Yes, that’s right, actual rumours, gossip and sepculation return to the column this week. Your prayers have been answered, finally you have something to talk to other comic fans in shops up and down the land and you can all stop bugging me now.

Another Bloody Authority Article

First, The Authority (I should really get a sponsorship deal with that comic). There’s been a hell of a lot of complaining about the Wildstorm decision to suspend the Millar run, insert a Peyer run and then bring back the rest of the Millar run with Adams art.

First, if the book hadn’t been suspended, you wouldn’t have had any Authority until about August anyway, since they want to bring this book back onto a monthly schedule. Remember, not only has Adams got to draw it, but Millar has to write it! Rumours abound that the lateness of Authority wasn’t solely down to Frank Quitely.

Second, lots of people are treating Peyer with disdain. Remember, he’s from the same Hive Mind has Mark Waid, Grant Morrison and Mark Millar. They’ve worked together and thought together… on the aborted Superman coup and the where-is-it-now Hive project.Both Waid and Peyer edited Grant Morrison on Doom Patrol and Peyer’s writing work has been much lauded on Hourman. While I thought that series was flawed, it exposed seriously mad ideas, showed a propensity to think outside the box and hopefully Authority will make an A-list creator out of Peyer.

Third, you’ve still got Planetary.

This Has A Rumour Value Of 6 Out Of 10


Mystery Mag

Anyone seen an Ultimate Marvel Magazine?

American comic fans across the country have had great difficulty finding the magazine on newsstands. One suspicion is that a bunch of speculators have gone round buying up the first issue.

Result?
? Lots of Ebay bids in the next few weeks. Probably including me, I want to *see* a copy of this thing.
? Lots of annoyed speculators because the comic is too big to CGC slab
? The people who this magazine was meant to appeal to, not seeing it.

but

? 100% sell-through on a newsstand magazine. Now that could really spark interest from the advertisers, distributors and retailers.

This Has A Rumour Value Of 3 Out Of 10


Back To The Bad…

All The Rage readers might recall an issue a couple of weeks back where we first promoted the new issue of Comics International with the Spawn/Miracleman cover. That cover was then posted to the Spawn Message Boards and on the afternoon of deadline, Comics International heard that Todd McFarlane Productions had placed a Cease And Desist order on the magazine through Diamond due to the cover, without informing Comics International, despite CI being in contact with TMP for the last month.

Amid speculation as to why TMP had done this, involving licensing, copyright and royalty issues, at the last minute, the cover was changed, Dez’s editorial removed (leaving him, for the first time, speechless) and the magazine was printed.

But UK readers whose shops were distributed by Diamond UK still didn’t get their copies. Nor the next week. And while it usually takes a while for Diamond UK to distribute to the US, it was taking even longer than ever. Was the Cease And Desist order still in hold?

Phil Hall recently posted to rec.arts.comics.misc that, basically, everything was sorted out, De and Todd had smoothed things over, no need to worry about anything. It’s all right, it’s all right, it’s all right. Hmmm.

I corned Dez on the phone just after he’d put the new CI to bed and had had a few hours kip.

He told me that on the 6th of January, CI finally received a Cease And Desist letter from Todd McFarlane Productions. After they’d already ceased and desisted and changed the offending cover.

The letter said that action would be taken by TMP unless CI responded by December 27th. Apparently DHL had tried delivering before then, but at the time everyone had gone down the pub. And DHL didn’t seem to bother over Christmas

The letter claimed that the originally proposed CI cover infringed copyright and that TMP owned an undisclosed amount of copyright. There was even a charge of counterfeiting.

So Dez phoned up Todd’s legal people and spoke to Chick. He told him the cover had been changed and checked if there were any more problems. Apparently they weren’t.

So Dez called Diamond and spoke to Chuck. He asked why the issue hadn’t been distributed. Apparently Chuck had to send a copy of the new CI to TMP’s Larry Marder to check the content before they could distribute it and hadn’t had word back. Goodness.

So Dez called Larry, and left a message saying he’d spoken to Chick and Chuck and asked Marder to phone Diamond so they could distribute the magazine. Dez was a little considered, he’d published every four weeks, on time, for eight years. And Diamond’s lack of distribution not only hurt his rep, but probably the rep of retailers too.

Finally everything was sorted out. Bit of a palaver, eh? Strange to think that the last Marvelman Dez printed in Warrior was stopped by a legal letter from Marvel and over ten years later, the first time he returns to do anything with the character, TMP nobble him.

Still, at least CI got a lot of publicity out of it. Hmmm… was that the point? Either way, I reckon Dez owes Todd a drink.

The new issue, 129, comes out this week in the UK with the second Universe X Appendix (currently ahead of Wizardworld.com, despite them calling their printing an ‘exclusive’…), Green Arrow previews, Superboy/Legion previews with Mark Farmer talking about the project, 2500 dollars worth of Warren Ellis’ Ministry Of Space signed comics to give away… ah bless them.

This Has A Rumour Value Of 8 Out Of 10


Under Pressure

Just after Christmas, ex-Wizard employee Jeff Eckleberry sent an e-mail out to Wizard and Marvel staff and freelancers. It was his attempt to set the record straight over why he was fired from his Wizardworld position.

I’ve been asked not to reprint the e-mail. But to summarise, Jeff explains how he made an untactful joke to Chris Claremont. Twice. And as a result, Marvel executives phoned up Wizard representatives and Jeff was fired.

Astonishing. If this is true, it seems that Marvel can put pressure on Wizard to fire their staff and Wizard will capitulate.

Of course, after being fired, gaining entrance to Joe’s office to discuss the situation with him probably didn’t help things…

This has a Rumour Value Of 7 Out Of 10


Selling Your Wares

A small thing… Gosh Comics in Great Russell Street, London, have just got a new bunch of paper bags, featuring a specially commissioned piece by Chris Ware, featuring Jimmy Corrigan and a bunch of unidentified men saying “Gosh”.

To get this collectors item, simply buy a comic from them! E-mail them on [email protected].

This Has A Rumour Value Of 10 Out Of 10


Cable Lines

Sometimes I like to read other comics news sits and message boards. I looked back at the fall of Bob Weinberg from Cable and found something interesting…

On the 8th, Bob posted in reply to a question, “I had hoped to address that subject in a future issue of Cable. Unfortunately, it no longer looks like I will have a chance to do that.”

[See http://messageboard.fandom.com/x-men/ubb/Forum37/HTML/000234.html]

Which soon brought another response from Bob,

“Sorry, I was unable to make the Cable chat tonight at X-Fan due to problems that arose at the end of last week. I am not free to discuss the situation with Cable at the moment, but it will be covered in my own press release once Marvel makes a statement. I don’t think fans are going to be pleased with the news and I’ll be curious to see how the guys in charge “spin” things so as to come off “making changes for the fans!”

[See http://messageboard.fandom.com/x-men/ubb/Forum37/HTML/000234.html]

On January 10th, Rob Allstaetter at Comics Continuum transcribed from the X-Men press conference,

Question: Any reassignments for people like Sean Chen or Bob Weinberg?

Quesada: As we discuss this right now, Sean is Wolverine. Bob is on Cable. These haven’t necessarily been reinvented. Salvador (Larroca) is doing Chris Claremont’s book. So we’re full steam ahead. There hasn’t been anything to reassign right now.

[See http://www.comicscontinuum.com/stories/0101/11/xconf.htm]

So on January 11th, Thursday afternoon, Bob Weinberg put out a statement on the X-Fan message boards, saying “Discussing his departure, Weinberg stated in no uncertain terms that he was told he was off the book as writer last Friday. While the call came from X-Men editor, Mark Powers, the decision was made by Editor-in-Chief of Marvel, Joe Quesada, and CEO, Bill Jemas. Weinberg had no idea that his job writing Cable was in jeopardy and was busily working on a new script when informed by Powers that he was no longer in charge of stories.”

[See http://messageboard.fandom.com/x-men/ubb/Forum37/HTML/000237.html]

If Bob is right, he was fired on Friday 5th January from Quesada’s instructions. If Rob’s reporting is right, on the 10th Quesada says that Bob is currently on Cable and doesn’t need to be replaced right now. Technicaly, one could say that Quesada was talking about current issues being published, but that’s pretty disingenous and doesn’t stop the fact that Quesada said that there hasn’t been anything to reassign. A few days later Chaykin and co were signed up to the book.

What’s occurring here? And of course, just how secure Weinberg’s Darkside project and X-Men: Citadel Of Night mini after recent ‘press releases’ by Weinberg is still to be determined…”

This Has A Rumour Value Of 6 Out Of 10


I’m currently working on a sensitive Marvel story. While I’ll be e-mailing the key players later this week, if anyone with connections to staff could give me an e-mail, I’d like to sound you out…

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