Friday, April 9, 2010

News - 04/09/10...

International Hand-Drawn Cartoons

Who says hand-drawn animation is over?

Sylvain Chomet's latest animated adventure, "The Illusionist" will open this year's Edinburgh International Film Festival (EIFF). ... Chomet's film is a fairy-tale depiction of Scotland and is set against the backdrop of the Scottish capital, where Chomet currently lives and works ...

The Illusionist is about an old-fashioned music hall entertainer struggling to survive in the fading days of vaudeville ... More than 70 animators worked on the film inside a studio complex created by Chomet – the creator of the hit movie Belleville Rendez-vous – in George Street. ...

See? There's still animation being produced that isn't built in a computer. You just have to sniff it out, since there's not much of it going on in California anymore. (Jim Brooks and Matt Groening are slow off the dime getting the next Simpsons feature going.)

The trailer can be seen here.

(Thanks Animation Guild Blog)

Adventure Time Debut Tops Ratings

The premiere episode Cartoon Network’s new series Adventure Time was the top-rated show among children and boys in its time slot, prompting the network to announce it has ordered 13 additional episodes.

The series, created by Pendleton Ward follows the adventures of pals Finn and Jake in the magical Land of Ooo.

The 8 p.m. premiere of the show was the No. 1 ranked show among multiple demographics, including kids 6-11, kids 2-11, boys 6-11, boys 2-11 and boys 9-14, according to preliminary data from Nielsen.

"We are thrilled with the television and online response to Adventure Time and our Monday night comedy animation shows," said Rob Sorcher, chief content officer of Cartoon Network. "This is a great start for our diverse array of new animated comedies coming soon from Cartoon Network Studios."

Adventure Time with Finn & Jake is produced in partnership with Frederator Studios and Fred Seibert is an executive producer on the series.

The additional new episodes will roll out through the fall and feature such celebrity voices as Henry Rollins, Mark Hamill, George Takei, Lou Ferrigno and Erik Estrada.

(Thanks Animation Magazine)

Cirkus Presents ABCs of Animation, Signs Marketing Deal

New Zealand-based animation studio Cirkus — creators of the hit online video ABCs of Animation — has signed a long-term PR and marketing deal with Mojo Working.

Cirkus, which has offices in Auckland and New York, also is working a project called Exquisite Corpse, in which users submit storylines that the studio then animates.

Mojo Working Founder and Director – Kevin Fetterplace comments:

“With a huge range of National and International projects to boast about and a catalog full of amazing content that has not only come from that work, but also from projects that they devise themselves like "Exquisite Corpse" and “The ABC’s of Animation” - Cirkus Productions offer their clients limitless possibilities,” says Kevin Fetterplace, founder and director of Mojo Working.

Marko Klijn – Founder and Executive Producer at Cirkus adds:

“Cirkus is thrilled to be represented by someone who digs the Cirkus brand,” says Marko Klijn, founder and executive producer at Cirkus. “Kevin shares our passion for animation and love for all that dares to be different, so he’s the right man for the job!”

Check out the short film ABCs of Animation below and then head to to check out Exquisite Corpse.

(Thanks Animation Magazine)

Nintendo Snags Airbender Game Exclusive

A new interactive game based on the forthcoming live-action version of the animated Nickelodeon series The Last Airbender is coming exclusively to Nintendo platforms.

The game, developed by THQ, is set to be released for the Wii, DS and DSi devices in June, prior to the film’s release on July 2.

The game revisits several scenes from the film, which is directed by M. Night Shyamalan, and allows users to play as Aang, Zuko or the Blue Spirit using the Wii remote and nunchuck controllers and special hand movements specific to each character’s powers.

"The Last Airbender video game boasts original gameplay elements that create an experience never previously seen before on the Wii system," said Doug Clemmer, THQ’s executive VP of kids, family and casual games. "The artistic in-game graphics and dynamic combat were designed to fully engage players, while providing an exhilarating and interactive gaming moment."

More details on the game can be found online at

(Thanks Animation Magazine)

Angelina Ballerina Dances With Fisher-Price

HIT Entertainment has gone with Fisher-Price as the worldwide master toy licensee for its animated series Angelina Ballerina: The Next Steps.

The deal gives Fisher-Price the opportunity to develop and market a wide range of toys based on the series, including figures and dolls, playsets, dollhouses, vehicles, plush toys and preschool toys.

The toys will be produced the brand name of Fisher-Price parent company Mattel, and is set to debut in the fall exclusively at Target and arrive in other retail outlets in 2011.

“Fisher-Price is a world-class toy company and the best partner to bring creative, quality Angelina Ballerina toys to the global stage,” said Jeff Dunn, president and CEO, HIT Entertainment. Angelina Ballerina is a beloved publishing property for more than 25 years. With her new CG animated series being enthusiastically embraced by parents and children around the world, we look forward to working with Fisher-Price to create toys that will enhance the Angelina experience, and grow the long term business for this brand.”

(Thanks Animation Magazine)

Animation Collective Brings Ellen’s Acres to iPad

Animation Collective has jumped into the brand-new iPad app market, releasing Ellen’s Acres Puzzle Pieces.

The app is an interactive storybook based on an original episode of the animated preschooler comedy series Ellen’s Acres. The app includes animated pages and features, high-definition images, audio and sound effects as the reader follows along with the story.

“Like all of our properties, Ellen’s Acres was created as a multiplatform experience and we are very proud to be included in the first set of applications released for the iPad on its opening day,” said Pablo Quinteros, Animation Collective’s director of interactive technology and the application’s creator.

The app is available for free download at the iPad App Store on iTunes. Additional Ellen’s Acres applications will be available for sale in coming weeks.

The free app can be downloaded at

(Thanks Animation Magazine)

Losing Light by Billy Polard

Musician/animator Billy Polard made this music video for his song Losing Light entirely on his Nintendo DSi using an animation program called Flipnote Studio. Says Polard: “Two weeks and hundreds of drawings later, not to mention how tiny the screen on the dsi is, here it is…”

(Thanks cartoon brew)

Natural Animation by David Montgomery

Florida-based filmmaker David Montgomery creates animated films entirely out of objects found in nature. The imagery found within these pieces, like Pollenating II above, is nothing short of mesmerizing. His latest piece, Carapace and Shell, a series of animated loops of seashells found on the beaches of Northeast Florida, will be screened at the Museum of Science and History (MOSH) in Jacksonville, as part of an ocean and marine-life themed exhibit. This Flickr page offers a hint of what I can only imagine is the intense amount of labor and organization that he invests into the making of each film. More of David’s work can be found on his website

(Thanks cartoon brew)

Pixels by Patrick Jean

Pixilated old-school video game icons take over New York (and the the world) in this new video for the French techno-pop band Naïve New Beaters. It was directed by Patrick Jean of Paris-based One More Production.

(Thanks, Tim Thomsen)

(Thanks cartoon brew)

“Batman: The Brave And The Bold” Two-Disc DVD Collection Slated For August 2010

A new two-disc DVD collection for the acclaimed Batman: The Brave and The Bold animated series is set for release later this year from Warner Home Video.

A representative for Warner Home Video has confirmed a two-disc Batman: The Brave and The Bold – Season One, Volume One DVD collection is tentatively scheduled to hit shelves in August 2010. An exact date is currently not available, though will be revealed in the coming weeks. Please also note the August 2010 date is strictly tentative and is subject to change. The studio was also unable to confirm if the same title will be given a Blu-ray disc release.

The two-disc Batman: The Brave and The Bold – Season One, Volume One DVD release is slated to collect the first thirteen episodes from the initial season of the acclaimed animated series along with additional bonus features. Warner Home Video is currently unable to provide any further specific details at this time.

The first thirteen episodes of the Batman: The Brave and The Bold animated series are currently available on three separate single-disc DVD volume releases. No special features are included on these volume DVD releases. Continue to the The World's Finest Batman: The Brave and The Bold subsite for further details on the animated series.

Stay tuned for further details on Batman: The Brave and The Bold – Season One, Volume One in the coming weeks, along with other home video announcements featuring DC Comics characters, here soon at The World’s Finest.

Beast Snacks on Stop-Motion Biscuit Spot

Belgian-based studio Beast Animation recently produced this stop-motion spot for Lotus Backeries, a snack maker from the same region. The team utilized the actual Lotus Speculoos biscuits in the spot, and special coffee cup created for animation.

Yukfoo Stitches Up New Stop Motion Spot for Wellington

The talented team at Yukfoo Animation Studios produced this new theatrical spot using a laborious method – hand-sewn fabrics shot in stop-motion. It promotes tourism in Wellington, a city in New Zealand.

Visiting the SPA

Changes are going on at Sony Pictures Animation. Aardman staffers, over from the United Kingdom, occupy a part of the building, readying Arthur Christmas*, due for release in 2011.

"We'll be working on the picture sixteen months. We've done a second pass of the boards, and the story is there. First act, second act, third act. Of course we'll be tweaking it, happens with every picture, doesn't it?" ...

Down at the other end of the building, Hotel Transylvania is in a transformative stage. Ax an artist told me:

"Chris Jenkins has come on board as a director, and we're reworking the story. The last time through was kind of a transition from the old story to the newer one. We've now got the green light to make more changes, and we'll be making them."

I told them I had a full head of dark hair when Hotel Transylvania first went into work. (This tracks my Rapunzel joke.) Two artists said they could almost believe it.

Meanwhile, the latest Open Season III continues in work, animated by Reel FX in Texas, and the buzz is that there might be an Open Season IV.

And of course we must never forget that The Smurfs has started production. In our darker moments of despair, we must hold fast to that reality ... and rejoice in it.

(Thanks Animation Guild Blog)

Asterios Polyp Leads 2010 Eisner Award Nominees

Asterios Polyp, the acclaimed literary graphic novel by David Mazzuchelli, earned a leading four nominations for the 2010 Will Eisner Comic Book Industry Awards, which were announced Thursday.

Books earning three nominations are My mommy is in America and she met Buffalo Bill by Jean Regnaud and Emile Bravo, The Photographer by Emmanuel Guibert, Yoshihiro Tatsumi's A Drifting Life, Robert Crumb's The Book of Genesis, Darwyn Cooke's Richard Stark's Parker: The Hunter, Mike Carey and Peter Gross's comic book series The Unwritten and Mark Waid and Peter Kraus's series Irredeemable.

DC Comics earned 20 nominations for books published under its various labels, plus two shared nominations; followed by Fantagraphics with 17 solo and one shared nomination.

The nominations for the 22nd edition of the awards were chosen by a blue-ribbon panel of judges representing various aspects of the comic book industry. Winners are determined by a vote of comic book industry creators, retailers, editors and publishers and presented in a gala ceremony at Comic-Con International: San Diego.

The full list of nominees follows.

Best Short Story
• "Because I Love You So Much," by Nikoline Werdelin, in From Wonderland with Love: Danish Comics in the 3rd Millennium (Fantagraphics/Aben maler)
• "Gentleman John," by Nathan Greno, in What Is Torch Tiger? (Torch Tiger)
• "How and Why to Bale Hay," by Nick Bertozzi, in Syncopated (Villard)
• "Hurricane," interpreted by Gradimir Smudja, in Bob Dylan Revisited (Norton)
• "Urgent Request," by Gene Luen Yang and Derek Kirk Kim, in The Eternal Smile (First Second)

Best Single Issue (or One-Shot)
• Brave & the Bold #28: "Blackhawk and the Flash: Firing Line," by J. Michael Straczynski and Jesus Saiz (DC)
• Captain America #601: "Red, White, and Blue-Blood," by Ed Brubaker and Gene Colan (Marvel)
• Ganges #3, by Kevin Huizenga (Fantagraphics)
• The Unwritten #5: "How the Whale Became," by Mike Carey and Peter Gross (Vertigo/DC)
• Usagi Yojimbo #123: "The Death of Lord Hikiji" by Stan Sakai (Dark Horse)

Best Continuing Series
• Fables, by Bill Willingham, Mark Buckingham, Steve Leialoha, Andrew Pepoy et al. (Vertigo/DC)
• Irredeemable, by Mark Waid and Peter Krause (BOOM!)
• Naoki Urasawa's 20th Century Boys, by Naoki Urasawa (VIZ Media)
• The Unwritten, by Mike Carey and Peter Gross (Vertigo/DC)
• The Walking Dead, by Robert Kirkman and Charles Adlard (Image)

Best Limited Series or Story Arc
• Blackest Night, by Geoff Johns, Ivan Reis, and Oclair Albert (DC)
• Incognito, by Ed Brubaker and Sean Phillips (Marvel Icon)
• Pluto: Urasawa X Tezuka, by Naoki Urasawa and Takashi Nagasaki (VIZ Media)
• Wolverine #66-72 and Wolverine Giant-Size Special: "Old Man Logan," by Mark Millar, Steve McNiven, and Dexter Vines (Marvel)
• The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, by Eric Shanower and Skottie Young (Marvel)

Best New Series
• Chew, by John Layman and Rob Guillory (Image)
• Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? by Phillip K. Dick, art by Tony Parker (BOOM!)
• Irreedeemable, by Mark Waid and Peter Krause (BOOM!)
• Sweet Tooth, by Jeff Lemire (Vertigo/DC)
• The Unwritten, by Mike Carey and Peter Gross (Vertigo/DC)

Best Publication for Kids
• Lunch Lady and the Cyborg Substitute, by Jarrett J. Krosoczeka (Knopf)
• The Secret Science Alliance and the Copycat Crook, by Eleanor Davis (Bloomsbury)
• Tiny Tyrant vol. 1: The Ethelbertosaurus, by Lewis Trondheim and Fabrice Parme (First Second)
• The TOON Treasury of Classic Children's Comics, edited by Art Spiegelman and Francoise Mouly (Abrams ComicArts/Toon)
• The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, by L. Frank Baum, Eric Shanower, and Skottie Young (Marvel)

Best Publication for Teens
• Angora Napkin, by Troy Little (IDW)
• Beasts of Burden, by Evan Dorkin and Jill Thompson (Dark Horse)
• A Family Secret, by Eric Heuvel (Farrar Straus Giroux/Anne Frank House)
• Far Arden, by Kevin Cannon (Top Shelf)
• I Kill Giants, by Joe Kelly and JM Ken Niimura (Image)

Best Humor Publication
• Drinky Crow's Maakies Treasury, by Tony Millionaire (Fantagraphics)
• Everybody Is Stupid Except for Me, And Other Astute Observations, by Peter Bagge (Fantagraphics)
• Little Lulu, Vols. 19-21, by John Stanley and Irving Tripp (Dark Horse Books)
• The Muppet Show Comic Book: Meet the Muppets, by Roger Langridge (BOOM Kids!)
• Scott Pilgrim Vol. 5: Scott Pilgrm vs. the Universe, by Brian Lee O'Malley (Oni)

Best Anthology
• Abstract Comics, edited by Andrei Molotiu (Fantagraphics)
• Bob Dylan Revisited, edited by Bob Weill (Norton)
• Flight 6, edited by Kazu Kibuishi (Villard)
• Popgun Vol. 3, edited by Mark Andrew Smith, D. J. Kirkbride, and Joe Keatinge (Image)
• Syncopated: An Anthology of Nonfiction Picto-Essays, edited by Brendan Burford (Villard)
• What Is Torch Tiger? edited by Paul Briggs (Torch Tiger)

Best Digital Comic
• Abominable Charles Christopher, by Karl Kerschl,
• Bayou, by Jeremy Love,
• The Guns of Shadow Valley, by David Wachter and James Andrew Clark,
• Power Out, by Nathan Schreiber,
• Sin Titulo, by Cameron Stewart,

Best Reality-Based Work
• A Drifting Life, by Yoshihiro Tatsumi (Drawn & Quarterly)
• Footnotes in Gaza, by Joe Sacco (Metropolitan/Holt)
• The Imposter's Daughter, by Laurie Sandell (Little, Brown)
• Monsters, by Ken Dahl (Secret Acres)
• The Photographer, by Emmanuel Guibert, Didier Lefèvre, and Frédéric Lemerier (First Second)
• Stitches, by David Small (Norton)

Best Adaptation from Another Work
• The Book of Genesis Illustrated, by R. Crumb (Norton)
• Charles Darwin's On the Origin of Species: A Graphic Adaptation, adapted by Michael Keller and Nicolle Rager Fuller (Rodale)
• Fahrenheit 451, by Ray Bradbury, adapted by Tim Hamilton (Hill & Wang)
• Richard Stark's Parker: The Hunter, adapted by Darwyn Cooke (IDW)
• West Coast Blues, by Jean-Patrick Manchette, adapted by Jacques Tardi (Fantagraphics)

Best Graphic Album-New
• Asterios Polyp, by David Mazzuccheilli (Pantheon)
• A Distant Neighborhood (2 vols.), by Jiro Taniguchi (Fanfare/Ponent Mon)
• The Book of Genesis Illustrated, by R. Crumb (Norton)
• My mommy is in America and she met Buffalo Bill, by Jean Regnaud and Emile Bravo (Fanfare/Ponent Mon)
• The Photographer, by Emmanuel Guibert, Didier Lefevre, and Frederic Lemerier (First Second)
• Richard Stark's Parker: The Hunter, adapted by Darwyn Cooke (IDW)

Best Graphic Album-Reprint
• Absolute Justice, by Alex Ross, Jim Krueger, and Doug Braithewaite (DC)
• A.D.: New Orleans After the Deluge, by Josh Neufeld (Pantheon)
• Alec: The Years Have Pants, by Eddie Campbell (Top Shelf)
• Essex County Collected, by Jeff Lemire (Top Shelf)
• Map of My Heart: The Best of King-Cat Comics & Stories, 1996-2002, by John Porcellino (Drawn & Quarterly)

Best Archival Collection/Project-Strips
• Bloom County: The Complete Library, Vol. 1, by Berkeley Breathed, edited by Scott Dunbier (IDW)
• Bringing Up Father, Vol. 1: From Sea to Shining Sea, by George McManus and Zeke Zekley, edited by Dean Mullaney (IDW)
• The Brinkley Girls: The Best of Nell Brinkley's Cartoons 1913-1940, edited by Trina Robbins (Fantagraphics)
• Gahan Wilson: 50 Years of Playboy Cartoons, by Gahan Wilson, edited by Gary Groth (Fantagraphics)
• Prince Valiant, Vol. 1: 1937-1938, by Hal Foster, edited by Kim Thompson (Fantagraphics)
• Queer Visitors from the Marvelous Land of Oz, by L. Frank Baum, Walt McDougall, and W. W. Denslow (Sunday Press)

Best Archival Collection/Project-Comic Books
• The Best of Simon & Kirby, by Joe Simon and Jack Kirby, edited by Steve Saffel (Titan Books)
• Blazing Combat, by Archie Goodwin et al., edited by Gary Groth (Fantagraphics)
• Humbug, by Harvey Kurtzman et al., edited by Gary Groth (Fantagraphics)
• The Rocketeer: The Complete Adventures Deluxe Edition, by Dave Stevens, edited by Scott Dunbier (IDW)
• The TOON Treasury of Classic Children's Comics, edited by Art Spiegelman and Francoise Mouly (Abrams ComicArts/Toon)

Best U.S. Edition of International Material
• My mommy is in America and she met Buffalo Bill, by Jean Regnaud and Emile Bravo (Fanfare/Ponent Mon)
• The Photographer, by Emmanuel Guibert, Didier Lefevre, and Frederic Lemerier (First Second)
• Tiny Tyrant Vol. 1: The Ethelbertosaurus, by Lewis Trondheim and Fabrice Parme (First Second)
• West Coast Blues, by Jean-Patrick Manchette, adapted by Jacques Tardi (Fantagraphics)
• Years of the Elephant, by Willy Linthout (Fanfare/Ponent Mon)

Best U.S. Edition of International Material-Asia
• The Color Trilogy, by Kim Dong Haw (First Second)
• A Distant Neighborhood (2 vols.), by Jiro Taniguchi (Fanfare/Ponent Mon)
• A Drifting Life, by Yoshihiro Tatsumi (Drawn & Quarterly)
• Oishinbo a la Carte, written by Tetsu Kariya and illustrated by Akira Hanasaki (VIZ Media)
• Pluto: Urasawa X Tezuka, by Naoki Urasawa and Takashi Nagasaki (VIZ Media)
• Naoki Urasawa's 20th Century Boys, by Naoki Urasawa (VIZ Media)

Best Writer
• Ed Brubaker, Captain America, Daredevil, Marvels Project (Marvel) Criminal, Incognito (Marvel Icon)
• Geoff Johns, Adventure Comics, Blackest Night, The Flash: Rebirth, Superman: Secret Origin (DC)
• James Robinson, Justice League: Cry for Justice (DC)
• Mark Waid, Irredeemable, The Incredibles (BOOM!)
• Bill Willingham, Fables (Vertigo/DC)

Best Writer/Artist
• Darwyn Cooke, Richard Stark's Parker: The Hunter (IDW)
• R. Crumb, The Book of Genesis Illustrated (Norton)
• David Mazzuccheilli, Asterios Polyp (Pantheon)
• Terry Moore, Echo (Abstract Books)
• Naoki Urasawa, Naoki Urasawa's 20th Century Boys, Pluto: Urasawa X Tezuka (VIZ Media)

Best Writer/Artist-Nonfiction
• Reinhard Kleist, Johnny Cash: I See a Darkness (Abrams ComicArts)
• Willy Linthout, Years of the Elephant (Fanfare/Ponent Mon)
• Joe Sacco, Footnotes in Gaza (Metropolitan/Holt)
• David Small, Stitches (Norton)
• Carol Tyler, You'll Never Know: A Good and Decent Man (Fantagraphics)

Best Penciller/Inker or Penciller/Inker Team
• Michael Kaluta, Madame Xanadu #11-15: "Exodus Noir" (Vertigo/DC)
• Steve McNiven/Dexter Vines, Wolverine: Old Man Logan (Marvel)
• Fiona Staples, North 40 (WildStorm)
• J. H. Williams III, Detective Comics (DC)
• Danijel Zezelj, Luna Park (Vertigo/DC)

Best Painter/Multimedia Artist (interior art)
• Emile Bravo, My mommy is in America and she met Buffalo Bill (Fanfare/Ponent Mon)
• Mauro Cascioli, Justice League: Cry for Justice (DC)
• Nicolle Rager Fuller, Charles Darwin on the Origin of Species: A Graphic Adaptation (Rodale Books)
• Jill Thompson, Beasts of Burden (Dark Horse); Magic Trixie and the Dragon (HarperCollins Children's Books)
• Carol Tyler, You'll Never Know: A Good and Decent Man (Fantagraphics)

Best Cover Artist
• John Cassaday, Irredeemable (BOOM!); Lone Ranger (Dynamite)
• Salvador Larocca, Invincible Iron Man (Marvel)
• Sean Phillips, Criminal, Incognito (Marvel Icon); 28 Days Later (BOOM!)
• Alex Ross, Astro City: The Dark Age (WildStorm/DC); Project Superpowers (Dynamite)
• J. H. Williams III, Detective Comics (DC)

Best Coloring
• Steve Hamaker, Bone: Crown of Thorns (Scholastic); Little Mouse Gets Ready (Toon)
• Laura Martin, The Rocketeer: The Complete Adventures (IDW); Thor, The Stand: American Nightmares (Marvel)
• David Mazzuccheilli, Asterios Polyp (Pantheon)
• Alex Sinclair, Blackest Night, Batman and Robin (DC)
• Dave Stewart, Abe Sapien, BPRD, The Goon, Hellboy, Solomon Kane, Umbrella Academy, Zero Killer (Dark Horse); Detective Comics (DC); Luna Park (Vertigo)

Best Lettering
• Brian Fies, Whatever Happened to the World of Tomorrow? (Abrams ComicArts)
• David Mazzuccheilli, Asterios Polyp (Pantheon)
• Tom Orzechowski, Savage Dragon (Image); X-Men Forever (Marvel)
• Richard Sala, Cat Burglar Black (First Second); Delphine (Fantagraphics)
• Adrian Tomine, I(Drawn & Quarterly)

Best Comics-Related Periodical/Journalism
• Alter Ego, edited by Roy Thomas (TwoMorrows)
• ComicsAlliance, edited by Laura Hudson
• Comics Comics, edited by Timothy Hodler and Dan Nadel, (PictureBox)
• The Comics Journal, edited by Gary Groth, Michael Dean, and Kristy Valenti (Fantagraphics)
• The Comics Reporter, produced by Tom Spurgeon,

Best Comics-Related Book
• Alan Moore: Comics as Performance, Fiction as Scalpel, by Annalisa Di Liddo (University Press of Mississippi)
• The Art of Harvey Kurtzman: The Mad Genius of Comics, by Denis Kitchen and Paul Buhle (Abrams ComicArts)
• The Art of Osamu Tezuka: God of Manga, by Helen McCarthy (Abrams ComicArts)
• Manga Kamishibai: The Art of Japanese Paper Theater, by Eric P. Nash (Abrams ComicArts)
• Will Eisner and PS Magazine, by Paul E. Fitzgerald (Fitzworld.US)

Best Publication Design
• Absolute Justice, designed by Curtis King and Josh Beatman (DC)
• The Brinkley Girls, designed by Adam Grano (Fantagraphics)
• Gahan Wilson: 50 Years of Playboy Cartoons, designed by Jacob Covey (Fantagraphics)
• Life and Times of Martha Washington, designed by David Nestelle (Dark Horse Books)
• Queer Visitors from the Marvelous Land of Oz, designed by Philippe Ghielmetti (Sunday Press)
• Whatever Happened to the World of Tomorrow? designed by Neil Egan and Brian Fies (Abrams ComicArts)

(Thanks Animation Magazine)

Porchlight Brings Features, Series to MIP

Porchlight Entertainment will be bringing a air of animated films and an animated preschool series to this year’s MIP-TV conference in Cannes.

The movie titles include Los Campeones de la Lucha Libre and Tristan and Isolde.

Los Campeones de la Lucha Libre is from creators Eddie Mort and Lili Chin, who previously brought Lucha Libre to animation on the Warner Bros. Animation series Mucha Lucha.

Tristan and Isolde is an animated retelling of the classic fairy tale from Oniria Production.

Porchlight also is bringing to market the first 13 episodes of Art with Mati and Dada, which takes preschoolers on an adventure through the world of great artists. Twenty-six more episodes will be ready for delivery next year, from producers RAI Fiction and Achtoons.

“We are excited to be bringing a diverse slate of new properties to MIPTV, “said Bruce Johnson, PorchLight’s CEO. “We expect it to be a very good market.”

(Thanks Animation Magazine)

Assorted Nuts’ The Goob Wins Streamy Craft Honor

Assorted Nuts Animation Studio’s online series The Goob took home the best animation in a web series honor at the Streamy Craft Awards.

“Getting a Streamy Award for The Goob is a great honor and a real testament to all the hard work we put in and the quality of our studio’s productions,” says Magnus Jansson, CEO of Assorted Nuts.

The Streamys, which honor the best the online video series, presented the winners of the craft categories at a ceremony at the Barnsdall Theatre in Hollywood.

The winners of the creative categories will be announced Sunday.

The full list of craft category winners follows.

Best Reality or Documentary Web Series
The Secret Life of Scientists

Best Foreign Web Series

Best New Web Series
Odd Jobs

Best Companion Web Series
The Office: Subtle Sexuality

Best Experimental Web Series
Auto-Tune the News

Best Editing in a Web Series
The Bannen Way (Zack Arnold)

Best Cinematography in a Web Series
Riese (Christopher Charles Kempinski)

Best Art Direction in a Web Series
Green Porno (Rick Gilbert)

Best Sound Design in a Web Series
Fear Clinic (Kunal Rajan)

Best Visual Effects in a Web Series
Fear Clinic (Jason Bergman, Nicholas Onstad, Bethany Onstad, Jason Knetge, Erik Porn, Ikuo Saito, David Dang)

Best Animation in a Web Series
The Goob (Magnus Jansson)

Best Original Music in a Web Series
Auto-Tune the News (Evan Gregory, Andrew Gregory, Michael Gregory)

Best Live Production in a Web Series
Kevin Pollak’s Chat Show

Best Interactive Experience in a Web Series

Best Product Integration in a Web Series
Easy to Assemble (IKEA)

Best Mobile Experience in a Web Series
Valemont U

(Thanks Animation Magazine)

Bolts and Blips Sells to Four Major Markets

CJ Entertainment and ToonBox Entertainment have pre-sold international rights to the animated series Bolts and Blips to broadcasters in Australia, Canada, Korea and Spain.

The series, from RedRover Co. and Toonbox, will air on KBS Korea and Teletoon Canada this summer, with ABC Australia and TV3 Spain to follow. It has already been sold to Canal + in France, which will begin showing the series this spring.

Bolts and Blips is a 3D animated, high-def series about two friends who are drafted into the Lunar League of Robotic Sports.

(Thanks Animation Magazine)

Ottawa Festival Calls for Submissions

The Ottawa International Animation Festival has put out a call for entries for its 2010 edition.

The festival, set for Oct. 20-24, is requesting all entries be received by June 1, with preview DVDs arriving no later than June 15. There is no entry fee.

The festival usually receives more than 2,100 submissions a year, selecting about a hundred to screen at the festival, held in conjunction with the Television Animation Conference.

The festival is seeking submissions in six major categories: independent short films, feature films, new media, commissioned films (TV series, commercials, music videos etc), student films and work made for children.

For more information about this year’s festival and submission, visit the festival’s online site at, email queries to or call (613) 232-8769.

(Thanks Animation Magazine)

'Iron Man 2' Viral Marketing Continues: Tony Stark Explains Stark Expo 2010

Last week, a website for Stark Expo 2010 launched as part of a viral marketing campaign for "Iron Man 2," the upcoming superhero sequel directed by Jon Favreau. But the exact nature of Stark Expo, flashy though it may be, has remained mostly unknown to the public — until now!

In an official letter penned by Tony Stark himself, the red-and-gold armored hero explains to "all" — presumably including those of us not employed in the field of science — the nature of Stark Expo, an event that hasn't occured since 1974.

"When I got back from that cave, I told you what I wasn't going to do. I wasn't going to make weapons anymore," writes Stark. "I never told you, however, what I was going to do."

Stark proceeds to explain that he and Stark Industries will relaunch the Stark Expo convention this Spring in Flushing Meadows, Queens in New York.

"Stark inventions were first displayed at the World Expo in 1941. In '54, my Father returned to Flushing Meadows, Queens to show off the new tech he used to defeat global tyranny. This was the first ever Stark Expo," he explains. "In the decades that followed, my Father invited the world's greatest minds to contribute to the Expo and put to task corporations to create better living for all. When the 1974 Expo closed, we lost that glimpse into humankind's amazing future."

The multi-billionaire industrialist concludes his letter by explaining that he's hoping "to continue the legacy of dear-old-dad" by bringing new "technological wonders" into the mainstream public — not unlike yesterday's announcement of the HazTech Exoskeleton, I imagine.

So, there you have it — the purpose behind Stark Expo, at least as it's relevant to the world of "Iron Man 2." How is the viral marketing campaign relevant to you and I? That remains to be seen!

'Smallville' Season Finale To Feature Cyborg, Hawkman And Stargirl

Earlier this week it was revealed that actress Alaina Huffman will reprise her role as Black Canary on the ninth season finale of "Smallville." However, she won't be the only superhero to return to the series before the end of the season.

According to Entertainment Weekly, Hawkman, Stargirl and Cyborg will also be coming back in the season finale. Michael Shanks and Britt Irvin first appeared as Hawkman and Stargirl during the Justice Society episode of "Smallville" earlier this season.

Last month, Geoff Johns publicly stated that the Justice Society would return in the ninth season, confirming comments by Shanks last year that Hawkman could return as mentor for Tom Welling's Clark Kent.

Lee Thompson Young ("FlashForward") previously appeared as Cyborg back in the fifth season of "Smallville' before returning for the initial Justice League team up in the sixth season. While the character hasn't appeared on "Smallville" in nearly three years, Cyborg has also played a starring role in the online spinoff, "Smallville Legends: Justice & Doom."

The season finale of "Smallville" is expected to wrap up the year-long Zod (Callum Blue) and Kandorian storyline. A few weeks ago, a rumor suggested that one of the series' major characters will be killed off in that episode.

The Martian Manhunter, Metallo, Max Lord, Martha Kent and Perry White will also appear in the remaining episodes of the ninth season of "Smallville."

"Smallville" will also return for a tenth season next fall.

'Inglourious Basterds' Editor Takes On 'Green Hornet,' Could Receive 3-D Release?

Later on this year, director Michel Gondry's long awaited "Green Hornet" adaptation will finally hit the big screen with Seth Rogen in the title role. And while word on the film has been relatively quiet in the past few months, a recent report has offered an update on the film's status.

"I watched the first hour on Friday," stated "Green Hornet" producer Neal Moritz during an interview with Collider. "We brought Sally Menke who edited 'Inglourious Basterds' to come in and edit the movie. She showed us the first hour, myself and the studio on Friday. We’re thrilled at what we’re seeing. Obviously taking a combination of two genres action/comedy… super hero comedy and bringing them together."

"We saw a very early version of a fight scene that [Gondry's] doing where we do a thing called Kato Vision where Kato can kind of see things before it happens in fight scenes so he knows how to take people out," added Moritz. "And it was amazing."

Moritz also revealed that a 3D conversion of "Green Hornet" is currently under consideration. "We’re doing tests right now on 'Battle: Los Angeles' and we’re doing right now on 'Green Hornet' about turning those movies into 3D movies," said Moritz. "We’re going to look at the tests, see how they look and then make a decision."

When asked about whether he preferred to shoot films in 3D or add the effect in post, Moritz replied "I think that if you’re creating an environment completely or… in my research, what I’ve learned is that if it’s a CG world or a lot of visual effects, you’re almost better doing that in post. If I’m shooting actually a live-action movie and I feel like I can get the shots that I need with the existing 3D cameras, then I see there is no reason to not use those-to not shoot it in 3D."

"But there are limitations to the 3D cameras in terms of the amount of them, in terms of the size of them, in terms of where you can actually shoot them," continued Moritz. "There are definitely limitations so you have to weigh the costs. And you have to weigh also what ultimately what creatively you want to get."

"The Green Hornet" will be released in December with Rogen, Cameron Diaz, Christoph Waltz, Edward Furlong, Edward James Olmos, Tom Wilkinson, and Jay Chou as Kato.

Dazzling sci-fi short mixes robots, Bourne action, Moscow

Here's something you'll like: a tantalizing dystopian sci-fi short by commercial director Carl Erik Rinsch, called The Gift, featuring robots, Moscow in winter, a kick-ass motorcycle chase, murder and a big mystery; below.

The short, produced through electronics company Philips' short-film experiment, is so amazing that studios are now reportedly vying to turn it into a feature film, according to The Hollywood Reporter's Heat Vision blog:

Commercial director Carl Erik Rinsch was to have made his directorial debut with the "Alien" prequel. But since that didn't happen, he took part in electronic giant Philips' short-film experiment, which allowed five filmmakers to make their own movie using the same piece of dialogue.

Rinsch came up with
"The Gift," a melange of Bourne-with-a-robot, a unicorn Macguffin and a futuristic Moscow-as-police-state setting (oh, wait, that is already here).

On Wednesday, the day the short came out, a bidding war broke out between several studios -- longtime rivals Warner Bros. and Fox are in the mix, according to sources -- who see feature potential in the short.

The trajectory of this dazzling piece of sci-fi filmmaking recalls what happened with Neill Blomkamp's Alive in JoBurg, which became District 9, and Panic Attack!, which is now on its way to the big screen as a movie. The difference is that The Gift appears to be the first part of a much larger story and not just a vignette ...

What do you think?

New kick-ass video from The Losers, plus more Zoe Saldana!

We've got a longer look at the upcoming comic-book-based action movie The Losers in a new video, below, plus more from star Zoe Saldana, who sheds her good-girl persona to play a kick-ass badass.

"After Avatar I became like a beast for action," Saldana told a group of reporters (including SCI FI Wire) on the film's set last September in Puerto Rico. "It's still very new for me to shoot action movies. I'm so hungry for it, and I want to do all my stunts. I'm all bruised up and everything. I'm still at that phase where I want to do everything myself and get beaten up."

Saldana plays Aisha, a mysterious rogue agent who teams up with Clay (Jeffrey Dean Morgan) and his ragtag group of mercenaries to go after the story's singularly named villain, Max (Jason Patric). "She's a snake," says Saldana. "You don't really know what she's hiding up her sleeve. She definitely has her own prerogative, and it's very meaningful for her. She's trying her best to play her cards right."

To play the part, Saldana was initially reluctant to shed her good-girl looks in favor of piercings and tats. Director "Sylvain [White] fought me tooth and nail for all this metal," she said. "I was like, 'I don't know, it's slutty, it's kind of dirty,' and Sylvan was like, 'Trust me, Zoe. She has it in the comic. She is a feisty person, she lives on the edge. Separate yourself.' [When] everything came on and [we did] the camera test, and I had the gun and all the tattoos, I was so stoked. It all made sense."

Physically, Saldana also had to put on a few pounds of muscle to look the part of a deadly assassin. "I did gun training [and] a lot of physical training, too," says the actress. "I had to gain a couple of pounds so that I was going to be able to hold those weapons for more than eight hours a day. They're pretty heavy. I love that kind of s--t. I really love it when I'm pushed physically."

In addition to the guidance of her director, Saldana also took a look at the graphic novel for some additional inspiration. "There's one image of her when she stabs this man and she licks the knife," says Saldana with a sexy smile. "I mean, it just lets me know the kind of person that she is. Even though she has a principal of always trying to make justice for women and children, she's also a ruthless f--king assassin. I like that about her. There's a masculinity that she has that she doesn't compromise herself. She's a savage animal, [and] I like that."

The Losers opens in theaters nationwide on April 23.

Alice Eve The Frontrunner For 'Captain America' Female Lead?

Emily Blunt might not be interested in playing Peggy Carter in "The First Avenger: Captain America," but it looks like her loss could be Alice Eve's gain.

The "She's Out Of My League" actress is now considered the frontrunner for the role of Carter in "Captain America," reports E! Online, with her closest competition being "The Prisoner" actress Hayley Atwell. Both actresses are said to be screen testing for the role "for the second time" in London today.

Additionally, it appears that Keira Knightley has followed Blunt's lead, as the "Pirates of the Caribbean" actress is no longer in the running for the Marvel Studios movie.

In the comic books, Peggy Carter was a freedom fighter with the French Resistance during World War II. She aligned herself with Steve Rogers and his team of Invaders, including side kick James "Bucky" Barnes. Carter and Rogers fell in love despite a mostly enigmatic relationship, but their romance was short-lived after the star-spangled superhero was thought dead in an accident in the North Atlantic.

In current continuity, Rogers is engaged in a romantic relationship with Sharon Carter, an agent of S.H.I.E.L.D. and Peggy's niece.

Whether or not Eve or Atwell lands the role is currently unclear, though an announcement is likely to occur shortly. Over the past few weeks, the film's other three major roles have been filled — Chris Evans is Steve Rogers, Sebastian Stan is Bucky and Hugo Weaving is attached as Red Skull.

Nicolas Cage Explains How 1960s Batman Helped His 'Kick-Ass' Character 'Get The Job Done'

"Kick-Ass" arrives in theaters April 16, offering up a cast of comics-inspired heroes who are decidedly different from Iron Man, Batman and the rest of their big-screen counterparts.

Still, when MTV News asked Nicolas Cage about his character's costume and the obvious inspiration it takes from a certain Gotham vigilante, the actor said his comics-friendly predecessors in Hollywood weren't far from his mind. In fact, his character used them as a tool when bringing down the bad guys.

"When Damon [Macready] is in his Big Daddy mode, that uniform is like his homage to the early Batman — not 'Dark Knight,' but older, like Adam West-style," he explained.

In fact, when Big Daddy makes his screen debut, fans of the campy 1960s "Batman" television series will probably notice something familiar in his way of speaking.

"That was the homage," said Cage. "Adam West would've been the Batman that he grew up with. That would be the Batman that would help him get the job done."

Marc Guggenheim Talks 'Green Lantern' And 'No Ordinary Family'

Comic book scribe and screenwriter Marc Guggenheim has more than a few super-powered projects to his name, including the currently shooting "Green Lantern" — a film that the writer describes as very much in line with "the spirit of the character."

"Our goal from the outset was to write a movie that was extremely faithful to the comic book and that includes the tone," Guggenheim told Hero Complex about his work on the "Green Lantern" screenplay. "In other words, it's not broadly comedic or silly. Nor is it overly dark."

Despite those intentions, Guggenheim admitted that the movie's tone could differ from the screenplay's, "because the tone of the film is really the province of the director and they've only just started production."

Beyond "Green Lantern," Guggenheim is currently working on "No Ordinary Family," an ABC drama pilot starring Michael Chiklis as the patriarch of an American family with superpowers. Guggenheim said that Chiklis' character is a bit of a mixture of the actor's previous roles, including Vic Mackey of "The Shield" and Ben Grimm of "Fantastic Four."

"There are elements of all the various characters he's played over the years, but combined in a package we've never seen from him before," said the writer. "What's great about Michael as an actor is that you feel like you can write anything for him; there's nothing he can't do. On the set, I'm constantly amazed by how much he can convey with just a look. That's really the difference between an 'actor' and someone who is truly 'a star.'"

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