Man? two weeks into the year already. Jeez, time goes fast. My son?ll be a year old in less than a month, that?s scary. Ok, column time.

My name is Alan Donald. I am your host. This is All The Rage – SBC?s News, Gossip, Rumour and Opinion column. I was hung over after drinking in excess of 8 pints of Guinness (extra cold) at a comedy club when I started this. I am reasonably blind after my wife broke my glasses (I gave them to her for safe keeping to stop little Bruce from damaging them). And I?ve got a hell of a column for you ?

As always we have our competition. This week you can win a prize pack of signed, limited edition comics supplied by Dynamic Forces, our beneficent sponsors. Don?t forget to check out their nifty Daily Specials, currently running on http://www.dynamicforces.com. All you have to do to win the prize pack is identify the film / TV series / comic that the codenames are derived from, e-mail it in to competition@silverbulletcomicbooks.com with your SBC username (go to the message board to get one, it?s free) and if you?re the first out of the hat you win. Simple, eh? Last week?s winner was message board user buddy, who won signed, limited edition copy of History of the DC Universe from Dynamic Forces. Last week?s answer was the phenomenal Watchmen.


Naughty Boy?

Mulcahy, a source at Marvel (who would be in so much trouble if his/her name got out) along with a couple of other insiders has sent me some very interesting information about that email. Ah, that Marvel Email? It all seems so real, a genuine mistake. Bollocks. Big, hairy, dangly, smelly bollocks. In case you haven?t caught it on Silver Bulletins, X-Fan, Newsarama or its conspicuous absence in the Pulse I?ve presented that puppy in full at the end. The mail was sent out to the press seemingly as a news release with past history attached by mistake.

It seemed to many that Marvel are desperate to have a good attendance at this conference and they want to make damn sure it gets good coverage. What better way to do that than by getting the press chomping at the bit in advance?

It was spotted as false fairly quickly as the message trail itself makes no real sense, there are inconsistencies and, well c?mon, it?s crap. Newsarama was the first to declare it false but then again Michael Doran, originator of the e-mail and newly appointed Marketing Communications Manager for Marvel Comics, did work as half of Newsarama them up until recently:
(See: http://www.newsarama.com/cgi-bin/ubb/ultimatebb.cgi?ubb=get_topic&f=1&t=000164 for the full article)

The Pulse refused to be drawn into the matter, and got a flame filled message board
(See: http://www.comicon.com/cgi-bin/ultimatebb.cgi?ubb=get_topic&f=39&t=000001 for the full article). There?s a bit more between these sites than can be seen on the surface. I?ll leave them to it, and stay out of the crossfire.

Now about that interesting information? it would appear (according to my source) that Mr. Doran?s actions were not authorised by Mr. Quesada or Mr. Jemas and in fact have pissed them right off. As my source says if they?d been involved wouldn?t they have made the fake better by actually sending the mail to each other? Further more my source alleges that Mr. Doran has been formally put on probation over his actions. I’ve e-mailed Marvel for confirmation of this but as it came in at the 11th hour it may be a day or two before I formally hear from them and even then it will probably be company policy to either keep schtum on this or to back up Mr. Doran as a Marvel employee. However, if my information does prove to be incorrect, I will offer a full apology (and give my source a huge slapping the next time we?re in contact).

Here’s that email chain unless you’ve missed it elsewhere:

      From: “Doran, Michael” <mdoran@marvel.com>

 

      To: “Doran, Michael” <mdoran@marvel.com>

 

      Subject: MARVEL PRESS CONFERENCES LIST INQUIRY?

 

    Date: Tue, 7 Jan 2003 17:48:46 -0500

Hey press folks,

Listen, we’re going to be holding some press conferences (yes, with an ‘s’) towards the third week of this month and they’re shaping up to be a pretty big deal, so I want to be sure everyone who wants to cover them is invited.

We expect attendance and participation to be high for these, so we are going to ask that IF you want to attend, you let me know here and you’ll be given the notice about dates and times and access. I would like to ask however, that if you’d like to attend, you make a genuine effort to provide some sort of coverage at your site or in your pages of the events…

Let me know and I’ll create the list…

Michael Doran
Marketing Communications Manager
Marvel Comics

      —–Original Message—–

 

      From: Reinert, Brian

 

      Sent: Tuesday, January 07, 2003 03:31 PM

 

      To: Doran, Michael

 

    Subject: RE: FW: RE: New Titles

Mike,

Why don’t you prepare a list of people who want to attend these on your end and I’ll send it out to them when you’re ready to go. Okay?

thanks,
brian

—–Original Message—–
From: Doran, Michael
Sent: Tuesday, January 07, 2003 02:06 PM
To: Reinert, Brian
Subject: FW: RE: New Titles

Brian,

We have several big announcements we’re gong to be making soon and I want to be sure we both have an updated press list. I’ve rebuilt ours since I’ve been here and have added quite a few names…. you okay if I send out an email to the list suggesting they contact you if they’re not already on the list for press conferences and would like to be?

I know the danger is the list may get too long and therefore the press conferences too unwieldy, but I would like to begin asking that in order to attend and participate in the conference, websites and publications must provide some sort of editorial coverage of the event.

Let me know if this works for you,

michael

—–Original Message—–
From: Quesada, Joe
Sent: Monday, January 06, 2003 11:02 AM
To: Doran, Michael
Subject: RE: New Titles

Just check with Bender/Helper to be sure they’re cool with it…

JQ

—–Original Message—–
From: Quesada, Joe
Sent: Monday, December 27, 2002 03:22 PM
To: Doran, Michael
Subject: New Titles

Regarding the new April initiatives and new titles like Runaways, Thug, Crew, Quest, Infinity, etc, etc…I’d like to be sure Bender/Helper’s press list is updated and matches ours when when we prepare for announcements and press conferences… Okay if I send out a email to my press list suggesting they email Bender to be sure to be placed on their list?

Md

Well, there you go.

This Has A “Silly Boy” Value Of Eight Out Of Ten


ATR-SN

We went searching the Dynamic Forces website for their wonderful DF Daily Special this past Saturday night (hey, we’re fans too, so why can’t we get the goods?), well, I’ll tell you why, because they sold out within a minute of midnight. Bastards! Putting up such a great value specials that everyone HAD to have them. Well, we did some snooping, and found out that tonight, DF have a new DF Daily Special, and it’s one of the best ones yet!

Why? Well, because the guys at Dynamic are practically giving away the farm. They have a set of seven books that includes: first printings of The Truth #1, The Darkness #1 DF Exclusive Limited Edition Cover, Superman Ten Cent Adventure, X-Statics #2 signed by writer Peter Milligan (you know, the reclusive Brit who never signs anything unless he’s at one of his few convention appearances), Ultimate Spider-Man #25, Ultimate Spider-Man #33 (wwwoo hhhhooooooo, the first sold out Ultimate Venom appearance in the Ultimate Universe) and Wolverine #181! All first prints, all great issues, all seven for fantastically great price (set to coincide with DF’s 10th Anniversary), and also free shipping in the Continental US!

You have to check out http://www.dynamicforces.com, it’s an order!

This Has A “Pretty, Shiny, Comics… Mmmmm” Value Of Ten Out Of Ten


Free Comic Book Day – The Saga Continues

Remember this?

    Participating retailers will be required to order approximately 350 Gold Level FCBD editions from the January 2003 Previews.

That?s from Diamond?s official mail out to publishers I featured it a while back. Well the time to order those FCBD editions is here and I?ve had a scanned copy of the UK order form emailed to me (thank you, Burns). Things have changed a bit since then some things good, some bad.

Retailers will be happy to know that there isn?t a 350 minimum. That has been dropped to 100. However it isn?t simply a case of ordering 100 Gold Level comics in order to qualify. Oh no:

    In order to qualify as a Free Comic Book Day Participating Retailer, you must order at least 25 copies each of the first four comic books below.

Ok? let?s see what the first 4 books are:

Archie & Friends

      ,

Frank Miller?s Robocop / Stargate SG1

      ,

Way of the Rat Movie Special

      , and

Rocket Comics Ignite

Let?s all stop a minute and look at that list shall we?

Go on read it again, just so you?re sure.

That?s good news for UK retailers in some ways, as US retailers (thank you, Hawkeye) have to order a minimum of 25 each of:

Archie & Friends

      ,

Frank Miller’s Robocop / Stargate SG 1

      ,

Way of the Rat

      ,

Rocket Comics Ignite

      ,

Batman Adventures

      ,

Transformers Armada

      ,

Metallix

      ,

Leave it to Chance

      ,

Ultimate X-Men

    .

Or all the Gold Level titles.

I?ve seen some crass actions before, but forcing retailers to order Archie & Friends just to qualify for the scheme, that is sick, twisted and just plain evil.

All the same this is still less than the original mail out suggested and, as Hawkeye put it:

      Personally, although we’re paying more for these books and are kind of forced to buy 25 or more of some of these books, the most expensive of which is $.28 US would be a whopping $7 total. I think I can handle that, even though I’m obviously going to order less

Robocop

      or

Metallix

      than I would

Ultimate X-Men #1

    . It sucks that the average prices went up significantly, but if even 1% or 2% of the people that read these become regulars, then it will all be worth it. And if they tell a friend or two what great books are out there, then it could definitely pick up business quite a bit. Even buying the minimum of 25 of each at these prices, you’re looking at exactly $40 for 225 books, not too bad a deal overall to be included.

Many of the ?must order? titles aren?t so, bad but they haven?t exactly got any of the large number of retailers or fans I?ve spoken to salivating.

Retailers are free to order any FCBD titles they want to after ordering 25 each of the above; that is true. The question I have is why did Diamond change its policy from ordering any of the minimum amount from the Gold Level to qualify to having to order these titles? Perhaps because retailers would only order Batman, X-Men and Transformers?

To take the UK example, and ignoring? uh? Archie:

Way Of The Rat Movie Edition. Way of the Rat is a great comic but movie editions are notoriously poor compared to ongoing series (may not be true here, before you crucify me read the rest of the paragraph). Anyway isn?t this event about trying to get people to read comics not go see films (got a little exclusive about this film later on). Way of the Rat is a great series and any individual issue is good enough to make you want to come back for more (see, told you).

Frank Miller?s Robocop. I?m a little confused here as the blurb says, ?Frank Miller?s Robocop finally sees the light of day?. Um, Frank Miller wrote Robocop comics before, they not only saw the light of day they were collected into a graphic novel. This would appear to be an adaptation of Miller?s original screenplay for his? interesting Robocop film. Fans have often wondered how much it was butchered perhaps this will answer it. Bear in mind the master behind such things as Batman: Year One isn?t actually writing the script here it?s being ?adapted? ?mmm. Also included in this are snap shots from upcoming Robocop comics and a quick look at the new Stargate SG1 comic. Frankly (no pun intended) SG1 should really have topped the bill here. Nice package.

Rocket Comics. Not much to say here. Great idea for a free comic, promote a whole new line of comics that are about to come out. This is a nice looking book.

Now let?s look at the cost implications. Diamond originally said:

    We recommend all books that are included at the Gold level be under $0.15 total, including Diamond’s $0.03.

Fair enough. So at the very least you would expect the comics you have to order to adhere to that. Satan?s spawn? sorry, Archie comes in at 15p (15c) each as do a couple of others but Frank Miller?s RoboCop comes in at 24p (28c) each. Bear in mind that last year it cost 12p a copy, that?s quite a hike in price. The retailers in the UK and US I?ve spoken to are pissed off, but share Hawkeye?s views that I quoted above (i.e. it?s not nice we have to pay more, but it ain?t that much in the grand scheme of things, and if it works, then fantastic!).

One thing I will say on the matter of pricing is that the UK/US price differences are very, very odd indeed. Here are the Gold Level prices for the US and UK for comparison:

Archie & Friends

      15c US,

15p UK
Frank Miller’s Robocop / Stargate SG 1

      28c US,

24p UK
Way Of The Rat

      15c US,

15p UK
Rocket Comics Ignite

      15c US,

15p UK
Batman Adventures

      13c US,

14p UK
Transformers Armada

      15c US,

15p UK
Metallix

      23c US,

21p UK
Leave It To Chance

      17c US,

17p UK
Ultimate X-Men

      19c US,

18p UK

On the whole 1c = 1p. I don?t need to get a calculator out to tell you UK retailers are being a little screwed here (small money, not that important but still?). Robocop and Metallix come out at less that 1c = 1p not exchange rate but? The really interesting one is Batman Adventures, for some reason it cost more pence than cents!

Additionally Hawkeye observed:

      Oddly enough, this week’s

Daredevil

      at $0.15 cost for the $0.25 issue is cheaper than

Ultimate X-Men #1 FCBD Edition

      at $0.19, and this week’s

Superman

      at $04.5 cents is one third the price of the $0.13

Batman Adventures

    .

In effect, a comic you?re charging a customer for is cheaper than one you?re giving away, and no Archie comics to have to order first! That said I don?t see many retailers actually charging for these but some will.

This is a much more professional event than last year with badges, T-shirts and window stickers being available for retailers. The actual comics available are a mixed bag. All the big companies have decided to just give away one title each. The smaller companies however have put a real effort into this. Retailers could do a lot worse (once they?ve stocked up their toilets with Archie) to look at the Silver Level selection. A few of the companies have more than one title listed. There are a few new titles, a few compilations and some damned good-looking stuff. It?s nice to know these guys have made the effort. This is a great chance for fans to sample the output of the smaller companies without shops having to go out on too much of a limb. I recognise several of the titles here and they are well worth ordering.

Is it going to be a success? Will new readers be flocking to their local comic shops? I don?t know. It really depends on the effort, imagination and cash flow of each individual shop. I wish it every success.

This Has A ?Stuck In Riverdale? Value Of Seven Out Of Ten


This Shit Really Writes Itself, Doesn’t It?

or so said my Editor as I showed him this next story?

DC COMICS DIRECT CHANNEL #604 – DC?s mail out to retailers made interesting reading this week. Until they corrected it?

Houlihan had this to say:

    This is some funny shit. I don’t know what happened, but DC’s email this week looks like it was written by someone on staff who’s been drinking quite a bit. My favorite?s are Nightlong (Nightwing) PowerPC Girls (Powerpuff Girls) and Aural Agent of the Bat (Azrael). No clue as to what happened, unless someone’s spellchecker totally juggled all the actual titles to what they are now, although I didn’t know Nightlong to be an actual word. It really gets screwy around the Sneak Peek section.

I?ll just give you the highlights:

      From: Direct Sales

 

      To: undisclosed-recipients

 

      Subject: DC COMICS DIRECT CHANNEL #604

 

    Date: Tue, 7 Jan 2003 15:25:32 -0800

? When Windstorm Group Editor Scott Dunmore pitched this to me,

Windstorm? Dunmore?

      MEEK #3 $2.95 NOV020790

 

      NIGHTLONG #77 $2.25 NOV020734

 

      ACUMEN ARCHIVES VOL. 1 HC Collecting King of the Seas Silver Age adventures.

 

      AURAL: AGENT OF THE BAT #98 Leslie Thompkins may have a cure, but is it too little, too late?

 

      JAL: THE GOLDEN PERFECT TAP Reprinting JAL #61-65, featuring the first shoreline by Joe Kelly and Doug Manhole!

 

    THE PowerPC GIRLS #34 A villain is spelling out her plans letter-by-letter…and she’s a rotten speller!

Now that?s interesting. Perhaps the PowerPC Girls baddy is to blame?

      ASTOR CITY: LOCAL HEROES #1 (of 5) ($2.95, 32 pg.) DEC020804

 

      THE SHAM ARCHIVES Vol. 3

 

    DR.MID-NITTO ACTION FIGURES. LANA LNG, and EX LUTHER ACTION FIGURES SOLOMON GRANDE

Then, all of a sudden things change:

      AQUAMAN ARCHIVES VOL. 1 HC NOV020749

 

      AZRAEL: AGENT OF THE BAT #98 NOV020721

 

      JLA: THE GOLDEN PERFECT TP NOV020760

 

      MEK #3 (HOMAGE) NOV020790

 

      NIGHTWING #77 NOV020734

 

    THE POWERPUFF GIRLS #34 NOV020775

Totally weird. Thanks for that it was great reading.

This Has A ?In My Day We Didn?t Need Spellcheckers?? Value Of Ten Out Of Ten


Nasty

I’ve been sent a very nasty piece of shit in the mail this week. I’d heard of its existence then BANG a copy arrived in my inbox. Basically it’s a heavily doctored transcription of an instant message conversation between two people from rival comic book news sites. Now, this is enough of a rumour column for me to, occasionally, use such sources but not like this. This isn’t news, it’s an attempt to smear a rival and that’s not my bag, baby. Childish attempts to upset other sites have no place here while I’m writing the column and frankly you’d have to be pretty scummy to consider using it, as I’m sure everyone would agree.

Thanks for the ‘news’ but no thanks. I’m not and never will be interested.

This Has An “Not On My Watch” Value Of Ten Out Of Ten


Kevin Smith News

Kevin Smith will NOT be doing Amazing Spider-Man. He has yet to write ANY of his supposed upcoming Marvel projects.

O?Reilly spotted this on the View Askew boards:

    Posted by Kevin at lot-jersygrl-hawk-wan.metawire.com on January 06, 2003 at 17:30:31:

In Reply to: Your books posted by markhow on January 06, 2003 at 16:05:42:

: I’m just curious about the status of your Marvel books. (I’m not complaining mind you, just anxious to see them) When will they be coming out?

Gotta write ’em still.

: Also can you give out any info on the Spider-Man book you got coming out?

No info yet, really. I do know that it won’t be Amazing. JRJr wanted to stay on that book, as he’s close to setting some kind of record with consecutive issues drawn. And being that my record of making deadlines is laughable at best, I was happy to concede.

It?s good to know that Mr. Smith is aware of his own limitations, but it is a shame that he is caught up in his movie work. I for one am sick of waiting for these projects from him. Damn it I?m sick of waiting for his Brave And The Bold and that?s on hold until he?s completed his Marvel work. C?mon Mr. Smith, we love your stuff. You don?t need to sleep, just write.

This Has A ?View Asnooze? Value Of Eight Out Of Ten


Exclusive Of The Rat (Or Is It Way Of The Exclusive?)

Here?s one from Radar, I hinted about it above. The Way Of The Rat (the excellent CrossGen series) is being made into a film (hardly news), it is being directed by Chuck (The Mask) Russell (again not exactly news). Here?s the exclusive bit – he?ll be at MEGACON (http://www.megaconvention.com) this year answering questions on the film. You won?t see him on any of the guest lists but I?m assured he?ll be there!

This Has A ?The Way Of The Russel? Value Of Nine Out Of Ten


A Nice Diamond Story

Ahem? ok. Cut and paste this story onto your desktop, it?s a rare and collectible one.

I am about to praise Diamond Comic Distributors. I don?t know if I?ll ever do it again, I sure as hell didn?t see this one coming. Deep breath. Ok.

This came to me from Trapper:

    Changes to import comic prices

We are pleased to announce that, as a result of recent improvements in the exchange rate between the US dollar and the pound, there will be reductions in the prices of imported comics, graphic novels and books. With specific regards to DC products, the prices of imported comics will be reducing but there will be no change to graphic novel prices. These price reductions will take effect from 6th January 2003 and pertains to all advance orders, re-orders and Star orders for which goods are shipped after this date. If you have any queries or require any further details, please contact a member of our Customer Service team.

Thank you for your continued support and custom, for which we are most grateful. May we take this opportunity to wish you the compliments of the Season and a happy, healthy and prosperous New Year.

Ok, it?s specifically Diamond UK I?m praising if that makes things any easier to swallow. A few years back Diamond jacked up the price of all their comics by (I believe it was a while back) 16% blaming the exchange rate. Now a few old and weathered retailers insisted Diamond would drop the prices back when things changed but a great many younger guys (myself included) didn?t believe it. We thought Diamond would use this as a nice cosy excuse to make money.

I was wrong.

Well done, Diamond. Well done.

Now don?t go expecting to see any big changes down your local comic book shop. Most retailers swallowed the cost to keep prices down and they?ll be taking a big sigh of relief at this news but anything that helps the retailers ultimately helps the customers in the long run.

This Has A ?Strange Taste In My Mouth? Value Of Nine Out Of Ten


CBLDF News

Not much to report this week. I have been assured that there are quite a few big things on the way. In the meantime all of you who can?t afford to bid to have Jim Lee sign for you should consider joining this important charity as a more inexpensive way of doing your bit. Visit http://www.CBLDF.org to find out more details.

Just a quick thought here. I really hope I?m not going to be taken to task as trying to blackmail people here; it?s honestly just a thought off the top of my head. I know many artists have got at least one or two pages of previously published work that they are fed up with cluttering their studios. Not all of it is that easy to sell and perhaps would only make a few dollars anyway, not worth the hassle of carrying it to a con or scanning it for ebay. And writers, I know you don?t tend to have anything as glamorous as original art to clear out but how easy would it be to print of a couple of scripts for a comic you did recently and sign them?

You are all very busy and many of you are barely breaking even in this business. I understand that which is why I?m only throwing this at you as an idea. Why not those of you who can get a bit of time and who can afford it (ironically I?m guessing that those who have the time are those who won?t be able to afford it and vice versa) have a bit of a clear out and sent your unwanted stuff or signed scripts to the CBLDF for auctioning? Like I said I realise some of the stuff may only be worth, say $50 – $75 but if enough of you do it that adds up and it means those who don?t have hundreds of dollars spare will be able to contribute too.

This Has A ?First Amendment? Value Of Five Out Of Ten


More Free Comics

Amazing the stuff that comes to me:

    Alan,

A certain uniqueness has surfaced once again…

http://www.akiran.com

More than 2 years ago, a little online comic strip was unleashed on the societies of the world. It raised eyebrows, created laughter, and provoked cursing. That comic was the Death Puppets.

Sadly, do to many overwhelming reasons, the strip disappeared from all sight after only a few months. The Puppet’s collective voices lay in quiet constipation and joyful despair.

Which brings us to now…present time…2003. And just like a quart of prune juice to your stomach, the crap of fluid creativity is once again staining the bowl of popular entertainment.

That’s right. The Death Puppets are back. Employed and armed with barbed candy apples for all, they are here to both annoy and please. New strips will be updated twice a week, on Monday and Friday.

Death Puppets is the creation of Kieran Howarth, an independent cartoonist and illustrator based out of the United States. With several small press comic publications to his name, Kieran once again tugs his sweetly dark cartoon creation into the skin capital of the earth…the internet.

All comments and questions are welcome. Thanks and enjoy…or cringe. Either is fine.

Kieran Howarth
Akiran/Spooky Design Works

Kieran, you are one sick puppy. That?s all I have to say on this. One sick puppy.

This Has A ?Not To Everybody?s Tastes? Value Of Five Out Of Ten


Captain Marvel News

The Marvel section of Previews is still running U-Decide logos but at the same time they seem to be admitting that Peter David has won. Why? Ultimate Adventures is listed as #4 of ? and Captain Marvel as #7 (with reference to a NEW STORY ARC). Cut and dry, or am I just being picky?

This Has A ?Controversy Petering Away? Value Of Eight Out Of Ten


Cat Scratch Fever

Recently Klinger brought something fishy to our attention. Not the cat?s supper:

      I looked at future solicitations of

Catwoman

    in the current Previews and noticed that Mr. Stewart is not the artist. Is this just temporary or…..?

To quote Previews:

    Javier Pulido comes on board to provide the art for a unique 3-part story?

I read that as either a break for Mr. Stewart or a break until a new regular artist takes over. Anyone else know anything?

What made you think he may have left, Klinger?

      When I visited him at his signing at Silver Snail, he mentioned that while he is enjoying his stint on

Catwoman

    , he is excited about a top secret creator-owned idea that he and a writer-buddy were working on and were trying to sell to a publisher (Oni? Image?). It is my understanding that there MAY have been talks at San Diego last year. The buddy was present at the signing at Silver Snail, but I alas, I forgot his name. All I can tell you it is a young unknown with frizzy hair from Toronto and a good friend of Mr. Stewart’s. They are both firm with their belief that they could become quite successful with their pet project. It definitely does not involve super-heroes, either?

Ahh, that would definitely explain it. A short break would be more likely as I doubt he?d give up a regular DC job. Fans of Mr. Stewart?s work should keep their eyes open for this project.

This Has A ?Bad Hair Day In Toronto? Value Of Eight Out Of Ten


Where?s Bozzi?

After last weeks call out for any information pertaining to Anthony Bozzi I received the following e-mail from Henry:

    I can confirm that several creators left and/or avoided Image after Anthony Bozzi departed. In fact, it was Tony Daniel’s hatred of Jim Valentino that led him to move to Dark Horse. Seems his comics was being lumped in with the “bad girl/T&A” junk that Valentino was purging at the time (including The Tenth and F5).

Thank you very much for that. The plot thickens. So what has happened to Mr. Bozzi? Anybody know? Did he jump or was he pushed? What?s he up to now? If he?s well it sounds like he?s the sort of chap several comic companies should be fighting to hire.

I?ll keep you all updated.

This Has A ?Murkier And Murkier? Value Of Six Out Of Ten


Batman Film News

Lots of film news over the web this week but I only had eyes for one bit. The next Batman film is apparently going to be called ?The Frightening?. It?ll be a solo Bats thing, supposedly darker than even Burton?s original. The baddy will be The Scarecrow and Bat?s will be a detective first and a pugilist second.

Brucie apparently goes mad and gets sent to Arkham, the fear gas being, of course, the cause.

So much for Darren Aranofsky?s Batman Year 1 project or the Batman Vs. Superman film or even the live action version of Batman: Beyond. Still at least this looks good an hopefully we?ll see Miller?s classic on the screen soon too.

This Has A ?The Sooner The Better? Value Of Six Out Of Ten


Gaiman Spotting

A couple of Neil (Sandman, American Gods) Gaiman bits in from Painless:

    Signings in France at the end of January:

Paris, Wednesday 1/21: 13:00-14:30 Virgin Megastore 52 av. des Champs Elys?es 75008 Paris
19:00 Librairie Mille Pages 174 rue Fontenay 93400 Vincennes

Angoul?me, Friday 1/24: 10:30-12:30 With Dave McKean at Albin Michel BD booth

Angoul?me, Saturday 1/25: ?? With Dave McKean at Delcourt booth

Any other creators who?d like to promote signing events should drop me a line.

Now something for comic book fans in general, and not just in Europe:

      Just heard that Todd Klein is going to be lettering

1602

    , which made me very happy indeed. It would be difficult to quantify how much of what made Sandman special was Todd going the extra mile on creating lettering styles for characters — everything from Delirium’s wiggly style to Dream’s white-on-black, upper and lower case, wavy-bordered style added to character. But more than that, Todd is simply a consummate professional who made me look good for years, and I’m relieved he’ll be doing it again. You don’t notice good lettering, you notice bad lettering. Todd is someone who doesn’t get noticed (except when they hand out the awards).

This is definitely looking like THE project to be getting hyped up about.

This Has A ?Gaiman Equals Gooood? Value Of Ten Out Of Ten


A Marvel-ous Update

This was on the ?All The Alan? message board:

    I don’t think anyone should be too excited about Marvel’s “openness” to receiving writing submissions, as I suspect it has more to do with Marvel’s understanding of aggressive marketing than it does their desire to break the next big talent. Marvel understands that comics is a tight niche market in which a disproportionate number of consumers are actively trying to become professionals. It’s just good business sense to allow these neophytes to submit material, it forges a company loyalty and encourages them (as consumers) to purchase the material necessary to keep abreast of a title’s continuity. DC could easily increase their sales a bit if they “allowed” submissions and pitched them directly into the dustbin, unread. Probably corporate policy at a higher level (Warner/AOL) is set to protect their juicy deep pockets from lawsuits. Anyhoo, I still get the same form rejection Marvel has sent out for years (back from the past when they did allow submissions) indicating that they have no idea about the actual contents of an issue of CBG. I suspect about the same amount of attention is paid to most submissions. That’s OK, they’re busy. Just don’t stop working independently and getting famous in other fields.

Thank you very much for that. I?ll withhold judgement for now but you did make some very interesting points that somebody at Marvel really should take the time to address.

This Has A ?Come On Then?? Value Of Eight Out Of Ten


Well, that’ll be that then. A mixed bag this week. I?ll be back next week, so in the meantime?

Be nice.

Please.

TTFN

Alan Donald – Signing off from an island that’s still too bloody cold!


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