Invader Zim Returns in Original Comic Series from Oni Press

Posted By on February 20, 2015

Invader Zim Comic

Image source: Oni Press.

The cult hit Nickelodeon cartoon is making its grand return in comic book form, courtesy of Oni Press.

In a collaboration with the First Kid’s Network and series creator Jhonen Vasquez (Johnny the Homicidal Maniac, Squee!), Oni Press will publish a comic book series based on Invader Zim. This marks the return of Zim, Gir, Dib and the rest of the twisted cast, since the show’s cancellation 13 years ago. The series promises new adventures of Zim’s (futile) invasion of Earth, along with Dib’s self-appointed mission to stop him.

“All of us at Oni Press are elated to be bringing the first new Invader Zim stories in years to a rabid fanbase,” Oni Press Editor in Chief James Lucas Jones said in the press release. “Getting to tell those tales with folks from the show like Jhonen, Aaron Alexovich, Eric Trueheart, and Rikki Simons just makes it all the more sweet.”

“I’m always confused when people say how much they miss Invader Zim because the show never stopped running in my head, and then I remember everyone else isn’t in my head,” said show creator Jhonen Vasquez. “I try to imagine the world for all those people who don’t know what Zim’s been up to since the show went off the air and it makes me shudder. How can people live that way? Hopefully this comic helps make the world a better place.”

Invader Zim #1 will hit comic retailers July 1st, 2015. The animated series is available on Hulu and DVD.

 

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Here’s the Voice Cast for Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy Cartoon

Posted By on February 20, 2015

GOTG

Image source: Marvel Entertainment.

Marvel Entertainment has announced the voice cast for its upcoming Guardians of the Galaxy animated series for Disney XD.

In a series of videos released throughout the week, Disney XD introduced everyone to the voice actors for the animated adaptation of the sci-fi Marvel comic that later became a box office hit. Veteran voice actor Kevin Michael Richardson was the first actor highlighted, announcing his role as Groot in the Disney XD cartoon. Next came Will Friedle-no stranger to voicing heroes such as Terry McGinnis in Batman Beyond–announcing he’ll play Peter Quill/Star-Lord. Then came Vanessa Marshall, who played Mary Jane Watson in The Spectacular Spider-Man, announcing she’ll play Gamora. Additional roles include Trevor Devall as Rocket Racoon, David Sobolov as Drax, and James Arnold Taylor as Yondu and Cosmo.

The animated Guardians of the Galaxy series is expected to hit Disney XD in 2015 and join other Marvel cartoons like Ultimate Spider-Man, Avengers Assemble and Hulk and the Agents of S.M.A.S.H. In fact, the just announced cast of the Guardians of the Galaxy cartoon will guest star as their respected characters in this Sunday’s episode of Avengers Assemble

 

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My Hero Academia Acquired by Viz Media

Posted By on February 20, 2015

My Hero Academia Manga

Image source: Viz Media.

My Hero Academia is coming to North America, courtesy of anime and manga publisher Viz Media.

Set for a summer release in August, My Hero Academia will launch in print and digitally through the VizManga.com and the Viz Manga app on iOS and Android. My Hero Academia is currently serialized in Weekly Shonen Jump magazine in Japan and available in the English digital version, simultaneously with the Japanese counterpart. The superhero-inspired manga series is written and illustrated by Kohei Horikoshi (BarrageOumagadoki Doubutsuen).

Here’s how Viz Media described the manga:

What would the world be like if 80 percent of the population manifested extraordinary superpowers called “Quirks” at age four? Heroes and villains would be battling it out everywhere! Becoming a hero would mean learning to use your power, but where would you go to study? U.A. High’s Hero Program of course! But what would you do if you were one of the 20 percent who were born Quirkless?

Middle school student Izuku Midoriya wants to be a hero more than anything, but he hasn’t got an ounce of power in him. With no chance of ever getting into the prestigious U.A. High School for budding heroes, his life is looking more and more like a dead end. Then an encounter with All Might, the greatest hero of them all gives him a chance to change his destiny…

“We’re excited to launch full volumes for the popular MY HERO ACADEMIA, fresh from the pages of WEEKLY SHONEN JUMP,” says Mike Montesa, Editor. “Though a cruel twist of fate makes life hard for aspiring hero Izuki, he is positive he’s destined for something greater, and fans will cheer for Izuki on his journey as his life changes forever when All Might bestows his superpower upon him!”

 

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Viz Media Details Fifth Blu-Ray and DVD Set Release of Ranma 1/2

Posted By on February 18, 2015

Ranma 1/2

Image source: Viz Media.

North American anime distributor Viz Media announced its plans to release the fifth set release of Ranma 1/2 on Blu-ray and DVD.

In the press release issued by Viz Media, the latest set for the gender-bending martial arts comedy by Rumiko Takahashi (Maison Ikkoku, Inuyasha) will be released as a series of seven high definition limited edition and standard edition DVD box sets. The retail price for the Blu-ray release is $54.97 U.S. and $63.99 CAN and will arrive in stores on March 3rd. The box set features episode 93-115 on the anime series on three discs, “presented in full 1080p High Definition resolution with the series’ original, un-cropped 4:3 aspect ratio,” the press release states. A 32-page booklet accompanies the Blu-ray edition with individual episode summaries. Clean openings and endings are among the bonus features, as well as “We love Ranma Part 5 – We love Collecting” segment and anime trailers from Viz Media.

The standard DVD edition includes the same number of episodes and presentation of the Blu-ray box set, and features the same clean openings/endings and trailers as well. Retail price for the standard DVD box set of Ranma 1/2 is  $44.82 U.S. and $51.99 CAN.

Here’s how Viz Media describes the batch of episodes in the upcoming box set:

In the latest episodes, Sentaro, successor to Martial Arts Tea Ceremony, makes Ranma battle the grand master as his wife to break off his arranged marriage meeting! Though he has no intention of becoming a wife, Ranma’s battle spirit heats up when faced with the strength of the grand tea master! After that, the world of martial arts gets even bigger with the introduction of Martial Arts Shogi, Martial Arts Dining, and Martial Arts Calligraphy. What will be the outcome of these battles? Ranma also continues to be surrounded by many weird friends. A new transfer student arrives at school named Gosunkugi, who instantly falls in love with Akane and tries to use curses to eliminate Ranma so he can have her all to himself! The hijinks just won’t stop!

Viz Media is also the manga distributor of the Ranma 1/2 manga series.

 

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Sony Acquires Film Rights for Scott McCloud’s The Sculptor

Posted By on February 18, 2015

The Sculptor

Image source: First Second Books.

Sony has acquired the film rights to The Sculptor by Scott McCloud, according to The Hollywood Reporter.

American film producer Scott Rudin will produce the movie adaptation of McCloud’s recently released graphic novel from First Second Books. Rudin’s film experience dates back to 1982 with I‘m Dancing as Fast as I Can and extends with notable films like The Truman Show, No Country for Old Men and several Wes Anderson films under his belt. Josh Bratman, executive producer on 2011′s film adaptation of Korean comic series Priest, will also produce.

The Sculptor tells the story of David Smith, as he spends the 200 days left he has to live sculpting anything he imagines, thanks to his deal with Death. It’s the first major work of fiction from McCloud in 20 years, following the success of non-fiction books Understanding Comics, Reinventing Comics and Making Comics. McCloud has earned awards from Eisner and Harvey for his analysis on the comic book medium in his aforementioned non-fiction books.

 

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Giant Days from BOOM! Studios Launching in March

Posted By on February 17, 2015

Giant Days

Image source: BOOM! Studios.

BOOM! Studios is getting ready to display the oddity of university life in Giant Days, set for March.

Being released under the BOOM! Box imprint, Giant Days is a limited comic series by John Allison (Bad Machinery, Scary Go Round) and Disney story artist Lissa Treiman. The publisher describes the upcoming comic as a “quirky coming-of-age adventure” with traits associated from Lumberjanes, Scott Pilgrim and Friends With Boys. “John has over a decade of hilarious webcomic strips chock-full of clever dialogue and unforgettable characters,” BOOM! Studios Editor-in-Chief Matt Gagnon said in the press release. “For Giant Days, John is teaming up with phenom artist Lissa Treiman to tell a story about a group of buddies navigating their way through the craziness of university. Get ready: Daisy, Esther, and Susan may become your new best friends.”

Here’s how BOOM! Studios summarizes the story of Giant Days:

Susan, Esther, and Daisy started at university three weeks ago and became fast friends because their dorm rooms were next to each other. Now, away from home for the first time, all three want to reinvent themselves. But in the face of hand-wringing boys, “personal experimentation,” influenza, mystery-mold, nu-chauvinism, and the willful, unwanted intrusion of “academia,” they may be lucky just to make it to spring alive.

Giant Days #1 will arrive at comic shops on March 18th for $3.99. In addition to the main cover art (pictured above) by Treiman, a 10 Years Anniversary incentive cover by Shelli Paroline & Braden Lamb (Adventure Time, The Midas Flesh), and a retailer incentive cover by Meredith Gran (Adventure Time: Marceline and the Scream Queens) will also be be available in limited quantities.

Giant Days

Giant Days #1 10 Years Incentive Cover by Shelli Paroline & Braden Lamb.

Giant Days

Giant Days #1 Variant Cover by Meredith Gran.

 

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Viz Media Picks Up Master Merchandising Rights to Terra Formars

Posted By on February 13, 2015

Terra Formars Rights

Image source: Viz Media.

North American anime and manga distributor Viz Media has been named the master merchandise licensee for the Terra Formars anime series.

Beginning this year, Viz Media plans to release an array of consumer products based on the sci-fi horror anime series. The animated adaptation from Liden Films is based on the manga series by writer Yū Sasuga and illustrator Kenichi Tachibana. Viz Media also distributes the English release of Terra Formars, with the fifth volume scheduled for March 17.

Here’s how Viz Media describes the series:

In TERRA FORMARS, after humanity’s first manned mission to the Red Planet was lost a second expedition arrives. The explorers prepare to exterminate the cockroaches that were used to transform the Martian environment, but are shocked to discover that the insects have mutated into giant, aggressive humanoids with one overriding goal – exterminate the humans! However, this crew of explorers has each undergone the “Bugs Procedure,” terrifying experimental surgery designed to make them more than human…

For a review of the first volume, please check out NerdSpan’s manga review from last July.

 

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Cinemax Orders Outcast from Walking Dead Creator

Posted By on February 13, 2015

Outcast

Image source: Image Comics.

Premium cable network Cinemax has ordered 10 episodes of the Robert Kirkman comic Outcast.

Written by Kirkman and drawn by Paul Azaceta, Outcast follows Kyle Barnes, who suffered from demonic possessions all throughout his childhood. As an adult, he goes on a spiritual journey to find the answers regarding his condition and reclaim his normal life. He is accompanied by Reverend Anderson, a preacher who believes to be a soldier in God’s battle against evil.

Patrick Fugit (Gone Girl) will play Barnes, while Philip Glenister (Life on Mars) will cover the role of Anderson. Back in November of 2013Outcast was picked up as a TV series by Cinemax, before the comic went to print. There is no premiere date set for the second comic book show from Kirkman, who found TV fame when AMC produced his Walking Dead series. Outcast continues Kirkman’s partnership with Fox International Channels, the company that distributes The Walking Dead worldwide.

“We couldn’t be more excited to bring Robert Kirkman’s new drama to Cinemax. Outcast is an ambitious series and Adam Wingard has directed a powerful pilot. I am very proud of the work that Robert, Sharon and team have put together,” Hernan Lopez, FIC president and CEO, said in the press release.

 

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Scribd Introduces Digital Comic Streaming Service

Posted By on February 10, 2015

Scribd Spider-Man

Image source: Scribd.

Scribd, the digital library that offers an ebooks and audiobooks subscription service, announced it will feature “more than 10,000 comic books from some of the world’s top comic publishers.”

In the press release, Scribd will expand its subscription service to include digital comic books from prominent publishers such as Marvel, Valiant and IDW/Top Shelf.  The inclusion of comic books begins today, as users who sign up for the $8.99 a month subscription will have unlimited access to comics like Spider-Man, Judge Dredd, From Hell, and Betty and Veronica. 

“We are very excited to take this step in expanding our subscription service beyond books,” said Trip Adler, co-founder and CEO of Scribd. “This addition gives comics readers the freedom of unlimited reading, while also giving our ebook and audiobook lovers the opportunity to discover comics and graphic novels.”

Subscribers will be able to browse the selection of comics by character, series and curated collection. The subscription service is supported on Apple iOS, Android, Kindle Fire, Nook, and any web browser. The mobile Scribd app has been revamped with a “binge button,” allowing for easy transition from comic to comic in a particular series. Background information on famous comic characters are available to view during search.

While Marvel and its superhero library will be available for reading on Scribd, DC Comics is strangely absent. Nonetheless, Scribd has acquired a strong amount of support from various publishers, in its debut foray of offering a Netflix-style streaming service for comic books.

 

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#DonaldForSpiderman Campaign Launches as Spider-Man Comes Back to Marvel Studios

Posted By on February 10, 2015

Community Spider-Man

Image source: Sony

As news of Marvel Studios regaining the movie rights of Spider-Man continues to sink in, a Twitter campaign to get Donald Glover to wear the red and blue spandex has launched.

Originally inspired by an io9 editorial suggesting the next actor to play Peter Parker/Spider-Man in the Amazing Spider-Man reboot shouldn’t be a white guy–which later caught the attention and support of the Community actor–#DonaldForSpiderman is a campaign to convince Marvel Studios to give Glover a shot at the role. Current rumors suggest Andrew Garfield, who played Spider-Man in the recent Sony films will be recast, as Marvel Studios wants to start clean in bringing Spidey to the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

While the #DonaldForSpiderman tweets are divided by fans wanting Glover to play the role of Peter Parker or Miles Morales–the teenage Black Hispanic Spider-Man of Ultimate Spider-Man–there is clear support for him to carry on the mantle.

Below are a few tweets of support for Donald Glover as Spider-Man:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Sony and Marvel Studios to Collaborate on New Spider-Man Films

Posted By on February 10, 2015

 

Spider-Man

Image source: Sony

Sony and Marvel Studios have announced a collaboration deal that will allow Spider-Man to appear in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

In a joint press release issued on Marvel.com, Sony and Marvel announced their future movie plans for the web-head. Marvel film producer Kevin Feige will co-produce the next Spider-Man film with Sony producer and former co-chairman Amy Pascal. The new Spider-Man film is expected to release in July 28, 2017. Sony will still finance, distribute and retain creative control over the Spider-Man movie franchise.

In addition to Spider-Man being able to appear with Iron Man and Captain America, Sony and Marvel Studios are “exploring opportunities to integrate characters from the MCU into future Spider-Man films.” No official statement on whether Andrew Garfield, who played Peter Parker/Spider-Man in the Amazing Spider-Man movies, will continue to play the role following the new deal. However, leaked emails from Sony suggested Marvel would want to start from scratch and recast Spider-Man, if it retained the rights back to the character. The Wrap also suggest Garfield will be recast.

Bob Iger, Chairman and CEO, The Walt Disney Company said: “Spider-Man is one of Marvel’s great characters, beloved around the world. We’re thrilled to work with Sony Pictures to bring the iconic web-slinger into the Marvel Cinematic Universe, which opens up fantastic new opportunities for storytelling and franchise building.”

“We always want to collaborate with the best and most successful filmmakers to grow our franchises and develop our characters. Marvel, Kevin Feige and Amy, who helped orchestrate this deal, are the perfect team to help produce the next chapter of Spider-Man,” said Michael Lynton, Chairman and CEO of Sony Pictures Entertainment. “This is the right decision for the franchise, for our business, for Marvel, and for the fans.”

“Sony Pictures and Marvel Studios share a love for the characters in the Spider-Man universe and have a long, successful history of working together. This new level of collaboration is the perfect way to take Peter Parker’s story into the future,” added Doug Belgrad, president, Sony Pictures Entertainment Motion Picture Group.

“I am thrilled to team with my friends at Sony Pictures along with Amy Pascal to produce the next Spider-Man movie,” said Marvel Studios President Kevin Feige. “Amy has been deeply involved in the realization on film of one of the world’s most beloved characters. Marvel’s involvement will hopefully deliver the creative continuity and authenticity that fans demand from the MCU. I am equally excited for the opportunity to have Spider-Man appear in the MCU, something which both we at Marvel, and fans alike, have been looking forward to for years.”

 

 

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Comic Review: Diskordia: Feels Like Falling Vol. 1

Posted By on February 9, 2015

Diskordia Feels Like Falling

Image source: Comixology

To say Diskordia: Feels Like Falling isn’t your every day comic book would only scratch the surface. Written and illustrated by Andrew Blackman, this indie comic dives into the strange, vulgar and sexual part of human nature. This series is part of the Comixology Submit program, with 11 issues currently available. This review is based on the upcoming trade paperback that collects the first nine issues for $12.99.

Diskordia isn’t the easiest story to describe, but here goes nothing: Jackal Black is just another young smart ass kid. Or, at least he was another young smart ass kid, until he experienced a psychedelic-like experience in a high school restroom, resulting in him being framed for murder. With the cops getting ready to break the restroom’s door down and fire, Jackal’s only exit is taking a trip through a toilet filled with talking fish heads. After an unpleasant swim, Jackal emerges in a weird desert terrain that mixes reality with horrific fantasy from people’s dreams. Jackal isn’t alone in his madness, as he’s accompanied by a nude woman who wears a squid on her head and plays bodyguard.

Diskordia Feels Like Falling

While the first nine issues focuses of Jackal’s quest to understand what’s happening to him, the narrative is split between a reporter and a female entrepreneur who’s is strangely connected to the unspeakable events unfolding. The storytelling in this series is interesting to say the least. The first issue is framed as a story Jackal tells Squid Girl in hopes of humoring her. Issue two has an intriguing folk tale from Squid Girl, with the moral playing a vital role later on. The peculiar circumstances stuffed in this book are presented vaguely and usually accompanied by sexually explicit images. Speaking of images, Diskordia is visually unique with the grim caricatures and backdrops.

There are certain aspects to Diskordia that are understandably appealing. The openly sexual presentation and crude personality are likely to resonate with older teens going through their rebellions stage in life. However, Diskordia isn’t perfect. Far from it. The biggest disadvantage this series has is the inconsistent artwork. Human figures are often depicted anatomically poor, with certain features inconsistently proposition.

Diskordia Feels Like Falling

Speaking more about the visuals, there are times where what you’re seeing will clash with the book’s dark atmosphere. The occasional chibi-style talking heads, for example, contradict the book’s eerie personality. There are also times where storytelling will hinder the art, such as the beginning of issue two that’s presented like a novel with a few panels, creating a disjointed layout.

Moving from art to writing, the series often comes across as trying to shock the readers more with its grotesque visuals, than tell a coherent story. Jackal, the main protagonist, is mostly a jerk who makes you wonder why you’re following him in the first place. It’s only in a much later issue where you see Jackal’s background and get a better grasp of the character. Patience is a virtue with this series and considering the extreme vagueness of the story, there’s no guarantee everything will ultimately pay off.

Diskordia Vol. 1 is difficult to recommend. While not always well drawn, the surreal artwork is fascinating to look at. The adolescent writing is more artificial than a sincere peek into the harshness of teenage life. However, the rawness oozing from the book is admirable. If nothing more, the haunting world of Diskordia is worth a glance, just to witness the absurdity of it all.

 

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