slayer Action Figures: Angel and Spike Hawaiian Shirt Box Set

DC Direct Action Figures

Alex Ross Justice League Action Figures Series 3
--Green Lantern
--The Joker
--Plastic Man
--Wonder Woman
--Poison Ivy

Alex Ross Justice League Action Figures Series 4
--Shazam
--Black Adam
--Hawkman
--Zatanna
--Solomon Grundy

Batman Dark Victory
--Batman
--Commissioner Gordon
--Scarecrow
--Robin and Penguin

Batman/Superman: The Return of Supergirl Action Figures
--Supergirl
--Superman
--Batman
--Darkseid
--Corrupted Supergirl

DC Direct Reactivated Action Figures
--Batman
--Wonder Woman
--Lobo
--Superman

13-inch Figures
Deluxe Edition 13-inch Green Lantern
Deluxe Edition 13-inch Lex Luthor
Deluxe Edition 13-inch Two-Face
Deluxe Edition 13-inch Aquaman

Elseworlds Action Figures Series 2
--Red Son Batman
--Red Son President Superman
--Kingdom Come Jade
--Kingdom Come Spectre and Norman McKay
--Gotham By Gaslight Batman

Green Lantern Action Figures Series 2
--Manhunter Robot
--Guy Gardner
--Shark
--Saalak
--Sinestero

Infinite Crisis Action Figures Series 1
--Powergirl
--Omac
--Mongul
--Earth Prime Superboy
--Alexander Luthor

New Frontier Action Figures Series 1
--Green Lantern
--Superman
--Wonder Woman
--Green Arrow
--Black Hawk

Who's Who in the DC Universe Miniature Figures Series One

Hanna Barbera Action Figures
--Set of Five
--Fred Flintstone Chopper
--Hong Kong Phooey
--Quick Draw McGraw
--Tom and Jerry Music
--Tom and Jerry House

John Lennon
--JOHN LENNON 18" Action Figure

Marvel Figure Factory Sets
--Angel
--Beast
--Black Costume Spider-Man
--Deadpool
--Invisible Woman
--Silver Surfer

Marvel Legends Action Figures
Marvel Monsters Gift Pack
Young Avengers Gift Pack

Marvel Legends Series 14
--Original Armor Iron Man (variant)
--Longshot
--Baron Zemo (variant)
--Luke Cage: Powerman
--The Falcon (variant)
--Psylocke

Marvel Legends Series 15
--Mandarin
--Beta Ray Bill
--Moon Knight
--Spider-Woman (variant)
--Quicksilver (variant)
--Thor-Buster Iron Man
--Wasp (variant)
--Captain Marvel (variant)

Marvel Legends Exclusive Giant-Man Series
--Giant Man
--Ant Man
--Havok
--Sabretooth
--Captain Britain
--Kitty Pryde
--Thor
--Weapon X
--Warbird
--Sentry
--Weapon X variant
--Sentry Variant

Marvel Legends Face Off Twin Packs
--Kingpin Vs. Daredevil (variant)
--Hulk Vs. The Leader (variant)
--Captain America Vs. The Red Skull (variant)

Marvel Legends Icons Series
--Captain America (variant)
--Iron Man (variant)
--Wolverine (variant)
--Venom (variant)
--Spider-Man (variant)
--Hulk (variant)

Marvel Legends Masterworks Sets
--Spider-Man Vs. Green Goblin
--Fantastic Four Vs. Mole Man
--Hulk Vs. The Thing
--Galactus Vs. Everybody

Marvel Legends Showdown
--Mister Fantastic and Mole Man
--Colossus and Magneto
--Ghostrider and Vengeance
--Logan and Chopper
--Namor and Shark
--Green Goblin
--Beast (variant)
--Juggernaut (variant)
--Elektra (variant)
-- Silver Surfer
-- Spider-Man and Thing
-- Wolverine and Hulk
-- Dock Ock
-- Black Costume Spider-Man
-- Punisher
-- Doctor Doom
-- Captain America
-- Human Torch

Marvel Mega Morphs
--The Thing
--Iron Man
--Magneto

Marvel Select Figures
--Spider-Woman
--Moon Knight
--Cloak and Dagger

Marvel Studios
--Dr. Doom with Mask
--Dr. Doom unmasked

Star Wars Transformers
--Millennium Falcon With Han Solo and Chewbacca

X-Men 3 Action Figures
--Air Strike Wolverine
--Angel
--Stealth Cyclops
--Tech Gear Beast
--Phoenix
--Colossus
--Nightcrawler
--Iceman
--Rogue
--Avalanche
--Sabretooth

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Pop Artifact! Mork action figure

DC Comics vintage house ad



See the Best DC Comics Sites on the Web.

Pop Culture Roundup July 12, 2006

Remembering Syd Barret: Bedazzled shares a videoclip of The Pink Floyd on BBC's "Look of the Week."

Meanwhile, Rolling Stone presents a 1971 Barrett interview and the Guardian interviews original Floyd producer Joe Boyd.

-----------------------

Datajunkie is sharing a couple rare Jack Kirby 1970s comics: Issues of "Spirit World" and "Last Days of the Mob."

-----------------------

Dial B for Blog swings with "Scooter."

-----------------------

Today in sharity: The Living Strings Play "I'm A Believer" and Other Monkees' Hits.

-----------------------

Johnny Cash's posthumous American V: A Hundred Highways is the artist's first gold record since 1969, Billboard reports.

-----------------------

Check out a new Beatles beatleg podcast.

------------------------

The "Groovy Goolies" are coming to DVD.

New comics July 12, 2006

See complete lists:
DC Archives
DC Showcase
DC Trade Paperbacks
Marvel Masterworks
Marvel Essentials
Marvel Trade Paperbacks
Upcoming Trade Paperbacks - Graphic Novels


Comics Shipping July 12, 2006

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Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Pop Artifact! Blow-up Smokey Bear

Vintage DC Comics house ad



See the Best DC Comics Sites on the Web

Pop Culture Roundup July 11, 2006

Syd Barrett, Pink Floyd's troubled original singer, has died.

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TV alert: A reminder to watch "Tintin and Me," a documentary look at the famed comics character tonight on PBS' "P.O.V." series. Check yer locals.

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Johnny Bacardi presents a 1974 "House of Secrets" story with art by the late, great Alex Toth.

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Mattel reportedly has purchased rights to produce toys of the 1966 TV Batmobile.

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Comics artist Jim Starlin has a new graphic novel coming out.

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Check out a You Tube video of the Beatles' pseudo appearance on an early episode of "Doctor Who."

New DVD releases July 11, 2006

Basic Instinct 2 (Unrated, Extended Cut)

Chaplin Mutual Comedies: Restored Edition

A Different World - Season 2

The Ellen Show: The Complete Series

ER - The Complete Fifth Season

I Dream Of Jeannie: Complete Second Season

The John Wayne Cliffhanger Collection

McCallum: The Complete Series

Perry Mason - Season 1, Vol. 1

Tristram Shandy: A Cock and Bull Story

Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea, Vol. 2

Weeds - Season 1

See more Upcoming DVD Releases