Thursday, December 10, 2009


“Crime is common. Logic is rare.”

For generations, Sherlock Holmes has embodied the gift of seeing beyond the obvious—of discerning the truth from within the haze of deception. Created in the late 19th century, in a series of stories and novels by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, the brilliant detective has become one of pop culture’s most enduring figures, whose adventures are among the most widely read in the history of the English language.

“He was probably the first superhero, an intellectual superhero,” states Robert Downey Jr., the Oscar®-nominated actor who takes on the title role in “Sherlock Holmes.” “He was, and probably still is, one of the most recognizable icons on Earth, so much so that a lot of people actually thought that Sherlock Holmes was a real person. The more you look into Arthur Conan Doyle’s books, the more you see what a rich character Sherlock Holmes is. He’s very adept at so many things: he plays violin, he’s a martial artist, a boxer, an expert single stick fighter and a swordsman of sorts. He has a strong moral code in helping good guys catch bad guys, so he has dedicated his life to being a consulting detective. He doesn’t do it to show everyone how smart he is, or that he has figured everything else out when they haven’t; he’s actually a crusader.”

In this spirit, the cast and filmmakers of “Sherlock Holmes” set out to delve deeper into Conan Doyle’s four novels and 56 self-contained short stories to peel back the layers on Holmes. “We’ve tried to take him back to what we believe to be his origin, which is essentially a more visceral character,” says the film’s director, Guy Ritchie, who has been a Holmes fan since childhood. “We’ve tried to integrate that and make him more streetwise. He is inquisitive about chemistry, martial arts, and the human condition. Yet he managed to percolate through all the different echelons of English society, which was tremendously complex. But then, as now, Sherlock Holmes is unique; there’s really no one else like him. I think that’s why his appeal has stuck. And while our story is rooted in London of the 1890s, we have tried to make it as contemporary as we possibly can.”

“This film brings out qualities in Holmes that are relatively unknown but incredibly cinematic and true to the character and the adventures that Conan Doyle created,” producer Joel Silver offers. “The previous adaptations of Sherlock Holmes turned the stories into something a bit more detective noir on the big screen over the years, but at their core, these were action novels. Holmes really is an 1890s man of action, with insight and intelligence that eclipse everyone else around him, ncluding
Scotland Yard.”

The screenplay for “Sherlock Holmes” is by Michael Robert Johnson and Anthony Peckham and Simon Kinberg, from an original story by Lionel Wigram and Michael Robert Johnson. Wigram, who is also a producer on the film, has been a fan of Holmes since reading the stories as a child. “When I became a producer, I reread all the stories and realized that there was a new way to do Sherlock,” he says. “Initially, I made a comic book, which was really a way to show how cool and fun Sherlock could be. I also wanted to explore his humanity and vulnerability and the issues he has to deal with because of his genius; he’s as modern a character now as he was back when he was originally created.”

Wigram spoke to members of the Baker Street Irregulars, a group of Holmes experts from around the world who meet once a year in New York to exchange notes and ideas and discuss their hero. “Meeting them was a humbling experience,” Wigram recalls. “I thought I was a fan and knew about Holmes, but it’s nothing compared to the expertise and knowledge of these people. They were also completely supportive of the film, which was an immense relief. Les Klinger, one of the Irregulars’ trustees and noted scholar of Sherlockiana, even advised us on language and factual details.”

The filmmakers hoped to make “Sherlock Holmes” a movie-going experience that would create the kind of excitement that made the original works so popular and enduring. “We really felt that we had an opportunity, with today’s technology, to do justice to the story in bringing this incredible vision to life,” says producer Susan Downey. “There is a whole generation that doesn’t know much about Sherlock Holmes beyond the name. And there are longtime fans that have an affection for the deerstalker hat and the ‘Elementary, my dear Watson,’ which are not in this movie. But we hope to be truer to the source material by bringing out the action in the stories. We were able to take the scope of the stories, as well as what is suggested in the books, and put that on screen.”

“It’s certainly an adventure, just as the stories seemed to me when I first read them,” adds Jude Law, who plays John Watson. “There’s still the cerebral intrigue and science and suspense of the original stories, but there’s also the brawling and mayhem that is faithfully brought in from the novels. My great hope is that Conan Doyle fans really enjoy it because I've become a huge fan myself and am very respectful of the legacy. I do think we’ve been faithful, but we’ve also injected our characters with dimensions that have never been brought out before. Guy Ritchie is brilliant at making drama physical and incredibly skilled at keeping the energy high.”

Silver agrees, noting, “Though this film takes place in the Victorian period, Guy’s edgy sensibility and fresh approach to the material give you all the rich layers of mystery and drama you’d expect, but with unexpected action and humor that make ‘Sherlock Holmes’ an exciting and incredibly fun cinematic experience.”

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Comic News: Radical to help celebrate Golden Apple Comics' 30th anniversary.


Radical Publishing is pleased and to announce our attendance at the All Star Holiday Spectacular in honor of Golden Apple Comics’ 30th Anniversary on SATURDAY, DECEMBER 12 hosted by Golden Apple Comics and Comic Book Resources! Radical Publishing will be on hand with creator signings and this year’s biggest Radical titles for sale.
Stop by the Radical Booth, located just outside Golden Apple Comics store on 7018 Melrose Avenue in Los Angeles, to meet and greet creator/writer Steve Niles who will be signing copies of City of Dust: A Philip Khrome Story from 1:00 P.M. to 3:00 P.M. and colorist Doug Sirois who will be signing his work on Hercules: The Knives of Kush from 4:00 P.M. to 5:00 P.M. Fans will be able to purchase many of the Radical’s best-selling and critically acclaimed titles including Incarnate from Nick Simmons, Shrapnel: Aristeia Rising, Hotwire: Requiem for the Dead, Caliber: First Canon of Justice, both Hercules miniseries and more!

The celebration kicks off on Saturday, December 12th at 11:00 AM and runs until 5:00 PM. Admission is completely free, so come by to celebrate Golden Apple’s 30th anniversary.

For more information on the event, visit or call 323-658-6047.
Steve Niles Signing
1:00 P.M. to 3:00 P.M.

Doug Sirois Signing
4:00 PM to 5:00 P.M.

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DVD News: Anime Director Hiroshi Yamazaki chats about unique artistic style of "The Duel" episode within Halo Legends

Anime Director Hiroshi Yamazaki Offers an All-New Vision of Familiar Characters in “The Duel” Episode of Halo Legends

Warner Home Video to Distribute Compilation DVD on Feb. 16, 2010

Anime director Hiroshi Yamazaki provides fans with a distinctly different artistic vision of the Halo universe with his painterly approach to animation in “The Duel,” one of the seven stories within Halo Legends.

Yamazaki’s Halo Legends episode, “The Duel,” goes back to ancient times, at the dawn of the Covenant. A shamed Elite defies his role as an "Arbiter" – an honored but suicidal role that would regain him a shred of honor—to take a path of revenge against those that stole the only thing that matters to such an amazing warrior: His true love. This ancient Arbiter must fight his way through ever-growing groups of his former allies (grunts, elites, hunters, etc.) until he finally stands face-to-face with the elite who betrayed his trust.

The episode showcases the richness and depth of the Halo universe, and gives fans a glimpse of one of their favorite protagonists, The Samurai-style mythos of the Elites is framed in an animation style that branches away from many of Halo Legends’ CG and traditional animation approaches to present the anime via a unique filter – giving the episode the look of a moving watercolor painting. Yamazaki and the artists at Production I.G were responsible for this singular artistic vision. So stunning and different are the tones and forms that multiple viewings offer new insights on each pass.

A rising star in the anime community, Yamazaki has developed a loyal following as he has grown his career from sound direction and storyboarding to a celebrated run as an episodic director of innovatively-blended visual action on the critically acclaimed hit CG anime series KARAS. Similarly, Production I.G has been responsible for numerous acclaimed feature films, television series and video games, including the cyberpunk classic Ghost in the Shell, Jin-Roh, The Wolf Brigade and parts of Batman Gotham Knight.

Warner Home Video will distribute Halo Legends on February 16, 2010 as a Special Edition 2-disc version on DVD and Blu-Ray™, as well as single disc DVD and available On Demand and Digital Download. The DVD anthology of episodic films based within the mythology of the popular game Halo is produced by 343 Industries, a unit within Microsoft Game Studios.

Yamazaki answered a few questions in regard to his participation in bringing Halo Legends to animated life. Here’s that Q&A …

What made you think Halo would lend itself to anime/animation?

I believe that the suitability (of a property for animation) depends upon each story. This story definitely worked well in animation, and in this style.

What was the inspiration for your artistic vision in your episode of Halo Legends?

I have been a lover of viewing the Halo art /illustration collection books and such for some time and the entire collection of Halo properties inspired me.

Were there any particular images within the Halo realm that helped shape or drive your creative vision?

When I was contacted by I.G about the project, I imagined that the project would be very Sci-Fi in taste. However, when I met Mr. Frank O’Connor (of 343 Indutries, Microsoft Games Studios) for the first time, his requirement was to create a Samurai episode featuring an Arbiter, and I was considerably and happily surprised.

What did you set out to accomplish in this episode, and why do you think you achieved or exceeded your goals?

What I was aiming for in this project was to make audiences understand there should be other styles of animation beyond the existing two primary kinds of animation presented – precisely cel-drawing 2D style and CG 3D style. I wanted to show that creators are not limited, that they have many options for different (animation) styles to create stories.

Did you feel you had the proper Halo experience to to bring the world to life in anime?

I have played Halo 1 and 2 all the way through to the end. As I was so busy in this project, I could not play Halo 3 but instead I watched the gaming movie many times from the beginning to end.

Did you include any “Easter eggs” for the devout Halo fans in your episode?

I employed the phrase “Akuma-da!” (“He is a devil” in English) as part of the dialogue of a grunt soldier for fun for game lovers. I’m not certain whether everyone will get to enjoy that treat, though, as I understand the English version and Japanese version differ considerably and I am not sure how this dialogue by the grunt is treated in the English version.


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Classic SPAWN and CEREBUS crossover returns to print after over fifteen years!

After over fifteen years, Todd McFarlane and Dave Sim's highly acclaimed collaboration in SPAWN #10 guest-starring CEREBUS returns to print in the upcoming SPAWN ORIGINS COLLECTION: DELUXE EDITION VOL. 1 HC!

"It hasn't been reprinted since it first came out," SPAWN #10 writer and CEREBUS creator Dave Sim said. "I'm very glad that's all over with after 14 years. Todd sent me black and white scans of Spawn 10 which will be published in a Cerebus Miscellany volume someday and, hopefully, Spawn 10 will be included in any and all future collections if the Toddmiester decides to make that official McFarlane policy."

The SPAWN ORIGINS COLLECTION: DELUXE EDITION VOL. 1 HC features the artwork of Todd McFarlane, which laid the groundwork for the most successful independent comic book ever published. This limited edition hardcover includes classic SPAWN stories written by Sim, Alan Moore, Frank Miller, Grant Morrison and McFarlane himself in one massive slipcase collection. It will mark the first time Sim and McFarlane's
collaboration has seen print since it first appeared in 1994.

SPAWN ORIGINS COLLECTION: DELUXE EDITION VOL. 1 HC (SEP090283), a 620-page full-color hardcover for $100 will be in-stores soon. A signed and numbered edition (SEP090284) will also be available for $150. Cerebus is ™ and © 2009 Dave Sim.


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