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Pokemon Comic Strip to Debut

    September 07, 2000

POKEMON COMIC STRIP TO DEBUT SEPTEMBER 10



San Francisco, CA (9/7/00) - Viz Communications announced the

launch of the new POKEMON comic strip. The daily strip, which

includes a Sunday color version, is being created by Ashura Benimaru,

executive director at Creatures, one of the original creators of

POKEMON, and Gerard Jones, a comic book writer known for his work on

such titles as DRAGON BALL Z, SPIDER-MAN and BATMAN. POKEMON is

available in newspapers nationwide.



Preceding the debut of new POKEMON games, the launch of the POKEMON

LIVE stage show, and new episodes of the #1 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 Pokemon

trainers. The strip, however, features more comical overtones than

the animated series or games, with a wry sense of humor that appeals

to adults and kids alike.



"We're very excited," says Viz editorial director Hyoe

Narita. "POKEMON continues to be one of our top sellers, and we

expect good things from POKEMON this Christmas. The POKEMON comic

strip gives us the opportunity to broaden our market even

further."



Los Angeles-based Creators Syndicate distributes the strip

nationwide. Some of the country's top papers will carry the new

POKEMON strip, including the Washington Post, the Chicago Tribune,

and the Seattle Times, among others.



No newcomer to the POKEMON scene, Viz has been an integral part of

the lucrative franchise since its U.S. inception, publishing four

separate POKEMON 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 POKEMON animated

TV series. Throughout 1999 Viz's POKEMON videos dominated the

rental and sales charts across the country.



Find more information about the POKEMON comic strip at

http://www.vizkids.com/pokemon/comicstrip/



*****



Viz Communications, Inc. is the leading U.S. publisher of Japanese

animation videos and comics (anime and manga) for English-speaking

audiences. Founded in 1987, Viz serves a growing market of dedicated

fans of all ages, and is a wholly owned subsidiary of Shogakukan, one

of Japan's three largest manga publishers.



Based in San Francisco, CA, Viz publishes best-selling titles such as

POKEMON, DRAGON BALL Z, GUNDAM, and RANMA 1/2 in eleven entertainment

media, such as Animerica magazine, videos, comics, graphic novels,

catalogs, merchandise, CDs, and movies. Sign up for Viz's email

newsletters to get the latest product news and visit www.viz.com,

www.vizkids.com, www.j-pop.com, www.pulp-mag.com and www.animerica-

mag.com



Nintendo of America, a subsidiary of Nintendo Co. Ltd. of Kyoto,

Japan, holds the rights to the POKEMON franchise, which it acquired

from the original creators in February 1998. The POKEMON phenomenon

began in September 1998 with the launch of the Nintendo Game Boy

games and the POKEMON television series. Nintendo's exclusive

licensing agent 4 Kids Entertainment has licensed the property to

more than 1,000 companies throughout the world outside of Asia.

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