Fabry At Wildstorm

Garth Ennis and Glenn Fabry’s Authority one-shot. While DC aren’t confirming its existence, Glenn isn’t so shy.

On his website, GlennFabry.Co.Uk, he writes, “I’ve just finished a graphic ‘novelette’ for Wildstorm: A 44 page page Garth Ennis story, called ‘Kev’ which takes the place of issues 30-31 of the Authority (the best-selling Wildstorm imprint).

“It’s got a new painted cover too, and apart from being my first interior black and white work for American comics, it’s also my first black and white stuff I’ve done in over 12 years so please be kind. It’s the story of, er, Kev, who is an ex-SAS man drafted in to eliminate the Authority by his mysterious boss. It’s also Garth at his funniest, and is a wild rollercoaster ride of white-knuckle tension, that once seen will never ever be forgotten. People will remember where they were the day they pick this one up, I can you, for decades to come. (sorry bit strong that – too much – too much caffeine).”

Fabry also writes, “We hope you like it, because Kev will be back (I’m saying this before he’s even got here). Editorial response has been very positive, and I’ve been booked up as an interior artist for Birds of Prey (1 issue), Howard the Duck #3 and Warren Ellis project for Wildstorm starting February 2002.”


Visit Glenn’s website, http://www.glennfabry.co.uk, and buy lots of lovely original artwork.

This Has A Rumour Value Of 9 Out Of 10

Bend The Nee

I understand that John Nee, exec and editor of Wildstorm fame, is leaving the West Coast to join DC proper as head of their Licensing/Publishing arm in their New York offices. Wildstorm sources did not choose to comment.

This Has A Rumour Value Of 5 Out Of 10

Lost Pig

So what’s the story with Cerebus? British readers got their copies distributed by Diamond UK two weeks ago, subscribers got their copies a few days before that, and independent US distributors also delivered to respective stores. With everyone wanting to read Dave Sim’s anti-creator-owned missive, was this the reason Diamond weren’t distributing the comic? Diamond have shown a reticence to distribute material with a dubious copyright position in the past – was Diamond UK’s shipping the book a repeat of the Elseworlds Eighty Page Giant story?


Diamond’s Mark Herr replied to enquires, “At the beginning of this year, we moved our Star/TRU location from Sparta, IL to Memphis, TN. When the issue of Cerebus (printed at Preney in Canada) shipped out, they sent it to Sparta. When it arrived there, it was forwarded on to Memphis. Memphis did receive the books this week and we are in the process of reshipping it out to the other centers. UK just got theirs early, because they ship direct, rather than through our reship center. The books should go out without further delay, and should be in stores next week or the week after at the very latest.”

This Has A Rumour Value Of 2 Out Of 10

Ink And Incapability

One pro had a bone to pick with Marvel (no, not Alan Moore, we’ll get to that in a minute). I received this screed early in the week.

“MARVEL are looking to do away with inkers. The head honcho’ (the guy above Jemas) is really pushing for this. They want to save money on FED EX shipping. They figure that, if the inkers are cut from the mix, they’ll eliminate that extra cost. However, all Marvel has to do was have the inkers start scanning and sending the files straight to the
colorists. Some inkers all over the industry already do this when in a crunch. Then, at the end of the issue, the inker can take all the pages and send them to the office. One shipment, one FED EX charge per issue from the inker instead of 4 or 5. But, that’ll never happen. It makes too much sense. And Marvel Comics will start looking like shit.

“Anyone who would even suggest that the comics across-the-board be digitally inked is obviously someone with little to no artistic acumen whatsoever. 95% of the books will look like garbage but this guy won’t know the difference. You have to know what looks good to know what looks bad. This isn’t to say that digital inking doesnt work at all. Some guys can pull it off. The fact of the matter is that it looks like utter crap with the vast majority. Editors know it, pencilers know it, and inkers damn sure know it. There are ways to cut costs without cutting quality. The guys at the top just need to be willing to listen and concede that, perhaps, art is not one of their areas of expertise. Marvel is
on the brink of turning things around for the first time in years and, just as this is beginning to happen, the first thing the suits want to do is cut quality.”

Bill Jemas and Joe Quesada had something to say about all this. Bill wrote, “The people who Joe and I report to trust us as to comic book content/graphics decision making, and, while we welcome input from the board (we have very smart people on the board) they don’t get involved in areas like this. Of course Marvel has been making advances in digitizing our pre-press process, and of course, I don’t care to show our competition (distinguished and otherwise) a list of our current and proposed improvements. But I can say that nobody is thinking about moving toward universal digital inking. There are books (like Origin) that are produced by digital coloring over inks. But that was an artistic decision, not a financial one. That book is beautiful, it is also very expensive.”

Joe added, “Yes we are looking at having inkers scan images and recieve scanned pencils, but not eliminating inkers, this is complete hogwash.”

There we go people. Black and white. And not digitally inked.

This Has A Rumour Value Of 2 Out Of 10

Angel Purchase

For those of you too far away to want to order Angel Passage, reviewed by All the Rage last week, it appears Top Shelf will be distributing this performance art CD by Alan Moore and Tim Perkins via Diamond in a few months. Order it from your local comic shop.

This Has A Recommended Value Of 10 Out Of 10

Decepticon Rumours

Adam Fortier wrote in response to last week’s Dreamwave allegations about the Transformers deal. He writes, “Well, I can tell you a couple of things. One, we don’t discuss the specifics of the contract (business policy). I will tell you for free, though, that pretty much all of your rumors are untrue….. totally.”

Fair enough.

This Has A Slapped Wrist Value Of 8 Out Of 10

Wa-Wa Pedals At Dawn

On the Black Panther Comicboard, Priest talked about why he turned down a writing gig on an upcoming Iron Fist series from Marvel, after he’s portrayed him with acclaim recently in Black Panther.

      “I don’t like competing with myself. Sometimes the worst thing a writer can do is go back to something fondly remembered from earlier in his career. Comparisons will undoubtedly be made.


      “Also, there are just so few artists who can draw martial arts convincingly. I don’t know what it is, but every time Fist shows up (with all due respect to Sal, who did a terrific job), it’s this Comic Book Karate. I’m not an artist, so I don’t understand the complexities of why making the moves more accurate or at least more exciting seems to be a difficult task. But I really wouldn’t be interested in doing a martial arts book without an artist who can convincingly deliver reasonably accurate martial arts moves. I’ve studied martial arts, and sometimes I have felt like I was wasting my time choreographing karate fight moves in comics because they don’t translate well.


      “Without convincing moves, it’s like casting someone who can’t dance to play Michael Jackson. Makes for a very… odd… movie.


      “I think, in the history of American comics, Paul Gulacy singularly delivered the best run of comics with reasonably accurate (or if not accurate, exciting) martial arts moves. He was replaced by Mike Zeck, and Jim Starlin, who did _beautiful_ artwork, but the karate was Comic Book Karate.


      “That’s my fear: I spend months doing detail work on a three-issue

[Iron] Fist

      series, and it comes out looking like Jack Kirby’s FF– a wonderfully drawn comic, but the martial arts aren’t convincing.


      “When you’re talking about a guy like Iron Fist, you’re talking about a multiple level master. He should have some _unbelieveable_ moves. And films like Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon have raised the bar on what audiences


      expect from a martial arts film or comic.


    “Bring me the head of an artist who can deliver that, in spades, and I’ll gleefully sign on.”

And on recent rumours of Marvel’s desire to give a blaxploitation feel to the book, in the light of Brian Azzarello’s new Cage series, Priest replied:

      “Bill Jemas and Joe Quesada both worked diligently to keep

[Black] Panther

      afloat, and personally green-lighted the online campaign that gave us a little bump in sales out there.


      “Staffers tend to talk in shorthand, and such an unfortunate term as ‘Blackifying’ *shudders involuntarily* was likely not a direct quote from anybody.


[Black] Panther

      as a premise, does not lend itself to more than occasional doses of the street-level hip-hop stuff. To maroon T’Challa in Brooklyn permanently would strain credibility on a number of fronts.


      “Moreover, if Marvel wants a hip-hop kid running around Harlem or whatever, they have any number of avenues to achieve that, including the ULTIMATE line and the MAX line. There’s no apparent sound editorial basis for gutting an ongoing book to move in so radical a direction, let alone a book these two guys personally invested in.


      “All of which is to say, we’re clear for the foreseeable future. ENEMY OF THE STATE II is being well received up at the office, and we’re all in a very energized mood these days. Despite our ongoing struggle with sales,

[Black] Panther

      is beloved from the top down at Marvel, and we’re all concentrating on making THIS book the best it can be, doing work we’re excited about and proud of.


      “[Open mouth-insert foot time]


      “In terms of other discussions of other projects: I’m excited and happy to support ANY effort to bring more plurality to the market. Brian Azzarello is a brilliant writer, and I don’t envy the position he’s in now, facing all manner of crushing criticism for a book that hasn’t shipped yet.


      “It is likely nothing any of the companies do will please all of the people all of the time, but I think the very fact they’re thinking about it–, that we, as a minority community actually exist as a concern to the companies– is huge. If they make a misstep, so what. At least we’re on the map. At least they’re not pretending we don’t exist (or that we don’t have wallets).


      “The notion of something not being ‘black enough’ is rather patently ignorant to begin with, as it implies a singularity where none exists. African Americans are a plurality, and

[Black] Panther

      is not a ‘black’ book. I never agreed to make it a ‘black’ book and, in fact, that discussion was central to my agreeing to take it on. Panther himself is not African American. He’s African. And he is as true to being an African as I can manage: he is, in fact, an amalgam of two very good Nigerian friends of mine– neither of whom listen to DMX or talk in street slang.


      “Equating ‘blackness’ with the lowest common denominator of thug life and so forth is extremely offensive. Having a bunch of white guys snickering around a conference table deciding what is and what is not black enough is also something I seriously doubt goes on because it is simply too stupid to imagine. It’s like me and my black friends getting together to decide whether something is ‘Japanese enough.’ I know these guys, in this business we’re in. They’re my friends. I’ll stand up for them– this just doesn’t happen.


      “The larger concern to the new question of blackness, here and elsewhere, is the issue of marketability. The bottom line is: can we sell the thing? Are we doing a minstrel show for a white audience or are we attempting to expand the market into minority communities? And do we expand the market by defining, for them and on their behalf, what is and what is not ‘black’? Or do we offer them a choice? Could

Black Panther

      , as it presently exists, be published concurrently with the rougher MAX stuff and whatever else is coming down the pike, and let the market dictate the ultimate direction these lines move in?


    “I don’t know all the answers. What I DO know is, in this business, there’s a very thin line between Hero and Goat. I think we’re all banging the drum a bit too loudly and a bit too soon. Whatever side of this thing you’re on, you have to admire the courage of conviction everyone attached to these new projects has. Maybe we all take a lesson from that and give everybody a little benefit of the doubt.”

This Has A Straight Talking Value Of 8 Out Of 10

Boil For Se7en Minutes?

Overheard during an interview with David Fincher, director of Fight Club and Se7en, he’s in talks with Frank Miller about directing the previously-reported-by-All-The-Rage Hard Boiled movie. Looks like this one might happen, folks! Also linked to the Hard Boiled project to star is… that’s right, you guessed it, Nicolas Cage (also previously linked to Hellblazer, Ghost Rider and Superman – is there a comics character this guy doesn’t want to play?)

This Has A Rumour Value Of 8 Out Of 10

Missing Page

As well as the indicia cock-up on the Captain Britain TPB (see the Newsarama article on Moore), it’s also been noted by a number of people that there’s a missing page. Also missing from the X-Men Archives editions, here’s a scanned copy from the original black and white publication.

In the TPB is lies between pages 3 and 4 in the Judgement Day chapter and shows Captain Britain’s first glimpse of another Earth.

This Has A Slapped Forehead Value Of 9 Out Of 10

Hard Times

I understand that the first twelve issues of Authority, by Warren Ellis, Bryan Hitch and Laura DePuy are to be collected in an oversized hardback edition.

As an Authority reader who put off buying the TPBs because of the poor repro compared to the comics, this should be a real treat.

This Has A Rumour Value Of 8 Out of 10

A Final Word

Recently, the comics industry lost John Buscema, aged 74. Buscema work for Marvel is still being collected and sold.

Under current Marvel corporate policy, any incentives (i.e., royalties) owed to him on or after his death, does not go to his estate or immediate family, but is kept by Marvel.

This should change. This is as good a time to start as any.

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