Which comics creator had to wrap his GameBoy up in duct tape and stick it on the top of a wardrobe in order to keep it from stopping him drawing?

Which long-delayed comic is still long-delayed as the artist won’t work on the comic until the full script is in? And when only half of it is so far?

Which comics publisher in his early art-days was inking a cover but delayed it so long, and only added one line every time the editor called?

Writing for Cable

David Tischman is rumoured to be the new Cable writer. Originally slated to write Cable alongside Howard Chaykin, when Chaykin was unavailable to write Cable, reportedly due to contract restrictions, it seemed an easy choice to transfer the whole job to Tischmann’s shoulders. I’ve also heard the possibility that after Weinberg’s Cable run has finished, the book will no longer be edited by Mark Powers. Powers has quite an attachment to the book, being one of the first he edited, and many see that as the reason Cable survived the recent X-book culling. But with his favoured writer Bob Weinberg no longer on the book, despite Powers’s attempts to keep him there, it looks like a battle that’s been lost.

This Has A Rumour Of 7 Out of 10


Dance, Warren, Dance!

First of all, the wonderful, delightful Dancing Warren Ellis Page. Send it round your friends, it’s quite delightful…

Warren’s responses to this creation was short and sweet. “You fucking scumbag. Niki’s going to want to see this.”

Bless him.

This Has A Creator Annoyance Value Of 8 Out of 10


NYX RIP

So why did X-Men: New York Stories, the mature readers title following a group of New York mutants with a few familiar faces, by Brian Wood and David Cho get aborted earlier this week, before it had a chance to take a breath?

One rumour goes that it involves the two editors on the book, Jenny Lee and Mira Lew. It seems this book was originally Jemas’s concept but that he wanted Brian Wood to write it based on his work on Generation X. And Brian Wood’s proposal seemed to go over well enough that the project was greenlighted. Mira Lew was assigned as editor. Mira was Bill Jemas’s assistant but was recently promoted to editor of the Marvel DotComics line. Jenny Lee with her Vertigo background was hired by Marvel, with an eye to working on the Mature Readers line – hence her appointment as co-editor to this series.

However, while Jemas was initially a champion on the book, praising the initial proposal by Wood and wanting Rogue, Gambit and Jubilee to prominently appear, that seems to have changed. One version states that there was a strong difference of opinion between Mira and Jenny as to how the book should progress, Brian in agreement with Jenny, following his original proposal. Here the story gets blurrier, but it seems that Mira able to convince Jemas that her take was the right one. But because neither Brian or Jenny agreed with Mira’s take, and a deadlock in place, the book was canned by either Jemas or Quesada or both.

But this is only one rumour. There seem to be other factors here that while referred to, aren’t mentioned. One thing’s for sure, there’s more to this than meets the eye. Time to start digging…

This Has A Rumour Value Of 5 Out Of 10


Todd’s Tall Tales

Todd McFarlane told a heartfelt story to his fans this week on the Spawn messageboards at www.spawn.com about breaking into comics. Amid a long message encouraging commitment and not giving in to discouragement, he wrote:

“I must have sent out close to 700 submissions (some were duplicates, so don’t gasp too loud)… Now, although pouring through all the rejections was very humbling, it did have its silver lining. That being…. I was able to acquire the signature of many favorite comic pros at that time. A letter would arrive that simply said “Please work on everything, you are a long way from turning pro.” but was signed by an editor or artist or writer that I had mailed it to.

“Every month it went something like this: (Although please forgive my paraphrasing)

“‘Stop sending me stuff!’ signed John Byrne.
‘You need lots of work and how!’ signed Terry Austin.
‘Ever thought of being a plumber?’ signed Jim Shooter.
‘ You’re kidding right?!’ signed Roy Thomas.

“All I could think of was…WOW!!! I’ve got Byrne and Austin’s autograghs! This, right in the middle of their amazing run on the X-MEN. I couldn’t believe my luck. Others included Carl Potts, Archie Goodwin, Bill Mantlo, Ann Nocenti, Dick Giordano, Mike Grell, Paul Gulacy, Stan Lee. And so many more, each with their very own style of how to turn me down.

“At times I would show this collection to other comic geeks like myself who would be stunned at the array of talent that had spurned me. Given that I was going to college at the time but also working at the local comic shop in Spokane, Washington I became a bit of a celebrity…

“Such are the (true) tales from wence we are all born.”

John Byrne however was having none of it. On his message boards, he told us that Todd never sent him anything and he never sent him any kind of letter. Especially since that, since they both lived in the same town at the time and went to the same comic shop, Todd could have actually shown him stuff in person. But he didn’t.

You can catch more of John’s messages on a) why Marvel are terrible, b) why Jemas and Quesada are terrible and c) why Chapter One was not terrible at the John Byrne Fan Site Message Boards – just tell ’em Rich sent ya, they’ll treat you right!

This Has A Rumour Value Of 8 Out Of 10


Comp Box Part II

You think creators are the only one’s being criticised for letting the comp box erode their love of the medium and their creativity as a result? Think again. You comics reviewers aren’t getting off either. It’s becoming more and more common for big companies to send comics to reviewers to review. The ‘First Look’ is incredibly popular where comics are sent to reviewers a week before they’re published.

And what happens? Suddenly reviewers stop reviewing from the shop. They become more and more reliant on the feed from the big companies. Many keep their independence, and companies seem to respect that, although there has been one reported incident, now regretted, on CrossGen suggesting they’d withdraw co-operation with reviewers who didn’t review their books their way.

But there are still problems, many reviewers are not being exposed to a large variety of comics. I don’t want to name one name out of many, but there was a recent comic reviewed that was noted as being a few weeks old as only then had the company sent it for review. This comic was a high profile, non-Diamond exclusive comic and it struck me that these reviewers never seemed to read these books – only when they were sent free.

Of course if reviewers only reviewed the books they bought, we may see the same stagnancy. But with a publication like Comics International, they get over that by having a large range of reviewers with a very large range of reading habits.

Every comics reviewer who takes themselves seriously should go out of their way to buy things that look interesting but they aren’t familiar with. If your breadth of reading isn’t as wide as it could be, won’t your reviews suffer, with only similar-themed books to review, compare and contrast against?

This Has A Wide-Mouthed Frog Rating Of 6 Out of 10


Media Whore

Those Johnston-spotters among you may have spotted an All Your Base Are Belong To Us article in The Guardian newspaper earlier this week. Here, shorn of illustrations is the web version of that self-same piece.

This Has A Self-Servient Value Of 6 Out of 10.

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