This week the internet was once again “graced” by the presence of Felicia, the mysterious message board poster who first broke the story about Mark Waid getting the shaft on Fantastic Four. Since then she’s continually vilified Marvel President Bill Jemas using inside information and speculation. After reading the latest, and apparently last Felicia letter, I immediately felt compelled to write some words.

    Dear Felicia,

Thank you for writing the longest, most redundant letter in the history of the comics industry. You might as well have just stabbed me in the eye with your empty uni-ball and snarled “Snikt” for God’s sake. Even if Marvel President Bill Jemas is guilty of all the things you say, and Marvel is going down in a flame on festival of lies and deceit, do you need to beat it into your readers over and over again?

In your last rant, are you aware that you mentioned Bill Jemas 35 times? I counted that shit. I don’t think I’ve said my girlfriend’s name 35 times this week. And she lives with me.

I would also like to point out that you are depressing as hell. Way to take the fun out of comics, lady. Now, every time I try to crack open The Avengers I hear Bill Jemas laughing at me in an insidious pirate voice. Why does he sound like a pirate? I have no freakin’ idea! But I know it’s your damn fault.

Ha ha har, you’ve fallen into me Marvel trap, me hearty! Har!

Shut up, Captain Bill. And please, for the love of Christmas, shut up Felicia.

Sincerely,
Markisan

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NEW ITEM!

Shock to the System

There is a rumor floating around that popular writer Geoff Johns will make WB cartoon character, Static, a new member of the Teen Titans by the end of his first year. Posters at www.geoffjohns.com started asking questions about the possibility after an article in Wizard magazine planted the seed.

I asked Geoff about this and he replied, “As for Static — Nothing is set in stone, but I’d like it to be.”

Static first appeared as a Milestone Comics character back in 1993. Milestone was a comic book company owned by African-Americans and was printed and distributed through a special arrangement with DC Comics.

This Has A “No Dryer Sheet” Factor of Eight Out of Ten


Flight Plan

A reliable source tells me that Marvel’s Wolverine Talent Search Winner (2001) Ryan Bodenheim will be drawing an Ultimate Alpha Flight series for Marvel. I’ve also been told J. Torres (X-Men: Ronin) may be writing the Flight or possibly working on another project with Ryan. Why Marvel wants to do another Alpha series remains a mystery to me. Perhaps Bill Jemas’ next diabolical plan is to take over Canada.. Feli.. oh, wait, forget it.

Bodenheim most recently completed a 2-issue run on Black Panther (issues #57-58) with – surprise! – J. Torres. He has also drawn Wolverine #183. Here are some samples of his work:

This Has A “Please Put Your Trays In the Upright and Locked Positions” Factor of Five Out of Ten


Bagged

It appears that Peter Bagges’s Sweatshop will be cancelled after issue #6. Shop artist Stephanie Gladden broke the news of the series’ demise on www.sequentialtart.com.

      Unfortunately, DC has decided to cancel

SWEATSHOP

    after issue #6. A real pity, but it was fun while it lasted!

I contacted Peter Bagge to get his reaction and he confirmed Gladden’s announcement.

    Yes, it’s true about Sweatshop, sadly. I’m disappointed, though I don’t know what else I can say about it. If you have any specific questions you’d like to ask me then ask away!

Those questions are in the mail, so all you bastards who didn’t read Sweatshop can expect an update soon.

UPDATE: As promised the quick Q&A with Peter Bagge..

Markisan Naso:

      Now that

Sweatshop

    is cancelled, what do you plan to do next? Will you attempt to pitch new projects to DC?

Peter Bagge: At the moment I have more than enough to keep me bus — namely a 1 shot Hulk comic for Marvel and HATE ANNUAL #4. I also am still doing a monthly strip and occasional feature for REASON magazine: http://reason.com/baggetoc.shtml.

As for pitching something new to DC: I doubt they’ll give me another shot at my own creation any time soon (between YEAH! and SWEATSHOP I’m a two-time loser!). I just wrote a short story for the next BIZARRO book for them though, and would be up for doing other work-for-hire nonsense for them if anything comes up that strikes both of us as feasible.

MN: Did you have specific goals in mind for Sweatshop? If so, what were they?

PB: Just to make a funny and entertaining comic book (while simultaneously providing deep and meaningful insight into the Human Condition, of course).

MN: Will you have enough issues to satisfactorily conclude the series? Will you be able to accomplish most of what you wanted with the characters and the stories?

PB: If I knew SWEATSHOP was only going to last 6 issues I would have made it a mini-series! Then I could have ended it with everyone blowing up at the end or something equally final and dramatic, instead of just dangling in the open-ended manner that it does…

I had plenty of ideas for all the characters and could have kept writing it forever if allowed to. Sigh and oh well…

MN: You probably planned yarns for Sweatshop that won’t see print, at least not in the DC series. Will you use those ideas in a future project, or have you possibly given thought to continuing Sweatshop elsewhere?

PB: I’m sure some of the unused ideas will be recycled into something else eventually.

As for doing SWEATSHOP for someone else: that doesn’t seem too likely, especially since it was so unlikely for DC to publish it in the first place!

MN: Do you have any desire to write more stories about established Marvel characters again, like The Megalomaniacal Spider-Man? Would you consider writing existing characters in the DC universe?

PB: Yes to both, as long as they’re open to it and I can come up with an idea that all parties are happy with.

MN: When does DC plan to make an official announcement about the cancellation?

PB: I think it already is “official,” though I doubt they send out press releases announcing such things. Do they?

MN: How has your relationship with DC been affected by the decision to discontinue the series?

PB: No hard feelings on my end. I can’t speak for them, though!

This Has A “DC Anti-Perspirant Applied” Factor of Eight Out of Ten


Desperado Plays With Your Senses

During a recent interview with SBC’s own Tim O’Shea, Elektra writer Robert Rodi revealed that he has big work planned with Marvel artist Essad Ribic.

    I’ve already written a project for Axel (Alonso) featuring one of Marvel’s big-gun characters, that’s being painted by Essad Ribic; it should be out next year.

Axel Alonso paired us up on that book, just as it was Axel who reunited us for the Marvel project. I’m excited about working with Essad again because this time out, I knew his work much more intimately, and was able to write for his strengths. I’ve seen some of the completed pages, and they’re eye-poppers. Just gorgeous.

Now, this project (like most Marvel comics) is supposed to be on the down low, but some quick google-fu has revealed the secret. www.desperadostudios.com previews a Thor and Loki painting by Essad with a description that reads, “Painted Prelim of Loki & Thor by Essad Ribic from the upcoming Loki mini-series from Marvel Comics.”

This Has A “Heimdall’s Drunk On the Rainbow Bridge Again” Factor of Seven Out of Ten


Reclaiming the Cockpit

Way back in November 2002, on the X-Fan message boards, classic X-Men artist Dave Cockrum responded to Joe Quesada’s assertion that he wasn’t “cutting edge” enough to draw an X-Men comic today. Here’s a refresher, courtesy of Mr. Cockrum’s initial post:

      Well, now, how about

this

    ?

Responding to a question regarding the possibility of Marvel getting legendary X-Men artist Dave Cockrum to do some X-projects, Quesada’s answer did not please this particular fan.

“The honest answer is what no publisher will ever say out loud, we have to keep the X-books looking cutting edge and we have to consider the commercial appeal of the book. Dave {is} a brilliant artist but he isn’t the guy I would put on X-Men right now unless we were doing an X-Men retro thing which we stopped doing.

“Look, I know the truth is hard to hear, I always promised everyone here that I would not BS you guys about why we do things. Many other publishers would give you the politician answer, ‘Oh, Dave is great and we’ll certainly consider him for X-Men as soon as the time is right.’ However, that would be lying to you and unfair to Dave. Nothing worse than an editor who won’t give his talent the straight answer. Is Dave a great artist, certainly. Is he someone I would use for X-Men today, probably not.”

I haven’t done any work of any significance for Marvel in more than 15 years. How the hell would Quesada know whether I’m suitable or not?

As you would expect this thread got a lot of attention. In fact Birds of Prey writer Gail Simone weighed in early on, defending Dave with lines like “Any writer would be extremely fortunate to work with Dave” and “Dave, you’re a class act, and your art is still gorgeous”.

Dave responded by saying he admired Gail’s work and would be interested in working with her.

Seven months later, in June, Gail returned to the thread again to champion Dave’s art.

    The problem is, I think, when writers work with Dave, they want to recapture their favorite stories. I would think the smart approach would be just the opposite, write the most forward-thinking, non-retro thing imaginable, and I know for a fact Dave would rock it.

Fast forward another month and the board is still alive today. Earlier this week Gail once again commented on the issue:

    What I’m saying is, one of the reasons I think Dave got a ‘retro’ rep is that he’s responsible for many of the best-loved stories of many writers. So, when these writers work with him, it seems like they try to recreate those stories.

I’m saying, do the opposite. Write a story that has no retro elements whatsoever, and is as cutting edge as you can make it and have Dave draw THAT, and I bet it would be killer.

That’s all. It’s a compliment.

Gail’s post received a quick reply from Mr. Cockrum who said, “Gail, I’d be delighted to work with you any time.”

Gail responded, “Dave, that means the world to me. I don’t have much say in artists, but rest assured, I’ll keep my eyes out.”

And finally, on July 9, Cockrum had this to say, “I’ve often thought that the reason Marvel doesn’t want me around is because I’m a constant reminder of how much they own me vis a vie the X-Men. Same reason Len Wein’s not working there any more. I’m surprised they let Claremont hang around.”

As a fan I guess I have two things to say about this situation. First off, Dave Cockrum can still draw the fuck out of a page. He can hold his own against anyone in that silly ass Wizard Top Ten list. I think these sample Soulsearchers pages clearly show that.

Second — Gail, you need to make it happen. Let’s get Old Man Cockrum back on the scene.

This Has A “Would You Like A Cock Tale Now, Mr. Quesada?” Factor of Nine Out of Ten


Hell and Back

In only my second column I ran a rumor about Warren Ellis’ Hellblazer run getting collected in an oversized hardcover. That little tidbit of information prompted my friends Matt and Dan to write a rant about the need for Vertigo to finish collecting the Hellblazer runs they started, namely those by Garth Ennis (Punisher, Born). Well, I’m hearing that Vertigo is indeed planning on trade paperbackin’ some more Ennis. Rumor has it the next collection will feature the final Ennis storyline which ran in issues #78-83.

Perhaps this news will inspire Matt and Dan to “get a pint ‘o the black, 20 silk cut, and get on the effin’ ball.”

This Has A “Paper Trail” Factor of Eight Out of Ten


Planet Millar

Millarworld, the Mark Millar message board empire, has just entered into a partnership with Dynamic Forces. Looks like MWorld will be doing some expanding. A new look for the site went into effect Friday and there was also a message from Nick Barucci, President of Dynamic Forces:

      Dynamic Forces, Inc. and Mark Millar have worked together for years to bring you Mark’s fast, furious and famous signature! Now, we’re ready to bring you more than that. The world famous

www.millarworld.biz

    will now be bringing you everything that is Millar! In addition to his world famous signature product, the Millarworld.biz store will be building to be bringing you his famous trade paperbacks, hard cover editions, single issues and even the action figures based on his characters! So don’t miss out, as this is and will be the one-stop shop for all that is Millar — and the big guy will probably bring in some products from his friends! — when he feels like it! 🙂

So click the link! http://www.dynamicforces.com/millar/mainFrame.html

This Has A “Another Snack Grows Plump for Galactus” Factor of Ten out of Ten


Recharging the Ring

I’m told that Pete Tomasi will be the new Green Lantern editor. And usually new editors like to reevaluate their acquired books.. However, sources now say that the GL overhaul I reported last week is not in the cards anytime soon. Oh, how they toy with me.

This Has A “Please, God, No Giant Green Fists” Factor of Six Out of Ten


Moore On Felicia

I’m not the only one who has something to say about Felicia and her Marvel hypotheses. Two days ago Marvel Editor Stephanie Moore gave her opinion on Felicia at the X-Fan forums from her perspective at Epic.

    I haven’t read the “Felicia” column, because life is too short. But from what I’ve gathered through hearsay, “Felicia’s” statements contain some correct information, some incorrect information, and a lot of incorrect conclusions that come from theorizing without knowing all the facts. Listening to “Felicia” is like listening to a conversation through a wall… you get a little, a name here, a date there, but you’re missing so much of the picture that you can’t ultimately use what you’re left with. Apparently she’s claimed EPIC is a hoax? Well, it’s not. We are not trying to deceive you. Of course, “Felicia” would say you have no reason to believe me… but frankly, I don’t understand this kind of paranoia. Not having the proper perspective herself, though, she certainly isn’t going to help you understand what’s going on at Marvel. And as for EPIC-related matters, you’re going to have to take my word for it. Hope that’s good enough.

The reason you’re not getting a concerted reply from anybody about “Felicia” and the other Internet pundits is because nobody really has the time or energy to respond to weird half-truths and false accusations from Internet rumor columns. We’re trying to make the comics come out on time and get this whole EPIC machine up and running. About the whole “EPIC is a hoax” thing: if it’s a hoax, then I’m its biggest victim, and Bill Jemas should get some kind of award for maintaining the most convincing and passionate fiction to his employees in the history of corporate conspiracies. I have been working on EPIC since November, and have sat through countless meetings about how EPIC will function, what will be involved, etc. We knew from the beginning that we’d be making it up as we went, that we couldn’t foresee all contingencies. When EPIC hits a snag, it’s because there’s no real precedent for what we’re doing. I know this may come as a surprise, but Marvel is run by a bunch of human beings. There’s no instruction manual called “How to Run an Imprint That Publishes Outside Submissions” — not that I know of. If there is, somebody please send me a copy.

Joe Q. is not going to talk about things in Marvel that happen at the corporate level. That’s our business, and it’s not a subject for public discussion. He is not a liar, though. There are certain things he is simply not going to talk about, because to do so would be unprofessional and stupid. But he is not lying to you.

This Has A “Weird Half-Truths On Internet Rumor Columns? What Are You Trying to Say, Lady?” Value of Nine Out of Ten


Crowing

AiTPlanetLar Publisher Larry Young recently posted an image from creator Brian Wood’s upcoming Couriers sequel, Dirtbike Manifesto at Brian Wood’s Scorched Earth Policy message boards. Lar says the book is seven months away. Here’s the image (artwork by Rob G):

Seeing this pic made me grin big, as I’m a fan of The Couriers. But that grin soon curled into open-mouthed laughter after reading another thread on the boards. Larry decided to tell a story…

      So I just got off the phone with my parents, and told my mom a little about the plot of

DIRTBIKE MANIFESTO

    . She said: “I’m not so much one for that coarse language of those two couriers. But it sounds like someone on one of those dirtbikes should yell ‘Jeezum Crow!’ when they get shot at with the bazooka. That’s how people talk up there, you know. You tell your friend Brian.”

My mom is awesome.

Brian Wood quickly responded to Larry’s post.

    DONE. Maybe they get cameos, too. Someone’s gotta bitch and wave fists when Moustafa and Special cut through their lawn.

Then Larry posted these pics:

When asked if there was any chance his mother might write a Couriers spin-off, Larry replied, “ No chance at all.”

This Has A “I Said Throw Down, Ma!” Factor of Ten Out of Ten


Out,
Markisan

PS If anyone has any rumors to share please send them to me at markisan@silverbulletcomicbooks.com or IM me via AOL Instant Messenger. My screen name is Automatic San. Thanks to everyone who has been sending stuff in. It’s appreciated.


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