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Andrew Gaska Joins Lion Forge as the Senior Development Editor

Lion Forge expands in original content development for both publishing and entertainment with the announcement that franchise continuity and development veteran Andrew E.C. Gaska has joined the company as senior development editor.

Gaska has worked behind the scene with the company over the past year contributing to and creating several bibles for projects in development at Lion Forge. In this newly created position, Gaska will be responsible for the creation and development of new intellectual properties at Lion Forge. He’ll work with the creative teams and studios involved to ensure the vision isn’t lost in translation. Gaska will also bring his background to the company working with the licensing team as well as help bring historical and educational projects to life as graphic novels.

With two decades of experience in the comics and video game industries, author Andrew E.C. Gaska is the senior development editor at Lion Forge LLC. Having previously freelanced for Lion Forge’s Labs division as a script, pitch, and proposal writer, he now generates original IP for the brand, developing both comics and animation projects while working closely with creative teams to guide their vision to fruition.

He is founder/creative director of the guerrilla integrated media studio BLAM! Ventures and has worked as a freelance franchise consultant to 20th Century Fox for the past three years, writing series reference bibles, maintaining continuity, streamlining in-universe canon, and creating detailed timelines for the legacy franchises of Alien, Predator, and Planet of the Apes. Andrew was a production assistant and colorist for Vanguard Productions, where he restored valuable comic and genre artworks for archival reproduction. He was also a sequential storytelling instructor at the School of Visual Arts in New York, and he served as a visual consultant to Rockstar Games for seventeen years on the Grand Theft Auto series, Red Dead Revolver, and all other releases.

His graphic novels and prose works include Critical Millennium: The Dark FrontierSpace: 1999—Aftershock and AweClassic Space: 1999—To Everything That WasHAWKEN: Melee,Buck Rogers in the 25th Century: The Draconian Fire SagaConspiracy of the Planet of the ApesPlanet of the Apes: Tales from the Forbidden Zone, and the upcoming novel Death of the Planet of the Apes.

Preview: Hawken: Melee #4

Hawken: Melee #4

Writer(s): Andrew E. C. Gaska
Artist(s): Dan Dussault

Corporate combat tears through a blissful family farm, changing the course of their lives irrevocably over the course of a decade. Featuring a story by Andrew E.C. Gaska (Space: 1999, Conspiracy of the Planet of the Apes), art by Dan Dussault (Critical Millennium: The Dark Frontier), and a cover by F. Ruiz Velasco!


Archaia Announces Hawken: Melee

Archaia Entertainment and Meteor Entertainment, have teamed up with comiXology to debut the Digital First title Hawken: Melee, a five-part miniseries based on the online, free-to-play mech combat video game, Hawken. Featuring original stories from some of the top names in comics, the first digital issue is now live on comiXology.

The five Digital First issues will be released four weeks apart, and will be followed by the bi-weekly release of single-issue print editions starting in December. The print issues will contain additional backmatter that will appeal to gameplayers, such as mech and map schematics, combat strategies, and a peek behind the development curtain to enhance the gameplaying experience.

Following the success of Hawken: Genesis, the previously released hardcover graphic novel that established the world history for the game, Hawken: Melee focuses on high-stakes action and fast-paced combat in five standalone stories, each presented by a different creative team. The premiere issue features work by Tim Bradstreet, Dan Abnett, Federico Dallocchio, and Chris Northrop, while subsequent issues will feature work by Jim Mahfood, Jock, Nathan Fox, Mike Kennedy, Andrew Gaska, Dan Dussault, Michael O’Hare, Bagus Hutomo, Francisco Ruiz Velasco, and Bengal.

The first two print issues of Hawken: Melee will ship in December and will be available for pre-order through comic book shops starting Sept. 25.

Hawken is a free-to-play, online, multiplayer, mech combat shooter developed by Adhesive Games and published by Meteor Entertainment. It creates an intense and immersive battle experience that captures the feeling of piloting a heavy war machine while keeping the action fast-paced and strategic.


Kickstarter Spotlight: Fandom, Gender, Free Comics and Sharks!

Welcome to the first edition of a new regular Thursday feature where we spotlight cool projects you can find on Kickstarter!

Keep in mind we do not guarantee the completion of any of these projects and are not responsible for the end result. We do include a warning of what we think the likelihood of issues are and how risky the project is.

Don’t Feed the Trolls

dont_feed_the_trollsWhen you think of “fandom” it’s not always in the flattering of lights. Society paints fans, especially those of comics, science fiction, etc., in a negative way, depicting them as geeks and nerds. This film will delve deeper into these communities to show there’s more to them.

The film will focus on Nicole, both a fitness professional and a die-hard fan. Her two very different worlds will blend together to show that there is more to belonging to a fandom than the “fanatic” stereotype society has given us.

The two folks behind it, Nicole and Liz, both went to film school and between the two of them they’ve worked on dozens and dozens of films and projects. They know that in the film world, anything that can go wrong will go wrong and they’re more than ready to tackle anything that comes their way.

I like the idea of shedding a positive light on fandom, and doing so with a focus on a female fan not only takes on the stereotype of fans, but also women’s roles within it. The project has a modest goal of $3,000.

Best Pledge: $25 – You get updates of the film, but also a DVD of the film and a link to an early version of it. The price is about right for what I’d pay for a DVD movie. There are some cooler levels at higher amounts.

Risk: MEDIUM – This is the first Kickstarter project for the two. While I think they know production, things might happen, so if anything I’d expect a delay from the delivery date of this September.

Comics Undressed

ladydrawerOur friends over at Ladydrawers are putting together a different documentary. This one is an ambitious project with the primary aim of addressing media justice in comics and popular culture. They intend to portray the underlying forms of discrimination that impact representations of women, queers, trans folk, non-binary gender people, and people of color in comics. They seek to support a diversity of racial, gender, and sexual identities that make up our society as well as unveil the surprising economic injustices and cultural biases that occur. Their goal is to present a sincere heartfelt documentary that captures their love for comics while critiquing the structure of the comics industry. They intend to implement an experimental process to give form to their extensive original research that mirrors the comics themselves. Through a myriad of interviews with comics creators, readers, bloggers, vendors, fans, and the general public, they strive to foster a multiplicity of viewpoints in the comic-book world and our culture at large.

It’s great to get a critical look at our comic culture, and Ladydrawers does just that with thought and research. This isn’t a knee-jerk reactionary group, these are folks who think things through and make their arguments with facts and research. It should be very interesting to see what they come up with and the end of the result of the project.

Critical analysis of the representation of individuals in comics is good. Different viewpoints are good. Research is good. Discussion of these issues is good. So of course this is a project I can get behind.

Best Pledge: $35 – This gets you a digital copy of the movie and some other items. It’s the one I chose when I pledged. So yes, my money is in on this one.

Risk: LOW – This is the first Kickstarter project for the group, but they’ve put out other items in the past. While I have no idea if the December date is realistic, I feel confident the project will be completed within a reasonable amount of time.

Rocksalt “Back to School” edition

rocksaltRocksalt Magazine is a free comics anthology out of Austin.  They print three thousand copies of each issue and distribute it at about two hundred locations around town.  They’ve been doing it for two years now, and it has been successful beyond their wildest dreams.  The next issue, #9, will be the back-to-school special and it will be their “best issue yet.”

It’s that simple, a great way to get comics into the hands with folks and with only hours left, a guaranteed one to get funded.

Best Pledge: $25 – This gets you a copy of all nine issues mailed directly to you. It’s a great way to check out some indie comic creators from the Austin area which has a great track record for churning them out.

Risk: LOW – This is the first Kickstarter project for Geoff, but he’s released items before. The time frame might be tight, so I’d expect it to slip by a month or two.

FRENZY – An Illustrated Novel

frenzySharks…. is there any other reason you need to give to this?

Frenzy is an original illustrated horror/thriller novel about one of the world’s most beloved animals… sharks! It is an original novel authored by Andrew E.C.Gaska, and will be produced by guerrilla design studio BLAM! Ventures, LLC. Frenzy is a special project because while it is a prose novel (not a graphic novel), the book will have over 20 paintings and another 20 pen & ink illustrations from a diverse array of talented artists to help tell the story. These talents include AMAZING artists such as menton3, Bob Eggleton, Dave Dorman, Erik Gist, Steve White, Aaron Miller, Dan Dussault, Chandra Free, and more to be announced!

Not only do you get a cool story, but that’s a hell of a roster of talent when it comes to the art. You can see some examples of their skills and talent on the Kickstarter page. I’ve also read a lot of Gaska’s previous work, and the man is a talented writer. Plus there are sharks, that alone is enough reason to pledge to this one.

In full disclosure, I’m marrying one of the science advisers. I would have given to this no matter what though.

Best Pledge: $25 – This gets you a digital copy of the book, but I’d go higher than that, there’s some very cool higher pledges. I myself am going with the $70 pledge to get a sketch from Chandra Free.

Risk: LOW – Drew is a long time vet when it comes to producing items and releasing them and he’s given himself a long lead time for this. I fully expect this one on time and as promised. (No pressure)

Archaia Is Off to Emerald City Comicon!

ArchaiaArchaia Entertainment is excited to announce it will be exhibiting at Emerald City Comicon, taking place March 1-3, 2013 at the Washington State Convention Center in Seattle, Washington!

Several Archaia creators will be on hand to sign copies of their books or promotional items at the Archaia booth #808, including: Andrew E. C. Gaska; Chandra Free; Charles Soule; Dave Marquez; David Petersen; Royden Lepp; Yehudi Mercado.

Special advance copies of the Hawken: Genesis anthology graphic novel hardcover, which is based on the hit online, free-to-play mech game from Meteor Entertainment, will debut at ECCC and be available for sale. Writers Khang Le and Jeremy Barlow will be on hand to sign copies at the Archaia booth and at the Meteor booth in the Gaming Area.

In addition, a promotion through FourSquare will give fans the chance to win a prize pack comprised of autographed copies of Mouse Guard Vol. 1: Fall 1152, Rust Vol. 1: Visitor in the Field, and Hawken: Genesis. Just be sure to check in at the Archaia booth through the FourSquare app on your iOS or Android phone once you’re at the show and you’re automatically entered!

For programming, Archaia will put on an exciting, entertaining panel at the show:

Archaia Presents: How I Broke in to Comics (and How You Can, Too!)
Friday, March 1, 4-5pm, Room 3AB
Ever wonder how some of your favorite creators broke in to comics, or were curious how some up-and-comers get to be “up-and-comers”? Join some of Archaia’s creators for a lively discussion of how they got their first break in comics, and to hear their advice on how you can, too! Panelists include Chandra Free (The God Machine, Fraggle Rock), Andrew E.C. Gaska (Space: 1999: Aftershock and Awe, Conspiracy of the Planet of the Apes), Royden Lepp (Rust), David Marquez (Syndrome, The Joyners in 3D), Yehudi Mercado (Pantalones, TX), David Petersen (Mouse Guard), and Charles Soule (Strange Attractors).

Review – Space: 1999: Aftershock and Awe

Space 1999 Aftershock and Awe CoverI didn’t know much about Space: 1999. I never watched the television series and only knew a little from some of the ancillary products that came out around it. I went in to Space: 1999: Aftershock and Awe as a blank slate. The art looked cool and I know writer Drew Gaska can do an awesome sci-fi so I dove in.

September 13, 1999: An atomic accident causes the moon to be blown out of orbit and hurled into the unknown, the survivors of the lunar base stationed there launched toward their destiny across the stars. In the wake of this disaster, Earth itself is ravaged by the scientific, environmental, and social repercussions of a world robbed of its moon. Presenting remastered classic material from the ’70s with all-new material created to update the tale for a modern audience.

The graphic novel is really two parts. The first is the lead up and disaster that causes the moon the slingshot into space. If you think this comic is going to be the future as we’d imagine, get rid of that expectation. This is based on a series where 1999 was the future. The computers are huge, technology laughable, but Gaska continues with the original material and doesn’t seem the update the feel at all. There’s no updating the tech or look, this is the future imagined in the 70s. And that’s something I really enjoy about the series. It feels like something I would have found during that time. The writing, the look, it’s retro in a very cool way. My biggest issue was, I was wondering how the Earth was dealing with this catastrophe while reading the first part, which brings us to the second part.

The second part deals exactly with that plot issue, remove the moon from the Earth and all hell will break loose. We see how those connected with those on the Moon deal with the disaster on Earth. I have no idea how realistic that part is, but it has the feel of a disaster movie, beyond entertaining.

So, you have two stories in one here and it’s a lot of fun. The comic feels like something from the 70s, and that’s a good thing. There’s a solid story here, the mishandling of nuclear materials leads to a disaster of epic proportions, at the same time there’s a mysterious planet looking to be explored. Cool disaster story with lots of set up as to what’s to come.

If you’re a fan of the television series or enjoy a solid sci-fi story, do yourself a favor and grab a copy.

Story: Andrew E. C. Gaska Art: Gray Morrow, David Hueso, and Miki

Story: 8.25 Art: 8.25 Overall: 8.25 Recommendation: Buy

Archaia provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review

Preview – Space: 1999: Aftershock and Awe


Original Graphic Novel
Retail Price:
 $24.95 U.S.
Page Count: 152 pages
Format: hardcover, 6.625” x 10.25”, full color
On-sale Date: Dec. 12 in comic book stores, Dec. 15-25 in bookstores
ISBN-13: 978-1-936393-88-6
Diamond Code: AUG120787
Written by Andrew E. C. Gaska
Illustrated by Gray Morrow, David Hueso, and Miki
Cover by David Hueso and Miki
Rating: T+ – TEEN PLUS (16 and up, may contain moderate violence, moderate profanity use and suggestive themes )

The classic 1970s sci-fi TV series returns with all-new material! September 13, 1999: An atomic accident causes the moon to be blown out of orbit and hurled into the unknown, the survivors of the lunar base stationed there launched toward their destiny across the stars. In the wake of this disaster, Earth itself is ravaged by the scientific, environmental, and social repercussions of a world robbed of its moon. Presenting remastered classic material from the ’70s with all-new material created to update the tale for a modern audience.

Space 1999 Aftershock and Awe Cover

Archaia Announces Two New Digital-First Titles

Archaia Entertainment has announced two new titles to add to their digital-first partnership with comiXology, Space: 1999: Aftershock and Awe and Mumbai Confidential.

Space: 1999: Aftershock and Awe is the first in a series of hardcover graphic novels based on the late 1970s television show. Written by Drew Gaska with art by David Hueso, Gray Morrow and Miki, the comics are a reintroduction to modern audiences.

The new title reignites this classic property about an atomic accident that sends the moon hurtling out of Earth’s orbit and into deep space. The story begins in Awe, which adapts the pilot episode of SPACE: 1999, “Breakaway,” as seen through the personal logs of Commander John Koenig and Professor Victor Bergman on Moonbase Alpha, expanded to include both new and unfilmed material, and utilizing the remastered art of comics legend Gray Morrow as a basis for this revolutionary retelling of a sci-fi classic. Future digital single issues will continue the story as Aftershock explores the social, political, and environmental impact of this disaster on Earth itself.

Mumbai Confidential is a gritty crime noir with an authentic Indian twist, written by Saurav Mohapatra and painted by Vivek Shinde.

When a grief-stricken bad-cop is the victim of a hit-and-run that also claims the life of a street urchin, he goes off on a mission on his own to discover the identity of the driver. But when the driver turns out to be an over-the-hill, Bollywood B-Movie actor, he finds himself in direct confrontation with his ex-colleagues, who are now de factor gangsters in uniform who use the actors’ movies to launder their money. The digital single issues of Mumbai will feature exclusive, digital-only side stories and editorials from well-known comic luminaries not included in the print edition.

The first chapters of both are available today on comiXology. Both hardcover collected volumes will be available later this year and early 2013, respectively, but the monthly digital releases will debut this week on the comiXology platform — available across iPhone, iPad , Android, Kindle Fire, and the Web.

Archaia Blows Into the Windy City for C2E2 2012


Over Two Dozen Creators, Two Panels and a Large Booth Highlight the Publisher’s Presence at the Midwest’s Largest Comic Book and Pop Culture Event

Chicago, IL (April 12, 2012) – Award-winning graphic novel publisher Archaia Entertainment announced its plans for the Chicago Comic & Entertainment Expo (C2E2) (www.c2e2.com), which includes a 20’ x 30’ display with a huge selection of product for sale on the show floor; hosting over two dozen creators for free autograph signings, including Chad Michael Murray (Everlast), David Petersen (Mouse Guard), Jim McCann and Janet Lee (Return of the Dapper Men), Nate Cosby (Cow Boy), Ramón K. Pérez (Jim Henson’s Tale of Sand), and Royden Lepp (Rust: Visitor in the Field); presenting two panels, one making several exclusive announcements and one to advise aspiring storytellers on proper world-building; and distributing thousands of free giveaways, including single issue comics, mini-posters, and bookmarks. C2E2 will take place April 13-15, 2012 in the North Hall of McCormick Place in downtown Chicago.

In addition, C2E2 will mark the debut of exclusive, limited signed editions of the highly anticipated, all-ages graphic novel hardcover, Cow Boy: A Boy and His Horse, by Nate Cosby and Chris Eliopoulos. Attendees can also obtain the first of four, limited-edition Hawken posters featuring art by Eisner Award-nominated writer/artist Khang Le. Hawken is an upcoming, free-to-play mech FPS developed by Adhesive Games and published by Meteor Entertainment (12-12-12), and Archaia is producing an original graphic novel prequel (March 2013). The other three posters will be distributed at other key conventions later this year, and together, all four posters will join to form a QR code that will lead fans to a special feature when the game’s closed beta release debuts in October 2012.

Creators scheduled to appear at the Archaia booth (#529) throughout the weekend include:

–Andrew E.C. Gaska, writer, Conspiracy of the Planet of the Apes, Critical Millennium, Space: 1999: Aftershock and Awe
–Andrew Rostan, writer, An Elegy for Amelia Johnson
–Ben Templesmith, artist, Bleedout, Immortals: Gods and Heroes
–Brandon Thomas, writer, The Many Adventures of Miranda Mercury
–Brent Schoonover, artist, Mr. Murder Is Dead
–Chad Michael Murray, writer, Everlast
–Chandra Free, writer/artist, The God Machine, Fraggle Rock
–Charles Soule, writer, Strange Attractors
–Dave Rodriguez, writer, Starkweather: Immortal
–David Petersen, writer/artist, Mouse Guard
–Dennis Calero, artist, Immortals: Gods and Heroes, Jim Henson’s The Storyteller
–Gene Ha, artist, Mouse Guard: Legends of the Guard
–Janet Lee, artist, Return of the Dapper Men, The Wonderland Alphabet: Alice’s Adventures Through the ABC’s and What She Found There
–Jeremy Bastian, writer/artist, Mouse Guard: Legends of the Guard, Cursed Pirate Girl
–Jim McCann, writer, Return of the Dapper Men
–J.K. Woodward, artist, Everlast
–Joanna Estep, artist, Fraggle Rock
–Joe LeFavi, writer, Fraggle Rock
–Katie Cook, writer/artist, Fraggle Rock, Jim Henson’s The Storyteller, Mouse Guard: Legends of the Guard
–Mike Kennedy, writer, Bleedout
–Nate Cosby, writer, Cow Boy, Jim Henson’s The Storyteller
–Phil Hester, writer, Days Missing; artist, Immortals: Gods and Heroes
–Ramón K. Pérez, artist, Jim Henson’s Tale of Sand
–Royden Lepp, writer/artist, Rust
–Sam Humphries, writer, Fraggle Rock
–Sean Rubin, artist, Mouse Guard: Legends of the Guard; writer/artist, Bolivar
–Tom Pinchuk, writer, Hybrid Bastards!
–Yehudi Mercado, writer/artist, Pantalones, TX

Visit this link for a complete schedule of signing times: http://www.archaia.com/2012-c2e2-signing-schedule/. (Times and appearances are subject to change.)

Here are the descriptions of the two panels Archaia will present at C2E2:

Friday, April 13
Archaia Presents:  Coming Soon from Archaia Entertainment…
Friday, 2:45-3:45 p.m.
The publisher behind Mouse Guard, The Killer, Return of the Dapper Men, Jim Henson’s Tale of Sand, and other great titles is gearing up for another spectacular year, and here’s where you get to hear all about it! Get the inside scoop on upcoming titles, new projects, and exclusive announcements as Archaia sets its sights on the rest of 2012 and beyond. Join Archaia Editor-in-Chief Stephen Christy, Nate Cosby (Cow Boy), Andrew E. C. Gaska (Space: 1999: Aftershock and Awe), Joe LeFavi (Hawken), Janet Lee (The Wonderland Alphabet: Alice’s Adventures Through the ABC’s and What She Found There, Time of the Dapper Men), Royden Lepp (Rust Vol. 2: Secrets of the Cell), Jim McCann (Time of the Dapper Men), David Petersen (Mouse Guard Vol. 3: The Black Axe, Mouse Guard: Legends of the Guard Vol. 2), and Charles Soule (Strange Attractors) as they give you a sneak peek of what’s to come!

Sunday, April 15
Archaia Presents: How to Tell a Better Story Through World-Building
Time: 10:45 – 11:45 a.m.
Are you an aspiring storyteller? Want to know the keys to world-building and telling a good story? David Petersen (Mouse Guard), Jeremy Bastian (Cursed Pirate Girl), and Sean Rubin (Redwall, the upcoming Bolivar), three accomplished storytellers that have published or are publishing books through Archaia, present an informative, entertaining panel to see how world-building can help you write and/or draw a better story.

“For the third year in a row, we are excited to return to C2E2 in Chicago with a strong presence to show our Midwest-area fans how much we appreciate their support,” said Archaia Marketing Manager Mel Caylo. “We look forward to a fantastic weekend, and hope you can join us!”

About Archaia

Archaia is a multi-award-winning graphic novel publisher with more than 50 renowned publishing brands, including such domestic and international hits as Mouse Guard, Return of the Dapper Men, Gunnerkrigg Court, Awakening, The Killer, Days Missing, Tumor, Syndrome, Artesia, The Engineer, and an entire line of The Jim Henson Company graphic novels. Archaia has built an unparalleled reputation for producing meaningful content that perpetually transforms minds, building one of the industry’s most visually stunning and eclectic slates of graphic novels. Archaia was named Graphic Novel Publisher of the Year according to Ain’t it Cool News, Graphic Policy and Comic Related, and was honored with nine 2011 Eisner Awards nominations. Archaia has also successfully emerged as a prolific storyteller in all facets of the entertainment industry, extending their popular brands into film, television, gaming, and branded digital media.

NYCC 11 – First Thoughts

As always, I had an amazing time at a comic book convention.  While I go to check out the latest releases and the new talent in Artist’s Alley, it’s the friendships I’ve made that makes it worth it (sappy I know).  The 2011 New York Comic Con was fantastic and seemed about a quarter to 50% bigger this year than last.

While the floor was amazing, the convention rooms were a bit packed and there were quite a few panels I wasn’t able to get into (bummer).  Hopefully that gets fixed next year.  The people attending were fantastic with great costumes and attitudes that made it fun for everyone. The displays weren’t as impressive, I saw most at San Diego earlier this year.  But, I got to see my name on the cover of Archaia‘s Critical Millennium hard cover, I giggled every time I saw it.

Here’s the checklist of the thoughts on top of my head:

  • Always great seeing Charles Soule and Len Wallace (and Jessica), good friends and great talents.  I especially had fun sitting behind Charle’s table and selling some of his comics for a bit (27 and Strongman).  Also chatting with Drew Gaska as always was fun, some day we’ll figure out a time for a radio interview.
  • Fantastic to hang out with Chip “Cuddles” Mosher and get to know the comiXology crew.  They’re an upcoming tech company everyone should be watching.
  • I bumped in BOOM! Studios and Ross Ritchie and some of his team.  Such nice folks.
  • The CBLDF deserves your support people!  Get involved!
  • I still don’t get anime and manga but the GEN Manga folks were so nice.
  • I got to meet a great talent Palle Schmidt and can’t wait to spotlight him more.  So smart and interesting to talk to.  He opened my eyes on a few things I’ve covered with a better perspective.
  • The Reed Pop crew do an amazing job putting together shows.
  • Mel and Archaia, Filip and Top Cow are class acts, so happy to see them every show.

Best items I returned home with besides the stacks of comics and graphic novels to read…

  • A new guitar pic for Charles Soule‘s 27 in honor of the launch of the second volume
  • I finally bought show exclusives including Hasbro‘s Hulk and the Spidey/Fireman Mini-mate
  • I got Spidey Mega Blocks!
  • DC had one of the oddest promotions, a light up Kryptonite ice cube to promote Smallville.
  • I grabbed both AKA video games, such a creative promotion.

And that’s it for convention season for me…. until 2012.

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