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Viz Launches "Shojo Beat" Magazine

Viz Comics has announced the launch of Shojo Beat magazine, a sister publication to the company’s successful Shonen Jump magazine. The new magazine, aimed at the burgeoning young female manga audience, will hit newsstands in June 2005 with a cover price of $5.99.

Toon Boom Studio Express Update Adds QuickTime Export

Toon Boom Animation has MacCentral.com. The $19.95 update to the stripped down animation software package adds QuickTime export functionality and compatibility with Mac OS X 10.3, among other features. (via MacCentral.com)

White Castle Seeking Kumar Cast in "Superman Returns"

Director Mira Nair has confirmed that Kal Penn has been cast in Superman Returns. Penn most recently played Kumar in Harold and Kumar Go to White Castle, and is currently filming Namesake with Nair. According to Nair, Penn will play “Superman’s best friend.”

Central Park Media Manga Division Lays Off Employees, Cancels Books

Central Park Media has laid off several employees in its comic book and sales departments recently and cancelled several pending books. The stated reason for the staff reduction was CPM’s recent distribution deal made with WEA. It is not currently known whether the cuts will affect the anime divisions of the company.

Film Recalls and Laments Disney Animation Division

The Los Angeles Times covers Dream On Silly Dreamer, a 40-minute documentary about the closing of Disney’s hand-drawn animation department after 75 years of service (free registration required). The film, made by former Disney animator Dan Lund, will be shown in Minneapolis the day before the next annual shareholders meeting. Roy Disney has already praised […]

Bruce Timm to Draw "Conan" Fill-in Issue

Buried among news coverage of last weekend’s Emerald City Comic convention, it was revealed that Bruce Timm will draw a fill-in story of Dark Horse Comics’ new Conan monthly comic. He will share an issue with comics legend John Severin, although it is unclear if Timm and Severin or regular Conan scribe Kurt Busiek will […]

SpongeBob Welcomed to United Church of Christ

The United Church of Christ recently published an article and a photo diary accepting SpongeBob SquarePants into their fold, stating that “Jesus’ message of extravagant welcome extends to all.” Two television networks recently rejected a 30-second ad for the UCC which delivered a similar message, claiming the ad was “too controversial.”

Kiki's Live Action Delivery Service?

Nausicaa.net is reporting that Disney is beginning production on a live-action version of Hayao Miyazaki’s Kiki’s Delivery Service. According to an article in Variety, Jeff Stockwell, writer for the partially animated The Dangerous Lives of Altar Boys, has been hired to write the screenplay.

Proxy Advisory Firm Says "No" to Disney Board Chairman

The proxy advisory firm Glass Lewis has advised its clients to withhold votes for Disney’s current chairman of the board of directors, former Senator George J. Mitchell (free registration required). (via Internet Movie Database Daily Briefing)

Analyst: Disney Animation Studio Could Ding Pixar

In reiterating their current rating and target price for Pixar stock, Banc of America has stated that Disney’s planned CGI animation studio may have a negative halo effect on Pixar if Disney’s sequels to Pixar movies are poorly done. It also points out that the creation of the studio suggests a reconciliation between the two […]

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