​Assassins, Special Powers and Middle America:  This Is No World

The premiere issue of No World is a big YES!
The story of No World begins with an elderly man sitting next to a mother and child at a mall.  He, and many other is the mall, gets a text and the story switches to breaking news of a mass murder in the mall.  In the middle of nowhere, Hank and Miya are workers at a coffee shop following the story and speculating why and how it happened when a stranger on a motorcycle stops in for tea.  She tells Miya she wants her for her special powers.  Hank threatens the stranger to leave when gunfire erupts.  Who is this stranger and what does she know?

This was a great starting issue for a new title.  It got the story started immediately and there was plenty of action to hold the reader’s attention.  This is the first time I’ve read Scott Lobdell’s work and I am already impressed.  There is the perfect balance of action, suspense, drama and mystery to last for six issues.  The comic is well-drawn and I am a fan of the style used by Jordan Gunderson.  The colors, courtesy of JUANCHOo fit the artwork perfectly and do a great job of reflecting the mood of not only the scene, but the story.  Jordan Gunderson and Peter Steigerwald designed a cover for each character and they are awesome works of art.  I cannot wait to read the rest of the series and learn more about them.
I am happy I discovered No World and Aspen Comics.  It was a fun read and was sort of reminiscent of X-Men with special powers, swordplay and gunfights.  I look forward to reading more of No World and other Aspen comics titles in the future.  No World  #1 is on comic book shelves now so don’t forget to visit your local comic shop to pick up a copy!

Written by Scott Lobdell

Art by Jordan Gunderson

Colors by JUANCHOo

Cover Art by Jordan Gunderson and Peter Steigerwald

29 pages

(Joe Grodensky – @JoeGrodensky)

Christine Clarke’s Fashion Collection for Older Girls Adds the Hobo Sak™

KEENE, NH   April 2017   Douglas Company, the originator of the cool hand bag, has recently debuted their newest bag style that falls under the Christine Clarke Fashion Collection for Older Girls umbrella. They are calling it the Hobo Sak™, and there are six styles in the initial collection.  

 

Christine Clarke has really upped her bag game with this latest style for older girls. The Hobo Sak™ is 12” wide by 15” tall and has a cool laid back feel to it. These slouchy, bucket style bags are created from brilliant fabric choices providing personality plus.  Each fully-lined bag has a thick corded drawstring closure with a super fun, fluffy, giant pom-pom embellishment. The bag can be slung over the shoulder with the single adjustable shoulder strap or carried by the two convenient handles on the bag’s sides. SRP: $30 each

 

The BoHo Hobo Sak™ is super hip in bright citrus hues of purple, pink, turquoise, yellow orange and blue.

 

The Pink Whale Hobo Sak™ is covered in white waves where pink whales float spouting kelly green on a navy background.

 

The Dream Feathers Hobo Sak™ is gorgeous in soft pastel shades of pink, coral, mint green, gold and gray on a milk chocolate background. Each feather has a pop of pattern as well adding a touch of whimsy to the look.

 

The Glitz Garden Hobo Sak™ is a sassy floral pattern in soft shades of orange, pink, green, turquoise and gold on a white background.

 

The Navy BoHo Hobo Sak™ boasts beautiful circular medallions in hues of gold, turquoise, orange, slate blue, and hot pink on a beige background.

 

The Arabian Elephant Hobo Sak™ is rich in color boasting deep shades of gold, olive, orange, brown, pink and mint green on an ivory backdrop. The stunning elephant itself wears a brilliant tapestry blanket.

 

Designed with the “older girl” in mind, Douglas’ new Hobo Saks™ recently hit store shelves.  DOUGLAS’ products are sold at specialty gift and toy stores in the USA and Canada.

 

About DOUGLAS Company

DOUGLAS Company has been a leader in the plush industry for more than 60 years. The family-owned and operated business has distribution throughout Canada, Europe and, Asia.

 

DOUGLAS classic animals have gestures and expressions that clearly distinguish them. Their faces evoke a sense of connection and endearment. Unusual breeds and hard-to-find species are easy to find in the extensive DOUGLAS Line.

 

The in-house, USA design team is the heart of DOUGLAS success. They create designs and steward them from conception to final production. In recent years, the power of the creative department has led into the fashion/accessory arena. They have a unique talent for walking the edge to offer truly unique, trendy, and irresistible creations. There is a unique way with style, color, and complimentary fabrics that make theChristine Clarke Collection of Sassy Kidz Fashion for younger girls and cool stylish Fashion Collections for Older Girls speak for themselves!

 

DOUGLAS BABY has been growing over the years. This collection brings the company “full circle” to its beginnings in 1956 as an Infant Toy Producer. DOUGLAS now has a collection of the softest, most endearing designs in both cuddle toys and activity toys for Baby.

 

All DOUGLAS employees have passion for what they do and take the mission seriously to promote imaginative play and emotional connection for children of all ages. From classic, realistic designs and trendy, whimsical plush to baby and fashion collections, DOUGLAS spins a web of wonderful products for the discerning market of today. For more information visit: www.DOUGLAStoys.com

 

DOUGLAS Company would like to invite you to “Like” us on Facebook.http://www.facebook.com/DOUGLAStoys

 

And, follow DOUGLAS on Twitter:http://twitter.com/DOUGLAStoys

WARNER BROS. TELEVISION AND DC ENTERTAINMENT ANNOUNCE ALL-NEW LIVE-ACTION SERIES “TITANS,” FROM EXECUTIVE PRODUCERS AKIVA GOLDSMAN, GEOFF JOHNS, GREG BERLANTI AND SARAH SCHECHTER, TO DEBUT IN 2018

 

“YOUNG JUSTICE: OUTSIDERS,” THE HIGHLY ANTICIPATED THIRD SEASON OF WARNER BROS. ANIMATION’S “YOUNG JUSTICE,” ALSO TO BOW NEXT YEAR

 

Series Will Air Exclusively on Upcoming DC-Branded Direct-to-Consumer Digital Service

 

(April 25, 2017 – Burbank, CA) Warner Bros. Television and DC Entertainment today announced that executive producers Akiva Goldsman, Geoff Johns, Greg Berlanti and Sarah Schechter are teaming up for the all-new live-action drama series “Titans,” which will debut in 2018. Additionally, Warner Bros. Animation’s “Young Justice: Outsiders,” the highly anticipated third season of the popular “Young Justice” series, is also ramping up for its first mission next year.

 

Both fan-driven series are in early stages of production and will air exclusively on a DC-branded direct-to-consumer digital service in 2018. Operated by Warner Bros. Digital Networks Group, the new digital service will deliver an immersive experience designed just for DC fans.

 

“Titans” follows a group of young soon-to-be Super Heroes recruited from every corner of the DC Universe. In this action-packed series, Dick Grayson emerges from the shadows to become the leader of a fearless band of new heroes, including Starfire, Raven and many others. “Titans” is a dramatic, live-action adventure series that will explore and celebrate one of the most popular comic book teams ever.

 

“Titans” will be written by Akiva Goldsman (“Star Trek: Discovery,” “Underground”), Geoff Johns (President & Chief Creative Officer, DC Entertainment; “The Flash,” “Arrow”) and Greg Berlanti (“Arrow,” “DC’s Legends of Tomorrow,” “The Flash,” “Supergirl”). Goldsman, Johns, Berlanti and Sarah Schechter (“Arrow,” “DC’s Legends of Tomorrow,” “The Flash,” “Supergirl”) are executive producers of the series from Weed Road Pictures and Berlanti Productions in association with Warner Bros. Television.

 

In “Young Justice: Outsiders,” the teenage Super Heroes of the DC Universe come of age in an animated world of super-powers, Super-Villains and super secrets. In the highly anticipated new season, the team faces its greatest challenge yet as it takes on meta-human trafficking and the terrifying threat it creates for a society caught in the crossfire of a genetic arms race spanning the globe and the galaxy. Equally praised by critics and viewers for its impressive visuals and rich storytelling, “Young Justice” reached more than 25 million unique viewers in each of its two seasons on Cartoon Network. This passionate fan support set the stage for the new third season.

 

Sam Register (“Teen Titans Go!,” “Justice League Action”) is executive producer of “Young Justice.” Brandon Vietti (“Batman: Under the Red Hood,” “Superman Doomsday”) and Greg Weisman (“Star Wars Rebels,” “Gargoyles”) are producers of the series, produced by Warner Bros. Animation. Emmy Award winner Phil Bourassa (“Young Justice,” “Justice League Dark,” “Teen Titans: The Judas Contract”) serves as the series’ art director.

 

For updates on these exciting new series and the upcoming DC digital service, visitwww.DCFanUpdates.com.

Join the free app train: Thames & Kosmos Ubongo

As of late, big names in board games have been adapting the digital ways of milennials and coming out with apps to complement their traditional physical game. From Monopoly to Ubongo, these strategy games are leading the mobile gaming industry with tons of downloads.

And what’s better? 

Now, some of them are available for free! For a limited time only (April 28-30), the Ubongo game app, created by award-winning board game and educational toy manufacturer Thames & Kosmos, will be available for free download on both iTunes and Google Play app stores. With more than 2.5 million games sold worldwide, Ubongo is a fast-paced, addictive and easy-to-learn geometric puzzle game where players race against the timer and against each other to solve a puzzle of interlocking shapes. The faster you solve the puzzle, the more gems you get, and the player with the most valuable gem treasure after nine rounds of puzzle solving wins the game! The companion app features more than 400 engaging puzzles to solve as well.


The Toy Association Rebranding


‘A WAVE OF CHANGE’ – The Toy Association Responds to Evolving Member Needs with New Strategy, New Name, & Major Rebrand, Driving Change Across the Organization

Largest National Toy Association Expands Core Member Services and Launches New Ventures

April 24, 2017 | New York, NY – The Toy Association – the largest trade association of its kind in the world – today unveiled a new mission statement, new name, and major rebrand driven by an innovative strategic plan. Formerly called the Toy Industry Association, The Toy Association supports a diverse membership whose global reach is revolutionizing the face of toys and play. The organization’s member-focused programs, products, trade shows, and consumer events promote international business growth for all members. Its new tagline, “Inspiring Generations of Play,” underscores the Association’s 100+ years of service and the many developmental benefits of play in a child’s life.  

The Toy Association ended 2016 with 1,098 member companies that design, produce, license, and deliver toys and youth entertainment products for kids of all ages. The trade group has a long history of propelling the health and growth of the U.S. toy industry, which has an annual economic impact of $80.25 billion in the United States.

“The Toy Association’s members are the ‘North Star’ of our new strategic direction, assuring that everything we do is about them and their business success,” says Steve Pasierb, president & chief executive of The Toy Association. “Refining our strategic blueprint demanded a refreshed mission, which led to a change in name, an emphasis on branding, a new approach to digital communications, and new office headquarters to serve staff and members alike. We challenged ourselves to question every aspect of our reason for being, and found ways to be more agile, more relevant, and more successful at bringing our members best-in-class services and support.”

Mission Refresh Reflects Member-Focus

As part of its new mission statement to be “a unifying force for members’ creativity, responsibility, and global success, advocating for their needs and championing the benefits of play,” The Toy Association has elevated its presence on the world stage, effectively and powerfully advocating on behalf of its members’ businesses in North America and in markets spanning every continent.

The Association has also expanded its core services and embarked on new ventures, including Play Fair, a large-scale kid and family business-to-consumer event; ShopToys365.com, a first-of-its-kind business-to-business digital marketplace for toy retailers and suppliers; and The Genius of Play, a consumer-focused initiative which encourages families to make time for play by educating them about play’s critical role in healthy childhood development.

The group’s world-renowned trade shows showcase the brightest innovations in toys and play along with stunning technological advancements. Its North American International Toy Fair continues to shatter records with sold out space and attendees from more than 100 countries, while Fall Toy Preview remains committed to serving the long-lead planning needs of mass and high-volume specialty retailers. With its actionable research, The Toy Association is helping companies tackle business challenges – from rapidly changing global economic and population trends and intellectual property protection, to new chemical regulations and an empowered consumer base of millennial parents with nontraditional shopping habits. The Association’s advocacy work provides insight and support on key legislative and regulatory issues affecting members in global markets, and it maintains education outreach to American consumers and media on all aspects of toy and play safety.  

David Hargreaves, chairman of The Toy Association’s board of directors and strategic advisor at Hasbro, Inc., emphasized the need for change: “This is not your father’s Toy Association, because this is not your father’s toy industry nor marketplace. The global toy and play landscape has transformed dramatically over the last few years. Our team is effectively overhauling every aspect of the Association with an eye to the future to make certain we continue to provide members with best-in-class resources, business insight, and support to help them grow and thrive.”

Strength Through Global Collaboration

As a worldwide leader, the Association collaborates closely with international toy associations, foreign governments, and national standards bodies to advance toy safety and align global standards. The organization sustains the Canadian Toy Association; acts as secretariat for both the International Council of Toy Industries and the International Toy Industry CEO Roundtable; and chairs the committee that reviews and revises America’s ASTM F963 toy safety standard – one of the most respected and strictest toy safety standards in the world.

Digital and Workspace Innovation

The Toy Association will soon relaunch its digital presence with a new mobile-first website. It opens for business today in its brand-new Manhattan headquarters designed by renowned architects HLW International to reflect the energy, creativity, and excitement of the toy and play community.  The Association’s advocacy office in Washington, DC relocated last month to a new office space that reflects the organization’s innovative approach to business.

About The Toy Association     www.toyassociation.org / www.thegeniusofplay.org  / www.playsafe.org
Founded in 1916, The Toy Association™, Inc. is the not-for-profit trade association representing all businesses involved in creating and delivering toys and youth entertainment products for kids of all ages. The Toy Association leads the health and growth of the U.S. toy industry, which has an annual U.S. economic impact of $80.25 billion, and its 950+ members drive the annual $26 billion U.S. domestic toy market. The Toy Association serves as the industry’s voice on the developmental benefits of play, and promotes play’s positive impact on childhood development to consumers and media. The organization has a long history of leadership in toy safety, having helped develop the first comprehensive toy safety standard more than 40 years ago, and remains committed to working with medical experts, government, consumers, and industry on ongoing programs to ensure safe and fun play.

As a global leader, The Toy Association produces the world-renowned North American International Toy Fair and Fall Toy Preview; advocates on behalf of members around the world; sustains the Canadian Toy Association; acts as secretariat for the International Council of Toy Industries and International Toy Industry CEO Roundtable; and chairs the committee that reviews and revises America’s widely emulated ASTM F963 toy safety standard.

JOE SIMON AND JACK KIRBY’S FIGHTING AMERICAN SPRINGS BACK INTO ACTION WITH TITAN COMICS!

A legendary team-up with Titan Comics sees the Fighting American return – an event 50 years in the making!
Titan Comics are thrilled to announce the return of a true comic icon, FIGHTING AMERICAN ¬ – Joe Simon and Jack Kirby’s legendary all-American hero is back kicking butt and taking names in this all-new epic in 2017!
First published in May 1954 and originally written and drawn by two of the greatest names in the history of comics, Joe Simon and Jack Kirby, Fighting American was the embodiment of the homegrown, god-fearing, patriotic, apple pie-eating American superhero. 
Where Simon and Kirby’s other patriotic hero, Captain America, socked it to the Nazis in World War II, Fighting American brought square-jawed justice to “the Commies” and villains such as Double Header, Hotsky Trotsky, and Round Robin! 
Throughout their long partnership, Simon and Kirby helped revolutionize the comics industry from ground-breaking adventure comics to pioneering romance titles, westerns, crime comics and of course superheroes – a genre they helped to shape and define for generations to come. 
With Fighting American, they brought a tongue-in-cheek irreverence to the world of two-fisted action and its mix of outlandish, satirical humor went on to establish Fighting American as a true American hero.
Hard times require hard heroes and in Titan Comics’ all-new series, written by Gordon Rennie (2000AD, Starship Troopers) with artwork by Duke Mighten (Judge Dredd), the comic picks up immediately after Simon and Kirby’s legendary 1954 series…
Keep watch for more announcements on Titan Comics’ Fighting American soon!

ANNOUNCING SHEA FONTANA TO WRITE WONDER WOMAN

ANNOUNCING SHEA FONTANA TO WRITE WONDER WOMAN

 

This summer, writer Shea Fontana (DC SUPER HERO GIRLS) will pen a five-issue story arc on DC’s main WONDER WOMAN bimonthly comic book series.

 

Fontana is no stranger to Wonder Woman having helped shape the DC Super Hero Girls universe, writing the original graphic novel and The New York Times bestseller DC SUPER HERO GIRLS: FINALS CRISIS and its subsequent installments, as well as the animated shorts and the first original animated movie DC SUPER HERO GIRLS: HERO OF THE YEAR. Now, Fontana is graduating to DC’s flagship WONDER WOMAN series.

 

“Having worked on DC Super Hero Girls for the last few years, I have a great sense of Wondy, a teenage Wonder Woman in a high school setting, and it’s an honor and an adrenaline rush to be writing her now ‘all grown up,’” explains Fontana. “Many of her core characteristics continue to remain routed in peace, justice and equality, but as an adult she’s seen a lot more war and tragedy, and is dealing with her world from a wiser, more experienced point of view.”  

 

In this arc, Fontana debuts a new villain into the DC Universe who seeks to prove that Amazon DNA could change the world and hunts to capture Wonder Woman, dead or alive. This will challenge Wonder Woman’s notion of strength and what it means to be a warrior.

 

Joining Fontana in July for the first two issues will be fan-favorite artist Mirka Andolfo (DC COMICS: BOMBSHELLS). “It’s a delight to be collaborating with Mirka who is bringing her stellar style to this series,” shares Fontana. “She has an incredible visual storytelling talent to create cinematic superhero action sequences while capturing the complexity of the characters’ emotions and maintaining a clear focus on the evolving relationships between characters.”

 

WONDER WOMAN #26-27 arrives in stores July 12th and 26th, respectively. Below, is a first-look at Jesus Merino’s cover for issue #26. Fans can also expect variant covers by Jenny Frison.

TOM OF FINLAND Acquired by Kino Lorber Ahead of Tribeca Film Festival Premiere.


KINO LORBER ACQUIRES TOM OF FINLAND, A BIOPIC ABOUT THE ACCLAIMED FINNISH EROTIC ARTIST AND GAY ICON, AHEAD OF ITS NORTH AMERICAN PREMIERE AT THE 2017 TRIBECA FILM FESTIVAL

New York, NY – April 14, 2017 – Kino Lorber has acquired all North American rights to TOM OF FINLAND, Dome Karukoski’s biopic about the life and work of Finnish artist and gay icon Touko Laaksonen, best known by his pseudonym Tom of Finland.

A trailblazing figure in post-World War II erotic art, Touko Laaksonen drew thousands of fantasy-filled, homoerotic images of intensely masculine (and muscular) men, often liberated from the moral codes of their times. Quickly spreading throughout the world, these images went on to play a significant role in the transnational gay liberation movement that continues to make strides to this day, also becoming iconic symbols for generations of LGBT people worldwide.

Dome Karukoski’s TOM OF FINLAND is set to have its North American premiere at the upcoming Tribeca Film festival, after a world premiere at the Goteborg Film Festival in February. It’s also in high demand among LGBTQ U.S. festivals. The film’s world premiere was followed by a release in its home territory, where TOM OF FINLAND has taken close to $1m at the local box office.

The deal was negotiated between head of worldwide sales Vanessa Saal for Protagonist Pictures and Kino Lorber CEO Richard Lorber.

‘Touko Laaksonen dared to draw and give life to his most daring and transgressive fantasies, and by doing so, inspired an entire generation of LGBT people to also live and desire freely,” said Richard Lorber. “Dome Karukoski’s film captures the man, as well as his milieu, in an incredibly cinematic and powerful way, so we’re very proud to be bringing TOM OF FINLAND to North American audiences this year.”

 

Vanessa Saal of Protagonist added; “We are so pleased the film has found such a good home for North America. Kino Lorber handpicks and nurtures each of its titles. Their enthusiasm is contagious, and we know they will spread TOM OF FINLAND love across America.”

Director Dome Karukoski is an acclaimed Finnish filmmaker with six features to his credit including The Grump (2014), Heart Of A Lion (2013) and Lapland Odyssey (2010).

The film was produced by Finnish production outfit Helsinki Film, with a screenplay by Aleksi Bardy. The cast includes Pekka Strang, Lauri Tilkanen, Jessica Grabowsky, Taisto Oksanen, Seumas Sargent, Jakob Oftebro and Niklas Hogner.

Aleksi Bardy, Miia Haavisto and Annika Sucksdorff of Helsinki Film produced the film. Gunnar Carlsson of Anagram Väst in Sweden, Miriam Nørgaard of Fridthjof Film in Denmark, and Ingvar Thordarson and Sophie Mahlo of Neutrinos Productions Germany were co-producers, in collaboration with Mike Downey and Sam Taylor of Film and Music Entertainment (F&ME) UK.

ABOUT KINO LORBER:

With a library of 1,600 titles, Kino Lorber Inc. has been a leader in independent art house distribution for over 30 years, releasing over 25 films per year theatrically under its Kino Lorber, Kino Classics, and Alive Mind Cinema banners, with six Academy Award nominated films in the last eight years, including this year’s nominated documentary FIRE AT SEA, directed by Gianfranco Rosi.

In addition, the company brings over 250 titles each year to the home entertainment market through physical and digital media releases under its five house brands. It also now distributes a growing number of third party labels in all ancillary media and is a direct digital distributor to all major digital platforms including iTunes, Netflix, HULU, Filmstruck, Tribeca Shortlist, Amazon, Vimeo, VHX, Fandor, Mubi and Others.

Next from Kino Lorber are the theatrical releases for Bruno Dumont’s SLACK BAY, starring Juliette Binoche and set for an April 21 NY opening at Quad Cinema and the Film Society of Lincoln Center, and Vanessa Gould’s OBIT, opening April 26 at Film Forum and Lincoln Plaza Cinema.

ABOUT PROTAGONIST PICTURES:

Protagonist Pictures is an international finance, production and sales company which has a proven track record in outstanding films and commercial successes. Based in the UK, the company handles films from around the world, always maintaining a strong focus on filmmakers with exceptional vision and storytelling skills.

Protagonist’s current slate includes Francis Lee’s Sundance award-winner GOD’S OWN COUNTRY; Charlie McDowell’s Netflix title THE DISCOVERY which stars Robert Redford, Jason Segel and Rooney Mara; Berlin competition title THE DINNER, Oren Moverman’s adaptation of the Herman Koch novel, starring Richard Gere, Laura Linney, Rebecca Hall and Steve Coogan.

In distribution in 2017 are Ben Wheatley’s FREE FIRE, Eleanor Coppola’s PARIS CAN WAIT and Adam Smith’s feature debut TRESPASS AGAINST US. Titles in post-production include Clio Barnard’s DARK RIVER and Amma Asante’s WHERE HANDS TOUCH.

Hellchild: The Unholy review by Joe Grodensky


Hellchild The Unholy: Angelica Blackstone Goes Out Fighting!Hellchild gets in her last licks in the series finale!

In the last issue of Hellchild The Unholy, Angelica Blackstone confronted Ouroboros. He was getting the best of her but did not kill her. Instead, he offers her a place alongside him as a “god.” Angelica refuses but does kill Jezebel which leads her to question herself and the others to question whose side she is really on. At the same time, a war between the underdwellers and the NYPD is about to erupt and blood will flow on both sides.

In the finale, Angelica is in the midst of riots, monsters, death and destruction as the uprising is in full effect. While she refused Ouroboros’s offer, she does make him believe she has decided to join him. In the middle of the fight, Jezebel reappears which confirms what Ouroboros told Angelica about her. Just when Ouroboros thinks Angelica is going to do his bidding, she does something else. Has Hellchild chosen sides or has she done what was needed for her to survive the battle?

Pat Shand did an amazing job with this final issue. It was a fitting end not only for the series but Angelica. We really see her come full circle. It certainly leaves an opening for Angelica to reappear in another series, whether it be her own or as a guest character in another title. Renzo Rodriguez did a great job on the artwork and gave readers something to remember. The colors of Walter Baiamonte added to that memory and made the series vibrant and bloody. Ario Murti and Hedwin Zaldivar gave the final issue a fiery cover to send the series off right.

Hellchild: The Unholy was a fun, well-written and well-told story that I will miss. Angelica was relatable in certain ways. She had inner demons, aside from the fact she was considered a demon, which she constantly battled with. She wanted to do good but felt it was not getting her anywhere with anyone so she decided to do her thing her way. It interconnected very well with the Van Helsing series which makes Zenescope such a great comic book company. They have a connected universe which flows smoothly between titles and characters. Hellchild: The Unholy is on sale now so check out your local comic book shop today!


Written by Pat Shand

Art by Renzo Rodriguez
Colors by Walter Baiamonte

Cover Art by Ario Murti & Hedwin Zaldivar

25 pages

(Joe Grodensky – @JoeGrodensky)