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'CATWOMAN' SCRIBE ON EVENT/MARVEL 'BLACK WIDOW'?

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

The series, which would feature the former Avenger in more of a chic spymode, a la Diana Rigg of the other "Avengers," would join the alreadyannounced "Black Panther," "Inhumans," "Punisher" and "Daredevil"series.

The upcoming collaboration, dubbed "Marvel Knights," marks thesecond of a series of joint ventures between Marvel and smaller comiccompanies in as many years. The first, the controversial "HeroesReborn," put some of Marvel's flagship characters, including CaptainAmerica and Iron Man, into the hands of the Wildstorm studio of ImageComics. Later this year, Chaos Comics will take their turn with some ofMarvel's supernatural characters.

Although a relative newcomer to comics, Grayson has quickly become afan favorite for her character-driven stories, and will be taking over DCComics' 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 atpress time.

WAID ON 'PARADE,'

COMFORTABLY WELL-OFF, INDEED

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

Last week's "Parade" magazine in Sunday newspapers across Americahad 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-creatingcommunity, 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 beenfirmed-up. While fans of the award-winning Homage Comics book waitto get their hands on the Samaritan and Winged Victory, there's manymore 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 therecent "Astro City: Confessions" trade paperback) and the mysteriousSilver Agent. Following that will be Jack in the Box and Cleopatra (noword whether this will be the Silver Age Caucasian Cleopatra or theModern Age African-American one) in the third wave. The fourth wave(the last announced for now) currently includes the Hanged Man andthe Old Soldier.

"Astro City" villain the Junkman was previously mentioned as being oneof the early figures, but according to Toy Vault's Lou Bank, he's beenpushed back to a later wave.

The first two figures in the "Astro City" collection, Samaritan andWinged Victory, are scheduled to reach comic stores late this year orearly 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 andsmall screens than ever before, comics giant Marvel Comics iscontinuing to encounter problems with their adaptations.

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

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

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

LEGENDARY FRENCH COMIC MAKES JUMP TO SILVER SCREEN

Gerard Depardieu will star in a live-action movie adaptation of one ofthe 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 ofthe French comic in the past, next year's film marks its live action debut.

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

Asterix, a short blond warrior with a quick wit and low cunning, is thestar of the series. His companion Obelix is a rotund, big-hearted gluttonwho, by virtue of falling into the villagers' magic potion as a child, haspermanently 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 fullof talking animals.

"If our own sales of the 'Pakkins' Land' comics and trade paperbackcollection are any indication, the potential is tremendous," said GerryKline, Director of Licensing and Promotion for AnotherUniverse.com,in a press release distributed by the company. "This is a property thathas a unique story, endearing art and great appeal to children, and itpromises 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-offBatman cartoon from "Batman Tomorrow" to "Batman Beyond." Thereason for the change, according to Warner Brothers executives, is toavoid confusion in promotional spots, where they might have previouslyhad to announce "Next week on 'Batman Tomorrow.'"

"Batman Beyond" stars a new Batman of the 21st century, mentored byan elderly Bruce Wayne. Few of the characters from the current serieswill be part of the show, which Warner Brothers says will have a lightertone, 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-timefather early this weekend.

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

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

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