SOURCE: Nemo Publishing

December 17, 2008 08:05 ET

Who Says They Don't Make Heroes Like They Used To? Maine's Own Commander X Mego-Style Action Figure Debuts With Free Downloadable Comic Book

PORTLAND, ME--(Marketwire - December 17, 2008) - Nemo Publishing has released a limited edition Mego-style action figure of the retro hero Commander X. Commander X is an integral character in Jay Piscopo's new all-ages graphic novel series, "The Undersea Adventures of Capt'n Eli."

Starting Dec. 23, a free "Commander X Adventures" comic book will be offered as a download on the company's web site. The eight-inch collectible action figure is available on the web site now.

"With Commander X, the old is new again," said Piscopo. "Commander X has familiar, classic appeal yet is a new hero for our time."

There is a trend toward nostalgia and a rising interest in old favorites that bring back childhood memories of a simpler time.

"The core concept behind the "Capt'n Eli" series and the Commander X character in particular is to draw from the best elements of traditional Americana and update classic themes of the old adventure comic strips for a new audience," Piscopo continued.

Commander X is an amnesiac who has been sent from the future to save the earth from inevitable destruction. He is based on the Depression-era heroes of the comic book and movie serials of the 1930s. The collectible figure is created in a retro-style reminiscent of figures made by the Mego Corporation in the 1970s.

The Mego style of action figure was a natural fit for Commander X.

"With the Mego style, it's not about detailing overkill -- it's about a clean, simple look using primary colors," noted Paul Clarke of EMCE Toys. "Jay understands that and designed a great retro look."

Known as "Dr. Mego," Clarke is an expert on the Mego line and Piscopo worked with him and Mego customizer Dana Shaw to create the figure. Although the Mego Corporation stopped doing business nearly 30 years ago, Mego has a massive cult following that sparked the creation of this limited edition collectible.

"Back in the 1970s, Mego made eight-inch action figures that allowed kids to turn the living room or backyard into an alien world of adventure," said Clarke. "The Commander X action figure brings us back to that time when a toy was a gateway to your imagination."

The Golden Age Commander X figure is the first in a line of variants that will be released as limited editions in 2009. New, free, downloadable issues of "Commander X Adventures" comics will be offered on the website as these figures come out.

The first download will be available Dec. 23. The stories are told in the spirit of the great pulp adventure yarns of the 1930s and 1940s and take place in the coldest and most remote spots imaginable -- from Tibet, to the North Pole, to the moon. The stories provide clues to some of the mysteries about Commander X uncovered in the first two volumes of "The Undersea Adventures of Capt'n Eli" graphic novel series and give hints as to what's to come in Volume 3, which will be released in 2009.

"Commander X Adventures" features stories and art by a team of talented creators, including: modern pulp master Ron Fortier; digital pulp artist Mike Fyles; a writing debut by comics letterer Michael Thomas; pin-ups by Lauren Monardo, Jay Fife, and Joe Zierman; and a special story and pin-up by Piscopo.

More about the contributors to "Commander X Adventures":

JAY PISCOPO of Portland, Maine is the author and illustrator of "The Undersea Adventures of Capt'n Eli" all-ages graphic novel series. Piscopo also co-created "The Scrap City Pack Rats," art directed the award-winning "Fizz and Martina Math Adventures," and was an animator for ABC TV's "Squigglevision". | "Commander X Adventures": Story and artwork "The Guardian of Tantarus."

RON FORTIER of Somersworth, New Hampshire has been a professional writer for over twenty-five years. He's worked on comic book projects such as "The Hulk," "Popeye," "Rambo" and "Peter Pan." His two most popular comic series are "The Green Hornet" and "The Terminator" (with Alex Ross). He has also penned two TSR fantasy novels with Ardath Mayhar. | "Commander X Adventures": Story called "The Thing in the Moon."

MICHAEL THOMAS of Hillsboro, Oregon is an amazing comics letterer. He's been lettering for independent companies since 1999, most notably for Dark Horse ("Star Wars," "The Cleaners"), Image ("Wings of Anansi," "Sidekick," "DUST"), and Comics Conspiracy ("Operator 99," "Generic Comic"). He's currently pursuing his interest in writing. | "Commander X Adventures": Story called "A Friend in Need."

MIKE FYLES is a master of nostalgic sci-fi and pulp cover art and sequential imagery in England. His style is influenced by the mid 20th century commercial illustrations that promoted "fringe" books, magazines and comics. He particularly likes the challenge of cover art because of the balance that must be struck between form, content, decoration, and narrative to tell what lies beneath the cover. | "Commander X Adventures": Layout and artwork for "The Thing in the Moon" and "A Friend in Need."

LAUREN MONARDO of Staten Island, New York is a character designer, illustrator, comics artist, and animator. She has storyboarded for the Silver Age-inspired "The Venture Bros." on Cartoon Network. She is a prolific creator and works on a variety of projects for print and film. Check out her pin-up in "The Undersea Adventures of Capt'n Eli - Volume 2". | "Commander X Adventures": Pin-up of Commander X.

JAY FIFE is a portrait, pin-up, cover, and fantasy illustrator who lives in the Upper Ohio Valley. He draws from a variety of influences including comics, horror, and science fiction television and films to create imagery that allows the viewer to write the story. His work has been exhibited at the Stifel Fine Art Center in Wheeling, West Virginia. | "Commander X Adventures": Pin-up of Commander X.

JOE ZIERMAN lives in Chicago, Illinois. His illustrations show a love and appreciation for the great comic art of the Silver Age. Joe's incredible work for Big Bang Comics includes "Venus and Teen Rex." He created the artwork for the cover of "The Undersea Adventures of Capt'n Eli - Volume 2" as well as a pin-up. Look for more from Joe in Volume 3 where he'll bring his style to a pin-up of Sea Ghost. | "Commander X Adventures": Pin-up of Commander X.

More about "The Undersea Adventures of Capt'n Eli":

Created in the tradition of Flash Gordon, Buck Rogers, and "20,000 Leagues Under the Sea," "The Undersea Adventures of Capt'n Eli" is the story of a boy with extraordinary scientific abilities and unusual ties to the sea. For all ages, this new graphic novel series is an imaginative blend of traditional comics storytelling and contemporary 3D CGI. This series has been warmly received by fans and reviewers. Written and illustrated by Jay Piscopo. Published by Nemo Publishing and distributed through Diamond Comic Distributors.

Capt'n Eli's origins are quite unique! He's the namesake of real-life World War II veteran Eli Forsley who was also the inspiration for a line of hand-crafted sodas from Portland, Maine. Read The Story Behind the Story to learn more.

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