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The Official Newsletter of Heroes and Dragons


Issue # 8.9.1 — July 21, 2003


Apologies for the Delay

Sorry for the overnight delay in this week's issue of Dragon's Breath.

A combination of technical problems slowed down yesterday's production, but we've resolved most of them.  We still haven't posted this week's New This Week list, but we should have that up soon.  Please check back tonight or tomorrow morning.

All the News That Fits


This year's Comic-Con International has left us with all kinds of news nuggets.  Since this is the biggest week of the year for comics news, we're going to forego our regular features for a special all-news issue of Dragon's Breath.

This week's news is culled from the hard work of lots of web sites, chief among them Newsarama and's The Pulse.  For the full stories, please visit these sites.

DC Comics News

Paul Gulacy will replace Cameron Stewart as artist on Catwoman beginning with issue # 25.  more

Former Catwoman artist Darwyn Cooke has revealed new background on his eagerly-awaited 6-issue mini-series The New Frontier.  (The series is a non-canonical interpretation of DC's Silver Age.)  more

Paul Dini and Bruce Timm's long-anticipated Harley & Ivy mini-series (set in the world of Batman Adventures) is finally on the schedule for 2004.  Dini describes the book as "a screwball comedy."  more

Howard Chaykin and David Tischman (writers of American Century) will unleash a new vampire book called Bite Club at Vertigo.  Despite the silly-sounding title, Chaykin promises to recast the vampire genre "as a metaphor for ethnic assimilation."  Private Beach creator David Hahn is the artist.  more

Jimmy Palmiotti, Justin Gray, and Phil Winslade will produce a new ongoing series called The Monolith, about "the living embodiment of New York City ... an urban legend come to life."  The series will be set in the DCU.  more

Palmiotti and Gray will also write a 6-issue mini-series called The Twilight Experiment, with artist Juan Santacruz.

Judd Winick's next project is a 12-issue Jewish crime drama called Caper.  Farel Dalrymple, John Severin, and Tom Fowler will provide the art.  more

Andy Diggle (The Losers) will write a new Swamp Thing mini-series with art by Enrique Breccia.  Titled Bad Seed, the series will feature Tefé, John Constantine, and Sargon the Sorcerer.

Steven Seagle explained the concept behind his and Teddy Kristiansen's upcoming Superman graphic novel for Vertigo, It's a Bird.  The book is a collection of 20 short stories, each addressing the question of how Superman would work in the context of the real world.  Seagle compared the book to Grant Morrison and Dave McKean's 1989 Batman graphic novel Arkham Asylum.

Seagle will also experiment with a new format in Vertical, a 4" wide by 22" tall Vertigo comic about "two lovers who fall off of high places on purpose."  Mike Allred is the artist on the book.  more

Alan Davis will write and draw JLA: Another Nail, a sequel to his Elseworlds mini-series The Nail.

Kurt Busiek has a DC project in the works called Superman: Secret Identity.

A 64-page one-shot from Ed Brubaker and Steve Dillon will tell the story that began in the last panel of "Batman: Year One" — namely, the story of the Joker's first modern age appearance.

The Joker will also turn up in London in Devin Grayson and John Bolton's graphic novel Batman: The Switchmore

Speaking of the Joker, he'll go on a sniper spree in the pages of Gotham Central and kill a prominent Gothamite.  (Newsarama tells you who, if you want to know.)  Harvey Bullock may return as a cast member in Gotham Central, but he probably won't be rejoining the GCPD.

And speaking of Steve Dillon, he'll reunite with Preacher co-creator Garth Ennis for a new ongoing series called City Lights.

While we're on the subject of lights, Batman: City of Light is an 8-issue mini-series about an architect who wants to redesign Gotham as a city without shadows.

Neil Gaiman will re-launch Books of Magic as an "executive producer" on the new series.  British television writer Si Spencer will provide the scripts.  The series will feature an adult Tim Hunter and be set "in the near future."

Jill Thompson may do another manga-style Endless story in 2004 — possibly featuring Edwin Paine and Charles Rowland, the "Dead Boy Detectives" from "Season of Mists."

Grant Morrison will "honor one of the world's greatest religions in a way it's never been honored before" in Vinanarama — a series Newsarama calls "an Islamic sci-fi love story."

Morrison will work with frequent collaborator Frank Quitely on at least two new projects in 2004 — one for Vertigo and one "very big project set in the DCU."

Teen Titans/Outsiders Secret Files will fill in the gap between Titans/Young Justice: Graduation Day # 3 and the first issues of Teen Titans and Outsiders.

The JLA will appear in Teen Titans # 6.

Black Lightning will appear in Outsiders # 8 and 9.  The Huntress will appear in several issues and may even join the team.

Jeff Smith's Captain Marvel project will be called Shazam!: Monster Society of Evil.

Sam Kieth will be back in 2004 with a mini-series titled Scratch.

Paul Jenkins and Jae Lee reminded everyone of their upcoming Dr. Jeckyll and Mr. Hyde mini-series, which pits Batman against Two-Face.

And Brian Azzarello reminded people of his collaboration with Joe Kubert on the soon-to-be-released Sgt. Rock: Between Hell and a Hard Place hardcover.

Michael Uslan (Just Imagine Stan Lee Creating the DC Universe) is writing an upcoming Batman project called Batman: Detective # 27.  One account describes this as a re-telling of Batman's origin, another describes it as an Elseworlds, and still another describes it as account of Bruce Wayne's short career with the police department.

Alan Moore is planning the end of the ABC line, but the exact details are still sketchy.  Some books may be taken over by other creators.  Don't write off long-promised projects like The 49ers and Comet Rangers just yet — Gene Ha is already halfway through with the art for 49ers!

League of Extraordinary Gentlemen Volume 3 will feature Mina Harker and involve time travel.  Expect to see other incarnations of the League throughout history, possibly even the 1950s incarnation Moore and O'Neill have mentioned in the past.  The series will be published by WildStorm, not ABC.

As soon as Local Heroes is finished, Kurt Busiek will begin a massive 12-part Astro City epic called The Dark Age.  The story is based on Busiek's unused proposal for Marvels IImore

Steve Lieber and José Luis García-Lopez will be the artists on the next two graphic novels in Max Allan Collins's series On the Road to Perdition.

The next two JSA story arcs will deal with the new Crimson Avenger and the mysterious plans of Black Adam.  In the first story, Geoff Johns will explain the secret of Wildcat's "nine lives."  Following the Black Adam story, Johns will tackle lingering questions about Power Girl's origins.  Ma Hunkel, the Golden Age Red Tornado will make an appearance in the coming year.

Kevin J. Anderson and Barry Kitson will do a JSA: Lord Dynamo mini-series.

The Martian Manhunter and Plastic Man will return to JLA in the 6-part bi-monthly storyline "Trial by Fire."

Sometime after the conclusion of "Trial by Fire," JLA will start having a rotating creative team.  Each team will handle a single arc then step aside to make room for a new team.  Teams already scheduled include Chris Claremont & John Byrne and Denny O'Neil & Tan Eng Huat.  Future JLA creators will include Bill Willingham, Howard Chaykin, Gail Simone, Dan Slott, and Kilian Plunkett.

Once the rotating teams start on JLA, Joe Kelly and Doug Mahnke will launch a 12-issue spin-off series, Justice League Elite.

Guy Gardner will join Blue Beetle, Booster Gold, Fire, Ice, and Max Lord next year in a sequel to Formerly Known as the Justice League.  The new mini-series will be called I Can't Believe It's Not the Justice League.

Paul Chadwick will draw two issues of Y—The Last Man.

DC plans to make the entire 70-issue run of Sandman Mystery Theatre available in trade paperback.  Expect the new trades to start as soon as the collection of Morrison's 26-issue Animal Man run is complete.  (Three cheers for DC!)

On the hardcover front, DC is planning Archives collections of Adam Strange and the Golden Age Sandman.  Wendy and Richard Pini's ElfQuest may get the Archives treatment later on.

Michael Golden will be the new cover artist for StormWatch: Team Achilles.

Jeph Loeb and Tim Sale will work together on a follow-up to Batman: The Long Halloween and Dark Victory.  The mini-series Catwoman: When in Rome will deal with Catwoman's absence from Dark Victory.

100 Bullets will go bi-monthly during Brian Azzarello and Eduardo Risso's run on Batman.

Fiona Avery will write the next Thundercats mini-series, Hammerhand's RevengeCarlos D'Anda is the artist.

Superman will meet the Thundercats in Superman/Thundercats, by Judd Winick and Alé Garza.

Elijah Snow meets a Tarzan analog in Planetary # 17.

Humberto Ramos, Olallo Rubio, Francisco Herrera, and Carlos Lobo Cuevas will introduce a new WildStorm series about youths on a quest for the ultimate extreme sport.  The sport and the book are both called Kamikaze.

Greg Rucka and Klaus Janson insisted that Batman: Death and the Maidens will be "the last Ra's al Ghul story."

Marvel Comics News

Alias will end with issue # 38, but Jessica Jones will return in a new mainstream Marvel title called The Pulse.  Written by Alias's Brian Michael Bendis, The Pulse will focus on the The Daily Bugle, J. Jonah Jameson, Ben Urich, and Jessica Jones.  Pulse will be a PSR+ book, not an "Explicit Content" book (as Alias was).

Brian Michael Bendis promises things "you've never seen in a mainstream Marvel book" in the "King of Hell's Kitchen" story arc in Daredevil.

Over in Ultimate Spider-Man, Bendis has reportedly entertained the notion of an "Ultimate Clone Saga."

Lots of Marvel mutants will make their first Ultimate appearances in Bendis's run on Ultimate X-Men — including the Angel and Dazzler.  "Think Courtney Love," warns Bendis of Ultimate Dazzler.

New X-Men # 154 will be Grant Morrison's last issue.  more

"Di Another Day," the controversial X-Statix story that was planned to feature Princess Diana of Wales, has been renamed "Back from the Dead."  The featured resurrectee is no longer Diana Spencer but a different, as-yet-unnamed fictional princess.  more

Marvel plans to publish a collection of Greg Horn art, maybe as soon as next year.

In a bizarre reversal, Rob Liefeld will be the regular cover artist on the new Deadpool/Cable series.  (A year ago, Marvel Comics renamed the original series — as well as X-Force — to avoid paying Liefeld royalties on the titles.)  more

According to Joe Quesada, 411 # 3 was pulled from the solicitation schedule because one of the creators hasn't completed his or her contribution.  No word on whether the issue will be rescheduled when the rest of the content arrives at Marvel's offices.

October's Tsunami books will feature specially-themed black covers to mark the start of new stories.  Paco Medina will take over the art on Venom, and Pat Olliffe will take over Namormore

Joe Quesada will write and Joshua Middleton will draw the long-planned NYX ongoing series.

Newsarama has posted preview art and sketches from Adam Kubert for his upcoming 1602 mini-series with Neil Gaiman.  Check it out here.

Letter columns may return to Marvel Comics in 2004, "slowly at first."

News from Other Publishers

Mark Millar is launching four new creator-owned titles in December, each from a different publisher but all united with a "Millarworld" logo in the corner.  The four titles will be:

  • Run! (from Image) with Ashley Wood, John Cassaday, Frank Quitely, and an as-yet-unnamed "superstar"

  • Wanted (from Top Cow) with J.G. Jones

  • Chosen (from Dark Horse) with Peter Gross

  • The Unfunnies (from Avatar) with Anthony Williams

For more, click here or visit the temporary home of MillarWorld.  (Millar's web site is being redeveloped.)

J.M. DeMatteis and Mike Ploog will collaborate on Abadazad, a new series from CrossGen's Code 6 imprint.  (Our webmaster is greatly excited by this news!)  more

Courtney Love (not Ultimate Dazzler) will produce a shojo manga series for TokyoPop loosely based on her experiences in Japan.

Oni Press will release a trade paperback collection of Tales of Ordinary Madness, by Malcolm Borne and Mike Allredmore

Judd Winick will return to Oni for a 3-issue Barry Ween in Space mini-series.  more

Oni will also begin a series of standalone fantasy graphic novels in the mold of Fushigi-Yugi or The Neverending Story.  The first graphic novel in this series will be Once in a Blue Moon, by the New Mutants creative team of Nunzio DeFilippis and Christina Weirmore

Oni will also publish three new graphic novels from Antony Johnson in 2004 — Spooked, Julius, and Closer.  Ross Campbell, Brett Weldele, and Mike Norton are the respective artists.  more

Events begun in the first issues of the CrossGen titles are builing to a climax in the coming year, according to Bill Rosemann.  more

CrossGen also previewed a possible design for a Mordath toy.  The company hopes to package toys for sale alongside the DVD comic collections they plan for the mass market.  Other CrossGen merchandising includes Sojourn mini-figures, about 1-1/2 times the size of WizKids' HeroClix but without the bases.  more

Issue # 24 of Sojourn will be the last written by Ron MarzIan Edginton will take over as writer.  more

Rob Zombie will provide a new series called Spookshow International for CrossGen's CGE imprint.  more

The next volume of Jim Krueger's Clockmaker series (Act II) will be published in a more traditional format.  I.e., it won't have the fold-outs.  As soon as Act II is completed, Image will re-release Act I in the new format.  The story will finish in Clockmaker, Act III.

Frank Cho and Scott Kurtz will collaborate on a 12-issue mini-series called Summer Days, which Cho describes as "a combination of Northern Exposure and The Andy Griffith Show."  Cho may release a new collection of his University2 strips next year.

AiT/PlanetLar has a bevy of projects scheduled for next year, including:

  • Filler by Rick Spears and Rob G.

  • Demo by Brain Wood and Becky Cloonan

  • Couriers 02: Dirtbike Manifesto by Brian Wood and Rob G.

  • Bad Mojo by William Harms and Steve Morris

  • Scurvy Dogs by Andrew Boyd and Ryan Yount

  • Giant Robot Warriors by Stuart Moore and Ryan Kelly

  • an as-yet-untitled Larry Young project with Kieron Dwyer and Steven Sanders

For more info, click here.

Image's God-awfully-late 10th Anniversary Hardcover may be finished in time for the company's 15th Anniversary.

2004 will see the release of a fourth trade paperback for Colleen Doran's science-fiction opus A Distant Soil.

Book publisher Del Rey has acquired the rights to four manga series.  Two of them were announced this weekend, Gundam Seed and Negima.  There are rumors that Del Rey is interested in adapting some of its authors (like Terry Brooks or Anne McCaffrey) as graphic novels by manga artists.  more

Speaking of "real books," About Comics will reprint Robert Mayer's 1977 deconstructionist super-hero novel Superfolks with a new cover by Dave Gibbons.  more

A Wave of Exclusive Creator Contracts

Grant Morrison will be returning to DC.  He's signed a two-year exclusive contract with the company.  New X-Men # 154 will be his last issue of that title.  Marvel Boy II won't happen, and We 3 will be published at DC.

Both Jeph Loeb and Tim Sale have signed exclusive contracts with DC.

Greg Rucka has signed a 3-year exclusive contract with DC.  This will not affect his "pre-contract commitments" to Oni Press (i.e. Queen & Country), but his Wolverine run will end at issue # 18.  more

Beware the Creeper artist Cliff Chiang is exclusive with DC for two years.  more

Toy News

For complete San Diego toy coverage, we recommend

DC Direct announced a Silver Age Penguin & Catwoman two-pack to go along with the Silver Age Batman & Robin and the Silver Age Batgirl & Joker.  more

DCD also premiered several figures that were previously announced:

  • The Flash, Armored Wonder Woman, Magog, and Deadman — the latest wave of Kingdom Come figures

  • Silver-and-Black Superman, Superboy, and the Eradicator Superman from "The Death of Superman" line

  • Ferro Lad, Timber Wolf, Invisible Kid, and Colossal Boy (sorry, he's only normal-sized) from the ongoing Legion of Super-Heroes line

  • Prototypes of Wonder Woman, Batman, and Superman from the coming "First Appearances" line

Toy Biz will offer two Marvel Legends boxed sets:

  • The "Urban Boxed Set" will include variants of Daredevil, Elektra, the Punisher, and Spider-Man.  (The Daredevil looks surprisingly good, and Elektra is in white.)  more

  • The "X-Men Boxed Set" will inclue Magneto, a maskless Wolverine, Beast with lab coat, Gambit, and a boxed-set-exclusive Roguemore

Both sets have a suggested retail price of $34.99.

Toy Biz had lots of Marvel Legends figures on display from Waves 5 and 6.  It looks like we'll be getting a Doop (from X-Statix) in Wave 6!  more

Don Levine's original G.I. Joe prototype figure failed to sell at this weekend's Heritage Auction.  more

Convention News

Wizard World will add a fourth convention to its circuit in 2004 — Wizard World L.A., held in the Long Beach Convention Center on March 19-21.  more

Media News

Neil Gaiman and Dave McKean will collaborate on a feature film titled Mirror Mask.  Gaiman will write and McKean will direct the film, due from Jim Henson Studios sometime in 2004.  more

Diamond Comics has confirmed that there will be another Free Comic Book Day in 2004.

Eisner and Lulu Award Winners

This year's Eisner Awards Ceremony was held Friday night at Comic-Con International.  Alan Moore and Kevin O'Neill's League of Extraordinary Gentlemen took home several Eisner Awards, along with multiple Eisner winners Mike Mignola, Brian Michael Bendis, and Bill Willingham.

A complete list of Eisner winners can be found here at the Comic-Con web site. 

The Friends of Lulu also held their annual awards ceremony, and here's a list of Lulu Award winners (courtesy of The Pulse).  Past winners can be seen at the Friends of Lulu web site.

Interviews Worth Reading

Coming Events

Lord of the Rings CCG League meets this Tuesday, July 22 at 4:00pm.

Celebrate the release of "Cosmic Justice" with a DC HeroClix Sealed Box Tournament this Saturday, July 26 at 1:00pm.  Prizes supplied by WizKids.  Register online to participate.



Dragon's Breath is written and administered by Scott Simmons.
Copyright © 2003 Heroes and Dragons.
All rights reserved.

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