[ENGLISH] Image Comics and Top Cow tells us: BERKELEY, CA — 17 May, 2011 — Image Comics and Top Cow Productions are celebrating the 15th anniversary of WITCHBLADE with an oversized stand-alone issue by WITCHBLADE team Ron Marz and Stjepan Sejic. To celebrate this landmark and usher the series into a new age of comics, Top Cow and Wowio have teamed up to offer a free digital copy of the 144th issue with each print copy. Participating retailers will receive cards with download codes to distribute with each copy sold which can then be downloaded at Wowio.com.
« The number of comic characters and properties outside of Marvel and DC that have been published uninterrupted for fifteen years is a very exclusive club, » Top Cow Publisher Filip Sablik commented. « We’re incredibly proud of the legacy of WITCHBLADE as an independently published, strong female-driven series and couldn’t think of a better way to celebrate! »
This oversized issue contains a retelling of Sara Pezzini’s origin story for the first time in the series’ history since the iconic heroine was created more than fifteen years ago. WITCHBLADE #144 will also feature two spellbinding covers, including a wraparound retrospective by regular series artist Sejic and an iconic painting by fantasy illustrator Jean-Sebastien Rossbach (Magic: The Gathering). It will also include a backup story by writer and Top Cow Publisher Filip Sablik and artist John Tyler Christopher that promises to reveal the origin of Sara’s partner Patrick Gleason.
WITCHBLADE #144 (OCT100521), a 48-page full color comic that includes a free digital download card will be available in a store near you May 18th for $4.99.
ABOUT TOP COW PRODUCTIONS INC. Top Cow Productions, Inc. (www.topcow.com), a Los Angeles-based entertainment company, was founded in December of 1992 by artist Marc Silvestri, who also co-founded Image Comics earlier that same year. Top Cow currently publishes its line of comic books in 21 languages in over 55 different countries. The company has launched 20 franchises (18 original and two licensed) in the industry’s Top 10, seven at #1, a feat accomplished by no other publisher in the last two decades. Its flagship franchise, WITCHBLADE, was TNT’s #1 original film of 2000 and the subsequent TV series was released on DVD on July 29, 2008. WITCHBLADE is also the first American property to be fully adapted in Japan as an original anime and manga by Studio GONZO in 2006. Top Cow’s other flagship property, THE DARKNESS, was developed into a major next-generation video game release by Starbreeze and 2K Games and achieved platinum sales status. A second game is slated for release from 2K Games in the Fall of 2011. WANTED, an Eisner-nominated miniseries published by Top Cow from 2003-2005, is now a major motion picture from Universal Pictures starring Angelina Jolie, James McAvoy and Morgan Freeman. Virtually all of Top Cow’s other properties are in development as feature films, live-action television, animation or video games. Top Cow has also successfully licensed and merchandised its franchises into toys, statues, clothing, lithographs, puppets, posters, magnets, shot glasses, lighters, lunch pails, wall scrolls, mouse pads, die-cast cars, calendars, Christmas ornaments, Halloween masks, trading cards, standees, video games and roleplaying games.
ABOUT IMAGE COMICSImage Comics is a comic book and graphic novel publisher founded in 1992 by a collective of best-selling artists. Image has since gone on to become one of the largest comics publishers in the United States. Image currently has five partners: Robert Kirkman, Erik Larsen, Todd McFarlane, Marc Silvestri and Jim Valentino. It consists of five major houses: Todd McFarlane Productions, Top Cow Productions, Shadowline, Skybound and Image Central. Image publishes comics and graphic novels in nearly every genre, sub-genre, and style imaginable. It offers science fiction, romance, horror, crime fiction, historical fiction, humor and more by the finest artists and writers working in the medium today. For more information, visit www.imagecomics.com.