News happens every day. Some get front page coverage in major newspapers while others tend to get lost in the shuffle. At The X Bridge, news happens every day in SPEEDLINES.

From breaking news on the latest premieres and upcoming releases to the goings on behind the scenes of your favorite shows, comics, and genre-based entertainment, SPEEDLINES will go into the story without prejudice, favoritism, or with a spin. Whether it's a news byte or an in-depth article As of right now, TXB News is reborn under the name SPEEDLINES.

- Jeff Harris,
Creator/Webmaster, The X Bridge

The Latest
PR: Iron Man and Wolverine and the X-Men Coming To Nicktoons Network 3/18/08 by Jeff Harris

NEW YORK, March 18, 2008 - Nicktoons Network, Nickelodeon's 24-hour animation channel, has joined forces with Marvel Entertainment, Inc. (NYSE: MVL), to bring iconic heroes Wolverine and Iron Man from the page and big screen to television in two brand-new animated series, "Iron Man: The Animated Series" (a co-production with French based Method Films) and "Wolverine and the X-Men" (a co-production with Toonz Entertainment Pte Ltd., Singapore and First Serve International Ltd.). Debuting exclusively on Nicktoons Network in first quarter 2009, Wolverine and the X-Men and Iron Man each feature 26 action-packed, half-hour episodes that follow the respective heroes through dynamic action, adventure and drama as they face foes both familiar and new to their fans.

"Nicktoons Network is first and foremost about showcasing the most creative and unique animation there is, and this partnership with Marvel is another crucial way to super-serve our audiences with something fresh and new," said Keith Dawkins, Senior Vice President and General Manager, Nicktoons Network. "The fact that these Marvel characters span books, feature films and TV speaks to their massive appeal. We hope this deal signals to the marketplace and our audience, particularly boys, that we are the home for big hits and exciting, adrenaline-fueled animation."

"Nicktoons has a reputation for delivering some of the highest quality animation programming to the youth entertainment market, and Marvel is thrilled to be joining hands with such a dynamic channel," said Eric Rollman, Executive Vice President, Animation & Television for Marvel Studios. "Marvel is uniquely positioned to bring two shows with incredible brand momentum and awareness to this partnership, and we look forward to being in business with Nicktoons to launch this programming."

Wolverine and the X-Men (26 half-hour eps):
The story begins as an explosive event shatters the lives of the X-Men and takes away their mentor, Professor X. The beaten heroes, including Beast, Storm, Cyclops and Nightcrawler, walk away from it all but then they are given a rare glimpse into the future, where they see a world in utter ruin ... ruled by giant destructive robots. They discover the world has spiraled out of control because the X-Men have given up. So now the most legendary of all X-Men, Wolverine, must take the lead on the ultimate mission -- to prevent the world's destruction -- while fending off enemies Magneto and The Brotherhood.

Iron Man: The Animated Series (26 half-hour eps):
Tony Stark, heir to a billion-dollar corporation, lives a life of luxury, free to pursue his chief interests -- seeking extreme thrills, solving scientific mysteries and creating mind-boggling inventions. But everything goes horribly wrong when a tragic accident robs Tony of his father and nearly costs him his own life. Now dependent on his own impressive technology for survival and dedicated to battling corruption, Tony must reconcile the pressure of teenage life with the duties of a Super Hero. Inside his remarkable invention, Tony Stark is geared for high-speed flight, high-tech battles and high-octane adventure! He is Iron Man.

Iron Man and Wolverine are two of the most popular Super Heroes in the Marvel universe, with over forty years of story telling between the two characters. Reflecting this popularity, two new major motion pictures featuring these characters are being readied for the big screen, Iron Man on May 2, 2008, and X-Men Origins: Wolverine on May 1, 2009.

TOKYOPOP Gets Animated At MySpace 7/16/07 by Jeff Harris

TOKYOPOP (you have to spell it out in all caps as they've reminded me) and MySpace announced the launch of TOKYOPOP TV, an original outlet dedicated to original animated productions of several of their homegrown projects. Sounds promising. Here's the official press release with details of the shows piloting this week:

MySpace and TOKYOPOP today announced a partnership to premiere four exclusive new shows based on TOKYOPOP's hit manga series "I Luv Halloween," "A Midnight Opera," "Bizenghast" and "Riding Shotgun." Featuring music from the latest underground acts and cutting edge digital animation from Asian CG powerhouse Menfond Electronic Art, pilot episodes will air the week of July 16, 2007, with subsequent episodes running weekly thereafter. MySpace and TOKYOPOP are strategically launching a TOKYOPOP-branded profile (http://www.myspace.com/tokyopoptv) to host and deliver the shows to create a unique one-on-one relationship with MySpace users.

"We are always looking for ways to deliver unique and innovative content to our community," said Shawn Gold, senior vice president of marketing for MySpace. "Based on the demand for manga content on the web, we expect the TOKYOPOP profile to speak to users who want to discover and share these exclusive videos."

According to Stu Levy, TOKYOPOP CEO and Chief Creative Officer: "TOKYOPOP is dedicated to revolutionizing the old school image of comic books by combining the fresh East-meets-West aesthetic of manga with cutting edge delivery platforms. MySpace is the perfect partner to premiere innovative entertainment to a global youth audience."

In a word from Marc Honorof, Managing Director of TOKYOPOP Digital: "The MySpace audience fits TOKYOPOP's demographic to a T. Our four new shows were made specifically for this medium and are the seeds of today's tech-savvy generation's entertainment landscape."

About the programs:

"I Luv Halloween" -- Based on the original manga by Benjamin Roman and Keith Giffen and featuring an original score by Ben Chan, these are the misadventures of a group of particularly disturbing trick-or-treaters as they go about their macabre business one Halloween night.

"Riding Shotgun" -- Based on the original manga by Nate Bowden and Tracy Yardley with music by Far East Movement and Interceptor, this is a poignant and irreverent comedy depicting an average day for a hit man who's short on cash.

"A Midnight Opera" -- Based on the original manga by Hans Steinbach and featuring music by Hibria and Carbon 9, here is the tale of Ein DeLaLune. Tragic and beautiful, Ein has exploded onto the Paris music scene with his Goth metal band. But Ein is no overnight sensation -- he has a lasting advantage over other Goth music powerhouses -- he's undead, a fact he's kept hidden for centuries.

"Bizenghast" -- Based on the original manga by M. Alice LeGrow with music by Divine Madness and Kissing Violet, this is the story of a young girl named Dinah who moves to the forgotten town of Bizenghast, where she uncovers a terrifying collection of lost souls that leads her to the brink of insanity.

TOKYOPOP also maintains profiles on MySpace Comics where fans get more detailed information on "I Luv Halloween," "A Midnight Opera," "Bizenghast" and "Riding Shotgun," as well as TOKYOPOP's library of popular manga series.

Comic book fans can also learn more by visiting the official MySpace Comic Books profile (www.myspace.com/comicbooks). This profile is the official community for manga, graphic novels and comic books on MySpace, where fans and friends of MySpace Comic Books can find the latest comic book news, interviews, special features, contests, exclusives and more. MySpace Comic Books spotlights the most exciting projects, creators and events in the industry including user generated comics by MySpace.

Reunited, And It Feels . . . : Image Comics Founders (All of 'Em) At Comic-Con 7/13/07 by Jeff Harris

Oh, this is going to be sweet. For the first time in a long, long time, ALL the Image Comics founders are together in the same room at Comic-Con. It is the 15th anniversary of the company, and considering all the bad blood (no pun intended) that has boiled over in the years, this should be the most interesting event at San Diego this year, or at least one of them.

From the publisher:

The original seven founding members of Image Comics will appear together at Comicon International: San Diego on Friday, July 27, from 10:30-11:30am in Room 5AB, at the "Image Founders Panel." The panel will be hosted by George Khoury (author of TwoMorrows Publishing's new book "Image Comics: The Road to Independence," available at www.twomorrows.com).

In 1992, seven artists shook the foundation of the comic book industry when they left their top-selling Marvel Comic titles to jointly form a new company named Image Comics. With no certainty of success, they formed a home that would allow themselves and other artists the opportunity to tell their stories without any censorship or editorial restraints. Even more importantly, Image would finally give creators full ownership of their properties. In an industry that began with artists working in sweatshop-like conditions, Image remains a living beacon for any creator that dares to dream.

Appearing at the panel will be Erik Larsen, Jim Lee, Rob Liefeld, Todd McFarlane, Whilce Portacio, Marc Silvestri, and Jim Valentino. This will be the first time that the original seven founding members of Image Comics have ever appeared on a panel together.

Join the conversation as the Image founders explore the past, present and future of Image and the comics industry. The hall has a maximum seating capacity of 500, so attendees are encouraged to arrive early.

LAZARUS, From The Creator of Rex Mundi, Coming This October from Image Comics 7/13/07 by Jeff Harris

From the company themselves:

Juan Ferreyra returns to Image Comics' Shadowline this October with LAZARUS, a full color mystery mini-series with an undeadly twist.

"I'm really happy to be back at Image," Ferreyra said. "My career started by working with Kristen Simon, the editor at Shadowline, on Small Gods, so it's a bit like coming home. To make it even more of a family affair, I created LAZARUS with my long-time friend, co-writer Diego Cortes. These two factors make LAZARUS the most personal work I've put out."

James Lazarus, the titular protagonist, is plagued by dreams of his death night after night. These dreams turn out to be far from fantasy as James discovers he's truly immortal during an attempt on his life. This puts him on an urgent search to figure out who is responsible for attacking him and why. The answers don't come easy. As James learns, immortality can be quite painful.

"LAZARUS may be the best work I've seen from Juan," Jim Valentino, President of Shadowline, adds. "I've had my eye on him since he came on the scene, so to be able to publish the first work that's wholly his own is a real treat. In addition, the direction he's taken his art in this series is bound to turn a lot of heads."

LAZARUS will hit stands October 17th with a cover price of $3.50.

Full Moon Creator Coming to San Diego For Comic-Con 7/13/07 by Jeff Harris

News byte courtesy of Viz Media:


Creator Of FULL MOON To Meet Fans In VIZ Media Booth# 4113 And Participate In SHOJO BEAT Panel Discussion While Magazine Plans Interview And Rare Manga Short Story For August Issue

San Francisco, JULY 13, 2007 – VIZ Media, LLC (VIZ Media), one of the entertainment industry's most innovative and comprehensive publishing, animation and licensing companies, will celebrate the work of famed manga artist Arina Tanemura throughout the month of July with a rare personal appearance at the 2007 Comic-Con International, plus a bonus short story and special cover (both by Tanemura) for the August issue of SHOJO BEAT magazine, which goes on sale nationwide on July 17. Tanemura is the creator of the mega-hit shojo series FULL MOON and the recently debuted THE GENTLEMEN'S ALLIANCE †.

Tanemura will make a personal appearance during the 2007 Comic-Con International in San Diego, CA to meet fans in VIZ Media’s Booth #4113 on Saturday, July 28. She will further discuss her work and experiences as a manga artist during the SHOJO BEAT magazine panel discussion set for Saturday, July 28 at 1:30pm. To further honor her visit at Comic-Con, VIZ Media will give an exclusive shikishi (four-color hard poster) of THE GENTLEMEN'S ALLIANCE † as a bonus to fans who purchase one of the following products at VIZ Media booth: 1) Any Tanemura manga volume, or FULL MOON DVD; 2) SHOJO BEAT’s August Issue; or 3) an annual subscription of SHOJO BEAT.

The August issue of SHOJO BEAT (out July 17) will feature a special cover drawn by Tanemura, as well as the first domestic appearance of her manga short story, “Shojo Eve ☆Eve's Applework 24 Hours,” and an additional article about the gorgeous worlds portrayed in her stories. For fans not able to attend Comic-Con, exclusive items autographed by Tanemura will be offered as contest prizes in upcoming issues of SHOJO BEAT magazine. In 2008, the magazine will include an exclusive interview with Tanemura conducted during her Comic-Con visit, as well as a Tanemura drawing lesson and a feature of fan art to be judged by the artist.

“We are honored to welcome Arina Tanemura at the 2007 Comic-Con International and to have her participate in the SHOJO BEAT panel discussion during the show,” says Marc Weidenbaum, Editor-in-Chief of SHOJO BEAT magazine and Vice President of VIZ Media’s Magazine Division. “FULL MOON and THE GENTLEMEN'S ALLIANCE † have developed a devoted following and this rare opportunity for fans to meet the artist in person is sure to delight. We also look forward to fans reading the never-before-released manga short story by Tanemura in our special August issue of SHOJO BEAT, which further celebrates the artist with a beautiful cover and feature coverage.”

New Batman OVA Announced 7/12/07 by Jeff Harris

As peeped at World's Finest's DC Animation Forum, Warner Bros. has released a licensing sheet for next summer's Batman movie, The Dark Knight, that revealed that Warner Bros. is planning a direct-to-video Japanese-influenced series that's set between the events of Batman Begins and The Dark Knight. Seems like a year one-like project, but I'll definitely keep an eye on it.

DC Comics Launches Web Comic Division, Zuda Comics 7/9/07 by Jeff Harris

Official press release from DC Comics. Long story short, DC Comics ventures into yet another aspect of comic-creation after the launch of a manga imprint (CMX) and an indy/women's imprint (Minx):


(July 9, 2007- New York, NY) — Already established as the largest English-language publisher of comics in the world, DC Comics announced today the creation of Zudacomics.com, a new web comics imprint. The home to such iconic characters as Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman and the Sandman, DC Comics will soon publish new, never before seen online content featuring new characters and concepts through Zudacomics.com.

The site is scheduled to launch this October and will feature multiple ongoing web comics. Following the site's launch, the majority of the web comics will be selected by Zudacomics.com's visitors, who will vote on new web comics presented to them in periodic competitions. Winners of the competitions will receive commissions to create a year's worth of their web comics for the site, and will have their work published in print formats as well.

"There is an explosion of creativity in web comics," said Paul Levitz, DC Comics President & Publisher. "We want to build a great stage for this new generation of creators to perform on, a solid system for their work to reach audiences online and in print, and for the creators to share in the profits their creations can generate. In this time of rapid technological and cultural change, DC wants to be a good publisher for the evolving and growing community of online comic creators, so that we can be their partner for showcasing new kinds of works to entertain future generations."

Creators will be encouraged to send submissions that run the full gamut of comic book genres—from humor, romance, science fiction, fantasy and superheroes. Editorial for Zudacomics.com will be handled by Ron Perazza, DC Comics Director of Creative Services and Kwanza Johnson, DC Comics Online Editor, and overseen by DC Comics SVP-Creative Director, Richard Bruning. Johnson and Perazza will be charged with selecting the submissions for the site's competitions; additionally, the editors can declare as many as six submissions as instant winners during the calendar year. All Zudacomics.com creators who are instant winners, competition winners and competition finalists will be paid by DC Comics.

Zudacomics.com's official tagline is "click here to continue." The site will have numerous variations of a site logo that reflects the scope and ambition of the imprint. "In designing the Zuda logo, it was important to echo back to the interactive nature of the web, the creativity of our medium and the diversity of the comics community," said Richard Bruning. "We soon realized that there shouldn't be just one logo. We wanted to reflect the different 'faces' of web comics that we are looking to publish. It's all about the diversity of the readership and the medium."

Unlike a traditional comic book page (which traditionally measures 6 5/8" X 10 1/4"), a Zuda web comic will consist of a series of 4:3 aspect ratio screens, so that users will be able to read a web comic installment without opening an additional window in their browser or excessive scrolling. Ongoing Zuda web comics will run for at least 52 total installments, in addition to the initial submission.

DC Comics has chosen IBM Global Business Services to design and build the new Zudacomics.com site. The site will embrace leading Web 2.0 technologies such as blogging, commenting, rating and tagging to encourage maximum community participation and feedback on artists' submissions. The DC Comics creative and technical teams are working side by side with consultants, visual designers, information architects and developers from IBM's Media & Entertainment practice to design everything from the technology architecture to the look and feel and overall user experience for the site. Through the use of open source technologies, the new site will enable collaboration and innovation as well as flexibility to allow DC Comics to continue to enhance the site with industry leading functionality over time.

The Zudacomics.com teaser site will go live in July, timed to this year's San Diego ComicCon; the teaser site will allow pre-registration for the site and provide updates for the imprint throughout the summer. "Zuda Comics will be a transparent publishing operation," said Ron Perazza, Online Director. "We're asking the community and the creators to participate in the growth of a new business. They need to have access to every bit of information we can provide, so we're going to roll out our submissions process, our contracts and agreements throughout the summer, well before our October content launch."