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Thursday, June 30, 2011

PartyCasino, PartyPoker And Bwin.Party Digital Entertainment News

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Frank Miller's Sin City Comes To The World's Largest Online Casino


Casino News Media: Frank Miller's Sin City Comes To The World's Largest Online Casino

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Gibraltar - 17th June 2011 - Following up on last week’s release of Frank Miller’s Sin City: The Hard Goodbye at Digital DarkHorse comes more exciting news around this legendary title. Sin City has now entered the online gaming world, with a new game at PartyCasino.com This new five-reel, fifty-line slot features art and story from the widely acclaimed series by comics legend Frank Miller.

When Sin City originally appeared in Dark Horse Presents: Fifth Anniversary Special in April 1991, it was clear that the face of the comics medium had changed forever. Since that time, Miller’s groundbreaking comics noir has found its way into the public consciousness with toys, games, and even a feature-length motion picture. Frank Miller’s Sin City remains one of the most stylized works in the history of the medium, drawing heavily from film noir, including its use of shadow and stark backgrounds. The black-and-white comic was perfectly suited to the original format of Dark Horse’s flagship anthology, with occasional spot usage of primary colors added to later volumes and editions.

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About Dark Horse Comics

Since 1986, Dark Horse Comics has proven to be a solid example of how integrity and innovation can help broaden a unique storytelling medium and establish a small, homegrown company as an industry giant. The company is known for the progressive and creator-friendly atmosphere it provides for writers and artists. In addition to publishing comics from top talent like Frank Miller, Mike Mignola, Neil Gaiman, Gerard Way, and comics legend Will Eisner, Dark Horse has developed such successful characters as the Mask, Timecop, and SpyBoy. Additionally, its highly successful line of comics and products based on popular properties includes Star Wars, Indiana Jones, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Aliens, Conan, Emily the Strange, Tim Burton, Trigun, Serenity, and Domo. Today Dark Horse Comics is the largest independent comic-book publisher in the US and is recognized as one of the world’s leading publishers of licensed comics material.

SIN CITY, FRANK MILLER’S SIN CITY and all characters therein and all depictions thereof are trademarks of Frank Miller, Inc. All Rights Reserved. ©2011 Frank Miller, Inc. All Rights Reserved.


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Bwin.Party Digital Entertainment Confirms Ongame Poker Network Deal Possibilities

The Ongame poker network is "likely" to be sold, bwin.party has confirmed that a formal process to sell the B2B network is on the way.

The announcement was made earlier today ahead of today’s Annual General Meeting, the first held by the giant since the merger between Bwin and PartyGaming was completed last March.

The statement read "One area of our stated strategy was to recycle surplus assets,"..."We expect that any sale will be completed by the end of the year."

No licensee on the network has yet responded to bwin.party’s announcement, although Betfair’s outgoing CEO David Yu passed opinion on Ongame just yesterday.

Bwin.Party’s AGM statement contains details of a planned share buyback, which will see the company follow the examples of Playtech and Betfair in making such a move, plus news of a progressive dividend policy containing a €30m dividend payout for the year ending 31 December 2011.

As we go to press trading is described as “Broadly in-line with management's expectations,” however analyst James Hollins, of Evolution Securities, advised in a memo earlier today that “The stock remains a Neutral ahead of potentially disruptive German legislation near-term.”

Meanwhile Simon French, of Panmure Gordon, reiterated his firm’s ‘buy’ recommendation, explaining “[We] expect the shares to respond well to the dividend and share buyback news.”

German sports betting proposals in April had seen the share price of bwin.party dive 16% in a day, and a decision on the country’s State Gambling Treaty is expected in October.

Yesterday things turned around following the suspension of Full Tilt Poker’s licences in Alderney - the share price ended the day at 148.2p, an increase of more than 10% day-on-day.


Bwin.Party In Line With Management's Expectations

bwin.party digital entertainment's trading performance since the beginning of April has been broadly in line with management's expectations.

But is says sports margins have been lower than expected due to a favourable run of events for customers in May.

The improvement in new player sign-ups in poker, following action taken by the US authorities against certain of the group's online poker competitors on 15 April, has not had a material impact on poker revenue as new players represent just a small proportion of the overall player base and these companies have so far continued to command significant market share in non-US markets.

Casino continues to perform well while bingo has been slightly softer than expected in the period.

At 8:47am: (LON:BPTY) share price was +0.5p at 148.7p.


Bwin.Party Digital Entertainment Big On Security

The online gaming business PartyGaming has also long since been protecting its players with strong authentication. After all, there is a lot of money at stake – money that the dark forces may want to siphon away. PartyPoker, PartyCasino, PartyBingo and PartyGammon customers register by downloading the PartyGaming customer software. After registration, they can obtain an authenticator called PartySecure from the online store. This is again a Digipass Go 6 that has been completely adapted to the branding of PartyGaming. Here again, a Vacman Controller Server takes over the authentication. “The solution is highly scalable,” stressed a PartyGaming spokesperson. “It can grow with us and effortlessly cope with the growing number of online-players on our platform.”

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Sin City

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Australian And Asia Pacific Gaming And Gambling News, by Greg Tingle - 28th June 2011

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Media Man Crown Casino James Packer Tabcorp Holdings Asia Pacific Games Gambling911 Internet City Of Dreams Macau Bwin.Party Digital Entertainment Australia

Asia Pacific gambling is red hot, with Australia appearing to be the eye of the hurricane.... Media Man investigates...


Deutsche Bank Confirms Damage Of Wilkie Reforms On Clubs And Hotels...

An independent analysis of Andrew Wilkie’s mandatory pre-commitment technology for poker machines by Deutsche Bank confirms industry predictions of a financial wipe-out for clubs and pubs.

The report predicts gaming revenue will be reduced by between 30-40%, which translates to an annual loss of income of between $4.9 and $6.5 billion.

Further, the Deutsche Bank report predicts the installation cost of Andrew Wilkie’s licence to punt technology on the nation’s 200,000 poker machines and linking them to a national database at up to $5 billion.

Last night the ABC program Media Watch suggested industry predictions of 40% were inaccurate and that no one knows what the revenue implications will be.

Executive Director of ClubsAustralia Anthony Ball said the Deutsche Bank analysis of mandatory pre-commitment confirms industry warnings that the as yet untested technology will reduce club revenue by 40%.

“The Productivity Commission recommended to the Federal Government that this technology should be trialled, and with good reason.

“It’s a measure of the Federal Government’s desperation to avoid the wrath of Andrew Wilkie that they instead of trialling mandatory pre-commitment, they are defending it. The Government is now ignoring predictions from Deutsche Bank as well as the gambling industry and gambling researchers that this technology will cost billions of dollars.

“Possibly even more alarming, some of Australia’s leading gambling academics have indicated mandatory pre-commitment will not achieve a reduction in the rate of problem gambling.

“Clubs and hotels employ more than 180,000 people directly. Tens of thousands more are employed through sectors such as food, cleaning, security and tourism that won’t have a job if local clubs and pubs no longer exist.

“It’s one thing for the Government and now the ABC’s Media Watch to question the industry’s predictions of the financial impact of mandatory pre-commitment. Today we have an independent, internationally recognised financial institution confirming that the Wilkie deal will cost the industry up to $6.5 billion each year and another $5 billion just to set up.

“The anti-gambling lobby regularly claims that poker machines damage the community. The Productivity Commission looked at this issue and calculated that after considering the impact of problem gambling, poker machines deliver a net benefit to the community of between $768 million and $5.5 billion a year,” he said.


Media Man Firm Ramping Up Movie And TV Publicity Tied To Gaming Tie Ins...

A Media Man spokesperson has advised their plans to expand their coverage and website portfolio covering the global movie and television sector, with a focus on companies which produce both video and games. A Media Man spokesperson said "In the coming months our readership can expect much more coverage on Marvel Entertainment, DC Comics, Warner Bros, Paramount Pictures and Universal Studios. This is in line with our preference to cover companies which produce movies, television shows, as well as offer branded games. Will will also be expanding our converge on the Australian and international land based casino sector, as well as gaming manufactures such as IGT, Aristocrat and other gaming related firms like FremantleMedia and NextGen Gaming. This will also compliment our upcoming investment offers and media and publicity offerings". The prime two website portals acting as a central point on the campaigns will be www.mediamanint.com and www.mediamannews.com


Online Gaming And Entertainment Company 2UP Enters Agreement To Buy Online Pokies/Slots...

Listed online gaming and entertainment company 2UP Gaming PLC (2GM:GR) has entered into an agreement to purchase an online pokies/slots affiliate business that is part of a global USD$6.7 billion industry.

London, UK, June 26, 2011 - The agreement, subject to due-diligence, is for the WebPokies.com and OnlinePokies.com.au domains that provide links to internet gaming services for a worldwide audience.

2UP managing director Peter Bentley says the purchase is an excellent strategic fit for the company providing immediate cash flow.

“A report released earlier this year noted online poker and casino operations account for almost half of the USD$13.49 billion international internet gambling market,” Mr Bentley says.

"Entering the affiliate business forms part of 2UP's long-term plans to become a major international online gaming and entertainment company.

"This purchase is for a long-established business with solid earnings, however we believe the revenues can be significantly increased through 2UP's distribution network in Asia, India and around the world."

Affiliate sites act as portals to enable visitors to locate and access online slot machines or pokies by redirecting them to casinos who pay for either traffic or a sale of their product. Many online casinos have affiliate programs driving traffic to their chosen domain.

OnlinePokies.com.au commenced in 2006 and acquired WebPokies.com in 2010. Both domains have demonstrated cumulative growth in players, revenues and earnings.

Mr Bentley says online gaming is currently experiencing exponential growth with signs for the sector to increase dramatically over the next few years.

"The growth of online gaming is particularly relevant in Europe, where governments are seeking to capture tax revenues by regulating the market," Mr Bentley says.

"A recent report by KPMG states cash-strapped governments around the world may consider relaxing current online gaming rules and restrictions in order to provide a much needed boost to tax revenues.

"If promoted properly, affiliate businesses can be extremely profitable, especially if they have standout URL's such as these."

2UP, with offices in the UK and Australia, listed on the Frankfurt Stock Exchange in early May and has already seen a solid growth in its share price.

It recently finalised a partnership deal with one of Asia's largest pool betting companies ToteDaddy.

The deal will see 2UP's range of popular gaming and wagering products made available to ToteDaddy's substantial global membership base providing 2UP with immediate high-traffic exposure to the Asian online gaming market.

The company has an online gaming license granted until 2025 to capitalise on its market positioning.

The first game to be released from 2UP is its live streaming and animated versions of the classic Australian coin-tossing game.

This will be underpinned by other unique and established gaming and wagering options to be released as part of its growth plans.


Betfair Faces CEO Gamble...

Unexpected executive departures are usually followed by negative share reaction. True to form, the announcement by Betfair that CEO David Yu is to step down whacked its shares with almost 3% wiped off the online betting exchange’s share price in trading today.

But that’s small change compared to the near 600 pence pence (44%) the share price has lost since its initial public offering in October 2010.

Back then Mr. Yu promised growth predicated on cross-selling gambling products, going mobile, venturing overseas and putting Betfair’s proprietary technology to new use like the much-hyped LMAX financial markets trading platform.

Unfortunately, high rolling customers on one of Betfair’s potential cross-selling products, poker, failed to rejoin the company after it migrated to a new online system. Then regulatory restrictions severely crimped hopes for overseas expansion and LMAX has proved a very damp squib indeed.

Betfair cites Mr. Yu’s tenure (six years as CEO and another four before that as chief technology officer) as a key reason for his decision to depart once a successor is found, but the timing seems more strategically opportune.

“Given the share price performance since float and increasing market concerns over strategy and leadership, this is not unexpected and is likely to be taken as a positive, “ Evolution Securities analyst James Hollins said bluntly in a note to clients Monday.

It’s not all Mr. Yu’s fault though. He has no control over the regulatory environment, most notably in Germany, which has proposed severely draconian gambling laws that would see large swathes of online gaming and betting priced out of the market.

But given the hard sell at the IPO about the stellar opportunities for Betfair’s proprietary technology, both the poker migration fiasco and LMAX, still mired in start-up mode, are self-inflicted wounds.

Investec analyst Paul Leyland thinks former CTO Mr. Yu was the wrong choice for CEO in the first place, “especially given the failure to make [player to player] poker work, the (likely) waste of resources that has been LMAX, and the expansion of the cost-base without adequately factoring in regulatory risk.”

And he doesn’t think a gambling veteran would be the ideal choice for a successor, rather a “proven PLC executive with clear leadership skills who can display a willingness both to listen (internally and externally) and to delegate.”

CFO Stephen Morana is reported to be a front-runner.

Now that the company is no longer (over) valued as a high-growth tech stock, whoever takes the helm can hopefully “reinvigorate, refocus and re-market a business that has endured a difficult start to life as a listed company,” Peel Hunt’s Nick Batram says.


Analyst says James Packer may be looking to sell stake in Melco Crown...

One of Melco Crown’s two major shareholders, Australian-based Crown Limited may be looking to sell out its stake in the gaming operator, Merrill Lynch analyst Nathan Gee advised.

The prime goal would be for James Packer’s Crown to use the money to fund a move on Echo Entertainment, one its major casino rivals in Australia, Mr Gee said, quoted by The Australian.

“We can’t rule out Crown looking to divest Melco Crown, particularly if the Australian market continues to discount the value of Macau relative to the Melco Crown share price,” Mr Gee said.

Crown is already a minority stakeholder at Echo Entertainment and has recently said it has no “current” intention of increasing its interest in the company.

“We can’t discount a Crown takeover of Echo, but we think a deal is unlikely until 2012,” Mr Gee said.

Crown holds a 33.4% stake in Melco Crown.


Problem gambler 'offered $80,000 credit'...

Federal Liberal MP Alan Tudge is pursuing amendments to Northern Territory laws after one of his constituents advised he ran up an $80,000 debt gambling on credit with betting agency Sportsbet.

Mr Tudge — the MP for Aston in Melbourne's outer east — told Federal Parliament that in May, the problem gambler was offered $80,000 in credit by Sportsbet.

He said the Wantirna punter had lost the entire amount in less than a week, and when he could not pay it back, was taken to court by Sportsbet. He now faces a bankruptcy notice and the potential loss of his home.

The gambler's mother, Barbara, told the ABC Jon Faine program Tuesday that her son Henry (not his real name), who suffers from depression and obsessive compulsive disorder, was initially offered free bets of $5000, then $10,000 in credit by Sportsbet.

"When Henry was first approached by the individual staff ... Henry was at a loss – (he) thought 'How could they know me?' And he never used free bets before and he never knew Sportsbet, so he turned it down.

"And the individual staff approached him again and ... say 'I have set account for you'.

"In this case Henry was vulnerable and inexperienced, he did not know what it would mean to him. But eventually the disasters came just like an earthquake ...

"Since this occurred to us my son and me were under very heavy pressure financially and mentally ..."

Mr Tudge does not claim that Sportsbet has done anything illegal, and admits that legally, Henry is in the wrong. However, he says the provision of credit for gambling must not be allowed.

“Sportsbet was only able to provide credit to (his constituent) due to regulations in the NT which are more lenient than in other jurisdictions in Australia.

“All jurisdictions except the NT and ACT expressly prohibit extending credit to these customers or only allow it in exceptional circumstances. In Victoria, where Henry lives, it is prohibited.

“Sportsbet is headquartered in Melbourne but licensed in the NT. By being licensed there, it is covered by the Northern Territory laws, despite its online presence being Australia-wide,” Mr Tudge said.

Mr Tudge names the Territory provisions a "loophole" and has written to Territory Chief Minister Paul Henderson asking for changes to his laws. If that doesn't work, he will look to initiate federal legislation.

"There's a number of actions we can potentially take as well and certainly I will be discussing it with the parliamentary committee which is just starting to look into internet gambling as well.

Mr Tudge will discuss the matter with independent and Greens senators next week.
"I don't think it should be allowed at all in terms of online gambling companies being allowed to provide credit to their customers. I think it is a significant moral hazard for them to be able to do so."

The MP has asked Sportsbet to "show compassion" towards Henry.

To their credit, Sportsbet's Responsible Gambling Code of Conduct permits people to set betting limits and to suspend or exclude themselves from placing a bet with the company.

Is gambling a problem for you? Counselling services which may assist you are Problem Gambling Victoria 1800 858 858 http://www.problemgambling.vic.gov.au
Amity Community Services (NT) call 1800 629 683, G-line (NSW) call 1800 633 635.

Please bet with your head, not over it, and have fun.


New study reveals changing nature of gambling behaviour in Victoria...

From the Minister for Gaming

The latest findings from the Victorian Gambling Study reveal that gambling habits and behaviours are not static, according to Minister for Gaming Michael O'Brien.

The study is the first longitudinal study in the world to estimate the rate of new problem gambling cases in a general population in a 12 month period, following the same group of Victorian adults over three years to explore their health, wellbeing and gambling behaviours.

"The study will add to our understanding of gambling behaviours and will enable us to develop more effective prevention, early intervention and treatment programs," Mr O'Brien said.

The Victorian Gambling Study - A Longitudinal Study of Gambling and Public Health, Wave Two Findings found that almost six per cent of participants who gamble increased their risk category, moving to the low, moderate or problem gambling categories. Meanwhile, 4.3 per cent moved away from those risk categories to a lower-risk status.

However, 88 per cent of non-problem gamblers remained non-problem gamblers, while 72.5 per cent of problem gamblers did not change category.

"This is a clear indication that, while the study shows not all problem gamblers remain problem gamblers, for some, problem gambling might be a longer-term feature of their life," Mr O'Brien said.

"The Victorian Coalition Government recently committed $150 million over four years to establish the Victorian Responsible Gambling Foundation to reduce problem gambling, encourage responsible gambling and ensure that much more is done to tackle the serious social problems caused by problem gambling.

"Research adds to our understanding of gambling, in particular problem gambling, and allows us to make informed decisions about gambling policy and legislation.

"Problem gambling is a significant and multifaceted social problem and preventing problem gambling, and treating those who need support, requires a coherent and integrated approach supported by good evidence," Mr O'Brien said.

To learn more about the Victorian Gambling Study, visit www.gamblingstudy.com.au


A well-orchestrated campaign: ABC 'Media Watch'

Transcript
http://www.abc.net.au/mediawatch/transcripts/s3254914.htm

Video
http://www.abc.net.au/mediawatch/video


Barnett confirms stadium for Burswood...

Perth’s new multi-purpose stadium would be built on the Burswood Peninsula and is scheduled for completion in 2018, Premier Colin Barnett has said.

The new Perth Stadium will have the third-biggest capacity in Australia and will be the second largest AFL home stadium.

It will have a capacity of 60,000 seats with provision for future expansion to 70,000 seats in the style of Melbourne’s Etihad Stadium, with similar views, amenities and comfort.

The Premier's announcement followed an exclusive report in The West Australian today that Cabinet had approved the plan yesterday.

Mr Barnett today said that the Burswood Peninsula was unconstrained by surrounding development and Government-owned, "which will allow us to achieve the vision of a world-class stadium precinct".

“The new stadium will be the centrepiece of an emerging eastside precinct at the gateway to Perth and is within walking distance of a range of potential transport options including footbridges, ferries, and trains," he said in a statement.

“We want people going to the stadium for an event to catch public transport. The new Perth Stadium will deliver a high quality, state-of-the-art facility all West Australians can be proud of.

“To help us achieve this, there will be an international design competition to attract the best ideas."

The 2011-12 State Budget allocated a total of $13 million over two years for planning of the new stadium.

The final cost will be determined after the design process has been completed. However, the current indicative cost for the stadium is approximately $700 million, excluding costs associated with upgrades to transport infrastructure.

The design will not include an underground carpark.

The Premier said geotechnical problems will be solved by anchoring the stadium to 30m-deep pylons driven into bedrock.

Lighting will be in Eagles and Dockers colours, depending on who is playing on the big night.

The stadium will be linked to East Perth by a footbridge.

A four-platform train station will be built so that every train line can come directly into the stadium.

Sport and Recreation Minister Terry Waldron said a steering committee would be established to oversee the project and will be co-chaired by the executive director of the Office of Strategic Projects Richard Mann and director general of the Department of Sport and Recreation Ron Alexander.

The press has been reporting that the plan was endorsed after ministers were convinced the Burswood site was stable and the arena was affordable.

No geotechnical testing has been done at the site near the Graham Farmer Freeway.

The Government is yet to pinpoint how much it will cost to upgrade transport links to the Burswood Peninsula, with a ferry terminal, a pedestrian footbridge and a bigger train station at Belmont Park racecourse likely to add hundreds of millions of dollars to the final bill.

It is understood the Government is keen for gambling and media tycoon James Packer to contribute to the transport upgrades because the billionaire's Burswood Casino complex will benefit greatly from the improvements.

The prediction that the stadium can be built for well under $1 billion will raise eyebrows, given that in 2006 a task force charged with investigating the best stadium site put the cost of building an arena at Burswood at $685 million, assuming construction started in 2008 and finished in March 2013.

A 5-year construction timeline, starting within 2 years, would elevate that price to more than $900 million, once construction inflation is factored in.

The task force, headed by former under-treasurer John Langoulant, noted that a stadium at Burswood would "greatly enhance the national and international reputation of the City of Perth".

But the report warned the venue would present transport problems because access was restricted to Victoria Park Drive and the nearby train station was at capacity.

It also flagged engineering headaches because the peninsula used to be a rubbish tip.

It is understood the Government is using soil testing by companies which built the casino and nearby apartment towers as evidence the site is suitable.

The task force put the total cost of the Burswood option, including transport needs, at $1.147 billion. Increasing construction costs since the report suggest the bill will be close to $1.5 billion, assuming work begins within two years.

Premier Colin Barnett has championed Burswood as the best location for the stadium. The tennis centre site is several hundred metres east of the area considered by the Langoulant task force.

The sports, events, construction, tourism and gambling industry is watching this one closely.


Casino And Gaming Share Prices...

Code Company Name Exchange Currency Price

CWN Crown Limited ASX AUD 8.620
EGP Echo Entertainment Group ASX AUD 4.02
RCT Reef Casino Trust ASX AUD 1.65
TAH Tabcorp Holdings Limited ASX AUD 3.17
DHCC Diamondhead Casino Corp. OTC USD 0.540
CGAM Concorde Gaming Corp. PINK USD 0.0001
EMH SPORTWETTEN.DE AG ETR EUR 0.589
ESO Estoril Sol SGPS SA ELI EUE 3.63

Punters, er readers, stay glued to Media Man reports for more "can't miss" information on Australian and Asia Pacific pokies, gaming and casino wars.

*Media Man http://www.mediamanint.com is primarily a media, publicity and internet portal development company. They cover a dozen industry sectors including gaming. Media Man also publishes Media Man News

*The writer owns shares in Crown Limited

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Monday, June 27, 2011

Marvel Entertainment, DC Comics; Warner Bros, Marvel Comics Etc United In Spirit By Death Of Gene Colan; Friendly Rivalry Continues, by Greg Tingle

Marvel Entertainment, DC Comics; Warner Bros, Marvel Comics Etc United In Spirit By Death Of Gene Colan; Friendly Rivalry Continues, by Greg Tingle - 28th June 2011


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Rest In Peace, Gene Colan: Stan Lee And Dozens Memorializing Legendary Artist...

Late last week the comic book industry mourned the legendary Gene Colan, who passed away Thursday at age 84. Colan’s was inducted into the Will Eisner comics hall in 2005...dated from the World War II era to as recently as 2009. Late Sunday, fellow legend Stan Lee, a friend and associate of Colan for much of the past 70 years, shared some of his thoughts:

"That Gene was a great talent is beyond dispute" "But he was also one of the nicest, kindest, most conscientious, hard-working people I’ve known." "Gene had a great love for movies, and that feeling was apparent in the way he laid out his strips — as though each panel were a scene in a movie, each effortlessly flowing into the next, just as such scenes might do on the big screen. "He was truly an artist in the best sense of the word and I join his countless legion of fans in declaring he will be greatly missed."

On Saturday, Bleeding Cool reported that Clifford Meth has set up the Gene Colan Scholarship at the Joe Kubert School.

“Gene Colan was like no other artist of his generation. His ability to create dramatic, multi-valued tonal illustrations using straight India ink and board was unparalleled. The comics industry has lost one of its true visionaries today.” — Jim Lee, DC Comics

“He knew who he was — how valuable his contributions to the world of comic art have been — how prized it remains by so many. Yet he never felt less than grateful to anyone who’d even read a single panel that he’d drawn. ... And he was never satisfied with his artwork but always eager to learn a little more, do a little better, try something new. At 84.” — Clifford Meth

“The one time he drew a script of mine was one of those moments when I would have paid the company for the honor. I received Xeroxes of his pencilled pages — so much more wonderful, of course, than the printed product — and I just grinned for days…because I’d just written a comic drawn by Gene Colan. He always made everything look so damned good.” — Mark Evanier

“Gene is one of those rare breed of comic book artists that invent their own idiom. Colan’s work never looked like anybody else’s — he was a true originator, a one-of-a-kind visionary.” — Tom Brevoort, Marvel Comics

"Gene Colan is a one-of-a-kind artist whose style is as synonymous with my early comics-reading experience as that of Jack Kirby, Neal Adams or John Buscema.” — Axel Alonso, Marvel Comics

Gene Colan was one of the great draftsmen in the industry and his work is a fond part of some of my best comic book memories.” — Dan DiDio, DC Comics

"Gene Colan was one of my favorite artists in my early teen years, when I was first discovering comics. ... Gene Colan’s work was unique, personal, and always a joy to look at. May he rest in peace." - Scott McCloud


Marvel Superheroes and the Fathers of Invention (The New York Times) - 25th June 2011...

The comic book industry began life in the early 20th century as the province of con men who stripped artists of their creations, then moved on to the next mark. The artists who were paid virtually nothing for work on characters that are now worth billions at the movies are nearly all dead. But their heirs are beginning to speak for them through a federal copyright law that practically invites descendants to sue for ownership interests in characters whose current value could never have been imagined at the moment of creation.

Courts have already granted a share of the copyright for Superman to the heirs of a co-creator, and sided with Captain America’s creator in another copyright fight. These cases are small fry compared with the battle now being waged between Marvel and the heirs of the legendary comic artist Jack Kirby, who breathed life into such pop culture icons as the X-Men, the Incredible Hulk, Iron Man, the Fantastic Four, Spider-Man, Thor and the Silver Surfer.

Of course these court battles are about money. They also force the modern entertainment industry to reckon with the often amoral practices of the old comics workshops. And they raise deeper questions about how to credit creative works produced at a time when even the most talented artists were treated as serfs.

Marvel pioneered a new method of comic book production. It broke with the industry’s tradition of requiring artists to draw almost by rote from a pre-existing script. Instead, it gave its best creative minds wide artistic latitude.

The Marvel editor Stan Lee sometimes offered general ideas for characters, allowing the artists to run with them. Mr. Kirby plotted stories, fleshing out characters that he had dreamed up or that he had fashioned from Mr. Lee’s sometimes vague enunciations. Mr. Lee shaped the stories and supplied his wisecrack-laden dialogue. And in the end, both men could honestly think of themselves as “creators.”

But Mr. Kirby, who was known as the King of Comics, was the defining talent and the driving force at the Marvel shop. Mr. Lee’s biographers have noted that the company’s most important creations started out in Mr. Kirby’s hands before being passed on to others, who were then expected to emulate his artistic style.

Mr. Kirby’s life experiences informed the look and feel of the genre. The cinematic movement in his narratives came out of his experience as an animator. The crowded fight scenes in comics like the Fantastic Four and the X-Men are reminiscent of his boyhood days as a street fighter on the Lower East Side during the Depression.

In 2009, shortly after Disney agreed to buy Marvel for $4 billion, the Kirby heirs filed notices of copyright termination. They argue that most of Marvel’s film earnings involve Mr. Kirby’s creations — and that therefore they have a right to a share of the copyrights.

Marvel counters that Mr. Kirby’s work falls under the rubric of “work for hire” — meaning it was done under the direction, supervision and control of the company — which, if true, would invalidate the family’s claim. But that could be difficult to demonstrate at trial, given the poor record-keeping of the era and what is known about how Mr. Kirby worked.

According to court documents, Marvel’s predecessor company fired nearly all of the art staff in 1957 to save money, making Mr. Kirby an independent operator who sold his work to the publisher. If this case comes to trial, Marvel’s star witness would likely be Mr. Lee, former chairman of Marvel Comics. In his 2010 deposition, Mr. Lee seemed to suggest that Mr. Kirby was little more than a talented foot soldier who followed the whims of his boss.

Mr. Lee sang a different tune during the Marvel glory years of the 1960s, when he sometimes described Mr. Kirby as an equal in the creative process. In a 1968 interview later quoted in The Comics Journal, Mr. Lee talked about brainstorming with Mr. Kirby, who, he noted, needed “no plot at all” to produce stories: “He just about makes up the plots for these stories. All I do is a little editing. ... He’s so good at plots, I’m sure he’s a thousand times better than I.” Analyzing published articles from that period, the writer Earl Wells, in his famous 1995 essay “Once and for All, Who Was the Author of Marvel?,” said the record “yields as much evidence that Kirby was the author as it does that Lee was — much of it in Lee’s own words!”

In the years since Mr. Kirby’s death in 1994, the once lawless comics business has been transformed into an industry where creators are more fairly paid, credit is clearly apportioned and rights are meticulously spelled out in contracts. The kinds of legal confusions that have recently flared up in the comic book realm are unlikely to ever be seen, say, in the burgeoning world of online games, where corporate authorship is firmly locked down.

It is up to the courts to decide the legal questions at the heart of the Kirby copyright case. There is no doubt that the King of Comics contributed far more to Marvel — and pop culture — than he has received credit for. (Credit: The New York Times)

Iron Man And Wolverine Anime Series Coming To G4...

While summer TV is often regulated to reruns and reality TV shows, G4 is about to make things more interesting. G4 is teaming up with Marvel to launch both a Iron Man anime series and a Wolverine anime series. The two original Marvel anime series will premiere via U.S television on Friday, July 29 at 11 PM ET. The series will consist of twelve half-hour weekly episodes with interconnecting storylines. There will also be cameo appearances by several popular Marvel characters. Heroes Stars Adrian Pasdar and Milo Ventimiglia will both have voice roles in the new anime series. Adrian Pasdar will be the voice of Tony Stark in Iron Man, and Milo Ventimiglia will be the voice of Wolverine. Description: "In an effort to make amends for his past in weapons manufacturing, Tony Stark has dedicated himself to building the world up rather than tearing it down. Traveling to Japan to build a new arc reactor that will deliver unlimited free energy to the Japanese people, Stark is challenged by the Japanese government and the media when he attempts to import the necessary nuclear priming device. When the nuclear reactor is repeatedly attacked by the mysterious Zodiac consortium, Stark must gather his allies to take on Zodiac and its mastermind."

Description for the Wolverine anime series: "Based on the popular graphic novel by Chris Claremont and Frank Miller, the series begins when Mariko, the love of Logan’s life, is forced back to Japan by her crime-lord father, Shingen. Logan vows to get her back at any cost. He is plunged into a chaotic world of corruption and violence, forcing him to team up with young assassin, Yukio, to battle their way through the Japanese criminal underworld."

The new anime series will be guided by New York Times best-selling author Warren Ellis and produced by Madhouse for Marvel Entertainment and Sony Pictures Entertainment Japan. Iron Man premieres via US television on Friday July 29th at 11 PM ET/PT followed by Wolverine at 11:30 PM ET/PT. The two series will air weekly Fridays from 11:00-Midnight ET/PT. Also, one more thing, G4 isn’t stopping with just Iron Man and Wolverine. X-Men and Blade anime series will premier later this year on G4.


Peter Parker is no more in 'Ultimate Spider-Man' - 21st June 2011...

PHILADELPHIA – The lights are going out for Peter Parker, the high school student bitten by a radioactive spider whose wall-crawling and web-slinging antics have made him a touchstone of Marvel Comics' universe of heroes and villains.

The publisher said Tuesday that Parker's alter ego, Spider-Man, will finally succumb to one of his most pernicious foes in the final issue of "Ultimate Comics Spider-Man" due out Wednesday.

Fans of Spider-Man need not worry much, though, because the Ultimates imprint is separate from Marvel's bigger universe. Whatever fate may befall Ultimate Spider-Man won't count in the pages of the other series, including Amazing Spider-Man.

The death, while dramatic, is not entirely unexpected. In November, Marvel said that the Ultimate Spider-Man was going to face an uncertain fate in the latest storyline by writer Brian Michael Bendis fittingly titled "The Death of Spider-Man," an eight-issue arc that saw the return of original series artist Mark Bagley. Bendis and Bagley had worked together on the series for 111 issues.

Bendis told The Associated Press that in issue No. 160 Parker fights valiantly but will pass on, heroically, in a pitched fight. To whom? (SPOILER BELOW)

"He will pass heroically, but he will die at the hands of the Green Goblin," Bendis said, recalling his nearly 11 years writing the title, which debuted in October 2000.
The death is real and in Marvel's Ultimate Comics imprint, death is not something taken lightly. Characters in that universe are dead and gone, never to return. The roll of the deceased already includes Magneto, Wasp and Wolverine, among others.

"Ten years ago, Brian Bendis and Mark Millar changed the way people saw super heroes with the birth of the Ultimate Universe. With `Death of Spider-Man' the two have done it again, creating a story just as big, and something that would really resonate with fans," said Mark Paniccia, Marvel senior editor. "But Peter's death doesn't signal the end of their larger plan — it's the start of one of the most ambitious stories you've ever read in comics."

Bendis said that Parker's death won't be in vain and hinted that the Ultimate Spider-Man may not be gone forever. But what exactly is to come, that's something he's not willing to share, at least not yet.

He likened the death to that of Parker's Uncle Ben, whose demise catapulted Peter into being a superhero and crime fighter, and called it an emotionally ripping decision to end Parker's life.

"I won't lie to you, it's embarrassing to say this out loud . tears were rolling down my face, I was very emotional in writing it," Bendis told AP. "This is a character that I have stayed with the entire time, that I have been almost solely responsible for. It represents such a great deal of my life."

Axel Alonso, Marvel's editor-in-chief, said there's never been a Marvel Universe without a Spider-Man, so killing the character is a big step.

"We've never seen a world without Spider-Man, a world without Peter Parker, so his death is a significant event for the Ultimate Comics universe and we're going to see how quickly it changes everything," he said, adding that the fallout from Parker's death will play out in the upcoming "Ultimate Comics Fallout" as the company retools its Ultimate universe. (Credit: Associated Press)


'Avengers' stuntman 'almost beheaded' during filming - 28th June 2011

A stuntman working on The Avengers has claimed that he narrowly avoided being decapitated in an on-set accident. Jeremy Fitzgerald lost part of his scalp while shooting the comic book team-up on Friday after a controlled fall resulted in him hitting his head against a brick floor. Fitzgerald was filming a sequence that involved him getting 'struck' by an arrow and safely plummeting 30-feet to the ground below, but was put off course after catching his foot on the way down. Despite his significant injury, Fitzgerald told TMZ that he was grateful to walk away from the incident intact after barely avoiding a head-on collision with a razor sharp rain gutter. Fitzgerald declined to be hospitalised after the fall and returned to work shortly after. Production of The Avengers was recently jeopardised after Samuel L Jackson's script was stolen and leaked online. The Avengers, which stars Robert Downey Jr as Iron Man, Chris Hemsworth as Thor and Chris Evans as Captain America, arrives in theatres on May 4, 2012.

Marvel Studios Casting WPAFB Airmen For 'Avengers' Movie...

FAIRBORN, Ohio - Marvel Studios is looking for 50 airmen from Wright-Patterson Air Force Base to act in the new "The Avengers" movie being filmed in Ohio. The airmen will portray a deck crew on an aircraft carrier. The scene will be shot Aug. 1-4 in Wilmington. The film stars Robert Downey Jr., Chris Evans, Samuel L. Jackson and Scarlett Johansson. It opens in 2012. Just watch you're head!

No Avengers Panel at Comic-Con - 22nd June 2011

Did you year...the Avengers won't be back on stage together at Comic-Con this year, nor does it sound like any footage will debut either. LA Times' Hero Complex is confirming that Marvel Studios is passing on having a panel for the highly anticipated film at Comic-Con and won't have any presence in the huge Hall H, where the biggest panels are held. Marvel stresses they aren't skipping the convention in its entirety and no doubt they'll still have their large booth promoting both their comic books and flicks, where it's very possible that some Avengers content (perhaps prop displays and/or poster giveaways) will be present. In addition, Marvel will of course also have many comic book-specific panels. Hero Complex says that there is "talk of a promotional event beyond the walls of the San Diego Convention Center" for Marvel's Captain America: The First Avenger at Comic-Con, which opens the same weekend as the convention. They speculate that could involve some sort of special premiere or screening event. So why no Avengers panel? Hero Complex points out that Disney is throwing their second Disney-specific D23 convention in August, and it's possible Avengers will be part of that – John Carter, also skipping a Comic-Con panel, is expected to have a heavy presence at D23. Warner Bros. is also not having any film panels at San Diego Comic-Con, including for The Dark Knight Rises, meaning that arguably the two biggest comic books movies ever aren't going to be doing the usual push at Comic-Con. Of course some would say neither of these films need to build buzz like other films do, but it is a bit funny that while people complain about a lot of non-genre TV shows and films coming to Comic-Con, these two projects – so suited for Comic-Con – will have a diminished presence. Hero Complex notes that there will be a panel for The Amazing Spider-Man – which comes from Sony, not Marvel Studios – in Hall H at Comic-Con.

Marvel announces adaptions of John Carter novels - 7th June 2011

PHILADELPHIA (AP) — John Carter — Edgar Rice Burroughs' other famous pulp creation — is having his stories told anew thanks to an agreement between Marvel Entertainment and the author's estate that will return the Earth-born adventurer's Martian adventures to comic books.

Marvel said Tuesday that it will do new graphic novel adaptations of Burroughs' Martian series, starting with "John Carter, Warlord of Mars," as a five-issue mini-series in September.

Burroughs is best known for his creation of Tarzan.

The first mini-series will be written by Roger Langridge and drawn by Filipe Andrade.
"We are looking forward to introducing this original interplanetary adventurer to a new generation of fans and await the first issue with great anticipation," said James Sullos, President of Edgar Rice Burroughs Inc.

Marvel called the adaptations a new way of experiencing the tales Burroughs wrote that were dubbed the "Barsoom" series. There are 10 novels in the series, with the 11th a collection of two separate stories.

The novels are set on Mars and include Princess Dejah Thoris, a four-armed warrior Thark named Tars Tarkas and plenty of fighting.

Marvel published a John Carter series in the late 1970s that lasted 28 issues. The character has also been the subject of other series from different publishers, too, including a four-issue mini-series that featured Tarzan from Dark Horse Comics; a newspaper comic strip in 1941-1942; and a series by Dynamite Entertainment called "Warlord of Mars."

"Edgar Rice Burroughs created one of the great action heroes in John Carter and we're excited to bring his novels to comics for a new generation," said Axel Alonso, Marvel's editor-in-chief. "Roger and Filipe are going to blow everyone away with their take on the John Carter novels, keeping fans new and old on the edge of their seats." (Credit: Associated Press)

Marvel Movies Upcoming...

Movie Studio Date

Captain America: The First Avenger Paramount Pictures 7/22/11
Ghost Rider 2 (3D) Sony 2/17/12
The Avengers (2012) Buena Vista 5/4/12
The Amazing Spider-Man Sony 7/3/12
Iron Man 3 Buena Vista 5/3/13

A Green Lantern Sequel?!...

Warner Bros. is apparently planning a sequel to Green Lantern despite that film's box-office and critical underperformance. The Hollywood Reporter has the word from the studio, noting that that it "won't walk away from the superhero franchise, despite the film's soft box office performance. ... Sources say Warners still believes in the franchise, even if the studio is 'somewhat disappointed' with Green Lantern's result." The film dropped some 66% domestically in its second weekend, meaning it's only made about $89.3 million as of last night. That's not a lot considering the reported costs of the picture ($300 million at least including marketing), and internationally it is not performing either. So why announce a sequel now? As THR notes, with Harry Potter coming to an end, the studio needs big franchises big time. And there's always the chance that Lantern will make a ton of money on DVD and Blu-ray and digital download. Plus, God only knows how the balance sheet looks for these things in terms of toys and all the other merchandising. Movies are also made for games these days, so don't you forget that. Of course, maybe Warner Bros. is just saying there's going to be a Green Lantern sequel since it wasn't very good. Maybe Warner Bros thinks their green monster will create more green cash, and they would know that answer better than most. As they say at Media Man and Marvel Entertainment, "Don't just read the comics and watch the movies, Play the games!"

Thor And X-Men First Class Tipped To Hammer Home Results...

Thor and X-Men: First Class got great reviews and we're awesome, and Captain America: The First Avenger seems set to hit the spot to, but big questions remain about Green Lantern, and the vibe is not particularly good. Green Lantern with Ryan Reynolds and Blake Lively is getting very reviews. Review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes has a 23% approval among movie critics, according to the 153 reviews counters. But 72% of the 62,000 plus user reviewers say that they "liked it" with it just premiering in the U.S theaters Friday after a midnight release on late Thursday/early Friday. Comic Book Movie.com indicates are pretty negative on the flick. One reviewer called the movie "inert, artificial and dead on arrival." During the midnight release on Thursday, the film drew $3.35 million 0 the same region that alike movies that were recently released did; X-Men: First Class brought in $3.37 million on June 2nd, and Thor did $3.25 million on May 5th. X-Men: First Class and Thor both had a budget significantly less than Green Lantern; the former had a budget of $160 million while Thor had exactly half the budget of Green Lantern — $150 million. While the flick will likely end up eventually surpassing its budget, the fact the other comic book movies had much less budget isn’t a great result. Ultimately, X-Men: First Class raked in $55.1 million in its opening weekend while Thor did $65.7 million. With this being the third comic book-based movie released in a month-and-a-half and mixed reviews, will Green Lantern under perform this weekend, or will the hardcore - fanboy type audience that has been largely ripping on it, check it out at the cinema?

Our top picks: Thor, and Captain America: The First Avenger looks like a safe bet.

Be it movies, comics or games, we think that Marvel Entertainment leads the pack, followed by DC Comics, with Dark Horse Comics getting a third, based on the positive news leaks and insider tip offs we've been getting.

As Marvel living legend Stan Lee would say, Excelsior!

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Superhero Movie Box Office And Comics News, by Greg Tingle - 27th June 2011


Profiles

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Hulk And Thor Help Raise £1,000 In UK...

Rare American comics donated to a charity shop made more than £1,000 at the John Taylors annual Toy and Doll Sale in Louth, UK, last week. A man handed 1,000s of superhero comics to the Oxfam shop in Market Rasen which decided to put them up for auction to raise money for the charity. The comics from the 1960s and 1970s featured Marvel heroes like Captain America, Spiderman, the Hulk and Thor and DC heroes like Superman, Batman and Swamp Thing. Other highlights of the sale included an early 20th Century mohair plush bear that made £700 and a collection of early Steiff bears that all made upward of £500. Train sets and other toys also proved that big kids were all in attendance at the Woolmart auction rooms with Trix, Hornby and Schuco items all
making above their estimates.

Marvel Comic's Ultimate Spider-Man Dies Via Green Goblin...

The popular American newspaper, Huffington Post, reports that the end has come for Peter Parker, the high school student bitten by a radioactive spider whose web-slinging antics have made him a touchstone of the Marvel Comics' series. The publisher recently announced that Parker's alter ego, Spider-Man, will finally be killed off by The Green Goblin in the final issue of "Ultimate Comics Spider-Man". The death, while dramatic, is not entirely unexpected. In November, Marvel said that the Ultimate Spider-Man was going to face an uncertain fate in the latest storyline by writer Brian Michael Bendis fittingly titled "The Death of Spider-Man," an eight-issue arc that saw the return of original series artist Mark Bagley. Bendis and Bagley had worked together on the series for 111 issues. Bendis told The Associated Press that in issue No. 160 Parker fights valiantly but will pass on, heroically, in a pitched fight. "He will pass heroically, but he will die at the hands of The Green Goblin," Bendis said, recalling his nearly 11 years writing the title, which debuted in October 2000. The death is real and in Marvel's Ultimate Comics imprint, death is not something taken lightly. Characters in that universe are dead and gone, never to return. The roll of the deceased already includes Magneto, Wasp and Wolverine, among others. "Ten years ago, Brian Bendis and Mark Millar changed the way people saw super heroes with the birth of the Ultimate Universe. With `Death of Spider-Man' the two have done it again, creating a story just as big, and something that would really resonate with fans," said Mark Paniccia, Marvel senior editor. "But Peter's death doesn't signal the end of their larger plan - it's the start of one of the most ambitious stories you've ever read in comics." Bendis said that Parker's death won't be in vain and hinted that the Ultimate Spider-Man may not be gone forever. But what exactly is to come, that's something he's not willing to share, at least not yet. Parker will live on in Marvel's Amazing Spider-Man series, however.

'Daredevil' Writer Gives The Scoop...

Marvel Comics has teased the opening storyline for the new Daredevil ongoing series from writer Mark Waid and artists Paolo Rivera and Marcos Martin. The series sees Matt Murdock return to New York City after his self-imposed exile in the wake of Shadowland, and Waid revealed that it will quickly become apparent that something
is wrong with the superhero. "There's something not right about Matt from the very get-go, now that he's come back to New York," Waid said, according to IGN. "There's just something off about Matt and that's going to drive [his relationship with Foggy Nelson] for the near future." Waid also explained that in terms of supporting characters, Foggy Nelson is the most important, but noted that Dakota North will still show up as a new assistant district attorney, and is set to play a big role in the series moving forward. The writer also elaborated on the premise of the new series, which aims to integrate Daredevil more with the rest of the Marvel Universe. "Without jettisoning the street level of the book, without getting rid of the noir feel of the book, without getting rid of the realism of it - let's take the superhero dial and move it up just a few notches to get back to a bigger sense of adventure," he explained. "Let's fold him a little more rigidly into the Marvel Universe." Daredevil #1 is due out on July 7 from Marvel Comics.

Patrick Dempsey Wants to Play Doctor Strange...

Patrick Dempsey has already revealed he won't be returning to Grey's Anatomy after next season. The ultra talented actor is looking to take his career back where it began...movies. Dempsey isn't looking to return to movies like Can't Buy Me Love and Lover Boy that jump-started his career in the 1980s, but, instead, Dempsey is hoping to continue his association with comic book themed movies that began with his role in this summer's Transformers: Dark of the Moon. In April, Dempsey revealed an interest in the Marvel Comics character of Doctor Strange, saying he would "love to play" the role. In a recent interview with MTV, Dempsey reiterated his interest in the role, admitting, "I really want to do it." I mean, it's a tricky character. The hardcore fans know this world and this character specifically — I don't know if the rest of the world does. So, it's like, how do we enter into that and get it so it doesn't lose its essence, but, at the same time, how do you do it with the right story? And I think the fans really need to speak up and say, hey, what do they want to see. When quizzed if Dempsey was a fan of the character and was knowledgeable of the comic book universe, the actor gave a (somewhat) informed answer, though he sounded like he wasn't sure of what to say. Well, there's different incarnations, and there's a whole philosophy behind how they wrote it, what messages is in it, and all of that. I mean, I would like to see him being the cocky surgeon, having the accident, going on a spiritual journey, and then becoming the Supreme Sorcerer. I think that's really what I would like to see — and see that journey initially and to see that arc. And, you know, developing how he does his thing and how you do the incarnations and stuff like that. So, to make sure we've got this straight: Dempsey is interested in playing Doctor Strange in a movie that would explain the character's origins? It's a safe bet that's what Marvel tasked Conan: The Barbarian reboot screenwriters Thomas Donnelly and Joshua Oppenheimer to do when they hired them to write a Doctor Strange script last June. Also, Paddycakes? It's "Sorcerer Supreme," not "the Supreme Sorcerer." So what does Dempsey do next? Contact Marvel and express his interest? Exactly. "Yeah, you definitely do that," said Dempsey. He also said that he'll "check out the websites" and "check out the blogs" to weigh fan responses. It may not be me. I mean, there are some people who are like, "yeah, you should do it," and then there are some people that say, "no" — there's a great debate. And I think that's always entertaining to see what people's feedback is. The actor is aware that he may not be seen as the ideal choice, but nevertheless is in full support of a Doctor Strange movie. "I think it's a good character that should be made anyway," he said.

Green Lantern Turning Fanboys Off Green...

In the season’s latest superhero spectacle director Martin (Casino Royale) Campbell ironically displays the same inexplicable affliction which affects his main character: A total failure of imagination. Given $150 million to play with, the filmmaker is at a loss to deliver a single memorable image or moment. Given a ring with the power to create anything his mind can envision, newly recruited savior of the universe Hal Jordan (Ryan Reynolds) finds himself incapable of thinking up anything terribly interesting. For a movie named after a light source, Green Lantern suffers from an appalling dearth of ideas anyone over the age of ten would be inclined to characterize as bright. How does this DC adaptation disappoint? Let me count the ways. First, its writers appear to have scoured more than 70 years worth of back issues in order to distill the least intriguing elements of the emerald-suited figure’s mythology. Before Jordan begins his career as a superhero, he’s employed as a test pilot for a corporation that manufactures military aircraft. This part of his story actually might have been good for a few cheap thrills but the movie’s creators couldn't’t resist the temptation to turn it into a cheap imitation of Top Gun. No need to bring the oven mitts. Green Lantern serves up the least sizzling screen romance in recent memory. Jordan has a thing going on with the daughter of the company’s owner (a completely lost Jay O. Sanders). Carol Ferris is played by Blake Lively and together the two have all the chemistry of a pair of mannequins. But we didn’t buy a ticket to watch Hal Jordan make a love connection. We bought a ticket to watch him save the world. Which is why the second half of the film is an even bigger letdown than the first. The Green Lantern gets possession of a ring and a matching lantern which basically functions as its battery charger. The ring in turn brings him in contact with an intergalactic peacekeeping organization known as the Green Lantern Corps, based on the distant planet Oa. This may be the first movie to get its effects at a used CGI sale as another reviewed put it. The creators of Green Lantern might be happy with what they have created, but most audiences are non to impressed. Next time we hear about green in a comic book movie we will be hoping its the return of The Hulk.

Captain America: The First Avenger May Save Fan For Comic Book Movie Genre...

Releasing trailers late in the game, keeping things under wraps as long as possible and staying out of the limelight to let others glow is an interesting tactic. Marvel’s Captain America: The First Avenger may just be the comic book movie of the year. Captain America seems to be everything that Green Lantern isn't. Captain America has balls and doesn't feel like it was made for kids. Both movies debut little over a month apart. Green Lantern was about giving you as much as possible as early as possible, debuting the first image of the hero in costume almost a year before the movie’s release, as opposed to Captain America doing so 6 months later. The trailers for Green Lantern seemed designed to dazzle with special effects and colors as opposed to really giving any idea of the plot beyond “Ryan Reynolds is comedy screw-up who gets magic ring, things explode,” whereas each of Cap‘s three trailers have focused on the – for want of a better term – emotional journey the character has to go through to become the hero. There’s actually something odd about the feeling of still learning new things, or seeing new visuals, about a big blockbuster movie this close to its release; it seems so counter to the way these things are generally sold to us, with the "important" images and plot points signposted way, way in advance so as to already have that feeling of inevitability and nostalgia by the time the movie actually gets released. Should Captain America be a success studios may start realizing that less can be more and later can be better when it comes to trailers and promotion in the future. Should Captain America die in box office, one should expect more movies to give the entire game away in the first full trailer and then just move scenes around for each new trailer, like in Pirates of The Caribbean, Transformers: Dark Of The Moon and almost every other big release this year. Comon Captain America, we are entrusting you to make us feel a whole lot better about the comic book movies that we've been getting feed lately.

Thor And X-Men First Class Tipped To Hammer Home Results...

Thor and X-Men: First Class got great reviews and we're awesome, and Captain America: The First Avenger seems set to hit the spot to, but big questions remain about Green Lantern, and the vibe is not particularly good. Green Lantern with Ryan Reynolds and Blake Lively is getting very reviews. Review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes has a 23% approval among movie critics, according to the 153 reviews counters. But 72% of the 62,000 plus user reviewers say that they "liked it" with it just premiering in the U.S theaters Friday after a midnight release on late Thursday/early Friday. Comic Book Movie.com indicates are pretty negative on the flick. One reviewer called the movie "inert, artificial and dead on arrival." During the midnight release on Thursday, the film drew $3.35 million 0 the same region that alike movies that were recently released did; X-Men: First Class brought in $3.37 million on June 2nd, and Thor did $3.25 million on May 5th. X-Men: First Class and Thor both had a budget significantly less than Green Lantern; the former had a budget of $160 million while Thor had exactly half the budget of Green Lantern — $150 million. While the flick will likely end up eventually surpassing its budget, the fact the other comic book movies had much less budget isn’t a great result. Ultimately, X-Men: First Class raked in $55.1 million in its opening weekend while Thor did $65.7 million. With this being the third comic book-based movie released in a month-and-a-half and mixed reviews, will Green Lantern under perform this weekend, or will the hardcore - fanboy type audience that has been largely ripping on it, check it out at the cinema?

Our top picks: Thor, and Captain America: The First Avenger looks like a safe bet.

Be it movies, comics or games, we think that Marvel Entertainment leads the pack, followed by DC Comics, with Dark Horse Comics getting a third, based on the positive news leaks and insider tip offs we've been getting.

As Marvel living legend Stan Lee would say, Excelsior!

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Sunday, June 26, 2011

Marvel Entertainment, Comic and Superhero Movie News, by Greg Tingle - 26th June 2011


Profiles

Thor X-Men Wolverine Thor Green Lantern Batman Iron-Man Marvel Entertainment Marvel Comics Marvel Studios Marvel Slots DC Comics Warner Bros Paramount Pictures Hollywood Movies Media Man
Captain America




Superheroes Leap Up And Down At Box Office...

The superheroes have been doing through heaven and hell lately at the box office. It's not a very smooth or consistent run, and the numbers give mixed messages. Hollywood's crimefighters and caped crusaders have tripped up more often than they would have liked to and have pretty average box-office grosses. The numbers look impressive in some fashion but they hide a growing dissatisfaction among moviegoers, who may be losing interest in what once was a can't-miss genre. One of the first omens came with "Thor," starring Chris Hemsworth as the hammer-heaving Norse god. Despite a decent opening weekend gross of $65 million, the film suffered from negative reviews and is now at $176 million. That sounds big enough until you compare it to the $318 million of "Iron Man," which belongs to the same Marvel comics story line; "Iron Man 2" ended with a split-second "Thor" teaser. Then came "X-Men: First Class." Whether because it lacked Aussie legend Hugh Jackman (he has a cameo) or because its story line felt overly familiar, it opened with $55 million, one of the lowest in the franchise's history. And despite excellent reviews, it had the lowest attendance of any "X-Men" film, according to Box Office Mojo, which did not release specific figures. The latest pretty average superhero effort is "Green Lantern," starring Ryan Reynolds, which opened to not so good reviews (26% positive at Rotten Tomatoes) and a disappointing $53.2 million. That's worse than the new "X-Men" and even worse than "Ghost Rider." Next front and centre are "Captain America: The First Avenger," about a Nazi-conquering supersolider, and "Cowboys & Aliens. Can the superheroes save the world or themselves, or will the public have to try to save them? Fan's the globe over are hoping that Captain America doesn't disappoint, but are remaining pretty optimistic. We're missing the original Iron-Man... how about you?

Spider-Man Gets Killed; Franchise History?...

Bono's Broadway slip up of sorts has killed Spider-Man... sort of. What's your take on that Dr. Octopus? Marvel Comics—with a little help from the Green Goblin—announced it was squashing Spidey dead and it did. The character has apparently been killed off. Joining a long list of superheroes such as Captain America and Superman who've been killed dead, only to rise again, Marvel offered the Peter Parker of The Ultimate Spider-Man, a sort of alternative universe version of the wisecracking webcrawler in the series' 160th issue. The character's demise even brought tears to the eyes of writer Brian Michael Bendis, who wrote the fatal tale. So Spidey's dead. But not gone or forgotten or even going away, really. So get back in line for Turn Out the Dark, seek out spoilers for the Andrew Garfield reboot or hit up a comic book store for what Marvel promises will be "the start of one of the most ambitious stories you've ever read in comics." Spider-Man lives. And possibly loves. Go Spidey!

Spider-Man: Turn Off The Dark...

SPIDER-MAN, TURN OFF THE DARK follows the story of teenager Peter Parker, whose unremarkable life is turned upside-down when he's bitten by a genetically altered spider and wakes up the next morning clinging to his bedroom ceiling. This bullied science-geek suddenly endowed with incredible powers soon learns, however, that with great power comes great responsibility as villains put both his physical strength and strength of character to the test. SPIDER-MAN aims to thrill audiences through a unique entertainment experience in ways never-before-dreamed-possible in live theater. Though the reviews have been somewhat less than favorable for the $65 million giant, sales have been strong and the production opened on June 14th, 2011. For more information on Spider-Man visit http://spidermanonbroadway.marvel.com


Marvel Announces Creator Lineup - 24th June 2011

Many top writers and creators will be joining Marvel Comics at New York Comic Con (NYCC) as the renowned comic books and media entertainment company reveals preliminary plans for the 2011 edition of the annual pop culture extravaganza which will take place at the Jacob K. Javits Center in New York City, October 13 - 16, 2011. Marvel will not only have a 3000 square foot booth on the show floor where attendees will have an opportunity to mingle with creators and staff, but the company will also be conducting numerous high profile panels throughout the weekend which will feature their top talent. Joe Quesada, Chief Creative Officer of Marvel Entertainment, and Axel Alonso, Marvel’s Editor-in-Chief, will be Guests of Honor at the show and will be joined by many other notable Marvel creators including Guests of Honor Jason Aaron, Matt Fraction, Kieron Gillen, and Stuart Immonen.

“The enthusiastic participation of premiere companies like Marvel is critical to our success,” notes Lance Fensterman, Group Vice President for ReedPOP and Show Manager for NYCC. “We are always eager to host Marvel at New York Comic Con and to provide their talent with a range of opportunity. Our show not only brings thousands of fans together with their favorite writers, artists and creators but we are a preeminent venue for launching and displaying new content and product. Marvel’s participation is a huge validation of our efforts and we are grateful to them for their energy and commitment. We look forward to making the 2011 edition of New York Comic Con one of the best ever!”

JASON AARON: Jason Aaron is an Eisner and Harvey Award nominated comic book writer whose work includes the critically acclaimed crime series Scalped for Vertigo and stints on Black Panther, Ghost Rider and Wolverine: Weapon X for Marvel. Current and upcoming projects include Wolverine, Astonishing Spider-Man & Wolverine, PunisherMAX , X-Men Schism and Wolverine & the X-Men, all for Marvel. He was born in Alabama but currently resides in Kansas City.

AXEL ALONSO: A 17-year comics industry veteran, Axel Alonso got his start at DC Comics’ Vertigo imprint, where he edited such seminal series such as Preacher, Hellblazer and 100 Bullets, before leaping to Marvel Comics in 2001. Since that time, he has overseen many of the publisher’s biggest franchises – including Spider-Man, Hulk and the X-Men – and edited some of its most talked-about series – including Truth, Rawhide Kid and X-Statix. In 2011 Axel was promoted to Editor In Chief, a tenure during which he has overseen major events such as the Death of Ultimate Spider-Man and the chart-topping Fear Itself. Besides comics, Alonso’s passions include basketball, hip-hop, 8-year-old shooting guard Tito “Mr. T” Alonso, Asian food and preparing for the inevitable Zombie Apocalypse.

MATT FRACTION: Matt Fraction is an Eisner Award-winning American comic book writer known for his work on The Invincible Iron Man, Thor, The Immortal Iron Fist and Uncanny X-Men for Marvel Comics, Casanova for Icon Comics. This summer he masterminds Marvel’s mega-event Fear Itself alongside Stuart Immonen. He’s written the graphic novels Last of the Independents and The Five Fists of Science, and comics like 30 Days of Night: Bloodsucker Tales and The Order. He’s recently contributed to the storylines and dialogue of both the Iron Man 2 and Thor video games for Sega, and was a consultant on the Iron Man 2 film. He lives in Portland Oregon with his wife, the writer Kelly Sue Deconnick, and his two children, two dogs, two cats, and frog. There were two frogs but they died.

KIERON GILLEN: Kieron Gillen is a foul writing worm who crawls inside artists' ears and makes them do his bidding. Products of this evil symbiosis include Journey Into Mystery and the award-winning Phonogram. This fall Kieron will be launching Uncanny X-Men #1 with Carlos Pacheco & Greg Land. There is no known cure.

STUART IMMONEN: Since his self-published debut in 1988, Stuart Immonen has worked for almost every publisher in the comics industry from Archie to Rip Off Press, with notable tenures at DC, where he wrote and drew Adventures of Superman; Gorilla, where he co-created Shockrockets with writer Kurt Busiek; and Marvel, where he pencilled Ultimate Spider-Man, Nextwave and New Avengers, and most recently the event title Fear Itself. Stuart is known for employing diverse drawing styles as seen in his sketchbook series Centifolia published by AdHouse Books, and in his work with writer Kathryn Immonen, including Boom! Studios' Never as Bad as You Think and Moving Pictures, published by Top Shelf. He lives in Toronto.

JOE QUESADA: Joe Quesada wears many creative hats, as both an acclaimed writer-artist and the Chief Creative Officer of Marvel Entertainment, the world’s largest and most dynamic comics publisher. In this role, Joe is steward of such legendary characters as Spider-Man, X-Men, Iron Man, Captain America, and the Fantastic Four. His tenure as Editor-in-Chief recently drew to a close after 10 successful years – the longest term since Stan Lee himself. Under Quesada’s guidance, Marvel underwent a creative boom and became home to the comic industry’s greatest talents, which continues to hold true today. He brings this same vision to his role in the whole of Marvel Entertainment across the worlds of publishing, film, and television.

Customers interested in signing up for New York Comic Con should contact Larry Settembrini at lsettembrini@reedexpo.com. Tickets for NYCC are now on sale via the website www.NewYorkComicCon.com Limited 4-Day tickets are available. For further information about all ReedPOP shows and activity, please visit Lance Fensterman’s blog, www.MediumAtLarge.net Convention organizers note that many more guests will be announced over the next few weeks and months and fans should keep their eyes on NYCC’s website and blog for additional comics, entertainment and anime announcements.

ABOUT REEDPOP

ReedPOP is a boutique group within Reed Exhibitions which is exclusively devoted to organizing events, launching and acquiring new shows, and partnering with premium brands in the pop culture arena. ReedPOP is dedicated to producing celebrations of popular culture throughout the world that transcend ordinary events by providing unique access and dynamic personal experiences for consumers and fans. The ReedPOP portfolio includes: New York Comic Con (NYCC), Chicago Comic and Entertainment Expo (C2E2), Penny Arcade Expo (PAX) East & West, Star Wars Celebration V, New York Anime Festival (NYAF), and UFC Fan Expo. The staff at ReedPOP is a fan based group of professionals producing shows for other fans, thus making them uniquely qualified to service those with whom they share a common passion. ReedPOP is focused on bringing its expertise and knowledge to world communities in North America, South America, Asia and Europe.

Marvel announces adaptions of John Carter novels...

PHILADELPHIA (AP) — John Carter — Edgar Rice Burroughs' other famous pulp creation — is having his stories told anew thanks to an agreement between Marvel Entertainment and the author's estate that will return the Earth-born adventurer's Martian adventures to comic books.

Marvel said Tuesday that it will do new graphic novel adaptations of Burroughs' Martian series, starting with "John Carter, Warlord of Mars," as a five-issue mini-series in September.

Burroughs is best known for his creation of Tarzan.

The first mini-series will be written by Roger Langridge and drawn by Filipe Andrade.
"We are looking forward to introducing this original interplanetary adventurer to a new generation of fans and await the first issue with great anticipation," said James Sullos, President of Edgar Rice Burroughs Inc.

Marvel called the adaptations a new way of experiencing the tales Burroughs wrote that were dubbed the "Barsoom" series. There are 10 novels in the series, with the 11th a collection of two separate stories.

The novels are set on Mars and include Princess Dejah Thoris, a four-armed warrior Thark named Tars Tarkas and plenty of fighting.

Marvel published a John Carter series in the late 1970s that lasted 28 issues. The character has also been the subject of other series from different publishers, too, including a four-issue mini-series that featured Tarzan from Dark Horse Comics; a newspaper comic strip in 1941-1942; and a series by Dynamite Entertainment called "Warlord of Mars."

"Edgar Rice Burroughs created one of the great action heroes in John Carter and we're excited to bring his novels to comics for a new generation," said Axel Alonso, Marvel's editor-in-chief. "Roger and Filipe are going to blow everyone away with their take on the John Carter novels, keeping fans new and old on the edge of their seats."


Smith & Tinker launches Marvel Kapow! app for iPhone...

Smith & Tinker and Marvel Entertainment have released their first major game on the iPhone today. The game, Marvel Kapow!, is Marvel’s first broadly targeted casual game for comics fans on the Apple mobile platform.

The game is a big part of the strategy for Smith & Tinker, an innovative game company founded by gaming pioneer Jordan Weisman. If it takes off, then the two companies could see a bright future in branded content on mobile platforms.

The title is designed for touchscreen action, giving you super hero powers on your phone. The company began working on the Marvel-branded games last fall, after a few changes in strategy.

The versions of the game range from a free version to a $1.99 standard definition game and a $3.99 high-definition game. In the title, players can slash with Wolverine’s claws, rebound blasts with Captain America’s shield, capture bad guys with Spider-Man’s web and smite foes with Thor’s hammer. The game has 23 classic play levels, three boss levels, an arcade mode, Game Center leaderboard integration, and free content updates.

“With the explosive growth of touch-based smart devices now being adopted by men, women and even trickling down to kids, we’re presented with an unprecedented opportunity to bring our games to a very wide audience on a mobile platform”, said Joe Lawandus, chief executive of Smith & Tinker.

The deal could help turn things around for Smith & Tinker. In 2009, the company launched Nanovor, a fighting game for boys that could be played both online and on a $50 toy sold at retail. But the game didn’t sell that well, despite heavy TV advertising, and Smith & Tinker had to pivot to a new strategy. It laid off a bunch of employees and shifted to online-only games.

The company was able to do that because it raised $29 million in venture capital and because its founders — Lawandus and Weisman — are heavyweights in the game and entertainment industries. Weisman founded entertainment companies 42 Entertainment, Virtual World Entertainment, FASA, and WizKids; Lawandus is a former Disney executive. (Marvel is now owned by Disney).


Thor And X-Men First Class Tipped To Hammer Home Results...

Thor and X-Men: First Class got great reviews and we're awesome, and Captain America: The First Avenger seems set to hit the spot to, but big questions remain about Green Lantern, and the vibe is not particularly good. Green Lantern with Ryan Reynolds and Blake Lively is getting very reviews. Review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes has a 23% approval among movie critics, according to the 153 reviews counters. But 72% of the 62,000 plus user reviewers say that they "liked it" with it just premiering in the U.S theaters Friday after a midnight release on late Thursday/early Friday. ComicBookMovie.com indicates are pretty negative on the flick. One reviewer called the movie "inert, artificial and dead on arrival."

During the midnight release on Thursday, the film drew $3.35 million 0 the same region that alike movies that were recently released did; X-Men: First Class brought in $3.37 million on June 2nd, and Thor did $3.25 million on May 5th. X-Men: First Class and Thor both had a budget significantly less than Green Lantern; the former had a budget of $160 million while Thor had exactly half the budget of Green Lantern — $150 million. While the flick will likely end up eventually surpassing its budget, the fact the other comic book movies had much less budget isn’t a great result.

Ultimately, X-Men: First Class raked in $55.1 million in its opening weekend while Thor did $65.7 million. With this being the third comic book-based movie released in a month-and-a-half and mixed reviews, will Green Lantern under perform this weekend, or will the hardcore - fanboy type audience that has been largely ripping on it, check it out at the cinema?

Our top picks: Thor, and Captain America: The First Avenger looks like a safe bet.

Be it movies, comics or games, we think that Marvel Entertainment leads the pack, followed by DC Comics, with Dark Horse Comics getting a third, based on the positive news leaks and insider tip offs we've been getting.

As Marvel living legend Stan Lee would say, Excelsior!

Website Network

Media Man Int

Media Man

Media Man News

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