Image and Udon to publish 'Street Fighter' comic

Official Press Release

[Issue #1]ORANGE, CA -- 2 April, 2003 -- Image Comics announced today that UDON Entertainment Corp. (AKA UDON) has obtained the license to develop comics based on Capcom's STREET FIGHTER, and Image will begin publishing the new series in September, with a special preview book available in August. STREET FIGHTER will be available in English worldwide, excluding Asia.

"We couldn't be more pleased to add STREET FIGHTER to the Image lineup," commented Image Publisher/Vice-President Jim Valentino. "What Erik Ko and his crew have done with these characters is truly stunning, and whether you're a long-time fan of the video game or you just like great-looking comics, you're going to want this book!"

STREET FIGHTER was first developed as a video game by the Japanese company Capcom and quickly became one of the most popular arcade games of the '80s. An action fighting game, STREET FIGHTER features different characters from around the world participating in a massive tournament. Each fighter has a unique history and they all have their own special moves that makes the game more exciting than the regular side scrolling shooting games that were common at the time STREET FIGHTER was first released. The game's characters have proved so popular that a number of crossover games have been published, incorporating various other popular properties, among them Marvel's X-Men and Spider-Man.

[Balrog]"STREET FIGHTER is a landmark in arcade and console video games," said UDON's Chief of Operations, Erik Ko. "It defines the combat fighting game genre that is still very popular nowadays. And the SF franchise is alive and well after almost 15 years, with various incarnations of the game still available in arcades and home console systems."

Ko continued: "Essentially, STREET FIGHTER is to video games what Star Wars is to film. Everyone who has played video games is familiar with STREET FIGHTER. And with various generations of the SF games available, it has created a whole universe of characters and everyone who has played the game loves at least one or two of them."

STREET FIGHTER will be written by Ken Siu-Chong, whose past credits include Marvel's Taskmaster, X-Men Unlimited, Fantastic Four and Mangaverse: Avengers Assemble. In addition to STREET FIGHTER, Siu-Chong is currently working with DC Comics on Robotech under the Wildstorm imprint.

The artwork for STREET FIGHTER will be handled by a rotating creative team that includes Alvin Lee, Arnold Tsang and Andrew Hou. Lee and Tsang will be doing the black and white art, while Tsang will also be doing colors with Hou. Lee is perhaps best known to the US comic readers through his run on Marvel's Deadpool and Agent X. Tsang is well known for his cover paintings, and has collaborated with various comics superstars, including Jim Lee, Joe Madureira, J. Scott Campbell, Michael Turner, Salvador Larocca, and Chris Bachalo. Hou is an up-and-coming colorist with credits on a number of high-profile projects, including Ultimate Daredevil & Elektra and Sentinel from Marvel Comics.

Chun Li"Doing a STREET FIGHTER comic is our dream come true," enthused Ko. "We've all been highly influenced by the Capcom art style and getting involved in this project has been very exciting for us. We choose this to be our first independent project because STREET FIGHTER has such a wide array of characters, each of which are unique in his/her own way and there is just so much interesting story to tell."

Capcom is equally excited about the prospect of seeing STREET FIGHTER translated into comic book form. And according to Capcom USA Agent Marc Mostman, choosing the creators to produce the book was relatively simple:

"UDON has a great team of energetic new artists who seem destined to be the next wave of hot comic talent. They're genuine fans of Capcom and especially the STREET FIGHTER series of videogames. The product development process has been very smooth. So far, the STREET FIGHTER artwork submitted for Capcom's approval has been incredible, even the STREET FIGHTER game producers are impressed! "

Mostman also noted that Capcom was looking forward to re-introducing the world of STREET FIGHTER and its characters to the comic book medium, adding that the property's 15th anniversary is in 2004 and that UDON will help Capcom set the stage for "big plans next year."

STREET FIGHTER #1 will be available for order in the July issue of Diamond Previews and will arrive in stores in September 2003.

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