Tokyo International Anime Fair 2011 canceled; Viz releases a statement

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With the ongoing tragedy in eastern Japan unfolding before our eyes, it’s inevitable that there will be cancellations to many planned Anime/Manga events. Although Tokyo is not affected directly by the quake, given the difficult conditions — potential blackouts and crisis management– the Tokyo International Anime Fair 2011, which was to be held March 24-27 has been canceled, according to the website of the venue, the Big Site in Tokyo. According to posts on the Anime convention mailing list, the Big Site venue was damaged in the quake; in addition, air travel to Japan is being limited.

The Anime Contents Expo is also expected to be canceled.

Daredevil movie rides again with David Slade

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According to Variety, director David Slade, previous comic book movie veteran of 30 DAYS OF NIGHT, is aboard for a new Daredevil movie which “will not contain material from the Ben Affleck version”. Daredevil last swung across the screen in 2003 when a movie starring Affleck, Jennifer Garner and Colin Farrell was the first of many “meh” Marvel superhero films to follow (cf. GHOST RIDER, PUNISHER, HULK 2, etc., etc.) Daredevil is also one of a number of Marvel characters who must be put into development by Disney rivals lest Disney/Marvel get the rights back. (cf. GHOST RIDER.) It is safe to say not many are pining for a new Daredevil movie right now, but better Fox make it than Disney just happen to do it.

Russian X-Men: First Class trailer a big improvement

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Maybe it’s just the way Magneto says “Ma Vlast,” but this version of the X-MEN: FIRST CLASS footage looks better than previous versions and has created a lor more enthusiasm than the Photoshop-lesson posters.

Sequart releases details on Keeping the World Strange: A Planetary Guide

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Sequart Research & Literacy Organization is a non-profit organization devoted to promoting comic books as a legitimate artform that has published studies on various topics including Batman, the X-Men, and Grant Morrison. Now they are promoting “A Year of Ellis” including several books -Shot in the Face:  A Savage Journey to the
Heart of Transmetropolitan
and Voyage in Noise:  Warren Ellis and the Demise of
Western Civilization
— as well as the movie Warren
Ellis:  Captured Ghosts
. However. first up is a study of PLANETARY — the multi-dimensional pastiche on genre fiction by Ellis and artist John Cassaday — called strong>Keeping the World Strange: A Planetary Guide. Details on the contents have just been released:

Julia Wertz's Fart Party blows away; Museum of Mistakes steps in

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After several years and three printed collections, cartoonist Julia Wertz has announced that she’s finally retiring the Fart Party name for her comic strip. The name had been a constant source of bemusement for Wertz over the years — although it didn’t seem all that appropriate as the name of a comic strip about a 20-something young woman, it had the advantage of name recognition. BUt eventually it was time to move on, she explains.

Wertz has moved her comics over to juliawertz.com, where her strip will continue under the moniker Museum of Mistakes.

Joan Hilty launches website, relaunches webcomic

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Before she was a much admired editor at DC and Vertigo, Joan Hilty was a talented cartoonist, and somehow she managed to keep both running for nearly a decade. She’s just launched JoanHilty.net to showcase all her skills. The site includes new episodes of her strip Bitter Girl, excerpt above.

Stumptown Awards nominations announced

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Nominations for the Stumptown Awards, held in conjunction with the Stumptown Comics Festival in Portland, OR on April 16-17th have been announced. Nominees were selected by a judging panel which consisted of Michael Allred (Madman), Brandon Graham (King City), Laura Hudson (Editor, ComicsAlliance.com), Michael Ring (Owner, Bridge City Comics), and Jason Leivian (Owner, Floating World Comics) and will be presented at the show.