Time to take a break from last minute shopping (my favorite color is navy blue in case anyone is looking for something to buy their favorite columnist) and enjoy the latest dose of holiday Rage?

Comics International – Under New Management?

The UK’s longest running comics magazine – Comics International – recently celebrated its 200th issue with a new, special format – more pages, square-bound – to substantial critical acclaim. However, that magazine was late out – and since then? nothing. In fact, whereas most years CI publishes 13 issues, 2006 has seen only eight or nine. Editor Dez Skinn has been remarkably quiet about this on his mailing list, and the only real hint something might not be right came from an admission a couple of weeks ago that he’s already spent ?5K defending a court action (presumed to be from the Anglo family over the rights to Marvelman).

This was the only real hint, until last weekend’s BrumCon show, where discussion was rife about the future of the magazine – more than one attendee confirmed to our ATR mole that the magazine was up for sale, and that Dez felt that #200 was a fitting endcap to his run, and it was time for someone else to take the reins. Said person would be wise to adopt the new format on a permanent basis should content justify it, but would also no doubt be looking to change content and style to match his own personality and interests. Presumably this means that the columnists, the reviews, the Networks coverage, the advance listings and even the News section could be up for evaluation and ? where deemed necessary ? overhaul.

So, who’s to be the new editor? One man springs to mind more readily than anyone else:

  • He’s been associated with the magazine since the beginning?
  • He’s been news editor since December 1996?
  • He’s been comics movie editor since before even that?
  • He’s the author of two comics-related books, with a third on its way?
  • He organises the Eagle Awards, now in their 31st year?
  • He has a superb reputation in the industry – not just in UK comics but in the US as well?

It can only be Mike Conroy.

Discussions on this changeover between retailers in the UK, and at BrumCon in particular, attempted to use subtlety to prevent those not in the know from cottoning on. The lead-in question from one retailer to another was, “Did you know Dez was selling his old car?” followed up with, “Yes, and Mike Conroy?s going to buy it”. This explains perhaps why UK retailers do not work for MI5.

Expect #201 to be released shortly, under Conroy’s stewardship ? this would clearly be too soon for wholesale changes, so expect service is likely to continue as normal. It would make sense for any innovations/changes to be introduced gradually over the upcoming months.

This Has A ?The Old Order Changeth? Factor Of Nine Out Of Ten


Uni Mind

After the latest seven issue Eternals mini series by Neil Gaiman and John Romita JR wraps up early next year, expect to see a follow up mini series (by a different creative team) as the Eternals re-integrate into the Marvel Universe.

This Has A ?Don?t Call Me A Deviant? Factor Of Eight Out Of Ten


Who Watches Who?

Dave Gibbons will be drawing a Superman arc and a Batman arc in 2007 (and maybe a Superman / Batman arc as well).

This Has A ?Living Legend? Factor Of Seven Out Of Ten


The Return

Over on his message board, John Byrne (in the midst of one of his most recent nonsensical and mean-spirited rants), revealed that during his classic run on Captain America, he and Roger Stern had thought about bringing back Bucky:

      When Roger Stern and I were doing

CAPTAIN AMERICA

    we flirted — too strong a word already! — with the notion of doing a story in which Cap visits a VA hospital, and in one corner of a ward full of damaged survivors of WW2 comes across a legless, armless vegetable who, upon seeing Cap, stirs from his forty year coma and is revealed to be Bucky. We were thinking poignant, painful, pathos, lots of P words. And we realized, instantly, than in two and a half seconds someone else would have transplanted his brain, cloned him, or some other nonsense.

Sounds cool, but personally what Brubaker has done in his recent run on Captain America with Bucky/The Winter Soldier is much much better. If you have not read it yet, do yourself a favour and check it out.

This Has A ?Man Out Of Time (And I?m Not Talking About Bucky)? Factor Of Eight Out Of Ten


Untold Tales

A loyal ATR reader, Dave Wallace, recently posted some information about the lost Frank Miller Daredevil story that ATR reported on a few weeks ago:

      I was interested by this, so I asked Daredevil guru Kuljit Mithra at

www.manwithoutfear.com

      . He pointed me to

this

    answer:

After Frank Miller and David Mazzucchelli completed their Born Again arc in DD#227-233, Frank Miller was going to work with Walt Simonson on a two-part story for issues #235-236. Dr. Strange was going to guest-star in this story. Only the first half was ever written. I own a copy of this script (and for many reasons I cannot post it on my site…). You can read my interview with Walt Simonson where he discusses this story and why it didn’t happen.

From the interview:
“KM: Many people remember that you and Frank Miller were supposed to do a two-part story for Daredevil after Miller’s Born Again. I managed to get a copy of the first part of the script, and it really is an excellent story. Can you tell me if the second part of the script was ever written? Were the pencils completed for the issue? Can you tell me why it was never completed?

WS: To the best of my knowledge, Frank never scripted Part 2. I never did pencil Part 1. And the reason was that DD was getting a new regular writer at the time after several fill-ins. The new writer wanted his first issue to come out at the beginning of the summer (the good sales period back then) so our 2 parter was put on hold for a few months. And if there’s no deadline, the work never gets done–that’s an old freelance rule. The gist of it is that by the time Marvel was interested in having us work on the story, Frank was off doing Dark Knight and I was off doing X-Factor. So it never happened. Too bad–it was a cool story too.”

Thanks for the information Dave. Expect more updates in the following weeks.

This Has A ?Lost Classic? Factor Of Ten Out Of Ten


In the Ring

Speaking of Daredevil, Zeb Wells is working on a mini series that will feature Daredevil?s father ?Batllin Jack Murdock?. Expect to see it in early 2007.

This Has A ?Don?t Throw That Fight? Factor Of Ten Out Of Ten


Get Them Bugs!

Chris Dibari is the artist on the upcoming STARSHIP TROOPERS ongoing series by writer Tony Lee.

Chris dropped in to answer some questions:

ATR: So tell our readers about yourself. How did you get started in the business? How did you land the Starship Troopers ongoing with Tony Lee?

CD: I got my start in comics back in the late fall of ’99; I did a cover for Robin #73, part of the “No Man’s Land” story. I have done work in comics related fields after that for Hasbro, Art Asylum toys and storyboards for 4Kids on the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles cartoon. After I finished up the 8 issues on The Hunger, Chuck Satterlee had gave me a buzz about doing an upcoming Starship Troopers series? I was all for it!

ATR: How is it different working on a licensed property than a regular title? Do you get lots of feedback and comments?

CD: Well I’ve done plenty of licensed work in the past, so I know what to expect as far as following the look and mood of what has already been done. I’m just adding my style to it. As far as feedback goes, I’ve only had Tony yell at me about making sure the designs are right.

ATR: What characters have you designed? Who are your favorites to draw?

CD: I’ve done a few of the troopers, but I have to say, the Pathfinder Trooper is a blast to draw.

ATR: What?s your day like in terms of work? What?s your output? How does the monthly grind/schedule affect you?

CD: I’m a night owl, so I’m up till 5 or 7 in the morning working. I can get a page done pretty fast when I’m sitting at my drawing table listening to music at night. Markosia is giving me a good head start, so I can get things done way in advance before the deadline hits.

ATR: Any hints as to what is coming up in Starship Troopers?

CD: Tony Lee told me not to say anything or I’ll get coal in my stocking?

ATR: Any characters you’d like to work on in the future? Any particular writer you want to collaborate with?

CD: Batman, Punisher, Hellboy, the list goes on and on. As far as writers go, I’d have to say Garth Ennis.

ATR: Any other future projects you want to tell us about? What are your plans in 2007?

CD: I have few projects coming up ’07, the first is with writer Dwight L. MacPherson and then Jose Torres and I will be starting the next Hunger mini series.

Thanks for taking the time Chris!

This Has A ?Lock And Load? Factor Of Ten Out Of Ten


Next week will feature my last ALL THE RAGE column, ATR will continue on even though I?m gone (we?ll announce the new writer next week).

It?s been a blast but I?ve got a promotion at my day job, and I?ve got less and less time to devote to ATR. So rather than see the quality of the column suffer, I feel that its time to move on.

A big thank you to everyone who has helped me along the way by contributing to the column, or just tuning in every week. I truly appreciate it.


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