Hi everyone,
Mike Doran here, pleased to announce the new home of Comics Newsarama, now operating from within All The Rage. I’ve always had a lot of respect for Rich Johnston’s column, it inspired me to be the world renowned comics journalist I am today and I’m thrilled to finally come home where I belong. In today’s Newsarama, Marvel’s August surprise project…

Only kidding. It’s still me folks. We look forward to Comics Newsarama‘s real new home next week.

Ultimate Hitch

It’s been a fairly open secret (hell, I printed it) that Mark Millar was writing the Ultimate Avengers book for Marvel, and recently I was told that this was the project Bryan Hitch was working with Mark Millar on. This also seemed to explain just why Alan Davis left Avengers after his first run – it’s alleged there is still some bad blood between the Davis and Hitch, and I presumed that Davis may have been more inclined to leave Avengers because he didn’t want to be working ‘alongside’ Hitch as it were.

However, it seems things are changing. Joe Quesada told me “There is absolutely no book called Ultimate Avengers planned. There is also no connection between Alan Davis and this rumor. Alan has a huge new Marvel project in the works.”

And Mark Millar told me, “I can say, on the record, that I’m DEFINITELY NOT writing Ultimate Avengers, and Hitch The Bitch ain’t drawing it either. And that’s a fact.”

So… what’s going on? I still believe Hitch is working on something with Millar. Millar is still meant to be writing a second Ultimate Marvel book. Are these connected? Let’s wait and see…

This Has A Rumour Value Of 6 Out Of 10

Horse Jump

I hear Garth Ennis is working on a new project for Dark Horse, with Glenn Fabry on covers.

This Has A Rumour Value Of 3 Out Of 10

Secret Pause

I also heard Jim Shooter may well be the writer of Secret Wars 3, scheduled for Summer 2002. Thankfully Joe Quesada was on hand (again) to say, “LOL, completely false.”

This Has A Rumour Value Of 3 Out Of 10

Hunt The Dark Knight

The back and forth between Frank Miller and Wizard this week over Millar’s comments at the Harvey Awards has been entertaining, if nothing else.

What also piqued my interest was a story that’s been circulating a number of comics pros, that Frank Miller was going to do a Wizard cover for the issue that had his Dark Knight Returns sketchbook in, as part of the promotional work for the book. The story that has been passed to me indicates that Frank demanded more money for the cover than had ever been paid for a cover artist, that Wizard refused, that Miller called their bluff leading to one-time-Miller-clone Scott McDaniel did the cover instead. It makes Frank out to be cocky, arrogant and in line with his recent speech at Pittsburgh, a hypocrite.

However, the timing of this ‘leak’ was interesting – with Frank Miller’s recent anti-Wizard speech at Pittsburgh, some might interpret the story as the real reason Frank eviscerated Wizard.

It’s not.

Confidential and detailed information passed my way indicates that the story being passed around is false, or at best highly biased and selectively blind in its interpretation of events. And spread around at a time critical for Frank, in an attempt to possibly belittle his recent statements.

Indeed, from what I understand he seems to have behaved in a professional, confident manner.

So who is spinning against Frank? Like Moore and Sim, he’s always been an outspoken auteur about the industry and against many of its current practices – the Wizard rant was only a recent example. No wonder so many seem to want to bring him down.

Naughty. Slap on the wrist. I do hear he’s doing an upcoming Captain America cover though.

This Has A Rumour Value Of 2 Out Of 10.

Martha Thomases Goes To War

Martha Thomases, an ex-employee and friend of Frank Miller contacted this column after last week’s story concerned denied problems between DC and Miller. She writes:

    For more than 20 years, Frank Miller has been a professional comic book artist and writer. He’s created work that enriched its readership and the business. His dedication to comics and to the rights of creators and readers is exemplary.

His behavior should be compared to that of other creative artists in the entertainment media. His peers then would include Martin Scorsese, Brian DePalma, James Cameron, Norman Mailer, and Kurt Vonnegut, Jr., among others. You don’t read gossip column accounts of their run-ins with marketing departments because they don’t usually do that work themselves. Their producers or publishers handle that for them. In comics, with its illusions of equality, talent frequently must work with bureaucrats. In my experience as one of the bureaucrats, Frank was always friendly, reasonable and considerate of the factors within which I worked.

What’s not professional is to air disagreements publicly, so they become fodder for the press. If Clint Eastwood had an argument with someone in marketing on the Warner Bros. lot, do you think that would show up in the gossip columns? And, if it did, would you think Clint Eastwood was at fault? I don’t think so. Nor do I think it would affect the way Warner Bros. would market Eastwood’s next film.

THE DARK KNIGHT RETURNS remains in print after more than a decade. That’s remarkable for any book, comics or prose. SIN CITY sold well with original characters, original style and an amazing level of craft. These are the standards of professionalism that should be used.

This Has A Rumour Value Of 7 Out Of 10

Fun Four All

Another quick update on the Fantastic Fun Day, being arranged by neighbours of mine, Jenni Cole and Martin Hand, in London, England later this month.

It’s happening on Sunday 20th May at:
Pages Bar
75 Page Street
London SW1

The nearest tube station is Pimlico.

Full of Fantatsic Four, fun events, superhero cocktails (or plain beer), FFTV, charity auction, and Steve Englehart, well into the evening. Over 18s only and a tenner to you, mate!

E-mail flimsy@dircon.co.uk for more details.

This Has A Kirby Value Of 9 Out Of 10

Making The Column Pay

Wow. Last week’s eBay auction was a successful one. So I’m doing another – Sunday evening / Monday morning another 50 or so lots will probably be going up on:


Do check them out later this week…

This Has A Fundraising Value Of 8 Out Of 10

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