Vision Entertainment Group
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The Vision Entertainment Group is comprised of a number of companies owned by Darrell Benvenuto and active in furry publishing from 1993 through 2000. They are divided as follows:
Vision Books was a book publishing house, launched in 1993, with its main offices located in New Hyde Park, New York. It published The American Journal of Anthropomorphics #1-4; Margaret Carspecken's beautiful Sweet Treats cookbook; and the novels The Rats of Acomar and A Whisper of Wings, both written by Paul Kidd and illustrated by Terrie Smith, as well as a number of non-furry novels, including Blood Memories by author Barb Hendee. Their planned holiday 1997 lineup of twenty horror, science fiction and fantasy novels, included a decade-long-delayed book in the GOR series by author John Norman and Tales of the Mornmist, a furry shared world jointly developed by author Lynn Abbey (creator of Thieves World) and Ed Greenwood (creator of TSR's popular Forgotten Realms series), of which Paul Kidd's The Rats of Acomar was the first novel. The house was forcibly sidelined when Random House backed out of a planned distribution deal whilst in the throes of their then-secret merger with Bertelsmann.
Vision Comics was a comic book publisher, launched in May 1994, with its main offices located in New Hyde Park, New York. It was active in producing and publishing comics from 1994 through 2000. It published Tales of Beatrix Farmer (entitled "BEATRIX", the first issue of which was in full, glossy color, and was nominated for an Eisner Award for best production values in an Independent Comic) #1-2, The Hollow Earth #1-3, Katmandu #7-14, Savage Funnies #1-3, Shanda the Panda #15-22, Tall Tails #1-4, Extinctioners #1 (in full, glossy color), and Hard Core #1 (digitally shaded). Produced, although not published (due to absymal advance sales numbers despite the largest advertising campaign ever deployed by Vision for a single comic, including the inner front covers of Diamond DIALOGUE and PREVIEWS, plus a double-page, full-bleed, digitally shaded 11x17 ad in PREVIEWS, as well as the back covers of several Dark Horse comics that were released the month prior), was a 64-page full-color special Tank Vixens edition, intended to be released as a glossy, color book with a heavy cover. This special edition was digitally colored for Vision Comics by the original artist, Mike Sagara.
Vision Comics also produced the first two issues of GOR Magazine, intended as a quarterly, 128-page graphic novel based on the best-selling science fiction series of books of the same name, published from the late 1960's through the 1980's. Vision's team of in-house artists worked directly with author John Norman to ensure that the look and feel of the graphic magazine was accurate and consistent with his own vision of GOR. Unfortunately, the Random House distribution fiasco cost the company hundreds of thousands of dollars, drained its operating funds dry, and brought production on this beautifully-illustrated magazine to a grinding halt. Like the special 64-page edition of Tank Vixens, GOR Magazine was never published, although its issues of completed art remain intact, waiting in the wings.
Vision Productions was a 2D and 3D animation studio, first launched in 1996, with its main office located in Amityville, New York. While producing bumper content for The History Channel, animated corporate logos for companies such as INTELECOM and cable TV ads for local Internet Service Providers such as NAIS (North American Internet Services), the company was also developing and shopping new concepts for animated shows for Nickelodeon, the CBS Kids Network, Warner Brothers, Disney and to the FOX Kids Network. Following the Random House distribution problems, Vision Productions relocated its offices to Church Street, in New York City. There, the studio performed all of the digital ink and paint for the pilot episode of Dora, a series which would eventually become one of Nickelodeon's most popular, a wheeling, 450+ Million dollar-per-year licensing juggernaut that spun off whole new series of its own, including Diego's Animal Rescue. Some of Vision's animation, including the pilot episode to Dora the Explorer can be viewed on their website.
In 2000, the studio relocated again, to East Orange, New Jersey, where it entered into a partnership with Invision Media Communications, a film and advertising production firm that the company had been doing a good deal of business with in 1999. Working there, the studio produced commercial animations for Lufthansa, the STAR Alliance, the State of New Jersey and more. Together over the course of 2000, Vision and Invision brought in and worked on many projects, but in early 2001 Darrell decided to separate the two companies. Invision Media Communications was eventually acquired by a Chinese company.
Following the parting of the ways from Invision, Mr. Benvenuto relocated studio operations back to New York City, taking space on the 46th Floor of One World Trade Center with ASTDC, the Asia-Sino Trade Development Corporation, with the intent of building relationships with overseas animation studios. These offices were lost on 11 September 2001 with the World Trade Center.
Vision Interactive (initially launched as Vision Wireless) is a software development house, launched in August, 2000. This company has built a large number of web sites, and maintains racks of servers at geographically-separated datacenters in New York. The company is an authorized Nintendo of America software developer, and produces games for the Game Boy Advance and DS platforms. The company also produces games for various cell phone platforms in Java and BREW. The company has produced content, developed games and hosted web sites for many clients. Vision Interactive has offices in New York City (right beside the Stock Exchange) and California (one block from Venice Beach), and is currently engaged in developing games for Warner Brothers and Cartoon Network, among others. Vision's first two titles, "Caddyshack Golf" for Warner Brothers and "Foster's Home for Imaginary Friends" for Cartoon Network, shipped in 2006 under the Collision Studios label.
Vision Interactive is the only company of the four currently conducting business (as of early 2006), although Vision Books and Vision Comics both continue to service orders of remaining backstock from their warehouse via their online catalog (see below). The other three companies have been largely "set on the back burner", to quote Mr. Benvenuto, "until such time as sufficient operating capital has been generated from other areas of the company to resume their operations." The first of them that is planned to return to operations is apparently Vision Books, whose lineup of novels is still largely intact. The company is "positively pregant" with furry intellectual properties, including several as-yet-unreleased Paul Kidd novels. Mr. Benvenuto is eager to see them finally get onto bookstore shelves and in the hands of readers.