It’s That Old Favourite Again!

Every six months I hear the rumour that Paul Levitz is to be fired from DC. And every six months, he remains solidly in place. Well, due to form, I’ve just heard the rumour again. Maybe that’s how long it takes to circulate the industry.

The twist this time is that apparently Paul Levitz has signed a four year contract in the last few weeks. The current rumour takes account of this and talks about a big severance pay. Simultaneously I hear the rumour that the recent appointments at Marvel have caused DC to take another look at their staff, with Andy Helfer, Dan Raspler and Mike Carlin rumoured to be moved around.

As I said, these kind of things come to me all the time and more often than not they’re based on wishful thinking of a comics pro here and there. If anything, this article is to let the fans in on what a number of pros are saying to each others and also state that these are rumours, not facts.

But then again…

This Has A Rumour Value Of 3 Out Of 10

With Great Salary Comes Great Responsibility

When we reported the rumours of Marvel going fishing over at DC’s editorial pool, we stated that a number of editors had been offered a ‘co-incidental’ promotion. One of those was Axel Alonso. So how did Quesada persuade him to move? Certainly the draw of a greater pool of resources, a new challenge, etc. must have helped, but was that it? One rumour I’ve heard along a chain of pro gossips was that he was offered twice his DC salary. If this is true, we might presume Stuart Moore must have been offered similar – and either way, this rumoured value is higher than that of many current Marvel editors…

This Has A Rumour Value Of 4 Out Of 10

Just The FAQs

As a brief follow-up to the Steve Donnelly / CIA story a few weeks back, one reader writes “As for the mess with Liam Sharp, well, I belong to an online mailing list about original comic artwork. And the Donnellys are mentioned quite often. Usually not in a positive capacity. To say they have gained a certain notoriety among comic art collectors is an understatement.” I’m reffered to a link to a FAQ which reads:

The Donnelly Brothers, (Rich & Steve, aka San Mateo Art) are known for their … um … unique style of selling/trading original comic art (unpriced pieces, drawn out bargaining, unreturned message requests). Many long time collectors have sworn off dealing with them altogether because of past experiences. Other long time collectors have an established relationship with them and have much less trouble making a deal.

My reader continued, saying “For your reference, San Mateo Art is now called CIA. They changed their name, but not their business practices. Unfortunately, they bought up a ton of comic art from a number of artists back in the 1980s for dirt cheap prices, and now that the demand for it has risen, they sell it for extremely high prices. And they are very difficult to deal with. The one time I dealt with them was when I bought a page I really wanted (it was a personal grail for me). As soon as I found out that they had it, I went through the roof. Based on what I heard from other listers, I knew I was in for unanswered phone calls, ridiculous prices, and all-around frustration. Which is pretty much what happened.”

While much of this sounds more like shrewd business than exploitation, it seems that some people haven’t been as satisfied with the Donnelys. Mind you, their Ebay rating gives 469 positives, 11 neutrals and only 5 negatives. Which is pretty good really.

This Has A Rumour Value Of 5 Out Of 10

Toy Story

Another reader writes “I read your column on the Harras firing and that anonymous letter smells awfully fishy to me. I freelanced for Toy Biz for 4 and 1/2 years and I had contact with Avi and other senior management (I worked directly for a senior VP and I never heard one bad word about Ike. I no longer work for them, so I’m not carrying any water for them (just the opposite-they cut me off when I refused an offer for a management position there), but my dealings with Toy Biz management were always pleasant. Every Marvel freelancer I ever spoke with had nothing but contempt for Harras, and the general consensus was that he was a political worm who left everyone out to dry if his interests were threatened in the most trivial way. I had a longtime Marvel star tell me last year that they should fire Harras and put in Quesada. I think that letter is very, very suspect.”

I certainly heard that a number of Marvel creators had problems with Bob Harras, and sympathy for his position has only returned in the last six months or so – which is when Harras is reportedly meant to have opposed Marvel management on a number of issues. And a number of comic pros have confirmed that they’ve heard the reports in that letter before…

This Has A Rumour Value Of 5 Out Of 10

Rich’s Rumblings

It’s a short column this week, so I thought I’d bump it up with a bit of fun.

What with all this rumours and suppositions, put together by surrilous rumour-mongers Newsarama of late, this monthly Ultimate Marvel anthology newstand comic sounds like a real blast! But how to advertise it?

Learn from your mistakes. Almost all outside-comics comics advertising I’ve seen or heard is feature-led – showing off the cover, the panels, the story, etc. I don’t believe it works, because I don’t believe that many people who don’t read comics will be drawn into reading comics by seeing comics. I think you have to find a way to tap into their mindset instead. Also, by accepting feature-led advertising as the norm, a common refrain I’ve heard is that you can’t advertise comics on radio.


I believe radio is one of the best advertising mediums going. I’ve written advertising in just about all media (including printing on eggs) and radio still has my heart and soul. Also, benefit-led advertising, when you show and convince the reader that buying a comic will have a benefit to them, whether real or imaginary is the way I’d go and can be wonderful on radio. So.

SFX: Motorbike engine along a road, sounds of other traffic passing on the other side. There’s a police siren. The motocycle engine slows and stops, as does the police car and its siren. The sound of parking on gravel. A car door opens, a pair of gootsteps are heard, getting louder and then stop.

POLICEMAN: Could I see your licence and regsitartion please?

SFX: A xip on a coat, shuffle of papers.

POLICEMAN: Well, Mr “Wolverine”, we just clocked you speeding at seventy miles per hour in a fifty…

SFX: The sound of a Wolverine’s claw emerging, sampled from the X-Men movie.

POLICEMAN: and… and… my colleague and I just wanted to congratulate you on… on your driving skills. H… have a nice day now…

SFX: Motorbike starts, speeds away from gravel. Motorbike hum contines.

VO: Wouldn’t you like your life to be like Wolverine’s? Find out more with Wolverine and more in Ultimate Marvel, a new marvel comic magazine at newstands everywhere. Buy Ultimate Marvel Magazine today.

SFX: The sound of a Wolverine’s claw emerging, sampled from the X-Men movie.

That would do it for me… how about you? Oh, by the way, if any comics publisher, creator or retailer can the facility and the budget to produce and broadcast a radio ad, I’ll write it for free.

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