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Friday, 27 January 2012

John McCrea takes on Mars Attacks! project

US publisher IDW Publishing and Topps have announces multiple Eisner Award-winning creative team for Mars Attacks, an all-new ongoing comic series based on the fan-favourite Mars Attacks franchise - and STRIP Magazine's John McCrea is one part of the line-up.

Debuting in June 2012, IDW’s comic series will offer the first stories of an all-new Mars Attacks universe, bringing the brand’s outrageous action and dark humour to a new set of tales.

Writer John Layman, author and co-creator of the Eisner-winning series Chew, will script the series, with art by John McCrea, best known for his collaborations with Garth Ennis, including Eisner-winner Hitman, whose creator-owned story, Warpaint, is currently running in STRIP Magazine.

Created in 1962, Mars Attacks celebrates its 50th anniversary in 2012 with major product launches throughout the year. IDW’s new comic series, as well as high-quality reprints of existing material, will be a cornerstone of that effort.

Originally published by Topps as a series of trading cards, Mars Attacks was created by Len Brown and Woody Gelman, after Brown was inspired by the Wally Wood cover to EC Comics Weird Science #16. The cards went on to achieve cult status for their then-shocking imagery — fully painted by pulp legend Norm Saunders and based on designs by Wood and Bob Powell — and remains a staple of pop culture. Topps revived the franchise in the mid 1990s with a second card set, comic book series and toy line. The story was also adapted into the 1996 feature film Mars Attacks!, directed by Tim Burton.

“We were excited to hear of the award-winning creative team that IDW had secured,” said Ira Friedman, Topps vice president of global licensing. “John McCrea was our first choice to illustrate Mars Attacks and we were thrilled that IDW was able to bring him aboard. His experience drawing over-the-top violence on comics like Hitman, Judge Dredd and The Boys, coupled with John Layman’s penchant for twisted, offbeat humor makes them the perfect team to relaunch Mars Attacks.”

Mars Attacks will include covers by McCrea and alternate covers by such comic-book luminaries as Sam Kieth, Ben Templesmith and Eric Powell. The first issue will also feature a unique approach to variant covers: It will ship with 55 different covers, each depicting one of the original trading cards from the debut set of Mars Attacks from 1962. A complete collector’s set of the 55 covers in a box that replicates the original card packaging will be offered separately as well.

Mars Attacks #1 will be available in stores in June 2012. More info from IDWPublishing.com. For information on Topps visit topps.com.

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