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Tuesday, May 31, 2005

For those who are appalled by the lack of snark in my last post about Laurenn and her charity efforts, I give you possibly the greatest email that this blog has ever recieved. With a subject line of "apparently you are pornographic", you just know it's going to be good, right? Patrick Stuart writes:

"Thought you might like to know, according to the liverpool library system you have been classified as 'restricted' whcih ususally translates as 'porn'. Since I cant access the site I have no idea what you have been getting up to to call down the thunder from the liverpool librarians, unless 'Millar' has become a swearword on the internet, which I suppose had to happen eventually, re. 'you utter absouloute Millar' or 'for christs sake don't be a Millar about it!'"

I'm so proud. Why doesn't Tom Spurgeon get emails like this (Which isn't to say that Tom's inbox hasn't been fun lately. Just the opposite, in fact)?

Kitchen Sinker, Rent Girl illustrator and all-round good egg Laurenn McCubbin needs your help. But it's for a very good cause:

"I am participating in a Triathalon, to raise money for blood cancers. 'A Triathalon?' I can hear some of you say. 'Aren't you the girl who threw up after trying out for track?' Yep, that's me. And a triathalon is nothing to sneeze at - the whole event includes swimming a mile, biking 26 miles, and running 6 miles. IN A ROW. And I am going to do it. And while I am doing it, I am going to be raising $3200 for the treatment of Leukemia, Lymphoma, Myeloma and other blood cancers. I am running on behalf of Team in Training, and over 70% of the money I raise goes directly to research and assisting the families of people affected by blood cancers. That's where YOU come in - I need donations from you, my friends, family and people I have worked with. I need you to help me keep going. I can do the training stuff - me and my friend Kelly Sue DeConnick are training together, and we help each other out on the things that we are each strongest at. Kelly Sue is a great swimmer, whereas I can barely not drown, and she is also a champ at weight lifting. I am a pretty good runner, and I love biking. She claims to look like Benny Hill on her bike. It is all balancing well."

Go and donate here. Or, if you want to donate to Kelly Sue DeConnick instead, go here. And, for once, keep your snark to yourself or wait for the next post. Thank you.

Captain America #6, the Winter Soldier reveal issue, gets a reprint and variant cover from Marvel:

"'We knew from a storytelling point of view that Cap #6 would probably be an under-ordered title once word got out about the identity of the Winter Soldier,' said Marvel Director of Sales David Gabriel. 'So in anticipation of the demand, we had Steve Epting do up a second cover, mirroring the image on the initial printing but focusing on the Winter Soldier, so that we'd have it ready to roll out shortly after the issue hit the stands.'"

Millarworld has a new look. Site God Michael Tegler explains why:

"There are a number of reasons. 1. Millarworld will soon be a network of sites offering bigger and more robust content. Each site will have it's own distinctive design. More on that later. 2. We've been living with the gutted corpse Jen Hooks' original design made for a entirely different board, and frankly it has been sliced and diced so many times, the Frankstein monster looks like the prom queen, by comparison. 3. Having more control over the design elements I'll be able to make easier and cleaner changes. 4. Everyone with a comic related site and his mother. now have the same forum software that we do, thereby making us look pretty bland, cause mostly everyone just changes a few colors and the logo. So something radical was in order. 5. Much like coffee, beer, and protein shakes, they taste like shit at first, but then after a while you can't imagine life without them."

Not that everyone's happy with the new look, sadly.

A thread about whether Mark Millar is really leaving Ultimates at the end of this current run at Brian K. Vaughan's board devolves into proof of how bored writers can get. After Millar appears to explain his current work situation (Essentially, after Ultimates 2, it's Millarworld 2), Vaughan replies:

"I knew this thread would bring that self-centered douche scurrying out of the shadows. If there's one thing Millar loves writing about, it's himself. Too bad DC owns the rights to his distinctive name and likeness thereof ever since he wrote himself into that Flash story a few years ago... and guess who Paul Levitz just offered the chance to write Mark's ongoing adventures? That's right, get ready for ALL-STAR MILLAR, written by yours truly and drawn by Hitch, coming in early 2007! It's the adventures of a tiny Scotsman trying to make it in a big world, DC style!"

Millar responds:

"All-Star Millar sounds really, really great. Congrats on finally coming up with something I'm actually looking forward to, BKV. And with my name on your solicits you might even break that 20K barrier at last!!!!!"

Vaughan:

"My 20,000 readers can actually read. All you have are illiterates who like to look at pictures of explosions."

Millar:

"I'm afraid I don't have time to reply to that last comment. I'm way too busy brushing (yes, brushing) my hair."

Vaughan:

"Still trying to cover up that bald spot, huh? (I can keep this up all night, old man! I'm actually ahead of MY deadlines!)"

Millar:

"I just wanted to apologize to BKV for my above comments. He is a much younger, handsomer, more talented writer than I could ever hope to be, and my jealousy sometimes manifests itself in oddly passionate ways. Sure, Y has sold more copies in Indonesia alone than Unfunnies and Chosen combined will ever sell worldwide, but that's no reason for me to abuse the lad. Anyway, off to wank to yellowed headshots of Margot Kidder!"

Confused? Vaughan supplies the reason for Millar's apparent change of heart:

"Cheers, mate! Wise of you not to fuck with the one guy who can edit your posts!"

Scary how Vaughan gets Millar's "dialogue" so lifelike...

M. Zachary Sherman talks about Seal Team Seven, the upcoming AiT/PlanetLar book that for some reason feels like it's kind of snuck up on me:

"After I settled on using the Seals instead of creating a fake black ops organization, I tried to come up with an antagonist that would be as visually stunning to draw as they were exciting and fresh to write about and I thought, 'hey who better to pit against the US Navy than invaders from Atlantis?'"

Augie De Blieck Jr. provides a guide to the comic weblogosphere. He's far too nice about this place, but his ADD entry made me laugh:

"The father of Comic Book Galaxy, Alan David Doane, links around to various less-seen titles and creators. He also virtually stalks Abhay, linking to many hilarious message board posts the much-missed columnist makes. I'm not kidding. He did it again this weekend. Someone call the cops."

You know that you've always wanted one: The Official Handbook to the "Newsarama Universe" - Posters provide all the biographical details you would want to know about them. Not that everyone's happy about it:

"[This thread] doesn't address where our conversation left off - with you either supporting an accusation or withdrawing it, and responding to why any of this is relevant to discussions we've had in the past regarding the FF movie, Identity Crisis or coming trends in the creative make-up of the comic book industry?"

"You've set preferences on your screen name so you don't receive Private Messages. You also set your preferences so no one can email you. You volunteer nada, zilch, nothin' about yourself or any type of background to show a willingness to openly participate as a good neighbor. Nothing about yourself--we just have to trust everything you say is legitimate... even if you hide everything about yourself. Your refusal to be even a tiny bit open about who you are and where you're from makes me inclined to be very skeptical anytime you criticize someone. If you're going to criticize anyone in the Talk@ Community, you should at least be willing to participate in some of the rituals members engage in (such as sharing details about our lives with each other). Otherwise, your posts are no better than the average troll's."

"To the best of my knowledge to participate in the Talk community, I need to follow Newsarama.com's and/or Matt Brady's Terms of Use, which I believe I well observe. Like many communities such as these, you're attempting to establish yourself as part of an informal governing squatters group that tries to set an additional set of norms and establish a certain type of behavior in order to be 'accepted'. I'm not interested in any of that, in fact I'm inclined to challenge it. So long as you or anyone else posts here, as a member of this community that follows the rules established by the moderators and behaves in a civil manner at all times (and of the two of us, I'm the only one who can make this claim), I can respond as I like. As to YOUR subjective opinion as to how I 'should' behave - I don't want you or anyone else paying attention to how old I am, where I grew up, whether I like boys or girls, my ethnicity or whether I'm a 'nice' guy or not. Emphasis should be on what I think and write, not 'who' or 'what' I am. But instead you attempt to discredit me in the eyes of the 'Talk regulars' because I don't choose to use the forum or behave in the same manner you and your group does."

Editor Jenny Lee leaves Marvel:

"It was a tough decision to make, since I love comics and visual storytelling, and the people I work with are the most talented, creative, and inspiring folks I've ever met. And feeling like you're part of a team collaborating on something that's more than the sum of its parts is incredibly gratifying. And while you're always going to feel like there are more stories to tell and more things to accomplish, there also comes a time when you just know in your gut it's time for change. The last few years have been very hectic and haven't left too much room to pursue other things I'm passionate about, like teaching women's self defense. Depicting fictional heroes in comics is great, but when you can actually help someone feel empowered in their daily lives, it's pretty spectacular, too. My self defense organization, Ruckus Safety Awareness (www.makearuckus.org), has been growing and I'm looking forward to having the room to focus on it for the summer."

Friday, May 27, 2005

Knowing how long James has been working on this (as well as the fact that I'm just about to leave work), I thought I'd just run this press release in its entirity. Isotope regulars, this is The Single Most Requested Isotope Event of All:

"Known for his unique vision of comics retailing, James Sime, proprietor of Isotope – the comic book lounge, announced today that he will be relocating his award-winning store into the heart of San Francisco on July 1. The Isotope’s new location, in the cultivated Hayes Valley neighborhood, will put comics alongside the finest the arts offer in furniture, fashion and food.

"'Our Andy Warhol's Factory meets CBGBs approach to celebrating the great art form of comics is just an ideal fit for the Hayes Valley neighborhood,' said Sime, 'The collision of high and low culture, of Haute Couture and Pabst Blue Ribbon, the combination of the tuxedos-and-evening-gown crowd with the corsets-and-leather crowd is the perfect environment for the Isotope and its singular style to thrive.' With twice the square footage for Sime and his staff to do their comic retailing thing, the Isotope's new location makes for the perfect environment for those looking to find comics and graphic novels from every walk of comic book life. And with just about every form of public transportation in the city dropping off people in a four block radius of the new storefront and street parking plentiful day or night, it'll be easier than ever for the entire Bay Area to get to enjoy the Isotope experience.

"'Making bold moves is an Isotope tradition; it's what has made us famous in the comic industry,' said proprietor James Sime, 'and what am I going to do that's more bold now that I've got twice the space to stock, sell and celebrate the comic art form? If you've been to the Isotope before, you KNOW what I'm gonna do!'

"Joining the elite community of independent businesses in the Hayes Valley neighborhood is a natural extension of the Isotope plan. 'Maybe it's just me, but it seemed like everywhere we went, we saw Best of the Bay winners, just like the Isotope,' said Special Projects Director Kirsten Baldock. 'Trendy restaurants, art galleries, clothing designers, and high-end interior-decorating shops are all award-winners. And we're a block and a half away from the city's hottest new nightclub, The Rickshaw Club, believe me, it's not going to be hard to go to work in the morning!'

"'I'm enjoying exploring all the little shops in the neighborhood, and the restaurants are some of the best in the city.' said Isotope bon vivant Ian Yarborough. 'What could be more perfect than having a classic cocktail and some New Brunswick oysters on the half-shell at the Absinthe Brasserie & Bar with a new graphic novel in hand?' 'Well, there IS the world-famous corset shop The Dark Garden right in our backyard,' answered Isotope enforcer and special effects make-up artist Jared Guenther.

"'We had some great times at our old location these past four years,'said Sime, 'but it's time to bring the Isotope brand of comic retailing to the epicenter of cool culture here on the West Coast. My staff and I can't wait until July 1st when we get to show all of you our new shop!'

"Isotope - the comic book lounge is the award winning home of the Isotope Award for Excellence in Mini-Comics in San Francisco, CA. Comic book impresario and retailer James Sime has been setting new standards for comic retailing since 2001 and continues his campaign of comic evangelism with his weekly column The Comic Pimp on ComicBookResources.com. Isotope – the comic book lounge is a purveyor of fine new and vintage comic books, graphic novels and trade paperbacks, manga and other imported comics, as well as unique props and memorabilia. Starting July 1st, the Isotope will be located on 326 Fell Street (@ Gough) in San Francisco. For more information about Isotope – the comic book lounge, visit: http;//www.isotopecomics.com"

I'm off. Have a good holiday weekend, all Americans.

Bart Sears signs an exclusive contract with DC, promising to bring his weirdly-flat style to the publisher. Interestingly enough, the press release mentions something I hadn't heard of before:

"'We're very happy to have Bart Sears back with DC, and we're excited to see him apply his skills as both an artist and a designer on projects including BATMAN: LEGENDS OF THE DARK KNIGHT and the upcoming WARLORD series,' says Dan DiDio, VP - Executive Editor, DCU."

They're bringing back Warlord? Did I miss this announcement somewhere?

Joe Quesada spends his Fridays spinning:

"[L]et’s discuss 'dead is dead' because I think people have a tendency to pigeon hole the rule based on the sound bite and not upon the reasons I set it up. I didn’t set up 'dead is dead' within editorial to keep characters who died out of the books forever so much as I want our writers to do three things: 1.) Think twice before you kill a character off in a significant way. 2.) If it’s a death with a predetermined resurrection, in other words, I’m killing off this character in order to bring them back further down the line, then I need to know about it ahead of time and it better be a damn good character arc. 3.) If you want to bring a character back who has had a significant death, then it better be a great resurrection. All of this was with one goal in mind, to give you the reader better stories at the end of the day. I think we’ve done that, but what happens is that when people read the words 'dead is dead,' they understandably only read one thing into it."

The moral of this story: Don't believe anything Joe Quesada says, because he's not fully explaining his reasoning behind it, and for all you know, his reasoning may entirely contradict what he's saying. "Dead is dead? No! What I meant was 'Dead is only dead until you come up with a good way to bring them back!'"

TCJ posters discuss the seeming Frank Miller/Wizard peace:

"Does anyone else find this to be rather despicable? ...Hooray for comprising your values and buying Wizard off (with a free action figure) in exchange for free editorial coverage! We love it!"

"Eh. It's Miller. The best way to figure out what Miller will do next is to imagine the opposite of whatever he just made a public declaration of principle regarding."

"As embarrassing as Wizard Magazine is, Miller's 'shocking' episode at the Harveys in 2001 was just as embarrassing. It was incredibly awkward, and seemed completey out of place...I really thought it was a joke! And yeah, it is pretty despicable...Frank Miller talks a good game, but he so often goes and does something like this that makes me think he's full of shit."

"Of course Wizard is screwing Frank, but why should he compromise with them (if it's true)? He's more successful than he's ever been. ALL-STAR BATMAN is going to be a smash success with or without WIZARD. How much more money is WIZARD worth, given the price? I hope I'm off-base in some way I don't understand. WIZARD has been a pernicious influence on comics over the last decade, and Miller knows it."

"I think the key here is Lee. I've followed Miller's interviews as closely as I've followed his comics and one thing that comes up repeatedly is how quick he is to praise his collaborators and to emphasize their contribution. So if it was important to Lee, as I think it was, Miller would be willing to eat crow. By the way, why is Frank fucking Miller working with Jim fucking Lee?"

Frank Miller in the Guardian:

"Despite being a comic-book movie, Sin City has little in common with the garish, effects-driven superheroics now associated with the genre. It plays more like the film noir equivalent of Pulp Fiction; a trio of macabre, interlinked tales set in a stylised world where men are honourable brutes, women are deadly lingerie models, and the only proper way to deal with a paedophile is to shoot his nuts off. It's not what you'd call politically nuanced, but Miller is unashamed and unapologetic. 'Cartoonists' dirty secret is that we tend to come up with stories that involve things that are really fun to draw,' says Miller. 'I'm a guy. Of course my fantasies would look like that.'"

(Via Millarworld, where Mark Millar continues to become a parody of himself: "HAW HAW! Dave reads The Guardian! POOF! PS As do I, I'm afraid, But I hate myself for reading it. It's so fucking WET." To the person yesterday who asked why I go after Millar so much - It's because he says shit like this.)

Crossgen takes one final step towards death, finally:

"The United States Bankruptcy Court in Tampa Florida has approved the 'plan of reorganization' (actually a liquidation plan for the disposition of the company's assets) for CrossGen Entertainment. The court acted after the plan was accepted by the requisite number and amount of creditors in each class affected by the plan."

Bryan Lee O'Malley on Scott Pilgrim:

"I think [the second book, Scott Pilgrim Vs. The World] will change the reader's impression more than it changed mine... I pretty much have a well-rounded character in my mind. The first volume showed what it showed, and people formed their impressions of the characters, but there's more. There's definitely a feeling of accomplishment after finishing 360 pages of this story, though, yeah. I've never stuck to anything for this long, so I'm proud of myself. And I'm definitely in it for the long haul."

Thursday, May 26, 2005

You crazy kids who haven't read Captain America #6 might not want to read any further. If you're still reading, then obviously you have no problem with me telling you that it looks very much like Ed "Poor Holden" Brubaker has brought Battlin' Bucky Barnes back from the dead. Newsarama asks, "What were you thinking, man?":

"[T]here is this perceived notion that Bucky is like Gwen Stacy or Uncle Ben, or several other dead characters in mainstream comics, that makes it somehow sacrilege to bring him back. But there's a big difference between Bucky and them that no one ever seems to think about -- there's no actual comic where Bucky dies. It was a retcon. The first Marvel retcon, but a retcon still. You can actually go buy the comics where Gwen Stacy and Uncle Ben die. But the only way you can get a comic with Bucky's death in it is in a variety of slightly conflicting flashbacks that are all essentially retcons... The one thing that I think is strange is the people that I've seen who love the book that say they're dropping the book, or they're dropping all Marvel comics, or whatever, because of Cap #6. It makes me wonder if they would've dropped the book in the ‘60s when Stan Lee and Gil Kane brought Bucky back for three issues, when he turned out to be a robot. Or if they would've dropped the book in the ‘70s when Bucky was in a few issues and turned out to be Jack Monroe, the Bucky from the ‘50s. This story's got a long way to go before all the questions it raises are answered, and I would hope that anyone who's been enjoying the ride so far will stick around, because we're really just getting starting here, but if people want to wig out before anything is resolved, then I certainly can't stop them."

Matt Brady takes a look at what DC's new logo means in a larger context:

"Marvel clawed its way up from bankruptcy to become the well-known, profitable, and respected entertainment brand behind a number of blockbuster franchises, most notably the wildly successful Spider-Man and X-Men. With the Marvel logo appearing on every related television commercial, the start of each film, and all manner of ancillary products from playsets to pasta, someone at Time Warner must have noted that they have the potential to do that and more, and since they control the manufacture and distribution of intellectual property 'from soup to nuts,' can achieve multiples of Marvel's success under the right circumstances. Certainly this move demonstrates that DC, as an entertainment company, is finally ready to duke it out with Marvel in that context, much the same as it is going head to head for market share in the direct market economy. But beyond being the waking Goliath to stand up to Marvel's David, this restructuring of DC also can possibly be interpreted as an aggressive sign for other intellectual property monoliths like Disney to stand up and take notice. In the macro view, and in light of moves by both companies, 'Marvel vs. DC' is clearly far too small a scale by which to be viewing the playing field. Observers have also suggested to Newsarama that the press release from Time Warner and DC served as a means to point out to Wall Street that perhaps, as an asset of Time Warner, DC is undervalued. Looking at the release through that lens, it could be argued that the message was that with many of the larger media projects based on DC properties, the revenue remains within the Time Warner family, and thereby, DC itself should be taken very seriously as a very valuable piece of Time Warner."

Brian Wood talks about his new IDW series, Supermarket:

"People who know my work know I tend to make one of two different sorts of projects: serious stuff like Demo with a heavy emotional core, or fast, crazy stuff like The Couriers. I don't prefer one over the other. Each one satisfies a different part of my psyche... I should say that Supermarket is meant to be a fun book, a little over the top and very tongue-in-cheek... It's similar in a way to my Pounded book at Oni and The Couriers. You take stuff like that too seriously and it starts to fall apart on you."

Go check out the concept and the lovely art samples.

TCJ.com runs outtakes of the Craig Thompson interview from their latest print issue, and in doing so, convinces me to actually buy the damn thing:

"Yeah, I have rheumatoid arthritis, so [drawing] gets seriously painful. Certainly during those conventions and other extreme-deadline workdays, I suffer a lot of pain. In some ways I think that's a carry-over from my brand of, like, martyrdom Christianity -- something that's psychosomatic or self-inflicted... I think it's the physiological component to internal self-loathing. Destructive thought or emotional patterns can actually damage the body -- for instance, with cancer -- and I'm operating from such a typical cartoonist's self-loathing sort of personality. I'm trying to get over it, but in the meantime, hand pain is one of the physical manifestations of that mindset."

Why won't Marvel go dark, ponders Millarworld:

"In the 80s, DC never hesitated in showing their heroes in a negative and even in a psychotic light. You had Moore and Veitch's Swamp Thing, Arkham Asylum, and other comics at the time that portrayed DC heroes as mentally unbalanced thugs (I love DC's heroes and didn't agree with those intrepretations but it was very interesting and most of the time very well done). My question is why doesn't Marvel do the same thing? I mean a strong case can be made that Spider-Man is crazier then Batman. Why isn't he portrayed in a poor light? I'm not talking about where in the comics the public hates him and that bull. I'm talking about the actual comic portraying Spider-Man as a psycho or mentally unhinged. How about other Marvel heroes like Captain America, Iron Man, Hulk (well Banner accomplished that I'll admit) or the Fantastic Four? A case can be mader that all these characters are mentally ill. I thought that;s what the Marvel series Startling Stories was supposed to show. Not talking about Megalomanical Spider-Man, it was good but basically an Elseworlds I'm talking about sutff in continuity."

"The difference is that DC heroes are iconic and built on myth. Marvel's always had the feeling of being darker and more 'challenging': their biggest hero was in college, their most popular franchise is built on racism. Also, most Marvel teams like X-Men and Fantastic Four have had cases made by writers like Waid and Morrison that they aren't heroes, mainly super-powered concerned citizens. There isn't much you could make out to be disturbing in Professor Xavier or Reed Richards. If you applied that approach to Spider-Man, you wouldn't get farther than a guy who unfairly blames himself for his Uncle's death. I think the approach you're getting at starts and ends at The Sentry for Marvel."

"I think the problem with a more mature Marvel is that it is an institutional issue. Marvel as a whole wants to deny deny deny that they have any mature themes in their books. Even their successful, thought provoking mature work gets canned after awhile (i.e. Supreme Power) due to institutional policy. Whethere they care to admit to it or not. Any character can be given a smart mature slant. Marvel just tends to shy away from that and demand their characters remain kidified. No wonder as fans were outraged when Gwen cheats on Peter. Much less finding out she had sex. Even though after it was revealed that JMS wanted those to be Peters kids and Marvel said no explains some of the stupidity of the story (but thats another story altogether). Marvel can't do an Arkham Asylum, or a Killing Joke, Watchmen, Dark Knight returns, etc. Simply because they are afraid and they are run by uptight suits, not creators."

"Nah, it's got nothing to do with creators or suits. It has more to do with common sense. Most Marvel characters just don't work good in dark stories. I think the same is true of DC's heroes as well. A dark take on Spidey is good for maybe an arc or two but that's it. Same thing with most of their big guns excluding maybe Wolverine or DD."

Newsarama nominates a contender for the "Worst Review Ever" - This one, of Black Panther #4, which ends thusly:

"Upon finishing this hideous drivel, I actually had to re-read it because I couldn't believe that Marvel, a company I have been loyal to for close to 20 years now would publish such narrow-minded, divisive, racist garbage under it's bannerhead. But they did, and until Mr. Hudlin is no longer being published by Marvel Comics, I will no longer be purchasing Marvel Comics because I do not support racists and bigots or the companies that push forth their twisted agendas. I did not contribute a dime to David Duke or Pat Buchannon's presidential bids, so I will not contribute another dime to Marvel Comics corporation until they get their house in order. Sorry, but no more New Avengers, Wolverine, Ultimates, Powers, Ultimate Iron Man, Iron Man, or Captain America (that one's gonna hurt) until Reginald 'The Hatemonger' Hudlin is off the payroll. I was so deeply offended that I actually tore all four issues to pieces, removed them from my home, and deposited them in the trash outside, because that's exactly where racist trash belongs. Shame on you, Marvel. You should know better."

Now I almost want to read Black Panther just to see what all the fuss is about (It's anti-white racism that Hudlin is being accused of, by the way. The reviewer notes earlier, "All one need do is rent House Party (1 & 2, both written by Mr. Hudlin) to see this man's opinions about white people laid bare".)

Wednesday, May 25, 2005

Steve Englehart's Coyote returns:

"'Coyote' was something I first did in the early '80s for Eclipse. I did it with Marshal Rogers... I wrote a 60 page graphic album, the origin of Coyote, which Marshall then took and divided somehow into seven parts, which ran in Eclipse Monthly magazine and was later collected. It had a fairly small print run in its original form... 'Coyote' was a pretty influential book at the time... I've had a number of Image guys come and tell me what the Eclipse and Epic people did sort of inspired them. I'm not taking responsibility for them all becoming millionaires, of course."

Five trades will reprint the Eclipse and Epic runs of the series, as well as the unfinished tie-in Scorpio Rose miniseries.

Somehow, I missed this earlier. Over at Newsarama on Sunday, poster Christian Otte broke the "news" that Chris Claremont was possibly being replaced on Uncanny X-Men:

"Don't know if this has been posted before, but apparently there's talk of Greg Pak taking over Claremont's job on Uncanny. Alan Davis apparently left because of some creative differences and now Claremont has begun to have editorial trouble with Marvel, too - some say that is also one of the reasons why Excalibur was cancelled. Apparently, this was posted over at Quesada's message board, but the thread was quickly deleted - make of it what you will. I would say this would be pretty cool, though - I haven't really liked Claremont's X-Men in a loooooooooooooong while, so Greg Pak is an excellent solution."

The next day, Mark Millar, playing his other role of "responsible creator", quashed said rumor:

"In a nutshell, I want this erased because, as a creator, I don't like seeing rumours founded on nothing getting out there and hurting other working pros. Chris is a good guy and, despite his huge rep and background, is a great team-player. More than anyone, he was willing to make the appropriate changes Enemy of the State leaves Wolverine in and he's had no trouble at all with other X-writers or the X-office. According to Joe and Marts, Chris is going nowhere and, to be honest, it's a bit shitty for people to make this stuff up. It's just a comic to most people, but it's Chris' job and I want this nipped in the bud now."

Over on Newsarama, Otte apologizes for telling tales:

"You know that Uncanny X-Men rumor about Greg Pak taking over the book? Yeah, I made that up.

"I think the idea to create a fake rumor was brought up by another thread about rumors on TALK@[Newsarama]. I noticed how people immediately believed everything the article said, even though it clearly stated it was all rumors, and I wanted to see how easy it would be to fool people. The idea of Pak taking over X-Men was never meant to be a diss against Claremont - it was just the first, the best idea I could come up with. In fact, I even thought, after posting the thread, that I should have made up something else, where no man's _job_ was the subject of the joke. I hate to see how much trouble it has caused. It was never meant to be anything other than a mere experiment on the TALK@ boards, but afterwards, I can see how easy it is to get the snowball rolling. I don't know why I didn't even stopped it when I saw Millar's thread over at his own site - I guess it was just human nature that I tried to get out of it the easiest way I saw fit and I can see now how that was wrong.

"Hope everyone involved will forgive me - trust me, my intentions were never to cause any internal strifes at Marvel. Again, it was never the idea that it should've gone so far, it was but a mere prank/experiment. Trust me, I feel really bad about this. I'm gonna take a day or so off the board, too, since I'd rather just get this over with, no arguments and all."

Luckily, Newsarama as a whole holds no grudge:

"I forgive you Christian! I know talking to you over MSN, how torn up you are over this. What you did was foolish, but stepping up to the plate and taking the blame is very non foolish. So buck up buckaroo! You are doing a very brave thing."

"It's amazing how much shit you can stir up over the internet. Don't feel bad about it, Otte."

"They're right, Christian. Obviously you never meant it to go as far as it did, so I can understand how upset you must be. But it took major balls to admit it like you did. You're a stand up little dude, in my view."

Heidi Macdonald puts on her shitkicking boots and gets to the bottom of the cause of Mark Millar's recent woes - Whether Alan Moore and David Lloyd were shortchanged by Hollywood. First off, she spoke to Lloyd about the movie version of V For Vendetta:

"We get a percentage of whatever DC gets from movies, licencing et al, but the property itself is DCs. On the option question, I have a policy of not telling anybody what I earn from various work projects. You want to tell me what you earn, or put it up on your site? As far as the screenplay is concerned, I have regrets, of course, that it isn't a faithful translation to screen of the original product, but it is a good script; and unless it changes for the worst between now and the premiere, it'll make a good movie."

Lloyd also spoke about the circumstances that led to DC owning the property:

"When V was created for Warrior, we owned it entirely. DC bought it when they gave us the opportunity to finish the story through the US publication of the series. In the late 80's there were no crowds of alternative publishers rushing to us with contracts offering creator-owned deals or suchlike, so there were limitations to our chosen course of action. Of course, these days things are different."

Next, Heidi spoke to Alan Moore:

"According to Moore, 'a while ago' he received a check for $7,500 for V FOR VENDETTA which should have gone to David Lloyd. This was for an early option, however. (And the amount is half of the option money due, since DC gets half of the option money)... A much larger check was cut when the movie went into production earlier this year, and went to Lloyd without a problem. Mark Millar will sleep well tonight."

Here's hoping that Mark will, indeed, sleep well tonight, and tomorrow start investigating how much the creators (and/or families thereof) are recieving for the movie versions of Fantastic Four, Iron Man, Blade (and Nightstalkers, or whatever Hannibal King and the other character are called), and all the other Marvel movies that we keep hearing about. How did Elektra work out for Frank Miller? Did whoever created Man-Thing see the money for the Sci-Fi Channel classic? Are Len Wein and Herb Trimpe getting shitloads of money for the planned Wolverine movie? It's good to know that Millar will be on those trails, now that this movie mystery has been solved.

Because I'm sure that they've been waiting for me to blog this since Monday - The Isotope regulars discuss creators, contracts and companies. It all started when Shawn Richter responded thusly to news of Alan Moore taking LOEG to Top Shelf:

"Can you believe there are actually arguments going on discussing whether Alan Moore did the right thing? I love the internet! Good for him... no way will I EVER side with a company over a creator... it just ain't right..."

When James Sime points out that things aren't really that black and white, Shawn expounds on his theory:

"What I meant (and what I said) is I'd never SIDE with a company over a creator. Are there good companies out there? hell yeah. But as good as they are, I'm sure there are creators who have a bone to pick with even the best (maybe even AiT/Planet Lar). In that situation, even if the creator was a whiney primadonna and had broken his contract and not delivered his pages, I'd have to just say, no comment. The bottom line is, I've been in this corner too long to say, hey, that guy he deserves to be fired. There are plenty of guys that won't get to make comics ever again, because they've been blacklisted in the industry and maybe they deserved it, but that's just fewer comics (and maybe even good ones) to go around, get what I mean?"

Keeper of the Zealot's Lore, Sean Maher, steps in:

"Well, except that if a company spends a lot of money on a book and the creator craps out, that's that much less money said company has to spend on putting out actual comics. And you need those companies to get the vast majority of your comics. I've got a world of respect for self-publishers, true soldiers that they are, but without a host of companies - from AiT/PlanetLar to DC - you wouldn't really have any comics at all. You'd have Cerebus and Stray Bullets. That's it. Those are both great books, sure, but my point is that companies continue to exist because they offer something that creative people can't do (or suck at). Those companies are the reason that (most) creative types are able to make a living doing comics at all. You might come back to that and say, 'Well, businesses can't do anything creative, now can they? Without the creative folks, those businesses wouldn't have anything to sell!' And I'd agree with you. Because it's a SYMBIOTIC relationship. It's a trust, a partnership, a contract. And to me, that means you have to value both parties equally. I think you're giving companies the short end of the stick. They don't have less on the line than the artist - in many cases, they have a lot MORE on the line (see James' example about putting up those big fat production costs)."

James Sime:

"As always, I go back to contracts. You don't like it, don't fucking sign it. You're unhappy with working conditions where you are, feel free to take your next project someplace else and sign a contract with them. If no one offers you the contract that makes you happy invest your own money to put your project out yourself. Pretty simple. If your publisher violates your contractual agreements either suck it up or sic your lawyer on them. That's why you have a contract and a lawyer, to cover your ass from crooks. If you don't read your contract before you sign it or refuse to stand up for yourself even though you want to the only one who is screwing you over is yourself. Perhaps I'm just simplifying the whole thing, which wouldn't be too surprising actually.

"Me? I deal with a distributor who pretty much has a monopoly on the industry, and if I don't like the deal Diamond is serving up I'm welcome to carry no Marvel, DC, Oni, Dark Horse, or Image Books whatsoever... which is pretty darn equivalent to 'go get a new career.' Unlike creators, the luxury of having choice who I do business with is not afforded to those of my profession. Food for thought."

Larry Young:

"I'll be happy to explain to you next time I see you at a con how 'If I look at the facts and the creator is in the wrong (ie. didn't live up to his contract) then I'll probably just keep my mouth shut. But I won't come down on him. Becuase [sic] in MOST disputes between the two, it's seldom that the company is the injured party.' is a complete logical fallacy. Is contractual injustice defined by which set is 'usually' the injured party? Or is 'injustice' unjust no matter which party is wronged? Some analytic reasoning displays your argument to be a bit vacuous: a little 'If p, then q,' you know? If the creator violates a contract, you keep your mouth shut with tacit agreement, but if a 'company' violates a contract, you're up-in-arms because 'companies' are 'seldom the injured party'? I sure hope no publishers are offering you contracts to sign, because it seems a bum deal on their part if you think you can non-perform to no penalty and they just have to eat it when you walk."

Shawn:

"To clarify my post that you took umbrage at, what I'm saying is, I'm not gonna go telling the people I work for about the rep of a certain artist, if I've heard he's late or doesn't deliver or whatever. Dude, it could be whatever circumstance and I've been there too many late nights myself to hang another guy out to dry. And maybe it is just as hard for the other end, but I don't know. I do know how it is on this side. It's not my intent to give excuses to guys who don't honour their commitments; I'm not defending them. But I'm not gonna get up in their grill about it either. Way I see it, natural selection will take care of those dudes... I did take offence at your comment, but I'll just forget about it, It's not a big deal. And if you'd be nervous about publishing me or whatever, 'cause you think I'm out to take you for a ride, I guess I'll have to live with that. It's not the impression I meant to give, but I can see how it might look like it. Hey, the internet's just the place for that ain't it?"

Larry:

"I didn't take umbrage at anything you said. I'm one of those cats who think differences can be discussed without generational blood feuds being started. I come at things from a different place than you, is all. You're NEVER going to side against a creator, even when he violates a contract; I prefer to look at things situationally. Whatevs."

Shawn:

"You're right, I won't side against a creator, as I've said. Think of it as creator affirmative action if you want. If the deck is stacked in favour of the publisher (which it is) I'm gonna support the guy who doesn't have the power. Actually I'm kind of surprised that you'd side against a creator considering how creator friendly you profess to be. You've told me stories about how it's not worth even knocking on Marvel or DC's door, just self-publish instead. Have you been on the other side of the fence for that long, that you'd critisize the talent if the situation seemed to show the publisher was the aggrieved party? I mean, don't most publishers have enough wherewithal to defend themselves in the media or the courts? Do we need to jump on their bandwagon if an artist is late with a project or a writer doesn't finish a story? Remember, my post was in reaction to the people at Newsarama who started calling Alan Moore down for jumping ship at DC. I never said that creators are perfect, just a lot less powerful. It's a david and goliath situation nearly everytime. Sean Maher said it should be a symbiotic relationship, and that's true, but very often it's more parasitic, in that the talent is 'afraid to bite the hand that feeds them', or in other words, to speak out if things are amiss, for fear of not getting more work."

The lovely Chip Zdarsky:

"From what I've heard, only a Sith deals in absolutes. Shawn, you need to start a comic publishing company just so I can see your head explode from the ethical confusion that will no doubt arise."

Sean Maher again:

"If you really want to aid the struggle for creators' rights, it seems to me the first thing you need to do is tighten up the standards to which you hold the creators themselves. You have to be responsible for yourself (and I don't mean you personally so much as I mean creators in general) before you go laying your grievances on others' doorsteps. That means taking an active approach to ensuring responsible, professional, honest behavior from your fellow creators, and that means holding them to the same standards as anyone else, including major publishing companies. I'm with you 100% about the Moore/DC debate, but I just don't believe in dogmatic siding-up like this. Approaching the table with an 'Us vs. Them' attitude in advance does nothing to help creator-publisher relations."

Shawn Richter:

"Everyone who signs a contract has an inherent 'us vs. them' attitude, because what's a contract but insurance? A contract is only invoked if things don't go according to plan. It's for covering your ass. If you didn't think you were ever going to get screwed, you'd never need to cover your ass, would you?"

Kirsten Baldock:

"As someone who has signed a contract, I have to say that I don't agree at all. Think about it this way, a marriage is also a contract. When it's a win-win situation, there's no inherent adversarial attitude that starts as soon as the marriage license is signed. So, just as long as your name isn't Siegel or Shuster and your bride isn't DC, I think it all works out!"

Shawn:

"Have you ever been married? Nah, i'm just kidding Kirsten. But the reality is, if you didn't need insurance, you'd never get married. You'd just profess your love for one another on a daily basis and if you ever decided to split, you'd take with you what you brought in and in 'good faith' split up equitably the things you got together. People don't trust each other though, so they get a contract. I mean, how is this not making sense to everyone else? Am I missing something?"

Oh, but I'm getting off topic. Earlier, Shawn had said the following:

"Given that I'm not talking about Fantagraphics or Oni, etc. and focusing on Marvel and DC (the company that Moore had his dispute with), the analogy fits better. Furthermore, it's not so much who works at these mega-corporations, but who runs them. Joe Q doesn't even have that much say in what happens at Marvel, he has to answer to the Board of Directors, etc. Yeah, at Fantagraphics where they have maybe 20 people on staff or whatever, obviously that's not gonna happen. So I'm not referring to them."

He'd also said:

"Unfortunately (and we're talking about DC and MArvel here, right?) often those hoops [that creators go through in order to be published by said companies] involve things like stealing your ideas. Now if you're ok with that, then you go ahead and sign that contract. What if you created the coolest villain ever, but you put him in a Spider-man book? well, he was created as work for hire and you won't see a dime from him. Is that right, just because you got $200 a page? you would've gotten that money anyway, whether you created that villian or not."

Chip Zdarsky replies to the first point: "Well it's nice to see that you're taking things on a case-by-case basis then. Except when it comes to Marvel and DC, which must always be in the wrong and fought against for all that is good and holy. Let me know the point when a company gets big enough that you can no longer take their side, so I can decide when to NOT side with Fantagraphics or AiT/PlanetLar on a particular creator issue."

And also to the second point: "How on earth is that stealing? Remind me to never buy anything from you, as I might end up having the cops at my door."

Shawn explains:

"It's stealing in the sense that the person who created the work has no right to it anymore. That's like, say using a photo of the king of Spain as reference and not even providing credit, right? It's legal and all, but it's not right..."

Chip:

"Not even close. I've created many things and have sold them to many people. In some cases I sell first-print rights, in other cases I sell it outright. If I sell it outright, I have no right to it anymore. Not. Stealing. How can you even claim that? I sell someone the full rights to something, they are no longer mine. It's basic law. And really, if the photographer still has the rights to that photo then he is legally in the right. He's got the law on his side. So no, it's not 'legal and all.'"

Shawn:

"I guess that's my problem with the big 2 then. If you wanna play, everything you come up with is theirs. And that's not cool. I guess if I wanna work for them, I'll have to make'em want me so bad, they'll let me keep what's mine... you know like bendis et al. So, ok, it's not theft, but it's still unscrupulous..."

Chip:

"It's not unscrupulous, because you KNOW IT GOING IN. If they tried to hide it from you, THAT'S unscrupulous. Yeah, it's weird how you have to offer them something great to get a great deal in return. It's a funny little world of commerce."

Shawn:

"And Diamond's not technically a monopoly, 'cause Cold Cut and FM are out there too, right? It's the only game in town. If it's a monopoly and they create unfair terms, just so you can participate, well, that's certainly not all that altruistic and 'looking out for the talent'. But you're right, man. They're just looking out for #1 and if I have to beat everyone else with a stick to get that coveted position, well that's what I'm gonna do. The ends justifies the means, right Chip? They're just trying to make enough to make ends meet, after all."

Chip:

"Marvel and DC aren't monopolies. I can't believe I even had to type that in referring to two seperate companies. Christ, even if they merged they wouldn't be a monopoly! The only thing they're monopolizing are the characters you want to play with, which are theirs, and the public who wants to read about them, again and again, month in and month out. It's give and take man. If you think those terms are unfair, then work for someone who has terms you like. There's comic artists out there who do just fine without DC and Marvel as their main bosses. Declaring them the only option as some sort of 'monopoly' is, frankly, a little lazy."

Trenchman Josh Richardson comes in to offer some much-needed perspective:

"Try flatting a page for six hours for $10. $1.66 an hour. That's comic book minimum wage. Not $200 a page for writing New Mutants.

"And everyone here knows I am damn happy to get that money, because it's a start. My passion for comics and my joy for sharing my experiences through Trenches brought me to the attention of Larry Young, who now pays me to letter. Lettering nets almost twelve times as much as flatting, and is more rewarding to boot. And someday I'll have my own comic that I've written on the stands, making even more dough and feeling even better about comics. Everything is a step-up. I'm the guy with his sleaves rolled up making comics, and I've got to tell you to quit your fucking whining. Stop arguing on a message board and start making some comic books. Honestly, you're embarasing me as a dude working on comics."

So what have we learned? That Shawn shouldn't deal in absolutes. That Shawn also doesn't have a high opinion of marriage. And that Josh Richardson gets paid shit for color flatting.

Geoff Johns talks about Green Lantern:

"I'd never read the character before, but he's this test pilot who's got this, like, magic ring? And he can't do anything against yellow because he's allergic and shit. Dan DiDio just gave me some back issues of Steve Englehart's Green Lantern Corps and said 'See the white guy? Write about him and I'll make sure you can stop writing Flash.'"

Oh, alright. He actually says this:

"We're approaching GL and trying to design it for people who like heroes in the vein of Indiana Jones, Han Solo and Chuck Yeager. A guy who's been through hell and back, made a lot of mistakes and is trying to rebuild his life and relationships. It's going to have a sci-fi edge to it, full of mysteries and extra-terrestrial detective work -- he is an intergalactic cop. That's as simple as I can make it right now."

How odd. Passed on by Ryan Higgins, Dan DiDio's blog. Except that it's not by Dan DiDio. And it's not obviously a parody, either. So, really, what's the point?

Millarworld has an interesting rumor:

"it's just a rumor i've read from a pretty reliable source but it's so exciting the word needs to be heard, even if it turns out to be wrong. dc plans to realease an ongoing spirit book, with Darwyn Cooke involved (and, it seems, a spirit/batman thing)"

Sin City - You've bought them as regular sized comic books. You thought about buying it as digests but probably complained about Chip Kidd's covers. Well, soon you will also be able to buy them as oversized hardcovers:

"Dark Horse Books is planning to release two four-volume box sets featuring all seven of Frank Miller's Sin City graphic novels as well as The Art of Sin City in a deluxe oversize 9" x 12" hardcover format reminiscent of Overstreet's EC Libraries."

Each box set costs $175; the first one's out in October, the second in November.

The terrifying truth about Marvel's solicitations:

"Don't you see? This is just the first step. People will now just skim over the solicits quickly, absorbing the hype and bull without thinking. Next, they'll start slipping in subliminal messages and before you know it, the entire comic book reading population of this planet will be mindless zombies, addicted to Marvel product and totally under the control of the Sols."

Read the shocking expose here.

Marvel finally gives up entirely and becomes a self-parody. The name of the title replacing Excalibur? New Excalibur. No, seriously.

Comics Foundry continues their worth-reading interviews, with Brian Michael Bendis sitting in the chair:

"[What makes a good story is] an old 'This is Spinal Tap' joke: It’s a fine line between clever and stupid. I really do tend to enjoy someone who rolls up their sleeves and shows me something I haven’t seen before or thought of myself. I’m the most ungenreous snob I know. I don’t care what genre it’s in – good superhero, good crime, good indie, autobiographical – if someone being clever or if someone telling a story that’s just... 'goddamn, they have to tell it' – you know what I mean? When someone surpasses from their story from their story then in translates all the way to the printed page onto your fingers that are holding the book – and you can feel it on the book — that’s amazing."

Newsarama runs the trying-too-hard Marvel press release announcing Alan Davis's next project:

"What could Alan Davis do to top Wolverine, Cyclops, & Co.? 'FANTASTIC FOUR: THE END. Nuff said,' he reports, with appropriate finality. 'I'm pretty damn excited about getting to draw the FF again.' ...'Alan Davis has worked on the entire freakin’ Marvel U!' quips Marvel Editor-In-Chief Joe Quesada. 'He’s probably drawn every single one of our characters, from Ant-Man to Zemo and all parts in-between! Figured he liked us so much we better keep him around, keep him off the streets, livin’ clean, working on our premier heroes, the FF, and give somebody else a chance to draw UNCANNY... now if we could only get Alan to stop talking so funny!'"

Tuesday, May 24, 2005

DC respond to rumors:

"While most recent rumors claim Adams will be working on All-Star Batman and Robin, the Boy Wonder with Geoff Johns after the Frank Miller/Jim Lee run, that’s kind of not quite accurate, according to a DC spokesman. Firstly, it’s not 'Geoff,' it’s 'Jeph' as in Jeph Loeb, and secondly, according to DC, while the two are working together on a Batman story, it is currently unscheduled, and undetermined as to where it will eventually appear. Of course, the 'Adams' of Art’s last name could also be the basis of rumors that Neal Adams will be making a visit to Batman as well..."

House of M #1 sells out, and will be reprinted with another variant cover. Best part of the Newsarama story comes from this follow-up post:

"I am just crossing my fingers, hoping that this story is about an actual 'house', rather than a house of parliament or a family. Like, 'hey everybody, Spiderman just found a CLUE, let's take it back to..the House of M!' Or like, 'Why aren't there any free bathrooms? It's like I can't even brush my teeth in the morning here in ...the House of M!'"

Back from Bristol, Joe Casey writes to Matt Fraction to tell him about what he did on his summer vacation in The Basement Tapes:

"You know what it was? It was talking about comicbooks -- with fellow pros and fans alike -- without a hint of self-consciousness on any level. Not a goddamned molecule of it, as far as I could read. That was a big deal. We haven't quite evolved to that point over here. We may be getting there, slowly but surely, but we ain't there yet. And among the pros, there was no real hierarchy that I could see. Everybody that was there just made comics, period. There was mutual respect all around, but no false kings. Pretty refreshing, actually, and it allowed for more genuine conversations."

Over at the Bendis Board, upstart publisher Ronin is threatening some form of revolution:

"Getting your book into readers hands. Of course anybody in the industry knows that if you want your book in the stores, there’s only one way to do this. When it comes to distribution there is no one better. Sure they take over half your profits, they can decide your entire career’s fate at a moments notice, and if for some reason they decide they don’t like you, you’re dropped, and in essence dead in the water. But since they get your books into stores they’re great. Doesn’t sound too great to me either.
There had to be another way, and soon one presented itself. A little startup company called Comixpress. They promised on demand printing, and would implement a distribution system as well. This sounded to good to be true. Once I started working with them, I discovered not only were they as good as they advertised, they went above and beyond the call of duty to make sure everything with your book was perfect. After getting a book printed up with them, I suggested that everyone at Ronin use Comixpress for their printing needs. Now, I hear people saying that POD (print on demand) comics are crappy. Not the quality of the printing, but the quality of the stories and creators that use such services. You must not have any faith in your stories if you’re too scared to commit to a full print run from a 'real' printer. Bullshit. Double bullshit sandwich with a dabble of bullshit on the side. Printing up 3000 copies of a book that you then have to store for the next year, when someone is offering to print them up as you need them? Well that just sounds stupid to me...

"Our books are always in print. You want it, you order it, you got it. Doesn’t matter if the issue came out six days or six years ago. It’s available to you. This also does away with those stupid second, third ,and fourth printings, which make the first printing oh so valuable. That’s sarcasm kiddies. Which makes the bigger dogs nervous. How can they boast that they totally sold out of superduperstupid man #1 if they’re always in print? Why would you be proud of the fact that people that want to read your story can’t?

"...Mark my words POD is the future of this industry. Remember Napster? When it came out, and only a few people realized it was the future of the music industry? The archaic system of distribution tried to tear it down every chance they got, however it still thrived. Now we have music stores reporting losses, and I - Tunes and a dozen other ways you can get your music from the comfort of your own home. You even have kiosks in the bigger record stores where you can pick songs and burn your own custom CD right there. You can’t hold the future back. When it shows up the old guard gets nervous and tries to fight it tooth and nail. But still it thrives, and grows until the old way is gone and forgotten."

Not everyone is sold:

"What you're neglecting to point out is that Diamond has also spent the time developing relationships with retailers, establishing a retail channel that works for them (or they'd be out of business) and that has worked for many different publishers in the past. Does it make you rich? No, probably not, but that isn't their problem. They're in business to make money. They also need to pay their sales staff, overhead, and all of the other associated costs that go along with running a multi-million dollar company. If you think you'll be able to contact all of the stores by yourself, develop good relationships with all of the buyers, and still have enough time to oversee the production and management of the Ronin projects, you might be in for a surprise."

The response of the original poster?:

"I'm going to create and distribute a top selling book using comixpress. This is my goal in life to prove that you don't have to go the route everyone else is going just because it's the route everyone else is going. Then I'm going to take that book, and shove it up the collective asses of all the naysayers. And crack a little smile."

The Comics Journal discuss the important burning issues of the industry:

"[D]oes anyone like Alex Ross? I'm not a fan myself--I feel the whole painting of superheroes thing is really gimmicky and tiresome. Also, I find his panels to have uninteresting composition and his character designs indistinguishable beyond costume. Yet all the superhero fans I know treat him like a god. What gives? Is this something to dismiss along the lines of: 'yeah, well, superhero fans like Liefeld and Jim Lee too' or am I missing something? I will say I liked his style on Marvels when it came out and thought his style became to much based on template afterwards, but then, I was like 15 when I read Marvels, so maybe that was just as bad and I was too impressionable to realize that. Any opinions?"

"I enjoy Ross' work, but in general I don't like painted art, it seems too stiff, at least when used in the superhero/action genre. For a long time, when I was a kid, I refused to buy all of those Gold Key/Dell comics that had painted covers, because the figures all seemed stiff to me. I realize now that I missed some pretty decent comics because of that (Russ Manning, Alex Toth, anyone?). So I'll at least look at a painted comic now. Another thing is that artists who paint seem to use a lot of photo reference, which is just fine, but I enjoy artists who can just create images out of their heads, their imaginations. Of course, there are pencil artists who use photo reference extensively, like the late Wally Wood apparently did, and it hasn't kept me from enjoying work by them. I'm not an artist, so I'm just commenting from a consumer's point of view."

"Ross is definitely talented... some of his paintings are very clever... and I loved the Uncle Sam comics. But he just does way too much stuff that is way too similar... he's kind of like Boris Vallejo in that respect... he'll do one great piece and then a few dozen lesser pieces that kind of dilute the oeuvre. Still, people seem to eat it up... so what can he do? I think he's pretty much done all he can do in the painted superhero mode though... I haven't seen anything from him in quite a while that made me want to give it a second glance."

"I think he is brilliant, and not just because I want to go to one of his parties as Wonderwoman. And I love the wax models in his basement. I await my invitation."

Mark Millar continues his fight for comic-related movie justice:

"Denny O'Neil gets nothing from Batman Begins, despite creating the villains... Actually, I dunno if Denny DID create Scarecrow (wasn't this Wein?), but I just got a tip-off on this from a well-known pro and Denny gets zilch in terms of Ra's Al-Ghul, League of Assassins, etc, etc, etc. Apparently, DC recently decided that anything created pre-Jenette means not a cent to the creators in terms of merch or movies. Which is a real, real shame. Marvel, of course, pay nothing either, but at least they don't pretend to be the creator's friend in these situations. You know who you're getting into bed with and, prior to Icon (outside of Epic) you'd be NUTS to create anything new for them. But this is really sad. Should we start a campaign for Denny?"

When someone points out that Scarecrow may have been a Golden Age character, Millar responds:

"God, that's right. Scarecrow was used briefly in the Golden Age. I think Len just brought him back. And yeah, Chuck quite rightly got paid for creating Bane and Bane was a very small character in Batman and Robin. Ra's and the League of Assassins form the BASIS of Batman Begins. Denny should be seeing something here beyond tickets for the premiere. You'd think DC would be kinder to a guy who put so many years of his life into the company. I honestly feel sick at the hypocrisy of these people and their whole DC FAMILY/ FRIENDS OF THE CREATOR bullshit. This and the Moore/ V For Vendetta thing is just disgusting."

You have to understand, though, it's not like Millar has anything against DC, as he makes clear:

"Declaring war on DC is so 2001 for me. I'm done. I'm staying away until Darth Vadar and his high command are dead. I'm elsewhere for the time being, my friend. They can go fuck themselves. I just wish they would do right by the older guys who made them money."

Things continue to be fun from there, with a poster called Bizarromark joining the conversation:

"Denny O'Neil was working under a 'Work for Hire' contract when he created Ra's Al Ghul. If he was interested in getting the most compensation for his creative ideas, he picked the wrong field, wouldn't you say? It's one thing to enter the embryonic comics field in the late 30's and get diddled by the renowned robber-barons of the pulp industry (like Seigel and Shuster did), but by the time the Young Mavericks like O'Neil and Adams came along, most people entering the industry had (or at least should have had) a pretty good idea that working for a gigantic corporation wasn't synonymous with 'Lucrative Creator Royalties'....especially a guy as sharp as O'Neil has always been known to be. So....spare us the sob story about yet another sad, ripped-off creator...a creator who, by the way, has spent the majority of his nearly 40 year career working for the same Evil Corporate Giant that allegedly screwed him over. Something tells me Denny's at peace with the situation....and if he's not....I guess that's the way it goes."

Millar, of course, doesn't agree:

"Um, bollocks. Moore was told he'd get the rights back to watchmen, V, etc, eventually and is now so pissed off he's pulling what he can from these people as a huge Joel Silver movie gets made and he gets 8K for his troubles. Like I said, they're a huge corporation and have lawyers who've covered their asses against a couple of aged hippies, but that doesn't make it right. I think Marvel and DC should pay something to every creator if they use their characters, even as a token gesture. For something as late as Moore in 1988 it seems especially horrific, but Denny should get more than the royalties of a 1970 reprint.

"Maybe this hurts me more than it does you because I'm a comic book writer and can only imagine how frustrating this is for them, but it's disgusting when you think of the reverence JK Rowling gets for Harry Potter and the cash she's been awarded. It's all just ideas making their way to the big screen, but comic guys have a nasty habit of getting shafted. Thank God Miller is there to show us the way."

Bizarromark:

"In what way did he 'show us the way'? How much money did Frank Miller get from the Electra character appearing in the Daredevil movie?....or from the Electra solo movie? I'm guessing 'zip'. However, Millar has made his big money off of properties he owns completely, like Sin City...and not from 'Work for Hire' arrangements. So...yeah....Miller did 'show us the way' by demonstrating to creatives that true creative control, and the big money that can potentially from that, can only be obtained outside of a work-for-hire arrangement. People who willingly enter such an arrangement should be aware they are entitled to no compensation beyond the original work-for-hire payment. Another thing: You claim we should give 'something' to the 'aged hippies' that got screwed over. Well...how much should that be, Mark? An amount you would view as 'fair' might be viewed by another of your fellow firebrands as a 'slap in the face'. Who puts the price tag on creative ideas? Paul Levitz? Joe Quesada? Neal Adams? Alan Moore? You?"

Millar's response:

"Is it just me or does bizarromark have an offensive tone to his posts? BM, calm down or mod-warnings are a-coming. This is a polite place for civil discourse."

Alias's latest publicity stunt leads to trouble at Newsarama. Announcing the somewhat unnecessary Girls of Alias month - where each book will have a variant cheesecake cover by Mike Miller, who manages to make it sound even more tacky than you'd think ("[The Alias books] are all in separate little 'universes' of their own, so we had to come up with something across the board to unify them. That, and beautiful girls will always get the comic readers’ attention... I made the offer that I would do the covers for a nominal fee, and that we were going to do this big promotion across the spectrum of Alias titles, and these were the creators who opted to join in... [These girls are] hot!") - discussion turns to ethnicity, as one poster isn't happy with the depiction of one character in particular:

"okay forgive this rant. But as a black man and student of africa and ancient egypt specifically (kush, kemet, whatever you want to call pre-arab invasion Egypt.) this pisses me off. If [Alias character Isis is] an ancient egyptian warrior why the hell is she WHITE? Ancient Egypt is as far as EVERY MAP says in Northern Africa... This is the same nonsense from History channel recreations of lives of Pharoahs, and everything else where they make Ancient egyptians look as white as possible because of eurocentric leanings and it gets old. Admittedly, as the 'oh no! kingpin is black in the daredevil movie' responses revealed, the comic book community is not going to support strong black women as stars in comics, but that doesnt make it any more acceptable to pander to them. Pathetic. Absolutely pathetic."

Mike Miller responds:

"She's not white. She's middle eastern. (unless you don't count Egypt as part of the middle east?) No, I didn't model her after a middle eastern woman, but after someone in particular for a particular reason I can't get into. But she is middle eastern. As in, not black. African, sure, but being born on the African continent doesn't make you black. As a student of ancient egypt, you should be familiar with the many paintings kept intact to this day inside the pyramids... It's funny that this was brought up today. I was sitting in my dentists office reading the current National Geographic which was featuring King Tut. They showed a portrait of he and other Egyptians at war with a tribe of black Africans. They, Tut and company, were clearly not black. Darker in skin tone than a caucasian race, most certainly. And African? Certainly. But not black. So there is no reason why Isis, a goddess of the Egyptian pantheon needs to be black. Hell, she's mythological, she could be freaking blue for all it matters to reality."

Back to the original poster:

"[B]eing born in Ancient Egypt makes you what we today call black. Middle eastern should be a term used to describe egypt AFTER Arabian conquest which was not until the date noted above. How much research was done for this book?... [T]he 'Middle Eastern' look you're talking about did not take effect until the modern era. How can you make a story about Ancient Egypt and have her look like a border resident hundreds of years later? ...[Y]ou've studied the significance of color in ancient egyptians paintings correct? Know that skin tone depictions in Ancient Egyptian art were not always for realism and that all evidence shows them to be what we would today classify as black? (since race as a classification arguably didn't exist until the advent of colonialism)... i'd love to see the days where comic creators accidentally give credit to african races, like thor's family for instance. let's just fill thor's norse mythology with africans. Never mind consistency, and it works both ways right?"

Monday, May 23, 2005

Mark Millar - Looking out for Alan Moore:

"I just read in the CBR piece that Moore was talking somewhere in the region of eight grand for his V for Vendetta movie cut. I think it's very admirable that he makes sure his artists are properly reimbursed (we split everything down the middle on the Millarworld books too), but I'm concerned that these guys are being short-changed somehow. The bog-standard going rate for a movie option is 50,000 against 500,000 dollars (the latter received once the script is accepted by the studio and the movie is officially moved into production). More likely for something this size is 100,000 dollars advanced against a 1,000,000 dollars (possibly more) once the movie starts getting made and V For Vendetta is already shooting so Moore should be looking at around 300-400K after his split with Dave LLoyd. Moore shouldn't need to have money advanced to him. Moore should have been making a packet from the pictures already made too.

"DC/ WB own his creations like Constantine and possibly Watchmen, but From Hell and V For Vendetta are trademark and copyright to the creative team, I believe. Moore and Lloyd should be splitting some serious dough and my spider-sense started tingling the moment I heard Alan put an $8K figure on this. What's going on here? Alan is famously more interested in the work than the money, but it chills me to think there's something amiss happening. Does anyone know who's repping him on these properties? Could someone talk to both he and Lloyd to make sure all is well. I'm a huge Moore fan and have been since I was 12 years old. I just hope I'm misunderstanding something because I don't like the look of this at all."

When it's explained to Mark that Moore has given up all royalty money from movies adapted from his work, Mark adds to his commentary:

"See, I thought Moore was giving them the half mill most other creators get when their movies go into production. But now it looks like this was a four figure sum instead of the usual mid to high six. The pay was an insult and I'm horrified. No wonder moore wouldn't take it."

Lying In The Gutters returns, kind of, as Rich follows through on his promise to provide real, actual journalism. Less stories, less fun, but perhaps more interesting, as the lead story shows:

"Alan Moore, co-creator of the 'V For Vendetta' comic, has publicly disassociated himself from the upcoming Warner Brothers movie project based on the comic book and written and produced by the Wachowski Brothers. And as a result, he has cut his remaining ties with DC Comics, including future volumes of the 'League Of Extraordinary Gentlemen.' Moore has promised future 'League' comics will be published by a US/UK collaboration between Top Shelf and Knockabout... Alan told me that as a result of finally and permanently splitting from DC, he's has a general feeling of elation. He feels good about himself, as if a weight has been lifted. Earlier reports I'd had from the past two weeks were that his temper was high, but speaking to him found the same calm, serene gentlemen I'd met on and off over the last ten years."

Jeph Loeb on his last Superman/Batman arc, which features an Ultimates rip-off:

"[I]f I had to pick one particular moment when I knew I had to tell this story it was, oddly enough, when I read The Pulse #2 by Brian Michael Bendis. Now, some folks will think of me as an obsessive DC fan -- and before you all bring out your torches and storm the gate, I think Brian is a brilliant writer and a good friend -- but Brian wrote a story about young female reporter named 'Teri Kidder' Get it? Teri Hatcher plus Margot Kidder = you got it! In the story, the folks at the Bugle point out that they are a real newspaper and her resume was a bit of a joke. Up to this point, I'm rolling my eyes, but I know that DC and Marvel have tweaked each other on the nose for years and it's all in good fun. Then, Bendis had the Goblin beat her to death - something I don't recall The Goblin ever doing to Gwen, MJ, or Jessica Jones for that matter - and then dumped her corpse in the Central Park Lake. ...Pardon me for not laughing. Bendis crossed the line. He could have told the exact same story, called the character Jenny Johnson and while I'm not a big fan of violence against women, I wouldn't have picked up on it. But. He. Didn't. It was Lois Lane he did that to and for what?

"Since then, JMS has had great fun over in Spider-Man throwing sticks and stones; he spends an enormous amount of time on Supreme Power which is a really good book with really big ideas -- I just don't know why it has to be a rip on the Justice League? Doesn't Marvel have its own clean versions? JMS is such a talented guy, I was just bewildered as to why he took this on. I mean, look at Rising Stars -- brilliant in thought and execution -- and wholly original.

"And now, Reginald Hudlin -- for whatever reason, and I suspect it is editorial -- brings in a 'Kansas fed reporter who can fly and has heat vision' to pal around with Peter Parker. And the Sentry is now a member of the Justice -- I mean, New Avengers... (laughs) So... DC must be doing something right if the guys across the street have nothing better to do than find ways of telling our stories. And then, it struck me. It's all for fun. It's all about enjoying the stuff that makes comics, well, comics. We all do it. We come on message boards or hang around the comic book shop and point out that Clark Kent's disguise of using eyeglasses makes no sense or that nothing happens in an Ultimate book for 5 issues and the 6th one kicks ass. And ... why should Marvel have all the fun?"

I'll let you into a secret: I dig Sean Maher. Sure, there are many reasons why it's fun to take the piss out've him (His winedrunk naptime rampages, for one), but then he writes a love letter to comics like this:

"Unlike film, I’m never irritated by the special effects being choppy here or too flashy there, and I’m not at the mercy of the artist to sit through anything – I can pick it up and put it down and move the whole story at the pace that best fits for me. And unlike straight prose, I’m not visualizing something by myself in the dark; I know I’m seeing what I was meant to see. And the potential there is unlimited. I’ve never found a medium that took me to so many different places with such smooth flexibility."

More at the link. Maybe I'm getting old, but goddamn, it's nice to see someone completely drop the snark every now and again.

Marvel say "Variant covers? Hate 'em. But here's four more":

"Marvel Comics has released a preview image to retailers of the alternate Neal Adams 'Startling Stories' cover to New Avengers #7. Each of the first 3 issues of the upcoming Brian Bendis-written story arc focusing on the Sentry will feature a cover by regular series artist David Finch and an alternative 'incentive' cover with a Silver Age theme by some great artists of that (and any other) era... Retailers can order 1 set of the 3 variants for every 15 sets of issue #7-9 they order... Adam Kubert has created variant cover for Uncanny X-Men #461 (on sale 6/15) featuring the X-Babies, and similar to the New Avengers variants, retailers can order 1 copy of the variant for every 15 they order of the regular cover by Frank Cho... Finally, Marvel has also announced a 'Limited Edition Variant Cover' for the sold-out Astonishing X-Men #10. Featuring a new take on John Cassaday’s original cover for issue #10, the reprint variant cover edition is scheduled to arrive in stores on June 15th, the same day Astonishing X-Men #11 is due in stores. Unlike the New Avengers and Uncanny variants, however, retailers can order as many issues of this reprint edition as they like (until Thursday 6/2) and is not tied to the orders of another issue."

Countdown to Infinite Jesse Baker:

"Biggest mistake of the year. Supergirl is a shit character and while I loathe turning female characters into irrational killing machines I wish against all odds someone at DC would turn Jeph Loeb'snew Supergirl into a mass murdering Kid Miracleman with a clit who gleefully racks up a body count before being killed off and declared by Batman, Shazam, Barry Allen Kyle Raynor, Lex Luthor, all known variations of Brainiac 5, and Martian Manhunter as being nothing more than a mentally insane Kryptonian who pretended to be Superman's cousin so she could rape and kill the entire human race. Hell, that would make the PERFECT plot for infinite Crisis especially given how Dan the Dildo seems to think that the rape of the Marvel Universe at the hands of Bendis and Millar should be made the status quo for the DCU.

"That said; DC needs to fucking kill, purge, Ben-diss Loeb's Supergirl and FINALLY upgrade Power Girl as the new Supergirl with her 'I'm Superman's cousin' origin restored at long last. Let's face it, a manic depressive who all of female heroes of the DCU idolize and all of the male heroes HATE is fair superior to the pollyanna bullshit that is the Kryptonite Supergirl. Fuck I'm suprised that no one at DC has realizes that the reason WHY people loved the PAD Supergirl was due to the fact that the PAD Supergirl was NOT a good person; she was a God-hating Satanist who killed her town's hate-mongering, adultery loving, wife-killing Fundamentalist Evangelist Christian preacher and his evil Fundamentalist Evangelist Christian mistress with the help of her God-hating, Satan-loving boyfriend. A Supergirl series where Supergirl is a manic-depressive software mogel who all of the men in the DCU hate because they consider her a bossy, opinionated cunt who doesn't take orders like a good girl and who just found out she was Kryptonian? That's money in the bank right then and there!"

Sometime comics writer Adi Tantimedh responds:

"Let me remind you of something you seem to need to be told again and again: You can rant about your pet hates in the books and insult the characters all you like. Unless you've actually had personal dealings with the editors or creators of the comics you read, and they've done something bad to you like stolen your lunch money, slipped LSD in your soda or had sex with your pet without your permission, you have no right to insult them personally. It's called common courtesy. It's called being an adult. Otherwise, you come off as an irrational, braying brat. Or is that how you actually want people to see you? Come on, you're better than that."

Baker:

"[M]y contempt is based on the fact that if people in the industry themselves can't stop acting like dicks and think that it's cute routinely belittle and mock the people who fucking pay their fucking SALARY by buying their books and expecting a GOOD product as a result for their money, then they deserve the same scorn they have towards the readers who don't blind suck their cock and ask to lick their assholes too. If people like Joe Quesada, Brian Bendis, Mark Millar, and such are too big of a pussy to pull the shit they pull online with regards to their customers when they meet them on the street, they deserve to take it up the ass online by their customers who give a fuck to propogate the franchises they work on by way of talking about them online and tearing them new fucking assholes online. As a longtime comic fan who had to sit and listen to the little shits Bill Jemas, Joe Quesada, and their 'golden boys' routinely act like snot-nosed spoiled shitmouth brats, routinely badmouthing the people who fucking pay them money to live on, I think they are open full well to the full wrath of their critics online. If they can't take the fucking heat for their comments, don't fucking start shit online unless you are willing to deal with people calling you out on your bullshit..."

Tantimedh:

"You know, it's not even like I disagree with some of the points you make about the product or how bad the writing is, but calling the personnel involved 'dildos' isn't going to help the case, or make people want to listen to you. Leaving aside the calling them names bit for a moment, we have to consider the deeper issue: The people you're railing against are getting away with what they're doing to the characters because what's left of the comics market are still buying those books, and in huge numbers. Comic fans, nerds, or superhero zombies, or whatever you want to call them, may scream and shout about how their childhoods are getting raped, but *they're still buying the stupid books*. As long as these crappy books are selling in numbers of 50,000 or 100,000, the companies will keep paying those creators oodles of cash to keep writing the way they do on those books. It don't matter what insults you keep hurling at them. They're laughing all the way to the bank. They don't owe the readers anything. The readers are buying the books, no matter what they put in them. If the sales of those books plummetted, they would stop. That's the bottom line.

"Now, these people are not ever going to come to your house to eat your food or hang out with you. If insulting them is something you find *fun*, then I can at least understand that, but otherwise, I recommend you stop reading the books you find stupid and just ignore the creators, stop reading their interviews or postings, and just find something better to read or watch."

Baker again, lashing out at a somewhat unexpected target:

"No, the person to blame is Warren Ellis for making being a worthless asshole who badmouths everyone around him 'KEWL' and causing just about everyone in the industry start aping him X10 to be 'KEWL'. Also, if people consistantly buy these books why the fuck not cater to them instead of treating them like pedophiles? You can fucking get new readers buying comics without telling your existing readers to fuck off and die, which is WHY the industry is still in a shitstate since for every 2 new reader that gets pulled in, you have people like the DiDio and Quesada alienating 10 existing readers who tell DC and Marvel to fuck off and stop buying their books. It doesn't fucking matter how many new readers you bend over backwards for when you lose more existing readers than you bring in. In any other business, telling your loyal, die-hard customers that you think they are dogshit under their feet doesn't win you any favors with them."

Stuart Moore sent copies of his first issue of Firestorm - available June 1st, true believers - to various online persons to review. For Stuart Moore's ease in case he's reading this, here's what some thought. Johanna Draper Carlson:

"I would love to be able to say that this book, with the changes, deserves a fresh look from everyone, but it's not all that different from what went before. It's just more mainstream. It's a shame that with the poor track record this book has had so far and DC's general lack of promotion few people will notice. As far as I know, this is the first time that a DC book has been the recipient of a concentrated blog outreach effort, and I suspect that that's due to the writer's initiative, not the company's."

Alan David Doane:

"This is a solid start to a new era of an established DC superhero, and no one at all gets their head blown off onscreen or raped from behind. How Moore worked such post-modern subversion into a DCU title at this late date is anybody's guess, but if you have to buy DC superhero comics, this is the sort you should be buying."

Bill Sherman:

"As a newcomer who still doesn't have a strong sense of Firestorm's superpowers... I remain piqued enough by the character stuff to want to give Moore's series a few more trial issues."

Beaucoup Kevin:

"For those of you who like the idea of Firestorm and wish that, on occasion, a mainstream DCU book wouldn't immediately confuse 'violence' with 'action,' here's your invitation to get back on board - I don't think you'll be disappointed."

Johnny Bacardi:

"Do I recommend that you buy it? Well, if you are still into superheroes and are looking for a series you can read and still respect yourself in the morning, well, you should consider picking it up, 'cause I don't think you'll be disappointed."

Jog The Blog:

"It’s set-up, but it also offers an tonal agenda for future stories. If you like classicist teen superhero material, largely divorced from the chaotic Event action of the DCU at the moment, you’ll respond well to this book upon its official release."

And me, who I'm not going to quote.

Art Adams thinks he'll drawing an All-Star Batman arc with Geoff Johns. He is, apparently, wrong. Millarworld has the confusion:

"I was at the supercon in oakland this weekend and got the chance to talk to Art Adams, and he said that he will be doing a run on Batman all stars after the Lee/Miller run and his arc will be written by geoff johns."

Geoff Johns himself pops in:

"Matt Brady pointed this out to me. And as much as I love Art and Batman, this isn't true. Thanks for the kind words though."

The original poster changes his story:

"Yeah, they didnt seem quite certain who would be writing it, but I think it was the guy who puts arts sketchbooks together that said 'I think geoff Johns is writing it"' alls I know for sure is about art drawing it."

British Comics God John Wagner's Button Man gets optioned for a movie:

"John Wagner, who is one of the most under-rated writers in comics, collaborated with artist Arthur Ranson on the Button Man: The Killing Game graphic novel, which Kitchen Sink Press published in 1994 [in America; the series, and its two sequels, were published in 2000AD in the UK]. The book is a high octane thriller about a tournament of professional assassins sponsored by a small group of jaded millionaires. Copies of the Button Man trade are going for big bucks ($39.99) on Amazon now, but it is likely that the book will find a new publishing house when (and if) the film goes into production."

Geoff Johns leaves Flash:

"It's been incredible and I love the characters and the book. But everything must come to and end and as Rogue War was approaching, I wanted to finish on a story I really believed in. I didn't want to stay on The Flash just because I love the character more than Detroit Pistons basketball (you are all watching, right?). That wouldn't serve the book or Wally West. With the added workload of Green Lantern and Crisis, it was time to pass the baton off. Hopefully, one day I can get back to the Flash in some form or another. A Rogues monthly book would be amazing or a Flash title or project of some kind. Who knows what the future holds?"

Temporary replacement writers: Stuart Immomen and Darwyn Cooke, interestingly enough.

A new publisher, Narwain, announces an October launch:

"Narwain is composed of a group of creators from a diverse group of countries, including the U.S., Italy, France, Japan, and handful of nations from South America. The company has told Newsarama that it looks to be active in comics, music and cinema... As mentioned, the company will launch six series worldwide, with one of the debuts being Free Fall in October, a five-issue miniseries, written by Gianluca Piredda, with pencils by EricJ, and inks by Jimmy Palmiotti... Free Fall will launch in October in the US, Germany, France, Spain, Turkey, Brazil, Turkey and other countries which are signing exclusive deals with Narwain."

Friday, May 20, 2005

Newsarama closes down.

Well, temporarily:

"Hey all - we're moving to a new server this weekend, so we're going to have to shut the boards down this evening around 9:00 pm EST. This way, everything will move over, intact. Ideally, we should be done in 24 hours, but it could take as long as 48 (we hope not), and things might be a little sluggy as various nodes come up and recognize the new server. Yes, it will be faster, and yes, we will be upgrading to the new version of vBulletin shortly thereafter."

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