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Dinosaurs vs. Aliens motion comic launches

The motion-comic adaptation of Barry Sonnenfeld’s Dinosaurs vs. Aliens, the sci-fi graphic novel by Grant Morrison and Mukesh Singh, launched this morning on the video portal Yahoo! Screen. Announced last month, the partnership between Yahoo! and Liquid Comics will also bring Guy Ritchie’s Gamekeeper to computer screens.

Published in June through Dynamite Entertainment, Dinosaurs vs. Aliens tells the story of an alien invasion of prehistoric Earth, whose only saviors are dinosaurs more intelligent than humanity has ever imagined.

“Like Snakes on a Plane,the project title leaves no doubt as to what to expect from the movie,” Morrison told Comic Book Resources earlier this year, “so the trick was to deliver on the basics but also create an engrossing, epic story with a cast of diverse and memorable characters, both reptile and extra-terrestrial. We’ve talked about a different name for the movie when it comes out, but no matter what, I’m hoping Dinosaurs vs. Aliens will be part of the title somewhere.”

Watch the first episode of the motion comic below.

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Liquid Comics teams with Yahoo for motion comics

Liquid Comics, the successor to Virgin Comics, has partnered with Yahoo to bring motion comics to the video portal Yahoo! Screen. The first two titles, Barry Sonnenfeld’s Dinosaurs vs. Aliens and Guy Ritchie’s Gamekeeper, will debut this summer.

Liquid emerged in September 2008 following a restructuring and management buyout of Virgin Comics, the joint venture formed two years earlier by Richard Branson’s Virgin Group and the India-based comics publisher Gotham Entertainment.

Written by Grant Morrison and painted by Mukesh Singh, Dinosaurs vs. Aliens was published in May through Dynamite Entertainment, and is being developed as a film by Sonnenfeld (Men in Black). Gamekeeper, by Ritchie, Andy Diggle and Singh, debuted in 2007 under Virgin’s Director’s Cut imprint; it, too, is destined for the big screen.

In Dinosaurs vs. Aliens, aliens invade prehistoric Earth, whose only saviors are dinosaurs more intelligent than humanity has ever imagined. Gamekeeper is an espionage tale centering on a reclusive groundsman who lives a quiet existence until mercenaries appear to disrupt his world.

“We are thrilled to work with Yahoo! to bring the full graphic novel experience to their audience through Liquid’s motion comic versions,” Liquid Comics CEO Sharad Devarajan said in a statement. “Yahoo’s impressive global reach will greatly enhance Liquid’s goal of pushing the boundaries of comic books through digital platforms and technology and enabling our creative partners to share their stories with audiences worldwide.”

Liquid Comics launches Graphic India

Liquid Comics (formerly Virgin Comics) launched a new digital comics initiative last week called Graphic India. (Note: The site doesn’t work properly in Safari.)

Graphic India intends to be India’s premiere graphic novel platform and community, leveraging Liquid’s large library of high quality content created by Indian creators, while also aggressively commissioning and showcasing numerous original stories by India’s greatest new visionaries.

It’s a smart move, as India has a burgeoning comics market; Archie Comics recently set up an office there. The Graphic India website features an array of online comics, interviews, and feature articles, as well as a graphic novel competition designed to flush out new talent and, the Indian media site MediaNama speculates, rounding up a whole lot of intellectual property that can be leveraged in different directions:

According to a report from Livemint, all the writers of 20 specially commissioned graphic novels will be given contracts but the copyright for these novels will remain with Liquid Comics. We hence assume that the company will probably use the digital rights of these graphic novels to create additional revenue channels like digital movie rights, mobile rights and so on.

Indian creators who are contemplating signing those contracts would be well advised to Google “Tokyopop global manga” before continuing. Still, with titles like Mumbai Macguffin and Ramayan 3392AD, this site looks like it has some promise.

SDCC ’11 | Elvis Presley: Superhero, or just a fan?

Paul Pope draws Elvis

Elvis Presley was more than just The King of Rock ‘n’ Roll, he was also a comics fan, and there is photographic evidence to prove it: Craig Yoe’s Archie: A Celebration of America’s Favorite Teenager opens up to a photo of Presley reading a comic book while on tour in 1956. He told a roomful of Jaycees (hardly what you’d think of as a comics-friendly audience) that “When I was a child, I was a dreamer. I read comic books and I was the hero of the comic book.” He had a stack of Captain Marvel Jr. comics in his attic. And, come to think of it, that whole thing with the jumpsuits and the capes and the lightning-bolt logo… was Elvis cosplaying?

Maybe so, according to a new book, Graphic Elvis, which celebrates The King’s love of comics and gives the editors an excuse to commission some totally boss Elvis fanart from the likes of Paul Pope and Greg Horn.

The book will be published by Liquid Comics (the successor company to Sir Richard Branson and Deepak Chopra’s Virgin Comics), with a special limited edition due out in time for the holidays, a mass-market edition to be released in April 2012, and an iPad edition sometime after that.

Guggenheim’s Nowhere Man back on track for November

Nowhere Man

Marc Guggenheim’s name may not have been listed in DC’s September solicitations, but that doesn’t mean he isn’t keeping busy in the comics world. Deadline.com reports today that Liquid Comics will publish Nowhere Man, written by the Green Lantern movie scribe, this fall.

Announced in 2008, Nowhere Man is ““Sci Fi odyssey set in a groundbreaking vision of the future in which mankind has traded privacy for safety,” according to the description released by its original publisher, Virgin Comics, back then (Liquid Comics was formed in the wake of Virgin Comics’ demise). Deadline.com adds, “The story takes place 500 years in the future, where an oppressive government monitors the population, down to its thoughts. Everyone on Earth has been infected with a nano-tech virus that makes computerized thought analysis possible. A group of rebels combat this by generating a genetically altered child born immune to the virus. He grows up to become the Nowhere Man, mankind’s best chance to topple the invasive regime.”

Initially actor Hugh Jackman was involved with the comic, but Deadline makes no mention of him in the announcement. The comic comes out in November.

Compare and contrast: Virgin Comics goes digital two ways

Megas, from Virgin's Directors Cut line

Megas, from Virgin's Directors Cut line

Headed by flashy airline and music entrepreneur Sir Richard Branson and self-help writer Deepak Chopra—an odd couple if ever there was one—Virgin Comics launched in 2006 with a line of comics based on figures from Indian mythology and soon added two other lines, Directors Cut, which featured comics created by well known movie directors, and Maverick/Voices (the imprint was renamed), featuring comics by musicans, actors, and relatively unknown artists. The company didn’t last long; in 2008 they closed their New York office and changed their name to Liquid Comics after a management buyout.

Liquid has put up a good-sized selection of the original Virgin comics online at their website, which makes it odd that I read an announcement this morning that they are making their comics available on Scribd. It seems to be the same set of comics in both cases; the difference may be that Scribd is better known and has ads. If I had the urge to read the Jenna Jameson comic, though, or Dock Walloper, I’d head to the Liquid site, as their Flash-based reader is simpler and easier to manage than Scribd’s feature-laden HTML5 interface. If you’re looking to download, though, only Scribd will support that, and presumably that’s the go-to site for iPad users as well.

Liquid Comics partners with film company for graphic novel line

liquid comicsLiquid Comics, the company that replaced Virgin Comics, has partnered with L+E Productions on a line of graphic novels that can be developed for film and television.

Variety reports that Epic Cycle will debut with three titles: H2O, based on a novel by Grant Calof about a global drought that sparks a search for water within the Earth; A Thousand Arts, a Stuart Moore-written kung-fu adventure set in the Alaska wilderness; and Purgatory, Ron Marz’s graphic novel about a professor hired by the Catholic Church to prove the existence of an afterlife.

Liquid emerged in September 2008 following a restructuring and management buyout of Virgin Comics, the three-year-old company plagued by low sales. Liquid’s titles include John Woo’s 7 Brothers, Guy Ritchie’s Gamekeeper, Nicolas and Weston Cage’s Voodoo Child, and a slew of comics based on Indian mythology.

Founded in 2007 by Eric Eisner, son of former Disney CEO Michael Eisner, L+E produced the high-school comedy Hamlet 2.


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