Official Press Release
LOS ANGELES, Calif., February 27, 2008 - Top Cow Productions Inc. and Virgin Comics announced today the first-ever crossover comic book event between the two companies, starring the top, solo female characters from both publishers. In the story, longtime Top Cow icon Witchblade, a mystical artifact currently wielded by New York City detective Sara Pezzini, travels to India and encounters Devi, a supernatural force created by the gods that has been reborn inside the body of a young woman named Tara Mehta.
"The crossover seemed like a perfect connection," said Top Cow Publisher Filip Sablik. "It was a natural fit to have the Witchblade and Devi meet each other. And to have writer Ron Marz at the helm for us was by far the logical choice."
Marz is the current writer on Witchblade, having joined the title with issue #80. He has committed to writing the book until at least issue #150 with artist Stjepan Sejic. Marz is also the editor of three of Virgin Comics' Shakti line of books, including Devi, Ramayan 3392 A.D. and The Sadhu. He joined the staff one year ago to mentor and nurture the company's young staff of India-based creators.
"Because of my connection to both universes, this crossover was pretty much my baby to run with," said Marz. "I came up with a concept that would have the two characters believably meet, and from there we fleshed it out to create out a dynamic tale led by two beautiful women and featuring some scary bad guys and a cool pay-off to boot. Plus, this may not necessarily be the only time Sara and Tara meet!"
Top Cow will publish part one of the story in April, called Witchblade/Devi #1. Joining Marz on the issue will be artist Eric Basaldua (Magdalena), who will also draw one of the covers. Virgin Comics will then follow up with part two in May, entitled Devi/Witchblade #1. On that issue, Samit Basu (Devi) writes the story, and Mukesh Singh (Gamekeeper) will provide art and one of the covers. The celebrated Greg Land (X-Men: Phoenix – Endsong) provides variant covers for both issues.
"Simply put, this was a no-brainer for us to do," said Gotham Chopra, Chief Creative Officer and Editor-in-Chief of Virgin Comics. "Not only are we at Virgin huge fans of Witchblade, but the whole team behind it at Top Cow. I know our guys-Samit Basu and Mukesh Singh-are both going to bring their A game to make sure that Devi holds her own against Sara."
About Top Cow Productions Inc.
Top Cow (http://www.topcow.com) 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 2 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 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 sell-out and Platinum sales status. Wanted is currently in production as a major motion picture from Universal Pictures starring Angelina Jolie, James McAvoy, and Morgan Freeman and slated for release June 27, 2008. 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 role playing games.
About Virgin Comics
Virgin Comics is a character entertainment company creating original stories and epic myths for worldwide audiences. The company was founded in November 2005 by Sir Richard Branson and Virgin Enterprises Ltd., alongside author Deepak Chopra, filmmaker Shekhar Kapur and entrepreneurs Sharad Devarajan, Gotham Chopra and Suresh Seetharaman. Virgin is developing new stories with acclaimed filmmakers, actors and musicians including John Woo, Guy Ritchie, Terry Gilliam, Dave Stewart, Ed Burns, Nicolas Cage, Duran Duran, Sachin Tendulkar and others. Feature films based on Virgin Comics' characters are also in the works, including an animated feature The Secrets of the Seven Sounds, Guy Ritchie's Gamekeeper (with Warner Bros. and producer Joel Silver) and Virulents with FOX, directed by John Moore (The Omen, Max Payne). Virgin Comics also formed a joint venture with NBC-Universal to create new science fiction properties for graphic novels and television with the SCIFI Channel. The first title in this series, The Stranded, premiered in January 2008. www.VirginComics.com