Outraged Nation

DC seems to be having a bit of a mini-cull. Monarchy is rumoured to be cancelled, Orion was confirmed as biting the dust this week, and now here’s another two.

I hear Outlaw Nation is to be cancelled. This fine family adventure story by Jamie Delano for Vertigo has been one of my faves, and I had looked forward to seeing it unfold over the years. Not to be. I understand Vertigo will give Jamie time to wrap the story up, however, and no final issue has been fixed.

This Has A Rumour Value Of 8 Out of 10

Teen No More

Gen 13 is to be cancelled and not relaunched. What a shame, finally when Gen 13 actually becomes a great comic, it gets axed. And unlike WildCATS, it won’t be relaunched as a Mature Readers title. Looks like the new grownups-only tag is the future for Wildstorm – ironic, considering the fuss only a few years ago when any project needing a Mature Readers label was considered…

It’s also possible that Monarchy may be relaunched as an Eye Of the Storm mature readers title. But not definite.

This Has A Rumour Value Of 7 Out of 10

A Load Of Bull

The word is that Warren Ellis and Tony Harris’ much anticipated series for Top Cow’s Minotaur, Down, is on indefinite hiatus. But Greg Rucka’s book for the same imprint, Felon, is also not having much luck. Originally intended to be an ongoing series, Top Cow have turned it into a limited series – without telling the creators. They only found out a few days before Previews hit the stands, when issue 2 suddenly became issue 2 of 4. The first two issues are pencilled and the third is scripted – but the original initial story arc was planned for six issues. The choice is now whether to squeeze the story into four issues or pick up their pencils and walk. Time will tell.

I’ve also been hearing more rumours that Eidos have been buying a larger chunk of Top Cow and have been throwing their weight around more in an editorial capacity.

This Has A Rumour Value Of 6 Out of 10

Harsh Lessons

I understand, regarding last week’s All The Rage story about the X-books, Claremont, solicitations and all, that the situation is simpler – but more complicated than X-Fan reported. While they said it was simply a matter of the solicitations not being ready in time, I understand that it came down to X-Men editor Mark Powers forgetting to get the solicitations in on time. And rather than Bill Rosemann chase them up for the needed copy, he ran blank space to teach them a lesson – that Marvel waits for no man if a catalogue is needed.

Lesson learnt, I’m sure. Even if it’s a bit tough for retailers making their orders…

This Has A Rumour Value Of 7 Out of 10

X-Clusive Page Rates

I understand that Chris Claremont decided of his own free will to leave his exclusive contract with Marvel – it was a money thing, based on salary and health insurance around doing a lot of work for Marvel in a very short time – reportedly plotting 16 issues of X-Treme X-Men in 3 months.

After Chris Claremont lost his staff job, he managed to retain his high page rate since he remained exclusive with Marvel. And leaving his exclusive contract, Bill Jemas, currently Chris’ big defender at Marvel, agreed he should keep the page rate, since Chris Claremont on an X-book is worth an automatic 80,000 readers, and he’s regarded as principle in building the X-franchise for Marvel.

This Has A Rumour Value Of 7 Out of 10

Harras Meant

It’s been an accepted fan fact that Bob Harras and Chris Claremont patched up their differences, before he started his second X-Men run, and indeed bonded to the extent that Harras was Claremont’s main defender at Marvel and, indeed, it was partially his refusal to sack Chris from the X-books after the X-Men film failed to bring an increase in X-Men sales, that contributed to Harras’ eventual removal from his post as Editor-In-Chief.

However, an inside source told me that nothing could be further from the truth, that Harras and Claremont still had real differences, which lead to a heavy editorial hand on his X-Men run, and that his staff appointment as head writer was down to Marvel suit Calamari, over Harras’ head.

This Has A Rumour Value Of 6 Out of 10

Haley Delay

Matt Haley is the new penciller on The Defenders – a much envied scoop, considering his artistic talent – but some are worried. One freelancer tells me, “Haley, in his ten-plus years as a comics pro, has never met a single deadline. The Gen 13 thing took him almost two years to finish, and even then he was dropped before the book was done (the last eight pages were penciled/inked by Aaron Lopresti). I don’t know what Breevort’s thinking. Maybe his mind is on that sweet offer DC’s made.”

Now now. If that kind of schedule is good enough for Mark Powers with Frank Quitely, then it’s good enough for Tom and Matt. Desist with this cynicism!

This Has A Rumour Value Of 4 Out of 10

Chaos Into Order

Adam Goldfine from Chaos Comics writes to confirm that last week’s rumour about them being bought out by WWF was definitely not true. Thanks Adam!

This Has A Rumour Value Of 8 Out of 10

West End Marvel Girls

Neil Tennant. Singer/songwriter for Pet Shop Boys, has a dark past. Even worse than Neil Gaiman’s Duran Duran 1984 annual. For Neil Tennant used to be a Marvel editor in their Holborn, London offices. And here is that young whippersnapper in action…

Dig that Silver Surfer t-shirt! And thanks to http://www.popbitch.com for the photo.

This Has A Rumour Value Of 9 Out of 10

Bird Of Prey

Now Lysa Hawkins has left Marvel for DC, a couple of anti-Hawkins diatribes have come this way. Note, this is from someone who never actually spoke out while she was still Marvel editor, and may well have a variety of personal biases. This thing has a Rumour Barrier for a reason, you know?

One source tells me, “Lysa was the editor of, among other things, the delayed Witches book at Marvel. Apparently, while she’s been in the middle of talks with DC, Lysa has delayed or perhaps even just stopped mailing scripts of the books she’s in charge of out to the illustrators, causing their work to dry up, in the hopes that when she moves over to the Bat-office, these poor freelancers will be so hungry for work that they’ll leap at the chance to drop their Marvel books in favor of whatever DC books Lysa happens to be editing. Why is it that Mike Deodato is sitting around sketching the Joker for the Comic Book Resources web page instead of cranking out Witches pages? Because the scripts for Witches have apparently been sitting in Lysa’s drawer for weeks – complete, edited, signed off on by everyone from Axel Alonso to Jemas.”

A quick check with Dave Campiti who represents Mike Deodato as part of Glass House Graphics has a different take. “Yes, Deodato did go roughly a month with very little Witches to work on, despite his and my checking in with Lysa every day. That’s why he had all that down-time to do all those X-Men pin-ups you’ve seen him do all over the net. The scripts were being revamped to shuffle some artwork around, moving scenes from issue #1 into #2 and so on, and Deodato was doing a couple of new pages and panels piecemeal during about a 4 or 5 week stretch. After Lysa’s departure, Axel and Mark took over editing, and the work resumed within days. Lysa and Axel have always been communicative and easy to reach, very professional in their follow-throughs, and both editors have worked above and beyond the call of duty to help us out. We’re just glad the project is on track and the book is sailing along.”

This also explains why there were reports of Mike being made available to lots of Marvel editors for work. Campiti also told me, “Lysa emailed me a few days ago, right before the Holiday, saying she was going to DC to work on the Batman titles. She later saw Deo’s Joker pin-up online, said it may be one of the first pieces she buys when she becomes a Bat-editor, and she hopes to offer Deodato work there, if his schedule allows.”

Bronwyn Carlton, writer of Witches simply replied, “Mike Deodato has outdone himself on Witches. The book looks great and I’m really happy with the direction the project is taking.”

Thanks for dodging the story and getting a quick plug in there, Bronwyn. And damn, I fell for it too.

However, another source tells me that Bill Jemas didn’t like the original direction that Witches was taking and ordered major changes – despite #3 being worked on before Jemas saw the first two. Which may explain the rejigging mentioned above. I’m told Hawkins didn’t want to worry the creative team until it was all worked out. But this may be a more simple reason for the allegations being made at the beginning of the article.

I also understand that Marvel did try to keep Hawkins on board, knowing she has a band of loyal freelancers and a good reputation in the field. Which is why they gave her a counter offer. Marvel aren’t that used to people leaving without being fired – especially not to DC…

Lysa Hawkins did not respond to email inquiries.

This Has A Rumour Value Of 4 Out Of 10

Hard Truths

Things to know. Howard Mackie is the writer of The Brotherhood, although the anonymous writer label gives Joe Quesada, Bill Jemas, and other guest writers to get involved. Marvel are indeed putting Miracleman into trade paperbacks (or hardbacks) – I’ve been saying so for months. And still no one seems to be ordering enough copies of Fray.

This Has A Rumour Value Of 8 Out of 10

Single Feathers

Alan Moore has a zombie chicken. Seriously, on his Welsh farm there’s a rooster which has had its neck wrung repeatedly and been left for dead, only for it to pop up again and leg it. Again and again.

  • It’s a mutant chicken with healing powers.
  • With the amount of magic going on in Alan’s life, accessing the cheat codes for reality, maybe he’s found the cheat to give a character infinite lives?
  • The people on the farm are wussies and can’t even break a chicken’s neck.
  • It’s coming to eat your brains.

This Has A Undead Chicken Value Of 10 Out of 10

Post Haste

Shout goes out – anyone know the whereabouts of Adam Post, formerly of Angel Entertainment and Spoof Comics? If you do pass a contact to twisting@hotmail.com. Thanks!

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