Author Greg Weisman Discusses “Rain Of The Ghosts” Novel, Upcoming Signing Events

The World’s Finest caught up with Greg Weisman, co-producer of the recent fan-favorite Young Justice animated series, to discuss his new novel Rain of the Ghosts. Rain of the Ghosts is the first in Weisman’s new book series about an adventurous young girl, Rain Cacique, who discovers she has a mystery to solve, a mission to complete, and the ability to see ghosts. In the following interview, Weisman discusses the origin of his new book series, why fans of his animated work should check it out, and where readers can have the opportunity to meet him and receive a signed copy of Rain of the Ghosts. Continue below for more from Weisman…

The World’s Finest: To start things off, can you give us a spoiler-free rundown of your new book Rain of the Ghosts, and maybe toss in some back-story on what inspired you to write this tale?

Greg Weisman: Rain Cacique is a thirteen-year-old girl, who lives on San Próspero, the largest island of the Prospero Keys – known to locals as the Ghost Keys, or more simply, The Ghosts. Rain’s mother runs the Nitaino Inn, a bed & breakfast; her father, a charter boat service. And Rain, who works for them both, believes her life is destined to remain an endless cycle of making beds and cutting bait for tourists. She feels trapped. The one person who gives her hope is her maternal grandfather Sebastian Bohique, who gives her a precious family heirloom: a golden armband comprised of two intertwined serpents. Unfortunately, ’Bastian passes away shortly after giving Rain the armband, and Rain’s grief is overwhelming… which may explain why she’s starting to see dead people. But soon enough Rain learns (with the help of her best friend Charlie Dauphin) that the armband has granted her the power to communicate with ghosts. She has a destiny and a larger purpose. Not to mention two mysterious new enemies: the Australian mercenary Callahan and the Hurricane-Goddess Hura-Hupia. The former wants Rain’s armband at any cost. The latter wants to put an end to Rain’s quest, specifically at the cost of Rain’s life.

Rain of the Ghosts is a project I originally developed at DreamWorks, right after doing Gargoyles for Disney. It was chockfull of all the ingredients that I love about a concept: a rich, largely unknown mythology; engaging protagonists; dangerous, smart villains; a unique semi-exotic setting, and a driving story. We never got to do it as an animated series, but I couldn’t get the story and characters out of my head. Jeffrey Katzenberg at DreamWorks kindly sold the rights back to me, and over a decade ago I wrote a novel, which failed to sell. But after finishing Young Justice, I revisited the story, did a rewrite and sent it off to St. Martin’s Press. The result is the novel that just came out.

WF: This is the first installment of a planned multiple book series. How far along are you in the development of the ongoing story? Do you know how it’s going to end? And how does that present a challenge in approaching each book, especially when any installment could conceivably be someone’s first?

GW: I know the entire story in rough form for all nine books, and even for the start of a second series of nine books set in the same universe. Having said that, I don’t pretend to have every single detail worked out for books three through nine, and I like to leave myself open to discovering things along the way. I’ve completed the second book, Spirits of Ash and Foam, which comes out in July of 2014, and as I was writing it, two very minor characters began to take on much more important roles. In essence, they were telling me they weren’t going to be minor players anymore. And those kinds of voices – manifesting from the writing process or from my gut instinct or from some kind of parallel-world-telepathy or from wherever and whatever – are voices I always listen to.

It can be a challenge to have to set things up all over again. It’s much easier in a visual medium, where I don’t have to physically re-describe things like characters and settings: they’re just there on screen or on the comic book page for the audience to see. It never feels repetitive, for example, to see Superboy or Spider-Man or Goliath again. But in a prose novel, I have to make sure that someone who hasn’t read the previous book or hasn’t read it recently can get up to speed quickly. And yet I don’t want it to feel repetitive or boring for someone who has just put down Rain and picked up Spirits and doesn’t necessarily want to hear me describe Rain or Charlie using the exact same language from the previous book. But I like to think I found a path to walk that should satisfy all readers.

WF: Can you run us through how you came up with Rain of the Ghosts‘s main character – Rain – and why you thought a young protagonist was key to the story. Do you find it easy to write these young teen characters? Why?

GW: Well, I’ve been writing teen characters for quite a few years now. But Rain’s younger than most of the sixteen and seventeen-year-olds that I’ve been writing in The Spectacular Spider-Man and Young Justice. For Rain, I wanted a character who had all the drama of a teenager, but less of the cynicism. Someone who wouldn’t always feel the need to pretend that the amazing stuff she was seeing wasn’t amazing. In addition, I truly like writing female characters, and I’m a fan of diversity. You don’t see a lot of thirteen-year-old female Native Americans as leads in stories set in the present. This was a chance to try something that felt new to me.

WF: Rain finds herself in very specific, very intriguing surroundings. Care to walk us through why you chose this setting? It definitely falls along the works you’ve done before, a mix of realism and mysticism.

GW: One reviewer referred to the book as magical realism, which I take as a high compliment. The Caribbean is a melting pot in microcosm. So many cultures – dating back to before the Taíno people that were there when Columbus “discovered” America – make up its modern landscape. And much of the mythology of the region hasn’t really been explored in popular culture. Add in the fact that a kid who grows up in an inn, with strangers (i.e. tourists) constantly coming to stay at her home, also felt fresh to me, and the Ghost Keys seemed like a no-brainer.

WF: Whether it’s with Rain of the Ghosts or your assorted projects, how much planning goes into creating the world and its rules. Is it something you’re always conscious of when writing (so and so can’t do this because of this rule, etc.)? Does it help keep you in check and perhaps keep the story as grounded as possible, even with some of the otherworldly elements?

GW: As most folks familiar with my writing know, I’m big on both planning and rules. I have timelines for almost every television series I’ve ever developed (for example, the timeline for Young Justice is nearly three hundred pages long). The world of Rain of the Ghosts is no different. A document that I created for Rain and originally labeled “Cheat Sheet” because it was a single page of “reminders,” is now – after writing Spirits a whopping 169 pages long. It’s loaded with facts about the eight islands that make up the Ghost Keys, details about all the characters (major and minor, living and dead), and rules for how the universe works. Not all of this stuff is revealed in Rain or even Spirits, but, in success, the onion will be peeled away in layers across all nine volumes of Rain’s story.

As for writing each individual book, I plot everything out meticulously on many, many colored index cards. (Spirits of Ash and Foam required 693 cards.) But, again, I leave myself open to serendipity and discovery once I actually sit down to write. You never know…

WF: You stated plenty of times that kids aren’t given enough credit when it comes to understanding and accepting ideas some might see as complex. How does that drive your writing? And does that allow you the opportunity to explore more weighty issues – such as loss here in Rain, for example?

GW: Well, the main thing this belief does is free me up to write about what I want to write about and not worry whether or not my potential readership is going to “get” it. I do write on layers, so I believe that kids get as much as they need to get. And basically, I just don’t censor myself or my characters’ emotions. Death is a biggie, of course, and so are age-appropriate romantic entanglements – both of which can sometimes be difficult to explore in network cartoons. So it’s great to have the freedom to do that here. And even said age-appropriateness is set by the age of my characters, not by any arbitrary Standards and Practices idea of what’s appropriate for my readers.

WF: Rain of the Ghosts‘s narrator provides a genuine mystery to the reader, and is definitely an interesting take on how to tell Rain’s story. Without giving anything away, why did you choose this approach to the narration?

GW: The book is narrated using a First Person Omniscient (or nearly Omniscient) Narrator. That’s fairly atypical, but it seemed like the best way to tell the story. The narrator, whom the other characters know as Opie, has his own point of view, agenda, attitude and interests, all of which gain in clarity with each succeeding book in the series. Yet even here in this first book, the reader gets a few major revelations about him, including the fact that he’s omniscient about the present – the now – with that omniscience extending even to being able to read the thoughts of others. (In contrast, Opie cannot foretell the future, and his knowledge of the past, while extensive, is not encyclopedic.)

As for the why… part of the reason, admittedly, was the novelty of it. But Opie-as-Narrator plays into the mythology of the region and of the series. And he seemed like a perfect vehicle for exploring this new world I was trying to create in all its various facets.

WF: Can you drop any last teases for Rain, and where we could possibly see this story going to with the release of the second installment?

GW: As Spirits of Ash and Foam begins, Rain is on a quest in nine parts. She knows she’s completed the first step, but she has eight more steps to take. The second book begins to explain the rules of the world in more detail, introduces and/or develops more characters, and has a couple of new and dangerous opponents: a child-stealing Taíno mermaid and a murderous Taíno vampire that isn’t like any vampire you’ve seen before.

WF: For fans of your work on Young Justice, The Spectacular Spider-Man, Gargoyles, and even your upcoming Star Wars Rebels show, why do you think they’ll enjoy Rain of the Ghosts?

GW: I think for my fans, the things they’ve enjoyed about my past work includes the world-building of a cohesive and dynamic universe with its own mythology, populated by well-drawn characters that come in all shapes, sizes, races, ethnicities, genders, orientations, etc. Rain of the Ghosts – the book and the series it launches – has all of that and more.

WF: To wrap things up, can you fill us in on all the details for the signings/appearances you’ll be doing for Rain of the Ghosts? When, where – the whole nine yards!

GW: I have two signings coming up in the next few days:

On Saturday, February 15, 2014, I’ll be selling and signing copies of Rain of the Ghosts at Gallifrey One. For $10 you get a signed copy of the book and (while supplies last) signed copies of the original inspirational character designs (drawn by artist Kuni Tomita) for the animated series version of Rain that we developed but never made back at DreamWorks in 1997-98. Gallifrey One is at the Marriott Los Angeles Airport Hotel, 
5855 West Century Blvd., 
Los Angeles, CA 90045. And I’ll be signing at Christopher Jones’ table from 2pm-3pm, then again after our Young Justice panel from 6pm-6:30pm in Program Room B. And finally in the Lobby of the hotel from 6:30pm until I’m out of books or folks stop showing up. The 6:30pm signing is open to everyone, even folks who have not paid to attend the convention. For more information, go to http://www.s8.org/gargoyles/askgreg/search.php?rid=1132 or http://www.gallifreyone.com/.

Then on Tuesday, February 18, 2014, I’ll be doing a reading, discussion and signing of Rain at 7:00pm at Vroman’s Bookstore: 695 E. Colorado Blvd., Pasadena, California 91101. For more information, check out: http://www.vromansbookstore.com/greg-weisman2014.

Thanks!

Rain of the Ghosts, the first installment of Weisman’s new book series, is now available at retail and digital outlets everywhere. Check out Ask Greg! for more details on Rain of the Ghosts.

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The World’s Finest Speaks With James McLean Of “Batman: Dark Knight Adventures”

The World’s Finest caught up with illustrator and artist James McLean to discuss the special 10th anniversary issue of the fan-comic Batman: Dark Knight Adventures. Batman: Dark Knight Adventures was a regular fan-based comic series available right here at The World’s Finest, which ran in the Early 2000s. The special 10th Anniversary issue “Enlightenment” brings the new Batman: Dark Knight Adventures content back to The World’s Finest after a lengthy absence. Click here to check out more Batman: The Dark Knight Adventures content.

McLean is a freelance illustrator and video game artist residing in the UK, well-known for his illustrations in assorted books, magazines and video games, including video game titles based on both Doctor Who and Star Wars. Continue below for more from McLean, as he discusses both his past work and the new Batman: Dark Knight Adventures – 10th Anniversary Special.

The World’s Finest: Can you tell us a bit about yourself, Batman: Dark Knight Adventures and why you were inspired to do the comic in the first place?

James McLean: Ian Moore – one of The World’s Finest young, aspiring, speedy editors asked me back in 2003. I was starting university, and he said he wanted to do a Batman online comic as part of the website. Given I was off to study illustration – and I rather liked the Batman cartoons – it sounded a challenge. I like challenges. This was a big challenge as most fan-based ideas tip over and fail before they reach the starting line. I came on as penciller and inker, we had a gent called Romain Ronzeau, a very talented French artist as cover artist, and a girl going under the moniker “Maggie Rose” as writer. I think Ian colored/lettered initially. About three or four issues in, Maggie’s storyline had managed to wrap rings around her head and was squeezing her brain to mushy mush, so I stepped in to finish off what she started. It was all to do with a Monster who looked a bit like Bruce Wayne. I’m not quite sure what her plan was to resolve it, so I made some decisions and resolved it my own way. That story became part of what Batman: The Dark Knight Adventures was all about and we referenced back to it several times. I guess the ‘Monster-Wayne’ was our own little oddity. After that the line-up changed. I ended up writing permanently – bar one special which was written and illustrated by Romain. Kris Trigwell joined us at the back end of the ‘Monster’ arc to color and letter, and became my right hand guy – he was my Bob to my Joker. He was great at spotting ways to tweak dialogue or add in even more continuity references!

WF: What type of freedom did Batman: Dark Knight Adventures give you when exploring the mythos of your favorite DC cartoon titles?

JM:Teen Titans was running as its own stand alone continuity, we were able to have fun with that notion inside the DCAU continuity of B:TAS/S:TAS/JLU. We were able to stick Batman Beyond and JLU/TNBA together where continuity canon was fan-disputed. The further freedom came in being able to tell stories that you probably couldn’t do in a kid’s show. We could have characters cross the line in serious ways – we could have Nightwing virtually beat someone to death, which sounds extreme, but TNBA had the character in a very confused, lonely mindset it never really had time to explore. That was what really made it fun – taking ideas offered in the cartoon and seeing how far we could explore them. Perhaps our biggest deviation from cartoon limits was killing Terry McGinnis, something the show could never do. We brought him back when people demanded it, and just in time for his return and continuity establishment in JLU’s “Epilogue!”

WF: It’s ten years later – why return to Batman: Dark Knight Adventures? How much have you evolved as a writer and artist from the last DKA installment to this new 10th anniversary special?

JM: The comic touched a lot of people. Not just myself, Ian and Kris, but many who read it – and it’s still being read. It seemed we owed the project a birthday anniversary. I’d talked to Ian earlier in the year about doing something, but to our shame, we had flaked – and I don’t think I was happy about that.

I came back to Toon Zone a couple of months ago and I think somehow that reminded me how important Batman: The Dark Knight Adventures and my time around the Toon Zone/The World Finest websites had been to me. I owed Batman: Dark Knight Adventures some sort of celebration. I’d had a hard year with a lot negative vibes and coming back to old haunts, I could feel the positive energy. I had a lot of good times in the toon/comics fan-community and on some level I always feel I owe it. It gave me friends, it gave me opportunities, it spurred on a fascinating art career – even bore a relationship. When you’ve had a bit of a negative year, sometimes you need to find some of those places in your life that harbor good energies. Batman: The Dark Knight Adventures had good energies, so perhaps in a way, giving Batman: The Dark Knight Adventures a good celebration was as much for me as it was to celebrate the comic.

The new “Enlightenment” story we’re publishing is a story I wrote and drew a few years ago. I think it’s very much an evolution on Batman: Dark Knight Adventures, certainly I spent more time on refining it than Batman: Dark Knight Adventures ever got. I have a brand new story for Batman: The Dark Knight Adventures that we’ll release this year – I think given its done on the same sort of rushed, on-the-fly, approach, the style and structure is more advanced than Batman: Dark Knight Adventures was. So yeah, I think I can see some evolution from back in 2003! Thankfully!

WF: Batman: Dark Knight Adventures amassed a very dedicated following during its original run – do you think that gives credence to fan comics?

JM: It did have a big following. Majority, as with all followings, are quite silent. Ian was recording millions of hits in its day, literally millions of hits. I don’t know if it gives credibility to fan comics, I think we were one of the few fan comics that proved to be the exception to the rule in terms of how much material we amassed.

I recall in terms of web-comics, we weren’t popular with other authors [laughs]. There was a feeling we were lazily piggy backing another artist’s work and gaining attention artificially. I can see where they were coming from, a lot of web-comics work hard to promote their original ideas and we were automatically going to have a fanbase from Batman fans, but I don’t think that made what we were doing either lazy or easy. In fact working around an established idea can swing back and knock you on your proverbial arse. You do a comic based on an established, quality and professional concept, and you raise the benchmark for expectation that you don’t get when you run your own unique idea. So while we did naturally get more attention than we would if we’d done our own comic idea, we were automatically being judged against very professional material.

By and large, I think we did okay with very positive feedback, which given it was always done on the fly, in a rush and between student projects, I’m quite pleased about. We were just trying to give fellow Bat fans something to enjoy, something that would test our skills and most of all, show those who made those wonderful DCAU shows how much their work had touched us – and they were aware of it (we spotted a few key names silently browsing the comic threads!). We weren’t looking to challenge or prove we were special, we certainly didn’t mean to tread on any fellow web-comic’s toes!

WF: You took great pains to make sure Batman: Dark Knight Adventures fit in the continuity of the source DC Cartoons material. How do you see them in the overall grand scheme of the animated DC universe? A neat side project? An exercise of love? Something more?

JM: All of them. It helped me hone some skills as a university side-project, and yeah, it was a big exercise of love. I remember walking the beaches of England planning ideas stories and drawing them in the oddest places (on the floor, sleeping rough at an airport being the oddest) – and it did become something more, it enveloped me. The plans, the ideas… it was fascinating. In a way it was more fascinating than doing your own work, because there were limitations of an established product to work around, so the art of writing was more in the design than the originality – how could you write stories around stories? That made it more fun because you were thereby able to toy and play with people’s conceptions and expectations of the established characters. Greatest thrill for me in writing on Batman: The Dark Knight Adventures was the Batman Beyond news-strip, and I knew at the get-go that 50 strips down the line the reveal was going to be The Spectre as a key character – and it was vital that people didn’t guess that… but if you don’t give clues to pre-empt such a reveal it becomes left-field almost quite literally, deux ex machina. So that’s over a year writing, hoping, you can structure the story than will carry you twelve months to a reveal no one will have guessed publicly and ruined the twist. No one did guess and the reveal went down well as I recall. That story was a wonder to write.

As for continuity, I saw a thread recently on the The World’s Finest forum that actually placed them into continuity, that’s a huge compliment. No – they aren’t canon, they’re canon if you personally want them to be. I remember one guy who sent me a photo of his Bat-Joker he’d created as a 3d model based on the design I did for one story, that was a thrill and an honor. If people accept them as canon, I think that’s cool – and if you’re open minded enough I do think they add to the DCAU continuity. The Batman Beyond news-strip is possibly my favorite of all. It’s got a classic writing structure, some good twists and loads of fan references. I think it also manages to bring Terry back from the dead after we killed him without feeling it cheapening the original story. There’s always a price to pay for revival stories, if you bring someone back, there has to be a price, I think our price fed into Epilogue rather neatly!

WF: Can you tell us a bit more about this special 10th anniversary comic? And…will this be the last Batman: Dark Knight Adventures?

JM: The story is actually a brief I was hired to do for a French comics trade magazine that wanted to run a fictional one-off fictional tale with each issue. They wanted Batman for the first issue and asked me. I was very enthusiastic and naive – I rushed in where fools dare to tread, pulling along with me Kris Trigwell. We finished the comic to find the editor had been dismissed and he’d failed to get the license from DC so the comic was no go for a commercial publication. I felt an idiot. No paperwork, no editor. So this story Enlightenment has sat unused and unseen for years. It seemed the 10th Anniversary of Batman: Dark Knight Adventures was a good reason to give it an airing. It’s not technically Batman: Dark Knight Adventures continuity, though I did intentionally use some Batman: Dark Knight Adventures stylizing in the Batman character within the tale as homage to the cartoon show. I’ve read it back for the first time since writing it and I’m actually quite pleased with it. It’s a good Joker tale and Joker is always fun to write.

Is it the last? No. It’s one of the last. After “Enlightenment” we have two stories for this anniversary. One is akin to the Batman Beyond news-strip format that focuses – oddly – on Kara (Supergirl). It was written just after the Batman Beyond news-strip finished and was never completed. I think Kris was feeling tired and burnt out, and it didn’t perhaps feel a suitable or relevant epilogue to the Batman Beyond news-strip and Batman: The Dark Knight Adventures comic. They had good endings. But now, as a Birthday celebration of the project, I think it’s worth finishing. Ian’s coloring that one. It’ll be a 14 page story.

The other story is one I decided to do after offering “Enlightenment” to World’s Finest. Reason being both “Enlightenment” and the Kara story are old material. I wanted us to do one new, original tale for this year. I’ve been jamming in a page of art a week and so far have 7 pages complete of a 14 part tale. Kris has offered to color and letter it. He likes the story. I like it too – it’s different to what we’ve done before but follows all the guild-lines of a good DCAU fan-comic – it has continuity references and a couple of ideas that perhaps bridge gaps in the official DCAU timeline! So a couple more stories after this and that’s your lot, till maybe the twentieth birthday!

WF: And, to wrap it up, care to tell us what you have coming down the pipeline?

JM: Well I tend to work in video-games these days supplying art for pre-production as well as in-game material. I’m working on three games currently for tablets and phones, which really is the future of video games I think.

Well I guess if we’re talking web-comics, I did a comic idea called Foxhell last year. Just like Batman: Dark Knight Adventures, a project wedged in between projects. An idea to have fun with that I might develop further. You can read at http://foxhellcomic.wordpress.com/ . On top of that, seems my meddling in fan-realms took a new level of madness and I began a campaign to bring back a TV show back called Millennium called “Back to Frank Black.” Ended up good friends with actor Lance Henriksen through that and we did a book last year which I wrote a chapter for an illustrated throughout. That’s on sale and all profits will be going to Lance’s chosen charity ChildrenoftheNight.org – read more of that project at backtofrankblack.com. And if you’re not totally sick of me, I do some work at the Doctor Who web fanzine Kasterborous.com – I do a weekly podcast there and we released the first issue of the site’s magazine. I’m working on the designs/layouts/content for issue two right now – that’s an odd experience that is stretching me in different ways. There’s a big different between illustration and layouts, learning very much on the fly, but like with Batman: Dark Knight Adventures – sometimes that’s the most exciting way to work!

Click here to read the Batman: Dark Knight Adventures 10th Anniversary Special “Enlightenment.” The World’s Finest would like to thank James McLean for his time, effort, and participation.

Stay tuned for further updates here soon at The World’s Finest.

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Warner Bros. Animation Offers Animation Scholarship, Details Available

Warner Bros. Animation has provided the following scholarship details for those interested in pursuing a career in animation. Continue below to view the press details and how to get more information.

2013 Warner Bros. Animation/Hanna-Barbera Honorship

Who: Any graduating high school senior enrolling in a college, university, or trade school to study animation.

What: Through the Warner Bros. Reach program, one outstanding student is awarded the Hanna-Barbera/Animation Honorship each year that includes a scholarship and four full-time paid internships at the company during four consecutive summers while enrolled in college. Successful Reach program graduates will be eligible for full-time positions at Warner Bros.

How: Application (with instructions) can be downloaded by clicking here.

When: Application deadline is by 5:00 p.m. on Monday, March 4, 2013

Stay tuned for further updates here soon at The World’s Finest.

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“Justice League Unlimited,” “All-Star Superman” Writer Dwayne McDuffie Passes Away

The World’s Finest has learned that animation producer, writer, editor, and comic industry vet Dwayne McDuffie has passed away. He was 49 years old. McDuffie died Monday, February 21st, 2011, a day after his birthday, due to complications after undergoing emergency heart surgery at Providence St. Joseph Medical Center in Burbank, California, said Gary Miereanu, a publicist for Warner Home Video.

McDuffie is remembered for his work with Milestone Media, classic animated television programs including Justice League Unlimited, Static Shock, among many, many others. His most recent projects included the animated series Ben 10 and the just-released All-Star Superman direct-to-video animated feature. A highly influential creator in his field, his work was noted by many others as the high mark to which they aspire to.

McDuffie recently attended the Paley Center Los Angeles premiere of All-Star Superman, which was held last week, and was active across his website and social media accounts as of this past weekend. All-Star Superman, which was officially released today, was his latest long-form animation project, though he had at least two others in various stages of development.

This news has hit both his colleagues and the fan community tremendously hard. Other media outlets have also picked up this tragic story. Dwayne McDuffie is survived by his wife.

The World’s Finest would like to express our deepest condolences to his friends and family.

Click here to discuss this news.

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Cast And Crew Details For “All-Star Superman” Animated Feature, Contest Details

The complete main cast and crew rundown for the All-Star Superman direct-to-video animated feature, as listed in the official credits for the new DC Universe Animated Original Movie animated feature, are as follows below. Further extensive coverage on the All-Star Superman release is forthcoming here on The World’s Finest.

James Denton as Superman/Clark Kent
Christina Hendricks as Lois Lane
Anthony LaPaglia as Lex Luthor

Edward Asner as Perry White
Obba Babatunde as Judge
Steve Blum as Atlas
Linda Cardellini as Nasthalthia
Catherine Cavadini as Floral
Frances Conroy as Ma Kent
Chris Cox as Lead Agent
Alexis Denisof as Dr. Quintum
John Dimaggio as Samson
Robin Atkin Downes as Solaris
Michael Gough as Parasite
Matthew Gray Gubler as Jimmy Olsen
Finola Hughes as Lilo
Kevin Michael Richardson as Steve Lombard
Fred Tatasciore as Krull
Arnold Vosloo as Bar-El

Voice Direction by: Andrea Romano
Editor: Margaret Hou
Music by: Christopher Drake
Based on the DC Comics characters
Superman created by: Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster
Executive Producer: Sam Register
Producer: Bruce Timm
Co-Producer: Alan Burnett
Based on the DC Comics Graphic Novel by Grant Morrison and Frank Quitely
Written by: Dwayne McDuffie
Directed by: Sam Liu
Character Designers: Dusty Abell, Joshua Middleton, Jon Suzuki
Storyboard: Christopher Berkeley, Eric Canete, Michael Chang, Gary Hartle, Kalvin Lee, Sam Liu, Lauren Montgomery, Jay Oliva, Alan Wan, Adam Van Wyk
Animation Services: Moi Animation Studios

Click here for The World’s Finest review of the All-Star Superman animated feature and Blu-ray disc release. Click here to view the trailer for the All-Star Superman animated feature and click here to view the All-Star Superman subsite.

In further All-Star Superman news, Warner Home Entertainment and The World’s Finest has teamed up to giveaway five Blu-ray editions of the highly-anticipated All-Star Superman direct-to-video animated feature, available everywhere February 22nd, 2011. To enter, simply send an email to bbeyond@yahoo.com including your name, mailing address and phone number. Additionally, please label the email “All-Star Superman contest.” The contest runs from 12:00am (ET) February 15th, 2011 to 12:00am (ET) February 23rd, 2011. Only the winners will be contacted upon closure of the contest and recipients selected. Please note this contest is open to Canadian residents only.

In All-Star Superman, the Man of Steel rescues an ill-fated mission to the Sun (sabotaged by Lex Luthor) and, in the process, is oversaturated by radiation which accelerates his cell degeneration. Sensing even he will be unable to cheat death, Superman ventures into new realms finally revealing his secret to Lois, confronting Lex Luthors perspective of humanity, and attempting to ensure Earths safety before his own impending end with one final, selfless act.

The celebrity-packed voice cast is headed by James Denton (Desperate Housewives) as Superman, Christina Hendricks (Mad Men) as Lois Lane, and Anthony LaPaglia (Without A Trace) as Lex Luthor. The stellar cast includes seven-time Emmy Award winner Ed Asner (Up) as Perry White, Golden Globe winner Frances Conroy Six Feet Under) as Ma Kent, Matthew Gray Gubler (Criminal Minds) as Jimmy Olsenand Linda Cardellini (ER) as Nasty. Arnold Vosloo (The Mummy), Catherine Cavadini (The Powerpuff Girls), Finola Hughes (General Hospital), Alexis Denisof (Angel), Obba Babatunde (That Thing You Do!), Michael Gough (Batman) and John DiMaggio (Futurama) round out the voice cast.

All-Star Superman, the latest entry in the popular, ongoing series of DC Universe Animated Original Movies, arrives February 22, 2011 from Warner Premiere, DC Entertainment and Warner Bros. Animation. The highly-anticipated, full-length film will be distributed by Warner Home Video Canada as a Blu-Ray Combo Pack and 2-Disc Special Edition DVD, as well as single disc DVD. The film will also be available On Demand and for Download.

Stay tuned for further All-Star Superman updates here soon at The Worlds Finest.

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The World’s Finest Would Like To Wish Everyone A Safe And Happy Holiday Break

Hello and Happy Holidays, everyone!

The 2008 Holiday Season is now upon and with that comes the end of another big year for fans of DC Animation. We had quite a topsy-turvy year full of major highs and major lows, including some huge fan-anticipated releases and some popular cartoons and comic books coming to an end, marking the end of era for many fans.

On the upside, the score to assorted Batman: The Animated Series episodes received the soundtrack treatment this year with the first of many possible CD soundtrack releases. Batman: The Animated Series also had a lavish “Complete Series” 17-Disc DVD release hit shelves in November. DC Animation fans also enjoyed a host of new animated projects this year, including Justice League: The New Frontier, Batman: Gotham Knight, and Batman: The Brave and The Bold. On the downside, we had two shows come to an end, The Batman and Legion of Super Heroes, and, with that, we also lost four animated comic titles, as well. The Batman Strikes!, Legion of Super Heroes in the 31st Century, Teen Titans Go! and Justice League Unlimited all printed their final issues this year. We lost so much, but, thankfully, theres a lot going on right now, as well as new projects on the horizon, that should fill the void left by the departure of these comics and animated series. Now, much more happened this year in the world of DC Animation, but the above is just a quick overview of some of the major events of 2008.

While 2008 passed by quickly, it was a busy year here for all of us. New movies, new television series (more of both to come in the coming years, by the way), new comics, all of which has kept us both busy and talking. And, as we wind down the year, wed like to inform everyone that the news staff here at The Worlds Finest will be taking a two-week holiday vacation to recoup from a very busy year. In fact, the staff has been working overtime to provide a solid months worth of news before taking a holiday sabbatical. There will be no regular daily news updates posted, beginning today, until we return on January 5th, 2009 with a whole new year of news to report. However, there will still be the occasional news story to report between now and then, so be sure check back over the next two weeks. While our regular daily reporting will be suspended for the next two weeks, we will also still report on any major developments during that time if they arise. We may even drop some news on the forums, too. On top of that, we’ll still be around to answer any emails, PMs, or forum posts!

Outside of the news, The Worlds Finest has many plans already underway for the new year, including new features, new subsites (such as the long-delayed Legion of Super Heroes subsite), and much more. In fact, we have a very cool surprise for Batman: The Animated Series fans coming before the end of the year, so keep your eyes peeled. January 2009 will see the kick-off of our 10th anniversary celebration for Batman Beyond, and thats only the beginning. Remember the Wonder Woman direct-to-video animated feature isn’t far behind, arriving in March 2009, and we have lots of exclusive Batman: The Brave and The Bold content planned for 2009. We have some great stuff planned for both The Worlds Finest and our spin-off site The WF DVD Report for the coming year! Stick around and keep checking back. Oh, before we forget, if you have any site updates you’d like to see, please PM (via the forums) or email Bird Boy and/or James Harvey. We’ll get to them quicker that way!

Now, in the spirit of the season, we here at The World’s Finest would again like to wish everyone here a great holiday season! Why not pop in Justice League‘s “Comfort & Joy,” or Batman: The Animated Series‘ “Christmas with the Joker” and “Holiday Knights” to celebrate this festive time? And why not crack open some of the holiday-themed Batman Adventures comics? There are some great stories to be read there.

Wed also like to thank the strong creative teams of our favorite programs, movies, and comics for providing a year of great entertainment. Whether its the direct-to-video features, the animated television series, or the comic books, weve had a lot to talk about, and well have a lot more to talk about next year! There’s more DC-themed cartoons and animated movies coming down the pipeline with major announcements right around the corner! It’s been a great year here and we’d like to thank everyone who has made stopping by here everyday part of their daily ritual. We strive to do our best, even when it seems like there’s too much on our plate and not enough hours in the day, and we are honored to retain our status as both the No. #1 largest DC Animation site and Batman animation site on the net. To those who contribute and provide content for the site, to those who post on the forums, etc., wed like to express our sincere thanks for helping us build a better site. There’s a lot more to come in 2009, so stick around!

Happy Holidays!

-James Harvey
-Zach Demeter

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Happy Holidays!

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Happy Holidays from The World’s Finest

While 2007 passed by quickly, it was a busy year here for all of us. New movies, new television series (more of both to come in the coming years, by the way), new comics, all of it has kept us both busy and talking. But, now that the holidays are here, things can finally slow down just a little bit so we can take it all in. We can relax just a little bit as the news slows down just before the New Year.

Still, it’s been an excellent year for The World’s Finest with the site revamp, the addition of new sections and the new DVD-themed spin-off, The WF DVD Report. It’s been a blast on our side and we hope you’ve been enjoying it as well. New and Updates will slow down a little bit over the next couple of weeks, but once 2008 arrives, we’ll be roaring back with a plethora of stuff that will, undoubtedly, keep everyone talking. Oh, before I forget, if you have any site updates you’d like to see, please PM or email Bird Boy and/or myself. We’ll get to them quicker that way! Okay, now where was I?

Oh yes! So, as the year comes to a close, Zach, myself, and everyone who lends a hand here at The World’s Finest, would like to wish everyone the best in the coming holiday season. Why not pop in Justice League’s “Comfort & Joy,” or Batman: The Animated Series’ “Christmas with the Joker” and “Holiday Knights” to celebrate this festive time? And why not crack open some of the holiday-themed Batman Adventures comics? There’s some great stories to be read there.

But in the spirit of the season, I, as well as everyone involved with The World’s Finest, would again like to wish everyone here a great holiday season! Id also like to thank the strong creative teams of our favorite programs, movies, and comics for providing a year that had all of the DC Animation fans talking! It’s been a great year here and we’d like to thank everyone who has made stopping here for a few minutes apart of their daily ritual. We strive to do our best, even when it seems like there’s too much on our plate and not enough hours in the day, we strive to keep and retain our status as the No. #1 largest DC-Animated themed site on the net. There’s a lot more to come in 2008, so stick around!

So, to all, Happy Holidays!

-James Harvey-Richardson
-Zach Demeter

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