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Interview with Larry Kitagawa from Jetta Defiance!

LarryThis seems to be an all movie update week here at toshigawa.com! I recently got the opportunity to talk to Larry Kitagawa, who is staring in the live action adaptation of our graphic novel, Jetta: Defiance! He is playing the role of Jetta’s mentor and sensei, Gaudient! It was really strange to interview someone about portraying a character that I created. However, it was really cool as well. Check it out!

Larry, tell us a little about yourself!

I am an actor/model based in the San Francisco Bay Area. In my 10 year career I have been in over 100 projects including features, shorts, industrials, commercials, television and training videos. I have also been in many print ads including Home Depot, Longs Drugs, Union Bank of California, Goodwill Industries, Charles Schwab and Clorox.

How does Lord Gaudient begin his day?

Lord Gaudient rises at 3 am each day. He begins the day with one hour of meditation in his Japanese garden. Then there is 2 hours of martial arts training including sparring, weapons and kata. Lord Gaudient finishes his daily training with a 10 mile run.

How did you begin your acting career?

Ever since I was a little kid, I’ve wanted to be on the big screen. I probably felt this way because one of my uncles had a small role in the film “Flower Drum Song” and I just wanted to see myself in a film. I never pursued my dream until about 10 years ago. I have a friend who has been in a lot of movies including doing stunt work in Hong Kong. I told him that if he ever had a role for me to please let me know. One day he told me about a new film that he was producing and that there was a role for me. I auditioned and was fortunate to get the part and that was the beginning of my film career.

larry-kitagawa-229032Do you usually star in action films?

I love action films but I also enjoy comedies, dramas, horror and sci fi. I feel most comfortable in comedies. I really enjoy making people laugh. I am currently working on a stand up comedy routine.

What do you look for when you are considering a role?

I look for a role that challenges me as an actor. I look for a role that is outside my comfort zone. A role that has complexity and is multi layered. Too often I get cast as a doctor, professor or businessman. My most challenging roles were as a 16th century Japanese samurai, a US Army General during Operation Desert Storm, the astronaut Ellison Onizuka.

I see you have done modeling as well. Which do you prefer? Modeling or Acting?

Modeling pays better and it is really nice seeing myself in print ads but I prefer acting. Acting allows me to pretend to be someone else for a day and I get paid to do it. Acting on stage is the biggest thrill because you get immediate reaction from the audience.


Do you have a background in the martial arts?

Yes, I have extensive training in Chinese martial arts (Choy Li Fut) and Japanese martial arts (Goju Ryu).

larry-kitagawa-229034How did you find out about the Tales of the Toshigawa graphic novel series?

An actress friend of mine introduced me to Bruce Williams who is the director/producer for the Jetta Defiance film.

How did you land the role of Gaudient?

Bruce Williams called and we had a very nice conversation about the film and about the characters. I eventually met Bruce and read for him. At the time I was not aware that he was considering me for the role of Lord Gaudient which I have since learned is an essential character to the film.

What attracted you to the character Gaudient?

I’ve always thought of myself as a mentor and counselor. I enjoy passing on my knowledge and advice to others. I saw myself as a natural fit for Gaudient. The key was to meeting and working with Michelle (Jetta) to establish and maintain a comfortable working relationship.

The character of Gaudient in the graphic novels was based on my real life martial arts instructor, Sensei Jeff Mullen. How was it to portray Jetta’s instructor?

Lord Gaudient was more than an instructor and mentor to Jetta. Lord Gaudient is Jetta’s best friend  and confedant. Although Lord Gaudient provides instruction and counseling to Jetta, he also learns from Jetta. So the instruction goes both ways.

68125_10150290103770397_529890396_15059272_6260885_nLike Jetta, Gaudient is living with turmoil and inner struggle. What did you want to see brought out in your performance of the character?

The struggle is that Jetta is like a daughter to Gaudient. So Gaudient is very protective of Jetta and he does not want to see her get hurt. But Gaudient is tasked with preparing Jetta for future battles. He has to provide her with the physical training and mental discipline to survive. Gaudient knows that he will not always be around to help Jetta so he needs to prepare Jetta to be self reliant and independent.

You seem like a very laid back guy. And, we all know that Gaudient is anything but laid back. How did you channel the stern demeanor of the ninja master?

As an actor, you need to dissect your role. Part of the process is to unfold the layers of your character. Who is Gaudient? What makes him tick? What are his strengths and weaknesses? Who are his friends? Who are his enemies? What is his relatioship to Jetta? What does Jetta want from Gaudient? What does Gaudient want from Jetta? I probably will end up sounding corny but I based a lot the stern demeanor of Gaudient on Mr Miyagi from the original Karate Kid films.

What was your favorite scene to film in “Defiance”?

The scene where Jetta and I were seated together and I was presenting a sword to her. I was told that the sword was several hundred years old and was so sharp that we weren’t allowed to touch it. The make-up and wardrobe for that scene was awesome.
I also liked the scenes we did at the boxing gym. I was impressed that this was the gym that the boxer, Andre Ward, trained at.

How was your experience working on this project?

One word – incredible.

The actors, director, crew were totally professional. I can’t wait to see the finished product. I look forward to working on future Jetta projects; of course with me as Lord Gaudient.

Our editor, Kevin, usually asks a weird “paper or plastic” question. I have one of my own. If you were to fight a horde of ninja, what would be your weapon of choice?

My favorite weapon is nunchakus so I would have a nunchaku in each hand – as my tribute to Bruce Lee in “Enter the Dragon”

Where can we see you next?

I just wrapped on a short film called “The Trail” where I play a FBI Agent. This summer I am working on a feature length film that will be shot on location in San Francisco’s Japan Town. I have a small role as a widower. I’ll also be in a comedy short about a woman who shows up for the wrong job interview. I’ll be playing the hiring manager.

Defiance Teaser!

Hey guys and gals! If you were at Superman Celebration this past weekend, you may have seen footage from the now in production film based on our graphic novel, Jetta: Tales of the Toshigawa – Defiance. If you weren’t able to attend, fear not! I have the teaser trailer right here. Take a look and I hope you like it. We are very proud that our book was optioned and really looking forward to the possibilities the future holds. The film is still in production with scenes and footage still being compiled and shot. Keep your fingers crossed for us. And while you look at it, whip out your copy of Defiance and see if you can go shot to panel with this!!

 


Super Surprises at Superman Celebration!

Superman Celebration is June 9th – 12th and we are excited to be a part again! This time, we will be attending in a big way. Here’s the run down.

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For starters, we will have both Jetta and Turra at our booth for a meet and greet. Come to our booth and grab a photo with our leading ninja ladies and take home an autograph picture while you are at it.


Talentless+Logo+Color+2+Small+For+Online

Next up, Friday June 9th is the Muley and Friends Puppet Show at 2:30 PM. It’s the Muppets meets Denise the Menace as Muley T. Mule brings you a talent revue that you don’t want to miss. Santa Fish may make an appearance as well. Find out more here!

This year, Martheus Wade and Andrew Chandler will be doing something very special for the city of Metropolis and the attendees of the Celebration. They will be hosting classes called Breaking Into Comics Parts 1 and 2 on Friday and Saturday. If you are interested on the different ways to get your work seen and published, you don’t want to miss these sessions. Bring your questions and get some insight on how this industry works.


Michele Laurent as Jetta

This is a huge one. As you may know, Jetta: Tales of the Toshigawa – Defiance was picked up to become a live action motion picture. We will have footage from the film at our booth at Superman Celebration!! We are really excited for our readers to see what has been going on with the film as well as feel the action packed footage we have for you. Come help us celebrate this landmark in our publishing history!


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Our newest graphic novel titled Jetta: Tales of the Toshigawa – Full Circle is available for purchase. We will have copies on sale at Superman Celebration as well! If you have not ordered your copy from us and are a reader of the Toshigawa saga, you don’t want to miss this book. Fans who have read it are clamoring for the next book already. This is a must read. Grab a copy, get it signed by the Maw Productions Crew and enjoy the read!!


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Last but certainly not least. We will be taking per-orders for Turra: Bombs and Betrayal at Superman Celebration! Get on the list early for this direct tie-in to the Jetta storyline. As a special offer to pre-order purchasers, we will be offering a free digital comic that will shed a little bit of insight into the key players in the Turra: Bombs and Betrayal graphic novel. This is a special offer that will only be available to pre-orderers so see us a Superman Celebration and order your copy!!

B&B16

Looking forward to seeing you there!!

CGS SUPERSHOW!


ssLogoAlright peeps! It’s a week away from Comic Geek Speak Super Show and I have been working my tail off to get things ready for the convention. If you don’t know, the Super Show is the awesome convention put on by the podcast called Comic Geek Speak. This year, yours truly and his wife truly, contributed artwork for the Super Show Convention poster! Wish I could show you, but it’s tightly under wraps until the show next week. Look for an update from the convention where I’ll post the poster artwork!

Also, if you are attending the show, stop by my table and see the TRAILER FOR DEFIANCE, a movie based on our graphic novel, Jetta: Tales of the Toshigawa – Defiance. Don’t miss it!!

Michele Laurent as Jetta

I will also have our newest graphic novel titled, Jetta: Tales of the Toshigawa – Full Circle on sale! If you have not pre-ordered your copy and are going to Super Show, don’t miss this opportunity to grab a copy of this book!!

Synopsis:

After the revelation of betrayal told by her mortal enemy, Terminus, Jetta must now decide whether to fight beside the Toshigawa or not and her decision may rest on the shoulders of the one she loves most, Kim. However, there is something moving in the darkness that threatens all she holds dear as friends become enemies and loved ones pay the ultimate sacrifice. For Jetta, nothing will ever be the same again.

70 pages Full Color Covers Black and White interiors!!

ORDER YOUR COPY HERE

Jetta full Circle

All of this and I will still be doing sketches for attendees. Stop by and grab one!!! Check this commission out that I have already completed for the show!!

batwomanSee you guys in READING, PA!!

CHRISTMAS EVE!!!

It’s Christmas eve and the Holidays are here. As a special gift to our readers and followers of the Toshigawa Universe, I’m going to give you guys a sneak peak into some of the projects we have gearing up for 2011! I, for one, can’t wait for you guys to see what we have planned in it’s entirety. So, until the sun shines on our 2011 books and artistic endeavors, have a Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays!!

DEFIANCE

Michele Laurent as Jetta

Michelle Laurent portrays Jetta in Defiance by Lizardbrain Productions.

Lizard Brain Productions is developing a live-action adaptation of Martheus Wade’s Jetta, a multi-genre action series. Lizard Brain filmmaker Bruce Williams said, “We are in production, shooting this month and August. We’re aiming for product for the 2011 Festival Season.”

I‘m looking forward to seeing what could come of this just like every reader out there! Once it’s finished, I hope to enjoy this adaptation as I’m sure you will as well!

JETTA: TALES OF THE TOSHIGAWA – FULL CIRCLE

It's Jetta vs Terminus in Jetta: Tales of the Toshigawa - Full Circle

It's Jetta vs Terminus in Jetta: Tales of the Toshigawa - Full Circle

This is the main event that all Jetta: TOT readers have been looking for! Jetta takes on her father in a battle to the end! Will Jetta survive? Or will Terminus claim victory over his daughter and rule the world. If you have been following the story thus far, you don’t want to miss this action filled issue!

Synopsis:

After the revelation of betrayal told by her mortal enemy, Terminus, Jetta must now decide whether to fight beside the Toshigawa or not and her decision may rest on the shoulders of the one she loves most, Kim. However, there is something moving in the darkness that threatens all she holds dear as friends become enemies and loved ones pay the ultimate sacrifice. For Jetta, nothing will ever be the same again.

Don’t miss this exciting chapter of the Jetta series.

Please visit our store here to find the rest of the Jetta: Tales of the Toshigawa saga. As well, you can find our books at Discount Comic Book Services, Heroes Corner, Lulu.com, Haven Distributors, Amazon.com, or fine comic book shops near you. Just ask them for Jetta: Tales of the Toshigawa!

TURRA- GUN ANGEL : BOMBS AND BETRAYAL

Turra: Bombs and Betrayal

Turra: Bombs and Betrayal

2011 is the year of Turra as we launch her new graphic novel titled Turra: Guns and Betrayal. This 5 chapter graphic novel will fit right between Jetta: Rain and Jetta: Full Circle and is another must read for Jetta fans and readers!!

If you are unfamiliar with the story, here is a brief synopsis.

TURRA: GUN ANGEL

For fans of the Jetta: Tales of the Toshigawa comic book series comes a new spinoff from MAW Productions. TURRA: GUN ANGEL will star Jetta’s best friend and fellow Toshigawa ninja, Turra, as she travels back to her home of Japan in order to regroup the Toshigawa ninja clan. However, she finds herself marked for death and hunted by the evil Knave.

Written by Martheus Wade

Illustrated by Andrew Chandler, Alex Zemke and creator Martheus Wade

Cover by: Janet Wade

Colors by: Gareth Melvin

Editor: Kevin Williams

JETTA: LAST CHANCES ISSUE 2

Jetta: Last Chances Issue 02

Jetta: Last Chances Issue 02

Jetta: Tales of the Toshigawa – Last Chances issue 2 will be making it’s way to WOWIO.com for digital download in 2011 as well. The Last Chances 3 part mini series chronicles the beginning adventures of Jetta and Turra as they go on a quest to find their lost sword sister, Kristen. Also, don’t forget to stop by Wowio.com and pick up the first issue in the series.

JETTA: TALES OF THE TOSHIGAWA – LAST CHANCES issue 1 is now available on WOWIO.COM. Download a copy today for only $.99. It’s 32 Pages of full color that is perfect for your iphone, ipad, ipod, or e-reader of your choice. Order your copy here!

About The Story
Vol.0 The Toshigawa clan has long guarded and ruled Japan from the shadows. Now, one of the clan’s former members has become emperor of Japan and wants to destroy the remaining members of the Toshigawa clan, including his own daughter, Shianndrea! But before she can flee to America, she has to deal with the formidable Desai – and rumors that her sensei is a traitor! Don’t miss this 80 page web story of the TOSHIGAWA SAGA.

Written and Illustrated by: Martheus Wade

Inks by: Janet Wade

Colors by: Gareth Melvin

Editor: Kevin Williams

DON’T MISS THE NINJA ACTION IN 2011! SEE YOU THERE!

Slash makes his real life debut.

If you have been following the Jetta Tales of the Toshigawa story, you know about one of the deadliest villians in the Toshigawa universe named Slash. He is the main bad guy in Jetta – Defiance and a major thorn is Jetta’s side. Now that thorn has bloomed into a bush as Slash makes his live action debut in DEFIANCE, a film based off of the graphic novel of the same name. Here is a sneak peak of him in all of his evil glory.

slash photo

See more at our facebook fan page! Join the ninja clan here!

Movie Poster & Digital Comic in time for Comic Con!

Jetta looks good in Defiance!
Jetta looks good in Defiance!

Comic Con Starts Tonight!! In celebrating this grand occasion, MAW Productions has teamed up with WOWIO just in time for San Diego Comic Con to bring Jetta: Tales of the Toshigawa comic books to you in digital form. Download the indy hit Jetta/Shi: Arrow of Destiny for FREE (as a gift from Logic Wireless) to your computer, Ipod, or Ipad Today!

GRAB YOUR DOWNLOAD HERE


This is our COMIC CON SPECIAL and will only be good while the con doors are open!! Don’t forget to stop by the WOWIO booth and let them know you are a reader.


ALSO:

If you haven’t gotten your Defiance Movie Poster, hit the freebee table at the con and pick yours up before they are all gone!!!

Michelle Laurent is Jetta!

Michelle Laurent as Shianndrea Toshigawa/Jetta in Defiance!

Michelle Laurent as Shianndrea Toshigawa/Jetta in Defiance!

We just got the clearance to post a promotional photo of Michelle Laurent as Shianndrea Toshigawa (AKA: Jetta) from Jetta: Defiance motion picture. Stay tuned here to find out more.

See more of Michelle at her facebook fan page HERE

See more of Lizardbrain Productions HERE

See more about Jetta: Tales of the Toshigawa – Defiance HERE

Sneak Peak and the Tiki

jettasneakJust a sneak peak for fans of the graphic novel series. If you were at CGS Supershow this past March, you will know what this is from.

Keep your eyes peeled for more information in the near future. As well, come to our panel at Screaming Tiki Con to meet Jetta: Defiance producer, Bruce Williams as well as the MAW Productions crew as we talk about the graphic novel series and movie.

See you there!

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