Official Press Release
VIZ Media, LLC (VIZ Media), one of the entertainment industry's most innovative and comprehensive publishing, animation and licensing companies, is proud to welcome comic book and manga legends Stan Lee and Hiroyuki Takei for a very special series of appearances at the 2009 Comic-Con International, taking place July 23-26 at the San Diego Convention Center in San Diego, CA.
The pair will appear at the nation's largest comic book and science fiction convention to celebrate their historic creative collaboration for the ULTIMO manga series (KARAKURIDÃ”JI ULTIMO), which debuted in the July 2009 issue of VIZ Media's SHONEN JUMP magazine.
Stan Lee and Hiroyuki Takei will be welcomed as special guests at the SHONEN JUMP panel, scheduled for Friday, July 24th from 10:30-11:30 a.m. in Room 10. Lee and Takei will also appear together in VIZ Media's Booth #2813 on the main show floor for an exclusive autograph session on Friday July 24th from 2:15-3:15 p.m. The first 40 fans to purchase the July issue of SHONEN JUMP magazine featuring ULTIMO from the VIZ Media retail area each day from Wednesday through Friday will receive a ticket to have their issue personally autographed by Lee and Takei.
ULTIMO represents an innovative and historic collaboration between comics legend Stan Lee, co-creator of many iconic superheroes including Spider-Manâ„¢, the Fantastic Fourâ„¢, and the X-Menâ„¢, and Hiroyuki Takei, the creator of the popular SHAMAN KING manga series, published in Japan by Shueisha and in North America by VIZ Media.
The ULTIMO back-story: High above Farmless City, citizens are stunned by the sudden appearance of two floating figures. Are they human boys, monolithic robots, or something much more strange? As the battle ensues between them, destruction and devastation falls on the hapless city. One figure is Vice, and seems to be as evil as his name implies. The other is Ultimo, intent on trying to stop Vice from wreaking more havoc. But who are Vice and Ultimo really? Where did they come from? Find out in the first chapter of ULTIMO!
For over half a century, Stan Lee has been synonymous with superhero comics. In addition to co-creating countless memorable series and characters, including Spider-Manâ„¢, the Incredible Hulkâ„¢, and Daredevilâ„¢, he served as the former president and chairman of Marvel Comics. Lee remains a hugely respected and dynamic figure in the entertainment industry and continues to develop a variety of film, television and video game properties.
Unconventional author/artist Hiroyuki Takei began his career by winning the coveted Hop Step Award (for new manga artists) and the Osamu Tezuka Award. After working as an assistant to famed artist Nobuhiro Watsuki (RUROUNI KENSHIN), Takei debuted in Weekly Shonen Jump in 1997 with Butsu Zone, an action series based on Buddhist mythology. His multicultural adventure manga series SHAMAN KING debuted in Japan in 1998 and has been adapted into a popular animated television series. The SHAMAN KING manga series is published in North America by VIZ Media and has sold more than 400,000 copies in the U.S. to-date; for many years it was also serialized in English in VIZ Media's SHONEN JUMP magazine.
"We are extremely honored to host two creative luminaries as huge as Stan Lee and Hiroyuki Takei to Comic-Con this year," says Grant Lowery, SHONEN JUMP Editor-In-Chief. "Their groundbreaking new collaboration, ULTIMO, is an exciting, action-packed story that blends the best attributes of the Western and Eastern comic book and manga traditions. This is a once in a lifetime opportunity and we look forward to welcoming visitors to this year's Comic-Con which promises to be the most exciting one yet
Lee's own company, POW! Entertainment (Pinksheets: POWN.PK), worked with VIZ Media parent company Shueisha, and with JEA and Dream Ranch to facilitate the development of ULTIMO.
About VIZ Media, LLC
Headquartered in San Francisco, CA, VIZ Media, LLC (VIZ Media), is one of the most comprehensive and innovative companies in the field of manga (graphic novel) publishing, animation and entertainment licensing of Japanese content. Owned by three of Japan's largest creators and licensors of manga and animation, Shueisha Inc., Shogakukan Inc., and Shogakukan-Shueisha Productions, Co., Ltd., VIZ Media is a leader in the publishing and distribution of Japanese manga for English speaking audiences in North America, the United Kingdom, Ireland, and South Africa and is a global ex-Asia licensor of Japanese manga and animation. The company offers an integrated product line including magazines such as SHONEN JUMP and SHOJO BEAT, graphic novels, and DVDs, and develops, markets, licenses, and distributes animated entertainment for audiences and consumers of all ages. Contact VIZ Media at 295 Bay Street, San Francisco, CA 94133; Phone (415) 546-7073; Fax (415) 546-7086; and web site at www.VIZ.com.