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WIRE Buzz: Bruce Campbell reviving Ripley's Believe It or Not!; new Pennyworth images; more

By Josh Weiss
Bruce Campbell

Nothing like a WIRE Buzz coming your way to wrap up a week of updates and developments involving your favorite genre properties.

The Ripley's Believe It or Not! brand is getting groovier thanks to a rebooted TV show from Bruce Campbell. Meanwhile, Epix is teasing out more images from its Pennyworth series coming this summer. And lastly, comics only got more popular in the last year.

Prepare to explore the weird and unexplainable with Ash Williams himself in a revival of the Ripley's Believe It or Not! television show on the Travel Channel. Bruce Campbell is serving as both host and executive producer from the Ripley's warehouse of collected oddities in Orlando, Florida.

“Shooting this iconic series in the Ripley’s warehouse was actually unbelievable,” the actor said in a statement. “I was blown away by the treasures that unveil a fascinating time capsule into the past and present. Fans are not going to be disappointed when they see the scope of wonderful and weird stories we reveal every week.”

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Dating back to the late '40s, the Ripley's show has been revived four times over the years. It's also aired on nearly every major network out there: NBC, Fox, and ABC.

The new series premieres June 9 at 9 p.m. EST on the Travel Channel. The premiere episode focuses on “Natural Born Thrillers," individuals with death-defying talents and almost no sense of fear whatsoever.

In seven new high-res images from Epix's upcoming Alfred Pennyworth origin series, appropriately titled Pennyworth, you can meet the main cast of characters, from Alfred himself (Jack Bannon) to a young Thomas Wayne (Ben Aldridge).

The order of the photos is as follows: Bannon, Aldridge, Emma Corrin (Esmé), Hainsley Lloyd (Deon "Bazza" Bashford), Jason Flemyng (Lord Harwood), Paloma Faith (Bet Sykes), and Ryan Fletcher (Wallace "Dave Boy" MacDougal).

Take a look at all of the new character stills below:

Set in '60s-era London, Pennyworth follows the early action-based exploits of Batman's future butler. Inspired by spy-fi franchises like James Bond, the series finds Alfred founding his own security company with Wayne and battling adversaries like a descendant of Jack the Ripper.

Produced by Gotham's Bruno Heller and Danny Cannon, Season 1 premieres July 28 on Epix.

The comic book/graphic novel industry reached a new high point in sales last year, according to a report by ICv2. In U.S. and Canada alone, comics and graphic novels raked in almost $2 billion in revenue — $80 million more than 2017.

The figure was possible thanks to "gains in book channel and digital sales," compounded with crowdfunding sites, which were counted for the first time. "Book channel" is just another way of saying chain stores, online retailers, book fairs, etc. Sales from those sources were up by double numbers, mainly thanks to the availability of graphic novels for children (see: DC Zoom and DC Ink).

"A historic shift is playing out as the market grew, primarily in the book channel, in 2018," said ICv2 CEO Milton Griepp. "While comic stores are still the largest channel, they represented less than half the market for comics and graphic novels in 2018 for the first time in at least three decades."


Comics, graphic novels, and digital comic downloads rose in 2018, with the graphic novel format leading the pack financially by a large margin.

"After a brief downturn in 2017, the market bounced back last year," added John Jackson Miller of Comichron, which also took part in the market analysis. "Popular releases helped right the ship in comics shops, even as other sales avenues made significant gains."

Both ICv2 and Comichron look at and explore market trends for pop culture industries like comic books.