Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Image Expo- 20 Years of Independence

In 1992, frustrated by the way their creations were being exploited, some of the biggest artists in comics set out to tell the stories they wanted to tell, the way they wanted to tell them. These artists formed Image Comics, one of the biggest comic publishers in the industry. Through the creation of Image Comics fans have seen the creator-owned Spawn, Savage Dragon, Youngblood, The Walking Dead and Witchblade series’ (just to name a few) become some of the biggest sellers in the industry.  Last weekend in Oakland, Image’s five partners (Robert Kirkman, Todd McFarlane, Marc Silvestri, Jim Valentino and Erik Larsen) and their fans gathered to celebrate twenty years of independent comics.  

The first day kicked off with the Keynote Address from Eric Stephenson making some awesome announcements of some upcoming Image offerings. Some of the most notable:

-Jupiters Children from Mark Millar

-Black Kiss 2 from Howard Chaykin

-Happy from Grant Morrison

Saturday saw a full line-up of panels that kicked off with Womanthology: What Zeitgeist? featuring Trina Robbins, Maria Huehner, Nicole Sixx, Fiona Staples and Bonnie Butler with moderator Blair Butler.  For those that don’t know, Womanthology is an anthology which showcases over 100 female creators. The project started out as an idea that was tweeted, which then caught on and eventually snow-balled into a Kickstarter project. By the end of the first day, the project reached its goal of $25,000 and in the end, went on to exceed its goal with over $100,000 in funding (for more on Womanthology click here). The book releases on March 20, 2012. Keep your ears open because Maria Huehner stated at the panel that, “There is a next step” and that all will be announced around the same time as the book’s release!

Robert Kirkman, Todd McFarlane, Whilce Portacio, Jim Valentino, Marc Silvestri, Erik Larsen and Rob Liefeld were on hand at the Twenty Years of Independence: The Image Comics 20th Anniversary Panel. During the panel they recounted the story of Image Comics’ founding. McFarlane said, “Rob was gonna do his thing, Erik was gonna do his thing and Jim (Lee) and all of a sudden it was like, “Why are we sorta kinda thinking about doing all of these things independently?” So, with Todd McFarlane, Jim Valentino, Erik Larsen, Whilce Portacio, Marc Silvestri, Jim Lee and Rob Liefeld all on board, Image Comics was born. "The reason Image worked is because it was a collective. We were all jonesing to do our own thing. We loved our time at Marvel, I'm just speaking from a place of honesty, and I was just excited to do something else. It wasn't like 'I'm done with Marvel' or 'Marvel's treated me wrong’” said Liefeld.
Hands down, the biggest panel of the Expo was The Walking Dead Live with Robert Kirkman, Norman Reedus and Steven Yeun with Chris Hardwick as moderator. If you’ve ever seen The Talking Dead, this panel was a live version of that. To view the full video of the panel from Youtube and hotmilkgt click here

Sunday consisted of workshops from some of the best and brightest in the industry including: Joe Casey (Ben 10), Todd McFarlane, Marc Silvestri, John Layman and many others. Image Comics has come a long way from being, the little publisher that could. “We are 20 years now into the failure. Maybe 20 years from now it will (fail), but I don't think so. I think it'll outlive all of us,” said Silvestri. He summed it all up best in the Twenty Years Panel when he said, "The thing about Image Comics when we started 20 years ago, and it still holds true today, even though we have more experience and we've learned a lot, both from successes and failures, is that the dysfunction of Image is actually the function of Image. Image was formed by seven lunatics who, like Todd said, backup for a running start off a cliff. The beauty of Image is the fact is that now, with 20 years of retrospect, what Image did, what it stood for, has literally become a part of pop-culture history."

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Archaia & JeffCorwinConnect Announce "I'm Not A Plasic Bag" For Late March

Spearheading a new green initiative in the graphic novel industry, Archaia Entertainment announced the upcoming release of Rachel Hope Allison’s I’M NOT A PLASTIC BAG, an original graphic novel published in association with JeffCorwinConnect Inc., a transmedia company co-founded by biologist and philanthropist Jeff Corwin, well-known as the Emmy Award-winning host and executive producer of ABC’s Ocean Mysteries.

The spellbinding story, told entirely without words, follows the journey of a few pieces of discarded trash—a supermarket plastic bag, an old umbrella—all the way out to the middle of the Pacific Ocean, where they join together into a tragic and destructive island of trash that searches for its place amidst the fragile beauty of nature. The tale is an artistic imagining of a very real phenomenon known as the Great Pacific Garbage Patch, an accumulation of human consumer waste that floats in an area between Hawaii and the California coastline.

“I found out about the Pacific Garbage Patch kind of randomly, just stumbling on an article about it,” said Allison, who, in her day job, works as a strategist for Big Duck, a firm that helps nonprofit organizations raise funds and awareness through smart communications. “Like a lot of people, just learning that something so big and dangerous existed out in the ocean was kind of a shock, and the image of all that debris, trapped in such a remote part of the ocean, really stuck with me. That said, even some of the most disturbing pictures of the Garbage Patch also had a kind of beauty to them, and it got me thinking that the island itself might be a sympathetic character, that this might even be a love story of sorts.”

To emphasize the real-life environmental issues of marine debris and ocean pollution that the Garbage Patch embodies, I’m Not a Plastic Bag also includes eight pages of educational material on topics such as threatened wildlife and things readers can do to decrease their footprint on the environment.

“If this story can inspire anyone else to put the power of their own imagination toward tackling the environmental challenges we face today, then I can’t imagine any higher honor,” said Allison.

Joining Allison in the quest to get people involved in the fight to save our ocean and waterways is Jeff Corwin, who, in addition to hosting Ocean Mysteries, is a regular science and environmental correspondent for MSNBC and NBC News and has had his wildlife and conservation work featured on The Today Show, The Rachel Maddow Show, The Tonight Show with Jay Leno, and The Oprah Winfrey Show, among many others.

“Despite the fact that U.S. citizens take up only 5% of the world population, we generate 40% of our planet’s trash!” wrote Corwin in the Foreword to the book. “The good news is that each one of us, no matter where you are from, or how old you are, has the power and the responsibility to keep our Earth clean. Rachel Allison’s incredible and almost ethereal story of the Great Pacific Garbage Patch will not only engage and awaken your spirit, but will empower all of us to save our precious planet from falling prey to garbage and waste.” The partnership between Archaia and JeffCorwinConnect plans for I’m Not a Plastic Bag to be the first of many books to come. The two companies plan to collaborate on additional titles, across various environmental themes, to help raise education and awareness of the conservation challenges and wins of our planet while building a new generation of environment stewards amongst the youth.

“Just as Archaia Entertainment endeavors to bring people together through books, JeffCorwinConnect seeks to connect people to the planet, its species and the ecosystems they live in, creating education and awareness about key issues facing our environment. Our companies’ mutual interest in education and enriching the social consciousness makes our relationship with JeffCorwinConnect an extremely exciting one,” said Archaia CEO PJ Bickett. “In joining forces with JCC, we look to create a line of books that raises awareness about many incredibly important issues concerning our environment and wildlife. We couldn’t ask for a better first step in this new initiative than Rachel’s beautiful story in I’m Not a Plastic Bag.”

Anurag Agarwal, co-founder and CEO of JeffCorwinConnect Inc. added, “Partnering on a venture like this gives us the tremendous opportunity to connect and grow our community of global citizens. With the growing acceptance and use of graphic novels in the education and the retail markets, we believe that we can highlight critical environmental issues through this exciting format.”

The book will also debut Archaia’s new printing initiative in conjunction with Global PSD. Through the efforts of American Forests® and the Global ReLeaf® Program, for each tree that is cut down for the printing of I’m Not a Plastic Bag, two trees will be planted.

I’m Not a Plastic Bag will release in late March at bookstores and comic book stores…just in time for Earth Day on April 22nd!

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Young Justice: Legacy Announced For Xbox 360, PS3, Wii and DS

Little Orbit and Warner Bros. Interactive have announced that Young Justice: Legacy will be making its way to popular gaming consoles Xbox 360, PS3, Wii and Nintendo DS in early 2013. This will mark the video game debut of the popular Cartoon Network series.

In Young Justice: Legacy fans can look forward to an original storyline set in between Seasons 1 and 2 of the television series, written in collaboration with show writers Greg Weisman and Brandon Vietti. The game is packed with fan favorite playable characters, cameo appearances by popular Justice League heroes and villains, and includes online multiplayer as well as local multiplayer modes.

"The TV series is a fantastic combination of compelling writing, witty humor, iconic art, and exciting action sequences. The creators have done an amazing job blending over 180 DC Comics characters into their show filtered through a new, youthful perspective," said Matt Scott, CEO of Little Orbit. "The new video game contains a slew of cool features and a large playable cast of familiar heroes, but our core mission is to create a unique experience that fits seamlessly into the world of the show and offers a new way to interact with these popular DC Comics characters."

New episodes of the Warner Bros. Animation series Young Justice will air beginning Saturday, March 3, at 10:30 a.m. on Cartoon Network as part of DC Nation, the network's brand-new one-hour block of exclusive kids' television programming and shorts based on DC Comics characters. In Young Justice, teenage heroes Robin, Aqualad, Kid Flash, Superboy, Miss Martian and Artemis are tasked by the Justice League to act as their covert operations team. Armed with superior skills, weaponry and powers, the team must do battle against a wide array of villains from the DC Universe while trying to prove to themselves, and to their superhero mentors, that they too have what it takes to be a hero. Their journey is further complicated when they face the many unpredictable obstacles that arise in their path from inexperience and youth.

For up-to-date information follow:

Official Website:


Little Orbit:

Monday, February 20, 2012

"The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse" Are Coming From Heavy Metal

Kevin Eastman, owner and publisher of Heavy Metal Magazine, announced the launch of "The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse."  Eastman states “This incredible three book series featuring the stories of Michael Mendheim and art of Simon Bisley will also include special fan incentives and social media focused promotions and preview exclusives that aim to thrill our diehard fans, friends, fans and Heavy Metal followers.”

Raised by the Order of Solomon, Adam Cahill is one of a rare handful of highly trained warriors bound by bloodline to guard the Seven Holy Seals that contain the End of Days. But ageless forces have conspired towards a prophetic event foretold by numerous cultures and multiple religions, and when that cryptic date arrives, they strike against the order without mercy! The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse is a dark, gritty, action horror story inspired by the biblical tale ofArmageddon. In addition to the works of Simon Bisley, the series will feature additional art by the late Stan Winston, Tim Bradstreet, Chad Fidler, and Dave DeVries, and script written by cowriters Mike Kennedy and Sean Jaffe.

"I feel we have created a top notch horror story that combines the feel of the Matrix with Hellraiser.” said Michael Mendheim, creator and writer. “This project has demanded a lot of passion and commitment and it really shows.” Mendheim continues “The partnership with Heavy Metal is one that Simon and I are thrilled to have. They are the perfect publisher for this event.” Comics legend Simon Bisley says “A lot of blood, sweat and tears went into making this book the book it is – it’s very gratifying that it has found a good home with Kevin Eastman and Heavy Metal Magazine I take my hat off to Michael for entrusting me with this huge project.”

Kevin Eastman adds "I've been a huge fan of Michael’s project from the moment I first saw it. The added bonus of the Four Horsemen series is that we also get to work with my longtime friend Simon Bisley again. And to add to the 35th anniversary celebration efforts for this Heavy Metal project we will be offering special incentives and preview exclusives for our friends, fans and retailers.”

Eastman continues with “One of the great promotions we have lined up is the Pestilence Art Contest on our Facebook page. Someone will win an original signed painting from Simon Bisley and ten finalists will be celebrated in the September issue of Heavy Metal!”

For more information about the contests, events and surprises, check out:

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Phineas and Ferb Costumes Now Available For Disney Universe!


Gamers will suit up, power-up and battle through the suburbs of Danville in some of their favorite Phineas and Ferb costumes with the release of the “Phineas and Ferb” level downloadable content pack, available today for Disney Interactive Studios’ Disney Universe. The new content is currently available for download for $4.99 on PlayStation Network or for 400 Microsoft Points on Xbox LIVE online entertainment network.

 The “Phineas and Ferb” level in Disney Universe allows players to experience the adventures of Phineas, Ferb and friends in the suburbs of Danville. Gamers will be able suit up as Phineas, Ferb, Dr. Doofenshmirtz, Agent P and Candace as they utilize cool gadgets. The Chick-Inator will turn players into chickens in order to access small spaces, while the Atomic Leaf Blow-Inator will allow them to blow away piles of leaves to reveal collectibles and more as they advance through the neighborhood avoiding traps and hazards. The level will culminate as players battle Dr. Doofenshmirtz in an epic showdown to bring down his blimp and save a trapped passenger.  

Now available on store shelves for the Wii, Xbox 360, PlayStation 3 and Windows PC, Disney Universe offers a four-person multiplayer action experience, with frenzied gameplay that appeals to players of all ages. The “Phineas and Ferb” level joins other great Disney Universe environments, such as the Disney•Pixar hits WALL•E and Monsters, Inc., Tim Burton’s Alice in Wonderland, Pirates of the Caribbean, and the Academy Award winning classics, The Lion King and Aladdin. The game features 45 classic and contemporary iconic character costumes, including ones inspired by Sam Flynn, Quorra and Clu (TRON), Baloo (The Jungle Book), Ariel (The Little Mermaid), Sulley (Monsters, Inc.), Nemo (Finding Nemo) and everyone’s favorite pixie, Tinker Bell (Peter Pan). Dozens of other character costumes are also featured in the game, including Mickey Mouse, Minnie Mouse, Goofy and Donald Duck.

Disney Universe will continue to expand with new content, including worlds, costumes, and more available for download, giving Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 system owners an ever-evolving gameplay experience.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Cartoon Art Museum Exhibition: Image Comics: A 20th Anniversary Celebration

In 1992, seven of the most popular comic book artists in the world joined forces to create Image Comics, a company specializing in the publication of creator-owned comics and graphic novels. The first wave of Image Comics was an immediate hit with fans, and the company has grown over the past two decades to become one of the largest comics publishers in North America. In addition to publishing work by the Image partners, they give a voice to work by numerous independent creators. Its best-known series include Spawn, Savage Dragon, Witchblade, The Darkness, Invincible and The Walking Dead.

The Cartoon Art Museum’s exhibition Image Comics: A 20th Anniversary Celebration features over 40 pieces of original artwork spanning 20 years, including works from all seven Image founders, Erik Larsen (Savage Dragon), Jim Lee (WildC.A.T.s), Rob Liefeld (Youngblood), Todd McFarlane (Spawn), Whilce Portacio (Wetworks), Marc Silvestri (Cyberforce), and Jim Valentino (Shadowhawk). Works from Image partner Robert Kirkman (Invincible, The Walking Dead) will also be included in this historic exhibition.
The opening reception for Image Comics: A 20th Anniversary Celebration will be held on Thursday, February 23, 2012 from 7:00-9:00pm. Special guests include Robert Kirkman (Walking Dead, Invincible), Fiona Staples (Saga), Ryan Ottley (Invincible) and many more to be announced, as well as a few last-minute surprises. Pre-sale tickets can be purchased here: guestlistapp. Admission to this party will be $5-$50, with tickets sold on a sliding scale. This party kicks off the three-day Image Expo which will be held at the Oakland Convention Center from Friday, February 24 through Sunday, February 26. Please visit Image Comic Expo for details.

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Todd McFarlane To Attend First Ever Image Expo

                                 Image: Jeff Newton

In celebrating 20 years of independent comic book publishing, Todd McFarlane joins fellow Image Founders and Partners at the Image Expo in Oakland, CA February 24th-26th, and he’s bringing his toy and publishing companies with him!

If you didn't get your hands on the exclusive signed version of the resin statue, Spawn: The Beginning, sold online only, now is your chance!  A limited number of statues will be available at the show, so be sure to get yours early at the McFarlane booth. The first 75 people who purchase a statue will receive access to a private signing with Todd McFarlane on Saturday, February 25th at 4:00 PM.  As an added bonus, each person will receive a FREE signed advanced copy of Spawn #217, along with the FREE copy of Spawn #1 and #2 included with your resin statue purchase!

To know where to catch McFarlane in action, here’s an inside look at his events for the weekend:

Todd McFarlane Signing

Saturday, February 25th
11:00 AM – 12:00 PM

Don’t miss your chance to meet legendary comic creator Todd McFarlane! Signing limited to two items per person. Tickets available the morning of the signing at the McFarlane Companies booth, #36.

Twenty Years of Independence: The Image Comics 20th Anniversary Panel

Saturday, February 25th
1:00 PM – 2:00 PM

Twenty years ago, a group of young artists left their work-for-hire jobs to forge their own path in comics. The result was Image Comics, a publisher dedicated to creators’ individual visions and a champion of creative ownership. The Image Comics partners and some of the original founders now come together to talk about that momentous meeting of minds and talent.

Panelists: Robert Kirkman, Erik Larsen, Rob Liefeld, Todd McFarlane, Whilce Portacio, Marc Silvestri, and Jim Valentino

From Page to Screen: Comics on TV

Saturday, February 25th
3:00 – 4:00 PM

How do producers go about translating comics for the small screen? How does working in comics compare to working in television? A panel of comics creators who have worked in television — whether as producers like Robert Kirkman (The Walking Dead) and Brian K. Vaughan (Lost), writers like Jay Faerber (Ringer), creators like Joe Casey (Ben 10) and Todd McFarlane (Spawn), or a little bit of everything like Blair Butler — will assemble to talk about the ins and outs of the industry.

Panelists: Blair Butler, Joe Casey, Jay Faerber, Robert Kirkman, Todd McFarlane, and Brian K. Vaughan

Todd McFarlane Exclusive Spawn: The Beginning Resin Statue Signing

Saturday, February 25th
4:00 – 5:30 PM

Join Todd McFarlane for an exclusive signing devoted to the first 75 fans to purchase our limited edition Spawn: The Beginning resin statue. All signed versions of this collectible are sold out in our online store, so this is a rare opportunity to get your hands on one. Tickets will be given away with purchase at the McFarlane Companies booth, #36, along with a FREE signed advanced copy of Spawn #217.

Pro Tips with Todd McFarlane

Sunday, February 26th
11:00 AM – 12:30 PM

In a world of comic book icons, comic superstar Todd McFarlane and his creation Spawn have clearly stood the test of time. Now McFarlane himself is inviting aspiring creators and fans to an extended workshop where he'll share behind-the-scenes tips and tricks about his creative process. Armed with a Wacom and more than 20 years of experience as one of the most successful pros in the business, McFarlane will show fans how to unleash their own creativebeast within! WORKSHOP ROOM A


Thursday, February 9, 2012

Coming Soon: The Lorax

From the creators of Despicable Me and the imagination of Dr. Seuss comes the much anticipated feature Dr. Seuss’ The Lorax, a 3D-CG adaptation of the classic tale of a forest guardian who shares the enduring power of hope.  The animated adventure follows the journey of a 12-year-old as he searches for a real Truffula Tree, the one thing that will enable him to win the affection of the girl of his dreams.  To get it he must find the story of the Lorax, the acerbic yet charming character who fights to protect his world.

Lending their vocal talents to the project are Danny DeVito as the iconic title character of the Lorax and Ed Helms as the enigmatic Once-ler.  Also bringing their voices to the adventure are global superstars Zac Efron as Ted, the idealistic youth who searches for the Lorax, and Grammy Award winner Taylor Swift as Audrey, the girl of Ted’s dreams.  Rounding out the cast are Rob Riggle as the villain O’Hare, Jenny Slate as Ted’s protective mother and beloved actress Betty White as Ted’s wise Grammy Norma.

Dr. Seuss’ The Lorax is the third feature created by Universal Pictures and Illumination Entertainment (Despicable Me, Hop).

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Yamada's First Time Blu-ray/DVD Now Available!

OMG! There's this girl at school, Yamada, who wants to make like a hundred sex friends. She totally thinks she can devirginize one hundred different boys! Can you believe that? That's like every boy in the school. Who does she think she is? I heard that Yamada's never even been kissed. Oh. My. God. I would totally die. That's like burn all your makeup and shave off your eyebrows embarrassing. I can't even think about it. Today at lunch I saw Yamada flirting, like for reals, with that geek Kosuda. You know the guy. Photography club, no muscles, boring face, reminds you of a black-and-white movie. Super lame. If Yamada can't even make the sex with him, she'll never score a hundred cherry boys. She needs to take like Sex Ed or something because I heard she can't give it away!

Friday, February 3, 2012

After Dark Originals 2 Announced - DARK CIRCLES

First came 8 FILMS TO DIE FOR, then AFTER DARK ORIGINALS, now the #1 Horror Brand in the World is proud to announce the second installment in the AFTER DARK ORIGINALS series (ADO2), and it’s first film from this series, DARK CIRCLES.

After Dark Films kicks off After Dark Originals 2 with its first chilling feature of the new series that will send shivers down your spine. DARK CIRCLES, written and directed by Writer-Director Paul Soter (of Broken Lizard infamy, the team behind CLUB DREAD, SUPER TROOPERS and BEERFEST) and starring Pell James (The Lincoln Lawyer) and Johnathon Schaech (That Thing You Do), will have its blood-curdling theatrical release in 2012.

When new parents Alex and Penny retreat from the city and move into a place outside town, the stress and massive sleep-deprivation caused by their infant has both of them seeing things in the house that may or may not exist. Persistent sightings of a strange woman has each of them wondering if they are suffering from hallucinations, or if their new home holds a dark, supernatural presence. As their fragile grasp on reality spirals into delirium, Alex and Penny find themselves nearly helpless to deal with the horrific truth of what is really going in this house.
“Hopefully this will serve as some kind of cinematic equivalent of birth control.”
-Paul Soter, Writer/Director of Dark Circles

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Image Comic Expo- Celebrating 20 Years of Comics

It's hard to believe that Image Comics have been around for twenty years. I clearly remember going to the comic shop in high school and buying everything Image released. At that time it was books like Spawn, Youngblood, The Maxx and Gen13. Image is celebrating by putting on THE comics event in the Bay Area on February 24-26 at the Oakland Convention Center.

From the official site:
IMAGE COMIC EXPO is a three-day celebration of creator-owned comics happening at the Oakland Convention Center. Image partners Robert Kirkman, Erik Larsen, Todd McFarlane, Marc Silvestri, and Jim Valentino, will be the guests of honor, appearing throughout the weekend for signings, panels, and special events. Other special guests include Image founders Rob Liefeld, and Whilce Portacio, plus the creators of today’s best creator-owned comics, including: Joe Casey, Jay Faerber, Jonathan Hickman, Richard Starkings, Fiona Staples, and Brian K. Vaughan.

The event promises over one hundred exhibitors, workshops, signings, an artist alley and guests like Blair Butler, Matt Wagner and Ryan Ottley. With WonderCon heading south for the 2012 convention season, this is the event for Bay Area comic fans that can't make the trip. Go, support and help Image celebrate 20 years of entertainment!