Update: Heroes Whirled

Had this since last night, but Comicon Splash have started to print similar rumours.

This is what I’ve heard.

A bunch of retailers in the US are saying that Marvel are leaving Diamond Distribution at the end of their exclusive contract, for a national magazine distributor.

One retailer was heard to say “Because it worked so well the first time.”

Another short but sweet column. Bite sized chunks, that what I say.

Shit Creek

Chris Oarr… earlier this week Comicon reported the firing of DC’s Retail Services Manager, four months into his job and two days shy of his probation period. Chris Oarr was quoted as saying “Essentially, I was fired for incompetence. I really don’t know what else there is to say besides that.” Comicon also reported the shock of retailers on hearing this, claming that Oarr was anything but incompetent in administrating the Retailer Representative Program. On the Comicon Message Boards, people talked about his long history with the CBLDF. Oarr is also one of the ‘nexus of all comicbook realities’ with the likes of Larry Marder – having links and contacts with almost everyone in the business. The fact that Chris openly stated he’d been fired for incompetance when even DC weren’t going to publically state this, brings instant suspicion that there’s far more to this story than meets the eye.

Okay, this is what I’ve heard. Remember, rumour, scurrilous gossip, backstabbing, axes to grind, etc.

I have been told that the Retailer Representative Program show has been ‘legendary’ in the last few years in that it’s often a disorganised mess which is used to scapegoat certain staff. I’m told that another member of DC staff involved with the RRP quit leaving a lot of work in Chris’ lap.

I’m told that after the RRP (which although reportedly went well, took a lot of work and time) Chris orgainised a “thanks for all the hard work” party across the street from DC at a well-frequented bar, made invitations and handed them out. I have been informed that Paul Levitz did not take kindly to the tone of this kind of thing, made Chris cancel the party and gave him a real bollocking – the justification being that the invites were made and distributed on company time and using company money.

There’s also the relationship with Chuck Rozanski of Mile High Comics. Chuck recently posted a host of DC B+W previews of upcoming books that DC makes available to retailers and conventions. These previews were given out at the above show and its been reported that Bob Wayne ordered Chuck to take down most of the pages posted and all of the Stan Lee Just Imagine… Wonder Woman issue. Chris’ involvement in this may also have contributed to the recent firing.

Remember, this is one side of the story albeit amalgamated from a number of sources. Another DC source tells me that there is more to this than meets the eye but declined to go any further. DC were not offically contacted for this story as the info I received was after hours on Friday, but Comicon reported that they weren’t willing to comment about the original story. I also have no contact for Chris Oarr.

This Has A Rumour Value Of 5 Out Of 10

Pants To Vampirella

Marty Pants… who is this modern day Scarlet Pimpernel? Earlier this week, this individual distributed a link to a new Vampirella script for Harris Comics by Mark Millar, giving many details as to why Marvel didn’t want this project to be publicised and getting into a right old tizzy about it. Well, the obvious suspect for such a leak was Mark Millar, but in a series of answers to my questions which Newsarama kindly reported, he denied it was he, and that Marvel were in any way opposed to doing outside controversial work. And you know, what, with his TV series Sikeside coming up, I believe it. Harris also denied it was they, and trying to track the individual’s address proved fruitless.

‘Pants’ is a particularly British or Anglophilic postfix to choose… it’s a comedy word here. The ‘story’ where the individual was given the script by a friend of a friend who works at Harris doesn’t ring true. And knowing as many message boards, news sources or forums to post this to marks the individual out as a majorly involved fan or even a comics pro, choosing a new pseudonym.

I look forward to finding out more.

This Has A Rumour Value Of 6 Out of 10

Any Portfolio In A Storm

Get your portfolios out guys, the word on the street is that Marvel are going to conventions this summer with the aim of hiring hot new talent – and that means you! Using high-profile writers to drive the books, it’s the young, eager kids that they’re after to fulfil that promise.

While such a dedication to bringing in new creators can only be lauded, it does beg the question whether those with a history of solid storytelling may be left in the cold…

Joe Quesada tells me, “We have a very cool talent search in mind, details upcoming! If you don’t plan for your future you’re doomed. Marvel hasn’t had a proactive stance towards finding new creators in many a year, we need to start catching up.”

This Has A Rumour Value Of 8 Out Of 10

Sirius Killer

As Dawn creator Linsner leaves Sirius, and previous reports on how creators struggled to get out of their Sirius contracts after being paid very little for their publishing efforts, we hear that Drew Hayes, Poison Elves creator, has signed up a long term contract with the company.

Sirius, once seen as one of the self-publisher saviours, picking up titles that needed an extra boost in the same way that Caliber and Image have done, seems to have had much more stringent contracts, leaving some creators feeling trapped. Despite Teri Wood’s success in leaving due to a mistimed renewal from Sirius, there are others not so lucky trying to leave.

Certainly Sirius are being seen in a totally different light by much of the creative community they once tried to woo.

This Has A Rumour Value Of 6 Out of 10

Sinned City

I hear that a small bust-up between Frank Miller and someone in DC marketing means that after Dark Knight Strikes Back is published and Miller’s contract is fulfilled, he won’t ever be working for DC. Again. Even though Denny O’Neill’s gone.

Still, at least Bob Schreck got DC Kevin Smith as well…

This Has A Rumour Value Of 3 Out of 10


While Joe was in a chatty mood, I thought I’d send him these googlie bowls [This is a cricketing term. Don’t worry for Joe’s safety – Ed.]. A spinoff of New X-Men will be a White Queen miniseries, exploring her sexuality. There’s a new Marrow mini-series by Witchblade dominatrix Christina Z.

Joe Quesada says “Not even close.”

This Has A Rumour Value Of 2 Out of 10

Wild Stories

There’s an upcoming Wildstorm special (that some say is a crime special, others just has a gritty theme), with contributing work by Warren Ellis, Cully Hamner and Joe Casey.

This Has A Rumour Value Of 7 Out Of 10

Convention Season Is Upon Us

It’s about this time of year that I start to get even fuller In Boxes than usual. As conventions come upon us, so do comics pros drinking late into the night in hotel bars, willing to tell all and sundry:

  1. What they really think of their boss
  2. What they really think of their writer/penciller/inker
  3. How much drugs they’re currently using
  4. What secret project they’re working on that no one else must know about.

That’s where you come in. I’m going to the Bristol convention in the UK, but my lack of access to US conventions becomes your opportunity. Listen, report back and let the gossip be free! Just so you’re all aware:

  1. I never reveal the identity of my source
  2. You can talk to me on the record (attributed quotes), off the record (non-attributed quotes or paraphrasing) or schtum (info about a story I can get elsewhere, for pointers or background)
  3. It’s really fun!

The address is twisting@hotmail.com. Be hearing from you.

This Has A Desperate Plea Value Of 7 Out of 10

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