Once more into the breach dear friends, once more…

Bloody hell is it that time already!? Here we are again with another dose of gossip, news, rumour and speculation. I say here WE are as if it wasn’t for all you little Rage-mites scouring the internet, listening at office doors and rifling through the desk draws of top comic companies [Editors note – Neither Silver Bullet Comics nor Alan Donald personally encourage breaking and entering in the interest of getting a story] there would be no column to present.

Our competition is back again this week, simply identify the source (book, film, tv series or comic) of the names I’ve given to my anonymous tipsters and be the first to post the answer on the Competition thread in the All the Alan Message board to win a graphic novel. Last week?s winner was MidniteLogic, with Dune. This week?s source won’t be as easy, I don’t doubt for a second that loads of you will get it but it shouldn’t be so obvious this time.

Quick call out again. I’ve had a great response from comic companies wanting to sponsor the competition but as I’ve yet to get any bundles of graphic novels/comics in my grubby little hands nothing is set in stone. So DC, Marvel, CrossGen, Titan, Red Route, Image, Com.X (I know some of you have gotten back to me) let’s see what you’re made of, you have to really want this, bribe me with prizes, c’mon.

Usual shout, if you spot, hear or smell anything that might be even the smallest nugget of a story email it to me straight away, you never know what’s important.

Right, time to get on with it then I suppose?


I Want My QVC (UK)

Good things come to those who wait! It’s been awhile, but Nick “wanna-see-my-scars” Barrucci and Dynamic Forces are heading back to QVC U.K. for a 2-hour extravaganza! On Monday, September 30th beginning at 9:00 P.M., prepare yourself for a full 2 hours of the best collectibles on either side of the pond.

Featured items include a lithograph by the Brothers Hildebrandt capturing the world of J.R.R. Tolkien. THE FELLOWSHIP depicts the ever-resourceful Hobbit Frodo, the powerful and mysterious wizard Gandalf, and the rest of the Fellowship of the Ring. Both pieces are printed on 18″ x 24″ 100lb gallerie silk stock. Also, look for Top Cow 7 Starter Collection, the DF 7th Anniversary Starter Set, and more collectible comics and trading cards. This is just a taste of what will be on the show! Signed comics, trading cards and lithos, oh my!

Finally, DF is trying to convince creators Mark Millar, Peter Milligan, Bryan Hitch and Frank Quitely to come on the air for this special show! If you want to see them on, email them from each of their respective sites! So be sure to check out all the action on QVC U.K. on Monday September 30th.

This Has A Hucksterism Value Of 9 Out Of 10


Dixon Of DC

Following on from the story I ran a few weeks ago about a top comic creator taking legal action against CrossGen, I can now exclusively reveal what it is all about. Papet, a source at DC, tells me that Chuck Dixon will be leaving CrossGen to return to DC.

The information suggests that the former Robin / Nightwing / Birds of Prey scribe had planned to return to the Batman universe to work on a 4-part miniseries staring former Commissioner Jim Gordon (who recently retired after being shot and relegated to walking with a cane). CrossGen wouldn’t let Dixon do the miniseries, understandable as he was on an exclusive contract only to work for them. Dixon apparently didn’t take the news very well and consulted a lawyer.

As the matter currently stands Dixon is leaving CrossGen to work on the now open-ended Jim Gordon title but this may change. Baptistine, a source close to Chuck Dixon, says that he loves working for CrossGen and that he sincerely hopes they can come to some kind of agreement.

Papet at DC states that Bob Shreck (the Editor of the Batman group of titles for DC) has said that he’d take Chuck Dixon back in a heart beat for as little or as long a time as possible. Even so, Dixon wasn?t the first choice for the book. Apparently the title was originally offered to Brian Michael Bendis famous for such titles as Powers and Alias where relatively normal people (cops in Powers; a private detective in Alias) enforce the law in a world populated by freaks and super-beings. Bendis apparently had to pull out due to other commitments, probably the exclusive deal with Marvel ? maybe this project sparked Marvel into offering the deal? Greg Rucka (who is coming to the end of his run on Detective Comics and due to start a series looking at the lives of the ordinary cops on the beat in Gotham) supposedly considered taking on the title but for undisclosed reasons he decided to pull out. As Rucka is an established crime novelist in his own right one can only speculate that perhaps he is too busy working on his latest book to take on another Batman related gig at the moment. It was at this point that Chuck Dixon inherited the idea.

I?ve been promised details of the series concept, which will run next week? if it arrives, as I remain highly sceptical of the whole thing?

This Has A ?Don?t Believe It Until It Happens? Rating Of One Out Of Ten


Holy Sale, Batman!

Spotted by Big Stu (that’s not one of the code names, some of my contributors actually want publicity) on e-Bay:

The 1966 Batman TV series Batbike with removable go-cart side car is up for sale. Serious bidders only they say. BUY IT FOR ME!!! I say. Anyway, check out the link they’ve posted loads of pictures of it including some of it in action.


This Has A ?Buy It Now!? Rating of Ten Out Of Ten


Marvel Madness

He’s back again? the source that brought you the story that Alan Moore would be buying Marvel comics has another hum-dinger for you. This week he/she is called Bernard?

Todd McFarlane was the biggest artist in the world. His work on Spider-Man apparently grossed him thousands of dollars a page and he threw it all away. Spawn quickly became one of the best selling titles in the world, in fact it rarely left the #1 spot let alone the top ten. Spawn became a movie and a toy line and Mr. McFarlane became a millionaire.

A while ago, there was a war of words between Todd McFarlane and Marvel Editor-in-chief Joe Quesada (himself an artist of great repute). Mr. Q challenged Todd to do some art for Marvel and according to Bernard the gauntlet has finally been taken up. It is Bernard‘s assertion that Todd and Marvel has secretly agreed a package to put out a joint project by Quesada and McFarlane, and spring it on us mid-way through 2003? Todd desperately needs that profile boost? more details as I dig them up.

This Has A Two-Headed Monster Value Of Five Out Of Ten


Speaking of Bill Jemas?

?oh, we weren?t? Anyway, the mighty BJ has been holding forth on <ahref=http://www.joequesada.com>JoeQuesada.Com about a couple of topics close to our collective hearts, one of which is particularly interesting.

Here?s Bill on Marvel?s Cancellation Policy:

      The truth of the matter is that every book is different and not every decision is based upon sales and money. Sometimes there are strategic decisions why certain books get canceled, sometimes monetary.

 

      First you have to take into consideration the A+E on a book, in other words how much a creative team is costing us.

 

      Then you budget that into the book?s sales and total profitability.

 

      Also, how profitable a book is against how it plays out strategically for the company has a lot to do with it also. Lets say we have a book that doesn’t sell boat loads but is an upcoming movie or a major video game release tied around, you can be sure that we’ll do whatever we can to keep it afloat.

 

      Some books may also be profitable but only by a few dollars here and there. You then have to look at the man power being spent by an editor to only make a bit of money on the book. Would that editor?s man hours be better spent launching something new?

 

    Many factors, no absolutes.

Of course, All The Rage realises that you could extract the Marvel books in the Top 300 sales charts from Diamond, figure in a creative team cost (Morrison gets paid shedloads more than Priest, for example), figure in a value for movies/game deals? it?s build your own Marvel Cancellation Spreadsheet, coming soon from All The Rage?

This Has A ?Time To Play With EXCEL? Rating Of Nine Out Of 10


House Of Mouse = House Of Cards?

It would appear that all is not well in the shining purple spires of the House of Mouse. The Disney Corporation has been reported to be in dire financial straits for a little while now but things are looking worse. The vultures have reportedly started to circle above the crawling figure of little Mickey on the desert floor. Now it matters not to investors if there is an oasis just over the next ridge the city responds to what others do and not to the true state of affairs. My source in the fairy-tale land, Manon, tells me that Disney is looking at an offer from AOL ? TIME ? WARNER – DC to buy off some of their licenses. From a financial point of view this is suicide.

Disney is telling the city that all is well whilst behind closed doors doing this! They may well be recovering but all the moneymen will see is the vultures circling overhead. Now please remember that this is just rumour just now and Manon could be anything from a cleaner to the latest Mr. Disney in the seat of power but rumours are powerful things.

Specifically Disney is apparently looking at selling off a few of their comic book / cartoon licenses. So are we going to see Bugs Bunny stealing Uncle Scrooge McDuck’s billions? Will Pooh Bear and Tigger get hunted by Elmer Fudd? Only time (or rather TIME WARNER) will tell.

This Has A ?Failing Corporation? Rating of Seven Out Of Ten


Dark Knight Writer Returns

Alan Grant is set to return to Batman. Grant, as Batfans will remember, kept the title Shadow of the Bat and character alive for years by producing one fantastic story after another ? except sales didn?t really reflect that. Alan Grant is also famous for having co-written with (co-creator) John Wagner some of the best Judge Dredd stories ever published. Unfortunately Grant was fired by fax in the middle of the night from Shadow. The once ubiquitous one (at one time you couldn’t turn round without bumping into a tale written by him on some title or other) is reported to be currently writing the Lego comic in the UK.

If the reports are to be believed Alan Grant will be returning to write Batman at some point in March 2003.

Many thanks to Victor for this.

This Has A ?Who?s Being Shown The Door When He Returns?? Rating Of Seven Out Of Ten


Wizard Worldwide

Giueseppe, a source at the Wizard comic book magazine has indicated that the magazine will be shipping to newstands throughout the English speaking world.

Wizard started as a price guide at the height of the speculative boom. The monthly guide gave collectors a faster reflection of comic book price changes than the annual Overstreet guide. The magazine expanded to present comic news, reviews and creator interviews. As the speculative boom ended and comic book buyers started to collect comic books for their stories again the new style Wizard found itself in a strong position. Since then Wizard has expanded and generated spin-off’s such as a toy and card guide and a comic book publishing division. The Wizard style doesn’t appeal to everyone and many question the objectivity of columnists. I’m a fan of its upbeat nature but I’ll admit I am bored with the way a new title is promoted to death and then, if it isn’t successful, mocked by the very people who pushed it. That said Wizard is the best comic book magazine on the block and it does a good job.

The latest announcement is fantastic news for the comic book industry on the whole. For too long the giants of the comic book world have come up with pitiful excuses for not trying to expand into the general market place. Goodness only knows DC comics has the money to do so, with the backing of AOL TIME WARNER and the creative minds of top writers and artists a mainstream TV/magazine campaign would reap rewards for the whole of the comic book industry. Wizard’s move, to have a strong presence on the newstands of the UK, US, Canada and Australasia will, hopefully mark the start of big things.

This Has A ?Magical? Rating Of Six Out Of Ten


Bendis On Bullseye

In response to a question about Kevin Smith taking Bullseye away from Bendis, the man himself said:

      Truth be told I hadn’t typed one word of my

Bullseye

      stuff, it was still gestating as something that needed to be addressed in DD so it really wasn’t anything – I probably would have gone this way with the story either way. You’ll see next issue.

 

      This was about Joe keeping his word to someone. Something he does spectacularly well. That’s why I signed with Marvel.

 

    But as I said before – what Kevin said about DD going back to normal after this arc is incorrect. Always was – do not know why he said it.

Bendis also mentioned that whilst he was aware that DD had been unmasked previously, this time it was the real deal, that there was no going back, and that DD is now outed for good.

This Has A ?We Shall See? Rating Of Seven Out Of Ten


Paramount?s Adventures Of Tintin

I?m told that Paramount Pictures have optioned Herge’s most famous creation, Tintin for a live action big screen debut. Jude Law has been, apparently, attached to the picture in the eponymous role (and auditions are being held for the role of Snowy).

Tintin along with Lucky Luke and Asterix are perhaps the most famous comic book exports from mainland Europe. Wrongly slated as a kid?s comic book the Tintin graphic novels provided high adventure, great scripting and brilliant art to millions around the world. There’s no word on whether or not the new film will feature a story based on one of the books or an original story.

Thanks to Jean for that.

This Has A ?Kid Reporter? Rating Of Six Out Of Ten


Hellboy Movie News

After the fan debates and arguments over the Spider-Man film, the director of the upcoming Hellboy (Guillermo del Toro) flick had the following to say on the comics2film site:

    It’s not one of these movies where you’re going to argue about the web spinners being organic or mechanical. I think 99% of people like Hellboy for the same reason. Everyone just really responds to the characters and the mood that Mike [Mignola] creates.

The director is inviting all fans to visit http://www.hellboy.com and voice their opinions.

This Has A ?Smells Of Brimstone? Rating Of Eight Out Of Ten


Yet Another Diamond Cock-Up

Another in the long-running saga of Diamond UK?s cock-ups, to follow the last one concerning forgetting to place orders for a certain book thus rendering it rarer than Elseworlds Giant in the UK? this one involves back orders placed last week by retailers. As we know, if retailers place a re-order by 5:00 PM on a Monday, they have can additional stocks sent to them (if available in the Diamond warehouse) in that week?s delivery ? good news to respond to a sudden surge in demand, or for fulfilling a customer?s request for a trade ? ?You want a trade, fine, I can get it in less than a week?.

Unfortunately it seems the Diamond computer went on their summer break last week, wiping out all re-orders until they could be pieced back together from backups and saved copies? after the re-ordering deadline? Never mind, it?s only another seven days? and it doesn?t matter that any books sent for a customer who gets fed up waiting and buys them elsewhere in the meantime aren?t returnable, does it?

This Has A ?Customer Service? What Customer Service?? Rating Of Ten Out Of Ten


Sign Off

Well, that’s it for another fascinating instalment. I’m off to have a hot bath and ease my aching bones. It’s amazing what falling off a small stone step can do. I only got my arm out as I hit the step so I bashed my bum, twisted my back and groin muscles, hurt my hand, wrist and forearm where they absorbed the impact… trust me I’m in pain. Bruce helps by jumping on my sore bits and insisting he’s carried everywhere at the moment.

Usual story ? I need your help to write this, send me news!

Thanks again for reading, see you next time, oh and don’t forget to join in the competition.

TTFN

Alan Donald – My back should be a mass of pain… actually it is.


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