Damn me and my desire for journalistic responsibility.

A ToyBiz employee e-mailed me last week about a memo they’d seen about Bob Harras, and told me it looked like he was for the chop. I asked for a copy of the memo, they didn’t have a copy and asking around came up blank. And since I hadn’t heard the story from anyone else, not even when I asked around, I decided to wait a bit. Sorry, everyone.

However, also rumoured from the same source is that the sacking order came from ToyBiz and it is over disagreements with Harras over editorial policy of his staff – basically Harras was sticking up for them and has been pushed out of the way.

And yes, I’ve heard Joe Quesada will be taking over too. But I’m not sure exactly how happy Joe is about the way he’s acquired the position.

If you’ve heard anything, email me on twisting@hotmail.com. I guarantee anonymity and protection.

That’s the rumour. Yesterday I’d have given it 2 out of 10.

Today, this gets a Rumour Value of 6 Out Of 10.

Calloo Callay

The Bob Harras story really began to kick off on the place it began, Warren Ellis’ Delphi forum at http://www.delphi.com/ellis

Warren Ellis, who broke the story, followed up with a few lines very similar to the words I’ve been hearing and printed above, saying “Bob Harras was reportedly fired — not by President Peter Cuneo, who is now being rumoured to be a puppet President, the real power located at Toy Biz — for defending his editorial staff, their jobs and working conditions. The spin will be different, but that’s the word coming out of the office.”

“Joe Quesada is taking over.”

But, surprise surprise, who should pop up but Mark Waid (who recently threatened to kill me with the body of Randy Lander) writing “The only bad thing about this is that it happened after convention season was over. Otherwise, the entire freelance community would be drinking on me all summer long.”

“And that, my friend, has nothing to do with my own personal head-buttings with a man who’s a weasel and a liar. It has everything to do with the fact that his legacy in this business will be as the man who always went the extra mile for ten years to keep the industry’s highest-profile books COMPLETELY IMPENETRABLE TO A NON-FANATIC AUDIENCE–an ESPECIALLY grievous crime this summer of ALL summers–*AND* taught his lackeys to do the SAME. (The “X-Men Sampler” piece of shit in TV GUIDE is something I will use forevermore in my classes and teachings as an example of HOW NOT TO DO COMICS THAT CAN BE UNDERSTOOD BY NON-FANS.) “

“Calloo, callay. How many more bullets is that, then…?”

Chortling in his joy, this was slightly reminiscent of Chris Claremont’s “The witch is dead” celebration on Compuserve when Jim Shooter went down.

Warren Ellis replied “Owwwww.”

“I liked Bob, personally. But then, I never worked with him extensively. And the one major argument I had with him I won, probably by being unreasonably menacing. Our conversations in the last couple of years have been more about kids than comics.”

“I think you’re in the right frame of mind to write that interview today… !”

Artist Cully Hamner then pitched in “You know, I never really had a lot of contact with Bob Harras, but when I did, he was always very cordial to me. On the rare occasion that I called him, he always took the call, or returned it. He didn’t have to do that, so I’ve certainly got no beef with him. Having said that, Marvel hasn’t exactly been the House of Ideas for quite a while now. Oh, there are one or two Rooms of Ideas (Marvel Knights being one of them), but not really what I would call a House. I really have no idea at whose feet we can lay the blame. Was it the suits, the EIC, the editors, or the freelancers?”

“But, does anybody remember the last time an artist was in charge at one of the Big Two? Does anybody besides me remember the great and DIFFERENT stuff that came out of DC when Dick Giordano was VP/Managing Editor?”

“None of us really knows if Joe’s got the job, but if he does, let’s give him the benefit of the doubt. He’s certainly got a bit of experience, having been a freelancer, small publisher, and line editor.”

“I feel for Bob, but I think that Joe deserves his shot.”

Anyone who feels like shedding light on the bullets or the interview reference, get in touch.

This one is going to run and run, folks…

This Has A Rage Value Of Seven Out Of Ten

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