Tuesday, August 14, 2007

News From around The Globe!

Leading Game and Worldwide Comic Companies Join Forces to Develop and Publish Massively Multiplayer Online Video Game Based On the Popular Ramayan 3392 A.D. India-Mythology Inspired Comic Book Series
SAN DIEGO, California & NEW YORK, New York (August 9, 2007) Through a deal that joins two of the world's most innovative entertainment brands, Sony Online Entertainment (SOE), a global leader in the online gaming industry, is teaming up with Sir Richard Branson and Deepak Chopra's Virgin Comics to bring the popular, India-based Ramayan 3392 A.D. comic book universe to life as an MMO video game initially for the PC.
The deal was announced today by John Smedley, President of SOE and Sharad Devarajan, Co-Founder and CEO of Virgin Comics.
"Ramayan has inspired the lives of millions of people through the ages. The re-imagining of this great ancient epic through the creativity of a game platform re-affirms the fact that Ramayan is one of the greatest stories ever told," said Deepak Chopra. "The fact that the same creative team of young Indians that created the story will be involved in working with SOE's game development team, is a testament to the innovative and mythic minds of these gifted Indian creators who will take a new generation to new frontiers across the seas of consciousness into new realms of mystery, magic, adventure, and transformation."
Through this exclusive multi-year, worldwide license agreement, SOE will develop and publish an MMO based on Ramayan's story of mythological lore. Virgin Comics will serve as a creative consultant on the project. Virgin's creative involvement with SOE's game development team will be spearheaded by its President and head, Suresh Seetharaman, who has also overseen the development of the comic series. Also involved is acclaimed filmmaker Shekhar Kapur, a co-founder of Virgin Comics.
"Virgin Comics approached us with a portfolio of amazing comic properties based on Indian lore. We particularly love Ramayan 3392 A.D., as we feel Virgin Comics' telling of The RÄmÄyana is particularly gripping, graphically brilliant and lends itself extremely well to an MMO," said Smedley. "This a fantastic time for us to expand our games to include this culturally rich storyline and we are honored to do this with a diversified, creative and experienced company like Virgin Comics."
Virgin Comics' Ramayan 3392 A.D., initially released as a comic in late 2006, re-imagines one of India's greatest epics into a futuristic realm. Gotham Chopra, Virgin Comics' Chief Creative Officer commented, "While many of the characters and settings remain familiar to the original lore, we never intended to re-tell the story, but essentially use it as the key inspiration for something fresh. What remains intact to our story are some of the core universal themes like duty, honor, sacrifice, and fraternity while also mining uniquely Indian ideas like karma (how action and consequence are linked) and the malleability of time itself. To bring all of these ideas into a game with SOE is just awesome."
Devarajan concluded, "In a world increasingly dominated with games influenced by a western Tolkien mythos, Ramayan will offer gamers a chance to experience a whole new universe of characters and archetypes derived from one of the oldest cultures on Earth. Our mission at Virgin Comics has always been to allow this generation of Indian youth to have a creative platform through which to speak to the world. Through this collaboration with the like minded visionaries at SOE, our young Indian creators will make gaming history worldwide."


IDW Publishing Announces Wide Slate of New Titles

Doctor Who, Speed Racer among the publisher's Comic Con announcements San Diego, CA (July 31, 2007)IDW Publishing, the San Diego-based publisher of comic books and graphic novels, announced plans to expand their line of high-quality creator-owned and licensed titles with many new titles announced at this year's Comic Con International. Among the titles coming in 2007 and 2008 are:Doctor Who: comics based on the newest iteration of the long-running BBC television show (now airing in the U.S. on the Sci Fi Network),as well as newly colored reprints of classic Doctor Who comics, featuring art by comics industry legend Dave Gibbons, will begin at the end of 2007. The creative team for the new comics will be Gary Russell, a Doctor Who TV show story editor, and artist Nick Roche.The Transformers: In addition to the full slate of Transformers comics already published by IDW, the publisher will create new Transformers Movie Sequel comics, expanding the story in the smash-hit big-screen release. IDW's Publisher/Editor-in-Chief Chris Ryallwill co-write the comics with writer Chris Mowry. Cory Doctorow's Futuristic Tales of the Here and Now: Acclaimed science fiction writer and BoingBoing.net co-founder Cory Doctorowappeared at IDW's panel to discuss a new six-part series that will see six of the Lotus Award-winning author's short stories adapted to comic books. The series will feature covers from artists such as Sam Kieth, Scott Morse, Paul Pope, Ben Templesmith, and Ashley Wood.Joe Hill's Locke & Key: Best-selling horror writer Joe Hill will create and write an all-new fantasy-horror series for IDW entitled Locke & Key, featuring Beowulf's Gabriel Rodriguez on art.Angel: After the Fall: This new Angel series picks up where Season of Joss Whedon's fan-favorite TV show left off. Whedon and writer Brian Lynch are co-plotting the all-new adventure that explains what happened after the finale of the show, with Lynch scripting, Franco Urru handling art chores and Tony Harris and Urru providing covers for the series. The series will be ongoing, delivered in multi-part story arcs with one-shot spotlight issues filling in additional story gaps between arcs.Yr. Pal, Harlan: IDW will present a collection of legendary writer Harlan Ellison's letters, which promises to be full of writing as humorous and enlightening as it is scathing and impassioned. Speed Racer: The classic animated series will give way to an all-new animated show at the end of 2007, and IDW will present new comic bookseries based on both versions of the show, as well as offering collected versions of past Speed Racer comic book efforts.

Igor: IDW will provide a prequel series as well as an adaptation of the coming Exodus Film Group's upcoming CG-animated feature, Igor.The film, which will be distributed by the Weinstein Company and released wide on October 24, 2008, is a playfully irreverent comedy that brings a new twist to the classic monster genre, and features voice work from Steve Buscemi, John Cusack, Arsenio Hall, Eddie Izzard, and many others.More information about these projects, including creative teams and specific release dates, as well as other projects discussed at thec onvention, will be released soon.About IDW Publishing IDW Publishing is a division of Idea and Design Works, LLC. Among their best-selling titles are Hasbro's "The "Transformers, "Fox's "Angel," Paramount's "Star Trek", and "Fallen Angel." IDW's "30 DaysOf Night" film is in development and will be released by Sony Pictures in October 2007. More information about the company can be found at http://www.idwpublishing.com/.



New Series Features Michael Turner Covers
Pandemic Studios and Dynamite Entertainment are proud to announce the signing of an agreement to create a new comic book series based on the characters and story of the Mercenaries videogames!
The Mercenaries comic book series will incorporate all the intensity of the Mercenaries video games. The series will feature covers by artist extraordinaire, Michael Turner, interior art by Edgar Salazar and is being written by Brian Reed. As an added bonus, Mercenaries #1 will feature two connecting covers by Michael Turner -- A first for Dynamite! The Mercenaries video game franchise provides explosive third-person shooter action set in a massive, highly reactive, war-torn world. The first Mercenaries game, Mercenaries: Playground of Destruction (2005), featured the mercenaries capturing or killing members of the Deck of 52 and their ruthless leader, General Song, to prevent his launch of nuclear warheads. In the highly anticipated sequel, Mercenaries 2: World in Flames, the mercenaries return as a power-hungry tyrant makes a play for Venezuela's oil supply, sparking an invasion that turns the country into a war zone. But for the mercenaries, profit comes hand-in-hand with chaos. " You are not a soldier. You don't have to play by anyone's rules. You have your own code: EVERYBODY PAYS."
"Mercenaries is one of the most intense videogames in the market today, and it's going to be an explosive addition to our 'dynamite' line up," said Dynamite's Nick Barrucci. "Writer Brian Reed is blowing comics fans away with his work on New Avengers: Illuminati, Ms. Marvel and Red Sonja, so you can expect more of the same incredible action-packed storylines and intrigue from him on Mercenaries. And one cover couldn't contain all the action, so the series debuts with connecting covers by superstar artist Michael (Civil War) Turner!!! If that's not reason enough to pick up this book, than we suggest you play a few rounds of Mercenaries and see what you've been missing! And to add to the excitement, Dynamite will be working hand in hand with Pandemic to help expand both of our audiences, as Pandemic will help get word out on the 800 Comic Shop Locater Service and Dynamite will help get word out on the upcoming video game! Truly a win-win for both industries!"
Mercenaries 2: World in Flames is currently in development by Pandemic Studios and is slated for release on the Xbox 360„video game and entertainment system, PlayStation2 computer entertainment system, PLAYSTATION3 computer entertainment system and PC. For more information on Mercenaries 2: World in Flames visit http://www.mercs2.com/

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