October 11, 2007, Runnemede, NJ – DYNAMITE ENTERTAINMENT announced today that their re-launch of creator Don Chin’s Adolescent Radioactive Black Belt Hamsters will feature the writing talents of Keith Champagne with art by Tom Nguyen! Dynamite announced in March that they would be publishing a new comic book series and collections (and collectibles) featuring the Adolescent Radioactive Black Belt Hamsters.
Aside from inking more comics over the past fourteen years then is probably healthy for any one human being, Keith Champagne is becoming increasingly well known for his writing work on titles such as JSA, Green Lantern Corps, and World War III, as well as the upcoming DC Comics event, Countdown: Arena.
ARBBH is Champagne’s second work for Dynamite, having previously written the well received Xena: Strange Visitor Annual. Along with Andy Smith, Keith also created and wrote the Image series Armor X.
Enthusiastically, writer Keith Champagne described his plans for ARBBH, “Without giving anything away, Tom and I plan to offer a fresh take and new beginning to Don Chin’s classic creations. No one can copy Don’s style of humor and satirical storytelling but, with his blessing, we’re planning to relaunch the Hamsters for a new generation of comics fans, while simultaneously creating a book that will offer readers of the classic series plenty of touchstones of the Hamsters they loved. Just not in a way they might expect. This is a book all about peeling back the layers and digging beneath the surface.
“Sit back and enjoy the ride. You might not know where the book is taking you–or even who some of these Hamsters are (Arnold? Jean Claude? Steven? Lucy? Rock?), but by the time we’re done, you’ll definitely have a smile on your face”
Artist Tom Nguyen’s comic book credits include pencils on, Aquaman: Secret Files & Origins, JLA-Z, and Green Lantern Corps. He has also provided inks many DC Comics titles such as Major Bummer, Superman: The Man of Steel, Batman, JLA, Justice League Elite, and JLA: Classified; as well as artwork on various Marvel and DC trading cards. Additionally, Tom Nguyen is an internationally published pin-up painter who works with professional models and is the producer of two instructional DVDs, The Doug Mahnke Style of Comic Book Pencilling and The Tom Nguyen Style of Comic Book Inking. His latest instructional book, Incredible Comics With Tom Nguyen: The Ultimate Guide to Creating Kick-ass Art is available at fine bookstores now!
About the opportunity to work on ARBBH, Tom Nguyen added, “I was actually a Hamster fan when I was a kid, so to be in a situation where Dynamite and Don Chin are entrusting Keith and me to continue this hilarious property is quite an honor. Plus Keith and I have wanted to work together for a long time; his writing style is concise, action-packed, and full of humor. Now that it’s happening, we’re going to do our best to put a smile on readers’ faces. If you’re looking for something deep and thought-provoking, go read Thorn Birds or something. If you want pure fun and action, you’ll enjoy the new Hamsters!”
Adolescent Radioactive Black Belt Hamsters, written and created by Don Chin was originally illustrated by Parsonavich and later by Sam Kieth, as well as initially published by Eclipse Comics. The series chronicled the adventures of four Hamsters named Chuck, Bruce, Jackie and Clint, who were sent into space by the United Nations in an attempt to obliterate a huge blob of radioactive space jell-o that threatened to engulf the earth, wiping out all life as we know it. The Hamsters sacrificed their lives by self-destructing their rocket ship in the heart of the gelatinous mass, which sent them hurtling back to earth to the Himalayas covered with the strange glowing goo. There they were found by a wandering Buddhist Monk who sees their arrival as an answer to ancient prophecy–so they are trained in the ways of the martial arts to one day rid the world of corruption.
Chin dreamed up the furry foursome in a biology class at Humboldt State University in the 1980’s as a parody of the increasingly popular Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles comics, but they soon took on a life of their own, selling over a half-million comics and becoming a part of pop culture. Humboldt State University in Arcata, California is also the alma mater of Stephen Hillenburg, creator of “Spongebob Squarepants.”
The Adolescent Radioactive Black Belt Hamsters series ran for nine issues from 1986 through 1989 and featured a number of spin-offs, including: Adolescent Radioactive Black Belt Hamsters in 3-D; Clint: Hamster Triumphant; and Adolescent Radioactive Black Belt Hamsters Massacre the Japanese Invasion.