Steven Grant ? “Marvel asked me to definitively get rid of Nate, so that’s what I did.”

Warren Ellis on the recent US school shootings ? “I don’t understand. I thought not publishing SHOOT was going to put an end to this sort of thing.”

And now, what is rapidly becoming the most popular part of All The Rage, the blind items, in a special feature-length episode…

  • Which winner of a Lulu award was unable to accept it due to being given a lapdance at a nearby strip club at the same time?
  • Which comics executive was found giving oral relief to a comics creator in the offices? On more than one occasion?
  • Which comics creator set fire to a sci-fi writer in a convention bar, thanks to their trouser pockets hanging out?
  • Which two Scottish comics creators crashed at someone’s house a few years ago when they were guests of honour at a signing and, while drunk, vomited all over the floor of the spare bedroom and tried to clean up the mess with their host’s prized comics collection?
  • Which Image founder received the nickname “The Hammer Of The Gods” after supposedly being giving a blow job by someone who gagged so much they then threw up?
  • Which creator, on a long plane trip to Tokyo took massive quantities of drugs before he took off, then proceed to fart voraciously for the entire flight, only to discover he’d shat himself all over his nice white suit when walking through Customs?
  • Which creator was found by another in a convention hotel room off their face on a Sunday morning, just before Room Service, started banging on the door saying they could smell drugs and that they were going to call the police, leaving the second creator to dress the first, pack his bags, hide his pipe and courier him out of there to a train station?

Days Of Future Ellis

I hear that Cully Hamner’s series with Warren Ellis mentioned here last week will be called Red, is a spy comic and will be published by Homage sometime next year. Around the same time, the series Faster, described by Warren as “a more overblown, unnecessarily violent and operatic crime story” will also come out from Homage, with Brian Stelfreeze’s name tentatively attached.

I also hear Dean Ormston is pencilling issue 5 of Monarchy after John McRea fell sick for a short time.

This Has A Rumour Value Of 7 Out Of 10


Wandering Dates

On her website, Teri Wood has outlined how she’s split from publisher, Sirius.

Teri, longstay favourite of discontinued industry mag Amazing Heroes, gained prominece self publishing Wandering Star. She then sought publication by Sirius, who picked the book up and continued it. But there were rumours of estrangement between the two of late, and Wood has found a way out of her contract with Sirius due, it seems, to their tardiness in extending it. She has not only scanned the letter in question, put also postmarks on the envelope as well as her response.

While not much is said, the site leads one to read that Teri only earned about an average of $1000 in royalties from Sirius. Her ending statement to Sirius “Also, I will no longer accept emails or regular post letters from you. If you wish any further correspondence with me, only certified letters will be accepted,” doesn’t imply the greatest relationship in the world.

She ends the web page, saying “I know, I know. This is majorly tacky. But after four years of being told that I have no rights to my work, and that Sirius had all the control, I’m not feeling diplomatic. I have my out, and I’m making it public. And now, I can begin living again.”

This Has A Rumour Value Of 8 Out Of 10


The Post Who Walks

Ben Raab posted on the DC Comics Message Boards that he’s doing some new Phantom comics, not just for the European market, but now for the US through Moonstone. He writes “In Scandinavia, for example, the target market is 8-10 year old boys. Here in the States, it’s going to skew older than that. Not for ‘mature readers’ per se, but definitely not just for kids. The stories are going to have a very pulp/noir-ish quality that hearkens back to the early days of the Phantom. My first story chronicles an adventure of the 19th Phantom, set in the 1930’s. Other stories will include the present day Phantom, as well as his other ancestors throughout the centuries… check ’em out. They’re gonna rock!”

This Has A Rumour Value Of 7 Out Of 10


Millar’s Time

Mark Millar has received a bit of implied stick of late about the delay’s to Authority being more down to him than just Quitely or now Art Adams. After we printed rumours to that effect, Newsarama quoted Art Adams as saying he hadn’t received all the script for the issue and so hadn’t started at all.

This did seem to clash with Mark Millar telling me he’d handed script in in November. It transpires that this was only part of the script handed in although Millar now informs me he only became aware of Adams’s insistence of having the full complete script first recently. Millar tells me “Thing is but I write my scripts BACKWARDS. No kidding– I always start at the end and work my way back and feed the pages to the artist a scene at a time. Coming in on pt 2 of a story and getting the end, the middle and a couple of pages from the start seemed a bit bizarre to Art so I’m accommodating…”

Other sources say that Millar in fact handed in the first 12 pages of the script and that subsequent deadlines have been repeatedly broken. With solicitations for August books currently being prepared, will Wildstorm know exactly what they’re soliciting?

This Has A Rumour Value Of 6 Out Of 10


Another Source Warning

It cannot be too widely known that the source for the recent NYX article, involving internal Marvel politics and its contribution to the fall of NYX was not the writer Brian Wood as I hear has been suggested. Brian has only been a source to this column to confirm that Steve Pugh was taking on inking duties on Generation X and has otherwise remained non committal when asked about other rumours. Bear that in mind, please?

This Has A Rumour Value Of 9 out Of 10


Talking About Gay Prominence With Andy Mangels

A passage from a Gay Comics List by prominent gay comics creator Andy Mangels has been passed my way. When asked if his prominent sexuality in the industry has lost of gained him work, Andy was quite candid.

“Boy, tough question, and one I’ve faced before, and thought a lot about (since I came out to the industry as the first openly gay mainstream comic pro in 1988 in Amazing Heroes and at the San Diego Comic Con). One of our most prominent lesbians in the industry once said I had a ‘big gay chip on my shoulder,’ while another sexually-nonidentified-but-assumed-gay man in the industry said I was ‘barely tamed.’

“I DO think that my being a ‘professional queer’ – as some gay people in the industry have labelled me – has very much hurt my career, but then so has not living in New York. I KNOW that it has hurt me locally in the case of a homophobic crew at Dark Horse Comics, for which I’ve done very little work. It’s hard to know WHY people don’t hire you, and I’ve dwelt a lot on it. For instance, Mark Waid didn’t hire me when he was an editor at DC because he was mad at anybody who still worked for Fantagraphics after his acrimonious exit. Whereas Kevin Dooley — who got his asst. editor job when I turned it down and recommended him instead — never hired me, and I never could figure out why. He even bragged about it recently at San Diego to his girlfriend and me, before I turned my back on him and walked away. Neal Pozner never hired me either, and he was gay and led the new talent division when I was early in my career (I’ve never figured out why, and truthfully, resented that). Kim Yale hired me for one job because she was pissed that nobody was giving me work (which she, as a DC editor about the same time as Neal, had heard was because of my being gay).

“A few years back, I was hired for a fill-in issue at Acclaim for Sliders because an editor — who was active in the BDSM community — saw me walking through the San Diego Con in my Leather Pride shirt and introduced himself, and that conversation led to a job. But this handful of concrete examples isn’t really a fair barometer of not getting hired or getting hired. And because of the politically correct atmosphere of today – and the fact that most people know I would publicly call them on their homophobia if I learned of it – people who aren’t hiring me because I’m openly gay are less likely to let that prejudice be known. They find other reasons. It’s very hard to know WHY someone DOESN’T hire you, but as a writer, I can tell you that it RARELY has anything to do with talent.

“Unlike art samples, editors actually have to take some time to read your samples – and 95% of them won’t. (As an example, one Marvel editor was excited about a proposal pitch in San Diego last year, and has, to date, not even read the finished short proposal in 6-7 months, despite monthly reminders). Writers get regular work for all sorts of reasons: Wizard’s hot meter, bowling buddies, hot artist buddies, good-selling series, Hollywood connections, being British, etc. But when you’re slogging in the trenches and do a fill-in here and there or a mini-series on something that isn’t eye-catching, you don’t have a chance to become ‘hot’ and therefore you have to rely on other things.

“When I did the Boba Fett: Twin Engines of Destruction one-shot for Dark Horse, it sold incredibly well. It was later voted by 20,000 Star Wars fans (in a magazine poll) as ‘the Best single Star Wars comic ever done.’ Have I ever been able to get any more work from Dark Horse? Nope. People have attributed its sales to it being Boba Fett, ignoring the fact that MY one-shot was a reprint of a serialized story from Star Wars Galaxy magazine, and that previous one-shots — by bigger names John Wagner and Cam Kennedy – had sold much less than mine. Could it have been MY story about Boba Fett that fans loved so much?

“Anyhow, I’ve likely rambled on too much, but hopefully have addressed your question somewhat. If it were ‘It’s not who you know, it’s who you blow’ in the industry, I’d have a better chance in the industry (well, maybe not as I’ve only blown one other comic pro in 15 years and he was foreign). But it really is ‘who you know’ and ‘what they think of you’ that are the questions. Very little to do with actual talent.

“I think that the majority of my work in the industry over the last few years HAS come from people who like my early stuff, regardless of my sexual orientation. I got the Star Trek comic writing gig after writing text articles for the editor of Marvel Vision; he discovered that I was a damn fine (co)writer of comics as well. Other recent assignments have come in a similar fashion. So the short answer to your question is this: I KNOW I have lost many jobs because of being gay. I HAVE gotten three jobs because I am gay (two of which never saw print). But the majority of the time, I don’t know WHY I didn’t get the job – I just know I didn’t.

“The WHY is a question that this ‘gay-chip-on-the-shoulder, barely-tamed, professional queer’ does not take lightly. I just wish some of the editors in the industry would grow a set of balls and realize that I’m not after them or their newly-grown balls – I’m after a job.

“And I’d do damn fine work for them.”

This Has A Rumour Value Of 7 Out Of 10


Tangled Web

We hear first rumours about Brian Bendis’ new book for Marvels mature line. Featuring former Spider Woman and former lust-object of my seven-year-old self (must have been those weird webs she span), Jessica Drew. Named something like Kiss Of The Spider Woman, Drew is now a private eye who looks into super hero related cases. Sounds a like Damage Control/Powers/Chase territory ? which Bendis does rather well. And apparently she shags a few Marvel supercharacters along the way.

However I’m told by Marvel sources that while there may be something in all this, my rumours are all rather mixed up…

This Has A Rumour Value Of 3 Out Of 10


Doran Vs Sim

After Dave Sim’s outburst aimed at Jeff Smith in the most recent issue of Cerebus, where Sim challenges the Bone creator to a fist fight, over comments made in a Comics Journal interview a few years ago (in turn in response to Dave Sim’s comments about Smith and his wife Vijaya in an issue of Cerebus a few years before that)…

See here for that recent bout.

Well, over on Comicon’s Panels, this event has been explored by people close to both Sim and Smith, with Sim being described as “blowing up” in front of Maria Lapham (co-publisher of David Lapham’s Stray Bullets)

And then A Distant Soil creator Coleen Doran, described by Sim as a rare example of a female with Male Light (look, if you don’t know, don’t ask. Go read Cerebus 186) joined in.

She starts, saying “I’m not really sure if it’s a good idea for me to get involved in this, but my name was brought up, so here I am.” The following long post includes:

“Dave knew exactly what he was doing when he blew up at Maria (and whoever else was there) because Dave repeated it to me, in gory detail, for weeks, nay months afterward, ranting on about the righteousness of his position. He wasn’t indulging in too much tipple, he is on a crusade.”

“Dave positively hates Vijaya’s guts. He can’t claim that the ‘incident’ was private, because if it was private, he wouldn’t have blabbed it to one and all in the pages of Cerebus. That’s not Jeff Smith’s fault, that’s Dave’s. Jeff had every right to publicly defend himself and his wife against Dave’s statements. Dave ADMITTED to me that he had insulted Jeff and his wife in their own home and positively gloated about it, repeatedly, and in front of third parties. He relished it. That’s not very private of him, is it? He described Jeff cowering in fear and both Jeff and Vijaya absolutely floored by the vast significance of Dave’s revelations, in particular his allegation that Jeff is whipped and Vijaya is a force for evil.”

“My Last Supper with Dave included his most amazing rant about Vijaya and Maria and a couple of other women I do not know, that convinced me once and for all that whatever was going on in Dave’s head, it was dark and ugly and I wished I was in Florida and not Kitchener. I made the mistake of thinking that because Dave had (usually) treated me well, that made him a nice guy. You’re not a nice guy when you treat me well, yet you degrade, insult, and berate your friend’s wives, friends and lovers, and do so in their presence.”

“Dave’s final rant involved a LOOONG diatribe about Vijaya’s Louis Vitton luggage and how it was emblematic of the vile hold she had over Jeff and how avaricious she was.”

“Now, one would think a guy like Dave would know Louis Vitton luggage when he sees it, but apparently he does not, as Vijaya owns no Louis Vitton luggage (never has) and, like me, loves to scour flea markets and the like for bargains, which is where she got her set of suitcases. But the truth matters not to Dave, who is convinced that the woman with the bargain basement luggage is exploiting her husband into buying her leather makeup cases to go along with her furs and jewels, which don’t exist any more than her Louis Vitton luggage does.”

“I’ve known Dave since I was about 19 years old and I’ve known Jeff for ten years now, which is a heck of a lot more than most of the people with big opinions on this board can claim. As someone who witnessed MANY of Dave’s rants about Vijaya and was privy to Jeff’s reactions (which were NEVER cowering in the least–Dave often took a stab at Vijaya when all of us self publishers were hanging out) I can’t imagine how anyone could believe Dave’s characterization of Jeff trembling in fear of Dave’s intellect. Jeff has said “I should pop you one” (or words to that effect) about stuff in my presence more than once, half joking, the way guys do when they argue, but seriously setting up a boundary that shouldn’t be crossed.”

“Frankly, I think he is most venomous on the subject of women like Vijaya and Maria because they are very beautiful, they are smart, they are the life time helpmeets Dave could never get for himself. They both supported their husbands financially, helping them to get their books off the ground, disproving every one of good old Dave’s theories about married partnerships. Vijaya had a lucrative job in Silicon Valley for God’s sake, it was her dough that supported BONE and she took a big risk giving up her job to work for Jeff. Every man should be so unlucky as to have a wife like Vijaya. Maybe if Dave had, he’d be a different man today, (but the guy is clinical, so I tend to doubt it.)”

Read this, and more in the News & Discussion Panel at http://www.comicon.com

This Has A Rumour Value Of 7 Out Of 10


This Week’s Feature

As to last week’s rumours about Startling Stories, a source tells me “I think you scored a hit with that one. I believe what you heard about was the Marvel Features anthology book Axel Alonso had been announced to be working on over the last several months. Quesada admitted that the initial creative teams were set up a couple of months back, but he was still mum on the details (teams, book title, release date). You probably just announced the starting lineup.“

This Has A Rumour Value Of 6 Out Of 10


Action Woody

Comics Journal #230 came out a couple of months ago and there’s a very entertaining interview with artist Tom Sutton inside. And there’s this one piece that never fails to raise laughs when repeated about comics publisher Charlton and comics creator Wally Wood, so I’ll repeat it. Go buy the magazine.

Sutton:

      Woody [Wood] had to storm the place to get his artwork back.

Groth:

      How do you know this?

Sutton:

      Because those people who worked with Woody told me so.

Groth:

      How do you mean that he stormed the place?

Sutton:

      Woody was a paratrooper in his youthful days.

Groth:

      In the war?

Sutton:

      Yes. And after he discovered that he wasn’t going to get his artwork back, he got a couple of fellows together and they drove ? they didn’t have to drive very far, Woody didn’t live far from there. You know those things you see in the movies, those grappling hooks? You have to have something to shoot them up with or something, and they grab onto the top of the building. He went right up the side of the goddamn building.

Groth:

      Wait a minute! Let me get this straight. He somehow threw a grappling hook onto the roof?

Sutton:

      Yeah

Groth:

      And then climbed up the rope?

Sutton:

      Yeah.

Groth:

      Damn!

Sutton:

      That’s part of what you learn in the 101st Airbourne.

Groth:

      He and who else? Do you know?

Sutton:

    I guess Nic was there. I’m not at liberty to say who else was there. The real trick was getting into the skylight and getting down to where the artwork was. Because you had very little time…

This Has A Rumour Value OF 7 Out Of 10


Hulked Out

Regarding last week’s dredging up of Todd McFarlane’s old quote about Dale Keown being dropped from Hulk before he could finish his last few planned issues, a source tells me “Keown wasn’t scheduled to do #399 because he was behind schedule and had then told Bobbie Chase that he was going to go do an X-Book…”

This Has A Rumour Value Of 5 Out Of 10


Plug Of The Week

A rather fun comics weblog called ComicGeek. I order you all to read it.

This Has A Dictator Value Of 4 Out Of 10


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