Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Telltale Games' The Walking Dead runs away with Spike TV's Game of the Year

Leading publisher of digital entertainment Telltale Games and Robert Kirkman, the Eisner Award-winning creator and writer of The Walking Dead for Skybound and Image Comics, announced December 11 that the winner of 2012 Game of the Year at the 10th annual SpikeTV Video Game Awards,The Walking Dead, is now available for purchase from North American retailers on Xbox 360® video game and entertainment system from Microsoft, PlayStation®3 computer entertainment system and PC.
360 PS3 Retail
The Walking Dead also earned Game of the Year honors from editorial outlets including Cheat Code Central, and is currently nominated for top honors in IGN.com's annual awards. IGN gave the final episode of the season an Editor's Choice Award and a score of 9.5 out of 10 saying, "People will reference the series over and over as the benchmark for story-telling in games," and summed up the game's emotional impact by stating, "I cried in the final minutes, sat silently through the credits, and was speechless after the epilogue."
The Walking Dead is set in the world of Robert Kirkman's award-winning comic book series. Players experience life-changing events, meeting new characters and some familiar to fans of the comic book series, in events that foreshadow the story of Deputy Sheriff Rick Grimes. The Walking Dead offers an emotionally-charged, tailored game experience -- a player's actions and choices affect how their story plays out across the entire series.
The Walking Dead is rated 'M' (Mature) for Blood and Gore, Intense Violence, Sexual Themes and Strong Language by the ESRB.

The Walking Dead is also available to download for Macintosh Computers from the Telltale Online Store and other digital outlets and is available for compatible iOS devices from the App Store.
For more information on the game, visit the official website, Facebook, and follow Telltale Games on Twitter. For more information on The Walking Dead, Robert Kirkman, and all of his titles, visit www.Skybound.com.

Saturday, September 15, 2012

THE HOUSE ON ARCH LANE screens at Montreal Horrorfest Sept. 15

Driving up to Montreal Horrorfest today (part of Montreal Comiccon) for the screening of THE HOUSE ON ARCH LANE. The short thriller with my script story is being screened as part of short program #3 in screening room #3, starting at 1:15 pm.

A Q&A is also planned.

It will be a strange feeling not to be exhibiting this year, so but also cool because I will be able to walk the comic-con floor and enjoy some fan-girly fun.

The Shuster Awards, Canada's comic book creator honours, are taking place this evening, in addition to the premiere of a film about horror legend Tom Savini, SMOKE AND MIRRORS.

Oh yes, William Shatner and Patrick Stewart will be there too.

For more on what's going on, check out Montreal Comiccon.

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Moonstone announces Kolchak & Honey West #1 with rare Ronn Sutton cover

Ronn Sutton cover
Moonstone Publications has announced that Kolchak & Honey West #1, a full-color comic book written by Janet L. Hetherington and illustrated by Ronn Sutton, will be released in January 2013 with three covers -- one of which will be a rare cover (only 15% of the run) by interior artist Ronn Sutton.

Kolchak the Night Stalker, a news reporter who keeps running into inexplicable supernatural events, first appeared on television in the 1970s and is credited with inspiring Chris Carter to create The X-Files.

Honey West is a female private investigator created in the 1950s by Gloria and Forrest E. "Skip" Fickling as novels and turned into a 1960s TV series starring Anne Francis (of Forbidden Planet fame).

Ronn Sutton previously illustrated three issues of Moonstone's Honey West comic book with the storyline "Murder on Mars" by writer Elaine Lee.

This is the first time Moonstone has paired these two characters in a crossover adventure.

Fans of Kolchak and Honey West should visit their comic book stores to preorder, as the issue is being solicited now through Diamond comic book distributors in its Previews catalogue. Here are the details:

McClinton cover
Davis cover
Kolchak & Honey West #1
Story: Janet L. Hetherington
Art: Ronn Sutton
Covers: Malcolm McClinton, Ronn Sutton,  Hayden Davis
40 pgs, color, $3.99

Two top-tier investigators in one titanic team up!
High heels and Hedonism!
Young cub reporter Carl Kolchak falls into an ongoing investigation with Honey West, who is undercover at a gentlemen’s club!  Disappearing women are the main course, as they both fight to just stay alive, as the violence escalates and the case gets out of control!
(Covers: McClinton = 60%,  Davis= 25%, Sutton = 15%)

Point this out to your comic book shop owner:

***RETAILER INCENTIVE: for every 4 you buy, get one free!

Moonstone also announced a long-lost Kolchak novel being offered in January 2013.

Kolchak: Grave Secrets
Author: Mark Dawidziak
6” x 9”, 204 pgs, $14.00
ISBN: 978-1-936814-44-2

Previews exclusive! Rare warehouse find…long since thought of as out of print!
The first post-TV show novel ever written about Kolchak... This was published by Cinemaker press at $9.95. This is a first printing: 1994. The novel: Kolchak is on the trail of whatever killed land baron Glen Gilmore. The answers are buried 2000 miles away and more than 150 years ago!

“Excellently done. I read it in one sitting.” – Richard Matheson

To find a comic book store near you, check this site.

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Dov S-S Simens' 2-day film school sells sizzle and steak

Janet Hetherington and Dov Simens
Quentin Tarantino! Guy Ritchie! Will Smith! Stephen King! And now Janet Hetherington... all graduates of Dov S-S- Simens' 2-day film school.

Simens squeezed Ottawa into his globe-trotting schedule on August 4 and 5, 2012, which made me very happy. I had seen the ads and was intrigued. My key interest is screenwriting, but I wanted to know more about the industry.

Then Dov came to Ottawa and delivered the unvarnished truth.

It was a very hot -- the air conditioning at the Great Canadian Theatre Company wasn't functioning well -- and a very intense, jam-packed 2-day session. Producing. Directing. Screenwriting. Distributing. Protecting your work. Film vs. digital. How to shoot in 3D on an ultra-low budget.

Dov worked as a line producer for legendary indie film-maker Roger Corman. where he learned how to make films that are quick, cheap and most importantly, will sell. He passed along that knowledge with loud authority.

Dov Simens, Brooks Hunter and Dale Windle
Dov's key advice for "nobodies" like me with big Hollywood dreams... make an independently financed low-budget -- nay, micro-budget -- feature and get your name out there. He provided the blueprint to do it right here in Ottawa, but stressed that it's up to the budding film-maker to bring the originality and talent.

Dov also talked about how to raise money for each little epic. Some of the strategies were old-school (I kept thinking of Mel Brooks' "The Producers") and included strategies like "sell the sizzle, not the steak." However, Dov also discussed the new arena of crowdfunding through venues like Kickstarter (for U.S. citizens) and Indiegogo (which Canadians can utilize).

During the course, Dov revealed that he has been talking to Mark Burnett productions about being a judge on a reboot of the film-maker reality TV series "On the Lot." While not making films himself (he doesn't have the talent, he says, though he has a grand idea for a boob-a-licious feature), Dov is seeking investors for a new venture called Moviecloud.com, which would provide a virtual forum for micro-budget movie downloads.

After Day 2, Dov was joined by Canadian film-makers Brooks Hunter ("Kenneyville") and Dale Windle ("Rulers of Darkness") for a director and producer Q & A and pitch session, sponsored by A.C.T. (Acting for Cinema and Television), Aventus Films and Wired Wisdom.

I nervously pitched my contained horror feature "Basement," and while it wasn't the winning pitch, I came away with some useful notes on how to improve the story... and some colleagues who made the point of running up to me to say they'd love to see that film.

Now that's incentive to complete the screenplay and make the movie! (And yes, it's registered.)

 -- Janet Hetherington

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Wizard World Chicago news from Ronn Sutton & Janet Hetherington

The dates for the Wizard World Chicago 2012 comic book convention are fast approaching (August 9-12 at the Donald E. Stephens Convention Center in Rosemont, IL), and artist Ronn Sutton is ready with an original new art print of a feisty Space Girl battling hungry aliens.

Ronn pencilled the art for the 11" x 17" print, which was inked by fellow artist Hilary Barta (who collaborated with Ronn on Elvira, Mistress of the Dark comic stories and a dynamic Fear Agent tale). The art for the print was colored by Jason Millet.

At the show, Ronn will have original comic book art pages and comic books as well as the Space Girl print. Ronn will be happy to provide free autographs.

Hilary and Jason also plan to be at the Wizard World Chicago convention.
Janet Hetherington, who wrote the Honey West/Kolchak the Niight Stalker script that Ronn illustrated earlier this year, will be bringing her new Very Sketchy sketchbook as well as comics and art to the show. The sketchbook has an area for a personalized sketch and autograph in the front.

The Honey West/Kolchak the Niight Stalker comic book is slated to be published by Moonstone Publications in 2013.

Both Ronn and Janet will be available to do commissions at Wizard World Chicago.

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Gasp! Sob! Awesome! Little Books of Vintage Comics

While I didn't attend Comic-Con International in San Diego this year, I did get a little comic fix with a fun find at Chapters -- six little books exploring vintage comics themes, including romance, sauciness, crime, combat, horror and sci-fi.

Hey kids, comics! (And they aren't just superheroes.)

Each of the small books present classic comics panels and ads, and include a magnet reproducing a vintage comic cover. The mini-books ($5.95 each) are published by Ilex in the UK.

Gasp! Sob! Awesome!

-- Janet Hetherington

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Very Sketchy debut at Ottawa Comiccon

With Ottawa Comiccon opening its doors at 9:30am to a sold-out Saturday crowd today (May 12) at the CE Centre, I'm happy to have a new sketchbook to offer in addition to original art, Eternal Romance comics and commission sketches.

The Very Sketchy 2012 Black & White sketchbook reproduces unpublished art as well as several parody pieces that appeared in the San Diego Comic-Con Program Book and other places. There's even a poem about a certain Caped Crusader.

If you are coming, Be sure to drop by table 914 to see Ronn Sutton and me. Ronn will have his popular Excerpts sketchbook with a different original art rough in each copy,  Elvira, Mistress of the Dark and Honey West artwork & comics, and we'll be happy to discuss out forthcoming Honey West / Kolchak the Night Stalker crossover comic book from Moonstone.

-- Janet Hetherington

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

OIAF adds new category for video game animation

Cyanide Studio's Game of Thrones
The Ottawa International Animation Festival (OIAF) has announced the creation of a new category, specifically created for video game artists. The Best Non-Gameplay Animation category is the first of its kind to be featured at any animation festival.

The OIAF created the Non-Gameplay Animation category in response to industry needs from video game animators, who lacked a competitive forum to display their work.

"Since the mid-1990s, we've been trying to find a way to seamlessly integrate videogame animation into OIAF competitions, ” says Festival Artistic Director Chris Robinson. “We found that the best way for us to acknowledge the outstanding work being done in gameplay animation was by encouraging the submission of non-game play components.”

Examples of non-gameplay animation include:
• Trailers previewing a new video game 
• Cinematic cut scenes, a break in the gameplay action that is used to further the plot of the video game

All entries for this year’s competition must be received by May 18, 2012. The deadline for preview DVDs is June 1. There is no entry fee.

Industry professionals are hailing the creation of the new category.  Yves Bordeleau, studio director at Montreal’s Cyanide Studios, the company behind the upcoming release of Game of Thrones, says that the artwork present in video games plays a vital role in promotion of the product and deserves to be recognized.

“I am really happy to see this new category addition for competition at the Ottawa International Animation Festival,” says Bordeleau. “As video games evolve, the need to immerse the player into complex worlds is now mandatory; hence the importance of high quality cinematic cut scenes. Be it in-game or pre-rendered, the value of these ‘non-gameplay’ sequences is so great that they are very often part of key promotional activities like game launch trailers and viral videos.”

Cyanide is an independent and privately held video game studio. Based in Paris, it was created in 2000 and has risen to become one of the most productive game development studios in France. Since 2007, the company has maintained a facility in Montreal.

The OIAF is one of the world’s leading animation events providing screenings, exhibits, workshops and entertainment since 1976.  OIAF is an annual five-day event bringing art and industry together in a vibrant hub and attracting more than 28,000 artists, producers, students and animation fans from around the world. For more information, visit the OIAF website at: www.animationfestival.ca.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

OIAF plans Ralph Bakshi tribute

The Ottawa International Animation Festival (OIAF) 2012, running from September 19-23, will pay tribute to the work of animation legend Ralph Bakshi.

Bakshi ignited the imagination of future animators and became a hero to generations of fans and filmmakers by infusing adult themes such as sex, drugs and racism into the family-friendly animation world of the 1970s.

The OIAF will also spotlight the United Kingdom as the festival examines the work of British artists Barry Purves, one of the world's finest puppet animators, and the groundbreaking Unconventional Ad Men: Smith and Foulkes.

Purves’ work has been internationally acclaimed for decades while Smith & Foulkes’ art has been featured in advertising campaigns for some of the world’s most iconic brands including Coca Cola, Honda and Motorola.

YouTubular: Animation in the Age of the Meme will examine the role of YouTube in today’s animation industry and showcase some of the strangest and most contagious viral videos to grace your computer screen.

Other programming announced to date includes: Make 'Em Laugh: Comedians and Animation, which will retrace the historical relationship between animators and comedians; the life and career of Ward Kimball will be examined and the innovative films of the late Karen Aqua will be celebrated.
“In past years, our event has been criticized for being too avant-garde or too dark,” says OIAF artistic director Chris Robinson. “This year we wanted to provide some really fun and entertaining programming but don't worry, there’s sure to also be the usual array of delightfully bizarre and thought provoking work that many other members of our audience love.”

The OIAF is one of the world’s leading animation events providing screenings, exhibits, workshops and entertainment since 1976.  OIAF is an annual five-day event bringing art and industry together in a vibrant hub and attracting more than 28,000 artists, producers, students and animation fans from around the world.

For more information, visit the OIAF website at: www.animationfestival.ca.

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Janet Hetherington and Ronn Sutton convention appearances 2012

Lots of conferences coming up this summer!  First stop is the Toronto Screenwriting Conference, where I hope to make connections and learn more about how to improve my scripts.

Janet Hetherington will be attending:
See Janet Hetherington and Ronn Sutton at:
What we offer at comic-cons:
  • Original art
  • Comic book pages
  • Sketches
  • Comic books
  • Ronn Sutton's Excerpts sketchbook 
  • Free autographs
  • Entertaining chats!

Friday, March 16, 2012

New "Castle" graphic novel from Marvel

Marvel Entertainment and ABC Studios have announced Castle: Richard Castle’s Storm Season, an all-new hardcover graphic novel inspired by the popular “Castle” television series.  I love watching "Castle." I'd love to write one of these books!

“Castle” stars Nathan Fillion as Richard Castle, Stana Katic as NYPD Detective Kate Beckett, Susan Sullivan as Martha Rodgers, Molly Quinn as Alexis Castle, Ruben Santiago-Hudson as NYPD Captain Roy Montgomery, Tamala Jones as Medical Examiner Lanie Parish, Jon Huertas as NYPD Detective Javier Esposito, and Seamus Dever as NYPD Detective Kevin Ryan.

The new 112-page hardcover, based the titular novel from noted author Richard Castle, hits comic shops, the Marvel Comics app, iBookstore, Nook Bookstore and everywhere books are sold on October 17, 2012.

(I love the way this press release reads like Richard Castle is a real person.) 

Private Investigator Derrick Storm is hired to bug the hotel suite of an African head of state, but this routine mission quickly spirals out of control when Storm overhears a woman’s terrifying scream on the wire. Plagued by the victim’s helpless cry, Storm—despite an ominous warning—investigates the truth. Soon he’ll discover an international conspiracy reaching further than he ever imagined…and perhaps the truth about Clara Strike, a CIA Agent the world thinks is dead.

“As a comic book fan, I couldn’t be more excited about Brian and Kelly Sue bringing Derrick Storm to life once again in Storm Season” said Richard Castle.  “Storm is a character near and dear to my heart, so I wouldn’t trust him with many people, but he is in some incredibly capable hands with this team.”

This is the second “Castle” original graphic novel to be released through a collaborative effort between Marvel, ABC Studios and the producers of “Castle.” In 2011, Marvel released Castle: Richard Castle’s Deadly Storm.

“Marvel has done an amazing job of bringing Derrick Storm to a new audience and we’re thrilled to keep the magic going with this next graphic novel.” said Andrew W. Marlowe, “Castle” creator/executive producer. “Fans can look forward to another fantastic adventure, filled with page-turning excitement. Storm Season is Richard Castle at his finest.”

Castle: Richard Castle’s Storm Storm reunites the lauded writing duo of Brian Michael Bendis & Kelly Sue DeConnick (Richard Castle’s Deadly Storm) for their second Castle story. They’re joined by rising star artist Emanuela Lupacchino (X-Factor), whose dynamic interior artwork brings the world of Derrick Storm to life like never before. This original graphic comes wrapped in a cover by acclaimed artist Dustin Weaver (S.H.I.E.L.D.).

“The Derrick Storm novels are full of action, intrigue and compelling characters—it’s no surprise that our graphic novel adaptations have taken the literary world by storm!” said Axel Alonso, Marvel Entertainment Editor in Chief. “Castle: Richard Castle’s Storm Season will be one of the most exciting graphic novels you read all year, whether you’re a longtime fan of Richard Castle or new to his exciting stories.”
Rated T+…$19.99

Friday, February 17, 2012

Barsoom! John Carter arrives March 9

Taylor Kitsch as John Carter
My first memory of the John Carter series was crystalized forever by the amazing  book covers by Frank Frazetta.

Now the sword-wielding adventurer hits big screens March 9 in a new Disney film directed by Academy Award-winning filmmaker Andrew Stanton (Finding Nemo, WALL-E).

John Carter brings this captivating hero to the big screen in an adventure epic set on the wounded planet of Mars, a world inhabited by warrior tribes and exotic desert beings.

Lynn Collins as Dejah Thoris
Frazetta's vision
Based on the first of Edgar Rice Burroughs' "Barsoom Series," the film chronicles the journey of Civil-War veteran John Carter (Taylor Kitsch), who finds himself battling a new and mysterious war amidst a host of strange Martian inhabitants, including Tars Tarkas (Willem Dafoe) and Dejah Thoris (Lynn Collins).

John Carter also stars Mark Strong, Bryan Cranston, James Purefoy, Samantha Morton, and Thomas Haden Church. -- Janet Hetherington

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Call for Entries! Ottawa International Animation Festival

The Ottawa International Animation Festival (OIAF) is pleased to announce its worldwide call for entries for its 2012 festival, taking place September 19 to 23 in Canada’s National Capital Region -- Ottawa!

Animators are invited to submit their recent work into five major categories including: Independent short films, feature films, commissioned films (TV series, commercials, music videos and video game animation) student films and films made for children. 

The OIAF is recognized as one of the world’s most competitive film festivals, receiving more than 2,000 entries annually. The Festival’s selection committee chooses approximately 150 films for competition and out-of-competition showcase screenings.

The Festival’s international jury: Barry Purves (England), Hisko Hulsing (Holland), Izabela Rieben (Switzerland), Mike Fallows (Canada), J.J. Sedelmaier (USA) and Sarah Muller (England) will review films in competition. Jury members will join the audience during screenings throughout the Festival and present the final awards at the closing ceremonies.

The OIAF is also introducing a new category for Non-Gameplay Animation, the first of its kind at any animation festival. Examples of non-gameplay animation include cinematic cut scenes that help advance a game's plot and trailers previewing an upcoming release.

"Since the mid-1990s, we've been trying to find a way to seamlessly integrate videogame animation into OIAF competitions, ” says Festival artistic director Chris Robinson. “We found that the best way for us to acknowledge the outstanding work being done in gameplay animation was by encouraging the submission of non-game play components.”

A new award for Best Canadian Student Animation Film, celebrating the work of emerging filmmakers and the wealth of up-and-coming Canadian talent, will also be introduced. Canadian student films in competition and showcase will be eligible for this award.

All online entry forms for this year’s competition must be received by May 18. The deadline for preview DVDs is June 1. There is no entry fee.

For more information about this year’s Festival, as well as the online entry form, visit the OIAF website at www.animationfestival.ca.  Questions about submitting a film may be sent to entries@animationfestival.ca or made by telephone at 613-232-8769.

The Ottawa International Animation Festival (OIAF) is one of the world’s leading animation events providing screenings, exhibits, workshops and entertainment since 1976.  OIAF is an annual five-day event bringing art and industry together in a vibrant hub and attracting more than 28,000 artists, producers, students and animation fans from around the world.

For more information, visit the OIAF website at: www.animationfestival.ca.