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Stumbled upon this fantastic Flash Gordon Flash Gordon tribute to Al Williamson by the extremely talented Fransesco Fracavilla and wanted to make sure you folks had the chance to enjoy it as well.

I was very sorry to hear of Williamson’s passing early this week (we’re all the lesser for his loss) and I’d be ungrateful if I didn’t take a moment to wish his family the very beset and to say “thanks” for so many great memories over the years! I’ve been in awe of his work since first stumbling upon it in the pages of a Flash Gordon comic I picked up a number of years back and it’s certainly fitting that Fracavilla chose the character Williamson defined so well to pay his own humble tribute to the comics legend. We’ll miss him.

Onwards and upwards, friend.

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Love this CREATUREBOX cover!

Given the comedic flavor of the games, and so many of the comic book elements that have permeated the series for years, the best-selling Ratchet & Clank video game franchise is a natural for this medium and I about jumped out of my seat when I saw this in DC’s Solicitations this month. And with series veteran T.J. Fixman penning the tale I imagine that we’re in for a real treat. Good for the guys at Insomniac, they deserve something as cool as this! And I definitely can’t wait to read it.

RATCHET AND CLANK #1
Written by T.J. FIXMAN
Art by ADAM ARCHER
Cover by CREATUREBOX

The best-selling Sony franchise finally becomes an action-packed comic! With Dr. Nefarious defeated and the universe safe, galactic heroes Ratchet and Clank return to the Solana galaxy for some well-earned rest and relaxation. But when entire planets begin disappearing from the universe without a trace, Galactic President Qwark calls them back into action to solve the mystery. As the rest of the universe erupts in panic, the duo must embark on an epic adventure that will pit them against their most capable adversary to date: a Markazian planet thief named Artemis Zogg!

On sale SEPTEMBER 8 • 1 of 6 • 32 pg, FC $3.99 US

Won’t be able to pick up a copy myself of course, but maybe a few of you out there attending SDCC will be able to. The rest of us will have to be content to enjoy the great Kormarck cover from afar I’m afraid.

DOCTOR SOLAR MAN OF ATOM #1 EXCLUSIVE KOMARCK VARIANT COVER 2010 SDCC VERSION

Exclusive SDCC variant cover by Michael Kormarck! Empowered by a thermonuclear catastrophe, Doctor Solar discovers that he can control energy… immeasurable strength is his at a whim. Power beyond imagining courses through his body. But he knows that the same kind of science run amok that created him can also empower the wicked. LIMITED TO 2,000 COPIES. Comic SRP: $3.50

Usagi fans, lend me your ears!

Thanks to the efforts of Dark Horse Comics and GeekDad you can read the 2-page, fully colored, Usagi Yojimbo short story “Cut the Plum” here prior to it’s debut on Dark Horse Comics Presents #35 later next Wednesday.

It’s a fun little story about caution, overconfidence, and maybe even a little terror featuring Usagi and Jotaro. It’s always heartwarming to see these two adventuring together so, for the low low price of absolutely free, please check it out!

Like so many others, I’ve been anxiously awaiting DQIX for a heck of a long time now, passing up the temptation to purchase the JP version ($19 in some stores in Tokyo) but it looks like the wait is finally coming to an end with game becoming available July 11th! Surprisingly, I went to pre-order it and thanks to a promotional code I received on a previous game I was able to reserve my copy for $24.95! Glad I waited.

More about the game should be avialable soon on the official Dragon Quest IX: Sentinels of the Starry Sky site.

I’m actually posting from the Land of the Rising Sun as we speak (hence the lack of updates) and couldn’t think of a more appropriate time to share the following Dark Horse solicitation. The chance to enjoy Usagi Yojimbo #1 is always a real treat, but to be able to do so at $1, with a new painted cover is something no comics fan should miss.

I’m kicking myself because I didn’t want to damage the latest Usagi Yojimbo TPB that I was reading so I didn’t bring it with me but I really wish I would have so that I could enjoy his adventures here, and share it with my new family who are always so eager to share their Japanese heritage with me.

Anyhow, please do yourself a favor and pick this special up. It’s a steal at that price and you won’t believe just how good it gets from there.

1 for $1: Usagi Yojimbo

Stan Sakai (W/A)
On sale Aug 18
b&w, 28 pages
$1.00

The close of sixteenth-century Japan is regarded as the age of civil wars, as feudal lords fought amongst themselves for land and power. When one leader finally rose above the others and was proclaimed shogun, a peace came upon Japan and the samurai warriors found themselves suddenly unemployed. Many of these ronin turned to banditry to survive; others found work with minor lords. And a small number traveled the musha shugyo—the warrior pilgrimage—to hone their spiritual and martial skills. But whether they took the honest road or the crooked path, the ronin all found one common link—they were generally less than welcome. Such is the tale of Usagi Yojimbo.

“Now, somebody stands in the shadows who knows my every move before I make it…”

While we’re on the subject of DC and Warner Bros. Animation, Batman: Under the Red Hood (by Bruce Timm, Brandon Vietti and Judd Winick) will be available July 27th.

Official Press Release

BURBANK, CA – Batman confronts new enemies, old foes and painful memories when a powerful vigilante with a penchant for violence comes to Gotham City in the intense graphic-novel-come-to-life Batman: Under the Red Hood, the next entry in the popular ongoing series of DC UNIVERSE Animated Original PG-13 Movies coming July 27, 2010 from Warner Premiere, DC Entertainment and Warner Bros. Animation. The full-length film will be distributed by Warner Home Video as a Special Edition version on Blu-Ray™ and 2 disc DVD for $29.99 (SRP) and $24.98 (SRP), respectively, as well as single disc DVD for $19.98 (SRP). The film will also be available On Demand and for Download.

The stellar voice cast has Bruce Greenwood (Captain Pike in the 2009 blockbuster Star Trek) donning the famed cowl as the voice of Batman. Supernatural star Jensen Ackles is Red Hood, and Neil Patrick Harris (How I Met Your Mother) voices Nightwing. John DiMaggio (Futurama) and Jason Issacs (the Harry Potter films) round out the main cast as The Joker and Ra’s Al Ghul, respectively.

Batman: Under the Red Hood is scripted by award-winning comics writer Judd Winick and based on his popular 2005 comics storyline and subsequent comics graphic novel of the same name. Animation guru Bruce Timm returns as executive producer, as he has for all eight DC Universe animated original movies. Director is Brandon Vietti, who served as co-director of Superman Doomsday and was responsible for the first one-third of that film, including the fatal battle between the two title characters.

In Batman: Under the Red Hood, Batman faces his ultimate challenge as the mysterious Red Hood takes Gotham City by firestorm. One part vigilante, one part criminal kingpin, Red Hood begins cleaning up Gotham with the efficiency of Batman, but without following the same ethical code. Killing is an option. And when The Joker falls in the balance between the two, hard truths are revealed and old wounds are reopened.

Fans will be treated to an incredible package of DC Universe storytelling as the Special Edition Blu-Ray and 2-Disc Special Edition DVD include the second animated short in the all-new DC Showcase series – which features the popular DC Comics character, Jonah Hex. The short is scripted by renowned author Joe Lansdale and stars the voices of Thomas Jane (Hung), Linda Hamilton (The Terminator), Michelle Trachtenberg (Mercy, Buffy the Vampire Slayer) and Michael Rooker (Days of Thunder).

Batman: Under the Red Hood – 2 Disc Special Edition DVD will have more than two hours of fascinating bonus features, including:

* Featurette – Robin’s Story – It was decided it was time to add a fresh face into the story mix, which turned out to be Dick Grayson, aka Robin. This is the story of Dick Grayson and how he transformed into Robin, with Batman as his father-figure role model.
* Extended Sneak Peek at the next DC UNIVERSE Animated Original PG-13 Movie.
* Widescreen (1.78:1)
* Two title-themed episodes from of Warner Bros. Animation’s 20-year history of Batman television series, hand-picked by animation legend Bruce Timm.

Batman: Under the Red Hood Special Edition Blu-Ray will have more than three hours of bonus materials, including all the great extras from the 2-disc Special Edition DVD as well as:

* Featurette: Death in the House of Batman – The story of how DC Comics heard the fans’ cry that the new Robin was not going to fit the cape, and how the Boy Wonder was scheduled to die.
* Two additional bonus Batman-themed episodes personally selected by Bruce Timm
* Digital copy

‘Batman: Under the Red Hood is another terrific entry in the groundbreaking series of DC Universe animated movies, a shining representation of the adult storytelling that comics-turned-to-film has to offer, and further evidence of the combined creative power within the collaboration of DC Entertainment, Warner Premiere, Warner Bros. Animation and Warner Home Video,’ said Matt Bierman, Senior Vice President Production, Warner Premiere.

‘Judd Winick’s and Doug Mahnke’s story of a Robin gone wrong introduced Batman’s most personal enemy to date. It’s unbelievably cool to see it brought to life like this,’ said Geoff Johns, Chief Creative Officer of DC Entertainment.

‘With each exciting new chapter of the DC UNIVERSE films, fans have come to expect more – and Batman: Under the Red Hood delivers with an action-packed tale of mystery and emotional struggle brought to animated life by an outstanding filmmaking crew and voiced by the all-star talents of Bruce Greenwood, Jensen Ackles, Neil Patrick Harris and John Dimaggio,’ said Amit Desai, WHV Vice President of Family, Animation & Partner Brand Marketing.

‘In his feature length solo directorial debut, Brandon Vietti has brought this dark, psychological thriller to the screen with all the action and emotion of a great Batman story,” said Sam Register, Executive Vice President, Warner Bros. Animation. ‘