One Piece Accelerated
Eichiro Oda’s popular manga One Piece, about a young group of would-be pirates, will be released in the United States on an accelerated schedule. Between January and June of 2010, Viz Media announced at Anime Expo 09 that it will release the One Piece at an unprecedented rate of 5 volumes per month in order to catch up with the Japanese release of the title. One Piece has been made into a popular anime series and is serialized in the manga anthology magazine Shonen Jump.

Anime Expo 2009 Coverage
Los Angeles’ Anime Expo ran last weekend from July 2-5. Deb Aoki covers the manga section of the SPJA Anime and Manga awards and the CMX upcoming manga panel, while Brigid Alverson’s Manga Blog has extensive links collections and coverage on July 3 & 4, as well as an after the con round up.

Iranian Protests Marked in Persepolis 2.0
A report in The Media Line: The Middle East News Source takes note of Persepolis 2.0, a remake of acclaimed Iranian comics artist Marjane Satrapi’s graphic memoir Persepolis that uses her images with new dialogue added to tell the story of Iran’s post-election protests. Persepolis 2.0 was created by "Payman and Sina," two Iranian expatriates who have said that Satrapi has given them permission to use the images.

Robot Chicken Tour
The pop and geek culture satire show, Robot Chicken, will be promoting its new dvd Robot Chicken Star Wars: Episode II August 1-14 with a roller skating tour featuring the popular band Gym Class Heroes. Robot Chicken airs on the Cartoon Network’s Adult Swim programming block and uses stop motion animation to poke fun at cartoon characters and popular movies as well as pop culture in general. The tour, which spans eight cities from coast to coast, will feature the show’s writers and producers, a number of surprise celebrity guests, Robot Chicken themed games and activities and musical performances from Gym Class Heroes. Gym Class Heroes is an Alternative/Rap fusion group known for such top 50 singles as Cupid’s Chokehold and Clothes Off. More information including tour dates and locations is available at the Adult Swim Presents website.

Female Force Graphic Novel
Once obscure, the independent comics publisher Bluewater Productions has come to public notice in recent months with their ongoing series Female Force, a biography comic about the lives of prominent women. Now, four of the earliest issues, chronicling the lives of Secretary of State Hilary Clinton, Governor Sarah Palin, First Lady Michelle Obama and former Senate hopeful Caroline Kennedy will be collected in one volume, due out September 30. Female Force is written by Neil Bailey, illustrated by Ryan Howe and has been featured on CNN, Fox News and Live with Regis and Kelly among other programs.

Straczynski’s Thor Gets Giant Sendoff
J. Michael Straczynski, acclaimed comic creator and creator of the television series Babylon 5, will be ending his popular two year run on Marvel's Thor this September. Now, Marvel has announced that that he will be going out with a bang, tying up his epic storyline in a giant-sized special issue. Thor: Defining Moments Giant-Size #1, written by Straczynski, will be illustrated by Marco Djurdjevic and goes on sale in comic shops everywhere on September 30.

Yui Makino is GOH at NYAF
The New York Anime Festival
has announced that Japanese voice actress and singer Yui Makino will be a special guest at this year's event. Makino is known for voicing Princess Sakura in the anime Tsubasa: Reservoir Chronicle as well as her roles in Welcome to NHK and Bokurano. She has also contributed songs to the soundtracks of several anime. Makino will be performing live in concert at NYAF on Saturday, September 26. NYAF will take place at New York City's Jacob Javits Convention Center from September 25-27. More information is available at the convention's website.

Frazetta Rights Letter Retracted
Frank Frazetta’s lawyer has issued a letter requesting the retraction of last week’s press release stating Frazetta had retrieved the rights to art printed in several anthologies of his work. The lawyer, Ted Kessler, said that the agreement retrieving Frazetta’s rights also contained a nondisclosure agreement and the letter was inadvertently released to the public.

This Week @ Good Comics for Kids
This week School Library Journal’s blog Good Comics for Kids has reviews of An Ideal World and Binky the Space Cat, the June comics and graphic novels review index, the Good Comics For Kids Summer Reading Challenge 2009, 7/01 listing of comics suitable for all ages, and a collection of Awards and Miscellany for the week from Brigid Alverson.