Hello again. Three weeks in and I’m still here. Slight change this week: I’m introducing a competition to the column. Our first prize is a graphic novel grabbed at random from my shop?s surplus stock BUT this could change. I am open to bribery and corruption so Titan Books, Dynamic Forces, Red Route Distribution, CrossGen, Dark Horse, DC, Marvel, Image, Rebellion, Com.X, and all the rest of you – pay attention! All you have to do is supply us with a stack of graphic novels or special comics and you get a plug on one of the most read comic book columns on the internet. FIRST COME! FIRST SERVED! YOUR NAME HERE!

The competition? I’ve decided that ‘an anonymous source’ is a pretty dull thing. Last week I made up a few names for my little Rage-Mites, Agent X and Deep Stoat. These were references to Agent X and Deep Throat from the X-Files (and Deep Throat from the Watergate scandal of course). From now on all my sources will be named after characters from books/comics/films/TV series. The competition is simple; name the source of the week?s codenames and win the prize. The first person to post an answer on the Competition thread within the All the Alan message board wins the prize. The prizewinner also gets the fanboyish glory of a mention in the following weeks column. [NB. The editor pops the column up at a fairly neutral time when many people from Europe/Australasia/The Americas are online. If, however, a regional bias is detected we’ll move over to drawing the names out of a hat at the end of the week.]

OH! OH! Before I get down to the rumors the usual plea? Do you work for a comic company that hates you? Do you spend a lot of time on the web, and find lots of info there? Are you an Editor wanting to gauge the fan reaction to a new series/creator? Have you overheard or come across in any way an interesting piece of comic book news? If you can answer yes to any of the above, or any similar questions then I need YOU! This column doesn’t write itself, I need news, I need Rage-Mites and I need them now. As I said before you can have as much or as little publicity as you want so if you want the world to know you are sticking two fingers up to your editor we can do that or if you never want anyone, ever to know a leak came from you we can do that too.


A Cock & Bull Story

Yet another wild rumor has come from the source that brought you last weeks Frank Miller story. This week our rather questionable source goes under the name of Muad’dib. Said informant Muad’dib was in the Cock & Bull, a pub in Northampton during the week when a couple of distinctive men walked in. One was a scary guy with wild hair, an even wilder beard and deep penetrating eyes. The other dressed in black and looked like he rarely got up before noon. The two men sat in a window seat and our man Muad’dib decided to settle down at a nearby table.

Now my mysterious source might like to be all coy and fanboyish here but I don’t. For those of you who aren’t in the know our man is describing Alan Moore and Neil Gaiman. I really hope I don’t have to explain to anyone reading this who they are? ok, just in case, just to be accessible: Alan Moore has had a diverse comic book career and he is generally considered to be the greatest comic book writer ever. Alan has, at one time or another fallen out with just about every major comic book publisher. Neil Gaiman is considered by many to be the greatest comic book writer who isn’t Alan Moore. He is a successful novelist and screenwriter to boot.

Ok, so how realistic is everything so far, before I even get into the rumors? Let’s look at the evidence:

  1. Muad’dib has come up with some realistic and pretty incisive information before, but he also came up with that Frank Miller story last week.
  2. Alan Moore and Neil Gaiman are friends and they may well go down the pub together.
  3. Neil Gaiman lives in the US but he was in London about 3 weeks ago for a book-signing event.
  4. Alan Moore does live in Northampton.
  5. Surprisingly the Cock and Bull is a genuine pub in Northampton. It?s a music based venue with top resident DJ’s playing the latest and greatest for the ultimate in night-time entertainment. Monday-Saturday 11am-11pm Sunday 12pm- 10:30pm).

Ok, I suppose there’s enough there to give Muad’dib a chance?

Our increasingly dubious source claimed Moore and Gaiman chatted about witchcraft, their current projects and one other tit-bit of interest to us. It is reported that Moore talked about having his revenge. He apparently said, “The time is right? Captain Britain was too much? I can wait to see Joe Q’s face when he meets the company?s new owner.” Gaiman apparently urged caution, but Moore simply replied “1602 is safe, don’t worry”.

So our dear source would have us believe that Alan Moore is about to buy Marvel comics (Alan Moore recently had the old wounds of his falling out with Marvel reopened by the publishing of a Captain Britain graphic novel, Gaiman is working on a series called 1602 for Marvel and Joe Quesada is the Marvel Editor in Chief). Ok, fine? evidence time:

  1. Marvel is apparently up for sale this is well established.
  2. Alan Moore may well want to get his own back on them.
  3. Alan Moore has a well-known interest in witchcraft.
    but
  4. Though Alan Moore is perhaps one of the finest writers ever to publish in any medium he is relatively unsuccessful outside of comics and comic book writers are not all that well paid. Alan would have made a decent sum of money recently from his share of the take of the film From Hell but even this amount would not be enormous.
  5. While Marvel has not long recovered from bankruptcy it is still not going to be all that cheap to pick up.

So… unless the old warlock has discovered the secrets of Alchemy (it would explain what he was doing in the 1990s).

This Has A Pint Of Lager And A Packet Of Pork Scratchings Value Of 1 Out Of 10


Diamond’s Dastardly Deeds

Duke Leto has sent us in an interesting story. Future Comics recently had all of their complementary comic books disappear in the post. The copies were destined for retailers, review websites, and comics magazines but they never arrived.

Future Comics is currently best known for its refusal to solicit comic books through Diamond Comic Distribution. Diamond is now pretty much the only comic distributor in the west and its monopoly is frightening.

Now I have no idea what could have happened to the complementary copies but Diamond’s chokehold on the comic industry is pretty lucrative for them and I’m sure they’d resort to almost anything to keep it…

This Has A Postal Tampering Value Of 2 Out Of 10


More Space Cadet News

Well, last week?s article provoked a reaction. Chris Weston, the artist on the extremely late Ministry of Space series, had the following to say this week:

      I think it’s about time I put the record straight about the status of this beleaguered project. I’m going to have to accept my portion of blame for this project being so late. I think we all know Warren had perfectly valid, personal reasons for the late delivery of Episode 3, but I was forced to accept other work while I awaited its arrival: namely ?The Filth?. Like the old adage of the buses all coming along at once, I eventually received seven pages of script of

MoS #3

      , but by this time I was well into

The Filth

    , and reluctant to take out time away from my monthly schedule in order to work on a project I no longer had enthusiasm for. I’d had all sorts of crap thrown at me while I worked on this book: I was kept in the dark about the merchandising and the cheques got later and later. It wasn’t a happy time.

Still, I was proud of the work I’d done for MoS; it was a great script and the colouring was mind-blowing… we had a quality product! So I agreed to do a couple of pages in between episodes of The Filth. I completed four of the seven pages, and then my wife gave birth to our first child. I had no idea of the impact this would have on our lives! If you’re a parent, you’ll know! Suffice to say, it’s been a struggle keeping up with my Filth deadlines, let alone doing pages of MoS on top! So, I can only apologise to Mr.Ellis and the readers for letting them down… I did my best.

Let’s hope Chris manages to find some time for this soon as I am a huge fan of his work and this series in particular. Spotted by the Lady Jessica.

This Has A Horse?s Mouth Rating Of 10 Out Of 10


Transforming Comics

Web comics seem to be cropping up everywhere. They?re nothing new, and both Marvel and CrossGen are really working hard on their online strips, but I have to wonder why it is that an amateur site manages to pull off a much slicker looking effort than many of the big boys?

Check out the Flash work on TransFormersComics.Com. Thanks to Stilgar for the heads up.

This Has A Voltronic Value Of 9 Out Of 10


Film News

Duncan Idaho has sent us in an interesting rumour. Apparently sources inside 20th Century Fox are in discussions with Marvel over a possible Captain Britain film based on the aforementioned work of Alan Moore.

This Has A Britannic Value Of 5 Out Of 10


Quickies

Here are a few bits and bobs spotted on the message boards. Most of these are from the Joe Quesada board and I believe I’m obliged to point out that they may or may not be true? jeez, what do you think the rumour barrier is for?

Bill Jemas on Marville:

      This is a six-book arc and every story revolves around the same core theme – the difference between ideas into dogma and the ULTIMATE conflict between their respective disciples

Marville #1

      and

#2

      are full of inside joke because they were inspired by and written for comic fans. If you hear the title Marville and smile, you may like these two books. They are both parodies of the comic book dogma.

Marville #3

    drops the parody and starts to hit real world issues -starting with creation. If you are confused about the beginning of life on earth, you may like this book.

I’m glad he’s shed a bit more light on this as I was wondering. Does Kevin Smith know that he’s being parodied? I doubt he’d mind in the least. Thanks to Princess Irulan for spotting that. The Marville limited series is part of a group of titles being offered by Marvel at the moment, they started as a joke (they are competing with Peter David’s Captain Marvel series if he sells more than the other titles in the competition the series is saved) but it is looking like they may well be great original series’ in their own light.

Interesting?

      On today?s Howard Stern show regular flunky/hairdresser Ralph Cerella claimed that he did the original concept designs for the Heroes in

ULTIMATE ADVENTURES

    . I’ve yet to see the issue, so maybe it’s true and he got a credit – but if not…any comment Joe? It’s the first I heard about this, didn’t read about it in the trade press. Cerella was actually doing a signing at a store afterwards. “

Posted by Lord of Lurkers? spotted again by Princess Irulan.

Paul Jenkins In The Spotlight
Chani spotted the following bunch of stuff from Paul Jenkins… Paul on his mum:

    Mum is a great lady, a real British eccentric, as some of you have already heard. But for those who don’t, here’s the story: A couple of years ago, me, Joe and Nanci Quesada, David Mack and Anh and a few others went to Spain for a convention. About two hours after we arrived, our gracious Spanish hosts decided it would be a good idea to take us to a bloody art museum and so here we were traipsing around Madrid when all of a sudden one of the hosts gets a call on his cell phone: he jabbers away for a bit, laughs and then closes the connection. When I asked him what was funny, he said the people at the main office were trying to mess with him — they said my mother had arrived at the airport and was looking for me. Sure enough, mum came there for the con and just charmed the hell (ha ha!) out of everyone.

Paul on Peter Parker: Spider-Man continuing beyond issue 50:

    You know, we WERE done with #50, but I think this makes sense. First of all, it’s going to be a while before my new series with Humberto hits. Second, the idea of stopping just because it’s #50 or because I am leaving makes little sense, really. Zeb’s stuff is pretty wild and a lot of fun — I don’t think anyone’s complaining that he’s writing a couple more stories. If they didn’t come out here, where would they come out?

Good point. Marvel does seem to change its mind an awful lot.

On when his new Spectacular Spider-Man title will be released:

    I wish I could tell you. It seems to change every so often.

These two points help answer a few of the questions I posed last week. So issue #50 was the last one, the gap isn’t Paul’s choice.

A quick Q&A with Paul:

      Q: What happened with the

Shadowman

    4 issues? Were issues #3 & #4 ever published?

A: Oh, God? the book I did for Acclaim can only be described as a complete clusterf##k! Actually, it was Deadside, not Shadowman.

Here’s the story:
Issue three seemed to be taking a long time to hit the stands. When it finally came out, I picked up a copy and began checking it out. Well, halfway through the book I noticed to my horror that they’d accidentally screwed up the printing — the back half of the issue was a completely different book! Upon further examination I found that it wasn’t a different book, it was finished by a completely different artist! It was my story, but without telling me they’d fired Ashley Wood and put on a guy with a completely different style. This was the most ridiculous thing you ever saw and to me, it was a complete rip-off for the readers. Needless to say, I didn’t let them print issue #4.

That’s another question that’s been bothering fans for some time.

On the new Spectacular Spider-Man series:

  1. I do use supporting cast members but I’ve pared it down to three or four main ones. At the moment I’m interested in Jonah, Robbie and Randy, Liz Osborn, Flash… maybe a couple of new people… Caryn and Barker.
  2. As a matter of fact, I’m not going to really be thinking about new characters as one of the book’s functions is to re-examine the old villains.
  3. The FF will show up in the first 5-issue Venom story.

That is sure to please a great many fans. Venom is a character that was a breath of fresh air when he first arrived, but since then was done to death. I know that Bucky and Paul deliberately avoided using him on Peter Parker but it’s been a while now since he’s seen the light of day so I for one look forward to his return. Let’s hope this won’t mark another round of overkill.

And finally on the question of what Mark Buckingham (the artist who worked with Paul on Peter Parker for most of its run and who gained enormous fan and critical acclaim for his work) is going to do after the demise of Peter Parker: Spider-Man:

    Mark is doing some work for Tom Brevoort, I think.

Now if I’d got this earlier in the week I’d have given Bucky a bell, as it is you’ll have to wait until next week to find out.


Sign Out

Well that’s it for this week from the column that one of the greatest comic book creators in the world referred to as “the comic book National Enquirer”.

I’m off to look after my son, an increasingly difficult affair. A word of warning to all new parents, suddenly they learn how to move VERY, VERY FAST! Bruce fell off the bed this week and Dawn just couldn’t quite get there in time. The hospital said he was ok but hot damn if that ain’t thrown the whole week outta whack.

For those of you tuning in for the Image Q&A session worry not. Our questions have gone to the company but I’m afraid they’re a bit swamped at the moment but keep your eyes peeled for it soon.

I’ll just end with yet another plea? send me any interesting info/news you never know what actually might be important.

TTFN

Alan Donald – the man who remembered his wedding anniversary when his wife nearly forgot.


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