Hello. Good to see you all again. My name is Alan Donald and I’m your host for All the Rage, SBC’s weekly news, opinion and rumour column. Welcome one and all.

As always I need you to be listening and looking out for rumours everywhere just e-mail me on [email protected], and remember you can have as much or as little publicity as you want.

Before we go any further I really must insist you visit our very generous sponsors website by clicking on their link above. If you?re reading this on Sunday, like all faithful Rage-mites should, you?ll be able to take advantage of DF?s Hulk-tastic Daily Special. In Sunday?s Special you?ll be able to get Incredible Hulk Hardcover signed by Bruce Jones and Ultimates #1 to #6 for just $77.77. DF’s “Hulk Burst Out” Daily Special is limited to ten sets, so dive on in and get one now!


Diggle’s Dangling

Spotted on Andy Diggle’s website – http://www.andydiggle.com:

      Not much else to report, apart from my response to those of you who’ve asked me about the Swamp Thing rumour on All The Rage:

no comment.

and…

Dredd/Aliens

      [http://www.andydiggle.com/dreddaliens.htm] seems to be going down well with

2000 AD

      readers…The first Dark Horse issue of

Dredd/Aliens

    should be in stores on March 19th.

My two pence worth? Judge Dredd Vs Aliens is one of the best Dredd megaepics for quite some time and it is perhaps the most brutal since Necropolis. I absolutely love it. Not only are Dredd and his supporting cast handled perfectly but I have never seen the Aliens made to look quite so deadly both in life and death. I don’t see how this level of tension will be maintained until the end of the story but as it’s Diggle and Wagner I know they just will, damn it! Thank Grud I’m reading this weekly and not having to wait for monthly portions like those poor shmucks who’ll be buying the DH reprint.

So no new news on Swamp Thing. Mr. Johnston seems to believe that Mr. Diggle will be working on the Epic line but as usual the ever professional Mr. Diggle had no comment on that.

This Has A “Chest Bursting” Value Of Eight Out Of Ten


Devilish News

I’ve been sent details suggesting that there is to be a new Demon mini-series to be written by Joshua Dysart and drawn by Pop Mahn.

This Has A “news that spews and art that farts… damn these demonic rhymes, they get in the way all of the time” Value Of Eight Out Of Ten


Cartoon Time

I’ve just heard that:

    Pixar’s first project after Disney is going to be working with the master Hayao Miyazaki for his first all CGI English feature!

This news has apparently been renounced by many pundits as ludicrous tat, but it’s interesting all the same. The same source has also informed me that John Woo is apparently going to develop a computer-animated version of Mighty Mouse!

This Has A “HERE I COME TO SAVE THE DAY!” Value Of Seven Out Of Ten


Old News…

As reported here quite some time ago, the current will definitely be the last series of Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Sarah Michelle Gellar has this week confirmed that she won’t return for another series. Angel will be continuing for at least one more series and a few of the cast will move to there (especially as the series is rumoured to be returning to WB). No news on the excellent Buffy comics but I’m pretty damned sure that as long as there’s a fan base Dark Horse will be happy to continue to feed it.

What now? Two words…FILM FRANCHISE. Look out for a series of films upping the stakes (which’ll tax the writers) and the budget (which won’t). We’ll all get nostalgic, laugh at the funny in jokes, marvel at the big stories but ultimately feel that the demands of a big budget film script have removed the soul of the series. Then they’ll produce a film that’s effectively a elongated episode and everyone will complain and call it slow and boring (despite the fact it was actually a great film)… wait, that’s Star Trek Next Generation. All the same…

More old news. As reported exclusively here last week the Elektra film is going ahead. The film studio made an official announcement this week:

    The hidden clues to the biggest mystery in the blockbuster film Daredevil have been revealed: Elektra lives! With audiences clamoring for more of the female warrior, Twentieth Century Fox and Regency Enterprises today announced that, in addition to a Daredevil sequel, they are moving forward with a new event film based on the Elektra character.

The new Elektra story will be set after the events depicted in Daredevil. Jennifer Garner will reprise the role she brought to life in that film, and script development will begin immediately.

Elektra first appeared in Daredevil comics in 1980 with words and art by comics legend Frank Miller. The character is the daughter of powerful and rich Greek business tycoon Nikolas Natchios and the girlfriend of Matt Murdock / Daredevil. Although she possesses no superhuman abilities, Elektra is a consummate practitioner of the martial arts, and wields a pair of three-pronged daggers, or sai.

This Has A “Got There First… Nah, Nah, Na, Na, Na, Nah!” value of Ten Out Of Ten


Quick Stats

I’ve been sent through the month?s statistics, let me just read through all this and give you the highlights…

Comic orders for March are up on last year. The rise makes up for earlier drops balancing the first quarter with last year. March comic sales are up 16%, graphic novels are down 34% (but the GN drop is being explained away by certain products that were out last year), Marvel and DC are up 15%, Image is up 24%, Dark Horse is down a massive 40% (though they do vary the quantity of their output quite a lot) but the big news is CrossGen who are up an absolutely incredible 118%! That premiere status that nobody is talking about seems to be getting ever closer.

This Has A “Guess Who’s Coming To The Front Of The Book…” Value Of Eight Out Of Ten


Quick Look

OK… I can’t just let this story go by without any mention. Here’s the word from Marvel:

    MARVEL ISSUES STATEMENT REGARDING LITIGATION

NEW YORK, February 25, 2002- Marvel Enterprises, Inc. (NYSE: MVL) today issued the following statement in with its ongoing effort to aggressively protect its intellectual property rights.

Earlier today Marvel Characters, Inc. a wholly-owned subsidiary of Marvel Enterprises, filed a suit in Superior Court of the State of California, County of Los Angeles concerning a licensing agreement with Sony Pictures Entertainment Inc. and SPE Spider-Man GP Inc. The suit was filed under seal pursuant to California Rule Of Court 243.2 and confidentiality provisions in the companies’ agreement.

The complaint is not an attempt to stop production of the Spider-Man sequel slated for May 2004 nor is it an attempt to change or upset any of the merchandising/licensing deals that are in place for the sequel. Additionally, while the litigation is not expected to have any material negative impact on Marvel’s financial results or on its guidance for 2003 and beyond, a successful resolution of the matter would be anticipated to have a positive financial effect upon Marvel’s future operations. Given confidentiality requirements related to the agreement, Marvel is unable to comment further on the matter.

Or as everyone else is reporting it…MARVEL’S SUING SONY! Everyone’s puzzled and bemused. Aren’t Sony and Marvel practically the same thing? Aren’t they making good bucks? Yadda, yadda, yadda…

Don’t get your knickers in a twist. There’s good and sound reasons here but I can’t divulge them.

This Has A “‘Cause I Don’t Know ‘Em, ‘Cause I’ll Be Sued If I Do, Or ‘Cause I’ve Been Asked Not To – U-DECIDE!” Value Of Five Out Of Ten


Bewitching

MMMMMMMMM… Bewitched will be back soon as many of you know. Nicole Kidman has been signed on to play Samantha for some time, but finally they’ve now got a writer/director in the form of Nora Ephron. Many readers will be too young to remember the original series, but if you haven’t caught the repeats you really should… it’s like a grown up but still damned sexy (sexier in fact) version of Sabrina the Teenage Witch (a series that owes a lot to Bewitched). Thank God someone in casting had some sense. Nicole Kidman is just about the only person on the planet who could succeed Elizabeth Montgomery… Now we need to find out if the Aussie princess can wiggle her? nose?

This Has A “Private Fantasies” Value Of Ten Out Of Ten


Please, Sir, Can I Have Some More?

Yep, even bloody more free comics.

First up is one from a while back. I should have put this up ages ago. If you haven’t read it yet you bloody well should: http://www.joequesada.com/stuff/first_kiss/k_smith.html

And from the same art monkey: http://www.joequesada.com/stuff/dd_zero/index.html

Here’s more: Hunted Down
http://www.moviepoopshoot.com/hunted/index.html

Here’s a nice explanation of a physical deformity: http://www.backwash.com/content.php?jouid=5611

More:

      Has life got you down? Did you lose your job, and your furnace died, and it’s 20 below outside with a wicked storm brewing, and if the repairman doesn’t come before it hits you won’t have heat for three more days?

 

      Well then, you need some

KITTEN THERAPY

    ! It’s warm and fuzzy, and it’s only at Furry Widdle Bunny’s Happy Website Thingy. Hurry, before it becomes a cat.

More indeed: http://www.indyworld.com/pics/ae.jpg

There, that should be enough to keep you going for another week.

This Has A “Value For Money” Value Of Ten Out Of Ten


Thunder Rolls In

Huzzah! Finally our little Ragemite is proved right! This week saw the official announcement of the new THUNDER Agents series from DC. The series is due out in June with Manuel Garcia and Jimmy Palmiotti doing the art chores, J.G.Jones doing the covers, and Marc Andreyko writing.

This Has A “Watch Out For It” Value Of Eight Out Of Ten


AT LAST!!!!!!

WHOOO-HOOO!!!! Mark Waid and Barry Kitson’s Empire is finally coming back! This excellent series fell by the wayside when Gorilla folded at Image. June will see the original 2 issues packaged as a #0 and released through DC, July will see the start of a 6-part series that may extend into an ongoing title if the fan reaction is good enough.

Those of you who missed this the first time round should make damned sure you don’t cock up this second chance. Empire is a great read and everyone should get their preorders in now.

This Has A “Sucking Up ‘Cause I Love The Title” Value Of Ten Out Of Ten


Double Dose Of CrossGen

Bulldog distribution is now the exclusive backlist distributor for all CrossGen comic books four months old or older. Bulldog has bought up all over CrossGen’s old stock. Previously Cold Cut, Diamond and Bulldog all held CrossGen back issues, now it’ll only be Bulldog. Further news is that Bulldog also has CG’s permission to knock up cheap photocopy versions of missing issues to allow retailers to plug holes (so fans can at least read a copy of missing issues).

The second bit of news from CGE: Due to CGE discovering that the title Edge has been reserved for comic use, the compendia has been forced to change it’s name. From issue #13 Edge becomes VECTOR. Back issues will keep the same title and the content of the compendia will remain the same.

This Has A “Quick Change” Value Of Nine Out Of Ten


Smeg-Tastic

Couple of Red Dwarf bits: I’m glad to report that the BBC Sci-fi sit-com seems to be doing very well internationally. The buzz around the internet about the DVD release of the series is surprising and very heartening.

Secondly there’s some big news (or not). A rumour has come my way that they are finally getting down to filming the big screen version of the series. The promo stuff I’ve seen is quite convincing but it seems a little too coincidental what with it coming on the tail of the DVD release. If it’s true then I’m the first in line. There is a Red Dwarf movie coming; it’s been on the cards for years now. The current incarnation of the movie was promised a while back. Almost everyone involved with Red Dwarf has said that before the series returns to the BBC they’ll have a big screen outing. The official Red Dwarf site is rather out of date:

      Crewing up has not yet begun on

Red Dwarf – The Movie

    . When Red Dwarf Films is ready to accept CV submissions and other enquiries, contact details for all departments will be posted here. Please watch the Movie Deck area of the site for further updates. Full production is currently slated for early March for a release in December 2003. Please note that details given here will be for industry contacts only. Fan email and general queries will not be considered. Press and publicity information will be included later.

This Has A “Is This For Real Or Are We Being Played For Twats?” Value Of Six Out Of Ten


DC Or 2000AD?

Sorry couldn’t resist this. Here’s the complete list (so far, but I notice a couple of names missing that will be there, such as Jim Lee) of DC creators who’ll be attending Comics 2003 in Bristol:

      Simon Bisley (POINT BLANK, GLOBAL FREQUENCY)

 

      Mark Buckingham (FABLES)

 

      Mike Carey (LUCIFER, HELLBLAZER)

 

      John Cassaday (PLANETARY)

 

      Andy Diggle (THE LOSERS)

 

      Ian Edginton (BATMAN/ALIENS 2)

 

      Gary Erskine (THE FILTH)

 

      Dave Gibbons (WATCHMEN, THE ORIGINALS)

 

      James Hodgkins (BATMAN/ALIENS 2)

 

      Frazer Irving (THE AUTHORITY: SCORCHED EARTH)

 

      Jock (HELLBLAZER, THE LOSERS)

 

      Staz Johnson (BATMAN/ALIENS 2)

 

      Roger Langridge (BATMAN: LEGENDS OF THE DARK KNIGHT)

 

      John Lucas (CODENAME: KNOCKOUT, SUPERMAN)

 

      John McCrea (HITMAN)

 

      Robbie Morrison (THE AUTHORITY)

 

      Sean Phillips (SLEEPER)

 

      Steve Pugh (JLA: THE ISLAND OF DR. MOREAU)

 

      Jeff Smith (SHAZAM: THE MONSTER SOCIETY OF EVIL)

 

      Bryan Talbot (THE SANDMAN PRESENTS: DEAD BOY DETECTIVES, FABLES)

 

      Christopher Weston (THE FILTH)

 

    Steve Yeowell (THE INVISIBLES)

Now, without double checking or digging into anyone?s past too deeply, I count at least 15 out of 22 DC creators who’ve worked for 2000AD, and several of whom (not all but many) got their break there. Why point it out? It gives me a chance to present the list but at the same time it does prove why people should be reading the weekly anthology title from Rebellion.

This Has A “Don’t Forget Your Weekly Dose Of Thrillpower” Value Of Nine Out Of Ten


From The Desk Of Gary Spencer Millidge

This came in this week:

      Lots of news from Abiogenesis Press this month.

Strangehaven

      makes its regular springtime appearance – issue 15 is due to ship this May – with 26 pages of painted comic strip plus all the usual fun and features. It’s a real plot-driven issue that you really won’t want to miss, plus there’s lots of photographs from my trip to San Diego last summer. You’ll find it listed in the new Previews catalogue out this week with art previews on the website at

http://www.millidge.com

Cool. Anything else out?

      We also have a fantastic new book coming out in May called

Alan Moore: Portrait of an Extraordinary Gentleman

      . It’s a huge 272 page trade paperback containing comic strips, illustrations, stories, essays and lots more by over 100 of the world’s finest authors, artists and comic creators paying tribute to perhaps the best comics writer of the modern age. Terry Gilliam, Neil Gaiman, Michael Moorcock, Dave Gibbons, Bryan Talbot, Will Eisner, Adam Hughes, and Jeff Smith are just a couple of names who have all contributed pieces to a truly stunning volume. I’ve personally created a new 12-page comic strip biography of Moore for the book as well as co-editing and designing the entire volume. Check out all the details and preview images in the news section at

http://www.millidge.com

Bloody hell! Put me down for one now. Anything else?

      I’ve also recently contributed a couple of new images to British comics magazines – an illustration for the

Tripwirex10

      anniversary issue and the cover to the small press anthology,

Nucomix

      . More details at

http://www.millidge.com

      naturally. There’s been a couple of additions to the website – the Abiogenesis Studio WebCam is now up-and-running so you can check out what I’m up to at all times; and a new self-publishing forum which I set up last year with a number of interesting articles and resources for all you budding self-publishers out there. Just go to the www.millidge.com home page and follow the links from there. Finally, the Bristol Comics Festival in May is drawing nearer and of course, I’ll be there. You can pop over to

http://www.comicfestival.co.uk

    for bookings, information and to cast your vote for your favourite comics and creators of the last year.

So, as I often say, there you go.

This Has A “Happy To Plug” Value Of Eight Out Of Ten


Update

Some news has come to me this week with regard to a new range of comics. I’ve run with some news on this before but here’s what I’ve got. The producers of the TV show Queer As Folk have said that it is very possible that Redcape Comics could be publishing comics again. There will almost certainly be gay superheroes and more show merchandise. There’s a full interview with the producers on PopImage right now.

This Has A “Keep Your Eyes Peeled” Value Of Seven Out Of Ten


Whoops

Don’t know why it’s taken me so long to run this rumour; it kinda slipped through the net. Daredevil #50 is set to be a big deal, lots of good stuff planned and allegedly the legend that is Gene Colan dropping in to help out!

This Has A “Sounds Cool” Value Of Eight Out Of Ten


Saved!

Just in:

      I thought you might like to know that, previously thought to be on the chopping block, Marvel has reinvigorated

Agent X

      once again. Nigel Kitching (artist of Mark Millar’s

Saviour

      ) and Richard Rayner (artist of

Road to Perdition

    ) will be writing the book together from #12. Rayner is also the “regular” artist but since he’s quite a slow artist Kitching will be doing a lot of fill-ins – they’ll both be billed as regular artists though.

Both are well known for their drawing talents, but wait until you see how they can write – it’ll blow you away.

They are expected to produce at least six issues; after that Marvel will make a decision on whether the series is worth continuing. Though with talent like that on it I can’t see it meeting anything but sales success.

Always good to hear about a title being saved rather than axed.

This Has A “Good News!” Value Of Nine Out Of Ten


Future Shocks

More Future Comics news…I’m going to tread very carefully here as I REALLY don’t want to get stuck in the middle of this. I’ve had another mail accusing Future Comics and it’s big boss Bob Layton of a great many nasty things. Basically everything (including the rumours of financial trouble) boils down to someone being sacked. Future Comics version of events were put across quite clearly by Mr. Layton, in an update to last weeks article (you did read the update didn’t you? No? Well go on, do it now I’ll still be here when you get back…read it now? Good). The other side?s version of events is basically that the firing came out of the blue.

Let me make this clear, I am not going to take sides. I’m not going to attack an informant who could be a) completely correct, b) completely incorrect but misled and innocent rather than malicious or even c) a very, very nasty bastard with a sick and twisted mind (because if it’s a or b it ain’t their fault, and if it’s c I don’t want them on my case). And I am not going to attack a publisher either. A publisher is more than just one person it’s than person and their employees. I’ve given a heads up here on a rumour, the rumour has been refuted by the publisher. Any employees who are still worried should contact Mr.Layton directly. I don’t know Mr.Layton personally, but he has come across as a very open person and his statement last week (you did go back and read it, didn’t you?) was very clear on how far he was prepared to go to prove the company is ok.

If there’s any truth in the rumour it won’t help anyone for me to do more than I’ve done. If the rumour is a pack of lies then it’ll do a great deal of damage not just to Mr. Layton but to the employees of Future Comics for me to do more.

The mails I have been sent are not All The Rage material. I don’t do personal attacks or character assassinations (well there’s Mr. McFarlane, but I’ve been good and avoided anything recently). I asked Mr. Layton to comment on the latest mail and he said:

    With all due respect, I’m through responding to these unpleasant characters. They are treading on very shaky ground, legally speaking. They have hurt my loved ones and valued friends with their allegations and falsehoods. You are certainly within your rights to print whatever you wish. I respect the fact that you gave me the heads-up on it. I am presently working with my lawyers, preparing my case and will take legal action against these individuals at a time and place of my choosing…not theirs. However, I will not engage in a mock trial on the internet. All I ask is that you consider the source.

That is fair enough. Mr. Layton’s final point is a good one. I will normally print any rumours that come to me but when they are like this one I need to be sure of my source, I can’t destroy peoples lives based on an anonymous e-mail.

Unless I have hard evidence either way I’m drawing a line under this story. I will report if Mr. Layton decides to start legal action against those who’ve been spreading this story, and I will report if I get hard evidence to back up the story. Other than that Future Comics will be treated the same as ever by me.

If you are a creator/employee/retailer and you are worried then please contact Mr. Layton to see how things are. If it’s bad you’ll know, and if it’s not then you’re playing into the hands of some very nasty bastards by sitting and stewing.

This Has A “Finished On This Subject” Value Of Ten Out Of Ten


That’s me done. Had a birthday this week, if you’re interested. I turned the big 2-8. 28, what an old man ‘eh?

Thank you for reading, come again soon and tell all your friends about me.

TTFN

Alan Donald – signing off and falling asleep.


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