Welcome back to another edition of ATR. This has been a rare, two-column week here at Rage Central. For those of you who may have missed it last Friday, here?s the link to my feature length interview with Damon Lindelof, the co-creator of Lost and the writer of Marvel?s upcoming Ultimate Hulk vs. Wolverine miniseries.

And now for your weekly dose of Rage…

The Subatomic Ant

Remember the rumored Ant-man miniseries by Robert Kirkman and Phil Hester that was mentioned here a few weeks back? It?s looking more and more like it?s going to happen. The latest I?ve heard is that it?s planned for some time in Spring 2006.

This Has A ?Plan Your Picnics Accordingly? Factor of Seven Out of Ten


The Only Good Zombie Is A?

Time for another Robert Kirkman related item… What is this, Buy My Books?

Anyway, as I?m sure you?ve all heard by now, last week?s Marvel Zombies story was confirmed with the release of Marvel?s latest solicitations. And now, we?ve got an early look at the first three pages by Sean Phillips.


As you can see from the pics, the story picks after Ultimate Fantastic Four #23, with Magneto having survived the explosion at the end of that issue, though probably not for much longer.

On a related topic, Phillips revealed his own Zombie connection in a post at Millarworld. It turns out that Phillips had worked on a 28 Days Later? comic with Alex Garland (the screenwriter of said film) that never saw print…

This Has An ?End of Days? Factor of Nine Out of Ten


The Trouble With Mjolnir

In an interview over at Newsarma, Michael Oeming had this to say about the long awaited Thor relaunch:

    Thor will return, and last I heard, (Mark) Millar is still writing it when he’s ready and I think that?s great, and the new direction sounds like it will help Thor become a mainstream Marvel Icon again.

What?s interesting is that Marvel Editor, Tom Brevoort basically said the same thing back in March, and Millar followed by essentially saying that it wasn?t going to happen.

However it?s been about six months since he said that, so plans could have been changed in the interim. Things are still a bit murky at this point.

This Has A ?Blame Loki? Factor of Six Out of Ten


The Two Mikes

For the second time in a month, a press release has sparked a verbal sparing match between creators. In this case, it was Mike Bullock?s announcement that Runemaster Studios is pulling out of Alias ?due to material breaches?, and plans to take Lions, Tigers & Bears and The Gimoles to another publisher.

Alias publisher, Mike S. Miller quickly appeared to address the claim of ?material breaches?:

      The simple fact of the matter is that both series took a major loss.

Gimoles

    sales were so low that we had no choice but to cancel funding on the project. We gave Runemaster the option of finishing out the series without advanced funding, and were awaiting their response when we read this PR on Newsarama.

There was no material breach of contract.

Obviously we hope for the best for Runemaster and its partners, and good luck to whatever publisher decided to pick them up.

Ron Marz, (editor of Lions, Tigers & Bears) fires back:

    While you’re at it, Mike, you might want to talk to Brett about paying Mike Bullock and other creators what you owe them.

Just a thought.

Miller responds:

    We’re taking care of it. Thanks for your concern, Ron.

Later in the thread, Miller checks in again:

    Okay, again, thanks to those who support Alias, but I’m a little confused by the ‘kicking them when they’re down’ bit.

I mean, we’re talking about one studio that had one book coming out through us that was selling so poorly that we were going to cancel it.

So… how does that bring us ‘down’? Again, our biggest seller, Lullaby, is doing better numbers through Alias directly than it did when it was at Image. We just topped our highest selling 75 cent book by several thousand copies with the orders on Victoria’s Secret Service. We’re signing up some bigger name talent for launch next spring (that we’ll talk about when the time comes), and we’re constantly a top 20 publisher in a field of hundreds. Sometimes closer to top 10.

So… yeah, we lose Gimoles. Big whoop-ti-do, we were canceling it anyway. How does that bring us down exactly?

The thing is, I hear that Bullock and company aren?t the only creators to be on their way out of Alias. Most of the departing creators are rumored to be going to the same independent company. I can?t say which one, but it should be simple enough to figure out?

This Has A ?To The Lifeboats!? Factor of Five Out of Ten


The Mr. Mister

Over the last twenty years, Ty Templeton has made his name as both an artist and writer on projects like Batman Adventures, Spider-Man/Human Torch, and The Simpsons. However, Templeton is taking on the role of editor for the newly formed Mr. Comics, which will debut in December with a Planet of The Apes miniseries (which Templeton will also be co-writing). The genesis of Mr. Comics came from humble beginnings, as Templeton elaborates:

    Mr. Comics was originally a very, very small company here in Canada. Steve Valentine, the publisher had put a couple of small press titles that he had produced on his own, which he distributed himself locally over a few hundred miles. I saw a couple of them and I liked the production values, but I didn?t think the art or the stories were particularly strong. And I noticed that the publisher?s address was literally two miles from my front door, so I drove over to talk to him and asked him what it is he wanted to do with publishing comics. He had hired art students to do his comics and you could really tell. They weren?t especially strong, art wise. So I said, ?I know a lot of people who aren?t working fulltime, why don?t I hook you up with some folks who can make good comics?? And while we were discussing this, he started talking about whether I wanted to edit the books, rather than just putting writers and artists together and start turning this into a real company. I enjoyed the idea of the challenge and that?s where we got started.


One of the first things I did was call my friend, Dan Slott. If I was gonna work for this company, I wanted Dan to work for me. And he said yes. But he signed an exclusive contract with Marvel so quickly that we only got one series idea out of Dan ahead of time. But because the contract allows him to on projects he had before he signed it, we can publish this series. His book is called Big Max. It?s a comedy series about a super powered Gorilla and his monkey sidekick. Think of it as a Superman spoof, with a gorilla instead of a man. It?s really funny. And we?ve got James Fry to draw it. He?s done a lot of books, like Sword of Dracula, Moon Knight, and Star Trek.

However Big Max won?t be our first project. Steve wanted our debut into the larger comic world to be with a set of pre-existing characters rather than characters you?ve never heard of, even with someone like Dan Slott. He put a list of properties together that he was interested in pursuing, one of which was Planet of The Apes. I told him that I didn?t have an objective opinion of this, because Planet of The Apes happens to be my favorite movie ever made. I think he picked it up based on my enthusiasm and I am thrilled beyond belief that I?m getting to work on it.

So, our first project is going to be a miniseries called Revolution on The Planet of The Apes. And it?s going to tell the story of the actual battle between humans and apes. In the movie series, they skip over that. They go right from the beginning of the war to a point in which the war is already over. As a teenager when I saw these movies for the first time, I was very disappointed that they left that chapter out. Because we?re not limited by a budget, we can create an epic story about the war between humans and apes. We can destroy cities and have armies attack each other and it doesn?t cost us anything other than a pencil. That?s the big story that runs in our books, but each issue has a backup story that pokes its head into all of the different characters that appeared in the movies. So we get to check in with Col. Taylor, Dr. Zaius, Cornelius, Zira and the others from the film series, because I like them too much to leave any of them out. We tie the stories together thematically. The first story always takes place in the present and the backup stories take place at different points in the timeline, but the stories always relate to each other in some way.

Incidentally, we were developing Big Max before we had the rights for Planet of The Apes. I couldn?t say no to either project, so two of our first three projects have gorillas in them, which just makes me laugh. But there are no gorillas in our other projects, I swear!

This Has A ?Dr. Zaius, Dr. Zaius!!? Factor of Nine Out of Ten


The Premiere

One of our ATR Associates out in Chicago passed along a few pics from last Friday?s opening night performance of Hack/Slash: Stagefright:

Here?s the leading lady, Stefani Bishop, mugging for the camera after the show.

DDP chief, Josh Blaylock and Chad Wise, from the New Millennium Theatre Company.

Here?s one of the fans that sat in the front row ?blood seats.?

And here?s a few fans mingling with the creators post show.

Word from the show is that the Opening Night performance was sold out and the play received positive reviews from at least two of the local papers.

Of interest to fans of the comic version of Hack/Slash, there?s also talk of a crossover with Raven Gregory?s The Gift some time next year, probably in the form of a one-shot.

This Has A ?Bloody Mary? Factor of Seven Out of Ten


The Big Green

Here?s a quick look at Keith Giffen and Mitch Breitweiser?s four-issue Drax The Destroyer miniseries, which I believe is coming out this Wednesday.



Looks like Breitweiser has come a long way since Phantom Jack?

This Has A ?You Don?t Know Drax!!!? Factor of Eight Out of Ten


The Cap Is Back

We?ve got a special treat for ATR readers this week? CapvsBats has checked in to report that he is now the proud father of a baby girl named Haigen (baby pictures can be found here. However, Cap?s newfound fatherhood hasn?t dulled his appetite for satire. In fact, he?s got a new parody remix this week targeting the latest Supergirl series. Enjoy.





And that?s a wrap. Special thanks to Cap for contributing. Cap also extends his thanks to Chris Sim at the-isb.Blogspot.com for coming up with the idea for the ?Kill Bill? tribute on the Supergirl cover.

See you in seven.

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.


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