Monster Mash








Beware. Be afraid. The Mighty Levitz walks the Earth.

It doesn?t like this:


Can’t stand the sight of this…


Is quite revolted by this:


And as for this high school photo… well…


But seriously Paul, you?re doing a wonderful job.

Word On The Streets Of New York

Certain DC staffers have been quite vocal in how they see the recent changes at DC. The only thing they have in common however, is they can’t agree on anything.

One common accusation is that the appointment of Superboy co-writer and multi-media maven Dan DiDio to VP was forced upon DC by Warner Bros. And as a ?fuck you? to Warner, Levitz promoted Karen Berger and Mike Carlin to the same level.

However, I?ve heard these accusations refuted by people closer to the individuals concerned. Paul Levitz personally hired DiDio, and both Berger and Carlin?s promotions were in the pipeline already and were just announced together with Didio?s.

There is also the word that Jenette Kahn was squeezed out but that she was allowed to announce her resignation to do other projects. That Kahn?s role at DC had become more minimal of late and that Kahn?s one true strength was her links with the Hollywood contingent. The rumours that Levitz had been doing much of her official job for years and was behind Dan DiDio?s appointment at DC, as DiDio has movie contacts coming out of every orifice.

I have also heard from sources close to Warner Bros that people there thought Jeanette wasn’t doing a very good job of selling the characters to the other branches of the company. Indeed one film executive in particular was very dismissive of her.

However others see Kahn as still very active at DC and responsible for a number of positive moves within the company and that this move will have major implications within DC.

There is also the word that Jim Lee is being ostracised at DC with less influence within the company. However, again, that?s refuted by those who see John Nee?s move to DC as a vital bridge builder and the fact that Lee will be editing the upcoming line of DC titles under Wildstorm?s editorial control. More on that in a minute.

Me, I haven?t a clue. I?m looking forward to reading whatever comes out. And another Stuck Rubber Baby-style comic would be nice ? something neither Marvel, Image or CrossGen have come close to publishing.

This Has A Rumour Value Of Anywhere From 2 To 5 Out Of 10

Go Fourth!

What DC line you ask? Well, here?s an update on last week?s Fourth Wild story.

It?s not the Fourth World and related Kirby concepts coming to Wildstorm. That impression was given by a source who took one part of the story and ran with it.

Jim Lee is to edit a bunch of his favourite DC titles that are not being published at the moment, being remade and reimagined through Wildstorm using a list of ?name? creators. Kamandi is but one of them. Also in the line are OMAC, Adam Strange, and Vigilante. Brian Azzarello will be writing OMAC with Lee Bermejo on art – possibly Tim Bradstreet in inks too.

This Has A Rumour Value Of 7 Out Of 10

Crouching Dorothy, Hidden Nee

Lost in the many announcements of various DC people going hither and thither (congratulations to all, BTW, especially The Mighty Paul Levitz), was the departure of the mysterious John Nee from Wildstorm to DC mentioned a couple of weeks ago in All The Rage. This move has been confirmed by DC.

They told me, ?DC confirms the promotion of John Nee to the position of Vice President – Business Development, and the retirement of Dorothy Crouch, Vice President – Licensed Publishing and Associate Publisher – MAD Magazine. We wish Crouch well in the future and thank her for her many years of service to DC and MAD. Nee will relocate to DC’s New York offices and, in addition to his new responsibilities, will continue to manage the operations of WildStorm Productions, working closely with Jim Lee, Editorial Director – WildStorm in La Jolla, CA.?

This Has A Rumour Value Of 9 Out Of 10

Marvel Pretty

As well as the leaked X-Statics covers doing the rounds, (BTW the blacked out version is the ‘variant’ cover) and giving the X-Force ‘who lives, who dies’ mystery away, other Marvel cover art that?s come my way includes the cover to to the last X-Force issue, Wolverine #176, the Chamber mini-series, Fantastic Four #55 and The Incredible Hulk: The End. And here they are!


This Has A Rumour Value Of 9 Out Of 10

Priestly Duties

One of All The Rage?s aims to tell the tales that go on behind the scenes. But no one tells these tales better than the people who actually work behind the scenes.

Priest is one of my favourite comic book writers. He writes the monthly book Black Panther for Marvel (a new trade, Enemy Of The State has just come out) but he has been writing and editing comics since the mid-eighties.

One such comic was Xer0. I was quite the fan. But not everyone was. Not only was it cancelled at #12, but, according to Priest, it was internally sabotaged by DC.

Go here to read the story in detail. A quick check of the credits reveal that Dan Thorsland was editor and Alisande Morales was Assistant Editor.

This Has A Rumour Value Of 8 Out Of 10


Here?s a Wildcats 3.0 sketch by its artist Dustin Ngyuen. Isn?t it nice? He seems to be channelling the spirit of Travis Charest a bit, too.

This Has A ?Ahhh… Pretty? Value Of 9 Out Of 10

Got The Cream

I understand that the new inker on Catwoman, Cameron Stewart, taking over on #5 will start pencilling and inking the book from #11 onwards, taking over from penciller Brad Radar.

Armando Gil was to have been the inker from issue 5 onwards, but has been replaced with issue 5 radically re-inked by Stewart.

This Has A Rumour Value Of 5 Out Of 10

Kurt Busiek ? Rumour Monger!

Kurt Busiek posted on the Warren Ellis Forum about the DC Implosion from the 1970?s when a raft of newly announced titles were suddenly cancelled. Busiek wrote:

      ?Rumor at the time had it that what caused the DC Implosion had very little to do with the books themselves. The Northeast US was hit by a severe blizzard in February 1978, and it had a profound negative effect on anything that was shipped by truck … like comic books.


      ?So comics that month had really, really bad distribution, and the effect it had on a stretched-thin DC was that higher-ups saw the suddenly-lower-than-ever newsstand figures when they came in months later, and made drastic and premature cancellations in the name of economy. The sales figures for the next month bounced right back up again, but by then it was too late.


    ?I stress that this was just a rumor that came down through the direct-sales grapevine, and I’ve never heard it either confirmed or denied by anyone in a position to know.?

This Has A Rumour Vale Of 5 Out Of 10

Sighs Of Contentment

The rumour going around was that Top Cow were in serious financial trouble and they?d recently defaulted on payments over a $500,000 loan.

Not to worry. Top Cow?s multi-media skill looks like that?s all about to be covered. A bunch of movie deals have been renegotiated thanks to Matt Hawkins, including four payments of $125,000 every quarter this year for The Darkness. Added to that, the fact that Witchblade DVD deals were never signed up for the TV series, means there?s at least another million dollars right there, without looking at extra royalties.

And now they?re after talent. Mark Millar, man of the hour is in their sights at 10K an issue. And he?s not the only one.

If the Darkness work runs on schedule, Top Cow will be publishing The Pitt again, teamed with a name writer.

DC look like they might be back in the game and are trying to repair bridges with Mark Millar and the like.

Deals being cooked by Top Cow and DC look like they?re intended to tackle Marvel head on and they may well do it through the contracts – giving better deals on the initial contract with higher payments on the back end as well. Every detail of these contracts is being looked to give them as much punch as possible.

Marvel?s contracts, although giving creative freedom to some, are now starting to look a little less than generous for some. It was recently noted that 2000AD is paying a higher page rate for new writers than Marvel is. And with the same creative freedom being built into these new style contracts from other companies, Marvel may need to up the ante again.

But what else from Top Cow? Well, maybe it?s time for another Gorilla/Legend/Image type operation? One story is that Minotaur will go, or be absorbed into a new line with the likes of Garth Ennis, Steve Dillon, Alan Davis and? that man again? Mark Millar.

Not to mention a line of Americanised Manga comics spearheaded by the already-announced Battle Of The Planets title.

Could be a fun year.

This Has A Rumour Value Of 7 Out Of 10

Witchblade Cuts

With a new TV series signed and DVD rights about to bring in a lot of cash, who is seeing the money?

Top Cow owners Eidos and Marc Silvestri, naturally. But creators Michael Turner and David Wohl also get a significant slice. Brian Haberlin would as well, but he sold his rights for much needed cash. Might not have been the wisest long-term move, Brian?

This Has A Rumour Value Of 6 Out Of 10

Blazing Wheels

Apparently there?s trouble with the John Constantine: Hellblazer film and it may well not get made. Here are some pictures of Constantine?s proposed car.

Small mercies.

This Has A “I Can’t Get it In My Head” Value Of 8 Out of 10

More Pretty

Care to see design sketches for the upcoming Mek comic by Warren Ellis and Eric Canete? Course you do.


This Has A Rumour Value Of 8 Out Of 10

And Finally…

Plug time again! Everyone go and read the nice free comic Stone & Light, by Stuart Nathan and Dan Barker.

They’ve got a new story debuting at Bristol this year involving horses and clockwork (but not clockwork horses).

And talking of Bristol, maybe now’s the time to tell everyone I’m planning an All The Rage Live… but more on that next week.

Ta Ta!

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