Tagged: Top Cow

Milo Ventimiglia and Top Cow Announce “Berserker” Comic

Milo Ventimiglia and Top Cow Announce “Berserker” Comic

Another day, another project originally intended for television or film being field-tested in the comics world. Case in point: today’s announcement that Heroes star Milo Ventimiglia (who already has another project, Rest, in production at Devil’s Due Publishing) and Russ Cundiff of DiVide Pictures will be partnering with Top Cow Productions on Berserker, a new comic book series created by screenwriter Rick Loverd.

“Berserker is about people discovering they have superhuman ancient Norse powers as they’re pulled into an underground war that’s been raging for a thousand years,” explained Loverd. But the writer pointed out there are bigger themes. “It’s about people dealing with all the curves the world throws, accepting yourself,” he said. “It’s about not feeling helpless in the face of new challenges and, when someone builds a wall in front of you, smashing right through it with your bare hands. And, of course, it’s about bone-popping bloodlust, spine-crushing action, and saving the world from total destruction!”

While the official press release (posted after the jump) is filled with compliments for everyone involved in the project, the announcement doesn’t shy away from looking beyond comics to the long-term goals, too:

“Top Cow is a company that is known for good art and great stories and to be partnered with them on Berserker seemed like the right fit,” said Cundiff, who noted they plan to develop the property into something more, perhaps a film.

“We want to see people wearing Berserker T-shirts, maybe carrying lunchboxes,” smiled Cundiff. “Until then, we are looking to make a kick-ass book.”

The series is scheduled to debut in 2009.  Dale Keown provided the accompanying art.


Interview: Hugh Sterbakov on ‘Freshmen’ and the ‘Summer Vacation Special’

Interview: Hugh Sterbakov on ‘Freshmen’ and the ‘Summer Vacation Special’

When Freshmen was first solicited by its publisher Top Cow, the series was promoted as "The adventures of college freshmen with extraordinary powers."

And while many writers might respond by rolling their eyes, smirking and claiming that their characters were a bit more serious and tackled deeper social issues, Freshmen creators Seth Green and Hugh Sterbakov embrace that tagline for their popular series. When the series kicked off, their heroes were naive college freshmen making the same mistakes any other freshmen might, but on a much larger, action-packed scale.

Majoring in outrageous situations with a minor in young adult drama, the original Freshmen: Introduction to Superpowers miniseries passed its first semester with honors. The second volume, Freshmen II: Fundamental of Fear, is currently wrapping up — soon to be followed by a Freshmen: Summer Vacation Special in July.

While actor, writer and producer Seth Green gets a lot of the spotlight because of his involvement with movies, the Family Guy TV series and co-creating Robot Chicken, co-writer Hugh Sterbakov is very much the heart and soul of the series.

COMICMIX: For new readers who haven’t studied the Freshmen curriculum, what do they need to know for the test? Let’s hear the CliffsNotes version of the series…

HUGH STERBAKOV: It’s a whole dramatic and comedic saga with a crapload of characters and relationships, but if we’re cramming, I’d say that a bunch of college freshmen have been given superpowers by the explosion of a special machine, and the powers are based on whatever they were thinking at that moment.

So one guy can burp at anyone and make them drunk, one girl can make everyone fall in love with her, another guy is totally sticky, that dude can talk to plants, this girl can jump into people’s minds… and they’re (sort of) led by a comic book geek who didn’t get any powers and a talking beaver obsessed with building dams.

The important story elements leading into this [special] deal with three traumatic goodbyes from the end of our last series, Freshmen II.  Green Thumb, the plant guy, left his beloved plant, which had a Fatal Attraction-type obsessiveness over him. Brady and Renee, sometimes called the Drama Twins [with the powers to repel and attract whenever they are in contact with each other], ended their toxic relationship for good, because Brady fell in love with Annalee, the Puppeteer, who can jump into people’s minds.
Norrin, our resident "Wannabe" comic guy, watched his beloved girlfriend die. It was a dark ending, but this Summer Vacation Special is the first step toward a bright new future.


‘Wanted’ Making-Of Video, Viral Marketing Debut

‘Wanted’ Making-Of Video, Viral Marketing Debut

Universal Pictures recently stepped up the promotional efforts for their upcoming adaptation of Wanted, the creator-owned Mark Millar/J.G. Jones miniseries published by Top Cow, with a pair of online items worth noting.

In addition to a behind-the-scenes video that premiered on Empire Online this week and features some interesting thoughts from Millar about the project, a new "Fraternity of Weavers" website has also popped up on the ‘Net. According to reports regarding the film, the "Fraternity of Weavers" is the name of an organization of assassins into which the main character is inducted.

In order to access the website, users must enter a "secret phrase" (last we checked, "every life hangs by a thread" seems to work nicely). The site then features a "fraternity bible" that readers can page through, revealing the tricks and tools of the trade, among other elements. There have been reports of other tie-in elements to the online marketing push, but after signing up a few days ago I haven’t seen a sign of anything else related to the campaign.

Wanted hits theaters June 27.


Happy Birthday: Marc Silvestri

Happy Birthday: Marc Silvestri

Born in 1958 in Palm Beach, Florida, artist Marc Silvestri joined Marvel Comics in the late 1980s, and became the penciller on Uncanny X-Men from 1987 to 1990.

In 1992 he and six other artists broke away to form Image Comics. Each artist had his own imprint, and Silvestri’s was Top Cow, which is best known for its major hits Witchblade, The Darkness, and Fathom. Top Cow has continued to be a major portion of Image, although Silvestri has spent less time doing his own art and more time publishing.

He has returned to Marvel a few times to work on various X titles.


Top Cow and Virgin Comics Announce First Crossover

Top Cow and Virgin Comics Announce First Crossover

Top Cow Productions and Virgin Comics today anounced the first-ever crossover comic book featuring the top female characters from both companies. Sara Pezzini, the main character of Top Cow’s Witchblade and wielder of the mystical weapon, will cross paths with Tara Mehta, the supernatural force created by the Gods in the Virgin series Devi.

“The crossover seemed like a perfect connection,” said Top Cow Publisher Filip Sablik. “It was a natural fit to have the Witchblade and Devi meet each other. And to have writer Ron Marz at the helm for us was by far the logical choice.”

Virgin Comics Gotham Chopra was equally as enthusiastic about the new venture.

“Simply put, this was a no-brainer for us to do,” said Chopra, "Not only are we at Virgin huge fans of Witchblade, but the whole team behind it at Top Cow. I know our guys—Samit Basu and Mukesh Singh—are both going to bring their A game to make sure that Devi holds her own against Sara.”

Top Cow will publish part one of the story, called Witchblade/Devi #1, in April. Virgin Comics will then follow up with part two, called Devi/Witchblade #1, in May.

Top Cow and Myspace Comics Announce ‘Pilot Season’ Winners

Recently, Top Cow Productions and MySpace Comic Books announced the winners of their Pilot Season contest, the first annual event which encouraged established comic book writers to create a pilot for a potential series using characters already well-known by comic fans. During the contest, five potential winners were submitted and the MySpace Comic Book community was told to "Take Control" and vote to determine which two charactes would get their own series in 2008.

The winning titles chosen by over four million voting fans were Velocity and Cyblade, two of the dynamic female characters from Marc Silvestri’s Cyberforce. Both new series are slated to debut in the fall of 2008, just in time for Cyberforce’s 17th anniversary.
The new Velocity series will be written by Joe Casey, whose previous credits include The Last Defenders and Youngblood, with art by an as-yet undetermined artist. When told of his new gig, Casey was, as you might expect, excited.
"I couldn’t believe the voting topped four million votes," said Casey. "Better than a New Hampshire primary! If only that many folks would buy the comics…! In any case, the Pilot issue was only the beginning of what we’re going to make sure is a wild ride when the new series hits in the fall."
The other winning series featuring the character Cyblade will be written by Joshua Hale Fialkov of Marvel Comics Presents and Punks The Comic Book and Rick Mays, writer of Kabuki and Gen 13. Flalkov was also very excited about his latest project and eager to get started.
"I’m incredibly grateful to everyone who voted for the book, and I’m positive they won’t be disappointed with where the series goes," said Fialkov. "It’s going to be balls-to-the-wall explodo, and I’m psyched to be along for the ride."
For more on the contest and the winning series, head on over to the Pilot Season official site.
Top Cow Launches Darkness, Witchblade Search Tools

Top Cow Launches Darkness, Witchblade Search Tools

In a press release issued this week, Top Cow announced the debut of a pair of Google-powered search engines themed around two of their most popular properties, The Darkness and Witchblade titles.

With each normal, everyday Web search conducted on one of these Top Cow-branded search engines, users gain a chance to earn Swag Bucks, which are digital dollars that can be redeemed for Top Cow comic books and other prizes at the Witchblade and The Darkness Swag Stores, including iPhones, plasma TVs, digital cameras and game systems like the Sony PSP and Nintendo Wii.

One of the most interesting aspects of the promotion, in my humble opinion, was this note:

In addition, Witchblade and The Darkness toolbars are available to download for Internet Explorer and Firefox Web browsers so that users can utilize the search engines more readily. The toolbars also feature quick links to Top Cow’s MySpace page, message boards, news blog, online store and more. There are no pop-up windows, no spyware, and no adware — guaranteed.

[Bold highlight added]

No spyware and adware? Color me intrigued — but before I install anything, I’d love to hear about other users’ experiences. Anyone willing to give it a shot?