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2000 PRESS RELEASES
POKEMON COMIC STRIP TO DEBUT SEPTEMBER 10

San Francisco, CA (9/7/00) - Viz Communications today announced the launch of the new Pokémon comic strip. The daily strip, which will include a Sunday color version, is being created by Ashura Benimaru, executive director at Creatures, one of the original creators of Pokémon, and Gerard Jones, a comic book writer well known for his work on such titles as Dragon Ball Z, Spider-Man and Batman. Pokémon will be available in newspapers across the country.

Preceding the fall debut of new Pokémon games, the launch of the Pokémon Live stage show, and new episodes of the number one kids' TV series, the comic strip follows the familiar adventures of Ash, Misty, Pikachu and their friends at home and on the road, questing to become Pokémon trainers. The Pokémon comic strip, however, features more comical overtones than the animated series or games, with a wry sense of humor that will appeal to adults and kids alike.

"We're very excited," says Viz editorial director Hyoe Narita. "Pokémon continues to be one of our top sellers, and we expect good things from Pokémon this Christmas. The Pokémon comic strip gives us the opportunity to broaden our market even further."

Los Angeles-based Creators Syndicate is distributing the strip nationwide. Some of the top papers in the country will be carrying the new Pokémon strip, including the Washington Post, the Chicago Tribune, and the Seattle Times, among others.

No newcomer to the Pokémon scene, Viz has been an integral part of the lucrative franchise since its U.S. inception, publishing four separate Pokémon comic series in two years, one of which was America's best-selling comic for over nine months and is credited with revitalizing the comics industry. Viz, along with partner Pioneer, also markets and distributes videos of the Pokémon animated TV series. Throughout 1999 Viz's Pokémon videos dominated the rental and sales charts across the country.

 

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