updated 1/31/2011 10:47:27 AM ET 2011-01-31T15:47:27

FORT WAYNE, Ind., Jan. 31, 2011 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Mike The Pike Productions, Inc.(Pink Sheets:MIKP) ( www.mtpprods.com ) proudly announces the attachment of Los Angeles Illustrator, Marco Magallanes, to pencil and ink Spokefish Entertainment's sci-fi thriller, 'R.E.M.'

"We're pleased to have Magallanes on board for this task. The penciler is the primary artist on a book," states MTP CEO, Mark B. Newbauer. "Initial artwork is done in pencil, to give a living, working foundation for the piece. The inker then works to enhance the pencil artwork; make it 'pop', effectively, in line with the tone of the overall story. Some artists choose to do their own inking, as is the case with Magallanes for R.E.M.. Inkers are required to take drawn panels and make them come to life with the use of lighting as well as depth with linework, shading, and texture."

"Initially, I saw some of Marco's work and knew he was a contender for the project," states Spokefish partner and project manager, Ryan Colucci. "Right from the start Marco was able to capture the mood of the story in his pencils and particularly his inking.  It's a serious book, so we needed someone that could capture that but also had a style that was a bit more upbeat.  And he fits that perfectly."

"The books are moving along nicely and 2011 is a great year for Mike the Pike Productions as we'll have finished product toward distribution and revenues in our Graphic Novels and Motion Pictures divisions. We are confident that, thanks to new technology, cross-market opportunities and a tremendous market demand for content, our focus here will be well-rewarded."

Comic and graphic novel sales for the final month of 2010 were mixed, with comic sales down and graphic novels up vs. the year ago period.  Diamond Comic Distributors reported comic sales down 7.5% and graphic novels sales up 26.7%, for a combined comparison of a 2.2% increase vs. December of 2009.  Bound edition sales have also rebounded — thanks in some part this year to Walking Dead, Scott Pilgrim, and Kick-Ass, all of which spawned feature film or television counterparts.  

Simba Information recently stated that until the last few years, the comic industry, particularly the graphic novel segment, has been a market largely untapped by traditional book publishers. However, a growing number have come to embrace the industry, with both publishers and retailers realizing this diverse market offers significant and numerous opportunities.

Digital books is one particular force to be reckoned with. According to a recent L.A. Times article by Carolyn Kellogg , 10.5 million people own a dedicated e-reader; one-third of iPad owners also own a Kindle; there were close to $1 billion in e-books sales in 2010, and those sales are forecast to rise to $1.3 billion in 2011. Spokefish plans to take full advantage with details forthcoming.

"A key goal, that Ryan and I agreed on from the get-go, is our strategy toward film rights sale or independent production of a feature film adaptation/counterpart for the projects in this first slate," states Newbauer. "We have some promising news to release on that note in February."

R.E.M. is written by Spokefish partner and project manager, Ryan Colucci, an alumnus of the prestigious Peter Stark Producing MFA Program at USC. He received his BA in Film Studies and Production from Hofstra University, graduating Suma Cum Laude. Before that he pursued a degree in Accounting from Villanova University and spent a year at Cambridge University in England studying Economics. He has over eight years of experience in the film industry, having worked in development for Artisan/Lion's Gate (Blair Witch Project, The Punisher) and Disney (Pirates of the Caribbean, Freaky Friday). Ryan's recent success, Harbor Moon ( www.harbor-moon.com ), published by Arcana Studios, is currently receiving phenomenal reviews after its debut last year at Comic-Con 2010 in San Diego, California.

R.E.M.

In New York City, behind a series of locks, lives Michael Letto, a brilliant but paranoid neuroscientist. Since his first and only love died, he's become consumed with unlocking the mystery of sleep.

Based on ancient practices, Michael sets forth to devise a chair that enables one to attain a full nights sleep in a matter of minutes. His theories bring him to the attention of both the military and a shrouded religious order that will stop at nothing to attain his secret.

As Michael grows closer to realizing his dream, he starts to unravel, trapped in an inescapable nightmare as visions of his lost love worsen.

MTP Producers Ryan Colucci, Beth Newbauer and Mark B. Newbauer present: George R.R. Martin's THE SKIN TRADE: From the best-selling author of the Song of Ice and Fire series comes this white knuckle chiller with a string of unsolved murders immersed deep in lycan lore : When a series of grotesque killings strikes her small hometown, private detective Randi Wade becomes suspicious. The grisly murders remind her all too much of her own father's death nearly 20 years ago. Now there is a killer in town who not only slays his victims, but also takes their skin. Undaunted, Randi takes the case head-on as the murders continue, each more brutal than the last. When a close friend suddenly becomes a target, he is forced to reveal a startling secret about himself and Randi is quickly pulled into a dark world within her own town where monsters do exist and even they have something to fear...

MTP & Horseplay, LLC present: HORSE - a wild ride through the streets of Ft. Wayne on a night no one will forget...if they live to remember...as they take part against some not-so-friendly parties on the prowl for a missing bag of Heroin. It's a race against time for a club-owner, a drug mule, two college kids and a sadistic Irish kingpin in from Chicago to reclaim his stake.  SHOOTING 2010/2011 ON LOCATION IN FORT WAYNE, INDIANA!

Mike The Pike Prods + SpokeLane Entertainment = SPOKEFISH ENTERTAINMENT

A concept-to-finish Graphic Novel publishing banner developing high-quality, compelling stories with the world's top writers, artists & more! Stay tuned for information on the SpokeFish slate including: Chasing Rabbits, R.E.M. and Bulderlyns...

FOLLOW EVERYTHING MIKE THE PIKE: UPSTREAM on TWITTER: $MIKP www.Twitter.com/mtpprods

MOTION PICTURES, GRAPHIC NOVELS, LITERARY ACQUISITIONS & more : Want to know what MTP Prods is all about? Check out www.mtpprods.com

Safe Harbor: This release may contain forward-looking statements within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Statements contained in this release that are not historical facts may be deemed to be forward-looking statements. Investors are cautioned that forward-looking statements are inherently uncertain. Actual performance and results may differ materially from that projected or suggested herein due to certain risks and uncertainties including, without limitation, ability to obtain financing and regulatory and shareholder approvals for anticipated actions.

CONTACT: IR Contact: The Nuemark Group
         www.NuemarkGroup.com
         Phone: 860-484-3727
         Investors@nuemarkgroup.com

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