Friday, June 07, 2013

Introducing Amazon Storyteller—a New Tool to Help Writers and Filmmakers Bring Their Stories to Life
Free online tool enables writers and filmmakers to quickly and easily turn their scripts into storyboards
Amazon Studios continues to add features and tools that help content creators get their movies and television series made
SEATTLE—June 7, 2013--(NASDAQ:AMZN)—For years, Amazon has been developing new programs, services and features to make it easier for content creators to make and distribute their work. Amazon Studios, the original film and series production arm of, today announced a new innovation for writers and filmmakers—Amazon Storyteller. Currently in beta, Storyteller is a free online tool that turns scripts into storyboards, complete with characters and dialogue that can then be shared with others for feedback.
“We’ve found that many writers want to see their story up on its feet in visual form but find it harder than it should be to create a storyboard,” said Roy Price, Director of Amazon Studios. “Storyteller provides a digital backlot, acting troupe, prop department and assistant editor—everything you need to bring your story to life. We want to see great stories turned into movies and television shows and we’ll continue to develop new features and tools that help people develop great stories.”
Storyteller begins by scanning a movie script that has been uploaded to Amazon Studios. It identifies the scenes, locations and characters from scene descriptions, and “casts” them from a library of thousands of characters, props and backgrounds. Filmmakers can recast or change locations, or they can upload their own images. Storyteller places the cast in front of the right background so that filmmakers can focus their time on the emotion and energy of scenes by using pan and zoom, changing the facial expressions and positions of characters, adding vehicles or props or adding captions with descriptions or additional dialogue. Once completed, the storyboard can be published on Amazon Studios where other users are able to view it and give feedback on the project. Amazon Storyteller is free—anyone can visit and use this new tool to visualize their movie script and share it with others.
More information about Amazon Storyteller is available at
Amazon Studios launched in 2010 as a new way to develop feature films and episodic series—one that’s open to great ideas from creators and audiences around the world. Anyone can upload a script and will then be notified within 45 days if that script is optioned. Amazon Studios will read and review all submissions and those who choose to make their projects public will also receive feedback from the Amazon Studios community. Just last week, Amazon Studios greenlit its first-ever original series, including comedies Alpha House and Betas, and kids seriesAnnebots, Creative Galaxy and Tumbleaf. These original series will premiere exclusively on Prime Instant Video later this year and in 2014.
About Amazon Studios
Since its launch in November 2010, more than 14,000 movie scripts and 4,000 series pilot scripts have been submitted to Amazon Studios. There are currently 25 movies on the development slate and in the processes of being tested with audiences.
Amazon Studios continues to invite series creators to upload their proposals for comedy and children’s programming at or submit them privately via Amazon Studios.
About, Inc. (NASDAQ: AMZN), a Fortune 500 company based in Seattle, opened on the World Wide Web in July 1995 and today offers Earth's Biggest Selection., Inc. seeks to be Earth's most customer-centric company, where customers can find and discover anything they might want to buy online, and endeavors to offer its customers the lowest possible prices. and other sellers offer millions of unique new, refurbished and used items in categories such as Books; Movies, Music & Games; Digital Downloads; Electronics & Computers; Home & Garden; Toys, Kids & Baby; Grocery; Apparel, Shoes & Jewelry; Health & Beauty; Sports & Outdoors; and Tools, Auto & Industrial. Amazon Web Services provides Amazon's developer customers with access to in-the-cloud infrastructure services based on Amazon's own back-end technology platform, which developers can use to enable virtually any type of business. Kindle Paperwhite is the most-advanced e-reader ever constructed with 62% more pixels and 25% increased contrast, a patented built-in front light for reading in all lighting conditions, extra-long battery life, and a thin and light design. The new latest generation Kindle, the lightest and smallest Kindle, now features new, improved fonts and faster page turns. Kindle Fire HD features a stunning custom high-definition display, exclusive Dolby audio with dual stereo speakers, high-end, laptop-grade Wi-Fi with dual-band support, dual-antennas and MIMO for faster streaming and downloads, enough storage for HD content, and the latest generation processor and graphics engine-and it is available in two display sizes-7" and 8.9". The large-screen Kindle Fire HD is also available with 4G wireless, and comes with a groundbreaking $49.99 introductory 4G LTE data package. The all-new Kindle Fire features a 20% faster processor, 40% faster performance, twice the memory, and longer battery life.
Amazon and its affiliates operate websites, including,,,,,,,,, and As used herein, "," "we," "our" and similar terms include, Inc., and its subsidiaries, unless the context indicates otherwise.
Forward-Looking Statements
This announcement contains forward-looking statements within the meaning of Section 27A of the Securities Act of 1933 and Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934. Actual results may differ significantly from management's expectations. These forward-looking statements involve risks and uncertainties that include, among others, risks related to competition, management of growth, new products, services and technologies, potential fluctuations in operating results, international expansion, outcomes of legal proceedings and claims, fulfillment and data center optimization, seasonality, commercial agreements, acquisitions and strategic transactions, foreign exchange rates, system interruption, inventory, government regulation and taxation, payments and fraud. More information about factors that potentially could affect's financial results is included in's filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission, including its most recent Annual Report on Form 10-K and subsequent filings.

RUROUNI KENSHIN Creator Nobuhiro Watsuki Offers A Twist On His Original Smash Hit Samurai Story in a New Manga

San Francisco, CA, June 6, 2013 – VIZ Media, LLC (VIZ Media), the largest distributor and licensor of anime and manga in North America, celebrates the return of one of manga’s most iconic samurai – Rurouni Kenshin – with the release of RUROUNI KENSHIN: RESTORATION. This new series is published under the Shonen Jump imprint, rated ‘T’ for Teens, and carries an MSRP of $9.99 U.S. / $12.99 CAN. A digital edition is also available on VIZ Manga and the VIZ Manga App for $4.99 (U.S. / CAN).

Nobuhiro Watsuki, the creator of the original RUROUNI KENSHIN series (also published by VIZ Media in North America; rated ‘T’ for Teens) revisits his classic manga story. Action, romance, and historical intrigue abound in RUROUNI KENSHIN: RESTORATION, a tale of a wandering swordsman during Japan’s chaotic Meiji Restoration.

During the violent upheaval of the Bakumatsu era (1853-1868), Hitokiri Battosai was a feared and ruthless assassin. But now that the Meiji Restoration has begun to heal the wounds of civil war, Battosai has taken up a new name and calling! He is now Rurouni Kenshin, a ronin (masterless) wanderer who has vowed only to draw his sword to protect those in need. But not everyone is pleased with Kenshin’s new direction, and enemies from his dark past have vowed to bring him down!

“Rurouni Kenshin, a slight and mild-mannered young man who once served as an assassin for anti-Shogunate forces, returns with his reverse-bladed katana and his deadly skills in this fast-paced new treatment from creator Nobuhiro Watsuki,” says Pancha Diaz, Editor. “Watsuki’s artwork, particularly his kinetic action sequences, shine in this new edition and fans of the original RUORINI KENSHIN series, as well as those interested in adventure, romance, Japanese history, and samurai culture are invited to join Kenshin, Kaoru, Yahiko and others as they take up their swords once again!”

Manga creator Nobuhiro Watsuki earned international accolades for his first major series, RUROUNI KENSHIN, about a wandering swordsman in Meiji Era Japan. Serialized in Japan's Weekly Shonen Jump from 1994 to 1999, it quickly became an international sensation, selling more than 57 million copies and inspiring a spin-off short story, an animated TV series, and several successful animated feature films. The RUROUNI KENSHIN series is published in North America by VIZ Media under its Shonen Jump imprint and is also available as a VIZBIG omnibus edition. Watsuki's other series, BUSO RENKIN is also available in English from VIZ Media (rated ‘T’ for Teens) and also digitally through VIZ Manga and the VIZ Manga App.

For more information on RUROUNI KENSHIN or other titles from VIZ Media, please visit

About VIZ Media, LLC
Headquartered in San Francisco, California, VIZ Media distributes, markets and licenses the best anime and manga titles direct from Japan.  Owned by three of Japan's largest manga and animation companies, Shueisha Inc., Shogakukan Inc., and Shogakukan-Shueisha Productions, Co., Ltd., VIZ Media has the most extensive library of anime and manga for English speaking audiences in North America, the United Kingdom, Ireland and South Africa. With its popular digital manga anthology WEEKLY SHONEN JUMP and blockbuster properties like NARUTO, BLEACH and INUYASHA, VIZ Media offers cutting-edge action, romance and family friendly properties for anime, manga, science fiction and fantasy fans of all ages.  VIZ Media properties are available as graphic novels, DVDs, animated television series, feature films, downloadable and streaming video and a variety of consumer products.  Learn more about VIZ Media, anime and manga at

RUROUNI KENSHIN © 1994 by Nobuhiro Watsuki/SHUEISHA Inc.

Thursday, June 06, 2013

Final web cartoonists face off on Penny Arcade’s “Strip Search” reality show at
With only three episodes to go, three artists remain in competition to win Strip Search!


Seattle, WA – June 6, 2013 – With only three artists now remaining from a talented pool of 12, Penny Arcade’s “Strip Search” will select its winner at 7:00 PM PST on Tuesday, June 18th, 2013!  Over the course of 28 episodes, the participants have drawn, riffed, and improvised their way through a series of challenges which have ranged from the intense to the bizarre.  The winner in the season finale episode will earn $15,000 cash, space at Penny Arcade’s Seattle office for one year, and support from the company’s robust business and merchandising resources.

The “Strip Search” project was initially greenlit by a Penny Arcade Kickstarter stretch goal last year and has been airing new episodes each Tuesday and Friday at  Penny Arcade co-creators Mike "Gabe" Krahulik and Jerry "Tycho" Holkins have been presiding over the competition, ultimately serving as judges in head-to-head elimination challenges where two artists at a time face off against each other – selecting topics from the Wastebasket of Broken Dreams, and working against the clock while striving to craft a winning comic strip!

The 12 participating artists were culled from a rigorous selection process of nearly 1,000 entrants worldwide. The process spanned a wide range from younger and less experienced artists like 20-year old Abby Howard and 22-year old Alex Hobbs to webcomic veterans like Erika Moen and Katie Rice.  The artists all lived together in a lakefront mansion in Seattle, WA, where Penny Arcade is based. 

In addition to the elimination webcomic creation rounds, challenges have run the gamut and have included a variety of skills that successful web cartoonists must master – trade shows, audience development, merchandising, and more.  The first 28 episodes are available at, so new viewers can catch up on all of the earlier shows.  The website also includes background information on each of the artists, as well as samples of work created over the course of the season.  The final showdown will air over three episodes at the Strip Search website: Friday, June 7; Friday, June 14; and Tuesday, June 18.

About Penny Arcade

Equal parts online comic and commentary, Penny Arcade ( keeps its finger on the pulse of the gaming industry, prompting conversation and controversy alike from community members to industry experts. What started as a hobby for Jerry “Tycho” Holkins and Mike “Gabe” Krahulik has grown into an online phenomenon now entering its 15th year, serving over 70 million page views a month to millions of readers worldwide. In addition to the comic strip and global PAX events (, Penny Arcade has expanded its reach to include the PA TV web broadcasting channel, The Penny Arcade Report, a growing line of merchandise, a video game series and management of Child's Play (, a gamer-driven charity for children that spans the globe.
Acclaimed digital series gets hardcover collection from Image Comics/Shadowline
MASKS AND MOBSTERS was hailed as one of the best webcomics of the year when it was released by MonkeyBrain in 2012, and now the Image Comics imprint Shadowline is bringing it to print in style, with a deluxe hardcover edition that collects all seven issues. Written by Joshua Williamson (GHOSTED, DEAR DRACULA) and drawn by Mike Henderson, Ryan Cody, Jason Copland, and Justin Greenwood, MASKS AND MOBSTERS explores the secret stories of superheroes and mobsters vying for control of Golden City.

Writer Williamson imagines a world where, in the 1930s and ‘40s, superheroes and supervillains didn’t start appearing just in the pages of comic books but in flesh-and-blood life, confronting the underground powers that had maintained a fearful status quo.

"One of the things that always has stuck with me was... if all these superheroes started to pop up, how did that affect the mob's business?” said Williamson. “The masked men couldn't be paid off, and the supervillains didn't care about paying dues, right? How did organized crime deal with it all? I wanted to see that world from their perspective.”


“Best digital series [of 2012]... an intriguing black-and-white tale about gangsters, snitches and the first caped do-gooders.”
USA Today
"Smart work brilliantly presented. My favorite Monkeybrain series."
Mark Waid

"MASKS & MOBSTERS is such a fantastic idea that I burn with jealousy I didn't think of it first. Fortunately, Joshua Williamson, Mike Henderson, and company are doing things with the notion that I never could have imagined possible. One of my absolute favorite comics currently being published."
Chris Roberson

MASKS AND MOBSTERS is a 128-page, black and white hardcover, retailing for $19.99 (ISBN 978-1-60706-765-8). It will be in stores on July 3 and can be pre-ordered from the May issue of Previews.
Image Comics is a comic book and graphic novel publisher founded in 1992 by a collective of best-selling artists. Image has since gone on to become one of the largest comics publishers in the United States. Image currently has five partners: Robert Kirkman, Erik Larsen, Todd McFarlane, Marc Silvestri and Jim Valentino. It consists of five major houses: Todd McFarlane Productions, Top Cow Productions, Shadowline, Skybound and Image Central. Image publishes comics and graphic novels in nearly every genre, sub-genre, and style imaginable. It offers science fiction, romance, horror, crime fiction, historical fiction, humor and more by the finest artists and writers working in the medium today. For more information, visit


Innovative Artist Introduces His New Documentary “How To Build A Mobile House” About Living A Self-Sustainable Green Lifestyle At NEW PEOPLE Cinema And Will Construct An Ingenious Mobile Garden House During

San Francisco, CA, June 5, 2013 – The Japan Film Festival of San Francisco, the first fully-dedicated annual Japanese film celebration for the S.F. Bay Area, partners with the upcoming 2013 J-POP Summit Festival and MUJI USA to welcome famous "Zero Yen" architect, author, and artist, Kyohei Sakaguchi, as a special Guest of Honor for a series of personal appearances at both events taking place at the NEW PEOPLE Japanese pop culture complex located in the city’s historic Japantown.

Supported by the popular Japanese retailer, MUJI USA, Kyohei Sakaguchi will appear on Saturday, July 27th at 1:30pm at NEW PEOPLE Cinema to introduce the U.S. premiere of the documentary , How to Build a Mobile House (directed by Takayoshi Honda), as part of the Japan Film Festival of San Francisco and the 2013 J-POP Summit. In the film, Sakaguchi's embarks on a personal journey to meet an array of people living thought-provoking and self-sustainable lifestyles amidst the massive urban sprawl of Tokyo. An insightful audience Q&A will immediately follow the screening.

Tickets are $13.00. NEW PEOPLE Cinema is located at 1746 Post St. (Cross street is Webster St.) The week-long Japan Film Festival of San Francisco takes place at the NEW PEOPLE Cinema beginning Saturday, July 27th through Sunday August 4th. A complete schedule and advance ticket information is available on

Screening attendees are further invited to a free workshop taking place just outside the NEW PEOPLE venue on Sunday, July 28th from 11:00am - 6:00pm, during the 2013 J-POP Summit Festival. Festival goers can join (or just watch) Sakaguchi as he constructs an ingenious mobile garden house with workshop attendees that will be exhibited at the MUJI San Francisco retail store, MUJI SOMA, located at 540 9th Street, until the end of August when it will be auctioned. Proceeds will go to local organizations contributing to form a sustainable and green environment in the Bay Area.

Kyohei Sakaguchi will also be the focus of a special discussion session on his artistic and social philosophies at U.C. Berkeley on Monday, July 29th from 6:00pm-8:00pm. It will be moderated by Dana Buntrock, Professor of Architecture, U.C. Berkeley. Admission to this discussion is free.

Saturday, July 27th, 1:30pm
Complemented with live appearance of the famous "Zero Yen" architect, Kyohei Sakaguchi, the documentary, How to Build a Mobile House (directed by Takayoshi Honda), makes its U.S. premiere in his favorite city, San Francisco!  This documentary is based on Sakaguchi’s book, Tokyo Zero Yen House, Zero Yen Life that examined the exuberant creativity of the city’s street dwellers. The film explores the roots of dwelling, and living, through the unique activities of this architect who "does not build." Follow the artist as he designs a nest-like abode that fits the size of the human body and apprentices himself to a Tama River Robinson Crusoe who actually lives alongside a Tokyo riverbed. The film also depicts the completion of a functional mobile house for only $260.00 in materials.

“Kyohei Sakaguchi is known for his dynamic ‘Zero Yen’ dwellings, ingeniously constructed from found and recycled materials inspired by the wisdom of street dwellers in Tokyo, and we look forward to welcoming him for a very special appearance at the Japan Film Festival of San Francisco to premiere his new documentary.” says Manami Iiboshi, Executive Director of Japan Film Festival of San Francisco. “The artist architect dramatically reinterprets what a dwelling can be to its resident and what it represents to larger society, and we look forward to J-POP Summit visitors joining us during the upcoming festival to witness his live on-site construction of a mobile garden house!”

Kyohei Sakaguchi was born 1978 and studied architecture and graduated from Waseda University. While still a student, he began to question the ways of modern architecture and researched buildings and gardens created by amateur non-architects. In 2004, his graduating thesis on the temporary structures of homeless people was later published as a photography book, Zero Yen House. In 2008, he published Tokyo Zero Yen House Zero Yen Life, portraying the life of an extraordinary man living alongside the Sumida River. He has also published several books, including, How to Create a Self-Supported Nation (Kodansha Ltd), which sold over 50 thousand copies and become a national bestseller in Japan. In 2012 he gained further public attention for the Kyohei Sakaguchi New Administration Exhibit at the Watari Museum of Contemporary Art in Tokyo’s Aoyama district.

The Japan Film Festival of San Francisco is presented in conjunction with the 2013 J-POP Summit, which will take place Saturday July 27th and Sunday July 28th across the city’s historic Japantown district to celebrate the phenomenon of Japanese pop culture with a colorful array of live bands and artists, panel discussions, film premieres, edgy fashion shows and DJ dance events, celebrity appearances and more. The J-POP Summit Festival is hosted and organized by NEW PEOPLE in cooperation with the Japantown Merchants Association. In 2012, the two-day event attracted nearly 65,000 attendees. More information is available at

NEW PEOPLE Cinema is a 143-seat cinema located in the underground floor of NEW PEOPLE in San Francisco. Equipped with a cutting-edge HD digital projection and THX®-certified sound system, NEW PEOPLE Cinema is home for local film festivals and entertaining events. More information at:

The J-POP SUMMIT FESTIVAL is an annual Japanese Pop Culture celebration that features live bands and artists from Japan, pop culture panel discussions, film premieres, fashion and DJ dance events, and celebrity appearances. The Festival is hosted by NEW PEOPLE in cooperation with the Japantown Merchants Association. In 2012, the two-day event attracted 65,000 attendees.

More information about the J-POP Summit Festival is available at


"Zero Yen" architect, author, and artist, Kyohei Sakaguchi
The artist inside one of his mobile house creations.

San Diego (6/6/13) – Today, IDW Limited announced their new KISS SOLO Comicfolio line and the God of Thunder has declared these collectibles “Hotter Than Hell!” Beginning with The Demon, all four KISS SOLO comics will be available for pre-order in special-edition Comicfolio format ( Celebrating the KISS SOLO series in a truly unique collectible format, this launch is guaranteed to rock and roll all night long. 
“Obviously, I’m a lifelong fan of KISS,” said Chris Ryall, IDW’s Chief Creative Officer/Editor-in-Chief, and the writer of the KISS Solo: The Demon and The Celestial issues. “And this is something I’m happy to have in my own personal KISS collection. This Comicfolio is a very cool collectible, and the perfect thing for long-time fans or for someone you’re trying to get hooked on rock and roll—or comics—for the first time.”

Each KISS SOLO Comicfolio contains a special-edition version of the Angel Medina cover and an exclusive lithograph packaged in a laser-cut hardcover portfolio featuring the band’s logo. The first book to receive this treatment will be The Demon, with The Starchild, The Celestial and The Catman to follow in short order. Fans can also choose to pre-order The Beast, featuring all four KISS SOLO Comicfolios at a special price.  With limited print-runs and top-notch designs these Comicfolios are sure to go platinum.

“We wanted this to feel instantly cool and nostalgic.” Says IDW Limited Director Jerry Bennington. “These remind me of the first time I saw a vinyl album, there’s something so obviously COOL about them. This is the comic presentation you can get people into comics with, it’s this unique thing that people see and instantly want to hold and own.”

So rock and roll over to for your exclusive KISS SOLO Comicfolio today.


KISS SOLO: THE BEAST COMICFOLIO SET– $75.00 (All 4 Comicfolios)
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About IDW

IDW is an award-winning publisher of comic books, graphic novels and trade paperbacks, based in San Diego, California. Renowned for its diverse catalog of licensed and independent titles, IDW publishes some of the most successful and popular titles in the industry, including: Hasbro’s The TRANSFORMERS, G.I. JOE and MY LITTLE PONY; Paramount’s Star Trek; Nickelodeon’s Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles; 2000AD’s Judge Dredd; The Rocketeer; Toho’s Godzilla; Wizards of the Coast’s Magic: The Gathering and Dungeons & Dragons; HBO’s True Blood; and the Eisner-Award winning Locke & Key series, created by best-selling author Joe Hill and artist Gabriel Rodriguez. IDW is also home to the Library of American Comics imprint, which publishes classic comic reprints, and Yoe! Books, a partnership with Yoe! Studio.
IDW’s critically- and fan-acclaimed series are continually moving into new mediums. Currently, Warner Brothers and Barry Sonnenfeld are attached to adapt LORE into a feature film starring Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson and Jerry Bruckheimer Films and Disney are creating a feature film based on World War Robot, with Michael Bay‘s Platinum Dunes and Sony bringing Zombies vs. Robots to film.

Wednesday, June 05, 2013


JUNE 5, MILWAUKIE, OR—From rising stars Damon Gentry (Eerie) and Aaron Conley (It Girl! and the Atomics, Prophet), Dark Horse Comics is pleased to announce one of 2013’s hottest artistic debuts—Sabertooth Swordsman!

This six-part, digital-first series is available exclusively through Dark Horse Digital beginning today and will be collected in a gorgeous hardcover in the fall. Sabertooth Swordsman also marks the latest selection in the critically acclaimed Dark Horse Originals line.

“If you like your hot new indie comic debuts smack full of wall-to-wall violence and adventure, and almost zero moral ambiguity or crushing existential dread, then, BOY HOWDY, have we got the comical book for you! You’re going to love Sabertooth Swordsman; we nearly guarantee it,” states writer Damon Gentry.

When his village is enslaved and his wife kidnapped by the malevolent Mastodon Mathematician, a simple farmer must find his inner warrior! Granted the form of the Sabertooth Swordsman by the Cloud God of Sasquatch Mountain, our hero embarks on a treacherous journey to the Mastodon’s fortress, along the way getting beaten to a pulp by ogres, plague mutants, the king’s army, and goats! With astonishingly intricate artwork, over-the-top action, and hilarious characters, Sabertooth Swordsman is the freshest, funniest adventure comic of the year!

Praise for Sabertooth Swordsman:

Sabertooth Swordsman is the most exciting graphic novel I’ve seen in a long loooong time. An absolute masterpiece that is thrillingly original and alive with kinetic energy! Damon and Aaron should be instant superstars!”—Michael Allred (Madman, FF, iZombie)

“I’m really excited about the work Damon and Aaron are doing. Sabertooth Swordsman is fantastic comics. It’s the kind of work I hope to find when I go into a comic shop.”—Brandon Graham (Prophet, King City, Multiple Warheads)

The Sabertooth Swordsman hardcover is on shelves October 16, 2013.

About Dark Horse Comics
Founded in 1986 by Mike Richardson, 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 such as Frank Miller, Mike Mignola, Neil Gaiman, Brian Wood, Gerard Way, Felicia Day, and Guillermo del Toro, and comics legends such as Will Eisner, Neal Adams, and Jim Steranko, Dark Horse has developed its own successful properties, including The Mask, Ghost, Timecop, and SpyBoy. Its successful line of comics and products based on popular properties includes Star Wars, Mass Effect, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Aliens, Conan, Emily the Strange, Tim Burton’s Tragic Toys for Girls and Boys, 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 both creator-owned content and licensed comics material.
Latest Joe’s Comics by J. Michael Straczynski title takes flight in August
For three years, flying, nigh-invulnerable teenager Barry Chase was Flyboy, sidekick to the imagination-impaired but crime-fighting master The Red Cowl, and all was well, though Flyboy was the butt of a lot of jokes. Together, The Red Cowl and Flyboy brought peace to Sol City, fighting for truth, justice and some third goal that the Red Cowl could never quite put his finger on but was sure he’d figure out in time. But then the Red Cowl was defeated and killed — some say by the villain Terraform, others by one of the Moonglow sisters — and Flyboy was left on his own. It is at this point that SIDEKICK, the latest J. Michael Straczynski comic from Image Comics, begins.
The first issue of the second title from Joe’s Comics to be published by Image (TEN GRAND debuted in May to presales of nearly 70,000 copies), SIDEKICK, will be in stores on August 7 and is drawn by Tom Mandrake and Brian Miller, with a limited-edition variant cover by Charlie Adlard (THE WALKING DEAD) that will debut at San Diego Comic-Con, taking place on July 17 - 21.
SIDEKICK tells the story of nineteen-year old Barry, a.k.a, Flyboy, in the aftermath of his mentor’s death and his decision to continue his crime-fighting career, even though no one takes him seriously — not the good guys, not the bad guys, nobody. Any attempt Flyboy makes to improve his image backfires, and soon, unloved and unsupported, he descends into darkness.
“Sidekick is designed to turn the usual superhero tropes upside down,” said writer Straczynski. “Flyboy’s gradual disintegration into madness and crime is fueled by his desperate need for approval. His downward spiral slowly drives him to the dark side of the law, where he begins an affair with the villainous Moonglow Twins, who one night whisper something to him about the fate of his mentor that he could never have imagined possible. That secret may be the key to Flyboy’s redemption, or his damnation, giving him something to live for... and maybe, just maybe, something to kill for.
"Having worked extensively in the world of mainstream superhero comics for the last decade-plus, you are subtly informed that there are all these things that you can't do to your main character, all these accepted rules for guys in spandex. The fun in Sidekick is in doing every one of those things that you're never supposed to do.  We're going to spend a lot of time just beating the crap out of Flyboy until he finally snaps...and then the fun really begins."
SIDEKICK #1 will be in comic book stores on August 7, and a special, exclusive edition will be available in limited quantities at Comic-Con International in San Diego from July 18-21, where Straczynski will be a special guest of Image Comics. It can be pre-ordered now from the June issue of Previews.
Image Comics is a comic book and graphic novel publisher founded in 1992 by a collective of best-selling artists. Image has since gone on to become one of the largest comics publishers in the United States. Image currently has five partners: Robert Kirkman, Erik Larsen, Todd McFarlane, Marc Silvestri and Jim Valentino. It consists of five major houses: Todd McFarlane Productions, Top Cow Productions, Shadowline, Skybound and Image Central. Image publishes comics and graphic novels in nearly every genre, sub-genre, and style imaginable. It offers science fiction, romance, horror, crime fiction, historical fiction, humor and more by the finest artists and writers working in the medium today. For more information, visit

Brand New Sports Series CROSS MANAGE Joins Acclaimed Manga Titles For The First-Half Of June Including LOVE*COM, RUROUNI KENSHIN: RESTORATION And SAND LAND

VIZ Media kicks off summer 2013 with a super-hot dose of exciting new digital manga (graphic novel) series available now with others set to launch throughout the first-half of June adding to the company’s extensive digital library at and the VIZ Manga App.

Making its exclusive North American digital debut comes – CROSS MANAGE – creator Kaito’s tense sports drama about the male manager of women's lacrosse team. The series is also presently featured in VIZ Media’s Weekly Shonen Jump digital manga magazine. Fans are further invited to dive into the action, historical drama, shojo romance, and sci-fi fantasy contained in additional digital debuts that include GABA KAWA (manga one-shot), GUN BLAZE WEST, LOVE*COM, RUROUNI KENSHIN: RESTORATION, and SAND LAND.

VIZ Media’s innovative digital manga platform allows users to access and read manga from the Apple iPad®, iPhone® and iPod® touch, and supported Android-powered smart phones and tablets (including the Kindle Fire), with for desktop and laptop computers. Manga volumes are available for purchase and download in the U.S. and Canada within the application starting from only $4.99 (U.S. / CAN) per volume.

Available Now!

CROSS MANAGE · Rated ‘A’ for All Ages · Available Now!
Talented but aimless Sakurai just can’t find a place to belong. After trying (and failing at) one extracurricular activity after another, his life changes thanks to a chance encounter with lacrosse fanatic Toyoguchi, who thinks Sakurai has just what it takes to propel her girls’ lacrosse team to victory!  Despite Sakurai’s multiple refusals, Toyoguchi won’t take no for an answer when it comes to recruiting him to manage the girls’ lacrosse team. What’s more, her boundless enthusiasm is starting to win Sakurai over… 

LOVE*COM · Rated ‘T’ for Teens
In this shojo gem created by Aya Nakaharam, middle school student Risa Koizumi is the tallest girl in class, and the last thing she wants is the humiliation of standing next to Atsushi Ôtani, the shortest guy. Fate and the whole school have other ideas, and the two find themselves cast as the unwilling stars of a bizarre romantic comedy duo.

RUROUNI KENSHIN creator Nobohiro Watsuki reprises his most acclaimed manga swordsman in a brand new version of his classic story set during the violent upheaval of the Bakumatsu era. Hitokiri Battosai was once a feared and ruthless assassin, but now that the Meiji Restoration has begun to heal the wounds of civil war, he has taken up a new name… and a new calling! He is now Himura Kenshin, a “rurouni” wanderer who has vowed to only draw his sword to protect those in need. But not everyone is pleased with Kenshin’s new direction, and enemies from his dark past have vowed to bring him down!

SAND LAND · Rated ‘A’ for All Ages
Fans won’t want to miss this travel adventure and tank action story by Akira Toriyama, the creator of DRAGON BALL! In the far future, war has destroyed the entire Earth, leaving only a barren wasteland where the supply of water is controlled by the greedy king. In search of a long-lost lake, Sheriff Rao asked the king of the demons for help...and got the king's son, Beelzebub, and his assistant, Thief. Together the unlikely trio sets off across the desert, facing dragons, bandits and the deadliest foe of all... the King's army itself!

Digital Manga Titles Launching June 11th
GABA KAWA · Rated ‘T’ for Teens
In this hilarious shojo manga one-shot by Rie Takada, demons like Rara are supposed to cause mischief in the mortal world and draw humans to darkness. They're certainly not supposed to help mortals and they're definitely not supposed to fall in love with them! But that's just what happens when Rara enters high school, where a hot guy named Retsu Aku calls her "Gaba Kawa!”

GUN BLAZE WEST · Rated ‘T+’ for Older Teens
From the Shonen Jump imprint comes this action series by Nobuhiro Watsuki (creator of RUROUNI KENSHIN and BUSO RENKIN). In the Old West only the strong survive. Viu Bannes is a boy on a mission to be the best gunfighter in the West. When Viu meets a vagabond gunslinger named Marcus Homer, his desire to be the best becomes even stronger. He knows it's his destiny to travel to the legendary land known as Gun Blaze West--where only the toughest gunmen dare set foot!

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