Halo comic book coverApparently, the Halo Uprising panel I survived at Comic-Con two weeks ago was merely the beginning of a huge cross-promotional marketing campaign to promote the Sept. 25 debut of Halo 3 in the United States, so massive that even the Wall Street Journal or I couldn't ignore it.

No wonder companies like Pepsi, 7-Eleven, Burger King and General Motors/Pontiac are glomming onto Halo 3, considering more than 1 million copies of the Xbox 360 exclusive game have been presold, the fastest ever in video game history, with almost two months to go before its release!

Every studio in creation may be green-lighting movies right and left about any and every comic book character under the sun (even a few that should've never been seen on TV or a shelf at your local DVD store). Nevertheless, revenues being generated by the video game market are rising at a faster clip (more than 14 percent) than those in Hollyweird (less than 3 percent), according to the WSJ piece. And, the first two iterations of the Halo game have sold nearly a combined 15 million units, amounting to an estimated $600 million, exceeding the comic book industry's annual earnings -- all by themselves -- by some $100 million.

Simply put, Halo has made Microsoft at least as much money to date as have any pair of the top 10 grossing films released this year -- think Spider-Man 3 AND Shrek the Third combined -- and that's before the arrival of 3...

I suspect the suits at the WSJ were so boggled by those numbers and the marketing might gamers wield, they failed to mention the debut of the first of many comics-related Halo miniseries to come, set to arrive within the next two weeks from Marvel.

One caveat emptor: Those in the know about one specific promo product -- Mountain Dew Game Fuel -- say it tastes, according to the brave souls at IGN.com, like Dew and cherry cough syrup!

If you haven't checked out Halo 3 yet , enjoy this preview video from WSJ reporter Nick Wingfield.