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Beckett Launches New Comic
By Brian Jacks


In March 2003, Beckett Entertainment- a division of the renowned price guide publisher - is launching a new comic book series with the help of some familiar faces, including Eisner Award-winners Michael Avon Oeming and Matt Hollingsworth. Gene-Fusion Volume 2 is an ongoing title that follows up 2002's original issue by creator Jeff Amano, cover artist of Beckett Yu-Gi-Oh Collector and Beckett DBZ Collector. Issue #1 is solicited in the January Previews.

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The publisher says Gene-Fusion blends a feudal/sci-fi future society with cutting edge artwork to create the exciting, action-packed world of 2310, in which "Fusimals" are crafted by scientist-gladiators who use an arcane form of technology to combine genetic properties from a variety of animals. "The result is a line-up of truly bizarre creatures with traits from a variety of species, all designed to do one thing: enter into massive arenas to do battle for the glory of their owners!"

"It's almost like Gladiator meets Pokemon," says Amano, "which sounds like an odd combination, but that's OK - after all, the Fusimals are pretty odd combinations themselves!"

Amano wrote the original series and illustrated it himself in the computer-generated painting style he developed while self-publishing the critically acclaimed TaoLand 1990s. The concept provoked such interest that not only did Beckett decide to continue it, but Ireland/UK development house Banjax also came on board to develop the property into twenty-six half-hour computer-animated programs.

For Volume 2, Amano serves as a creative consultant to a team of creators composed of fan favorites and award-winners. In addition to Oeming and Hollingsworth (who will provide covers and colors for the title, respectively), the new series' creative line-up includes writer Ivan Brandon (The Hold-Up, Pancho Villa), penciller Neil Vokes (Superman Adventures, Bluntman & Chronic), inker Jay Geldof (Grendel), and letterers Ken Bruzenak (Powers) and Giulia Brusco (Batgirl/Catwoman, Tom Strong's Terrific Tales).

"Both the traditional comic book fans and the new readers who will be drawn to Gene-Fusion deserve a comic book with the best talent available," said Amano. "So we went out and got the best, from a writer who can spin great yarns to one of the most talented pencillers in the business, right down to the artist and even the letterer from Powers!"


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