Field Narrows in Comic Book Challenge

by Jeff

SAN ANTONIO & LOS ANGELES, BUSINESS WIRE — AT&T Inc. (NYSE:T) and Platinum Studios have announced that three aspiring comic book creators on the cusp of winning a coveted multimedia development and publishing deal have just one more hurdle to go — an online public vote — as the last phase begins of the second annual Platinum Studios’ Comic Book Challenge, presented by AT&T and sponsored by AT&T Universal Card.

The finalists are: Jorge Vega from Brockton, Mass., for “Gunplay;” Shawn Granger from La Verne, Calif., for “Grey Shades;” and Josiah Grahn from Richmond, Ky., for “Banana Barry.”

Through midnight on Sunday, Aug. 26, fans can check out the comic creators and their concepts, view live pitch footage and cast ballots for their favorite new comic book idea on the AT&T blue room ( to determine which of the three finalists will walk away the winner.

This is the finalists’ last obstacle in their bid to break into the comic book industry by winning the contest. The challenge has included an open call for submissions, from which 50 entrants were selected to advance; a pitch to industry experts, who narrowed the field from 50 entrants to 10; and an initial online public vote that whittled the field from 10 entrants to three.

Comic book fans can also access video back-stories, footage of the live pitches and “confessionals” featuring the top 10 entrants — including the three finalists — from wireless and TV screens on AT&T U-verse(SM) TV, AT&T Homezone(SM) and MobiTV on Mobility services. The content is being written, directed and produced by AT&T’s expanding in-house creative group and is being distributed through support from AT&T Universal Card.

“The level of competition has been intense this year,” said Scott Mitchell Rosenberg, chairman of Platinum Studios. “The top 10 entrants should be extremely proud of their accomplishments. We are eagerly awaiting the public vote for the winner of Platinum Studios’ Comic Book Challenge.”

“Interest in Platinum Studios’ Comic Book Challenge on the AT&T blue room has been fantastic, and voting during the first round surpassed our expectations,” said Michael Goldfine, head of development and production of AT&T Entertainment Services. “We know that soon someone’s dream will be fulfilled, and we are enjoying being a part of that accomplishment.”

The winner of the 2007 Platinum Studios’ Comic Book Challenge presented by AT&T will be formally announced on Tuesday, Aug. 28, and the winner’s comic book or graphic novel will be published and premiered at a major Wizard World convention in 2008.

Last year’s Comic Book Challenge winner, D.J. Coffman, has earned fan accolades and winning reviews for the sold-out debut of his comic book “Hero By Night,” which chronicles the story of Jack King, a young man who discovers the secret lair of a 1950s superhero in his new apartment building and must decide whether to use the hero’s source of power to become a superhero himself.

The AT&T blue room brings together gaming enthusiasts, music fans, tailgaters and the Hollywood-minded through a single online portal housing AT&T’s unique sports, music, gaming and entertainment content.

Endeavor Agency helped broker the relationship between AT&T and Platinum Studios.

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