Hello and welcome to All the Rage, I’m your host, the so-called “Nice Guy” of rumours, Alan Donald.

Bloody hell, I never thought I’d say that again. In fact, I swore I’d never say it again. You know I prefer to say welcome to The Panel which, in case you missed it, is my current gig (but more on that later).

In case you were wondering, Markisan is back next week after drying out in rehab (or whatever it was they said, sorry I get confused easily) so you’re stuck with me, the second-longest-serving-Ragemeister (and host of The Panel).

Before we go on let’s make one thing ABSOLUTELY, COMPLETELY and TOTALLY clear, this is a ONE WEEK DEAL, no more, I’m done, finished and through (so you can all take a big sigh of relief).

Sunday evening I settle down to read All the Rage as I occasionally do, I notice at the end it mentions that an old hand is returning to the column next (this) week. The gears in my head start turning…it won’t be Ian, not after last time…it’s not Markisan yet…Huesy? Nah, Future Comics wouldn’t let him off his leash… wow does that mean Rich is coming back to do a filler?

I got my answer on Monday when it was casually mentioned to me that I was doing ATR this week. No pressure, then, less than a week to build a column from the ground up without using any of the private stuff I’ve been given by people who’ve come to trust me since I quit ATR a while back…great fun, eh?

But something is different since I was here last! We’ve become even closer friends with X-World, so be sure to click on one of the banners or buttons displayed on this page. I’m told you can pre-order Wolverine: The End for free! FREE! Not too shabby!


Batsy Over Batsy

By now the whole world knows that Christian Bale has been cast as Batman. The new Batman film will take aspects of the proposed Batman: Year One project onboard and filming is supposed to begin in early 2004.

Why bother to bring this up?

Simple, it segues so nicely into a couple of things I’ve got this week.

Firstly a couple of sources (Jim Gordon and Harvey Dent) have led me to believe that the Darren Aronofsky Batman: Year One project may not be as dead and buried as people believe. I’m not sure how much credence to put into this but apparently David Boreanaz (Angel) has expressed a very serious interest in the title role and he is supposed to be bringing the huge comic book fan and Buffy creator Josh Whedon onboard too. This does sound like a fanboy’s dream, but I’ve been unable to find out anything more.

David Boreanaz, can’t think of anyone better for the part to be honest…

…well apart from Terry ‘Strangers in Paradise’ Moore that is.

This Has A “Going Batty” Value Of Seven Out Of Ten


More Moore

Terry Moore is working on a SiP mini-series about gang life in L.A. and a big, colour coffee-table book of SiP for HarperCollins. The bastard knows the ending of Bone and he ain’t telling (but it is going to be great apparently)…oh and he’d like to assure you that Batman is gay…(check out The Panel’s question on the subject of Batman’s sexuality for more from Mr Moore on this subject.

This Has A “Moore Shameless Plugs” Value Of Eight Out Of Ten


HollyWaid

”Mark Waid is doing very cool things in Hollywood”

Or so I have been told by Tim Drake. Unfortunately I wasn’t told in sufficient time to actually ask Mr Waid about those cool things which is a bugger as Mark does actually talk to me occasionally (mainly to very politely decline to answer my questions but heck its better than I get from a lot of people). I could have some fun pondering what he could be up to but there’s enough rubbish written about Mr Waid so I will happily leave the poor guy alone and wish him well in the land of make believe.

However, this does mean he has one week to spill the beans to ATR before Markisan sniffs it out for next week’s column…

This Has A “Good Luck Mr Waid” Value Of Six Out Of Ten


The Most Sensible Retailer In The US…

…is probably James Sime, owner of Isotope Lounge (mentioned before in this column). Following on from the UK’s best, Page 45’s Stephen Holland, landing a regular gig in Comics International, Sime has been snapped up by CBR, you can read his first column here:
http://www.comicbookresources.com/columns/?column=16

He’s cool, bookmark it, and enjoy yourselves.

This Has A “Best New Internet Column After SBC’s Paper Golems (Debuted Last Thursday)” Value Of Ten Out Of Ten


Artistic Info

Norm Breyfogle is pencilling and inking Black Tide (a title published by Angel Gate Press), and then a second series (untitled at present) from Angel Gate Press. He also has a possible project from Dark Horse on the cards for the future or so says Harvey Bullock.

This Has A “Check It Out” Value Of Nine Out Of Ten


Making Madman

What’s the score in Hollywood at the moment? Is there an Original Idea Generator’s strike on at the moment or something? It seems that there’s nowt but comic book movies coming out in 2004 (not that I’m complaining to be honest). The latest news I’ve had sent to me is that Robert ‘Spy Kids’ Rodriguez is to direct Mike Allred’s Madman. Work is set to start next year and Mr Rodriguez supposedly has someone lined up for the lead already. Thanks to Cassandra for this snippet.

This Has A “Mad Old World” Value Of Seven Out Of Ten


You’d Be Nuts To Miss It!

Fantagraphics are going to publish the Complete Peanuts in fantastic hardcover editions. This isn’t exactly going to be a quick collection to put together…Fantagraphics’ editions will each have 2 years worth of Peanuts in them and they allegedly plan to release 2 books a year. The books will cost $28.95 each and it’ll take you about 12? years to collect all 50 years’ worth of Charles Schultz’s fantastic work. Cheers to Barbara Gordon for letting me know about this.

These, of course, follow on from their wonderful collections of George Harriman’s Krazy And Ignatz stories (designed by Chris Ware) – but whereas the Harriman collection started partway into his run, the Schultz books will go right back to basics from the start – when Peanuts was very rough and very ready…might this be a turnoff to all but the most ardent Peanut’s collector and kill the line in its infancy?

This Has A “12? Years… Good Grief” Value Of Ten Out Of Ten


Quickie

Selina Kyle has written to tell me that Jimmy Palmiotti is currently co-writing 21 Down #1 (the second series), writing The Monolith (a new character in the DC universe) and inking Catwoman and Two-Step (over Amanda Conner’s pencils) for Cliffhanger. He also has a one-shot coming up from Image entitled Cloudburst.

This Has A “The Man Must Never Sleep” Value Of Eight Out Of Ten


You Beauty

You may have seen a couple of preview pics from Marvel’s upcoming NYX (written by JQ, art by Josh Middleton) in their preview mag this month, but want to see them in really high res, really close up?

Check these puppies out:


Middleton has moved over from the Com.X stable, it’s possible his Sky Between Branches might also switch publisher too… but strong rumours abound that another artistic talent from Com.X has jumped ship to a US publisher – my money is on Ben Oliver and Wildstorm, after his fabulous Robotech cover from last year surely more work has come his way.

Downside is that this may well put the mockers on Puncture II

This Has A “Swings And Something-Or-Other” Value Of Five Out Of Ten


Silent Hill…IDW Publishing…Com.X…And The Lovely Rich J

Dead Boy Jason Todd let me know that our pal Rich Johnston has been sniffing around the Com.X message boards, asking about their Silent Hill graphic novel, as IDW Publishing who have the license from Konami, weren’t aware of this book existing.

Well, if he’s just done a simple google search, it would’ve pointed up my ATR column of a few months ago, revealing the whole story behind the book (Com.X’s first release, done on spec, never to be published) and the exclusive extracts we ran here…

PAY ATTENTION, GUYS!!!

If IDW want a copy of the book, it can be arranged…

This Has A “Not So Silent Now” Value Of Three Out Of Ten


Diggle Dangles

We’ve had a ‘More Moore’ (though a different Moore to the old days) we had to fit in a ‘Diggle Dangles’ too. The ever-funky Mr Andy Diggle is apparently being groomed as one of DC’s most important talents. So important is he that DCU have apparently singled him out to write a miniseries that will spearhead an enormous DCU crossover event in 2005, which is set to revitalise the whole of DC. I’m afraid Mr Diggle was unable to comment, as he has made it clear he didn’t want to contribute to ATR at the moment. Alfred Pennyworth sent that in for us.

This Has A “Diggling Ourselves A Grave” Value Of Six Out Of Ten


Gather Round

Why don’t chicks dig comics? Why don’t new characters last? Why don’t ‘black books’ sell? Is Batman gay? What makes a good comic book cover?

All these questions and many, many more have been (or are being) considered by The Panel’s. The Panel’s is a collection of some of the most influential creators, editors and more from across the comic book industry, all brought together to answer your questions.

Check it out every Tuesday. And send any questions you have for them to me, at the usual.

This Has A “How Many Times Can We Hypes Ourselves?” Factor Of Nine Out Of Ten


Ellis Novelist

HarperCollins has signed up a new novelist, a certain Mr Warren Ellis. Mr Ellis’ novel apparently looks at the dark underbelly of American culture with a washed up private dick working for heroin addicted G-Men. The private dick is apparently hired to search for the lost ‘secret’ Constitution to the United States.

When I spoke to Rene Montoya, a big fan of Mr Ellis on this subject he/she had this to say:

    [I]hope it doesn’t turn out like Jeffrey Archer’s book dealing with Saddam Hussein attempting to steal the US Constitution…

whatever that means!

This Has A “Ellis Doesn’t Even Remotely Rhyme With Novelist…” Value Of Six Out Of Ten


Busiest Guy in the Industry

Alan Grant is more than a little swamped at the moment what with working on the script for Season 2 of the “Ace Lightning” TV show as well as the new “Action Man” DVD. He’s also the script consultant on new animated CGI movie “Half Life”, he’s got a Judge Anderson series for the Judge Dredd Megazine, “Brodie’s Law” with Pulp Theatre and Lobo/The Authority team-up with Giffen and Bisley.

If that isn’t enough for you Mr Grant’s future is a packed too with a new Sam Slade RoboHunter series in 2000AD soon, a new Smallville novel Curse out now, a new Hawkgirl kids’ novel out now, a new DOMINATOR DVD out next month, from Salvation Video, an 80-minute “BritManga” CGI, with voices by Doug Bradley, Ingrid Pitt, Danni Filth, Mark and Lard and Music by Cradle of Filth and a whole load of gagstrips in Northern Lightz #9….oh and apparently the Moniaive comic’s festival (that Mr Grant’s wife organises) is more fun than Bristol one.

This Has A “30hrs A Day” Value Of Ten Out Of Ten


Constantine

More stuff is leaking on the Hellblazer film staring Keanu Reeves as an Americanised version of that quintessentially British comic book character. Gavin Rossdale and Djimon Hounsou will apparently star in the film as Balthazar and Papa Midnite respectively. The later name certainly starts some interesting alarm bells in my mind as I think Papa Midnite (and his character profile as announced ‘demon hunter wanting to retire to run an occult club’) played a big part in some of the earliest Hellblazer solo stories.

I’m not sure where this is from but I’ve been handed a plot summary of the film:

      Keanu Reeves stars as John Constantine, a man who dabbles in the occult and teams with a female police officer to fight evil forces. Rachel Weisz will play Angela, the cop who becomes involved with Constantine when her twin sister dies in a mysterious suicide. Swinton will play Gabriel, a rogue angel battling Constantine. Rossdale will play Balthazar, a nemesis of Reeves’ character, while Hounsou will star as Papa Midnite, the owner of an occult club who was once a demon fighter like Constantine but is now trying to get out of the business. Based on the DC-Vertigo comic book

Hellblazer

    .

Rossdale is known as the frontman of the band Bush and Hounsou starred opposite Angelina Jolie in Lara Croft Tomb Raider: The Cradle of Life.

This Has A “Of Course You’re Right For The Part Mr Reeves…” Value Of Six Out Of Ten


Navel Gazing

A couple of quick ATR rumours for you:

That whole ‘April Fool’ thing was a ruse; I quit from writing ATR, as it was just doing my head in. I felt I lacked the killer instinct and it was just driving me nuts.

Don’t believe all you’ve read regarding the ‘missing’ ATR from Ian. Some scallywag has been putting about tales that it was pulled because Marvel demanded it or some equally ludicrous suggestion. ATR went up, fans and pros read it; several fans complained to Jason that they found it to be offensive; Jason agreed and (as he has admitted) overreacted by pulling the whole article rather than just the passages in question. That simple. No axe-wielding companies were involved, no pressure was put on SBC, no threats…no scandal, sorry.

Oh go on, a quick SBC thingy too:

I have heard several people talking about SBC ‘being in the shit’ or ‘dying on its feet’ which is an interesting distortion of the truth (something we are totally unfamiliar with here at ATR). SBC is actually a victim of its own success in that the number of people accessing the site is growing at a stupidly fast rate week-on-week. If you know anything about websites, this results in increased bandwidth, and increased bandwidth means increased costs. SBC is just too popular and the current levels of advertising that were sufficient just a few months ago are now nowhere near enough to pay for this. Same thing happened with CBR’s Forums. Jason Brice, the big boss, doesn’t want to up the price of advertising or cut significant amounts of content, but it may be on the cards soon, so sign up now for some cheap ads and save yourself some money!

This Has A “Watching The Detectives” Of Ten Out Of Ten


Order Today!

Don’t ask me how this happened. Don’t expect me to explain it.

The thing is Diamond UK allegedly still have every issue of Marville in stock, along with copious amounts of the trade paperback. My source, Dick Grayson, pointed out that not a single retailer appears to be asking for these books at the moment. What makes this even odder is that Marvel prints all it comics to order with no surplus, I’ve done whole stories on that fact before now.

Bizarre, huh?

Anyhoo help out Mr Jemas and Diamond UK, order some Marville today, you might be pleasantly surprised

This Has A “Marvelous” Value Of Six Out Of Ten


Fraz Phrases

Frazer Irving is currently working on the excellent Judge Death in the Megazine and the new strip From Grace for 2000AD. He’ll be on Judge Death for the next few months but he may be bringing his excellent horror styling to Dark Horse in the near future.

Asked to comment on this Mr Irving replied:

    Me? I live in a bubble of time and space. I know nothing of other mortal affairs.

And that:

    I heard this thing about an old guy in a police box mooching around London asking about these “dar-leck” things, but I don’t know Who he is…

This Has A “Horror Horses” Value Of Five Out Of Ten


Cool Sites

So can you tell the Hitlers from the Shitlers?

http://ashen.users.btopenworld.com/fof/fof.htm gives you a chance to see if you can tell the difference between the genuine evil dictator and all those who’ve played him on celluloid. Have fun.

http://www.artofresistance.org/bush_mosaic/ supplies us with an interesting image. Yes, that is Dub-yah made of arses…

This Has A “Too Close To The Truth To Be Truly Funny” Value Of Eight Out Of Ten


Is that it?

My name is Alan Donald and I’m your host each and every week for the excellent (even if I do say so myself – twenty times a day) The Panel.

Next week sees the return of the one and only Markisan … how many pints this week? Vote on the message boards, a prize for the closest guess.

TTFN

Alan Donald – Signing off for what HAS TO BE the LAST time.


SFX: The sound of tables being pushed over and bottles being broken…
Next week?! Hell no, son. I’m back right now.

A great big thanks to Alan, who did a swank job on the Rage this week. I’d also like to thank Blair, Ian and that other guy for filling in and giving me a rest. I had fun watching the column get criticized, edited and even yanked over the last few weeks, but it’s time to restore some damn order. To quote a line from Jason Priestly in Tombstone, “There’s got to be some law!”

I will be return magnum force next week. Until then here are a few items I worked on to biggie-size Alan’s column and shake off the rust.


When the Moon Hits Your Eye

Over the last week or so Warren Ellis has given status reports on several of his upcoming projects through his listserve, Bad Signal. At the moment he’s waiting on a Wildstorm contract for a new creator-owned, ongoing series for mature readers. Warren describes the book as “a head-on collision between Transmet, my Hellblazer run, and Planetary, if Planetary was concerned solely with detective/secret-agent fiction.” Wildstorm Editor Scott Dunbier calls the series “a Prisoner for the 21st century”.

Ellis is also finishing up the script for Planetary #19 now that John Cassaday has started drawing issue #18. The Red writer has also been mulling over ideas for a new bi-monthly series with an unnamed star artist who is about to finish a stint on a long-running book. In addition, Ellis says he’s “halfway through The Job I Took Because No-One Would Expect Me To Take It.”

Along with these projects, Ellis has finished writing a six-issue mini-series for Wildstorm called Ocean. The sci-fi tale will be illustrated by Tom Strong vet Chris Sprouse and is described as “150 pages of big explody stuff, diamond spaceships, ocean moons and an armada of floating corpses.”

Warren was kind enough to send me the pitch for Ocean and I have to say I really dig the concept. The story follows United Nations Special Weapons Inspector Nathan Kane to a space station orbiting Jupiter’s moon, Europa, where he must stop an ancient force from reacquiring unimaginable destructive technology. To make matters worse Kane also has to keep the deadly power out of the hands of an insane Manager on a rival space platform.

Here are a couple quotes excerpted from Warren’s original pitch:

    Thousands of cryogenic sarcophagi, floating in the alien ocean of Europa. Each one containing a human being. But the caskets they’re in are carbon-dated to a point before human beings existed. The team on Cold Harbor are analysing the electronic documents on board the caskets, some weird version of grave-goods, and are divining that these represent the last of a human species that pre-dated life on Earth.

The humanoid civilisation from early time that ruined two planets and consigned itself to suspended animation in the traumatised aftermath – the most violent species this solar system has known – is waking up in the ocean of Europa.

And their weapons will be waiting for them.

This Has An “Say Ocean Spray In A Jamaican Accent” Factor of Nine Out of Ten


Captain’s Orders

On his weblog prolific writer Peter David offered a few upcoming issue teasers for Captain Marvel.

    THE NEW CAPTAIN MARVEL?

Issue #16 of the series “will introduce Phyla…Captain Marvel’s heretofore unknown sister (except when he sees her he instantly recognizes her, which is weird even for this book). Issue #17 will have their first major confrontation, leading into the storyline’s explosive conclusion with #18 in which we explain a whole buncha stuff and maybe the Kree, Skrull, Shi’ar team up to destroy Marv once and for all.

Posters at Peter’s website have started comparing this preview to season four of Buffy the Vampire Slayer. In the past readers have accused David of lifting story ideas from the cult-favorite television show. This seems like a sore spot for David. He quickly replied:

    Right. Right. It’s just like “Buffy” in that (a) Buffy was instantly aware that Dawn had no business being there and (b) immediately tried to kill her, whereupon (c) Dawn promptly fought back with powers that outmatched Buffy’s.

Oops. Wait. That didn’t happen. Except that *is* what happens in “Captain Marvel.”

Oh, and all the folks who said that “Fallen Angel” was just like BtVS, now that the book is actually out…care to keep making that claim?

Nope. For the record, Peter was writing Buffy-style yarns way before Sarah Michelle Gellar ever strapped on a pair of Prada pumps and a crossbow.

This Has A “Negative Band Energy” Factor of Seven Out of Ten


Horse Track
Updated with Quotes from Dark Days artist Ben Templesmith

For a while now I’ve been hearing a rumor that the popular horror team of Steve Niles and Ben Templesmith (30 Days of Night) will be moving their creator-owned properties from IDW to Dark Horse Comics. I asked Steve about this and he said, “Right now all that’s being moved to DH is the Fused title I did through Image. Ben and I will continue to split our work between IDW and DH.”

Ben also wrote in, adding, “Hehehe, that’s a rumour? Well, it’s a strange one, since IDW offer me a really good deal on creator owned stuff. I don’t think I’d ever swap. There’s LOTS of creator owned stuff planned to come from IDW and Dark Horse too.”

“I’m sure you’ve heard from Steve about it already, but the rumour is basically false!”

So there you have it. As an added bonus, here’s a look at the new Fused series, courtesy of Mr. Niles. He says the first issue will be solicited in the next Previews.

This Has A “Dark Fusion” Factor of Five Out of Ten


That’s all I got for now on the Rage front. Come back next week for more of me and maybe Matt and Dan, as we give this rumor column another go. But before I leave I just want to take a moment and raise a glass of Jameson to the Man in Black, who passed away on Friday.

Here’s to you, Johnny Cash.. may your tap in Heaven never run dry.

Out,
Markisan

PS If anyone has any rumors or stories to share email 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 greatly appreciated.


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