Welcome back to another edition of ATR.

Still recovering from Wonder Con, folks. But you?re a patient bunch, so here?s the latest Rage from across the comic industry.

The Book of Destiny

Earlier this week over at his online journal, Neil Gaiman revealed a lot of information regarding the forthcoming Absolute Sandman collections:

      I don’t think the extras in the trade paperbacks will be repeated in the

Absolute Sandman

      volumes, mostly because I’d assume people probably have the books with the introductions in. We’re looking at putting new stuff in, and we’re not yet sure what it’s going to be — I’m going to try and find things like the original proposal and notes, perhaps the script to

Sandman #1

      for the first volume. Right now Danny Vozzo is recolouring the first 18 issues of

Sandman

    to take advantage of modern printing techniques and to fix things we weren’t happy with at the time.

It’s going to be a four book set, by the way, of about 600 pages per book, and I believe they’ll come out over a couple of years.

Gaiman?s initial post was followed by this message:

      I just got an email from Scott Nybakken at DC Comics. Scott is editing the

Absolute Sandman

    series, and there are a few pages where the black plate on the film is damaged or not easily usable.

I mentioned to him that there are people out there with original Sandman art pages, and that some of you reading this might have the pages he needs… So he sent me a list.

Neil — Here are the pages we’d like to get good copies of the artwork on for PRELUDES & NOCTURNES:

SANDMAN #3 — pg. 3
SANDMAN #4 — pgs, 1, 3-8, 11-17, 19-23
SANDMAN #7 — pgs. 1-2, 8, 13-14, 19-21, 24
SANDMAN #8 — pgs. 1-10, 13-15, 17-18, 21, 23-24

Thanks, Scott

If any of you have any of these original pages, can you get in touch with Scott Nybakken, Scott.Nybakken@dccomics.com? (Also feel free to repost this in the places that comics original art collectors might be likely to see it.)

(NOTE: this is original art, hand-drawn by Sam Kieth and Mike Dringenberg we’re looking for, not old copies of the comic.)

I’m sure that as he works his way through the book, he’ll need more pages from later (especially Sandmans 15 and 16).

Gaiman further elaborates on the books here, and he also mentions that the stories will be reprinted in order of publication, which means that the short stories from Fables and Nocturnes will appear as they did in the original series.

And in a separate post, Gaiman reveals that there will be an Absolute Death ?in a year or so.?

This Has A ?Dream Hunters? Factor of Ten Out of Ten


All Winners

Minor SPOILERS ahead for Captain America. I know some of you squeamish about things like this, so consider this your warning before the Invisio-Text starts?

The solicits for the May issue of Captain America mention that Cap will be going to Europe and ?fighting side-by-side with some very old friends.? What it didn?t tell you was that the ?friends? in question are The Invaders, who will be teaming with Cap for the first time since the whole ?Winter Soldier? story started. I?m told that the most recent appearances of the Invaders (i.e. The New Invaders) will largely be ignored in this story to provide the characters with more of a fresh start. The first Invader to appear in the story arc shouldn?t be hard to guess if you look at the cover for issue 18?

This Has A ?HINT, It?s Not The Whizzer? Factor of Nine Out of Ten


Finding Albion

It?s funny how one rumor can lead you to something you didn?t expect to find. Case in point, there was a rumor that Chuck Dixon would be writing a crossover for Dynamite. I say ?was? because there doesn?t appear to be anything to it at the moment. But? while looking into that, I did hear that Leah Moore and John Reppion?s first book for Dynamite will be a crossover with a ?magic? related character?

This Has A ?Casting The Spell? Factor of Six Out of Ten


Amok Time

Speaking of Chuck Dixon, there have been a few interest developments on his message board as of late. First, Dixon related a story about the creation of Way of The Rat and El Cazador at CrossGen:

    I was visiting CrossGen on my second visit and hustled into Mark’s office where I was told of a secret hush-hush deal with a Chinese telecom firm that would place CrossGen characters on the screens of millions of Chinese cell phones and net the company obscene profits. This was typical of the kind of pie in the sky insanity that was rampant at CG. We had an odious employee who would justify his continued employment by coming up with wild schemes like this and then keep the deals alive long after they were dead by simply pretending to be in negotiations.

I was told that we needed a “Chinese book” to help attract possible Asian customers. By the end of my visit I had laid out the plans for Way of the Rat. I had to fight to keep Po Po as the mentor or whatever the hell we were calling these characters. I caved on keeping Boon and Po Po free of the Sigilverse. But was determined to set the series in as real a medieval Chinese setting as I could so that we would only have to change a few place names to set it on Earth. (I did the same in Brath) Jeff Johnson was hired and made the book click with his tremendous affinity for, and knowledge of, Asian culture and martial arts. It was a pure collaboration as my knowledge of this stuff was limited to HK action flicks I’d seen.

El Caz was mine from the ground up and I had to fight to get it approved (this entailed an actual stand-off with Mark and me doing an end-run around every department to get Steve Epting off Crux). I also had to fight to get it as a standalone outside of the Sigilverse. I lied to the Sigilistas and told them that there would be clues for clever CG fans hidden in the books that would tie El Caz to the CG Universe. You’d have to be pretty damned clever to find them since I never included any. Did I like lying? No. But the company was squandering its potential and no one would budge from their petty and groundless opinions.

In the end, my instincts were right and El Caz was our best selling title.

The full text of Dixon?s post also included other insights to his time at CrossGen which are quite interesting. You can check those out here. But the other bit of Dixon related news this week is related to the infamous American Power comic:

    Erik and I are trying to figure out how best to make these available. We’re planning on presenting them as a download in exchange for a charitable donation to a charity that benefits our fighting guys and gals.

News on this soon. Your donation will buy you both scripts as well as scans of the first two covers and a handful of completed pages from issue #1.

This Has A ?Raging Waters? Factor of Seven Out of Ten


Turn This Motha Out

Those of us who liked Spyboy should enjoy this: I?ve received some preview art from Pop Mhan?s forthcoming TOKYOPOP book, Blank. From what I?ve been told about the book, it?s got an espionage/secret agent in high school vibe similar to Spyboy, but stands on its own. The title ?Blank? refers to the lead character who has ?serious lapses? in his memory?




This Has An ?One Bad Soul Brotha Undercova? Factor of Nine Out of Ten


Dead Man Still Walking

Jason M. Burns and Bryan Baugh are putting out a full color OGN through Viper this April called The Expendable One. It?s about an otherwise ordinary man who simply can?t be killed, as he goes up against a serial killer. The creators have set up a fictional blog for the main character here and passed along a few character pics:



And the first six pages, not for the faint of heart?



This Has A ?Back From The Dead? Factor of Eight Out of Ten


Another Bang For The Buck

I hear that Allen Berrebbi (former CFO of Future Comics) has signed on with Big Bang Comics to become their new ?Director of Business Development and Marketing?, which I?m told is part of a move to revamp the company and assist with future licensing deals.

Presumably, they?ll put out some Big Bang comics as well?

This Has A ?Retroactive Continuity? Factor of Six Out of Ten


The New, New Avengers

Over at his blog, Jeff Parker has been providing some details about his latest Marvel Adventures book:

Thanks to those of you who have written nice letters after seeing the latest Marvel solicits with the latest Adventures book, THE AVENGERS. We’re starting with Manuel Garcia pencilling, and me (Jeff Parker, searcher enginers) writing, and Aaron Lopresti providing covers. Excellent art all the way around! Since the Adventures books are supposed to introduce new readers to the Marvel Heroes, the line up generally reflects the characters people might know from the movies, plus the two you have to have or it’s not the Avengers, Iron Man and Captain America. Originally Giant-Man was offered to me with the line-up, but I really wanted more female characters and pleaded until Janet Van Dyne was allowed to take the big role, in case you’re wondering who Giant-Girl is.

Lookin’ round the interweb, I see some people are still confusing Marvel Adventures with the MARVEL AGE books that have been gone for a while. The stories we do in Adventures are not retellings, they’re new. Sometimes we introduce established characters as if new, because we just can’t expect possible new readers to go back and absorb 40 years of continuity to figure out what’s going on. So my focus is to present the characters as true to classic form as possible, because how things happen is more important than the facts of what happens. And they’re not aimed at kids, though we really want kids reading them. And going by the great numbers the books do in retail stores outside the direct market, they are– or someone is! If you want to get a sense of what the Avengers book will be like, pick up some of the latest Adventures Fantastic Four books by me and Manuel, that should get the tone across. Thanks again for all of you who’ve wrote looking forward to the book– so am I!


This Has An ?Ultron Imperative? Factor of Ten Out of Ten


Just Don?t Mention The N64?

Joystiq has posted one of the first screenshots from EA?s upcoming Superman Returns video game. The screen depicts Superman facing off against a gigantic Metallo.

IGN also a had pic show up online.

Yeah? the screenshots look good, but how does it play? I wasn?t exactly thrilled with the Batman Begins game and the less said about Marvel Nemesis the better?

This Has A ?Fear The Imperfects? Factor of Six Out of Ten


Christmas At Ground Zero

And finally, we have a preview courtesy of the Image blog of The Last Christmas, written by Gerry Duggan and Brian Posehn with art by Rick Remender and Hilary Barta. Enjoy.



This Has A ?Fight Before Christmas? Factor of Nine Out of Ten


And we?re done. See you next week.

Later,
Blair

PS If anyone has any rumors, stories or news to share, please email me at blairm@silverbulletcomicbooks.com. Thanks to everyone who has been sending stuff in. It?s greatly appreciated.


About The Author