In case you don’t know, my name is Alan Donald and I am your host for SBC’s weekly rumour, news and opinion column that we affectionately call, All The Rage (mainly because that’s its title).

If this is your first visit then I bid you welcome. If you’re a regular reader then I suppose I ought to bid you welcome too, best not to get complacent, eh? I hope all you of a Scottish persuasion had a good Burns Night this week and that you drank far, far too much. We hae meat an’ we can eat and all that.

As well as all the rumours, news and stuff we are also the only weekly comic book column (that we know of) to offer you a chance to win lots of cool goodies every single week. All you have to do is name the source of the codenames I use throughout the column. These will be from a book, a comic, a film, a TV series or something similar. Then get yourself a SBC user name (if you don’t have one already, getting one is as simple as visiting the message boards and filling in a very simple form) and e-mail it and your answer to me on [email protected]

Last weeks winner was Golux who correctly identified the source as the Christian Bible (having used New Testament sources too). Golux won a prize pack from those beautiful people at Dynamic Forces. This week you can also win a prize pack of signed comics fantastic and generous sponsors Dynamic Forces. Remember to click onto their site and to order some nice goodies from them through your local comic shop. Also there’s another great reason to visit their site at the moment: “Have you heard — we’re doing Daily Specials featuring the best DF product at low, low, low, low, low prices! Each and every day, starting at Midnight E.S.T. a new special pops up and USUALLY heads directly for a sell-out, so check in every day and see what we’ve put together for you!”

Though we here at SBC were unaffected by this weekend?s internet meltdown, others were not so lucky. Head honcho Nick Barrucci reports:

      We were down, now we’re back up! If fans hurry, they can get an

Origin #4 CGC Graded

    in today?s Daily Special. And tonight at midnight, there will be a new DF Daily Special – the only thing that you know is that it will be a 5 Star Spectacular (with 5 Signatures at DF’s B-Day Price)!

Man, I love surprises, and tomorrow?s 5 Star Spectacular will be one to write home about.

Onwards and upwards, no time to delay, must stop procrastinating, really should get on, sod it, here we go in no particular order…


The Way of the Future

This news just in: a source close to the publisher maintains Future Comics are going to make their books 100% returnable. This news comes out in the same week that Marvel announces that even the movie tie-in ‘X’ titles will only be printed to order (forcing retailers to either miss out on potential sales, losing money and even worse disappointing customers or to over-order and take a huge risk that they may be left well out of pocket). Isn’t it odd how a small, new company cares about retailers when the big boys don’t?

I would urge retailers to contact Future Comics directly to get more details on this and to take full advantage of the deal. This is a great opportunity to take a risk free chance to expose your customers to this company?s wares. Take full advantage.

Thanks to Sublime for this titbit.

This Has A “Others Should Take Note” Value Of Nine Out Of Ten


Talking In Code

This came in from Summers:

    ?don’t know if you noticed this, but in issue 611 of Batman, in page 11, in the splash panel of Lois, there’s a Daily Planet paper in the background to the left with the headline, ?Jeph Loeb to do Mister Miracle.? What do you think?

Well, what do you think? It’s not like DC’s editorial department to let something like this through, but then again…

Secret messages have been slipped into comics for years, and recently have caused all sorts of strife if anyone remembers the infamous Al Milgrom incident that Rich Johnston reported here at All The Rage way back when in Pulping, Paying And Pouncing. I doubt any webzine publishers will get an industry legend sacked this time, though.

This Has A “Reserve My Copy Now” Value Of Nine Out Of Ten


Double Chance At 2000AD

There are two chances to work for 2000AD (the Galaxy?s Greatest Comic) this week. The first I would urge you to hold off on for a week, the second I want only fools to apply for just in case I decide to go for it too.

Tharg the Magnaminous has opened up his desk for new script submissions. Check out the 2000AD website http://www.2000adonline.com for submission guidelines but hold off for a few days, eh? I’ve got a very generous and very anonymous pro reading through mine first to check it’s up to scratch.

The second chance is a great opportunity to get behind the scenes in the industry, as they are looking for a new Advertising Sales person. If you really must (and are based in the UK), then drop a line to [email protected] by 28th February, 2003. So, have you ever wanted a chance to get in on the ground floor in this industry that we all love? This is it.

Thanks to Quire for watching the horizon.

This Has A “Self Interested ” Value Of Ten Out Of Ten


SMASH(ing)

Go check out: http://www.aintitcool.com/display.cgi?id=14285 right NOW!

Fantastic film shots of the Hulk from the upcoming movie and links to more info. This is a fanboy must see.

This Has A “HULK Cool….” Value Of Ten Out Of Ten


Thunder Agents Update

We’ve had a mail in from McCoy updating us on the THUNDER Agents saga. Apparently the project is back on track. I can’t say too much more on it except that the characters have been redesigned and apparently look more Ultimates than Avengers.

J.G. Jones is allegedly signed on for the covers and the final script is sat waiting for the green light.

This Has A “Keeping You In The Loop” Value Of Eight Out Of Ten


The Supreme Summer Hit

Scott reports that JMS Straczynski has been talking a bit more about his upcoming Squadron Supreme series, Supreme Power. The series, which debuts July 16th, is an update of Mark Gruenwald’s Squadron Supreme 12-part maxi-series from the mid-80s. Many folks believe that Gruenwald?s book was a forerunner to the Dark Knight Returns and Watchmen. Much was made of the fact that Gruenwald?s ashes were mixed in with the printer?s ink when Marvel published a trade paperback of the series.

What was edgy and pushed the envelope back then would be considered tame today. Straczynski’s series will be from Marvel’s MAX line and he has assured fans that this is going to take things to the limit.

Following Straczynski’s fantastic work on Rising Stars and Midnight Nation this is one series that has really got me revved up. Forget the Authority or Planetary this’ll be the one that gets everyone talking.

This Has A “Controversy Coming” Value Of Nine Out Of Ten


CBLDF News

Check out http://www.cbldf.org for the full story but here’s a quick excerpt:

      Kraft Settles With King

 

      After a year of legal maneuvers, Kraft has settled its trademark dilution suit against CBLDF defendant Stuart Helm. The settlement agreement forms a permanent injunction that prohibits Helm from using the name ?King VelVeeda? on any future web, comics, or illustration work. Helm is allowed five years to sell all existing work using the censored name. Kraft is also donating $10,000 to the American Library Association?s Freedom to Read Foundation, Kraft?s recognized charity of Helm?s choice. Each side will bear its own legal fees.

The CBLDF spent over $14,000 on the case. Those costs were borne with membership and convention contributions. The Freedom to Read Foundation will also contribute a portion of Kraft?s settlement donation to offset the Fund?s legal fees.

That’s a lot of money that the charity needs to find, there’s a lot of cases like this on the go and they could do with your help now!

This Has A “Go Visit The Site Now” Value Of Ten Out Of Ten


More Charity Work

The following came in from our generous sponsors. It’s another very sad story that you all may be able to help with:

Teenagers From Mars

      artist Rob G lost all his possessions Wednesday night when his apartment building burned down. The losses included all of the art for TFM, Couriers, and an upcoming Batman story, his computer, and all his comics.

TFM writer Rick Spears said, ?The one bright side is that Rob, his roommate JJ and their cat made it out alive.? But now Rob only has the clothes on his back so if anyone would like to help Rob get back on his feet you can send money, clothes or whatever to:

Rick Spears
609 President St. #2
Brooklyn, NY 11215

Newsarama has set up a PayPal account for Rob G. You can make donations by clicking on the button below. Note – payments will be recorded as being made to [email protected]:
http://www.newsarama.com/cgi-bin/ubb/ultimatebb.cgi?ubb=get_topic&f=1&t=000218

At Dynamic Forces for every sale this week of the Darkness Prelude, we’re going to donate 10% of the sales to Rob, so if you’re looking for a way to help, either donate directly or pick up a copy of the prelude (any version):
http://www.dynamicforces.com/htmlfiles/p-C96760.html

This Has A “Hope You Can Help” Value Of Ten Out Of Ten


Todd Time

Time to be nice, I suppose. Go read http://www.gamespot.com where you’ll find a nice interview with Mr. McFarlane (aka The Canadian Toymaker) about his partnership with the computer games people Namco.

Thanks to Johansson for providing the above information.

This Has A “Reconcillation Time” Value Of Five Out Of Ten


Shrek Horse

April will see a Shrek comic from Dark Horse. There’ll be four in all: the first an adaptation of a short Shrek film that’s being shown in theme parks, and then the rest are all original stories for your delight by Mark Evanier and Ramon Bachs. The guys say they got tons of notes on what to avoid and what not to contradict, but they’re thrilled to be working on the project.

Now head along to your comic shop like an eager donkey to order your copy and behave like a grumpy ogre until it arrives.

Thanks to Emma for that.

This Has A “…And In The Morning We’ll Make Waffles” Value Of Ten Out Of Ten


Weapon X – The TV Series

Kid alleges that UPN has ordered a Weapon X series (or at least a pilot) based on the Marvel Comics publication. Don’t hold your breath for Logan or Sabretooth though; this’ll be another tenuously linked concept. Basically the pilot from Viacom will feature a technician becoming a supersolider when he gets injected with nanobots…

This Has A “Could Be Fun Or Trash” Value Of Five Out Of Ten


It’s Peter David Time…And Here’s Your Host, Alan Donald!

Heh, heh, heh. Here’s some stuff from the PAD site that I think would be criminal to miss:

      Yes. It’s true. I’ve been approached by Dreamwave about doing a new

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles

    series tying in with the new animated TV show. And I said I would do it because, frankly, my kids wouldn’t have it any other way. My three elder daughters are huge TMNT fans (Caroline hasn’t weighed in with an opinion) and made it clear there would be dire–DIRE–consequences if I passed up the opportunity. Further details will be forthcoming as soon as Dreamwave irons out the final kinks with the Turtles folks.

Um…am I the only one with a tingly feeling about that? Peter frickin’ David and TMNT! One to buy, definitely (and almost certainly it won’t be available outside the US!)

And on comic sales:

      Saw the Diamond Top 100.

Supergirl

      up to #70.

Young Justice

      outselling

Teen Titans

      . Both cancelled.

Captain Marvel

    holds steady while the other U-Decide books fade, but I’m persona non-gratia at Marvel. Not sure whether to laugh or cry.

Let’s hope the rift heals soon as I’d hate to be deprived of one of my favourite writers working on Marvel projects.

On the subject of Supergirl‘s cancellation, however, my retail spies tell me that pretty much across the board the book was picking up steam after the events of #75, so it was a bit shitty of DC to can the book at #77 without listening to re-order activity – that is, unless they already had plans for a replacement, or a future direction for the character…which did not involve Peter David. Maybe we’ll see a quick reprint of #75 through to #77 in one combined edition as a lead-in to a new book in a few months’ time…keep your eyes on Previews.

PAD on Todd:

    Pretty amazing. Todd McFarlane who, according to recent court decisions does not own the copyright to Miracleman, is taking the fingers-in-ears, la la la I’m not listening approach. He’s soliciting a Miracleman statue and is ostensibly casting about for writers for a new series on a property that either he doesn’t own outright or, at the very least, shares copyright on. Because, y’know, judges just *love* it when people act like legal decisions haven’t been made. That’ll help tons on the appeals as he does everything he can not to treat Neil Gaiman with respect. UPDATED COMMENT–I just saw a picture of the statue. It looks like Miracleman is staring at his right hand in horror after a door slammed on his fingers and broke them.

It’s nice to see creators wading in on the Toymaker, too.

This Has A “Have You Heard What’s Next? A Limited Edition Miracleman Statue With MM Wiping His Arse With The Legal Papers From The Angela Court Case. There’ll Be An Ultra Rare Version That’ll Be Using A Sandman Comic” Value Of Eight Out Of Ten


CGE Premier News

I have had an interesting mail from Jean. He/she has presented another point of view on the whole CrossGen Premier thing. The information is, quite simply that Steve Geppi (aka Mr. Diamond Comics) promised to do anything to help Mark Alessi attain Premier Status whilst on a visit to the CrossGen compound. The problem, however, was that CGE still needed to get 5% Market Share, something they are yet to do.

Jean alleges that someone at CrossGen then leaked that they’d be moving to Premier status. This then left Diamond with, as Jean says, “a little egg on their face”. Now apparently there’s going to be a bit of fun at Megacon when Jean tells us that there’ll be a showdown between the two (or not if the bodyguards Jean says have been hired have anything to do with it).

This Has A “Bodyguards In Comics?” Value Of Eight Out Of Ten


Namor To Drown?

Henry has sent me in a few comments he/she spotted on the web from John Secreto of Comic Swap. Mr. Secreto was commenting on Bill Jemas’ direction to retailers to order Namor based on orders for Marville (Mr. Jemas’ other project). The comments make very interesting reading: Mr. Secreto’s initial statements bear out what I’ve said before. Retailers tend to order 25, 13 or 10 cent comics in huge bulk and to give them away rather than sell them. The thing is what to do then:

    …we have ordered subsequent issues more aggressively, with the hopes that customers will enjoy the promotional comics and either add the titles to their list or come back for the next issue.

Ok, sensible move, and one which Marvel would obviously hope is reflected across the retailer base, so what of Namor specifically?

      The first, and I think most important, way they differ are the creators. In almost all the previous situations, the creators were well-respected talents in the industry. With Mark Waid writing

Fantastic Four

      , people are going to be more interested. And he has proven himself yet again. And people love it. We have increased subscribers and certainly have had more talk about the book. This worked for many of the other promotions.

Batman

      : Brubaker and Rucka.

Daredevil

      : Bendis.

Namor

    : Jemas and Watson?

So, what would you like to see?

      This has been said many times by many other retailers, but if Marvel (and specifically Mr. Jemas) have so much confidence in their comics, make them available after first printings. Or make the comics returnable. Prove us wrong. If it is that great, we will ALL make money from having the comic overprinted and available to everyone. I think it is about time Marvel shared some of the risk with the retailers. We all want the comics to sell. I want to see more teenagers in my store. I want people to be talking about a

Namor

      movie the way they talk about

Spider-Man

    . But I think that Marvel could help us, and themselves, by making a good promotion into a great one. Make it one that cannot fail. This is just my opinion, maybe others can use it as a caution or bring some other ideas to the table.

Which is what I’ve been saying for some time now…

However, one thing that John Secreto seems to be overlooking in his comments is the demographic that Andi Watson may be able to bring to Marvel ? he has a huge following amongst female readers, and amongst people not interested in standard superhero fare?if his presence on this book can encourage some of these readers into the Marvel fold, then Marvel may finally be successful in expanding their readership base, rather than just screwing current readers for more and more each month. To my mind this is all down to how retailers present the book ? if they just try and sell it to the typical Marvel reader, then it will fall on its face?they need to actively push it to Watson fans, to Oni Press fans, to female readers?

This Has A “C’mon Guys?You Can Make A Difference” Value Of Seven Out Of Ten


Buffy Business

Possibly more bad news for those hoping to see a Watcher series from the BBC following the end of the current season of Buffy: Peter David, amongst others, has speculated that Tony Head’s character, Giles may actually be a ghost and that Giles may be dead. The following was mailed to me by Jumbo:

      With speculation high that this will be the last season for

Buffy the Vampire Slayer

      , it?s appropriate the First Evil would be her foe, says Executive Producer Marti Noxon.

Fans have also been speculating over whether Giles is really the First in Buffy. Since the First is non-corporeal and can?t touch anything and imitates only dead people, fans have picked up on the fact that Giles hasn?t touched anything since returning to Sunnydale. There?s been no explanation as to how Giles escaped death at the ax of the Bringers.

“Isn’t that interesting?,? Noxon says.

It sounds like a great season and it better bloody get to the UK soon! Let’s hope Giles isn’t dead and that the BBC actually take their collective fingers out of their arse’s and get on with producing this series. It’s common knowledge that Tony Head is happy to do it and that Joss Whedon is chomping at the bit to get on with it so why can’t the f**kin’ BBC get on with it rather than shite TV like Fame Academy?

This Has A “Ghost Of A Chance” Value Of Seven Out Of Ten


Woo-Hoo

Star Wars fanboy moment! It looks like it’s going to happen! The fight of the century: Obi-Wan Vs Anakin Skywalker with Ani falling into the volcano at the climax (but Obi-Wan possibly knowing it’s only a temporary set back for the Dark Lord). Fans have been speculating that we’ll finally see this battle (and many fan sites have been running images of the two of them in front of a volcano since Ep 2 came out) in Episode 3. Other rumour running around are that there will be substantial appearances by young Luke and Leia. The main rumour and my reason for cheering accompanies the volcano news. JAMES EARL JONES has confirmed he will have at least 5 minutes playing the voice of Darth Vader/Anakin Skywalker after he is forced to wear a walking life support machine at the end of the film (possibly entitled The Circle is Complete).

More rumours have emerged on http://www.aintitcool.com/display.cgi?id=14298 – these are fanboy must reads.

This Has A “James Earl Jones…Yeah Baby” Value Of Ten Out Of Ten


Spawn Story

Following last weeks story about the Canadian Toymaker shutting down the Spawn line we’ve received a few interesting mails. Several insiders informed us they had also heard the rumours but weren’t sure what to make of them. Some people have let us know that Todd may have several different projects on the boil including, apparently, some work for Marvel.

Could be just a load of shit stirring or it could be the end of an era.

This Has A “Still Unlikely” Value Of Two Out Of Ten


Mutants Are Not Human, Official

Hardly news to fans of the X-Men, mutants have for a long time now been presented within the Marvel Universe as being the next stage in human evolution. They’re a different species for crying out loud (though nobody has really taken them to task on this properly, they aren’t strictly a different species as they can, on the whole, mate with humans to produce fertile and fecund offspring but for the sake of argument the scientists and activists within the Marvel Universe have classified them as Homo superior a new and unique species). Why then has there been such an uproar over the recent real world court decision that has upheld this point of view? What decision? Ok, here we go…

The following is an edited excerpt from that esteemed organ, the Wall Street Journal:

      Judge Judith Barzilay huddled late last year with a telepathic professor and a cast of mutants to ponder an age-old question: What does it mean to be human?

In her chambers at the U.S. Court of International Trade, in New York, the judge examined Prof. X and the rest of his band of X-Men, all of them little plastic figures at the heart of a six-year tariff battle between their owner, Marvel Enterprises Inc., and the U.S. Customs Service.

Her ruling thundered through the world of Marvel Comics fans. The famed X-Men, those fighters of prejudice sworn to protect a world that hates and fears them, are not human, she decreed Jan. 3. Nor are many of the villains who do battle with Spider-Man and the Fantastic Four. They’re all “nonhuman creatures,” concluded Judge Barzilay.

Marvel subsidiary Toy Biz Inc. pushed Judge Barzilay to declare its heroes nonhuman so it could win a lower duty rate on action figures imported from China in the mid-1990s. At the time, tariffs put higher duties on dolls than toys. According to the U.S. tariff code, human figures are dolls, while figures representing animals or “creatures,” such as monsters and robots, are deemed toys.

Chuck Austen, current author of Marvel’s Uncanny X-Men comic-book series, is also incredulous. He has worked hard for a year, he says, to emphasize the X-Men’s humanity, to show “that they’re just another strand in the evolutionary chain.”

In 1996, Toy Biz sued Customs in the Court of International Trade, which arbitrates foreign-trade disputes between U.S. companies and the government. Toy Biz said its pantheon of action figures should be classified as toys instead of dolls. Customs insisted the figures are dolls, and thus subject to 12% import duties, instead of the 6.8% rate for toys. Duties have since been eliminated from both categories.

Toy Biz, in its filings, pulled no punches. The figures “stand as potent witnesses for their status as nonhuman creatures,” the company argued. How could they be humans, Toy Biz said, if they possessed “tentacles, claws, wings or robotic limbs?”

Toy Biz had good cause to pursue this line. Having its action figures declared toys would mean a hefty reimbursement of past duties, though the company declines to give specifics on how much was at stake.

The U.S. government showed more feeling. Each figure had a “distinctive individual personality,” the federal legal team argued. Some were Russians, Japanese, black, white, women, even handicapped. Wolverine, the government insisted, was simply “a man with prosthetic hands.” Justice Department lawyers who handled the case didn’t return calls seeking comment.

The X-Men, oddly, gave her the least trouble. They are mutants, she declared, who “use their extraordinary and unnatural . . . powers on the side of good or evil.” The judge observed how the character Storm, with her flowing white hair and dark skin, “can summon storms at will,” while Pyro has a “mutant ability to control and shape flames.”

Thus the X-Men are “something other than human.” Case closed.”

Fairly straightforward, really. Strangely it’s only the ‘X’ fans I’ve seen up in arms over this, which is weird as their favourite characters just plain aren’t human. The thing is Marvel have managed to get this ruling applied to all their action figures, most of the Marvel Universe. The rest of the article deals with this and it’s worth a read. I really don’t get the problem here, this is a financial decision, a real world thing it has no real bearing on fans nor characters perceptions of the Marvel properties. One of the oddest quotes this article has (go read it for yourself) is from a fan who ponders hysterically if Superman is next. I HOPE SO! Surely DC has spotted this loophole too, Superman ain’t human buddy he’s Kryptonian. Being human and having humanity are two separate issues. A passing mention must go to the impassioned defence from Customs though a little more research should have been done (prosthetic hands indeed).

Thanks to No-Girl for having a subscription to the (Wall Street) Journal.

This Has A “Cheap Toys Coming? Yeah Right” Value Of Seven Out Of Ten


Mill’s Moans

Pat Mills, a top script droid at 2000AD (the man some people attribute the creation of Judge Dredd to and the creator of such classic works as Slaine, Finn, Nemesis and ABC Warriors) has cause a bit of a stir. 2000AD has its own fanzine, Zarjaz, that features fan fiction comic strips (the quality of which is very surprising). Now Rebellion, 2000AD‘s owners have given the fanzine permission to parody/use their characters in this way (in fact they are believed to view Zarjaz as a pool of talent to watch for the future). Pat Mills, however, isn’t quite so happy about this:

      This is a copy of the mail sent to Zarjaz editor Andrew Lewis by Mr Mills;

Great cover and I like the whole idea and intention of it. I think it’s fine for house characters and, of course, it’s terrific for publishers because some of your writers and artists will undoubtedly become a new generation of pros for 2000AD which you state is their intention and I wish them well.

But… for those of us who do not regard our characters as house characters and I am not alone in feeling this… it means that – although a remote possibility at the moment – that if, for instance, I fell out with a 2000AD editor or was too busy, or unwell and couldn’t write my characters, or I was too expensive, the editor might be in a position to have a new semi-trained writer who had possibly proved himself at writing one of my stories and would presumably be cheaper.

Because all rights were sold, 2000AD publishers are able to do this. It very rarely happens, because publishers and editors are thankfully sensitive to our feelings, especially as writers like myself believe in making our feelings known loud and clear. Also, it is a grey area where rights are concerned – because it is expressly against EEC law and morally reprehensible. Hence why you will see sometimes in publications a quote about moral rights having been relinquished. In France it would be impossible – where creativity is more valued than in this country, where the kind of incident I’m concerned about has happened on occasion. And recently.

For example, a Flesh series and a Satanus series was recently written expressly against my wishes by other writers on 2000AD. The editor – Andy Diggle – although a life-long and encyclopaedic fan of 2000AD, forgot that I had created Satanus. Frankly, I don’t accept that – as I told him at the time. Another editor, McManus, “forgot” to include writer and artist credits on a portfolio of 2000AD characters pitched at the film world. I am extremely militant on this subject because I am aware of “the thin end of the wedge” principle and aggressively protect my rights on Slaine, Nemesis, Finn, ABC Warriors, Ro-Busters, Visible Man etc . Any indication that a possible writer may be groomed for a future take-over will always meet with a strong, and if necessary, legal reaction from me.

This may seem a little harsh, but the creative process is a long and painful one and I don’t believe in giving anyone a free lunch. Naturally new writers need to learn and, of course, you will not be aware of these concerns because publishers and editors have a different perspective to writers and would have no reason to bring it to your attention. But my own feeling is your stories should be purely on recognised house characters or that your writers should create their own characters. Thus I’m not thrilled by the idea of Slaine appearing in Zarjaz even though it may well be homage etc. which I don’t accept as a valid reason. Like many professionals, I also make it a policy not to read things of this nature so that I cannot be influenced by the content – an accusation that is also often levelled at pros by people trying to find their way in. When I started Slaine I had an agreement with the editor that no-one else should ever write this character. This is an agreement I would hold 2000AD to today. Of course Zarjaz falls outside this agreement as a fanzine, but I certainly wouldn’t like to see Slaine appearing in it again.

In case you think I am over-reacting let me quote you some further examples. Established 2000AD Writer X helped a new Writer Y to get work on 2000AD, encouraging him etc. Writer Y became very successful on 2000AD and elsewhere and promptly kicked Writer X in the teeth in interviews in fanzines. Another young Writer Z’s 2000AD career was launched off the back of a project I had created in and later trashed me in print in a similar way.

So you can understand why I regard new writers not so much as a threat, but more as potentially parasitical and ungracious like the two examples above.

Sorry I can’t be more positive.

Rebellion has decided to keep Mr. Mills onside here and they’ve backed him up:

      Pat Mills has requested that none of the characters he created (including Slaine, Nemesis the Warlock and the A.B.C. Warriors) should be used as the subject of fan fiction. As a courtesy to Pat,

http://www.2000adonline.com

    will not publish any fan fiction or fan-created strips based on his characters, so please do not submit any to the webmaster.

This has caused quite a fuss online go check out the 2000AD message boards if you don’t believe me. I’ll let you draw your own conclusions on Mr. Mill’s letter but kudos must go to Rebellion for honouring an agreement like this.

I’ll give the last word on this to the Zarjaz crew as it features a mention of my favourite writer:

    It should be pointed out that when Alan Grant first saw a copy of this ‘zine, he offered Andrew a free 2-page Anderson script to use, which appeared in issue 2. What a nice chap.

Thanks to Frost for spotting this story.

This Has A “Good Old Mr. Grant And Good Old Rebellion” Value Of Six Out Of Ten


X-Mania

Ernst says it looks like Marvel has learned from the mistakes of the past. At this weeks press conference Mr. Quesada outlined Marvels plans to cash in on the new X-Men film and bring in more readers to our favourite pastime.

      When

X-Men 1

    came out we dropped the ball with respect to X-Men product that was accessible to the neophyte reader, the person that saw the movie and comes into the local comic shop and wants to experience what was in the movie, what they got in the comics was completely different from what was on the screen.

Or, ?What the hell was Chris Claremont doing??

Once more we’re going to have comic book prequels to the film, the first being Nightcrawler and Wolverine that will have photo covers and the now compulsory comic book adaptation of the film. We’ll also have a new X-Men focused encyclopaedia, a sequel to the excellent God Loves, Man Kills graphic novel (thought to be a major influence on the new film), a run on Ultimate X-Men by the phenomenon that is Bendis, two issues a month from the X-Men titles, loads of X-Men trades and a real push to make every ‘X’ title accessible to new readers.

My problem? Same old thing. Marvel will be only printing the comics to order! Meaning that retailers alone will have to take the gamble and risk on this. Very nice, very helpful? what a crock. They will have good stocks on all the trades but hey, trades cost a lot for new readers? time will tell if retailers decide to take a financial gamble on this or decide to be conservative leading to yet another fumble from Marvel.

This Has A “Buy A Clue” Value Of Five Out Of Ten


SHAZAM!

Dummy spotted some future litigation for people to watch out for: DC vs a UK mobile phone company. SHAZAM is the trademarked exclamation of DC’s Captain Marvel (and the title for any titles about him since DC cocked up and let Marvel get the rights to use the name Captain Marvel as a comic book title years ago). It is also a new mobile phone service advertised on the radio in the UK.

The system is basically one where you dial a number, point your phone at the radio and you’ll be texted back the title and artist? could be a different spelling but what’s the betting it’ll have a new title soon?

This Has A “Legal Watch” Value Of Six Out Of Ten


WAKE UP!

A new series is coming out, and it looks like one you shouldn’t miss, according to my source Basilisk. Sleeper is written by Ed Brubaker and drawn by Sean Phillips and the poor old writer is a bit sceptical about how successful the project might be. Based on the stuff I’ve read I think this is one you should not miss. It’s from Eye of the Storm (Wildstorm) so remember that when you order it.

It’s a spy/crime drama about a guy on a deep cover mission who lands in the shit when his only contact goes and falls into a coma (aspects of Face/Off there). He doesn’t know what to do nor how to get out of it (if he wants to that is). There are some superpowers here but they’re not the be all and end all of the whole thing. It would seem this is far more about the characters and their situations than super heroics. Look, don’t take my word for it, search the web, find out a bit more on it. This sounds brilliant and it has a great pedigree with these creators onboard I just didn’t want it to fail. Not to mention that it also will include the fantastic Alan Moore character Tao, seemingly killed in Moore?s last issue of W.I.L.D.Cats but resurrected by him in a superb short in issue #50? one of my favourite characters from the last few years.

This Has A “Shameless Plug For Something I Want To Read And Want To Ensure The Success Of” Value Of Ten Out Of Ten


More Free Kids Comics

Almost as a response to my last few columns (particularly a certain website’s owners comments on my message board) Diamond has announced that they’ll be taking part in Free Comic Book Day themselves with classic Carl Barks Donald Duck. Of course this will also serve as a taster for their new Disney comics but there’s nothing wrong with that, it’s the point of FCBD really. Plus they didn’t make this one you HAVE to order which was nice of them. Many, many fans of Bark’s work will rejoice at this news and will no doubt bug me to encourage retailers to order big on this as the comic to pull kids into the shop.

Thanks to Radian for spotting my boss?s eminently sensible comments and a huge mega-corporation?s reaction to them.

This Has A “Wait A Second…Was I Just Nice To Diamond Again?” Value Of Nine Out Of Ten


Writers? Friend

Here’s an interesting bit for all the established and wannabe comic book writers out there from Andy Diggle’s site:

    I’ve just taken Antony Johnston’s advice and bought myself a copy of the Final Draft [http://www.finaldraft.com] scriptwriting program. It’s a fantastic piece of kit – it memorises all the character names so you don’t have to keep re-typing them, and automatically formats the script as you go along (I’ve already created a new Comic Script template). Now if I can just stop playing with it long enough to do some actual writing?

That’s: http://www.finaldraft.com in case you missed it. I had a quick look at the site and it does look good, there’s a demo copy there to try out if you’re not sure. From the scripts I’ve written in the past I can see what a huge help this would be and reading through their site I think this’ll be the first purchase I make if I ever get a break into the industry.

Omega spotted this for us.

This Has A “Reserve Your Copy Now” Value Of Ten Out Of Ten


Well that’s that. A mixed bag really but there’s nothing wrong with that. Hope you all had fun and I’ll see you again next week. Remember to enter the competition and especially remember to email in any gossip / rumour / news you get.

I’m off to brush up on my Burns…Scots wha’ hae, My love is like a red, red rose, Tamashanty?

TTFN

Alan Donald – Signing off from an island that can’t make its mind up over the weather.


 

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