Welcome to All The Rage, SBC’s news, opinion and rumour column. I’m here every week to entertain and inform. Don’t forget our rumour barrier, its there for a reason.

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On with the show!


Uncovered

In case you haven’t heard, there’s been a small change made to the Typhoid Mary cover for the upcoming issue of Daredevil. I’ve been sent a lovely bit of art that is apparently the original uncensored work, along with comments that have been attributed to Alex Maleev:

    If you asked me, I would have made sure you all got a boner but we (creators) sometimes need to restrain ourselves from going overboard. I did the nipple shot for fun, didn’t expect to create so much fuzz around the net, still what does that tell you about how much restrictions are implemented in our daily lives?

This Has A “Nipple-Tastic” Value Of 8 Out Of Ten


CrossGen Vs. Marvel

I got a bit of a surprise this week reading Mark Alessi’s comments regarding Marvel Comics at MegaCon. I wasn’t so much surprised by the comments, so much as the fact Mr. Alessi was making them publicly. Many people have known Mr. Alessi’s feelings on the House of Ideas but they’ve been asked to keep quiet on the subject. In case you missed the coverage elsewhere here are a few pertinent points:

    If you’re a company that says you have the best characters in history… the best writers in the world… you’re pulling them from Hollywood… have absolute, top-shelf artists, why in God’s name do you have to resort to pandering to bright, intelligent people to create sales? And then scaring people to buying on the front end by having a no-reprint policy? That’s unacceptable. Unacceptable to retailers, and that’s unacceptable to the fans. That disturbs me.

If you want to write a book about gay heroes, God bless you. That should be done. There’s brave gay people out there, and that’s the way it is. If you write want to write books about Afro-American leaders, well, God bless you, you should. We’ve got one in Obregon Kaine that we think we’ve handled incredibly well and appropriately. But when you take a cowboy who, for 20 years, was a whiskey-drinkin’, gun-totin’, evil-killin’ person who chased women, and the next thing you know he’s gone through some sort of a sexual transformation for a six-issue mini-series? I’m sorry, that disappoints me. I’ve got some of the Rawhide Kids sitting at home in my collection, and it’s different than the current Rawhide Kid.

The last time I looked, Captain America was white. I think that it’s important that we do more and more comics that address cultural areas and bring more people into the mainstream of comics. But I think there’s a way to do it properly and correctly and I think there’s a way to do it improperly. When you start doing things like making those changes for a six-issue mini-series so you can publicize it and get on CNN, well, now you disgust me. There’s some terrific black characters out there. The Black Panther, I grew up reading that. We worked very, very hard to make Obregon Kaine the kind of individual every single person – not just black people – will emulate because he truly he is a hero.

I think you can’t do what they’re doing. They think it’s wrong. It’s important that you guys recognize they’re wrong. If you agree, God bless you, but their product. But if you disagree, vote with your dollars. Once upon they came out with something, Spider-Man that Clone series. Do you recall that? Well, the fans said, ‘This is really stupid.’ And they stopped buying the book. And guess what happened? The Clone Saga went away. It never should have started, but you guys closed it down. You don’t realize how much influence that you have.

They sit in rooms and they make business decisions and they say, ‘Heck, they’re going to continue to buy these books anyway because they don’t want a gap in their collection.’ And I felt that way myself. I’ve gone through the trauma of stopping a collecting and going, ‘Oh man, maybe it will get better. I’ll buy just one more.’ And pretty soon I can’t stand it. Well, if you don’t agree with the changes?

The next section has caused a bit of controversy:

    If you have the interest as a publisher to make a comic book about real heroes – firemen, paramedics, police officers – God bless you. They do things that protect us everyday all over this country. If you come out with that series after 9-11, you’re using one of the greatest tragedies in American history as a marketing ploy. I’m sorry. I salute you if you do it before 9-11, you disgust me if you do it after 9-11. Thousands of people died, and we (Marvel) promoted comic books. Not only did we promote comic books, we hyped the heck out of it so retailers bought them by the droves, and now they’re sitting back there with a ton of Valiant comics. And pretty soon, they’ll be in the penny box and we’ll shred these things so we can send stuffed toys from China with them.

CrossGen sent an email to HeroRealm.com requesting clarification on this point. Bill Rosemann had this to say on the subject:

      He was talking about

CALL TO DUTY

      . He knows

HEROES

      was a tribute done to raise money for the Twin Towers Fund, and totally respects that. In fact, George Perez was allowed to contribute to it even though he was exclusive to CrossGen at the time. So Mark has no problem at all with

HEROES

      … during his panel he mentioned

CALL TO DUTY

    by name, but perhaps that wasn’t reported in the panel highlights.

Check out Herorealm to catch the rest of Mr. Alessi’s comments but I’ll leave you with a passing shot from Mr. Alessi on the subject of one of my favourite writers:

    That whole thing with Peter David ? c’mon, give me a break. I’m really smart. I think I’m smarter than Jemas will ever be. And I can’t outwrite Peter David. Peter David’s an excellent writer. He writes novels, he writes comics ? I can’t always agree with his subject matter, but he’s superior.

This Has A “Fists Flyin?” Value Of Seven Out Of Ten


Huh?

When asked by Alan Doane if his company?s new terms of sale to retailers were in anyway a reaction to criticism of Marvel’s no overprint policy, Bill Jemas wryly commented during this week?s Marvel press conference, “I haven’t heard any criticism of this no overprint policy but there may be some out there.”

Jemas may have been attempting to be funny, or to try and put a positive spin on things for the press, but c’mon does “I haven’t heard any criticism of this no overprint policy” (regardless of your opinion on the overprinting policy) really fill you with confidence in Marvel as a company that’s listening to its fans? Maybe I’m getting carried away, and it’s a terrible thing to go mad on one isolated statement, so to be fair I should print the rest of Mr. Jemas’ statement on this subject:

    This [the new terms with Diamond] does give the retailers more time to make decisions. It’s no fun running a no-returns business. It’s even less fun when you can’t rely on a publisher to overprint. The real fun comes when you can buy something for $1.10 and sell it for $110. That’s the most fun retailers can have — this gives them more chance to do that.

Yeah, it happened to me all the time…not. No what no overprints really meant to me, and does mean to the retailers I’ve spoken to, is that we get a once in the blue moon sale like Mr. Jemas describes above, but mostly it results in letting down customers who suddenly want the hot new series at the last minute, and/or a constant pile of comics predicted to be hot that just wouldn’t sell.

Now, to be totally fair, the new terms will help as retailers won’t be stuck with 2-3 months worth of stuff they can’t sell, as they?ll be able to reduce orders if they find #1 of a new series was a cold fish for them locally. Conversely they?ll be able to up the orders on subsequent issues if they suddenly find a book selling out in days of hitting the shelves.

This Has A “Bill Jemas, The New Jerry Seinfeld!” Value Of One Out Of Ten


Where’ve I Read That Before…?

Wizard’s Buzzbin reports that Jim Gordon may soon have his own series to follow up on his appearance in GCPD…now I wonder where one may have heard this rumour before? Thanks to my darling wife for spotting that for me.

But a source close to the batbooks had this to say:

    [T]here is no Jim Gordon series in the works. Sorry. I know how the rumor got started, but I can’t explain further, but it’s just a rumor.

Oh? How sad… Wizard gets pinched for running an unconfirmed rumour. My goodness, me… what ever next? Maybe Wizard should have a Rumour Barrier, too?

Thanks goes to our batty-source! It’s always nice to do some tit-for-tat, or should I say a bit-for bat?

This Has A “Jim Gordon, Homeless” Value Of Six Out Of Ten


Flash Back?

It seems Flash #200 is Scott Kolins? last of that series, and he is replaced with Alberto Dose (Tangled Web #22) beginning with Flash #201. Alberto Dose?s debut issue also marks the start of a new story arc entitled “Ignition”. The DC publicity states that Flash is forced to take on a new identity when the darker elements of Keystone City really get nasty. The reason I mention it is this sounds very similar to the plot of Flash Annual #4 by Mark Waid (part of the Armageddon 2001 crossover).

This Has A “Whatever Happened To Armageddon 2001?” Value Of Six Out Of Ten


Stormwatch-watching

A friend of mine spotted the following, and asked me to go out on a limb based on a grammatical point he spotted:

      I got my break in comics by revamping Wildstorm’s defunct title

StormWatch

    .

That’s from Micah Wright on a page devoted to a pitch he made to restart the DV-8 title. My friend?s point is the “defunct” statement and several other past tense references to StormWatch. He was wondering if this could be taken to mean that StormWatch is a dead duck? Has the series been cancelled once and for all? Or was Mr. Wright referring to the previous incarnations of the title? Given the fact the copyright statement on the page (link below) states it?s date of creation as 2002, I think the latter is the more likely scenario.

Either way check out the page [http://www.micahwright.com/comics.htm] for yourself, as it’s a very interesting look at a pitch for what might have been along with the politics that go into signing up a new series.

UPDATE:
Micah, being the gentleman that he is, sent in the following missive to disabuse us of any possible misconception (be warned – strong language to follow):

    I can’t imagine any Daft Cunt stupid enough to misinterpret that wording, but I have corrected it for those stupid enough not to understand that I resurrected a dead book and was not insinuating impending cancellation.

These Eye of the Storm books are on a shaky limb as it is. You’d be doing me a righteous solid if you correct ANY impression that your news story might have sent that Team Achilles is in any trouble of being cancelled. People run from cancelled books like rats from sinking ships and I have a new artist and inker coming on the book which will blow people A-Fucking-Way if they stop by and give us a chance… I don’t need weirdos making up rumors (not talking about you) stating that we’re all doomed and the sky is falling over at Wildstorm.

In fact, as I posted on my message board this week, Jim Lee and DC are committed to doubling sales on All of the Eye of the Storm Titles by this time next year.

This Has A “Death Watch?” Value Of One Out Of Ten


Ross Returns

You may have seen this on the web, but in case you missed it I thought it best to share the latest work from Alex Ross?

There you go.

This Has A “Come Back To Comics!” Value Of Ten Out Of Ten


Brian Hibbs Vs. Joe Q

Much as the editor hates excessive message board quoting, I’m still going to present the following in full as it makes a good read. We’ve got two well-known guys from the comic book industry here, and it’s an interesting discussion. My very reliable source tells me that this comes from the Joe Quesada message board:

      Hibbs:-

WOLVERINE #186

    : Ouch. I was almost sorta liking it fine as a Wolverine/Punisher fight comic until we got to the last few pages. Logan ultimately ‘beats’ Castle by finding men’s muscle mags in Castle’s bag., and…um, crushing Castle’s self-esteem, I guess. Let’s put aside for minute that this seems about as out of character as out of character could be? Castle himself would seem to have zero sexuality, and, even if he were gay, I can’t imagine any other reaction than ‘So what?’ as he pulls out another gun and shoots Logan in the face, right?? but the real crime here is reducing it to schoolyard ‘Yeah? Well you… you… you’re a fag!’ That’s not only juvenile, but I think it is irresponsible ESPECIALLY in a ‘kids buy’ title like Wolverine. They’re pulling smoking out of Wolverine because of the social message it brings, but they’re going to imply that it is OK to gay bash?

and the reply:

    Quesada: We can’t win, first we have to deal with people going all nuts because Marvel has a gay cowboy and now we have to deal with this extreme? Anytime the Punisher is involved these days in the Marvel U, you can expect the unexpected. The Punisher and especially the Punisher book, for better or worse is a farce, a comedy, a Road Runner cartoon parodied to the Nth degree. Does anyone remember his battles with Spidey or DD? If you haven’t gotten that by now then you’ve kind of missed the point of the book or of the character when he appears in a book.

What Frank (Tieri) was doing was invoking a line from Neil Simon’s “Murder By Death” that was making fun of the stereotypical movie tough guy — in this case, a gumshoe detective played by Peter Falk. Frank figured, what bigger tough guys are there in the Marvel U than Frank Castle and Logan?

The key to the joke is that the line is inconclusive and ambiguous. In some cases the line may say more about how it’s being interpreted than what it’s actually saying. Is Frank Castle gay just because he’s got some muscle men mags? I think not, heck I have muscle men mags all over my art table for super hero art reference. No, really! But let’s say, just for the sake of argument, that Castle IS gay. Well then, that makes him one tough motherluvin’ gay guy, does it not? Would you mess with him?

Bottom line is people need to grow a sense of humor. For anyone who thinks we’ve actually “outed” Frank Castle, I’d say this: Whether you decide he’s straight or gay at the end of the issue, he’s still the stone killer you’d never mess with.

I see the closing scene as Logan’s final eff you to Punisher. I mean, the way Garth writes Castle — and Garth agrees — is as a right-wing madman. A manly man to the Nth degree. Clint Eastwood on steroids. There’s no gray area in his world. Logan, having just beaten him to a pulp, reminds him — with a wink-wink — that the world is plenty gray.

This is an extension of their entire conversation, in which Castle asserts that all bad guys should die, and Logan tells him it’s an impossible dream. In this story, Logan’s the realist, and Castle is the idealist.

I’m not sure I totally agree with either point of view. Mr Hibbs’ does make a very good point and it was the feeling I got when I reached the end of the issue. That said, Mr. Quesada’s reply is very well thought out and expressed. What do you think? Are you more on Mr. Hibbs’ or Mr. Quesada’s side of the fence or, to paraphrase Mr. Q, do you think it’s not as black and white as that? Either email me with your thoughts or write to the ATR message board.

This Has A “Leave It Up To You” Value Of Eight Out Of Ten


More Punisher

Mr. A. N. Other emailed in a bit of Punisher info. Apparently there’s going to be at least one more Punisher/Wolverine clash in the near future courtesy of Garth Ennis. That’s actually an understatement the clash will allegedly be between Daredevil, Spider-man, the Hulk and Wolverine in a big nasty battle. This is being played down a bit but Mr. Other suggests that everyone’s chomping at the bit to promote it.

This Has A “Collateral Damage” Value Of Seven Out Of Ten


Late Birthday Present

It was my birthday on the 26th Feb, and all I got was Jango Fett’s Slave 1… don’t get me wrong I love the present (heck not everyone’s lucky enough to have a wife who’ll buy them toys! We’re moving house soon so the parents all decided to hold off till then to buy sensible presents) I’m going to get a Jango Fett for it along with an Obi-Wan to fight him from the very cool Automattics comic shop in Corsham… but it was literally all I got. Any of you looking for gift ideas for me should check out this very cool site that Matt from the aforementioned Automattics sent to me:

http://www.1966batmobile.com/batcycle.htm

Where there’s a site devoted to this:

The original batbike!

and this…

Yep, a very cool replica being built as we speak.

Now Batfan as I am, a 250cc Yamaha with drum brakes front and back may be authentic but it isn’t that impressive, heck I used to have a 250cc MZ sidecar combo unit, it’s an underpowered death-trap if I’m completely frank. That said if anyone would care to send the guy say… a modern 750 or 1000cc bike with nice shiny disc brakes and a bit of cash and get him to build me a special bat-bike all of my own I’d do very rude things to you (and if the sidecar’s comfortable my wife would let me).

This Has A “And See If He’ll Do A 1966 Batmobile While You’re At It…” Value Of 10 Out Of Ten


Crossed Wires?

Following the Agent X story last time I received the following mail from one of those mentioned:

      I’ve been receiving a lot of congratulatory messages due to the fact I am apparently taking over

Agent X

    along with my good friend Richard Piers Rayner.

The thing is neither he nor I know anything about this.

I understand that sometimes rumours come up due to over-enthusiastic fans repeating gossip, but this one is so specific it’s a bit creepy.

I’m not upset by any of this (it was a very positive picture that was painted of me after all) but I am curious as to where this came from.

Would you tell me who passed this on to you?

Best Nigel

I’m afraid that I was unable to help Nigel out as all ATR sources are confidential unless you specifically request otherwise.

Does this mean the whole rumour is a bunch of toss? Possibly, it could be just a proposal that’s leaked out or it could be we’re ahead of the game. Or…

There’s this from an anonymous source:

      I’ve been told that your

Agent X

    story was down to someone passing a rumour to passed to you, to see if you’d print just anything without checking any of it first. The individual just picked a couple of creators that they really liked with possible X-contacts to see if you’d bite.

For shame! Some people definitely have too much time on their hands if this is the case.

This Has A “What’s The Truth?” Value Of Two Out Of Ten


AOLquest

I’m rerunning this bit of news as it caught my interest: DC have bought the rights to the excellent comic book series Elfquest.

Those of you who keep up on the fantasy rumour mill will know that there has been talk of an Elfquest film for bloody ages now. Well, soon after the announcement of DC obtaining the rights to Elfquest came a note from a friend at DC, commenting that the movie rights were included in the sale, with a promise from DC to help influence Warner Bros in the making of it ? taking advantage of the renewed popularity of fantasy epics thanks to the Lord of the Rings. As for the comic, DC will begin with reprints in their archive format.

This Has A “Tried To Fit In A Piers Anthony Reference For The Real Fanboys And Girls But Failed” Value Of Eight Out Of Ten


Gotta Run This…

Many thanks to Peter David for this bit I’ve stolen from his website:

    THE BRAIN?

According to the AOL newsfeed, the captured al Qaeda guy is known as “The Brain.”
I’m sorry…I can’t pass it up.

Bin Laden and the Brain
Bin Laden and the Brain
One is a genius, the other’s insane.
Send people to their graves
While hiding out in caves
Osama…bin Laden and the Brain brain brain brain brain
They run and run and run
And run a little more
By the dawning of the sun
They’ll cause a major war
Bin Laden and the Brain
Bin Laden and the Brain
Their terror campaign
Is easy to explain
There’s no ifs, ands or buts
The guys are nuckin’ futz.
Osama…bin Laden and the Brain brain brain brain brain brain brain brain (narf!)

Fantastic. Shame Pinky reminds me more of a certain unelected dictator in the North American region though…

This Has A “More Secret Service At My Door” Value Of Nine Out Of Ten


Rebellion Roundup

Don’t blame me if this small UK comic book company keeps on coming up with newsworthy stuff, it’s their fault!

First up we’ve got…finally…screen shots from the upcoming Judge Dredd game:

http://www.2000adonline.com/index.php3?zone=news&page=newsimage&choice=dvdscreens

This page has shots from both the PC and PS2 version of the hotly awaited game.

The next bit of news is that 2000AD will be igniting 90s nostalgia by running an issue with two covers! Prog 1335 will see the end of the fantastic Judge Dredd/Aliens story and it’ll feature 2 Jock covers printed and shipped in equal number. What is unusual and is worth an inordinate amount of praise is that subscription customers will get BOTH ISSUES for the price of 1. Great generosity from Tharg, a nice bonus for the loyal customers.

This Has A “Getting Set For A Thrill Power Overload!” Value Of Nine Out Of Ten


Shock! Horror! Comic Book Banned!

Yep. There has been a comic book banned in the UK recently. Does anyone who hasn’t heard the story want to hazard a guess as to which one? It didn’t feature anal sex, it didn’t have any swearing and in fact it’s about the most innocent kids comic going, the Dandy. That’s right, the Beano’s sister comic the Dandy was banned from a UK airport because it gave away a crappy, flimsy toy gun as a gift. I’ll hand you over to the venerable BBC:

      The airport says strict regulations are for passenger safety Hundreds of copies of the children’s comic,

The Dandy

    , have been withdrawn from shops at Birmingham Airport because a toy gun is being given away free with the latest edition. The comic, which sells 250,000 copies a week and is published by D C Thompson & Co, has a bright blue and yellow plastic gun attached to its front cover. But due to tighter security regulations at airports – replica guns are not allowed on planes. Brian Conway, spokesman for Birmingham International Airport, said the strict regulations are there for passenger safety. ‘Hysterical over-reaction’ He told BBC Radio WM: “The security regime says anything that looks like a gun – for example water pistols children bring through when going on holiday – have to be confiscated when passengers go through security. “It doesn’t make sense to have items on sale at the airport which are not allowed on board the aircraft other than in the hold with luggage.” Scottish-based D C Thompson said the decision was “a hysterical over- reaction”. A spokesman for the group told the Birmingham Post: “It’s obviously a toy and nothing more. “I don’t think a terrorist would get very far if he tried to hijack a plane with a free toy from The Dandy.” He added: “I know they have to be strict about security at airports but this ruling is just ridiculous. It’s a hysterical over-reaction.

In case you missed it there “hysterical over-reaction” seems to be the key phrase.

This Has A “It’s True” Value Of Ten Out Of Ten


More UK Comic Book News

The BBC’s children?s news program Newsround recently held an online poll asking viewers what comic books they read. The results shouldn’t be a surprise but I guess that under my cynicism I was still hoping for more. Out of 780 votes cast these were the results:

    What’s your favourite comic? Beano 37.82%, Dandy 3.33%, Buster 0.51%, Superman 1.41%, Batman 0.90%, Spider-Man 7.95%, 2000AD 1.79%, I don’t read comics 46.28%

I suppose I should go back and vote not only for Batsy but for Spider-Man, Superman and 2000AD too. Cast your vote at:

http://newsvote.bbc.co.uk/cbbcnews/hi/vote/votes/newsid_2496000/2496397.stm

This Has A “Get Voting Now” Value Of Nine Out Of Ten


More Smegging News

I’ve been sent a very smeggy mail that follows up nicely from one of last week?s stories:

      It’s almost time for the smeggiest weekend of the year! Visit

http://www.reddwarffanclub.com/dimension_jump.asp

      right now to find out all about

Dimension Jump X

    – the tenth Red Dwarf weekend!

Dimension Jump X
4th-6th April, 2003
Royal Court Hotel, Coventry

Booked in for this extravaganza – work permitting – are some of the biggest names from the show including Chlo? Annett, Chris Barrie, Danny John-Jules, Hattie Hayridge, Robert Llewellyn and Norman Lovett. There will also be special appearances by Lee “Paranoia” Cornes and John “Talkie” Lenahan, and a likely turn out by Mike Tucker – a man who has made a career out of crashing Starbugs!

With competitions, question and answer sessions, merchandise, autographs, exclusive screenings, disco – as well as exclusive high- and low-end items in the Red Dwarf Auction – there’s enough going on to pack three million years, all crammed into one weekend!

I know there’s a lot of Dwarf fans out there so I thought I’d better pass it on.

This Has A “Get Along If You Can” Value Of Ten Out Of Ten


Bloody hell it’s 2 in the morning again and I’ve a full day of work tomorrow, bloody typical! Well, that was All The Rage. Hope you enjoyed it, after all that’s the point. Comics and comic book columns are here to entertain you, remember that.

If you’ve heard a rumour let me know about it I will guarantee full anonymity unless you specify otherwise.

I’m off now to sleep for 2 minutes until little Bruce decides it’s time to play with daddy… the joys of parenthood, eh?

TTFN

Alan Donald – signing off from an incredibly wet island.


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