Which A-list creator, reportedly high since he was 11, recently quit dope once recently… and has recently seen his working speed increase dramatically?

Which other A-list creator, reportedly on 40 spliffs a day has reduced his in-toke to a mere 20?

Which creative/exec used to take bunches of gold and platinum variants of his company’s comics and trade them with a local comic dealer for high quality hard drugs?


Blowing Off DC

I hear from a pro source that one of the reasons Mark Millar took the Marvel and not the Wildstorm job is that just prior to his decision, a senior member of the DC staff in New York e-mailed him out of the blue and said that he had no right to complain about losing Frank Quitely as his Authority artist and that “a writer like him should get down on his knees and suck Art Adams’ cock for being willing to draw one of his scripts.” Our rumour monger said Millar was so stung by this “shocking unprofessionalism” that he just threw in his lot with Marvel that very night.

“Yeah, I got an e-mail like that from a pretty senior DC staffer, but I’m not making any comment. I spoke to them privately and received an apology and, as far as I’m concerned, that’s the end of the matter.”

However, a DC source told me off the record that this version of events was entirely inaccurate.

Mind you, if true, it’s good to see that DC’s remuneration package for its exclusive artists includes at least one interesting perk!

This Has A Rumour Value Of 6 Out Of 10


Plug Time!

Friend, neighbour and major comic-geek Jenni Cole is putting on a small, cosy comics convention in London, on Sunday 20th May. Called “Fantastic Fun Day,” it takes place at Trekkie hangout Pages Bar, in Pimlico, London. Its aim, to celebrate Forty Years of Marvel Comics, with guest star Steve Englehart. Jenni’s bashes are usually fan-based, informal get togethers with an emphasis on fun – and incredibly well organised. For more details, contact Jenni on [email protected].

This Has A Rumour Value Of 9 Out Of 10


Crash And Burn

In a recent Crash Comment at Newsarama, Joe Casey questioned Dez Skinn’s right to call himself a co-creator of V For Vendetta in Comics International.

His column read “‘His co-created V FOR VENDETTA is currently optioned to Warner Bros.’ Huh? ‘Co-created’? And here I was, all these years believing (perhaps ignorantly?) that it was writer Alan Moore and artist David Lloyd who co-created V FOR VENDETTA. True, it was first serialized in Dez Skinn’s WARRIOR magazine… but would Paul Levitz claim to be a co-creator of WATCHMEN just because DC Comics published it? I don’t think so. I’ll have to get back to you on this one. I think I need to do a little investigating… a little digging… ”

Dez had a reply on the Comics International eGroup, saying “I thought it had been pretty well chronicled over the years but, yes, I had more than a little to do with V. Maybe that’s why my column (indirectly) refers to the option money I get from Warner Bros, a company not known for making assumptions…

“For freshers, a quick bit of history, as best I can remember…

“During my tenure, Marvel UK turned from quality, (Hulk, Starburst, Doctor Who, etc) to quantity (Frantic, pocket books et al). It wasn’t what I wanted to do so I left — voluntarily, Stan wrote me a sweet letter, then Paul Neary who had been my #2 took over.

“I named the company I set up Quality (the very one which now publishes CI) to remind myself not to fall into the quantity trap again. With Warrior, the aim was to recreate the stuff we’d done which turned Marvel UK back into a profit maker, but to do it for ourselves. Freedom’s Road as my #1 editorial put it, nicking a JFK quote. Hence Capt Britain/Marvelman, Abslom Daak/Pressbutton and Night-Raven/V for Vendetta.

“Taking the latter pair, while I’ve never noticed getting any credit for Night-Raven anywhere, that’s another story. But it was about a 30s vigilante, whose face was never seen and you never really discovered anything about him. He’d no powers but was slippery as an eel, seemingly unstoppable, and uncatchable. Totally enigmatic and mysterious. (Stan hated it, by the way). On his chest was a stylised Raven image, like a V actually.

“When setting up Warrior, I called up the team who’d been with me through House of Hammer, Marvel UK and the rest. Among them David Lloyd, who had drawn Quatermass and Night-Raven. He’d loved Night-Raven, even if I ended up replacing him with John Bolton at Stan’s request (this was pre-Shooter Marvel for chronology-keepers), I used to report direct to the States, to Stan and his boss, Jim Galton. And there are heaps of stories there for another time!

“So, I asked David if we could bring back a version of Night-Raven for Warrior, maybe in the future instead of the past so we wouldn’t get sued! He had worked with a new writer on Doctor Who back-ups after I’d left Marvel. A guy called Alan Moore, who’d only worked with me once before, drawing a pretty poor 2-page strip for Frantic. About the same time Steve Moore, to whom I’d offered Marvelman, suggested that his prot?g? Alan Moore (no relation) would die to write it, so I gave AM an on-spec trial.

“But Marvelman came together much quicker than V. The latter didn’t even have a title. Best Alan had come up with was The Ace of Shades, which I couldn’t really get my head around. Just before lunch one day (I was working in Soho, co-owning a design company called Studio System at the time) while we were dummying up Warrior, the name Vendetta popped into my head. I called Alan, who said he’d had the same thought and would go with it. But over lunch I said to my partner that I wasn’t crazy about giving a futuristic Brit character an Italian name, no matter how dramatic and appropriate it was. Then I thought of putting a twist on the old Churchill slogan, V for Victory, and calling the strip V for Vendetta.

“Phoned Alan, he liked it, and in fact readily admits the V gave him a focus. The rest is history.

“So, I created the template, as a futuristic Night-Raven, assigned the work to David Lloyd and, through him, to an unknown named Alan Moore. Came up with the idea of focusing on a V symbol (that we could merchandise) as a prominent aspect of the strip (see Alan Moore’s article in Warrior #18 about that bit) and dreamed up the title. That I edited and published the mag he appeared in isn’t really relevant. But I guess I deserve my share of the option money.

“Shame Joe Casey’s ignored my e-mails. He’d have saved making a prat of himself again if he’d researched the matter before going to print. Not that it was a major find he uncovered, that by-line has been running for over two years in CI. Maybe he’s a slow reader.

“But thank god Casey specialises in fiction, eh chums?”

Dez Skinn there, ladies and gents.

This Has A Rumour Value Of 7 Out Of 10


X Marks The Howard

Who is writer X, the mysterious figure slated to write The Brotherhood, a new X-title for Marvel? Sources close to the creative team tell me only that he’s referred to as “Howard” by editor Mark Powers. So… is that Mackie or Chaykin? While the plot sounds more like Chaykin, some have said that Mackie has a lot more bad work of late to hide from…

Unless of course it’s Howard Stern.

This Has A Rumour Value Of 6 Out Of 10


Acting The Fool?

There’s been a little talk on newsgroups about the recent ad for ACTOR appearing in Marvel comics, the charity set up to help old-timers in the comics industry, and its auction at Megacon. The ad has been criticised for:
a) not saying what the charity is raising money for
b) not showing the pieces on the internet and
c) only allowing bids for attendees at Megacon, a convention run by CrossGen who also seem to be behind much of ACTOR. A conflict of interests?

Tony Panaccio from CrossGen replied “The ACTOR ad that ran was the second in a series of TWO ads they were supposed to run, with the first one explaining the charity. Here’s the copy for the first ad that you didn’t see:

Might for Right

The Comic Book is one of the great American art forms, created here in the 1930s and then successfully exported around the world. And just like other art forms, the industry was built on the backs of a relatively small cadre of creators who didn’t realize they were creating an art form that so many millions around the world would grow to love. They were just good folks trying to make an honest living. Had they been engineers, teachers, police officers or even journalists, they would have retired with a pension and lived out their golden years in comfort. However, they were comic book creators, and publishers in those days didn’t have retirement plans, pension plans or 401K investments. So, today, many of the people who created this art form and this industry aren’t retiring in comfort. In fact, they struggle at times to make ends meet. That’s why CrossGen Comics, Marvel Comics, Image Comics, Dark Horse Comics, Wizard Entertainment and Chaos Comics have joined forces with some of the comic industry’s most loved creators to form A Commitment To Our Roots (ACTOR), a not-for-profit foundation designed to provide financial assistance so that creators – to whom these publishers owe their livelihoods – can retire with dignity and comfort. In the coming months, we will be announcing ACTOR’s launch event at MegaCon in Orlando March 2001. We are planning a landmark event to honor the first families of comicdom and raise funds to help support them in a manner that befits the first generation of one of the world’s most loved art forms. After all, that’s what might for right is all about. Please join us. If you’d like to help, please email us at [email protected]

As to not displaying images on the internet, Tony says “You are right — we should have been more clear. Our intent was to say that we would not be auctioning things on the Internet, not that images of the art wouldn’t be available on the Web… we just finished taking digital pictures of the more than 200 pieces we received, and we didn’t start receiving them until after January (artists and deadlines — hmph!), and we have some sweet pieces. We’ll be posting the sweetest pics online in a variety of places — WizardWorld, Silver Bullet, Comics Continuum, etc., and we have a database of more than 800 art collectors who are interested in these pieces.

“We’re also not accepting pre-auction bids. Part of this event is about honoring creators past, and to do that, you need warm bodies in attendance. It would be pretty crappy if they held an auction in your honor, and everyone emailed in their congratulations. Believe me, I see the potential for the appearance of conflict of interest here, but consider this: No other convention would give us the amount of free space necessary to execute this idea the way we can at MegaCon because MegaCon is donating the space, the advertising, the venue, the promotion, the labor, the setup, the storage for the art, the security guards for the art room, the transportation of ALL honored guests (my wife is driving to Sarasota to pick up Nick Cardy herself) and the support staff for mailings, collection of the art, production of the auction book and the promotion of the event through ads, PR, direct mail and email campaigns. That’s what CrossGen and MegaCon brought to the table. So, can a case be made that we’re doing the auction at MegaCon to make money off the extra hundred or two hundred or so visitors it might draw? Sure — but no one can argue about the personal, economical and sweat investment that we have here in this project. I even hired a guy part-time out of my own budget to help me catalogue the art as it came in.”

Tony also wanted to thank one special person, “Jim Valentino has been FANTASTIC in driving art donations from his contacts. I know that Jim is planning an event for San Diego and WizardWorld in Chicago if the MegaCon event goes well. If it bombs, then MegaCon took the risk for the other cons to see whether an event like this would work. Without warm bodies there, even if the cheques were emailed in, we can’t convince other cons that auction events like this can work well.”

“The real vision behind ACTOR is to provide financial assistance to retired creators who are needy, but also to help create a non-political advocacy group for freelance creators so that we can create a group health insurance plan, 401K and retirement plans, casualty insurance, life insurance and a whole realm of services that freelancers in this field could use, so that they can avoid the fate of the creators who came before them. In the end, I would hope that ACTOR would eventually not have to render financial assistance, but rather, could help create a pension fund and association for retired creators, much like pro sports does for retired athletes. In any event, I’m glad that the ad aroused some passion in you, because it’s folks like you who give a shyte who will keep ACTOR alive in years to come.”

And one thing – rather than Marvel coming out as a bad guy for a running a mistimed ad, its worth noting that ACTOR sent the ads to all major companies… and only Marvel printed any ad at all…

This Has A Rumour Value Of 8 Out Of 10


Another One For The Tattoo…

It’s been running around the CrossGen message boards, All The Rage has run an article on it, but now it seems it’s official… or at least that’s what one shop thought when they received an e-mail from CrossGen confirming Laura Depuy, acclaimed colourist for Authority, as a new employee.

And so everyone on the Warren Ellis Delphi Forum who’d been keeping this story a secret came out and confirmed it. Until the original poster realised that the e-mail they had only confirmed Laura as a colourist for a cover, not a new employee. But by then it was too late…

Look forward to seeing Laura’s colouring work in upcoming issues of CrossGen Chronicles.

This Has A Rumour Value Of 6 Out Of 10


Tales From The Front Line

Do you remember the good old days? When all I used to do was reprint bits from Comics International for the US audience? Ah, happy days, 1992 I believe. Well, sometimes it’s good to go home. The new issue, #130, with a J Scott Campbell Planet of The Apes cover…

Dave Coopers’s much delayed Weasel returns with issue 4 with a bonus Hellboy story by Mike Mignola. The Powers team are to investigate the death of Madman in The Second Oni Press Color Special, by Bendis and Oeming, with a list of suspects including Kabuki, Barry Ween and Kevin Matchstick. Also look for more Savage Dragon crossovers in The 10th Muse as she travels to Dragon’s new universe. A new Dark Horse series does a What If? on Star Wars, looking at what would have happened if Luke Skywalker missed his shot in that Death Star trench.

Cheers, Dez!

This Has A Rumour Value Of 9 Out Of 10


I Appeal To My Readers

Okay, no I don’t. But anyway, Marvel.com are currently running a poll to register their Top 100 Comics, and are committed to reprinting the top 25!

While there’s bound to be your usual favourites featuring highly, FF #1, Amazing Spider-Man #300, etc, I’d like to make an appeal here, for The One #6. The One was Rick Veitch’s pre-Watchmen deconstruction of the superhero. Issue 6 was the pinnacle of this book, whose resonance can still be seen today in titles such as Authority and Sentry, with mysterious figures, ultraviolence and a fresh look at the superhero mythos. You have the chance to vote for your Top Five favourites. I request that you, instead, choose your top four. And make one of them The One #6. If nothing else, it’ll be rather amusing to see that printed next to Uncanny X-Men 137…

This Has A Rick Veitch Value Of 10 Out Of 10


Trading Cards

And I’ll leave you with a fun rumour that’s doing the rounds… after X-MAN #75, the character of Nate Grey will be traded to DC Comics (or Wildstorm) for another character, where the book will continue under a different name, with Steven Grant writing and Ariel rejoining on art. Marvel will retain the X-Man name.

It’s a bit of a mad one this and Steven Grant tells me “This is one of the most ludicrous things I’ve heard in a long time. If it’s true no one has bothered to mention it to me…”

This Has A Rumour Value Of 1 Out Of 10


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