Mad Marvel Pulpers
It’s been a common phrase that Marvel are the new DC ? i.e., the place where talent runs to and given the room to tell imaginative stories. Well, looks like they may be taking on some of the bad habits as well as the good.
I’ve been told that The Spidey Universe X special was supposed to ship last week but there was a printing error. The error was a hidden message slamming Bob Harris! On page 28, panel 3, there’s a bookshelf in the background. If you turn the comic sideways and read the spines of the books you get “Harris, ha ha, he’s gone, good riddance, (unreadable), he was a, Nasty (blurred), s.o.b.””
The comic was printed, distributed to retailers as part of the First Look scheme where retailers get to see a copy of next week’s issue, but then pulped when this item was seen. The book is being reprinted as a result.
While one result is that this may become another collector’s item along the lines of the Elseworlds 80 Page Giant, the Captain America penis hardback, the LOEG ‘Marvel Vagina’ and the Wolverine Kike.
However, the harsher rumour is that Al Milgrom, the individual apparently responsible for this graffiti has been fired from Marvel, after spending years there.
And here’s the visual in question. Read the words down the side of the bookshelf…
The word is a number of east coast retailers in the USA received these books as part of their normal shipping, but the rest were caught in time and are being reprinted.
Collectors’ item folks!
This Has A Rumour Value Of 7 Out Of 10
Ninja Rumours Chopped!
Rumours about Cliffhanger’s next signee point to Ale Garza. With writer Allen Warner, they’ve created Ninja Boy. See the double spread cover here. Fits the Cliffhanger stereotypes doesn’t it? And it’s on DC/Wildstorm Bristol board…
In discussion over the visual, on Joe Madureira’s Message Board, Ale said “With ninja boy we hope to accomplish this big disney feel without the gay songs. visually i plan do some different things, the grey line art, painted bgs with cell like figures, itll be fun, i cant wait to put it out there for you all. and no dont expect some hardcore story about honor and crap like that, expect something more along the lines of those cool old karate flicks, lotsa fun with lotsa hardcore cartoony violence and gore. oh yeah and dont even think about comparing it to shidima or no honor.”
As for where it might end up, Ale says “i can pretty honestly say that ninja boy is in final negotiations to be published thru wildstorm for june, i cant talk too much about it at this time. and as for whos writing it, well im kinda breakin a long time friend into the biz, his names allen warner, were actually workin on a gen active story together right now. i can honestly say hes very talented, i wouldnt work with anyone who i dont believe is capable, thats all for now, laters.”
A Wildstorm source responded, however, that Ninja Boy definitely wasn’t going to be a Cliffhanger title.
This Has A Rumour Value Of 2 Out Of 10
Talking about Joe Madureira, last week’s column found more rumoured confirmation and detail about the decision for Battlechasers to move to Wildstorm as a financial one.
A source tells me “His contract (along with Cambell’s) is up. And there was no way that DC was going to renew it. Basically the original Cliffhanger contract gives the creators 80% of the revenue from the books. And when you do big numbers like Mad and Campbell were doing that’s a lot of money. Now Jim Lee might have been generous but DC was not and refused to renew based on those terms. Especially with the fact that those comics come out so infrequently. So after getting turned down by Dark Horse, Top Cow and Marvel he had no place left to go BUT Image.”
“And while this had a lot to do with his recent tirade against DC about his Superman pages being redrawn (see the remains of the conversation here), it had more to do with the fact that his pal Jim Lee would not or could not get him the contract that he wanted. But even Lee told him that his work ethic or lack thereof had so angered DC that there was nothing Lee could do to persuade his bosses at DC to do otherwise.”
“As for Campbell he is trying to play both sides and keep his options open. But DC is sick of him as well. Only his long friendship with Lee is keeping him from leaving. Oh, and just so you know Ramos contract with Cliffhanger was renegotiated downward because of Crimson’s relatively low sales. At least compared to Danger Girl and Battlechasers.”
A quick runaround shows that neither Dark Horse or Top Cow were approached to publish Battlechasers, which throws some doubt onto this rumour. No one at Wildstorm was willing to comment. Joe Mad did not respond to enquiries.
This Has A Rumour Value Of 4 Out Of 10
The rumoured writer to replace Mark Waid is Joe Kelly. And it might happen sooner than we think… DC’s attitude to creators moving to Cross Gen has been less than amicable. And while Dan Raspler fought for Mark Waid for the title against some hostility towards Waid at DC, Waid’s announcement that he’s moving to work exclusively for a company which makes a point of eschewing the concept of editors seems to have increased that hostility. This may see him leave before the contractually obligated time period.
Mark Waid did not respond to enquiries. Joe Kelly’s mail bounced.
This Has A Rumour Value Of 6 Out Of 10
An anonymous, but well connected source, wanted to comment on last week’s ‘Feeling Horse’ column.
Replying to rumours about mass firings and cutbacks, my source tells me, “This is clearly a case of somebody putting their own (negative) spin on what actually happened. To nobody’s surprise, comics sales have not been what they used to be. Nor is there any sign that there will be a resurgence any time soon. Dark Horse made the decision to cut back on some of the resources (both human and otherwise) which were allocated to comics production. In all nine positions were eliminated throughout the company. However, seven of those positions were already vacant or about to become vacant through the normal process of attrition — people leaving their jobs for a variety of reasons. One person was let go because their position was eliminated. One person transferred to another department (this other department, by the way, is expanding its scope and output rather than shrinking).”
As to the editor demanding the entire marketing and editorial staff be fired or will walk with all their talent, possibly Diana Schutz, the source says “Can’t comment on this as I’m not aware of this incident, though I concur with your assessment.”
As to Randy Stradley being told not to come into the office anymore, “Actually, Randy has been working like crazy on a joint project for Dark Horse Comics and Dark Horse Entertainment — a project that could only be finished by deadline if he temporarily stopped coming into the office and spent his time writing at home, where he would not be interrupted. While the project will continue to be a work in progress (requiring regular updating), the bulk of it has been completed and Randy is back in the office.”
And as to “Chris Warner still comes in but is basically in exile in his cubicle”, my source says “Chris, formerly charged with producing most of Dark Horse’s trade paperback collections, is embarking on a new series of projects — new material, both comics and non-comics related. The responsibility for the trade collections has reverted to the editors (most of whom fought like hell to hang onto their trades back when Chris was first brought in to manage them). Chris will continue to manage the bookstore and Direct Market schedules for all trades. As for being in “exile in his cubicle,” (it’s an office, actually — with a door and everything, just like in a grown-up business) Chris is no more in “exile” than any of the other editors who each spend the majority of their days in their offices…”
And as for “big changes by Christmas”, my source says “Maybe. But you could pick just about any landmark date (Easter, 4th of July, Arbor Day…) and say there will be changes before then. The fact of the matter is, change is ALWAYS occurring. Anybody who thinks things will always be the way they are now (or that they should always be the way they used to be) is setting themselves up for big disappointment.”
A final point, I hear that as a result of last weeks column, Chris Warner has put a sign on his office door that reads “PLEASE DO NOT FEED THE EXILE.”
I trust all staff at Dark Horse will abide by this instruction.
This Has A Rumour Value Of 7 Out Of 10
The Battle Of The Bulges
Kevin Smith vs Peter David! For years, there have been reports that Kevin Smith, acclaimed writer/director of Clerks, Mallrats, Chasing Amy and Dogma, not to mention writer for Daredevil and Green Arrow is pissed off with Peter David, acclaimed writer for Hulk, Spider-Man, Soulsearchers, Spyboy, Babylon 5 and Babylon 5/Star Trek novels . Comments on ViewAskew websites, the comic-store scene in Clerks: The Comic Book, the intro to Preacher; Smith has taken numerous pot shots at David in numerous venues. But why?
When Kevin Smith started posting to Chuck Dixon’s Dixonverse long time poster Peter David took the opportunity to ask.
“On the View Askew board, fans stated that you had claimed I had gone around badmouthing you, and that’s why you had taken repeated shots at me and my work (up to and including stating that you didn’t want to be on the Wizard “Top Ten” writers if I was on it.). I asked repeatedly, on your board, whether you had indeed told them that, and when I allegedly had taken shots at you or your work.”
”You never answered. Indeed, you were quite silent during the entire discussion.”
”Will you answer here?”
Amid cheers and jeers from fans, Kevin Smith stepped up to the podium.
“Fans claim a lot of things. Non-fans claim even more.
”You were on my board? When?
”Had I ever noticed you popping in on my board, I’d’ve most certainly responded.
”Do you really want me to? Honestly?
”Okay, then – here, for the world to see, if my (former) beef with Peter David.
”God, this is embarrassing…
”I’ve read your column in the CBG for years now, and you come off as really condescending. While no great fan of those you’ve gone after (provoked or otherwise), I found your holier-than-thou take on everything and everyone (from Image and McFarlane, to the Savage Dragon guy and your self-aggrandizing regaling of how darned amusing you find yourself to be at your comic book show panels) insufferable. Granted, I could’ve simply stopped reading the CBG, but I was obsessed with seeing just how much coverage of Scrooge McDuck they could offer annually. And in doing so, your column was hard to avoid – especially when my interest waned from gauging the volume of Barks coverage, to finding out who else you seemed to feel you were better than (professionally) on a weekly basis.
”But you crossed a line one day when, following the San Diego ComiCon in ’95, you offered up a mini-review of ‘Mallrats’. Granted, it wasn’t very harsh; but in a matter of five lines, you managed to earn my ire nonetheless by saying of the film “It’s a movie I would’ve enjoyed if I were still in college.”
”Your condescension, sir, that I had witnessed turned on so many others was now turned on me and mine. But what really bugged me about your dismissive review was that I sat directly behind you in that screening and watched you and your wife laugh your heads off throughout the flick (not at it, mind you; with it). And in light of that, you had the audacity to make your comment? YOU! The man who doesn’t write comic book scripts so much as he strings together really bad puns? The man who wrote an entire column about attempting to use his Writer’s Guild I.D. to get into a SUBURBAN screening of an Oscar contender, and then portrayed the ticket counter employee as a boob because he or she had no clue what you were getting at (for the uninitiated: Writer’s Guild and Director’s Guild members can use their I.D. cards to get into BIG CITY screenings – Manhattan and L.A. – of flicks that are up for Oscars; in one of Peter’s columns, he described attempting to do this in a LONG ISLAND movie theater and then groused about the employee’s inability to process his request as if it was the employee’s fault, when in reality, it was not a theater which honored the WGA policy, as Long Island is not Manhattan)? The man who wrote about getting the cover of Variety for his ‘Space Cases’ show like it was some high honor, but neglected to mention it was the TV sales conference issue of Variety for which anybody who PAYS can secure the cover (which is what the sales agent of ‘Space Cases’ had done).
”If in your column, you want to trade in half-truths and grandstanding, that’s your business. And if I insist on reading it like an idiot, that’s my problem. But the day you wrote of my film as beneath you – well, that was when your business BECAME my problem. And so I started taking shots at you – like a porn actor at a porn actress’ back.
”But that was long ago.
”Since you asked, yes – I believe I DID say that I wanted no part of a ’10 Best’ list which also featured you. But I don’t think I’ve ever maintained that you attacked me in print or in person. When people asked (and there were very few who even cared) why I seemed to rag on you so much, I offered only “I don’t like him.” In fact, I’m pretty sure this is the first time I’ve taken my juvenile rant on the subject public (here, of all places; again – my apologies, Chuck; I would never have stained your board again, had not Scott McCullar directed me to this post).
”But as juvenile as it may be, it’s old news. I’m no longer concerned with you, Peter. You might’ve noticed that I haven’t said anything about you in many a moon – dating back to when you and your wife broke up (because, while I’m many things, I’m not the kind of motherfucker who’ll kick a motherfucker when he’s down). Whatever ill will I held toward you has long-since vanished. I guess I kind of grew up… or at least found bigger fish to fry.
”So there it is. Question asked, and question answered.
”I’m almost certain I’m going to regret this in the morning.”
Peter replied “I’m not sure why you would regret it in the morning, Kevin, because–as I said–I like your work too much to get into any kind of a flame war. I can’t do anything about your perception that my column is condescending except to say that naturally you’re entitled to your opinion. Me, I thought I tended to put myself down in my column more often than not, describing myself in any number of terms harsher than anything you’ve said. But I’ve learned that arguing perception is a slippery slope, so I’ll simply respond to the two main points of your post.
”Re: Mallrats. Yes, absolutely, I laughed at “Mallrats” in the theater. Surrounded by an appreciative audience, and considering Stan was right nearby guffawing, it was hard not to. I tend to laugh rather loudly, so it was probably noticeable. And there was some genuinely funny stuff in it (including the bit where everyone saw the boat in the picture, and the “use the force” riff, plus one or two jokes that I can’t really print here.) The mention of it in BID wasn’t a dismissal; it was simply that I was writing about it as one of a number of items at the San Diego Con, so I didn’t go into detail. Instead I bottom lined it, and the bottom line was that in many respects it reminded me of “Animal House,” a film that I liked a lot better when I was in college than I do now (although I still laugh at it, and loudly). Compared to your later work (“Chasing Amy” was incredibly moving, and “Dogma” was just brilliant) “Mallrats” was simply dumb fun. Fun. But dumb. There’s no crime to that. I haven’t had a single big-screen film produced, fun, dumb, or otherwise, so well done you.
”Re: The Long Island film. I think your hostility toward me totally colored your reading of that column. It wasn’t about, “Look how fabulous I am, how can you not see that, you dumb ticket taker.” It was instead a personal dressing down: How easy it is for me to think I’m hot stuff after coming back from a convention where people line up to have me sign comics, and then out in the real world, I’m seen as a lazy schmuck. How it was a totally humiliating experience that I very likely deserved for getting too swelled a head. And FYI, the ad stating that WGA card holders could get in free ran in Long Island Newsday which carries no listings for Manhattan. And I’d had no trouble with that particular perk on a previous occasion out in the Hamptons, where apparently WGA members abound (not me; I’m low rent) and theaters are used to it. In any event, I don’t do it anymore, because I figure if the film is worth seeing, the makers probably deserve every ticket sale they can get.
”Sorry you missed when I was on View Askew. I don’t remember exactly when I was hanging out there; if you ask your regulars perhaps they’ll recall.”
And there we have it. No blood spilled, no beards pulled, no bellies bashed.
This Has A Rumour Value Of 9 Out Of 10
Next week: Whatever happened to Miracleman? Find out the latest…