Hello again and welcome to the 10,088th day of my life. It?s been a good run but I can?t believe I wasn?t keeping track of this before, I would have had a major party 88 days ago. And if I?ve done my math right then my 10,000th day would?ve fallen on New Year?s Eve! So I guess I celebrated that milestone whether I knew it or not, stooped over a toilet with my girlfriend holding back my hair whilst I retched all the Everclear I could find in the house. The band, not the liquor. Oh! Yeah! This is ?All the Rage? and I am most eternally NOT Alan Donald. If you?re wondering what the hell I?m doing here, don?t worry. So am I.

Apparently, in his infinite wisdom, the Big Kahuna thought it would be pretty funny to do this April Fools? gag where two of the columnists switched places, and apparently he left this up to a public vote so really I have all of you to blame. Bastards.

So here I am with six and a half minutes to cobble together a rumor / opinion / snide remarks / e-mail pasting / defensive / opinionated / political rant. (NOTE: I spelled it ?r-u-m-o-r? because I live in the US and not the UK so this will be a whole new mongering perspective!)

I have a fine sponsor, or at least Alan does, but this thing was thrown at me so late that I don?t have a contest. But if you?re clever you?ll know a bargain when you see one, and head on over to snap up one of the twenty (only 20!) sets of Four X-Citing Issues of the X-Men, featuring six cool signatures! All for the uncanny price of just $19.63! So that?s 20 sets of 4 comics with 6 signatures, for $19.63. And who said math wasn?t my strong suit?!?


Warren The World Is Ministry #3?

Some fun bits from one of Mr. Ellis? latest Bad Signal. Bottom line is WE had a bunch of bad crap come down on him before he?d finished scripting Ministry of Space #3. Much time passed and as Ellis states:

    By this point, Chris (Weston?artist on MoS) had obviously to take on work, not least because he had a child due. Well, he didn’t have anything from me to draw, so he had to occupy himself somehow. The project he took on was, of course, The Filth, which is an extremely intensive job for Chris, requiring thirteen months of hard deadlines. Leaving no space for anything else, really. As far as I know, Chris has been working incrementally on MoS #3 all year — I’ve seen pages.

Well, that?s all good and dandy, but ?as far as Ellis knows? isn?t good enough for the Rage, so I ringed up Weston. Okay, actually I e-mailed him but I had you going for a second there that Chris and I are on like first name basis. At any rate, he had the following to say about it:

      I’ve still got 2 and a half episodes of

Filth

    to purvey… then MoS 3, hopefully, if Warren’s prepared to take me back..

What?s interesting here is that Chris is wondering if Warren will take him back and Warren thinks Chris is working on it, and claims to have seen pages. Someone get these gentlemen a telephone! When asked what he wanted to do next, Chris said, ?Well, I?ve always wanted to direct.?

Actually, he is looking for his next project to be all Chris Weston on visuals: pencils, inks AND colours (a little spelling nod to our usual host). Plans include a couple of projects potentially involving some very high profile writers, including one who helped revitalize a dying DC franchise.

This Has A ?Does Anyone Remember What Happened in MoS #2? Value of Seven Out Of Ten


Squid This

The 2003 Squiddy Awards were announced, and somehow I got overlooked for favorite journalist. As such, I declare the awards a complete and total fraud. Probably a lot of ballot stuffing.

Actually, I heard that there were somewhere in the neighborhood of 100 or less votes for some of the major categories anyway, so it casts an interesting light on the results. I mean, how long would it take to drop 100 emails voting for yourself? And you could register 100 different yahoo and hotmail email addresses and none would be the wiser.

This Has A ?They Should?ve Had The Florida Election Committee Tally The Results? Value Of Two Out Of Ten


I Had The Power

But then they lost it to CGE. Turns out MVCreations has packed up all their toys and left the house that Rob Liefeld and Jim Lee helped build, and also left. Of course, you know all that. That?s not why you come to The Rage. You come here to see what you don?t know. So, I dug deeper. Where the worms are.

It looks like Masters of the Universe Volume 2, which was announced as an ongoing series, has been truncated to six issues, all of which will ship from Image Comics. Issue six should hit in August. After that I would expect a third volume to launch from CGE. In the meantime, however, the just solicited Icons of Evil series of one-shots will be making the move a little earlier.

Apparently, the thinking is to not break the flow of the ongoing series by jumping ship in the middle of an arc, and since the IoEs are all one-shots, it won?t hurt to move them. So, while the first Icons will ship from Image in June, along with MotU #4, the remaining three one-shots will ship from CGE starting in July.

This could create confusion for fans with some MotU product shipping from Image and some from CGE in July and August. To help you keep it straight, for the X-Men fans among us, I?ve broken it down for you.

June
Masters of the Universe Volume 2 #4 (Image Comics)
Icons of Evil (#1) (Image Comics)

July
Masters of the Universe Volume 2 #5 (Image Comics)
Icons of Evil (#2) (CG Entertainment)

August
Masters of the Universe Volume 2 #6 (Image Comics)
Icons of Evil (#3) (CG Entertainment)
Dragon?s Lair #1 (CG Entertainment)

September
Icons of Evil (#4) (CG Entertainment)
Dragon?s Lair #2 (CG Entertainment)

Sometime
Masters of the Universe Volume 3 #1 (CG Entertainment)

I would recommend printing out this column and clipping the above to magnet to your refrigerator for quick reference. And good luck.

What can fans expect between Volume 2 and Volume 3? Only ancient spirits of evil in a wild storm know what is planned for the future for Masters of the Universe.

This Has A ?How Will The Retailers Rack Them? Value Of Six Out Of Ten


Don?t Make A Lair Out Of Me

Did you see what I snuck in back there? Starting in August is the premiere of the comic based on every child of the eighty?s favorite video game. The new series promises to give a lot of insight into how the story from the game came to be, but will remain new-reader friendly by providing all the information needed for unfamiliar fans to get up to speed and adventuring with Dirk the Daring.

And if you think that was the only other license MVCreations was pursuing, think again. And you thought an acquisition of the Dragon?s Lair license was unexpected?

This Has A ?I?m Saving Up My Quarters Already? Value Of Eight Out Of Ten


Justin Time

In the wake of the abrupt end of The Resistance, of which I am still bitter to all of you who didn?t buy it; I mean if you didn?t want to read it you still could have bought a couple thousand copies so that those of us who liked it could read it!, The Rage decided to see what relative newcomer to the comics professional scene Justin Gray had on his plate as a follow up, other than the continuation of 21 Down, which he also co-writes.

After all, other co-writer of both books Jimmy Palmiotti is busy inking everything he can find (you should see his photo albums!) so his future plans are pretty well understood. It looks like Justin is writing a three-issue miniseries for Moonstone Books (you had heard that they were modifying their format away from the strictly graphic novel to the more traditional monthly format? So there, all you naysayers who say the monthly comic format is dying). Entitled Mr. Keen, Tracer of Lost Persons, it?s been described as ?a noir story based on an old radio detective show.? Noir? Moonstone? Surely you jest!

Word has it he?s still developing other projects with Palmiotti for the DC stable of titles, though which imprint and which characters (if existing) are unknown at this time. I gotta find better stuff to bribe people with! One exciting thing is a collaboration with the esteemed J.G. Jones (I still remember Dark Dominion and Fatale – both for defunct Jim Shooter companies, and the latter featuring the largest breasts to ever adorn a non-porn title character), recently of Marvel Boy, Black Widow and Wonder Woman: The Hikketeia, and at the Matrix website. If you haven?t been checking out some of the cool comics and animations they have at http://www.whatisthematrix.com then you are an idiot!

Go there now before the movies hit and the drooling Keanu fanboys crash their servers.

This Has A ?None Of This Is Real Anyway So What Do We Care? Value Of Six Out Of Ten


United We Stand

Someone who shall remain anonymous, whether he likes it or not asked, in response to Alan?s piece about Marville availability, ?Doesn’t Diamond UK over order on all Marvel titles, in a way that Diamond US isn’t allowed to??

I don?t know. I?m in the US. You?re in the UK aren?t you? So should you know this? Yeah, that?s what I thought!

This Has A ?Pretty Damned Pointless Wasn?t It? Value Of One Out Of Ten


Phil In The Blanks

Over on the Image message boards, a question was posed about the future of Firebreather, the four-issue limited series about a half-giant-godzilla-like-monster, half-human (don?t ask how they pulled that one off!) that?s been gaining rave reviews for it?s unique perspective. FB writer Phil Hester chimed in with the following:

      Andy and I both have ?day jobs? in comics that eat up most of our time, but the next

Firebreather

      mini will start hitting the streets some time this year. Firebreather’s showing up in

Savage Dragon

    soon, too. Glad you enjoyed it.

Of course, Hester?s day job is bringing visual life to a certain emerald archer for the Distinguished Competition. At any rate, I tracked the man down to find out a bit more about his future plans for the wacky hijinks of our favorite orange scaly teen and whatever else he might have in the pipes?notice I didn?t say in the pipeline, trademark issues you know.

According to Hester, FB is going to be formatted like another popular Image series, Noble Causes, in story arcs that will be presented in mini-series format.

    I believe in every story, or in this case every mini-series, being self contained. Everything will fit together in the end, but I’d like any new reader to be able to get everything necessary from any single issue or mini. The character is young and has a lot ahead of him, so we have no definite end in mind, but again, I want the conclusion to each series to be a satisfying resolution.

Hester anticipates about eight issues of Firebreather should be able to reach the stands per year.

When prodded a bit about what to expect out of the next series later this year, Hester told me that it promises a lot more fighting. Duncan will be learning more about his heritage (on his father?s side) and even taking on some of his father?s enemies!

I was having so much fun with Hester news, and I dig him as a creator, that I continued to look around to see what I could find out about him and his upcoming projects. Looks like we can anticipate a collaboration with Mike Huddleston for Oni Press called Deep Sleeper and, even better (not to judge something before I see it ? I mean comic fans NEVER do that!), the movie option for their previous collaboration was just re-upped by FOX. If you don?t remember that collaboration, it was The Coffin, which was a damn good yarn! Just don?t get Ah-nuld to star in it! I had enough of him in tin suits in Batman and Robin.

This Has A ?How Long Until We Get A Scene Of The Japanese Running From Duncan In Terror?? Value Of Eight Out Of Ten


Maybe More Mask?

The Hollywood Reporter reports, because see that?s what they do? it being their name and all, that a sequel is in the works to The Mask. New Line is negotiating with Jamie Kennedy of JKX: The Jamie Kennedy Experiment to star in it and they are dubbing it The Son of the Mask. Larry Guterman is set to direct. What does this mean about The Mask comic series? Well, Dark Horse owns it and we know how much they love media tie-ins, but I do not have an answer as of yet. Maybe I?ll get word back in time for next weeks? column and share it with ol? whats-his-name Alan. If not, just pretend you never read this.

This Has A ?If Cameron Diaz Is In It I Am So There? Value Of Six Out Of Ten


Moore Is Less

No, not that one. Now this has nothing to do with comics, but as Alan has been taking a lot of flack for his Bush and war-based comments here the past couple of weeks, I simply had to go there! First of all, we live in a free country. I don?t know about Alan as he?s across the pond, but I?m pretty sure it?s just about as free as we are so he?s entitled to his opinion and what he thinks. The big issue seemed to be whether this was an appropriate forum for said opinions. And then, right after the last column we had the Oscars. I?m sure you all saw them and remember what Michael Moore said when he picked up his statue for best documentary, Bowling for Columbine (an anti-gun piece). If not, here?s a quick recap:

    We live in fictitious times. We live in a time with fictitious election results that elect fictitious presidents. We live in a time when we have a man sending us to war for fictitious reasons. We are against this war Mr Bush. Shame on you. Shame on you!

He may have said more but it was hard to hear over the booing!

What many of you may not know is that Mr. Moore doesn?t know what a thesaurus is. Further, rather than being helped into the trunk of his limo, as Steve Martin intoned, Mr. Moore had even ? er ? more to say backstage. When facing the reporters, Moore followed up his comments.

    I’m an American, and you don’t leave your citizenship when you enter the doors of the Kodak Theater. What’s great about this country is that you can speak your mind.

He further indicated that many people in the audience were applauding and standing at his comments, but they couldn?t be heard either over all the booing and spitting and throwing of tomatoes and other rotten vegetables at the director; though it remains a mystery where the vegetables came from? my guess is those damned seat fillers. “I say tonight put America in a good light,” Moore said regarding the decision to have the Academy Awards despite the war. “I showed how vital it is to have free speech in our country and all Americans have the right to stand up for what they believe in.” So the question becomes, if All the Rage is a bad place for political discourse, how appropriate is it to do it at the freaking Oscars?

Let?s face it folks. This is a big deal and people have a lot of opinions about it and it?s going to be just about impossible to avoid hearing them. That said, I have no opinion on this matter.

This Has A ?Free Speech Unless I Disagree With You? Value Of Nine Out Of Ten


RWTP To ATR To PvP

What a long, strange trip it?s been. This may not come as news to anyone else, but I wanted some answers, dammit! When Image first solicited Scott Kurtz? PvP, it was solicited as a 1 of 6 mini-series. With it?s second issue it was dubbed an ongoing series. I could just take Image at their word that it?s an ongoing series now, but Image tells me that Spawn #135 is shipping in June, and we all know damned good and well it wont? see the light of day until sometime in mid-2004 at the earliest.

You know, rumors are fun and all, but sometimes it?s just better to take it straight to the horse?s mouth. So I contacted Scott Kurtz about it. I was all ?yo, wassup wid dat, beeyotch!? After soundly whupping on my ass for a few minutes, he prepared a nice statement regarding PvP?s status, sales, plans for the Dork Storm issues and looking into the future. Here it is in all it?s Kurtz glory!

    I’m more than satisfied with the response to the new comic book. Sales were great and by all reports, reorder activity is crazy. We’re doing great for a little black and white humor title and couldn’t be happier or more grateful.

It helps that it?s a really good little black and white humor title.

      I plan to reprint the

Dork Storm

    issues in a trade paperback through Image, but I’ve not worked out details as to when that will happen. We were waiting to see how the book sold first before diving into a trade.

PvP was never a mini-series. That was a mistake on Diamond’s part. It’s an ONGOING bi-monthly series.

Scott, are you telling me Diamond makes mistakes? Unbelievable.

    The daily strip will continue and from this point out, what you see online should end up reprinted in the book a year after it appears on the site. Each issue will contain new material as well though. Half and half, just as it has always been. These first couple of issues might contain more old stuff than new because I feel that I need to introduce new readers to these characters and the stories that defined them.

Think of the comic book as the ?director?s cut? of the online version. If there are changes, they will be minor. I do expand on existing stories though; taking a series that was originally only 5 strips and expanding it to 20. So the comic is the director?s cut, complete with deleted scenes.

What I really want to know is what it would take to get a bikini-shot of Jade and Brandy (from Liberty Meadows) drawn by both Kurtz and LM creator Frank Cho. You know how much a print like that could go for? do it for charity or something!

This Has A ?If Scott Says It Then It Must Be True? Value Of Ten Out Of Ten


In closing, if you didn?t like this weeks? edition of ATR? it?s your own damned fault. You?re the people who decided I should write this thing. You?re the people who didn?t send me gobs and gobs of juicy comics gossip. And, well the Big Kahuna is the one who came up with all of this and he?s the one who determined that he could reveal the results TWO DAYS before this thing goes live, so I guess it?s his fault too.

It?s been fun but I can?t say I won?t be sorry to return to my own digs at ?Rolling With The Punches.? There?s no research involved there; I can just make it up as I go. To see how Alan handles the switch, check out the all Alan all Donald all RWTP this Wednesday right here at SBC. As for me, I?m going to go soak my head in gasoline and stick it in the oven. This here?s hard work!

NOTE TO IMPRESSIONABLE PEOPLE: j.hues did not really stick his head in an oven, nor did he soak it in gasoline. Neither of these activities are recommended for anyone except a few choice comics professionals that we will leave unnamed at this time.


About The Author