UPDATE

Sassen Frassen Rassen

Just been told that SFX are going to confirm Frank Quitely as the new penciller for Uncanny X-Men with Grant Morrison.

So much for my gut feeling and so much for a bunch of drunken Glasweigan lads slouching around on the scrounge.

Mind you, SFX have been wrong before…

Clutching at straws? Me?

This Has A Rumour Value Of 7 Out Of 10


What with last week’s updates on Thursday and Friday, the column’s a little shorter than usual. But that’s okay because I’m pleased to announce the first report from the Annual Rumour Awards!

But first, today’s rumours…

Authority Artist

The replacement penciller for Frank Quitely’s Authority run, already working up pages, is Art Adams.

Art Adams is a Wildstorm Irregular – working on Gen 13, Tom Strong and others. While he’s never been the fastest of artists, he’s better than many of the modern creators he’d given birth to.

I’m not as convinced he’ll be great on Authority – the book calls for an ugly power style these days, and Art Adams’ work seems naturally… well,pretty. But I’ll be prepared to be blown away.

Okay SFX, sink that one…

(And what do my apologetic soak sources, currently face down in a Glasweigan gutter have to say for themselves? While mumbling into yesterday’s kebab remnants, they say that as of a couple of days ago, Grant Morrison asked Marvel if they could get Frank Quitely off Daredevil (which he hasn’t started yet) and they said okay. Hmmmmm – sounds a bit odd to me. Anyway, all’s well that ends well.)

This Has A Rumour Value Of 8 Out Of 10


Authority Author?

A recent Wizard reports the possibility that Authority may be relaunched after Millar’s departure and the new team arrive with a mature reader’s tag. Apparently this news came from a DC source rather than a Wildstorm source – which is surprising because one of the conditions Brian Azzarello is allegedly making before he takes over the writing chores is that the book be have a mature readers label and Wildstorm/DC haven’t signed that off yet.

As for the new artist on Authority to fill in before Steve Dillon (probably) comes on? Well, it has to be someone with a good working relationship with Wildstorm to work for them before a contract has been signed, not have current commitments, probably live in the USA for such an instant deadline-busting response and be fast (or at least faster than usual these days).

So that means no, not Whilce Portacio. I’ve got my strong suspicions though.

Yes, I’m still sticking with Daredevil.

This Has A Rumour Value Of 5 Out Of 10


Marvel Night Shifts?

I hear that Night Nurse is in development at Marvel Knights. Goodness…

This Has A Rumour Value Of 7 Out Of 10


Shocking Stats

Forwarded on to me, Dwayne McDuffie, Milestone founder and Static Shock writer says “Static Shock #2 is the victim of the single worst printing job I’ve ever been associated with in my more than ten years in the business. The colors printed about 30% too dark and the black plate printed as a gray wash instead of a solid black. The result is a murky, indistinct mess. We’re working with DC Comics and Ronalds (the printer) to make sure this never happens again. I wanted to publicly apologize to the readers, but also to John Paul Leon and Melissa Edwards, who turned in an outstanding job on this issue, work not apparent in the printed final product.”

This Has A Rumour Value Of 8 Out Of 10


Sam And Snitch

As Frank Quitely left mid-Authority run, Brian Bendis finally confirms what we’ve all known but he hasn’t wanted to discuss, “I think it is obvious I didn’t leave Sam And Twitch by choice. I tend to write in complete arcs. Like little movies. It could have gone the other way by no fault of mine. I think todd would have let me finish up, but I don’t know that for sure. I’m just saying. you never know what is going on behind the scenes.”

This Has A Rumour Value Of 8 Out Of 10


Media Whore

UK dwellers can read an article on online banner advertising by me in Monday’s Guardian newspaper in the Media section.

Those of you not in the UK can read it here.

This Has A Rumour Value Of 9 Out Of 10


It’s A Miracle!

Todd McFarlane has just posted on his Spawn Message Boards, regarding questions about reprinting Miracleman, “We have no plans to release the trade paperback version but stay tuned to the Spawn titles for a few miraculous things. Wink, wink.”

Look forward to people getting out the Cease And Desist paperwork!

This Has A Rumour Value Of 7 Out Of 10


Do Electronic Votes Have Chads?

The voting for the internet’s primary awards has started… the 2000 Squiddy Awards, taking place in the rec.arts.comics.* territory. If you’re a Usenet user, why not go and vote for your faves, or check out the score at www.squiddies.org. And talking of awards…


Rumour Awards 2000

***THIS IS A PARODY PIECE, ASCRIBING FICTIONAL STATEMENTS AND CLAIMS TO INDIVIDUALS FOR SATIRICAL PURPOSES. SEE END OF ARTICLE FOR LEGAL DICLAIMER WE NICKED FROM COMIC BOOK RESOURCES***

Well, what a bash that was! The Rumour Awards inaugural luncheon took place in the Seychelles as a number of comic book pros were especially shipped in, packed tight in Double Diamond shipping boxes. I couldn’t make it, but a dictaphone was present all the time. First out was Warren Ellis, tempted by the reindeer meat but he was soon followed by the British contingent Mark Millar, Grant Morrison and Dez Skinn.

Joining them at the table were North American luminaries Kurt Busiek, Mark Waid, Todd McFarlane, Joe Quesada, Bill Jemas and Paul Levitz. It was an all-male affair, in more ways than one.

Twattish Decision Of The Year Award

Todd McFarlane started with “Not inviting any women. Imagine yourself, trapped on an island without women. Imagine you’re a dark demon devoid of soul. Imagine you start to eye your male friends in a way you never have before…”

As Todd drifted off into deep dark mumbles, chewing on chucks of cheese, Warren Ellis was up, reindeer thighbone in hand. “I’d like to say Mark Waid joining CrossGen. But it’s really not his fault.”

Mark relaxed, his grin wide “Warren, Warren, we’ve talked about this, let’s agree to disagree”.

Warren clapped his hands twice and Mark began barking like a dog.

“One of Alessi’s post-hypnotic suggestions there. He’s implanted enough false memories and post-rationalisations to get at least five solid years out of him. Just when Empire was showing promise too.”

“Well, Warren, he’s no like the only one, eh?” said Mark Millar sheepishly. “I mean what Grant did to ye during Garth’s bachelor party was, like, brutal, no?”

“If you’re talking about the incident with the Jack Daniels bottle…”

“No, more the lock of yer hair, the voodoo doll and the copy of Strange Kiss. Grant drew an sigil on the wee dolly and wanked o’er it.”

“I thought I was covered in sea spray! You bastard! What have you done to me!”

“Made you sign a lifetime contract to write titty books for Avatar. Pop Comics makes a good name don’t you think?”

As Warren wrestled Mark to the ground, Mark shouting “I’m writing X-Men and you’re not!” the rest of the table agreed that despite hot competition from DC dumping Obergeist, DC dumping on Joe Illidge, DC dumping on Alan Moore, TMP dumping on Comics international, Marvel cancelling X-Man and the recent colourist changes it had to be the Universe X: Spidey pulping and Milgrom firing. Even Bill and Joe agreed. “Personally I agreed with Al” said Bill. “But to write that kind of comment on a bookcase hidden in a panel is not on. At least Al could have only written it in a special limited edition version – then it would have been collectable!” When it was pointed out that that’s exactly what happened, Bill Jemas changed the subject and started talking about the problems involved animating photos with Flash.

Dez Skinn told everyone a tale about Neil Tennant, a copy of Marvel Superheroes Monthly and a jar of peanut butter. Everyone laughed.


Turning-Down-The-Beatles Award.

Instant nominations were the Mark Millar/Alex Ross Savior series for DC, Obergeist for DC, Sentry for DC, Powers for DC, Powers for Oni (Paul Levitz instantly cheered at this point).

Grant Morrison almost took the prize by telling everyone he’d turned down Madonna, but Mark Millar, speaking through his pulp of a jaw said “Not yon Ritchie’s lass, Ma Donna. Mother Donna. Old crone, sleeps on the streets o’ Coatbridge, drinks meths and shouts at bald men. Scary lady.”

In the end, what with the movie deal and all, the panel plumped for Powers – turned down by both DC and Oni. Levitz’ pleas that “It was just a rehash of that Marvels police sequel thing” went unheard. In a mood, Levitz began to pulp his potatoes.

Dez Skinn told everyone a tale about Simon Bisley, a jar of pickles and a small hedgehog. Everyone grimaced.


Madness In Public Speaking Award

Everyone looked at Jemas. “What?” he said through mouthfuls of trifle. Then Waid piped up “Mind you, have you all read Grant’s weekly column? You should have seen what I had to edit out of Doom Patrol… what’s your next column called, Grant?”

“Magic and its many forms – especially ones that look like my old geography teacher” entoned Grant. “What?” he replied when everyone looked at him oddly. “You should see the pish Markie Millar here comes out wie after a trip to yon Masons!”

“But he doesn’t write it all down on a dread machine and let everybody else know about it, does he?” replied Kurt Busiek, annoyed that he hadn’t been mentioned yet. “By the way, when will that moron Johnston get here, I think me, Waid and Morrison here should be able to take him easily.” Morrison continued “I could turn the wee bastad into a toad. By wanking o’er him, aye?” Busiek and Waid looked at each other. Waid mumbled “Did I ever have to tell you the trouble I went to getting original art for Doom Patrol that Morrison had approved unstuck when the pages came back to me?”

But in the end no one could beat Jemas’ call for a return to the speculator boom of the early nineties that ended up killing off jmuch of the comics industry. “Advantageous” said Todd, but no one was listening – Dez Skinn was telling everyone a story about Alan Davis, a paint roller and a bucket of gin. Everyone wept.


Outstanding Coup Award

Levitz rubbed his hands together and shouted “Me” It was me! I got Bob Schreck from Oni. Bob joins the Batgroup at DC and brings all his buds in like Frank Miller and Kevin Smith, estranging many of those already on staff!”

Joe Quesada shouted “No! Me! Getting Axel Alonso from DC, even though they just gave him a promotion! Then getting Morrison and Millar as our star writers, getting more work out of Garth Ennis, and basically taking every decent writer DC have got!”

Bill Jemas shouted “No! Me! Stitching up Bob Harras and bringing in Joe Quesada, kicking out Liebig, Claremont, Mackie and the rest!”

Todd McFarlane shouted “No! Me! Kicking off Bendis and hiring me to write Sam And Twitch!”

Everyone was quiet for a second, looked at Todd in a peculiar manner and voted for Bill Jemas. He looked pleased as punch while Todd went back to muttering dark thoughts and doodling on his napkin.”

Dez Skinn downed another pint and told everyone a tale about David Lloyd, a pencil case and the French Ministry Of Defence. Everyone threw bread rolls at him.


Maddest Moment Award

There was Marty Nodell’s wife being kicked out and banned from the hospitality suite at WizardWorld convention for taking some food to her husband by Gareb Shamus’ dad (also called Marty!) Todd said he couldn’ see what was wrong with that. Bill Jemas said it was good publicity, probably. Joe Quesada said “personally I think Wizard are great, whatever their publisher’s father does.”

Todd’s letter deploring his Death Row Marv doll from Amnesty International caused a buzz of interest around the table. “Advantageous” said Morrison, but in an accent that passed over McFarlane’s head. McFarlane replied “Oh was that what it was? I thought they just wanted a freebie.”

Brooklyn Bizarre was a popular choice. Soft core porn site with fetishist and bizarre content, set up by Jimmy Palmiotti and Buddy Scalera, Bill Jemas insisted on repeat viewings of the printouts.

But the winner, beyond a doubt, was Alan Moore, after the pulping of League Of Extraordinary Gentlemen #5, announcing that he was to change his name to Alan Marvel-Vagina. Must have had some interesting Christmas cards this year…

Dez Skinn told everyone a tale about Steve Dillon, a burning pocket and a Doctor Who novel. Everyone turned green.


Credit Where Credit’s Due Award

Ellis steps up citing Marvel’s insistence on splashing his name credit on the cover of books he’s stopped even doing a sketchy plot for, such as X-Man.

Quesada reminded us of Rob Liefeld and Joe Pruett, both denying writing Cable #75 despite being credited for doing so, and now thanks to him, Liefeld claims he’s drawn a book that Marvel are denying they’re printing right now…

Claims were made for Scott Lobdell for not writing much of WildCATS #50 and then getting slammed by fans for it, and the well publicized Fantastic Four: Big Town exercise that saw writer Steve Englehart slamming Marvel and Joe Quesada publically in print for changing his script and then going all lovey dovey when Joe responded in kind.

Dez Skinn told everyone a tale about a noble warrior, a beautiful maiden, a quest for treasure and peace across the land. Todd McFarlane took notes, and said “I can use that in Sam And Twitch?”


The Workers Are Revolting Award

Despite pot shots at companies and individuals by the likes of Warren Ellis, Kyle Baker, Scott McCloud, Grant Morrison, Steve Englehart and Joe Illidge, despite Diamond Comics Nick Perry-Jones reading out a Marvel presentation at the UK show saying “What’s a movie without tie-ins” before adlibbing “probably… art”, despite veiled attacks on the currently published work of their own companies by Bill Jemas and Jim Valentino, a quick transcript delivered by Warren Ellis from his Delphi forum, proved the winner. Mark Waid’s response to the news that Bob Harras had been fired. While a muted version was printed by Newsarama, the full unexpurgated version was posted to Warren Ellis’ Delphi forum and reads:

“The only bad thing about this is that it happened after convention season was over. Otherwise, the entire freelance community would be drinking on me all summer long.

“And that, my friend, has nothing to do with my own personal head-buttings with a man who’s a weasel and a liar. It has everything to do with the fact that his legacy in this business will be as the man who always went the extra mile for ten years to keep the industry’s highest-profile books COMPLETELY IMPENETRABLE TO A NON-FANATIC AUDIENCE–an ESPECIALLY grievous crime this summer of ALL summers–*AND* taught his lackeys to do the SAME. (The “X-Men Sampler” piece of shit in TV GUIDE is something I will use forevermore in my classes and teachings as an example of HOW NOT TO DO COMICS THAT CAN BE UNDERSTOOD BY NON-FANS.)

“Calloo, callay. How many more bullets is that, then…?”

On hearing that last line, Grant Morrison came out of his slump, shouting “Oy Waid! What the hell does that last line mean? And you sit there criticising my mad writing? I’ll have you!”

And with that, Morrison glassed Waid in the chin. Thankfully, Waid’s chin protector deflected the splinters and the two, finally, embraced.

Dez Skinn told everyone a tale of a goblet that could give eternal happiness, a feather that could tickle across continents, an army of warriors who could fly with the air, a small boy with an aura of perfection and a demon judge with his right hand resting on a mountain range, ready to serve judgement. But everyone was too busy ordering pudding.


Rumour Of The Year.

Whether it was Gorilla’s financial problems, the Sentry meta-fictional project, Claremont’s ghost-writing, changes at ABC, Internal Image memos, Claremont leaving the X-books, allegations of racism and sexism in the comics industry, pulped books, in the end there was only one. A message posted by Anonymous to the Savage Dragon message boards, its contents backed up by comics pros as tying in with what they’d heard too.

The poster put the blame for Harras’ dismissal and bad relations down to Bob finally sticking up for his long-lost principles, defending staff and against a personal assault from Marvel director Ike Perlmutter, with Peter Cuneo and Bill Jemas also caught in the mess and can be read here.

Everyone looked at Bill Jemas again, but he was onto his third trifle and lost in the taste of fresh pulped banana.

At this point, Brian Michael Bendis made a late arrival. He, Grant Morrison and Dez Skinn, all stood up faced each other. The triple-bald sigil signalled the end to this nonsense. And as Joe Quesada chased Todd McFarlane around the packing cases demanding a crossover, so our panellists were boxed up, shipped out and returned to their homes for another year.

This Has A Rumour Value Of 0 Out Of 10


Rumour Awards 2000 is a satire published by Silver Bullet Comics, and is not intended maliciously. Silver Bullet Comics has invented all names and situations in its stories, except in cases when public figures are being satirized. Any other use of real names is accidental and coincidental, or used as a fictional depiction or personality parody (permitted under Hustler Magazine v. Fallwell, 485 US 46, 108 S.Ct 876, 99 L.Ed.2d 41 (1988)). Silver Bullet Comics makes no representation as to the truth or accuracy of the preceeding information. Although we have just nicked this legal disclaimer from Comic Book Resources’ You’ll All Be Sorry, which is a great column.

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