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‘CATWOMAN’ SCRIBE ON EVENT/MARVEL ‘BLACK WIDOW’?


Up-and-coming “Catwoman” writer Devin Grayson has apparently been
offered the chance to do a “Black Widow” mini-series for Event Comics,
during their upcoming collaboration with Marvel Comics, according to
sources close to the project.

The series, which would feature the former Avenger in more of a chic spy
mode, a la Diana Rigg of the other “Avengers,” would join the already
announced “Black Panther,” “Inhumans,” “Punisher” and “Daredevil”
series.

The upcoming collaboration, dubbed “Marvel Knights,” marks the
second of a series of joint ventures between Marvel and smaller comic
companies in as many years. The first, the controversial “Heroes
Reborn,” put some of Marvel’s flagship characters, including Captain
America and Iron Man, into the hands of the Wildstorm studio of Image
Comics. Later this year, Chaos Comics will take their turn with some of
Marvel’s supernatural characters.

Although a relative newcomer to comics, Grayson has quickly become a
fan favorite for her character-driven stories, and will be taking over DC
Comics’ Titans franchise late this year.

“Shi” artist J. G. Jones will apparently be penciling the series.

Neither Marvel Comics nor Event Comics have confirmed the report at
press time.

WAID ON ‘PARADE,’

COMFORTABLY WELL-OFF, INDEED


Anyone who ever told Mark Waid that he wouldn’t get anywhere
writing comic books for a living couldn’t have been more wrong.

Last week’s “Parade” magazine in Sunday newspapers across America
had the writer of “Captain America,” “Kingdom Come” and “The Flash”
on its cover. The cover story? “What People Earn.”

Waid, who admittedly is part of a small, elite slice of the comic-creating
community, was listed as making $250,000 in 1997.

MORE ‘ASTRO CITY’ ACTION FIGURES ON THE HORIZON


Future waves of “Kurt Busiek’s Astro City” action figures have been
firmed-up. While fans of the award-winning Homage Comics book wait
to get their hands on the Samaritan and Winged Victory, there’s many
more figures on the way than previously rumored.

The next wave of figures from the Toy Vault action figure company
(http://www.toyvault.com) will be the Confessor (the grim star of the
recent “Astro City: Confessions” trade paperback) and the mysterious
Silver Agent. Following that will be Jack in the Box and Cleopatra (no
word whether this will be the Silver Age Caucasian Cleopatra or the
Modern Age African-American one) in the third wave. The fourth wave
(the last announced for now) currently includes the Hanged Man and
the Old Soldier.

“Astro City” villain the Junkman was previously mentioned as being one
of the early figures, but according to Toy Vault’s Lou Bank, he’s been
pushed back to a later wave.

The first two figures in the “Astro City” collection, Samaritan and
Winged Victory, are scheduled to reach comic stores late this year or
early next year, according to Bank.

‘SILVER SURFER’ SHOW GROUNDED,

NO ‘CAPTAIN AMERICA’ SHOW


Even as more comics characters are making their way to the big and
small screens than ever before, comics giant Marvel Comics is
continuing to encounter problems with their adaptations.

Raving Toy Maniac (http://www.toymania.com), quoting licensing
sources, is reporting the ongoing Silver Surfer cartoon show is being
canceled and that planned Captain America cartoon has been nixed.

The Silver Surfer show, which had been getting respectable ratings, is
reportedly dead as a result of creative differences between Marvel and
television production company Saban.

The planned Captain America show has long been reported to have
been the subject of heated debate about when to set the show (Captain
America’s career began during World War II, but most fans are only
familiar with his modern exploits). That debate has allegedly scuttled the
show’s prospects.

LEGENDARY FRENCH COMIC MAKES JUMP TO SILVER SCREEN


Asterix


Gerard Depardieu will star in a live-action movie adaptation of one of
the world’s most popular comics next year.

Depardieu stars as Obelix alongside Christian Clavier as Asterix in
“Asterix and Obelix.” Although there have been animated versions of
the French comic in the past, next year’s film marks its live action debut.

The comic, which appears in several dozen paperback editions in
dozens of languages, centers on a village of Gauls in 54 B.C. who hold
out against Roman invaders with the help of a magic potion that
temporarily gives them all great strength. The book satirizes social
mores in French life and pokes fun at figures of antiquity.

Asterix, a short blond warrior with a quick wit and low cunning, is the
star of the series. His companion Obelix is a rotund, big-hearted glutton
who, by virtue of falling into the villagers’ magic potion as a child, has
permanently received superstrength.

ANOTHER UNIVERSE ACQUIRES LICENSING AND RIGHTS TO ‘PAKKIN’S LAND’


Expanding from merchandise retailer to online publisher and now merchandise producer, American Entertainment has announced they’ve acquired the rights to the Eisner-nominated “Pakkin’s Land” comic.

The company, which owns the Another Universe chain of comic and gaming stores, along with publishing the Mania.com online magazine, will begin developing children’s books, animated features, plush toys, action figures and video games based on the book by Gary and Rhoda Shipman. They have already begun featuring weekly episodes of the series online at www.mania.com and www.PakkinsLand.com.

“Pakkin’s Land,” originally published by Quest Comics/Caliber,
concerns the adventures of a boy transported to a magical savanna full
of talking animals.

“If our own sales of the ‘Pakkins’ Land’ comics and trade paperback
collection are any indication, the potential is tremendous,” said Gerry
Kline, Director of Licensing and Promotion for AnotherUniverse.com,
in a press release distributed by the company. “This is a property that
has a unique story, endearing art and great appeal to children, and it
promises to have great success transitioning to other media.”

‘BATMAN TOMORROW?’

NOTHING BEYOND A NAME CHANGE


Warner Brothers Animation is changing the name of the new spin-off
Batman cartoon from “Batman Tomorrow” to “Batman Beyond.” The
reason for the change, according to Warner Brothers executives, is to
avoid confusion in promotional spots, where they might have previously
had to announce “Next week on ‘Batman Tomorrow.'”

“Batman Beyond” stars a new Batman of the 21st century, mentored by
an elderly Bruce Wayne. Few of the characters from the current series
will be part of the show, which Warner Brothers says will have a lighter
tone, although the police commissioner will reportedly be Barbara
“Batgirl” Gordon.

The show begins this fall on the WB network.

MILLAR’S NEWEST PROJECT MAKES HER DEBUT


DC writer Mark Millar (“JLA: Paradise Lost”) became a first-time
father early this weekend.

Millar’s wife gave birth to a six-pound baby girl in Scotland on Friday
morning. Both mother and child are healthy and doing well.

Comic Book Resources and the Comic Wire wish all three Millars well
and offer sincere congratulations.